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  1. #1
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    Shallow Seats - are boosters safer?

    Hello everyone -
    I have a car with very shallow back seats (child seats hang 3-5 inches over the edge of the seat). Is it safer to use a backless booster that fits fully within the seat well, or is a real car seat still be better even though it's deeper than the seat well?
    I normally use a car seat in the deeper middle seats, but for school trips this year I'll be transporting multiple children.
    Thank you!

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Shallow Seats - are boosters safer?

    How old are the kids?

    Is the overhang you have allowed by the seat you have?

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  4. #3
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    Re: Shallow Seats - are boosters safer?

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    How old are the kids?

    Is the overhang you have allowed by the seat you have?

    Wendy
    Third-graders, big enough for the boosters.
    I have Britax Pinnacle and Advocate and Evenflo Tribute. Britax allows 3 inches of overhang, for Evenflo I was not able to find a specification. Depending on which seat I put in I get 3-5 inches of overhang.

  5. #4
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Shallow Seats - are boosters safer?

    Other things to consider, does the shallow center seat have a head restraint and lap/shoulder belt?

  6. #5
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    Re: Shallow Seats - are boosters safer?

    Quote Originally Posted by aporthole View Post
    Other things to consider, does the shallow center seat have a head restraint and lap/shoulder belt?
    Yes, it's a Subaru Pathfinder, there are top restraint anchors and lap/shoulder belts in each row. Boosters, however, are the backless kind.

  7. #6
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Shallow Seats - are boosters safer?

    Evenflo allows 20% for the Tribute. But I haven't met a third grader who fits in the Tribute (40", the height of the average four year old, 40 pounds, shoulders under the top harness slot, so usually about a size three or four shirt, or top of the ears over the top of the shell). Most eight year olds have long outgrown the non ClickTight Advocate, but the Advocate ClickTight has top harness height enough for eight year olds.

    By head restraint we don't mean top tethers, we mean headrests. Is there a headrest for the center?

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  8. #7
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    Re: Shallow Seats - are boosters safer?

    Oh! Got it, thanks Yes, there are headrests for all seats and I do have them up.
    Evenflo is set up as a high-back booster, limits for that are 57 inches or 110 pounds, which most third-graders fit into. I'll measure to see whether the overhang is below 20% - thank you!
    Generally I go for the Pinnacles first and try not to use the Advocate (unless I have a really short kid riding - it's only up to 49 inches) or the Evenflow. My issue is field trips and play dates, where I don't know in advance how big the kids will be, so the choice is between the biggest seat (Pinnacle, overhang 4 inches) and a backless booster. Last time I went with the boosters, but it was a very short trip. The next one coming up is a 45 minute drive.

  9. #8
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Shallow Seats - are boosters safer?

    Backlesses would be fine for most eight year olds if there are headrests that fit them.

    The Tribute doesn't have a booster, so no idea which seat you have. But if it fits them, that's probably fine, whatever seat it is. Just make sure there's no overhang, as I don't think Evenflo allows overhang in booster mode.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

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