Friends of mine in the CPS world have sung the praises of the Combi Dakota backless booster for years now. I recommended it right along with them, usually for older, larger children, but never truly understood the magic of this seat. What could be so great about plastic and cloth that I should NEED to add it to my already-vast booster collection?

But finally I broke down and got one and my 9 year old sat right down in it and proclaimed it her all-time favorite booster.  I asked what she liked so much, and she declared, “It’s cushy for my tushy. And it’s so tall! And the cup holder is big and easy to use. And it’s really easy to buckle”

Of course I read the manual before we went out to the car to test the seat. It has broad weight and height limits: 3 years/33 pounds/33 inches, up to 100 pounds/57 inches. And the instructions are standard for a backless booster, such as requiring a head restraint and shoulderbelt. One interesting warning I found was: “NEVER allow child to buckle themselves in this Booster Car Seat”. I do applaud Combi for encouraging adult involvement in the buckling process, but I think for my own child I’ll just be sure to make a visual check that she’s secured properly.  

Here are both my girls near the ends of the minimum and maximum limits on this seat: Sarah is 9 and a half, 65 pounds, and about 55 inches tall.  She still needs a booster to fit in the seatbelt safely.  Leah is a bit over age 3, 35 pounds, and about 39.5 inches tall.  I’m happy that this booster does seem to fit her well, but would not trust her to sit still in it for even the shortest of rides, so she’ll just have to stay harnessed till she’s a little older.

Overall, I am thrilled with the size and comfort of this booster for older children.   The cover has a layer of foam padding sewn right into it, and there’s a large square of padding underneath that.  The plastic of the seat itself is smooth and molded to fit comfortably under the thighs.  Even the bottom of the seat is smooth, so those of us who worry about our vehicle upholstery need not be concerned about possible cuts or deep dents.  The cupholder is soft and snaps firmly to either side of the cover, and it’s easy to slip even a big kid’s cup into it.  And should on-the-road eating become messy, it’s simple to snap the cover off for a gentle handwash and air dry. 

I will continue to recommend this seat for older, larger children who need a wider, deeper booster in order to be both safe and very comfortable in the car.

Official Combi Dakota Product Page