LATCH vs. No Latch in a Booster.

Not open for further replies.


Ok - here's something that boggles me....

To explain: My daughter is 4.5yo and 34.5 lbs (not sure of height, more on the tall side) she is currently in a 4 year old Marathon. I have an 8 mo old that is about to out grow her infant car seat in the next few weeks. So, my older is no way big enough for a real booster seat for at least another 9-12 months but we need two new seats for the baby.... To save $$ I really wanted to find a harness-to-booster seat for her but so many of you say they are bad, flimsy, etc... I went to BRU and worked with their tech on the Apex 65 - she was definitely at the top of the top harness things (sorry, don't know your verbiage for this). We tried her in the Evenflo Generations which allowed her one more slot. ((which is strange b/c most of you say that the Apex is higher)). I thought that the head side protection on the Apex was much deeper but not too deep like the Recaro - which she hated b/c she said she won't be able to see anything (not to mention price!). They (EG and Apx) felt flimsy too, but maybe b/c I am so used to the MA?

Anyway - my real point here is about the Latch. According to most seat manufacturers, you are supposed to stop using the latch-only when they reach 40 lbs so if you finally switch over to using the seat as a booster after 40/43 lbs. how could it possibly be safe if you don't use the Latch?? Why not keep the Latch latched for extra measure when using th seat belt as a seat belt?????? Even the tech couldn't answer me.

And if you are only supposed to use the seat belt to hold it in, how does it stay put when the kids get in and out? Doesn't it just fall over?

I guess there are just no good choices out there and I don't want to buy another convertible seat only to buy a booster in less than a year...

I am so confused.


Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
The top slots for the Apex are under the headrest. They were hiding on you. :) They're as tall as the Marathon's.

LATCH in most vehicles is 48 pounds, the Apex goes to 65 pounds in the harness so you could use LATCH to 48 pounds (likely, Honda, Acura, Mercedes, and Saab have 40 pound limits) and then use the seatbelt until she outgrows the harness by height or weight.

Then, boosters have to be under nine pounds by law. They need to move with the child to be able to absorb some of the forces of a now moving child. Otherwise all of the force will be spread along the hips of the child. That's half of what a booster does. It doesn't just lift them up, it takes some of the force. You want the child to be able to have that spread out, and with a high back booster the shoulder belt is better positioned to make sure that force is where it is supposed to be, and the back adds a little protection for the spine. Not a lot, but it cradles it a bit, rather than having the child just flop around on rebound.

There are a few boosters that do LATCH in, but they are designed and tested that way. I don't know what makes them different, but whatever it is it's safe. The Apex, the Evenflos, they are not and so you want them to be able to move with your child.

Most boosters are wide enough that they don't tip over when the child gets in and out. Plus the shoulder belt holds it upright a bit, either through the belt guide or with the belt hanging on to part of the torso area of the seat.

There was a tech working at BRU? Wow. Our BRUs are staffed by complete morons.



New member
The top slots for the Apex are under the headrest. They were hiding on you. :) They're as tall as the Marathon's.

I second that. I's be shocked if a 34 pound child was at the top slots. My son is over 40 pounds, and isn't at the top slots--and he's tall and skinny. But the BRU employee probably didn't KNOW that you have to move the headrest up to get to the top slots. They often don't know their stuff.

Also, there is a lot more growing room in the Apex than the Marathon. My son has plenty of room in his Apex, but his shoulders are WAY too wide to fit into the Marathon. So, even though the slots are technically the same, it doesn't fit the same.


Senior Community Member
I's be shocked if a 34 pound child was at the top slots. My son is over 40 pounds, and isn't at the top slots--and he's tall and skinny. But the BRU employee probably didn't KNOW that you have to move the headrest up to get to the top slots. They often don't know their stuff.

I'm not! I know 3 and have fitted/installed all in their MA's. All are long, lanky kids. 3 year old twins - one moved to the top slot early this summer, the smaller, a few months later. One of my young friends w/special needs was too tall for her MA at the same time she finally hit 40 lbs. Then she got sick and fell well below 40 (closer to 30),:eek: shoulders were above top slots.

As far as the original post - why not get two Sceneras for the infant and let older daughter continue to use the MA? Since the MA is 4 yrs. old, they will need another ff harness seat for baby for at least a year after the current one expires (more if using HWH). Two more years for DD1 would put her at 6 and straight booster would be more appropriate.

As far as LATCH, like someone else said, there are boosters that use LATCH (Jane Indy for example). As I understand it, boosters do a different job that a harnessed seat. The purpose of a booster is to boost - allow the lap/shoulder belt to fit the child correctly. A harnessed seat IS the seatbelt so that seat needs to be one with the vehicle (little movement).

As far as tipping - I've not seen it as a problem.

Kids that use boosters are big enough to climb in and out even if they do tip a bit. You ARE supposed to buckle them in when not in use so they are not projectiles. I would think IMO (and opinion needs to be stressed) you could fasten, but not tighten the LATCH to avoid the potential projectile issue.

:love: - recently, my nephews and niece were playing "extreme driver" in the back seat. . .leaning WAY over when I turned (and even when I didn't).

I tried to get firm with them because they were NOT sitting safely - but I also couldn't stop giggling at them. My niece was in a backless Turbo - IT didn't tip, even though she did.


New member
I have the a 33 lb almost 5 year old who is growing out of his Britax Wizards so I absolutely believe you.

I looked at seats just today and had the same experience with the Evenflo Generations at Babies R Us. My son had plenty of room in that one even though he is growing out of his Britax Wizard. At Baby Depot the Generations had almost no room at all, I figured I was hallucinating, but if you had the same experience, maybe not. I think I did dial the Apex headrest all the way up to the top (and also looked under it to see if I was missing another slot) and he had no room in that seat at all.

I'm not sure what we'll do, though.
Not open for further replies.

Car-Seat.Org Facebook Group

Forum statistics

Latest member

You must read your carseat and vehicle owner’s manual and understand any relevant state laws. These are the rules you must follow to restrain your children safely. All opinions at Car-Seat.Org are those of the individual author for informational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect any policy or position of Carseat Media LLC. Car-Seat.Org makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician. Before posting or using our website you must read and agree to our TERMS.

Maxi Cosi is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!Graco is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!Nuna Baby is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!

Please  Support Car-Seat.Org  with your purchases of infant, convertible, combination and boosters seats from our premier sponsors above.
Shop travel systems, strollers and baby gear from Britax, Chicco, Clek, Combi, Evenflo, First Years, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Safety 1st, Diono & more! ©2001-2021 Carseat Media LLC