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  1. #1
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    Car seat rec for 6yo traveling?

    My son is about to turn 6. He is roughly 43" and 42lbs. He is currently in a MyRide 65. We are going on a trip and I do NOT want to carry that massive thing through the airport!

    I also hate the inconvenience of the 5-point harness, we are in and out of the car frequently for short trips and it is such a pain that sometimes we just skip stops because it's so time-consuming to get him in and out of the seat. Plus it expires this year. So I guess I am wondering if I can switch him to a booster? And use it backless for our trip but high-back for everyday use?

    During our trip we will be in a rental and most likely between 2 adults in the back seat. He hasn't fallen asleep in a car since he was under 2. I am not worried about him staying in position, just wondering if it is safe for a tiny 6yo to be in a backless for a trip.

    Any specific seat recs? Looking to spend as little as possible but want a very safe seat.

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  3. #2
    Moderator - CPS Technician
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    Re: Car seat rec for 6yo traveling?

    Welcome to car-seat.org! Many 6 year olds are ready for a belt-positioning booster. Besides age and weight minimums (which your ds meets), using a booster requires that the child is able to sit still while in the booster so that the belt remains properly positioned - so, no leaning over to pick up a toy or look out the window, no putting the seatbelt behind his/her back, able to stay sitting up straight when sleeping in the car (which sounds like it isn't an issue for you), etc. Sometimes a high back booster is an easier transition, but using the booster as a backless when traveling with two adults in the back seat with him will likely be fine. As far as I am aware, there are no proven safety benefits to a high back booster over a backless; the main advantage is helping the child remain properly positioned.

    The Graco Turbobooster is a good, inexpensive choice that can be used with the back or without.
    Last edited by Pixelated; 01-01-2015 at 10:52 AM. Reason: fixed a typo
    Cutie #1 (13 years) 5-stepping
    Cutie #2 (10 years) riding in a Safety 1st Incognito

    Cutie #3 (7 years) riding in a Chicco KidFit
    Cutie #4 (6 years) riding in a Frontier
    Cutie #5 (3 years) riding in a Nuna Rava

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  5. #3
    CPS Fanatic aept's Avatar
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    I also totally agree that is sounds like a booster is a great and safe choice for your son. He won't use it on the plane, just bring it along as a carryon.
    If you don't mind having an extra booster around (great for carpooling or trips with grandma), I would recommend a bubblebum or a harmony youth booster for your trip.
    You can buy the harmony for 13-14 dollars at Walmart and the Bubblebum is about $30 on Amazon.
    The harmony is usually a great fit on kids and it is really lightweight and easy to use. It weighs only about 2-2.5 lbs whereas the bottom portion of a turbo booster weighs about 6 lbs. A bubblebum is ever lighter and deflates/rolls up, but is a little trickier to get buckled up when using it.
    Then you could also buy a high back booster of your choice for his "usual" seat, if you are looking to replace the myride. If your car has latch (and he usually rides in a position that has latch) then I would recommend a latchable high-back booster for "everyday" use. Otherwise, if it's not latched in, you would need to buckle the belt around the empty booster when he isn't riding in the seat to prevent it from becoming a projectile.
    Ann, mom to 3 big brothers and a baby girl:
    DS1 - Aug 2006, 80 lb, 56", incognitos
    DS2 - May 2008, 77 lb, 51.5", Vivo or NBB
    DS3 - June 2011, 46 lb, 43", FF in FR85 or booster training
    DD - May 2015, 19 lb, 29", ) Snugride 30

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  7. #4
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    Re: Car seat rec for 6yo traveling?

    Welcome! I was going to say exactly what jjordan just said, so I won't repeat it .

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  8. #5
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    Re: Car seat rec for 6yo traveling?

    YAY! Off to go try out some seats... the Turbo is even on sale today. Looking forward to easier errands (and an easier trip) if he does well with this!

  9. #6
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    Re: Car seat rec for 6yo traveling?

    I second the BubbleBum or Harmony booster for travel. If you plan to travel a lot and want something that'll fit in a backpack, the BubbleBum is convenient and would fit great between two adults but is a bit of a nuisance for buckling. It's about 13" wide, fully inflated. My 5yo loved the Harmony booster we bought for our last trip. It's wide enough (17") to bungee easily across the front of a child-size rolling carry-on, if you'll be traveling with one of those.

  10. #7
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    Re: Car seat rec for 6yo traveling?

    We don't usually travel much so I'd hate to buy something just for this trip but will keep those recs in mind!

    I picked up a Turbo yesterday and tried it out. It fits well in my car (in center) and fits my son perfectly, but is challenging to buckle because of how the armrest is positioned. Are there others that are easier to buckle or are they all like that? (I don't even know if you can return car seats so maybe we're stuck with it?)

    Last question, can he use an unzipped winter coat in a booster? So belts would be against his body and coat would only be behind his back?

    So grateful for this forum, this is my first time posting here but I read it all the time!

  11. #8
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    Re: Car seat rec for 6yo traveling?

    My buckle-challenged oldest dd got the hang of buckling her turbobooster eventually, but for the first couple of weeks, it took extra time. I expect that most kids will be able to do it easily with a week or so of practice, maybe less. We haven't tried her buckling a huge variety of boosters, so I can't really compare, but I think some learning curve is pretty normal. If you like the TB otherwise, I'd stick with it for now, personally.

    My kids do wear unzipped winter coats in their boosters and I'm okay with that. You probably will want to do your own investigation of the difference in belt used with and without the coat to make sure that it isn't introducing a lot of slack without you realizing. (Just have the child buckle without the booster, use chalk to mark the place on the belt where it is coming out of the retractor on the vehicle "wall," and do the same thing when he's wearing a coat.)
    Cutie #1 (13 years) 5-stepping
    Cutie #2 (10 years) riding in a Safety 1st Incognito

    Cutie #3 (7 years) riding in a Chicco KidFit
    Cutie #4 (6 years) riding in a Frontier
    Cutie #5 (3 years) riding in a Nuna Rava

  12. #9
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    Re: Car seat rec for 6yo traveling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    but is challenging to buckle because of how the armrest is positioned. Are there others that are easier to buckle or are they all like that?
    When you said you wanted a booster to be in and out of the car more quickly, I was wondering if I should say something. Often they are much harder to buckle and it's always going to take longer for a 6yo to buckle than an adult, so if you were buckling the 5pt and he's buckling the booster ... getting in and out of the car with a kid is always going to take extra time, for many of us it's multiple kids. Even if you have a booster that's easy to buckle in your car like we do, I still have to give my 6yo time and then we double check that both sides are under the arm rests (either myself visually or by verbally asking her ... make sure you're checking him, especially when he's new to it). She's not at all a slow kid or motor skill challenged or anything like that, but she's 6 and she's conscientious about it and things will always take longer for her than for me. However, it's not that bad. I get to sit in my seat while she does it, not out in the snow or rain and she feels very proud she's such a good booster rider. Good luck! It'll probably get quicker, but it'll always add some extra time to stops.

  13. #10
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    Re: Car seat rec for 6yo traveling?

    Thanks! I guess we will just keep it & hope it gets easier as we get used to it. It's still easier than the 5pt harness at least. It's just as challenging for me as for him, but I'm thinking it's the way our car is designed, because the buckles are almost inside the seat seam and hard to get at even for adult passengers who aren't in boosters! I am happy with the fit at least and it will definitely transport well on our trip!! My little guy is so proud and feels so grown up in his new seat.

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