View Full Version : Help Clarifying Safety issues & choosing Booster Seat! (Toby!)

10-12-2002, 07:46 PM
Hi! I have three year old twins, a boy & girl. Currently they both use Britax Roundabouts, side by side on the bench in my Plymouth Voyager minivan. My daughter is very petite, and only 22lbs or so & about 36" tall. We plan on keeping her in her Roundabout for the forseeable near future. My son, on the other hand, is 39lbs, and 38-1/2" tall. His ears have not passed the top of the carseat, but his shoulders are just barely above the harness slots.

We had anticipated getting a new seat for him, and was planning on a combo seat - particularly the Evenflo Apollo, so that he could remain in a 5 point harness for as long as possible - but that was a month or so ago and at least 4 lbs. Now, however, seeing him within ounces of 40lbs, it seems clear he won't be in a 5 point harness for long, even in a combo seat, and was I wondering about going straight to a safe & well made belt positioning booster, such as the Jupiter Komfort Kruiser, the StarRiser Comfy, or the new Graco TurboBooster.

My twins are a month & a half shy of being 3-1/2, and I do have some concern over the safety of a boy his age in a belt positioning booster. However, he is a very mature boy, and I have no fear at all that he wouldn't be mature enough to remain seated properly for the BPB to work. (My daughter would be a different story & therefore we are grateful not to have to worry about that yet.)

The few options I have seen for boosters that accomodate children of weights higher than 40lbs in a 5-point harness, are unappealing in design & price. Part of me wants to be able to put him directly in a belt positioning booster now that he is *practically* 40 lbs, and outgrowing his Roundabout, but part of me is really scared to see him out of the 5-point harness. What do you think?

Toby - your advice in particular would be most welcomed!

Thanks so much for any help or advice you can give!


p.s. Are there any new Booster seats that came out in September that we should look seriously at?

10-14-2002, 11:05 AM
OK, I've got a few suggestions for you.

My first suggestion is to consider getting a Britax Marathon for your son. He'd be able to use it for another year or so, until he was really, really ready for a booster. It sounds like your daughter could then use it for yet another year, until she was more like 5 1/2. It technically can be used to 65 pounds, but in practice, I think that most kids will get too tall for the top harness slot by at 4-5 (and longer for the short torso kids).

I don't have an easy answer about when is the best time to move kids from the harness to the booster, or how much safer the 5 point harness is. We know that maturity is a factor, since kids must stay in position on their own in the booster. But some kids do quite well in the boosters at a younger age than others. I guess I'd say that in general, a properly fitting/sized 5 point harness probably gives a little more protection to most kids, especially when they are smaller. The 5 point spreads the crash forces more evenly over the body, and keeps the child in position.

So your second option is to go for a booster now for your son, and later on for your daughter. Try the Graco Turbo booster. If you like it, the price tag is certainly appealing. And it is a nice seat. The SR/C is narrower. The KK is larger and bulkier, but provides a lot of support and kids like it and find it comfortable.

I don't know of any new boosters coming soon, so I'd just go with what is out now.

10-15-2002, 10:46 AM

Thanks so much for your advice. Our decision was a difficult one. We looked at the Stariser Comfy, the Komfort Kruiser, the TurboBooster and the Marathon. I thought the TurboBooster looked pretty nifty, but my son sat in it after having tried out the SR/C & the KK, and immediately said, "I don't want this one. I want the other one I liked." He seemed to like the SR/C and the KK, but said he preferred the KK.

We had to shop at two different stores. One store was the only one in the area that carried the Komfort Kruiser, but it did not carry the Marathon, so we had to shop two places. The last one he tried was the Marathon, and to my surprise he liked it very much, maybe because it is so much like the Roundabout he is used to riding in.

I was torn. He liked both the Komfort Kruiser & the Marathon, and my heart said that the longer he could be in the 5 point harness, the safer he would be, and I have always felt that money should be no object when it comes to safety. The $250 price tag, however, was difficult to swallow, especially when I knew that at 65 lbs or even sooner, he we would have to still buy another booster for those last 25 or so pounds. The SR/C was $120 at the specialty store and at BRU, and the KK was $110. I am ashamed that the price tag at double the price was making me waiver.

In the end, the price was a significant deterrant, as was the fact that the Marathon is a substantially large seat, and on my smaller (front) bench in my minivan, they just did not fit well together. I bought him the Jupiter Komfort Kruiser. So far, he seems to ride in it well, though it takes some getting used to for all of us (for example, when climbing out of the seat and it isn't anchored by anything, and able to be moved around.) I drove home a little scared that he was no longer as safe as his sister still in her Roundabout, and guilty that I couldn't somehow make the Marathon the right choice for us.

My mom who was with us tried to ease my mind reminding me that the manufacturer's recommendations for the seat begin at 33lbs, and if he weren't safe, they wouldn't state that. It was a very small comfort to me.

Thanks again for your advice. I do think, considering all of the circumstances, we found the best option we could, and your advice & insight helped me make a difficult decision.

Theresa (hooahmama)
proud SAHM/WAHM to brilliant 3 year old B/G twins