Car Seat

car seats for bigger kids

Govt ratings are based on "ease of use" so that you use them properly.

Consumer Reports Sept2003 |ratings

  • only combination seat they recommend is Cosco [Summit]( Detail.cfm?CSSID=66) High Back Booster 22-260

  • govt liked: Even Flo [Chase]( Detail.cfm?CSSID=87) Comfort Touch; Even Flo [Express]( Detail.cfm?CSSID=85) Combo, Safety First[[Seat Detail.cfm?CSSID=81 |Vantage]] Boosters Consumer Reports recommend:

  • Evenflo Right Fit 245119 $25 Backless design for vehicles with high backrests.

  • Graco Turbo Booster 8491 20 Backless design for vehicles with high backrests.

  • Britax [Star]( Detail.cfm?CSSID=98) Riser Comfy 120 Removable back. Seat width and backrest angle adjusts. Guide allows shoulder belt to retract freely.

  • Graco [Turbo]( Detail.cfm?CSSID=112) Booster 8493 8497 50 Backrest angle adjusts. Guide allows shoulder belts to retract freely.

  • Cosco High Rise Auto Booster 22-299

  • Govt likes: Cosco [Vista]( Detail.cfm?CSSID=103) , Cosco [Voyager]( Detail.cfm?CSSID=104) , Even Flo [Sightseer]( Detail.cfm?CSSID=108) , Graco Turbo Booster HB,

older research (summer2002, when was under 40lbs)

car seat for bigger kids

Types of choices:

  • "belt-positioning booster" (uses car's belt, but adjusts its path)

  • standard kid-seat with harness, but designed for heavier kids (there are a few) (these are often called "combination" seats, and the harness doesn't get used once the kids is over 40 lbs)

  • high back provides better head support A toddler/booster seat can be converted to a booster seat by using the car's safety belt as the restraint. For kids weighing 40 to about 60 pounds, the belt is routed through a guide on the seat. With taller kids, the belt position should be fine without the guide.

We recommend: Of the toddler/booster seats tested, the Fisher-Price Grow With Me is our top pick as a booster. Its guide allowed the shoulder belt to operate correctly without special care, unlike those of other seats. (In 1999, we rated an earlier Cosco High Back Booster as Very Good. But our current tests showed that its guide can be problematic. Model-specific advice is in the Ratings. Also see Booster seats.)

  • be careful: Century Next Step SE, Century Breverra Classic, Century Breverra Metro

    • Baby Club has Next Step MX, not SE; has SE

    • Century puts the Breverra into a bigger-kid category. Same weight range, but extra accessories

  • avoid: Cosco Adventurer2, Cosco High Back Booster, Evenflo Express, Graco Cherished Car Go

Booster seats, sometimes called belt-positioning boosters, also use the car's safety belt to restrain a child weighing from 40 pounds to 80 pounds.

We recommend: All three booster seats we tested scored Excellent in crash tests. The Evenflo Right Fit, $30, is A CR Best Buy. Because it is backless, use it only in vehicles with seatbacks that support your child's head and neck. The Fisher-Price Safe Embrace, $60, or Britax Star Riser Comfy, $115, with backs, are better in cars with low seatbacks.

Baby Club doesn't carry Fisher-Price (turns out F-P discontinued that biz). They carry the Century Next Step and Breverra (same as Next Step, but little less fancy). With the Britax Star Riser, you can remove the back once the kid is over 60#, as the regular car cushions are sufficient by then. (They also carry the Roadster)

Sites say Star Riser and Roadster not good for airplanes because they don't have shoulder belt. But research shows they say kids can just use regular plane seat after 40 lbs, so not an issue.

Jihi says it will be awhile before Hunter hits 40#, and would like him in a harness in the meantime, so combo seats are the right category. (Though note Consumer Reports concern....)

Britax makes Super-Elite (now Husky) which uses harness up to 80#. But Jihi says that isn't necessary. And the Super-Elite is sold out everywhere, and the Husky won't be avail until probably Sept'02.

Schneider's sells Cosco, Century Next Step and Breverra, and Britax Star-Riser.

Century 800-837-4044

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