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  1. #1
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    Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    Hi, I need to buy another carseat. I am trying to decide if it is better to buy a good carseat that uses harness until 65 or 80 lbs(Marathon, Regent, or Radian), then just buy a simple backless booster seat when my child outgrows it or is no longer interested in riding in a carseat, OR to get a convertible/combination carseat like Cosco Apex 65 with which you can use harness up to 65 lbs, then converts to a highback booster with belt-positioning function.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    How old is your child, how much does your child weight and what is your child's sitting height? Also, the make/model/year of your vehicle would help as well.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  4. #3
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    Re: Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    My older son is almost 3 year old weighing 33 lbs, and relatively short (don't remember his exact height, just know that he was in his 30th percentile for height for his last checked up.

    I am debating getting a Cosco Apex which can convert from a harness carseat to a booster seat and a high end/high weight convertible seat. The question is how well does Apex work with the option of converting to a belt-positioning booster seat, or should I just get a Regent or Radian until my son outgrows it, then get a backless booster.

    Thanks for your input!

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    Every step up in seats is a step down in safety, from rear-facing to forward-facing, from harnessed seat to highback booster, from highback booster to backless booster, from booster to seatbelt.

    I would choose a seat that will keep him harnessed to at least age 5-6 and then worry about a booster later (preferably a highback booster, since those provide a level of side impact protection that backless boosters do not).

    What vehicle do you drive (year, make and model)? That information is very important because some seats do not work well in some vehicles.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  6. #5
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    Re: Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbunny View Post
    Every step up in seats is a step down in safety, from rear-facing to forward-facing, from harnessed seat to highback booster, from highback booster to backless booster, from booster to seatbelt.

    I would choose a seat that will keep him harnessed to at least age 5-6 and then worry about a booster later (preferably a highback booster, since those provide a level of side impact protection that backless boosters do not).

    What vehicle do you drive (year, make and model)? That information is very important because some seats do not work well in some vehicles.
    I have a Honda Pilot, 2004 model. One of the outboard seat in the second row can be folded down and moved forward to allow third row access. I am debating getting the Apex which can use harness till 65 lbs then as a booster with back, OR getting a Radian or Regent which uses harness only (I will have to buy another booster seat down the road).

    Thanks!

  7. #6
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    Re: Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    Keep in mind that Honda allows the use of LATCH only up to 40 lbs. That means that you will need to use the seatbelts for installation after that point. So make sure that whatever seat you choose can be installed effectively with a seatbelt as well as LATCH.

    Because your son is small, I probably wouldn't get a Regent. You will likely be able to keep him harnessed in a Radian for a long time, and you could use the money saved to buy a nice highback booster that he will think looks cool and hence, want to ride in for a long time! So I'd do the Radian and then a highback booster, assuming that you can get a good install with the Radian in your Pilot.
    DD#1 (7 y, 5 mo, 54 in, 68 lbs ) Clek Olli
    DD#2 (4 y, 2 months, 43 in, 42 lbs) Britax Marathon

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    Yes, unless money is an issue, I would personally choose a Radian over an Apex. It's a higher-quality seat. I'd worry about a good dedicated booster when that time comes.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  9. #8
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    Re: Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    The main advantage of Apex over Radian is the booster feature for me. Of course, it is nice to save money, but I am willing to pay the extra to provide a good seat for my kids. But meanwhile, I want to make an educated purchase so that I know the money spent is worthwhile.

    I emailed a website that sells both regent and radian for some questions, and was told that "No booster is safer then the other, all booster seats work the same", and "all car seats sold in the United States have to be federally approved ? they have to meet federal safety requirements. So, to be completely honest, one car seat isn't really going to be safer than another".

    That's why I am confused. If this statement is true, then Apex is definitely the winner ( I also read somewhere that Apex has good crash test rating, but I didn't personally see the rating.)

    Anyone has any proof/opinion otherwise?

  10. #9
    CPS Fanatic mominabigtruck's Avatar
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    Re: Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    I just wanted to comment on your remark that you would keep your child in a booster until he was no longer interested in riding in one. This is a huge mistake a lot of parents make, letting their child dictate safety choices for them. Your child should be in a booster until they are at least 4'9" and can pass the 5 pt check regardless of whether they enjoy riding in a booster. I'm sorry if that comes off a little mean but I had a little chat today in the preschool parking lot with a dad who said his son doesn't like a booster seat and I'm feeling a little aggressive.
    If it seems like I'm not making sense, it's probably just my phone

  11. #10
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    I think you misread a bit, Amy. She was talking about using a Radian or Regent or other HWH seat until he outgrew it or until he was no longer interested in riding in a harnessed seat, THEN she would move him to a booster. Not that she would move him out of a booster when he was no longer interested in riding in one.

    But even if he didn't want to ride in a harnessed seat anymore but still fit in the one we had, I'd keep him in it until it was outgrown--every step up is a step down...
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  12. #11
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    Re: Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    Thanks for clearing it up for me and the suggestions. Of course I want to keep my children in harness as long as possible, that's why I want to buy a car seat that can use harness for 65 lbs, rather than the standard 40 lbs.

    Anyway, I was also told that the backless booster seat and highback booster seat does the same thing - to raise the child to the appropriate height. Therefore, one is not safe than the other. Is it true?


    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbunny View Post
    I think you misread a bit, Amy. She was talking about using a Radian or Regent or other HWH seat until he outgrew it or until he was no longer interested in riding in a harnessed seat, THEN she would move him to a booster. Not that she would move him out of a booster when he was no longer interested in riding in one.

    But even if he didn't want to ride in a harnessed seat anymore but still fit in the one we had, I'd keep him in it until it was outgrown--every step up is a step down...

  13. #12
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    Re: Combination booster seat or a simple backless booster seat?

    Actually, a recent study showed that highback boosters provide considerably better protection in side impact crashes than backless boosters. That might be in part because the backless boosters weren't being used properly (i.e., being used without the positioning device for the shoulder belt), but it's striking. I'll see if I can find a link to the study. It's through the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania Partnership for Child Passenger Safety.

    Some highback boosters have better side protection than others, and some will be outgrown sooner than others. Also, ease of use is an important factor. Some are easier to buckle than others, and some don't allow the shoulder belt to slide easily in the slot, like it should. And of course, some are more comfortable than others.


    Edited:
    I can't find the full study, but here's a link to the abstract:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...ts+side+impact

    What's striking is that backless boosters didn't really reduce the injury rate over seatbelts alone. Nearly all of the improved protection came from highback boosters. Of course, this is just side impact crashes, and I would bet that more of the backless boosters were misused than the highback boosters. Even so, it's pretty compelling evidence for keeping your child in a highback booster for as long as possible.
    Last edited by twokidstwodogs; 03-06-2007 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Adding a link
    DD#1 (7 y, 5 mo, 54 in, 68 lbs ) Clek Olli
    DD#2 (4 y, 2 months, 43 in, 42 lbs) Britax Marathon

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