Boosters with deep sides / SIP

Alison's Mom

New member
I know there is no standard for SIP on boosters, but I can't help wondering why the TB with safety surround and the new 2013 Parkway have more substantial headwings and deeper torso support than the regular TB and the 2012 Parkway.

Is this a trend towards wider, more protective boosters? Is it warranted by crash tests or any tests? I know that their main purpose is to ensure a good lap and shoulder belt fit, but beyond that, even if the child sits in position at all times, would you buy a seat with better SIP?

I'm wondering if I forego the 3 across idea in my vehicle, and just get something that is more supportive for staying in place while asleep and/or better for SIP in the event of a crash?

Along the same lines of forgoing the 3 boosters across idea, is there a booster that will fit in the middle of a 3rd Gen CRV (2007)? The male and female ends of the seatbelt are really close together and a NBTB is much too wide. Does this mean no booster will fit there?

My kids are currently still in their RNs, but I need to have them in boosters for an upcoming trip, so will be transitioning DD this summer, and DS probably in the next 3-5 months.

I have tried DD in a number of boosters in the store only so far, and of the TB, Harmony HB (dreamtime?), Evenflo AMP, and 2012 Parkway, she likes the shallow, flimsy AMP the best! She says it's most comfy, with Harmony, then TB, then Parkway last. It seemed the PW had foam in the headwings, but not much padding on top and she felt they weren't soft/comfy. . . I haven't tried the TB SS yet.


Active member
I can't speak to whether there is truly any SIP benefit, but the extra support definitely helps for sleeping. We have a TB and a Monterey and the one time my son has fallen asleep in the turbo I had to lock the seatbelt. The Monterey is in our "long trip" car and I haven't had that problem. I don't actually love the Monterey (I can't even use it in my car - incompatible), so I'm planning on getting the SS turbo and having the regular one as a back-up seat.

Alison's Mom

New member
I can't speak to whether there is truly any SIP benefit, but the extra support definitely helps for sleeping. We have a TB and a Monterey and the one time my son has fallen asleep in the turbo I had to lock the seatbelt. The Monterey is in our "long trip" car and I haven't had that problem. I don't actually love the Monterey (I can't even use it in my car - incompatible), so I'm planning on getting the SS turbo and having the regular one as a back-up seat.
Thanks sparkyd. That's really helpful info to have. It makes sense that a more substantial seat like the Monterey with bigger head wings would make for better sleeping. Big head wings for comfort vs being able to see out the window - another thing to think about?

I think the harmony folding booster has nice sides as well and its pretty narrow.
Thanks. This would be perfect for our trip, but I don't think it's sold in Canada - it only shows up on the US Walmart site. . . There is the Compass Foldable, though, which is sold in Canada - I will look into it more.


New member
Side impact protection in any forward facing seat is basically useless. It's a huge problem which we unfortunately can't do much about.

Doesn't matter if it's a harness seat or high back booster. Also doesn't matter if head support is small or large. The "magical" side impact protection phrases that manufacturers like to use for SIP are also of no use. Looks great in the lab but accidents in real life are very different.

Two issues, nowadays actually three, make SIP in FF seats very poor. We have forward momentum and also pre-impact breaking. That means that when a car hits your car from the side head of your child is already out of position and most often unprotected. Doesn't matter what FF seat is used.

When we place kids in forward facing seats with a camera and drive around we see that kids keep their head less forward in seats with smaller head support. In seats with head support kids keep their heads more forward. The larger head support is therefore of little or no benefit contrary to popular belief.

The third issue is what we call "iPhone neck". Kids nowadays often sit with their iPhone or iPad in the car. Head is bent forward and already out of position. It will be even more out of position in a collision from the side.

The only thing which helps with SIP is rear facing where kids are pressed further into the seat in an accident due to factors above. While we can't keep kids rear facing forever it's a good idea to at least do it until age four and then switch to a high back booster or FF harnessed seat.

Alison's Mom

New member
Thanks for the info and insights, Adventuredad. I find this very interesting. So would you say that the deep sides would only really be helpful for keeping child in place if asleep?

I'm assuming the reason children in smaller head support seats keep their heads in place better is because they are not leaning out of place to see out the window, as opposed to those leaning out of larger head wings?

I don't let my kids use devices unless it's a road trip of say 2hrs plus, so majority of the time, they are not using devices.


Well-known member
I agree with Adventuredad. The only time a side impact would look like a lab test would be if you were, say, stopped in an intersection waiting to turn left and someone ran the red light and plowed into the side of your non-moving vehicle.

I like the Monterey for long trips because the kids sleep nicely in them. Around town I use backless Apramos for the most part because they're easy to swap between vehicles. If my 7yo rides in a booster, I usually put the Monterey in for her, but not always. I don't feel like she's significantly less safe without the back, as long as the shoulder belt is properly positioned. I actually do it more for the fact that the back reminds her how to stay in position as she's not really used to boosters. She's normally harnessed due to a shortage of shoulder belts in my van.

For your really narrow spot, does the Parkway fit? I think that one is pretty narrow at the back. Have you tried the Literider from Walmart or the Apramo from Canadian Tire (they're pretty much the same)? They're also narrow at the back.

Alison's Mom

New member
Thanks! After AD's comment, I was more comfortable with the idea of a TB or AMP, whereas I had been thnking PW. DD really wanted a patterned TB with you know, hearts, butterflies etc. I tried her out in the car with a TB and a Harmony Dreamtime yesterday. The dreamtime unfortunately was a demo and not adjustable, but both had a good belt fit. I liked the dreamtime better for shape of headwings, but also found the shoulder fit to be somewhat close to the neck - fine for now, but possibly not for future. Decided to get the heart patterned purple TB, as tacky as I might think it is! Eeek. I haven't opened the box yet, but I think this is her seat, and I need to stop researching. If by chance our local Target gets the purple TB with SS this week, maybe I'll get that instead.

Re the middle seat, i had her sit in a PW yesterday and I don't think it would fit there - it seems around the same width as the TB? I read on another thread that the middle seat isn't good for boosters. . . Will look into some more. Thanks!


Well-known member
I've never used a Parkway, sorry. But I can tell you from first-hand experience that an Apramo will fit in places you wouldn't dream of cramming a TB. But if you don't need 3-across right now, don't even worry about it. Keep your TB and if it ends up not working somewhere down the road, deal with it then ;).

Alison's Mom

New member
Oh yeah, forgot to say that I bought an Apramo to use as a spare a few months ago after reading about it on here, and it doesn't fit. It won't fit between my two RNs - the base is narrow but those flared armrests are too wide, though they might between Myrides or something that sits up high. . .

You're right. I was thinking ahead to cross country season when I have driven dd's friend. She's in a HBTB, but if we drive her, will have to look at other options. Or I don't drive her. . .



New member
The main benefit of using a high back booster instead of a low back booster is better support when a child is sleeping. The low back booster basically provide the same kind of protection as a hbb or harnessed seat.

Since it's difficult to know when a child will sleep I prefer to use hbb as much as possible. Those powernaps in the car after soccer, tennis, swimming, riding, etc. are at least for us quite common. My kids, 7 and 9.5, also find the hbb very comfortable so it's not an issue.

It's unfortunate that the lbb has such poor reputation since it does work very well. It's perfect to have a few extra lbb's in the car when driving kids friends around.

Keep in mind that the main reason for using a lbb or hbb is to move kids a bit higher off the seat to keep lap belt part below the smallish hip bones which are also round at a young age.

For "young" kids who have just started using a hbb, say 4-5 years, a high back booster is recommended since it offers more support on the sides so kids don't move around as much.

There has been a trend for quite some time towards larger head supports, bot in Rf and FF seats, and all kinds of trendy patented phrases for side impact protection. These are only applicable in the lab. Things look completely different in real life.

Larger head support sell more seats since parents are convinced it makes the seat safer. It doesn't. The trend towards larger sides and head support is not good since it makes seats heavier and more expensive without offering any benefit.

A smaller head support means kids will lean less forward as someone below mentioned.

Alison's Mom

New member
Yeaaahhh, figured as much, Keeanh. Thx though.

Thanks for your insights, Adventuredad. It makes sense, and I know marketing is a big part of what drives parental choices. It would be nice to make crash test results public - parents could actually choose something that fits child, fits car, fits budget, but also could choose among the ones with better crash test results. And wouldn't this drive companies to not just 'pass' the tests but score well? They publish results in Australia, and I can think of several pros but no cons.

I decided to keep the HBTB and we used it today - it's good so far. I probably won't be able to see how well she sleeps in it for some time as we don't drive that often and she very rarely falls asleep in the car, but on our upcoming trip with a 4 hr drive in a totally different time zone, I'm thinking she'll sleep. Worst case scenario, I'll sit in the back with them to keep heads from rolling around. . .

I wanted the perfect marriage of supportive head wings for sleeping, easy to pack the back portion in luggage, and not so pricey that I'll be upset if they lose our luggage or the back is somehow destroyed. Luckily for me, I sat her in the Peg booster, the Parkway and the Clek Oobr in a boutique on the weekend and she declared all of them uncomfortable in the head support area. I didn't tell her these were the high end pricey seats.

Thanks all.
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