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  1. #1
    TwoBees is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default High back vs backless booster for travel

    We will be traveling via plane next month and then borrowing a friend’s car at our destination, and I am weighing my booster seat options for DD2. She just turned 8, is in 2nd grade, and is 39.5 lbs, about the size of a typical 6-year-old. She is currently in a harnessed seat in our primary cars, although she’s travelled short distances in a HBB in our babysitter’s car on rare occasion. It would be much simpler to travel with a backless booster than a HBB. Do you think it would be appropriate to put her in a backless booster for this trip? Or go for the HBB? We have already decided we’re not traveling with a harnessed seat, with her being a half-pound shy of the weight minimum. Can anyone point me toward resources comparing the pros and cons of HBBs and backless boosters? Thank you!
    Mom to a spirited, red-headed, former 28-weeker 10/2009 and a more mellow monkey 12/2013.

  2. #2
    jgenie is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    At that age / size we used Bubblebum boosters for travel. They were still harnessed at home but we felt comfortable for travel.
    for Carmen

  3. #3
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    I would definitely use a low back. I think they serve the same function once your kiddo isn't napping in the car.

  4. #4
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    I have a son about the same age (he'll be 8 next month) and we use a harnessed seat for long road trips, a high back booster for everyday use, and a backless booster for travel. The biggest problem with the backless booster is that at his size (about 49 inches tall and about 50 pounds) the shoulder belt does not fit safely without using the shoulder belt adjuster (usually a black strap that has a red plastic thing at the end to route the shoulder belt through). It does actually work ok without the adjuster in the middle seat of DH's truck, but that's the only seat in any vehicle we've tried it in where he doesn't need the adjuster. And it's a big pain to get the adjuster set correctly and use it. Which we put up with for very occasional use when traveling. So if you don't take a HBB I would definitely make sure your backless booster has one of the adjuster straps and make sure you know how to use it to get the shoulder belt to fit correctly before your trip. There are photos near the bottom of this page: https://csftl.org/booster-seat-basic...r-belt-guides/
    DS 2/14
    DD 8/17

  5. #5
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    AnnieW625 is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    My DD2 was in backless booster for travel at that age and she was about 45lbs., but she was in a high back till around the middle of 3rd grade iirc. (and then in a low back until Covid hit when she finally hit 60lbs. and could use the Safety First seat pad….forgetting the name).


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    Annie
    WOHM to two wonderful little girls born in April
    DD E, 16
    DD L, 12,
    baby 2, 4-2009 (our Tri-18 baby)

  6. #6
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    You can get a booster that goes down to 30# if the 0.5# is a real thing, but the weight is fully clothed and shoes (what you’d be strapping into the seat) so I’m guessing over 40# fully dressed. I’d travel with a backless booster if you think she will sit upright in it and not lean out of the belt path. I think the high back helps remind them they need to stay under the belt but honestly most eight year olds can do this when awake. The only reason I would consider the harnessed seat is you can use it on the plane whereas a booster needs carried/checked (we usually bring it as our personal item under the seat in front of the booster rider). I’d rather bring a harnessed seat than a high back booster for that reason alone, but once my kids rode in boosters they vacationed with boosters.
    momma to DD 12/08 & DS 3/13

  7. #7
    TwoBees is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Thank you everyone! I appreciate all of the help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snow mom View Post
    The only reason I would consider the harnessed seat is you can use it on the plane whereas a booster needs carried/checked (we usually bring it as our personal item under the seat in front of the booster rider). I’d rather bring a harnessed seat than a high back booster for that reason alone, but once my kids rode in boosters they vacationed with boosters.
    We’re not planning to use the car seat on the plane at all, I think DD2 would go crazy over the 6 hr. Flight.
    Mom to a spirited, red-headed, former 28-weeker 10/2009 and a more mellow monkey 12/2013.

  8. #8
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgenie View Post
    At that age / size we used Bubblebum boosters for travel. They were still harnessed at home but we felt comfortable for travel.


    Same, except DD was actually 6. Much easier to deal with the BubbleBum - deflated & tucked into its carry bag, it fit into my backpack during the flight.
    ==========================================
    Liz
    DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

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