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Too old for a booster? Says who?

This isn’t a full review, but I wanted to share our experience with the original Britax Frontier model in booster mode.  In short, we love it :).  This is Karsten last summer, he was almost 12, about 90 pounds, and about 60 inches tall.  That’s the top listed height limit for the original Frontier model.  He’s a fairly average sized tween, and actually had  just started to fit safely in the adult seatbelt in the captain’s chairs (Passing the 5-step test: Bum all the way back in the seat, knees bent comfortably at the edge of the seat,  lapbelt low on the hips, shoulderbelt in the middle of the shoulder, and sitting that way the entire time.  I also add my own requirement, that kids’  feet be flat on the floor, so that way they don’t feel the need to scootch forward and rest their feet, causing the belt to fit higher on the abdomen.  Maybe some kids can sit perfectly the entire ride with their feet dangling, but not mine!).

Both the original Frontier and the new Frontier 85 model can be fully LATCHed into place in booster mode (Lower anchors plus top tether is allowed, though not required) to hold it in place when it’s not occupied.  It it has ample depth for leg support, is wide and tall for kids with wider shoulders, and this model has flip out cupholders (the new Frontier 85 has integrated cupholders).  But the number one reason he loves sitting in it is that it has head support.  If you’ve ever wished for a way to comfortably relax in the car and lean your tired head to the side for a snooze, you know exactly what I mean.   Maybe one day, cars will have adjustable-wing headrests, like some airplane seats have had for years now.  Until then, I’m glad Britax offers such a tall booster with so much comfort for very tall kids.

Oh, and yes, he has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.  If anyone really wants to rough him up for sitting in a baby seat, they’d better watch out ;)

Britax Parkway Slide Guard

 

Britax is back on the market with a dedicated belt positioning booster, the Britax Parkway Slide Guard.  From the first pictures, it doesn’t look all that exciting, I hate to admit.   But I’ve bought one or two of their original ‘boring’ seats and have been happy with them, so I won’t judge a book (er…carseat) by it’s cover.

One thing that is unique about this seat is the “Slide Guard. ”  For lack of a better comparison, it’s like a crotch strap in the seating area that hooks to the lap belt and, as it says on the Amazon site, “works with the vehicle safety belt to prevent the child from sliding under the lap-belt portion of the safety belt during impact, thus minimizing the risk of abdominal injury.”   These are popular in Australian boosters (from what I gathered in a quick google search).  And some of us remember when the Starriser with Anti Submarine Clip was going to be released here, but never made to market.  So this is not an entirely new gadget, and I’m glad we are finally seeing it on a seat in the US.

The Parkway Slide Guard also has armrests, unlike the previous Parkway which was discontinued last year.

Now…hmmm… what seats do I need to purge to make room for one or two of these in my cars…?

Combi Dakota Review

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.