backless vs high-back booster for 8 year old

mom2121

New member
We have both a backless and a high-back booster, and we aren't sure which to use for our 52 inch tall, 55 pound 8-year-old. I prefer the high-back booster because of its side wing protection. However, even with latch its base moves around a lot, and she fidgets in it because her shoulders are cramped in the back of the booster. The backless booster does not move at all. In both seats the seat belt fits correctly across her body. We have always been conservative with car seats - the kids were rear-facing as long as their height and weight allowed - and I want to do whatever is safest.
Thank you!
 
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murphydog77

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
We have both a backless and a high-back booster, and we aren't sure which to use for our 52 inch tall, 55 pound 8-year-old. I prefer the high-back booster because of its side wing protection. However, even with latch its base moves around a lot, and she fidgets in it because her shoulders are cramped in the back of the booster. The backless booster does not move at all. In both seats the seat belt fits correctly across her body. We have always been conservative with car seats - the kids were rear-facing as long as their height and weight allowed - and I want to do whatever is safest.
Thank you!
Hello! So sorry your question got missed!

There's no data suggesting highback boosters are safer than backless boosters. We recommend that younger kids go from harnessed carseats into highback boosters because it gives them a continuity of feeling enclosed, which leads to better booster behavior. As they grow older and have the maturity to sit properly, backless boosters are a fine choice; to be clear, a booster's job is merely to raise a child up so that seat belt fit is optimal.

LATCH with a booster is to keep the booster stable while the child gets in and out of it and to keep it from becoming a projectile, not to "install" it like we do harnessed carseats. It sounds like your daughter has outgrown her highback booster, at least at the shoulders in width, and would be more comfortable in a backless booster. And if you have side curtain airbags, the booster is boosting her up high enough to take advantage of that safety feature.
 

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