View Full Version : 5 Point Harness Booster Options

03-26-2002, 02:36 PM
Hi! I am looking into a 5 point harness type booster for my nearly 3 year old son. He and his much more petite twin sister are currently in Britax Roundabouts, which we all LOVE. He will be outgrowing his Roundabout soon, in height probably before weight, but we will see - he is about 35 lbs and I am not sure of his height exactly but his head is above the top of the seat, though his shoulders still have a bit to go.

While I don't NEED a replacement tomorrow, we thought it a good idea to go ahead with a 5 point harness booster he would fit in now, as a second seat in our other car or in my parents' vehicle, until he has fully outgrown his Roundabout, at which time it would become his primary seat.

My priorities in a booster seat(in order of importance)are: 1) SAFE 2)Comfortable (I know this is subjective) 3) Easy to operate - easy to move would be a plus 4) Price and Appearance

He is a pretty good car sleeper too, so side head support for easier sleeping is a plus, as well as convenience features like arms that move for easier climbing in.

We have a Plymouth Voyager minivan, and would eventually be using it in there, but first would be in a Dodge Neon (second car) for awhile.

Please give me a few suggestions on car seats to consider and why. Thanks so much!!!

HooahMom (Theresa) Proud Mom of 33 Month Old Brilliant Boy/Girl Twins

03-27-2002, 10:10 AM
Hi Theresa.

The first thing I'm going to recommend is making sure that your twins are really all that close to outgrowing their RAs. None of the combos come close to the RA in terms of ease of operation (which often translates into safety since it is easier to use the seat right) and comfort. So I'd recommend sticking with the RAs as long as you can. They outgrow the RAs when one of two things happens: either they reach the weight limit (40 pounds) or they reach the height limit (shoulders above the top harness slot or tops of ears above top of seat).

Most kids in the RA have their shoulders above the top slit in the fabric before they reach the top harness *slot*, since the cushy pad compresses and pulls down with the weight of a larger child.

The best thing would be to see your twins stay in the RAs until they've fully passed one of these milestones. You'll probably even be happier with moving the RAs for now, as long as they fit.

But what happens if he *does* outgrow the seat by height before he is 3 1/2 or 4, and well before he hits 40 pound? All the combos still have a weight limit of 40 pounds for the harness, but he wouldn't outgrow them height wise, just weight wise. As I said, none will meet the quality you are used to, but you might want to check out the Evenflo Apollo. It is often considered the "nicest" of the combo seats, in that it works pretty well and has a few extra features. Many kids have trouble sleeping in it, though. The new Cosco Summit/Safety 1st Vantage Point has a nice shoulder belt adjuster, but the harness is only a little higher than the RA and the straps are twisty. The Evenflo Express, Century Breverra Ascend, Century Next Step DX and Graco CarGos (any model with front harness adjuster) are the other choices.

If your children are around 3 1/2 and quite close to 40 pounds when they outgrow their RAs, I'd recommend going right to bpb (belt positioning booster) seats. These tend to work better in the booster mode (their only mode) than the seats that try to do both things, imo. My top pick right now is the Jupiter Komfort Kruiser, which is very comfortable, positions the belt well, and has some side sleeping support. The Britax Roadster might be a good option for you as well, assuming that you have head support for your children in your car for when they get taller.

If either twin hits 40 pounds in the next few months, you might want to consider one of the seats that harnesses past 40 pounds. There are a few Fisher Price Futura seats left out there, which harness to 60 pounds. The Britax Super Elite harnesses to 80 pounds, but is huge and expensive. The Safety Baby Airway is supposed to be out in May or June and will harness to 50 pounds, then turn into a bpb. I haven't seen this seat yet, so I don't know if I'll be recommending it.

So in summary, keep them in their RAs as long as possible, see if they are ready to go right to the bpbs, and if not, try the Apollo.

04-02-2002, 12:08 PM