Backless boosters - back to square one


New member
As some of you may/may not remember, Ruthie has always had a long torso... she outgrew the Nautilus 2wks before turning 6.

Well, she's now on the last (barely, but it is affecting the seatbelt being able to retract if I leave it lower) height spot of her Evenflo Big Kid.

Well, here are my problems... in order

1. When previously we tried the Harmony Lite Rider, the belt would slip off her shoulder if she moved/breathed hard, similar to when she was in the FPSV booster (for those who remember that seat)

2. The Combi Dakota - okay, her brother is still using it for now, but I could get him an olympian... the other day, I encouraged her to test it out... the belt was not even on her shoulder... the side closest to her neck was touching the bottom of her shoulder joint. She promptly switched seats. Now this is weird, since in my mini van, the dakota fits her SO WELL.

3. The car in question is the 2005 Chevy Cobalt 2-door coupe. The backseat is NOT made for short people and the shoulderbelt would dig into Jeffrey's neck if he didn't still use his booster.

I can't try any other boosters (except taking the back off of her evenflo) without buying them and in this heat this is NOT what I want to be doing.

She has SKINNY shoulders... the top of the booster TOUCHES the roof of the car where it grazes the top of the back windshield... I can't put a taller booster back there. I need a game plan for when she outgrows the Big Kid... I thought I had a plan and backup plans, but no.

I really don't want to be going to Target/Walmart/Kmart and buying boosters and returning them... one booster was narrow, the other wide, I need someone who has a magic ball that can tell me what backless is going to work for her.

My only other hope is that she may be right at the torso height to where she will pass the 5-step test in the funky seat in the middle of the backseat with no headrest that is a hump that kids pass in before others.

I'm going to take her to the library in the morning, so I'm going to try to get some pics (I'm having rechargeable energizer lithiums no longer wanting to hold charge issues, so not positive I can get GOOD photos... may have to use my phone) and see when we get back or before we leave (at least I can take my van... sigh.)

Oh, did I mention that in the van, the dakota only gives her a good fit if the shoulderbelt is at it's highest setting so it brings it closer to her neck?

And yeah, the guides that attach don't help... they pull it further away from her shoulder. I've just never had a kid that is tall enough for a backless who doesn't fit in a backless.


New member
So, the problem is that the shoulderbelt is to far off to the side? If that's the problem, try the cosco top side. It routes the shoulderbelt outside of the arm rest, so it's real high- usually too high. I've had my 7 year old in both the dakota and the rodi backless and the rodi positions the shoulderbelt too high on her. I think it's because the rodi is such a short booster- it's lower than many others.


Ambassador - CPS Technician
I had exactly the same thought as Christine. If backlesses are causing the seatbelt to fall too far off of her shoulders, try the Top Side. What generally makes it a poor fit might be exactly Ruthie's magic bullet. :)

(And on the plus side, it's cheap!)

ETA: To sort of try-before-you-buy, you can take the literider -- if you still have it -- and route the lapbelt as normal, but route the shoulder belt OUTSIDE of the belt guide. It is very similar in shape/size to the top side and that's how the top side will route it. It won't be perfect, but might give you an idea of if you are in the right neighborhood.


Admin - CPS Technician
Because I'm attachment-impaired, click on album and look at the third and second to last pictures of Leah in my van in the top side, you can see from her shirt how it's closer to her neck when properly routed... And I love Carrie's idea if you have a literider already, the two seats are quite similar for belt fit testing purposes (the topsider is shorter/not as tall, so maybe will work even better, too). (Highs are only in the 70's-80's next week, good time to run to Target and buy and test it in the parking lot in case you have to return it, lol, not like this weekend in the 100's!)
BubbleBum is also really short and might work, but Leah ends up folded all over trying to get comfy and reach the door's armrest...the belt still stays on her great, but it's probably not the most comfy every day choice for longer drives.


New member
I knew there had to be something to try... forgot about the top side.

SIGH... looks like I'm not just picking up swim caps for me and Jeffrey next week, I'm buying a cheap backless booster!

Thank GOD I have the probooster in the van... she's still got a couple notches left so I have a bit more time there... and the options are more there (not a ton more, but more than in the car)

I can't believe my child has narrow shoulders... heck, I can't believe that I have a beanpole skinny kid and then this skinny kid... Jeffrey goes back and forth and is more medium build, but he is his dad's build, so I get that one.

I swear, these kids are fortunate and did not inherit my body at all.


New member
I finally took pics of her in the boosters we have available right now (I'm going to pick up a top side after Jeffrey's birthday)

they are thumbnails you can click on so I don't have to worry about resizing
She's more into the top notch of the hbb than I thought!

Evenflo Big Kid with back


Harmony Literider (actually better fit than before... this one might fit her in another year or two... if she widens in the shoulders)

until she puts anything on armrests (really same issue with putting arms on the armrests of the other backless boosters) to make her shoulders move... then belt is off shoulder.

Combi Dakota

And, I tested the middle seat.. the lapbelt isn't as low as I'd like, the shoulderbelt was ON her neck, and her knees don't bend at the edge. the sun makes the top look lower than it is... but if it had a headrest, I could put the harmony here and call it done... SIGH... but as it is, any backless booster will make her too tall for this spot... or it'd be ideal for her narrow self.

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