DS will be 3 this summer and weighs over 30 pounds and pretty soon we'll need to get him a booster car seat. I have it in my head that he needs a high back booster for more support instead of just a little booster that elevates him. I've looked at stores, trying to decide what's best. The more inexpensive ones hardly have any padding, so I want him to be comfortable. Saw some at Target that were in the 60-80 price range that seemed fine -- some are as expensive as $350. I want him to be safe, too. It's amazing all the options -- cup holders, snack containers, recline positions, reading lights. Help! What has worked best for other parents?! Too many choices!
I am going to be going through this pretty soon so I have done a little research. I personally feel that even though my son will be three he is not ready to be out of the 5 pt harness. The regular seat belt is not locked so he could climb out if he wanted to. I found two seats that would work. They both start as a 5 pt harness - which is removable when they grow out of it. The one I will most likely get is the Recaro Young Sport seat. My 2nd choice is the Britax Regent. If you do not care about the 5 pt harness I would get the Britax Parkway. Both Britax and Recaro test very high in safety, comfort and ease of use. Recaro is a company that makes seats for race car drivers. Britax is a very popular brand. I have the Britax Roundabout now and really really like it. It's very easy to use and keep the straps staight. It is also softer and more padded than a lot of seats out there.
The seats that I mentioned are in the 230 dollar price range. I think they go up to 80 lbs.
I read some reviews on boosters saw the britax one was highly rated as was the Graco Turbobooster and one by Compass that folds up for ease with travel. Both are for 30-100 pounds. Reviewers said the compass one had more padding and better neck support, was more secure. Don't really need one that I can fold up and use for travel -- our current convertible has been in my car for 2 years and we've never removed. I did look at a graco at the store last night and maybe it was an older model -- it was only $49 compared to the prices quoted in the reviews of $79, but it didn't have very good padding.
Just in my planning stages, but DS has been growing like a weed the past few weeks and eating like crazy, so I want to plan ahead and not feel pressured to make a purchase under pressure.
I have Graco sport and dislike it, it cost like 50 (we got them in Target). We have to buy 3, for me, dh and my father who is helping us. Since I've spent all this money I am using it ,although they are hard to adjuct and dd could push straps.
Looked up the recaro -- as with most toddler seats, it looks like once your child is 40 pounds you should stop using the 5 point harness system and switch to the seatbelt. I couldn't find any diagrams showing the recaro without the 5-point harness and one reviewer mentioned the padding didn't last very long. DS's current car seat (evenflo triumph) is good until he's 40 pounds and heightwise the straps still fit him. I did find the Graco Turbomaster with "extra pad" and now they advertise memory foam for most of the boosters.