How is a laptop safer than a shield booster?

U

Unregistered

Guest
I have a question about the Britax laptop... I know shield boosters are unsafe and as close to being outlawed as possible... what makes the laptop any different or safer?
I have a 3 year old son who has outgrown his harnessed seats and while I know a bigger harness seat would be ideal, it is just not doable at this time. First off, I don't think I could fit one in my car with my two other kids, also it is more money than we really have right now.
I've looked at the thing and it basically looks like a shield booster, though without the "seat" on it. What makes it different? Is it safer than a traditional high back booster? My son weighs 34 lbs, still not heavy but very tall. My seatbelts lock, if that makes a difference. We're going to be buying him a booster in the next few weeks, probably a graco turbo booster, but if this is better or as good, I want to look into this. How does it make the seatbelt fit the child if the child is not elevated in anyway? Does it pull the shoulder belt down? We have shoulder belts in the backseat, is this better only for lap belt only cars? It looks really neat and it would probably fit better, but I want him to be safe.
I guess I am just wondering why it is okay but a shield booster is not, and is it as safe as or safer than a high back booster? Thanks.
Laurie
 
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U

Unregistered

Guest
I have often wondered the same thing about the lap top. I have never seen one, only heard about them here, or read that they are something that can be used with a lap belt only.
C.
 

Victorious4

Senior Community Member
The child is not raised up like a shield booster does, so I believe there's less risk of head excursion & ejection ... also the LapTop comes higher up on my kiddo than the old shield booster I tested out just for comparison sake - the LapTop comes right up to her armpits & the shield booster was at the bottom of her sternum (the bone protecting the heart where the rib cage meets). HERE is a crash test of the LapTop - comparing it against a regular booster & 5-point harness, it more resembles the 5-point ... unfortunately it has been discontinued - I've not seen it on eBay either - I got mine from a Cert. CPS Tech. who offered them on another CPS listserve :eek: If someone has lap-only belts, the best alternatives are the Britax Marathon/Decathalon, Wizard/Boulevard, & Husky or E-Z-On My kiddo usually rides RF in my Escape & my mom's Prius (although she's starting to reach the max weight - whimper, whine & moan, LOL) ... she uses the LapTop on a very rare occasion in my mom's Tracker & the Kid-Y with RideRyte in my dad's F250.
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
Here are pictures and a decent description http://www.angelfire.com/wa3/isakswings/lt.html

The laptop is held right next to the body, shield boosters curve away and generally don't touch the body, so the child slams into it and wraps around it.


There are 3 on ebay ending today, one NIB one tomorrow.

http://search.ebay.com/britax-lapto...QfsopZ1QQkeywordZonQQsacatZQ2d1QQstrkwZlaptop

They are *almost impossible* to use when you have to get three across, and I would also not want to use one in the window seat, because there is no side impact protection, and even in a car with curtain airbags, it will hold the child too low to take advantage of those airbags (and no, being low so you are "protected" by the door panel isn't good...the head just hits the door panel really, really hard...).

For a 34 pound child, I would buy a taller slotted harnessed seat, like the Graco Platinum Cargo or Evenflo Chase, because honestly, being harnessed to at least 40 pounds is truly safest...boosters are just not as safe, and should be put off till you absolutely have no other choice, IMO.
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
And yes, the Cargo IS the narrowest choice, only costs a little more than a Turbo, and will be a hundred times less knuckle-scraping for you to buckle than the Turbo (which is bulky and hard to buckle next to anything else...trust me, many other moms have had to learn this lesson the hard way)
 

scatterbunny

New member
Just to pipe in on the three-across situation with a Laptop and TurboBooster, and also on the Laptop in general:

Yesterday I took a 12yo, an 11yo, a 5yo and my 3yo to the park in my '91 Accord. Normally my 3yo uses a Husky in my Accord, but that would not work to fit three across. I had the 12yo sit up front, the 5yo used her TurboBooster outboard passenger side, my 3yo used her Laptop in the middle laptbelt-only spot and the 11yo used just the lap/shoulderbelt behind the driver (she does pass the 5 step test).

It worked well, but it was a tight fit. If my 11yo sister had been wider in the hips, it may not have worked. Getting the Turbo buckled was very difficult, and I was wishing for a booster without armrests, or at least flip-up armrests.

I do agree with Julie, though--the Laptop doesn't provide any side impact protection, and if at all possible I prefer to see a child in a harnessed seat over the Laptop.
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
Yeah, occassionally, squishing butts and a laptop together isn't the worst thing in the world, and it's handy to have the option when there would normally be NO choice of doing it at all, but it's not something I'd want to have to do daily (I've had to do it a few times when visiting grandma...it's really so unpleasant in the Volvo, that I passed my laptop along to someone who needed it more, and got a Ride Safer Travel Vest instead)
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
What is a ride safer travel vest? Will that work for him? Is it better than a booster?
I didn't know the laptop was so large. It looked pretty small, but i guess not.
He's too tall for the harness boosters. He's been rear facing up until now in an Alpha Omega, and he is above the top slots for that and too heavy to ride backwards anymore. I don't want to use that as a booster, so what do I do? I thought that the turbo booster would be best.
For the record, it will be whatever booster he is in, a baby carseat, and a graco convertible in the backseat. He might be in the middle but probably on one side. It's a 2001 Civic. It's been really really hard getting his seat in with the baby seat, but we've made it work, it's a really really tight fit though, and we can't use the base for the baby, because it is too wide.
Laurie
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
He's too tall for the 17 inch top slots in the Graco Ultra/Platinum Cargo? I know a mom with a 2 door 1995 Civic with 2 cargos and a touriva in it(the narrowest seats around)...tight, but works...she's not relishing her 6 yo getting too tall for his Cargo...probably no boosters that'll be workable! *Maybe* the Britax Parkway would work...it's got big cutouts for buckling the belt, but it's a booster, and kind of spendy...Maybe the Cargo as a booster would work? Narrow, no armrests... Another friend of mine was able to put it next to her Husky in a Neon and liked it best for ease of buckling, compared to some other boosters she tried.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Okay, maybe I will try to use one at babies r us and see how they all fit together. He's not too tall for it yet, but his shoulders are AT the top slots in one my friend has for her son. That's the one with the funny belt clips and the rear adjuster, right? Maybe the harness is higher now than it used to be? But I thought my car seat straps were higher. He is in the top slots of the alpha omega, are the cargo booster slots higher than that? If it is I bet that would work, but how is it as a booster? I thought you weren't supposed to use boosters with belt clips like that, only the free sliding ones?
Also, if we do get him a turbo booster, can't we just take the arms off of it?I know the arm rests come off. Are the actually required to be on?
What is a touriva? How does is compare to the graco seat for width? Is it as safe? Is it the same width as his alpha omega? I have the base off of that, so it's not really wide but I think it is wider than my daughter's seat.
I really don't know that much. I am just trying to keep them all as safe as I can. The baby was a major surprise so I have never really figured I would need to put three carseats in my car. Otherwise they would both have good seats and we would be able to get him a better one to stay harnessed.
Laurie
 

scatterbunny

New member
The top slots on the CarGo are 17 inches. The top slots on the Alpha Omega are only 14.5 inches. Make sure you are using the slots with the headrest in the second-to-top headrest position, not the top headrest position. That is only for booster mode, to raise the headrest up, not for use with the harness.

The only seat with taller top slots than the CarGo is the Marathon/Wizard, those slots are a bit taller, along with the 65 pound weight limit.

No, you can't remove the armrests on the TurboBooster.

The Touriva is the narrowest convertible carseat, at about 16.5 inches wide (the Alpha Omega is about three inches wider). The CarGo is about 16 inches wide, and is the narrowest combination seat.

The Touriva is a great budget convertible, and it works well in three across situations because it's so narrow. It rear-faces to 35 pounds.

I'd put your 34 pounder in a CarGo or Marathon.

If the Graco convertible is for a rear-facing, I'd replace it with a Touriva, because it rear-faces 5 more pounds than the Graco convertible, has a taller seat shell, has higher top harness slots and is narrower. If the Graco convertible is being used forward-facing, I'd scrap it and get a CarGo for that child, too.

What infant seat do you have for baby? I'd most likely use a Touriva for baby when the time comes, because of how narrow it is.

I'd also really want to keep your 34 pounder harnessed as long as possible because of how difficult it is to buckle/unbuckle a booster in a three-across situation in a smallish car.
 

scatterbunny

New member
Also, only the TREASURED CarGo has a rear adjuster. The Ultra and Platinum CarGo have front adjusters. Avoid any seat that has a rear harness adjuster.
 

Victorious4

Senior Community Member
Just wanted to say that I managed to fit a FF Bouelvard & RF Wizard with a Parkway in my Escape - I couldn't even fit the Starriser Comfy on the narrowest setting, but the Parkway worked & yet my 7 year old SD's hips/thighs fit more comfortably in the Parkway :) Also, here's the Ride Safer Travel Vest info....
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
The "Treasured" Cargo is the junky one with the rear adjuster, the Ultra or Platinum have nice, push button front adjusters (Sears has them for like $65 sometimes...better than the standard $99 at Walmart, so shop around).

Jenny's right, the topmost headrest position is not safe to use with the harness on the AO, so the top harness position is under 15 inches, and the Cargo is 17 inches.

Yes, you absolutely must use the armrests on the Turbo, otherwise the seat will slide forward and may cause "submarining" where the child kind of goes under and into the lapbelt and is at risk for severe internal injury.

As for the belt guides on the Cargo, they clamp into place, and are actually better than the kind that are designed to be free moving, but are so tight and small that the belt can't move through it (and then get slack in them, which is bad, obviously). Also, for a child too tall for the top harness slots, they probably fit just fine withOUT the belt guides at all, which aren't mandatory if they aren't needed (as long as the belt is in the middle of the shoulder/collar bone without the guide, there's no need to use the guide at all).

Hope that helps...sorry if I came across as too preachy before :( You've got a tight situation there, I hope you can find just the seats that work :)

:)
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Oh no you are not preachy. I am just uninformed and don't have a lot to work with.
The baby is in a Snug Ride baby seat without the base. Right now my son is on the P side, my older daughter is in the middle, and my baby is on the D side. I will try to find a CarGo because that sounds like the best. His harness IS in the top position on his seat, not the second to top. I didn't know I couldn't use it. Why is it there then? Is it really dangerous? This is the seat the lady at babies r us told us was the best, so we bought it. She showed us how high the top slots were and told us we could use them. We wanted him to have whatever was best, and at the time we could afford it. She told us Britax was just a name and not safer and that they were always being recalled and the Cosco seats were the best ones on the market and the safest. Was she lying?
I didn't know I could get him a seat with higher slots. Seventeen inches is really great! If his are 14.5 then he is probably at about 15, so he should get a long time out of the CarGo then, right? And if he is sitting totally up, versus lying down a bit, then he'll be even a bit shorter won't he?
I can't really afford to buy two new seats right now so I won't be getting one for my older daughter. But she'll probably need one in about six months or so. She is a little over two and I don't think she will be able to rear face a lot longer. The people at babies r us told me to turn her around too because once they are a year old they are safer if they face forward. At least I wasn't dumb enough to buy that one.
Thanks guys for all your help I am so glad I came here. This weekend I want to take him out to get him his new seat. Do I need to do it sooner since he is at the top slot in the seat he is in now? I can if I really have to but this weekend would really be better. Should I move his straps down, or just leave them where they are? Or should I turn him around and use it as a booster until I get his new one?
Laurie
 

scatterbunny

New member
It should be stamped on the plastic on the back of the AO somewhere that the top position is only for booster mode. It is only there to raise the headrest for use in booster mode, so taller kids have head support.

He's rear-facing in the AO, right? Move the headrest back down to the second-to-top position and use it that way for now, since it's okay for straps to be below the shoulders when rear-facing, just not forward-facing. Make sure the top of his head is contained within the seat shell.

Britax is not just a name, and they don't have more recalls than other manufacturers. Britax is best for some situations, because of the higher harnessed weight limits and higher top harness slots. Yes, they are expensive, but when you consider that those seats can be used until a child is 5-7, where other convertibles are outgrown at 3-4, it's truly a wise investment. It's an even better investment for those with younger children to pass the seat down to.

I only suggested the Touriva as a convertible to replace the Graco convertible you have now because of the tight three-across situation. How old/large is baby? You'll probably have more room once baby moves to a convertible rear-facing, as long as you go with a narrow one.
 

scatterbunny

New member
I forgot to say, my dd outgrew her Alpha Omega forward-facing at 2.5 years old, 38 inches tall and 35 pounds. Her shoulders were above the harness slots with the headrest in the second-to-top position. She would have been fine in a Graco CarGo at that point, with her shoulders just above the middle slots (so she would have had to use the top slots), but with plenty of height growth. At almost 4 and almost 44 inches, she'd still have height growth in the CarGo...but she reached 40 pounds at 3, and I knew that would happen based on her growth, so I knew a seat that harnessed beyond 40 pounds was the best choice for us.

How old is he?
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
He's just barely three. I don't really want him in a booster, but I didn't know there were other car seats I could buy him. I wish BRU wouldn't lie to people like that.
I told my husband about all this, and he just said we'll have to go out and find the seat for him and make it work. The baby is going to be out of her seat soon too, and once that happens we planned on turning our older daughter around and giving the baby her seat, so I might buy two of them and just move the baby now. I really don't want to have to buy two, but if that's what we have to do, we will. I am glad he will be able to be in his harness longer though, that's great.
Do I have to get the platinum one? What's the difference between all of them? I want him to be comfortable and I know I want a front adjustor, but what is the difference beyond that? Is one better than the other? I just don't want to spend an extra $40 (two seats) for something dumb like a cup holder and neck pillow.
Laurie
 

scatterbunny

New member
The Treasured CarGo is the only one to avoid, it's the one with the rear harness adjuster. The Ultra and Platinum are both basically the same, the Platinum has more padding, I believe, but some models of the Ultra are pretty well padded, too, it just depends on the cover choice (Graco is really confusing, because they have SO many different cover choices, and some are more padded than others, but it's hard to tell exactly which is which). I'd go with the Ultra because I don't think the Platinum is that much more well-padded to charge that much more for it.

These are all Ultra CarGos at Wal-Mart, but they are all different prices, and it looks like the padding in the seat area is a little thinner on the cheaper models.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/prod...ct_id=2037188&sourceid=1500000000000001353000

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/prod...ct_id=2294127&sourceid=1500000000000001353000

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/prod...ct_id=3429542&sourceid=1500000000000001353000
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
Sorry, didn't mean to disappear!

I couldn't see half of this thread and thought my second post never even posted...so weird!

Anyway, Jenny's on top of things :)

Yeah, BRU people are really NOT trained in anything to do with car seats, but that doesn't stop them from trying to make a sale or even install seats, a lot of the time (BRU doesn't like to have trained techs on staff, because they fear liability...I'm just waiting for them to get sued for NOT having trained techs on staff :p )

Good luck finding a Cargo on a good sale, and that it fits in your current situation. If you need something even narrower and still want to keep your 2 yo rf, then the Touriva or Scenera (not online yet, but in lots of walmarts) is about $50. (and it has slightly taller top slots than the top useable slots on the AO, if you can believe it! crazy....)
 

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