View Full Version : Harness booster seats

08-27-2002, 02:05 AM
My four year @ 40lbs is ready for a booster seat. My husband has a 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and the are no shoulder straps in the back seat. What do people with older cars do in this instance? Is there a harness booster for kids 40+ lbs, or d we have to put her in the front seat?

08-27-2002, 08:11 AM
For the moment, you may choose to put her in the front seat. Actually, for the moment I'd suggest keeping her in her current seat until she has EXCEEDED 40 pounds. That might give you a week or two to come up with another option.

You are in a tricky situation. As you know, the backseat is a safer place for all passengers, especially our more fragile children. Your four year old will not be adequately protected with a lap belt alone, yet has outgrown the harness on most harnessed seats. So what are you to do?

Well, for most families, a 1989 vehicle may have a limited life. Sad to say, but it will probably die within the next few years. So you may want to make an educated guess about how long you'll be using the vehicle. That will help you decide how much to spend on a special seat for your daughter, depending partly on how long she's going to need it.

If you think she's going to be riding in this car awhile, you probably want to try to get ahold of a Britax Super Elite. They cost about $200 plus shipping and can be hard to find. But they use an internal harness up to 80 pounds. The seat is also huge, but if you have only one child, that should be OK.

Another choice, also hard to find, is the Britax Laptop, which goes to 65 pounds. It is a strange "seat" that actually sits on top of the child, while the child sits on the vehicle seat directly. Some kids like it, others don't. But it is cheap, about $50. That might be a good thing to try first.

In the next month or so, Britax will come out with the Marathon, a harnessed seat that will be very nice and will go to 65 pounds.

And in the next few weeks, we hope to see the Safety Baby Airway, which harnesses to 50 pounds, then turns into a booster.

In the meantime, there are a few combo seats (such as the Century Breverra, the Century Next Step and the Evenflo Express) that only harenss to 40 pounds in the US, but are certified to 47 pounds in Canada because they must use a tether strap. So if you have a tether anchor installed in your Jeep, this might be a temporary move, especially if you already have one of these seats.

And if all else fails, you may have to choose between the less-safe front seat position, or the very unsafe lap only belt. If it comes down to that, I'd go with the front seat.