Question Looking for booster for older/taller kids


New member
Just checking in after a long hiatus... time for a car seat shake up.

DD1 and 2 are 10 and 8.5 years old, but very similar in size and height-- essentially both are between 70-75 lb and around 5'5". They have been in high-back Graco turbo boosters since 7 and 6 yo after being in 5-pt harnesses (yes DD1 lasted that long in 5-pt). The Graco high-backs are in their tallest position but the seat belt guides are starting to hit their shoulders.

We'd like them to remain in high-back boosters simply for proper shoulder belt positioning, but maybe they're ready for backless? If it matters, this is in the second row of a 2010 Mazda5. The shoulder belt pivot does seem a little high, but we have not examined how the belt fits along their shoulders without the high-back. How should it look? What should we be looking out for?

Should we go backless or look for a taller high-back booster? Which ones are "good" these days? I have to admit, I haven't thought about car seats in a long time as the boosters have lasted a long time and we've also become mostly a cycling family over the last 7 years. But we still take car safety seriously and it's time for a switch up!

EDIT: I should mention, I do like the notion of side impact protection, imperfect and meaningless the marketing is and even though it's not required and there is no US testing to ensure the effectiveness, blah blah... which is one reason we still have them in high-backs.


Admin - CPS Technician
:jaw: Long time no see!

I'd be perfectly comfortable with backless boosters at that age, but as long as they fit in high-backs, that's fine. Keep in mind that high-back boosters probably don't provide much (if any) side-impact protection in a typical side-impact crash since the forward momentum is likely to cause the kid's head to be forward of the headwings. But I also completely understand how it "feels" better.

For shoulder-belt fit, you want it contacting their body and crossing over the center of the shoulder, not hanging off the edge and not crossing over their neck.

I'll let someone else handle specific recommendations for your car.


Well-known member
My 8 and 11 year olds are using clek Ollis in the middle row of our 2012 mazda5. The belt for is perfect on both of them. The older one is about 72 lbs and 4'9" and the younger one is around 63 lbs and is about 4'2". My oldest is just about to 5 step there (he probably already has but I'm reluctant to see how he fits without a booster. He's my baby!)

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Carseat Crankypants
Are they really 5'5"? If so, I'm surprised that they still fit in Turboboosters.

They are both old enough to consider backless boosters.


Admin - CPS Technician

My 56.5" 9 yo loves the Safety 1st Incognito in our Mazda5. With curtain airbags, I don't care about having a highback (granted, I also routinely haul around a carful of teenagers, so being able to throw the Incognito into the back seat is a real plus for us; you have the luxury of NOT being a taxi service for highschoolers, and a bigger seat is fine, but still, she really digs her non-booster-booster :))
Though if you really want something cushy and tall, the Safety 1st Boost Air is terrific for big kids, including a much deeper seat pan and width than the Turbo.
Shoulderbelts have fit fine with all the other boosters we've used in this car, I've got a variety of them, and never noticed a problem with positioning.


New member
What? No more toddlers in Signos?! Hi southpaw :)

Do they sleep in the car? Sometimes even older kids turn into noodles asleep in the car or are just more comfy sleeping in a hbb so that could be another reason to keep them in hbb as you think about things. I assume your car is mostly used for longer trips out of the city, so that might be an issue.

At some point I thought my older kids actually fit the seat ~better~ without the back on. Something about how they were nestled back more just seemed to give a better fit once they were older. Try it and it may surprise you :)

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