12 answers

Booster Seat Safety

Hi Everyone,
We are in the market for a booster seat for my 5 year old daughter. What do you recommend as far as safety and price? I saw the Britax booster just got recalled and consumer reports didn't even rate it. Thanks so much for your help!!!
J.

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Graco Turbo-Booster with removable back/head rest support.

J.,
We have two Britax seats as well (a Roundabout and Boulevard for my oldest) Whatever you choose, stick with the 5 point harness. I know the boxes all say a 5 year old can go in a booster and many parents go that route because of that and it is so much easier, but definitely not as safe. I have driven my daughter's friends to field trips and they all bring their boosters in my car and they don't sit still. They lean forward, reach to the sides and the seats are moving around since they aren't secured in and the seat belt holding them in is no longer tight around them. It always made me nervous what would happen if we even were involved in a minor accident.
My daughter is now 6 1/2 and she has no problem being in the 5 point harness, even when her friends ask why she is still in a baby seat :)
Good luck in your search,
J.

I highly recommend the Recaro Vivo.

Good Luck hunting!

As a Child Passenger Safety Technician and Instructor, there are not many safety differences in booster seats. You should make sure the booster seat fits the contour of your vehicle seat and that it has the features you want. Otherwise, there are not huge differences due to boosters being seat belt positioning devices. They do not offer the protection the 5-point harnessed seats do; instead they help position the lap and shoulder seat belt properly on your daughter's body. Just make sure she is over 40 pounds at bare minimum! Good luck!

I am researching this right now too. I want my daughters to be in a 5-point harness for as long as possible so I am looking for booster seats that offer that. I know everyone says the Britax is the best, but I just can't afford $280. I am going to buy the Graco Nautilus from Amazon. It is priced at $129 and seems comparable to the Britax. The reviews were really good. Check it out! Good luck!

http://www.amazon.com/Graco-Nautilus-Car-Seat-Matrix/dp/B...

At that age, I got my son a 5-pt harness Britax REGENT. It's huge, but he was able to be in it till age 8! He's in a booster bottom now at 8.5.

I just bought my daughter the Graco Nautilus, and I doubt it will last her that long. It's fine for now (and I have my Regent as a back up) but if I were you, I'd skip the Nautilus and go for BIG - something that will last your daughter a few years.

We have 2 Graco's. Got them both at Target. They have the backs on them and then when she is old enough, the backs come off. Also a cup holder. The one I have for my daughter has flowers on it. She liked it and it is safe, so that is what we have.

Our nanny just has the booster portion in her can, again it is the Graco, which has the nice padding etc. That was at Big Lots for only $15.00. It is the same one as Target has, just no back on it.

I did a lot of research on this a few months ago and these were my top picks:

Britax Frontier if money is not an issue. The recall issue is a simple fix, and the newer made seats have the problem fixed. Yes, it's expensive $280, but just think of it as less than a dollar a day for a year, and your child will be in it for much longer than a year. (Accommodates weight up to 80# with 5 point harness and 100# as seatbelt positioning booster). Has the expected comfort of a Britax.

Graco Nautilus if money is an issue. Great reviews, and accommodates children similarly. One thing this seat has over the Frontier is that it converts to both a seat-positioning and backless booster seat. Not as comfortable as Britax, but your child won't know the difference.

First Years: Compass Folding Adjustable Booster if you want a just-in-case booster seat if you're gonna carpool an extra person, or if your child is going to ride in someone else's car.

Combi Dakota (no latch) or Clek Olli (has latch) if you want a backless booster seat (better for older kids).

5-point harness as long as possible is best.
Also, make sure you check the weight/height limitations on all the seats you're considering. The frontier & nautilus exceed the other carseats in this regard.

Happy Hunting.

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