Really struggling with choosing our first booster.

erin327

Member
My oldest is 8.5yo, 52", and 74lbs. She has outgrown her Frontier by height and we need to move her to a booster. The Frontier works for her as a booster, but I have need a seat for her in another car and plan to move the Frontier there as a booster.

We were out looking today and sitting in lots of seats (based on good recommendations I got here). She fell in love with the leg rest on the Chicco Kidfit Air at Toys R Us. She says it is the most comfortable seat ever! My problem with it is that she has about an inch of growth until we would need to change it to a backless booster. I was unable to find a Diono Monterey to try.

Do I let her get the Kidfit because she loves it and feels comfortable in it, knowing that she will need to move to a no back booster very soon? Do I force her to try a Monterey? Is there a place that stocks them? Or any place that has free returns on them if we don't like it?

It looks like the Monterey is more narrow and she is part of a 3 across, so more narrow should mean easier to buckle. Depth for leg support seems key to her.

What would you do? Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
 
ADS

rosey2007

Active member
I bought the Kidfit for my son and he loves the comfort as well. My son is younger than your child, so he has a lot more growing to go in it.
 

jjordan

Moderator
I wouldn't be at all concerned with longevity of a high back booster if I were shopping for an 8.5 year old. We actually don't have evidence that they're safer than backless boosters, although it can be a good transition from a harness since it feels more similar, and can also be helpful for kids who fall asleep in the car (easier to stay in the proper position while sleeping).

All that to say, if it were my kid, I'd either get a high back that can later be used as a backless, or even go straight to backless. Of course in your case you also want to be able try it in your 3 across, which is a limiting factor. I personally haven't compared the Monterey and Chicco booster to see which might do better in 3 across. (But I will say that our Incognito is quite good for small spaces, and my dd loves hers.)
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
My 9 year old is an inch taller and a few pounds lighter, but she loves her Parkway. I like her in the high back, it is awesome for sleeping. Backless is good for back and forth to school, but not good for trips. But if you have the Frontier that you could use, then could you use that for road trips? Move it to whichever vehicle is driving? Then get her whatever she likes now, because even if she outgrows the seat in high back mode within a year, she'll be old enough for the backless portion. That being said, I would try her in the backless mode first before you purchase. Some high backs don't fit nicely in backless mode.
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
I prefer my kids in high backs until they sleep well without them. That's usually 10ish for my kids. I don't think the Kidfit is a good value because it's so short for the price. Shorter than many cheaper options even.
 

maramarrie

New member
We struggled with choices too, and we took advantage of Amazon's free returns on car seats. I'm pretty sure they offer it on most seats and boosters. We didn't end up needing to return the one we settled on (Britax Parkway SGL), but I have taken advantage of their free returns on car seats in the past. Once you narrow down the choices you can order one that you aren't able to try in store and see if it works. Then at least you'll be able to compare them ("how does this one compare to the one you tried in the store?"). At 8yo, she's probably pretty close to using a backless anyhow, but if you have a younger child who would take advantage of the HBB later, then you could just let her choose the one she likes most.
 

Baylor

New member
I think it depends on the child. My 8 yr old has been in a lbb almost exclusively for about a year.

I found that once he was in the backless he tended to sit better and sleep in position because he got used to it faster than flip flopping back and forth.
 

thepote

New member
I think it depends on the child. My 8 yr old has been in a lbb almost exclusively for about a year. I found that once he was in the backless he tended to sit better and sleep in position because he got used to it faster than flip flopping back and forth.

I agree. This was also the case for my now-9.5yo He's been in a backless for a few years with no problems. Also, a backless can give a better fit with older kids because they are able to sit back more against the vehicle seat. They are also further back from the seats in front of them, giving them many more inches of head excursion room.
 

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