View Full Version : Booster for carpool

03-28-2006, 08:11 PM
OK, at first I couldn't believe I was going to post a message after reading the loads of info in this forum, but now that I see I'm not the only confused soul, I feel a little better...

My kids are about to turn 4 and 2, and I have another on the way in a couple of months. Both kids are currently in Marathons. Since, at some point in the next year, the new baby will be taking over one of the Marathons, I figured the oldest would move into a booster at that point (he'd be a couple months short of 5). However, my husband is deploying in a few weeks to Iraq for a year, and since I will be accepting any and all help, I would like to get a booster now that would be easy for friends/babysitters/family to move in and out of their cars for the occasional pickup. We'd still be using the Marathon on a daily basis in my car, but I need something that is easier for others to install quickly in their own cars when they're helping me out. But, since it would eventually become a full-time seat, I don't necessarily want to sacrifice safety for ease of use.

I have zero experience with boosters, and I just assume they are easier in general for moving around in cars in carpool type situations? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Based on all my reading here, I'm leading toward the Parkway (have LOVED Britax, and I like the slim fit for 3 kids across) but wonder if there's anything I'm overlooking.

Also, what is everyone's experience with putting 3 kids across the middle row (I have a Toyota Sequoia, so I could put one in the back, but would rather not)? Although the safest spot for the newborn is the middle, I wonder how realistic it is to keep trying to reach over a Marathon in the outboard spot to get the carrier in and out. It seems that it would be easier to put the oldest in the middle since he can climb there himself, but that's not the best for the newborn... What do you Moms with 3 little ones do?

Thanks in advance!

03-28-2006, 11:14 PM
How much does the oldest weigh? If he's under 40 there are several combo boosters that would be good to keep him harnessed for a bit longer. The Recaro Young Sport makes a stellar booster down the road. The Evenflo Bolero/Generations makes a nice one. The Graco Cargos are ok. The belt guides (which are optional) aren't great and the seat belt can be held too far away from some kids.

The Cosco Apex harnesses until 65 lbs, then makes a good booster.

The experts say to put the "least protected" rider in the center. In your case rear facing infant is actually the *most* protected seat-wise. A booster toddler would be the least protected, and should be in the center. If the 4 year old is harnessed, it would maybe depend on the seats who I'd put outboard (ie, the Recaro has side impact protection).

Edited to add - you might wanna jump over to the baby car seat page too, it has more traffic, and toddler seats are talked about over there a lot.