trying to make more shoulder space in a 3 across

Would you A.. buy your 5 year old a harmony defender, and keep your 7.5 year old in a vivo, (11 year old is in an adult seat belt now)

B Keep the 5 year old in his frontier 85 and have the 7.5 year old go into a backless booster..

or C keep the Frontier 85 and buy an evenflo amp for the 7.5 year old so she can still have a back on her seat.

more details.. the almost 5 year old is not close to mature enough to even booster train.. the 7.5 year old is tall and a good booster rider, she is very mature for her age.. But I do like the fit of the seat belt a little better with a high back, though the backless is fine as long as I used the belt clip.

My 11 year old is just a little smushed in there with her shoulder area.. and it makes her tend to sit forward which is not safe.. so I want to find a solution that gives her more shoulder room.

I prefire option B as i do not have to spend money with it lol
I sat her in a lbb in the center this time to see, and it fit beautifully, I had the maestro in for Nolan this time.. (he is not going to fit in that one for weight too long though) BUT Julianna (11 y/o) on the side I did not love the way the shoulder belt cut her.. the waist belt was good but not the shoulder belt.. of course being fresh out of a lbb my suggestion of grabbing a lbb was not reacted to well.. so I moved everyone back to the original places, Fiona is fine in the LLB there as long as I use that belt positioner clip. (think I just have weird shoulder belts on the out boards in the second row.) I drive an 09 venza


Well-known member
I agree with Babyherder. Personally, I would try really hard not to use a backless booster with a belt positioning clip. There's too much margin for error an they're a PITA. If I could find one that gave good belt fit without the clip, then that would be peachy.


New member
I would do option "a". I need a 3 across, and put my 9yo in a nbb to make more shoulder room for the other seats, and he had enough space, but we need to use the shoulder clip to get proper belt fit, it was a huge pain (both the one that comes with the nbb and the one built into the car), and they don't stay in place so the shoulder belt would end up way too high on his neck, we had to switch back to a hbb. we're now doing a vivo ( for 9yo) and a ff sureride for my almost 5 yo. they are next to each other and fit pretty well together.
the defender is actually a pretty nice seat, I was surprised how much I actually liked it
why not the option where I get the big kid amp for Fiona? That would be cheaper.. then she has a high back and there is more shoulder space for Julianna in the center. I realize now that my out board seat belts are mounted oddly, which SUCKS. so the kid boostered there will always need a belt guide weather it be in a high back with the slot or a clip with the low back, no getting around that. I did have Fiona in the center in a low back today, but I was not a fan of the shoulder fit on Julianna with out a booster again, she agreed to ride in the other low back for now but It was left in Keiths car that he took to work oops.

I have been happy with the maestro in there, I just wish the harness went to 65 lbs, He is 41 lbs now. He is gaining fast lately, he is on the second to top slot but getting close to needing to move up (they are just a little above now) Height wise I feel like he has tons of room but the way he is gaining I know the weight wont last long for him
what about cosco pronto? do they still make that one? I remember buying one for Julianna and needing to return it because her hips were too wide for it.. But it was really tall. Fiona is skinny mini.
Ok booster issues.. she only has one click left on her vivo for height so the AMP is out.. she is going to need a better fitting low back booster, the belt adjustor is the only option because the seat belts are mounted in front of the shoulders in the car.. so it is awkward fitting. I had not noticed this when I bought the car cause I test drove it with her in the vivo and had Julianna seated in the center. I hate when cars do that with the seatbelts.
I could give her the frontier to use as a booster. and then I would need a really narrow 5pt harness seat for Nolan, that will last him a while.. how does the defender compare in shoulder width to the radian?


Well-known member
I didn't measure the Defender at shoulder height, but my memory of it is that it's about the same at the shoulders as it is at the arm rests - that is, 17" wide. Pretty close to even with the Radian. Maybe someone who has a Defender can weigh in on that one.

this is the back seat now, if I can make a little more room I can maybe even put Julianna on the side in a backless again (the belt fits well boosterless in the center but not on the outboard)
they were being goofy before we left for fireworks last night.. so it's not the best pic but it is the three of them back there

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