View Full Version : I'm confused about Booster Seats

06-03-2006, 01:34 PM
My mother in law is insisting that my daughter needs a new seat for her car. DD is almost 3 years old, weighs 30 pounds, and is 36 inches tall. She is currently in a Evenflo Titan. She rides with MIL a few days a week.

What is the next step? DD is very tall and thin, it doesn't seem to me like a booster seat would fit her well. Any advice?

EDIT: I have to get something quick because MIL has already said that she'd pick up a $13.00 backless booster at Wal-Mart for DD to use - which I don't think DD is ready for at all.

06-03-2006, 02:07 PM
No, she's not old or large enough for a booster. Boosters are for kids who are TOO BIG for their convertible. If, they are also over four and mature enough to sit properly, a booster can be considered. If a large three year old is too big for their seat, another harnessed seat is the best choice.

Does she fit in the Titan by height? (She's obviously under the weight limit.)

Mabye MIL has been hearing about the new booster laws and is confused that DD *needs* a booster? Is she tired of having the Titan in the car?

Even if a booster was the only choice for some reason (ie, for a very large 4 year old), no, you would not want a backless. Backless ones are for much older kids. They are the least safe option in side impacts, etc.

Convertibles are safer. If she still fits, no worries, keep her there. If she doesn't, there are options that will keep her harnessed and THEN can be used as a booster. (ie, Evenflo Generations/Bolero, Graco Cargo's).


06-03-2006, 10:58 PM
She does fit in by height - I think the height limit is 40 inches and shes 38 inches tall (i just measured her an apparently she-s grown 2 inches since I last checked - lol).

MIL just thinks DD does not look comfortable anymore. She says it looks too small.

I saw that the Britax marathon goes to 65 pounds - how old is the average 65 pound child? Is it ridiculous to buy such an expensive seat for a 3 year old? Probably what I'd do is give MIL the evenflo triumph that is is my car and have the marathon in my car. Are there any less expensive seats that go up to 65 pounds?

I just don't know what to do - DD is very tall, but very lightweight.

Thanks for you input!

06-03-2006, 11:54 PM
Height is hard to define. The gov makes them put a plain number on it, but some kids are all leg, some all torso.

A FF seat is outgrown when they are a smidge above the top slots. AT is fine, but over is outgrown. The straps need to hold the kid BACK, so if they are lower than their shoulders, there's too much room to move forward.

The easiest way to check is to stick a ruler thru the cover into the slot and see where its at in relation to their shoulder. Its easy for the cover to be "off" and look much higher or much lower than the slot really is.

The Triumph is known to be pretty short, FYI.

If she's light but tall, look into the Cosco Apex. It does have a rule that the car has to have high seat backs. ie, the midpoint of the kids head has to be AT OR BELOW the CAR's seat/headrest. So, it doesn't work in a lot of cars. But, it harnesses to 65 and is super tall. Then it becomes a booster.

Check out the Evenflo Generations/Bolero, or the Graco Cargos. They only harness to 40, but a light kid/tall kid should be fine. The harness heights are similar to that of the MA, but then they become boosters when the harness is outgrown (either by height or weight.) The Evenflo ends up as a better booster.

Most kids will not make it to 65 in an MA. You could check it out at BRU and she where she'd be though. Its a very nice seat. If you are planning on more kids, it'd be a great investment. If she still fits in the Triumph, she must be pretty leggy.


06-04-2006, 12:36 AM
She may very well have outgrown the Triumph as well, then. I was just going by weight - figuring we had at least another year at the rate she's going.

Have you heard anything about the Fisher Price Safe Voyage Deluxe? I was seraching for the Britax Marathon and ran across this. It looks very similar, but the weight limit is 55 pounds. It's also quite a bit less expensive. Also, I ran across the Britax Regent - do kids actually make it to 80 pounds with the harness?

I need to check tomorrow and see where she is in the Triumph as well. I'm going to do the ruler trick - thanks!

06-04-2006, 08:50 AM
There's a big thread on the FP over on the baby car seat board (more traffic over there in general)


Basically, its a MA clone. Same shell, same slot heights, no built-in lockoffs, kinda weird cover, different base, no HUGS pads, and a 55 lb weight limit. (Most kids won't make it to 65 in an MA, so 55 is probably good.)

MA's have been on sale at Amazon, the K-state and Auburn ones were 50% off!! But, they are gone, maybe check for others?? You can find MA's at various places for around $210-220 if you find last year's covers. Personally, I hate the FP's cover, so I would pony up for the MA. But, that's just me. ;)

On the Regent, yes, kids really do make it! Overall, the seat is the size of an MA, but it doesn't sit up high on a base. Its VERY tall. Kids make it to 8-9 in that seat. Its really nice. By the time a kid outgrows it, they are probably OK for skipping a booster altogether.

Another combo I forgot to mention is the Recaro Young Sport. It only harnesses to 40, but with a stringbean that's fine. After harnessing, it makes a STELLAR booster. If my DD was more stringbean like, I'd have gotten one. I love them. But, she's tall and average weight and wouldn't last weightwise to the age I'm shooting for.

Do check the Triumph, its pretty short and I'm worried she's too tall...

06-04-2006, 10:20 AM
THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I was able to order 3 Marathons in the Kansas State pattern for less than $500.00 shipped. I don't like Kansas state BUT who cares!!!! Maybe I have MIL sew some sort of patch over the logo - lol. I can stop worrying about the safety of my little one. I hope I made the right choice for my DD.

What age should this last to? 5 or 6?

Thanks again!

06-04-2006, 03:53 PM
GREAT! I'm so glad! I got K-State too, but I know a lot of K-Staters, so hopefully someone can use it. (I have an extra Funky Denim cover already). You could also keep an eye out for covers. Spares are nice.

I see all the time "most" should last to 5-6. I'm hoping my DD makes it to 5 at a minimum. She's tall, but has to slow down soon as her dad and I are both short! ;) Its really hard to say, kids vary sooooo much at that age.

06-04-2006, 04:04 PM
I checked her in the triumph this morning and she still has at least 2 inches to go from the top of her shoulders to the top strap hole. I guess she is all legs! She's pretty petite and always has been (she wears 24 month in capris and shorts and they still fall off). She's at 10% for weight and 95% for height. I bet this seat will last her a long time.

Thanks again! MIL and I are both happy now :)

06-04-2006, 04:09 PM
it's also outgrown if the tops of her ears are level with the top of the shell.

Sounds like your MIL was very observant... and knew she needed a bigger seat, but just didn't know what to get... she's still doing better than a lot of grandparents.