View Full Version : need suggestions

Nancy Holter
12-04-2002, 03:03 PM
I need possibilities for booster seats for vehicles without shoulder belts. I bought a Laptop, but when I went to their web site to see about getting another one, it appears they are no longer making them, any idea why? Is there any booster type sold in the US that does not need a shoudler belt? I have a source for a Canadian one which is supposed to be useable without a shoulder belt (Safety Ryder sp?), but I would much rather be able to see one beore getting one.

12-04-2002, 11:12 PM
Hi! I am adding my post here since I am coming to ask practically the same question. I have three year old b/g twins. My daughter is still happily & safely in her Roundabout, but my son outgrew it a month or so ago. We decided to go ahead & make the leap to a bpb (we chose the Jupiter Komfort Kruiser) due to his maturity level, and due to the high cost of the Britax Marathon (which, along with the Britax SR/C were the three we were considering.) Well, last week, we were fortunate to find a beautiful, well maintained, older GMC conversion van for sale that was (we thought) ideal for long trips, or when we wanted to carry our family of four, plus my folks *comfortably* (as we do so quite UNCOMFORTABLY now in our minivan.) Unfortunately, my husband viewed & inspected the conversion van before purchasing, and I did not. He didn't for a moment realize that the van is NOT equipped with shoulder harnesses beyond the driver & front passenger, making the van absolutely useless to us at the moment. My son's bpb will obviously not work with a lap-only belt.

The van manufacturer will not recommend their replacement belts, since the van's seats are from the conversion package. The conversion company, while thankfully still in business, will not help in any way due to liability issues, stating that this early model chassis doesn't have the necessary "D-Clip" mounted into the chassis, for them to place new belts, or even put in brand new seats, which we would be willing to pay for to have the van safely outfitted all around with shoulder-restraints. No one has any other suggestions.

Our only thought would be to have the GMC dealership install tether anchors behind the rear captains chairs with the existing lap-only belts, and use our existing Roundabout for our daughter, installed as directed for lap-belt-only installation with tether, and buy a larger seat for our son that will also install in a seat with a lap-only belt. We were thinking about the Britax Husky, but I would really like some guidance on if this would be the best choice, or would another model be suitable in this situation. My son is approximately 40 lbs, and 38 or 39" tall, and 3-1/2 years old.

If there isn't a SAFE way to restrain my kids, I will sell this van, before trusting their lives to an inferior restraint system, and chalk it up as a life lesson - but I do hope that something can be done to make them safe, so we could at least use it for a couple of years until we can better afford a newer model option. Thanks so much for any advice you can give!

12-05-2002, 03:35 PM

Some earlier vehicles can have shoulder belts retrofitted. I have a list of Ford and Chrysler models. For other makes you will need to contact the manufacturer. Conversion vans are a problem for the reasons you mention. Lacking a shoulder belt, the best alternative is to do exactly as you said- install a tether anchor if possible and use something like a Britax Marathon or Britax Husky. Fisher Price Futuras and Britax Laptops are also options if you can find one, and the new Safety Baby Airway is an option to 50 pounds. I have seen Laptops recently at Right Start and Zainy Brainy stores, so you might call around to ones near you.

Laptops are no longer being made because Britax decided not to upgrade them to LATCH compatibility for compliance with the new standard. They are still ideal for seatbelt use, especially for older kids with only a lap-belt available.

Good luck with your search!

DuPage County SAFE KIDS

12-06-2002, 11:20 AM
I searched for 'Safety Baby Airway' and did not find anything. Who makes this seat?

12-06-2002, 03:59 PM
These are made by Nania / Safety Baby, a European company. See:


I do know some of their models including the Airway can be found in Burlington Coat Factory stores. I don't know which other retailers carry them.

DuPage County SAFE KIDS

Allison Sleigh
12-20-2002, 05:02 PM
What is the height and weight limits for the safety baby airway? I have a 2 1/2 year old who is 39 inches and 34 lbs. Right now he is in the Roundabout but I think it only goes to 40 inches. I looked into the Husky but it is far too heavy, we live in the city so the seat needs to be light enough to take on the train for visits to grandma and grandpa.

12-26-2002, 02:31 PM
You son maybe fine in his Roundabout for a while yet. The height limit is a guideline as very child is proportioned differently he may will fit for a while long. Britax now have two criteria for an outgrown car seat: 1. when the weight limit has been reach, ie 40lbs in this case; and 2. when the tops of the ears reach the top of the seat shell. They used to add when the shoulders are above the top harness slots, but they no longer stipulate this (note this is for Britax seats ONLY).

The Safety Baby seat is called the Airway. It is a combo seat that is harnessed to 50 lbs and then converts to a booster until 80 lbs. It is available at Burlington Coat factory for $99.

If the Husky is too large a seat for you, have you considered the Britax Marathon? It is a convertible seat that has a maximum weight limit of 65lbs. My 39 inch DS still has plenty of room in it RF!


12-30-2002, 05:25 PM
Just so you know, the Laptop is still available at the Right Start Store - I know because I just purchased one to have as an extra booster today at their King Of Prussia, PA store. Good luck!

01-21-2003, 12:25 PM
The Laptop is no longer made because it is considered a child restraint and not a booster so it must now meet the LATCH requirements. Because of its width it is impossible to meet the LATCH requirements. Therefore, Britax had to stop making the. I have one as well and you can still find them at Zany Brainy and Rigth Start Stores sometimes.

01-23-2003, 04:00 PM
I looked at the Laptop at Righstart.com, but is it really safe? It seems like the child could be thrown out easily in an accident. Maybe I need to see one to understand it better. I really hate that we don't have a vehicle that has 3 shoulder belts in the back for my boys, triplets.

01-23-2003, 04:54 PM
I think the laptop is really safe. The kid is really secure in it. Don't worry. It covers most of their chest when and thighs when in place. In Europe laptop like restraits are used all of the time. I really recommend this restraint. My friends and I bought up 6 of them in our area. In fact, from the looks of my son in the laptop, I think it is more secure than belt postioning booster seats.