Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat Review

Chicco Nextfit Convertible Car seat review

Chicco Nextfit Convertible Car seat

Chicco Nextfit – Editors Choice for Best Car Seat

The Chicco NextFit Convertible Car seat is a great child seat that any parent should purchase. It has a ReclineSure 9 Position leveling system  that offers great reclining capabilities especially for parents on long journeys. Moreover it offers  a system for determining the right angle for installation of the seat for greater comfort of your baby.

For parents seeking a secure and tight fit for the child it offers the SuperCinch Latch tightener that will ensure you get peace of mind that your baby is secure in their seat. Additionally, the one pull harness tightener enhances the secure and quick installation.

This seats is ideal for long term use since it has a height adjustable headrest that has six heights meaning it could be used up to adolescence.  It beats the Britax convertible car seat in having a cup holder that can be affixed to either side. Released by Chicco in 2014, the child safety seat is available for purchase on

Chicco NextFit Zip Reviews

  • With 9 recline positions, the ReclineSure 9 position Leveling System offers the largest options for recline.
  • A tight and secure fit through the SuperCinch LATCH Tightener that employs force multiplying technology and is the only of its kind in the child safety seat market.
  • The correct angle for strapping on your child is indicated in both the forward and rear facing modes through the proprietary Two RideRight bubble level system.
  • The chicco car seat has an Integrated slide path that eases the installation of the car seat from forward facing to the rear facing modes respectively.
  • The chicco safety seat has an auto-widening harness with a 6-position headrest makes the seat ideal for growing children which means a booster seat is not be needed as soon as with other seats.
  • The proprietary ReclineSure 9-position Leveling System ensures that you can fit the seat in many different vehicles including small ones.

chicco keyfit

reclinesure 9-position levelingrideright dual-level indicatorssupercinch latch tightener

9 recline positions

removable infant insertheight adjustable headrestautomatic harness adjustment

The Pros

The ease of installation of the chicco next fit convertible seat is one of its best attributes that makes it stand out from the rest. Installation is easy and parents will enjoy strapping their children onto this seat regardless of the child’s age or height. The 9 recline positions coupled with the Rideright bubble system of determining appropriate car seat angle ensures that the child is always strapped in a manner that offers the greatest comfort.

Chicco Nextfit convertible car seat

More Pros 

  • The durability of this child seat is unquestionable given that it is manufactured to last for most of the child’s childhood unlike other car seats.
  • Assembly of the child safety seat is easy as it makes use of the SuperCinch LATCH Tightener which makes use of force employing technology thus making strapping your child a matter of pull and click.
  • Instead of purchasing booster seats when the infant gets older the Next fit Chicco Mystique is suitable from infancy up to adolescence.
  • An integrated slide path makes it easy to change from rear to forward facing mode when another kid needs to ride the seat.
  • Though pricier it offers greater value for all the features it offers as compared to similarly priced models.
  • It does not take up as much space as compared to other seat models and hence is suitable for most vehicles.
  • It has a clean and sophisticated look and is also easy to clean whenever necessary.
  • It comes with the chicco car seat manual for easy reference.

The Cons

The most common complaint about the Chicco NextFit is that the strap are twisty and do not have Velcro. Some users have also complained that they had issues with the seat seeming to be too constrictive especially for newborn infants. The installation process especially in the rear facing position is also a bit complex as compared to say the Britax. However, users assert that making use of the LATCH system instead of the recommended seat belts makes the process of installation easier.

The Verdict

I have to be upfront and assert that some of the shortcomings of the Chicco NextFit zip cannot be dealt with by the parent at home. Nevertheless, while some reviewers have some complaints, most of the reviews about this child seat have been positive. While some reviewers have complained about installation being complicated, this can be eased by watching installation videos which offer detailed tutorials on the same. Issues with the carseat being constricting are also related to poor installation by parents.

Chicco Nextfit Zip Car Seat Installation Video

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′][/responsive_video]

The seat offers the ultimate technology in the ReclineSure 9 position, the SuperCinch LATCH Tightener and the Two RideRight bubble level systems that offer the utmost in comfort and safety for your infant. This is the best infant car seat you should buy in 2018. It is also relatively low priced at [amazon_link asins=’B00V0ARIBI’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’beautypros1-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’1644b750-6e15-11e7-8a7d-97d18bd88a74′] as compared to similar models that offer less quality. Its ease of installation, adjust-ability, durability and comfort it offers makes this the most highly rated child seats you can buy. According to the NHTSA chicco nextfit safety ratings are the best in the convertible safety seat market.

Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat Video Review

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′][/responsive_video]

Toddler Car Seat Safety: The Dos and Dont’s

toddler car seat safety

I think you will agree with me when I say that once that sweet little child becomes a toddler, strapping them in and keeping them strapped in becomes so much harder.

Why you ask?

Well at this age the child is very much interested in a lot of things and will not be shy to reach out for them or let you know that they want to get out of that constricting car seat.

This can make for quite for some stressful trip, even if it is just a short trip to the store to get some milk.

Nonetheless, while a toddler can be quite a handful, you can still keep them safe in their car seat by following the following tips and recommendations.

toddler car seat safety

Baby in Toddler Car Seat

Types of Toddler Car Seats

When it comes to your kids toys, clothes or the paint in their nursery, how cute they make the room or kid look will come into consideration. However when it comes to car seats, it is more important that you take consideration safety rather than beauty. The following are some of the toddler car seats to use with your baby. It is important to note that a good toddler car seat needs to have a 5 point harness for enhanced safety.

  • Best 3 in 1 (All in one) Similar to the common convertible car seat, these seats can be used as rear facing car seats then transition to forward facing car seats and lastly into boosters. Given its typically bigger size, it is important to consult the manufacturer manual prior to buying to ensure it is a good fit for your vehicle.
  • Best Convertible car seat – Most convertible car seats can be used in the forward and rear facing mode. While they are heavier than infant car seats they do not come with bases or carrier handles. Given that they can be used in rear and front facing mode, these seats can accommodate a toddler up to between 40 to 50 pounds making them a good option for your big toddler.
  • Best Rear Facing Car Seat – These types of car seats include combination and infant car seats that can accommodate children from 5 pounds up to about a year old for infant seats and up to 12 years for the best combination car seats.

How to Use a Toddler Car Seat

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′][/responsive_video]

When to Shift to a Forward Facing Car Seat

As I have always said, it is always advisable to keep the child in the rear facing mode until they are at least two years old. If you can keep them there for longer, you should definitely do it until they reach the maximum weight recommended for the given seat. What makes the rear facing car seat so safe for toddlers and babies is that they offer much needed support for the kid’s spine, neck and head protecting them from whiplash injuries in the instance of a crash.

When to Switch from Latch to Seat Belt

Since 2002, the NHTSA has required that all passenger vehicles come with Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH). LATCH is safer than the conventional seat belts whose installation was not as standardized or as safe. LATCH comes with a tether that you can easily attach to the car seat and anchor it on an anchor point inbuilt on the vehicle seat. Check your car seat and vehicle owners manual for instructions on how to use the LATCH system. If your car was manufactured before 2002, you can still use seat belts as long as you ensure the installation is as safe as possible. While LATCH is the safest way of installing a child safety seat, the NHTSA recommends that for kids above age 3, you should switch to seat belts as the LATCH anchors are not strong enough to take the weight of the child and the seat in the instance of a crash. As such it is important to check the age and weight limit of the car seat to ensure that your toddler is safe when using LATCH.

Toddlers and Booster Seats

While it can be very tempting to transition the child to a booster car seat, I would not advise that a toddler ride in a booster seat. A toddler in this instance means any child younger than 4 years old. For the child younger than 4, they need to be riding in a car seat with a five point harness typically a convertible, combination, or all in one until they attain or outgrow the forward facing car seat weight and height limits.

Even when the child attains that age, ensure their safety by transitioning them using belt positioning booster seats. If you are using an all in one car seat, you can transition it to a booster seat. You can only transition the child to seat belts when they are about 4 foot 9 in height and about 80 pounds typically at about 12 years of age.

Toddler Car Seats Safety for Toddlers

  1. Review Car Seat Safety Guidelines – You can have the right toddler car seat but if the child is not strapped in properly or you do not know how to use the safety seat, your child will not  ride safely. Even if you have been using car seats for a very long time, it is still very critical to check out manufacturer recommendations, car seat safety tips and vehicle manuals to ensure the child is safe. Always install the car seat in the backseat of the car and for even better install it in the middle of the seat.
  2. Ensure a Professional Inspects the New Car Seat – Always find a certified car seat inspection technician to inspect the car seat and the installation before you start using it. You can find an inspector for your car seat here.
  3. Check for Harness Fit – For utmost safety, check that the harness straps are below or at the child’s shoulders with the top of the chest clip at the level of the toddlers armpits. for a snug tight fit, you should get no more that two fingers between the child’s body and the harness strap.
  4. Do not Dress the Kid in Bulky Clothing – Bulky clothing make the harness straps fit poorly on the child’s body. As such you need to avoid any bulky snowsuits, winter jackets or any other clothing that adds an extra layer between the strap and the baby. If you think it is too cold, you can protect the child from the cold by laying a blanket over them or using a suitable sweater.
  5. Keep Little Arms and Fingers Safe  – Toddlers being toddlers  get bored and start playing with push button operated windows. To keep the child safe ensure the windows are locked and controlled from the drivers seat. Give the child some toys or books to play with to reduce the temptation of playing with windows.
  6. Tether Toys – At an age when your kids wants to always be doing things, having to sit still in a car seat for even five minutes can be incredibly boring for them. To ensure that your child is never bored give them some safe toys which you can attach to the car seat. Ensure that the toys are not anything sharp or one that they can hurl at you or harm themselves with.
  7. Do not Leave the Kid in the Car – With research showing that can heat or cool down at up to twenty degrees in 10 minutes, any child younger than 4 can be in grave danger from heat or cold if you leave them in the car given their large surface area to volume rations. To ensure you do not leave the child in the car always put something important there such a briefcase o purse so that you would have to check in there before leaving.
  8. Use the Car Seat Only for Travel – Car seats are not made for any use outside of travel. While a car seat makes the child safe while traveling, allowing the child to snooze in the child safety seat can be very dangerous and could result to severe causes such as suffocation or strangulation.

Related Links

Most comfortable Backless Booster Seat

Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat Review

Britax Marathon Clicktight

Britax – Robust and Safest Convertible Car Seat

The Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Verve is a child seat that offers the easiest installation among all safety seats. The child safety seat offers excellent side impact protection and is undoubtedly the best convertible car seat in 2018 out there.

It makes use of the SafeCell technology which incorporates the use of a steel frame, an energy absorbing base and tether that makes it the safest child safety car seat in 2018.

The seat is available for a moderate [amazon_link asins=’B013YCX22I’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’becocasehq-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3b37ee23-c8f6-11e6-b1c1-132b618beef0′] on

Features of the Britax USA  Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

  • Clicktight Installation System remains one of the simplest and easiest installation technologies.
  • SafeCell Impact Protection system incorporating the V-tether, energy absorbent base and a steel frame offers best protection during a crash.
  • Offers the most robust side impact protection that is made up of a foam lined shell that is energy absorbent thus reducing likelihood of injury during a collision.
  • Quick adjust 2-position buckle and 12-position harness makes for ease of installation and a more secure fit for a child of any age.
  • Reclines in 7 positions which ensures maximum comfort for the child during a ride.

The Pros

The ease of installation of the Clicktight System makes for the most sturdy of and safe installation that will give the parent peace of mind with regard to safety and comfort of the child. Furthermore, the Britax Marathon Clicktight is one of the very few seats that has a steel frame which is one of the pillars of its SafeCell Impact protection system that also includes a V-tether and energy absorbing base that reduce mobility during a crash thus enhancing the child’s safety. Parents can easily adjust the Britax Marathon Clicktight safety seat as the child grows as the convertible seat has adjustable buckle and position harness for a child of any age.

Britax Marathon Clicktightclicktight installationside impact protectionimpact stabilizing steel frameimpact absorbing tetherimpact absorbing harnessquick adjust 12 position harnessautomatic level indicator7 recline position

More Pros

  • These are some of the most durable of child seats given that they are manufactured with a steel frame and are built to last for several years.
  • The Britax Marathon Clicktight comes with a one year warranty though its highly unlikely that this will be exercised due to the high quality of the car seat.
  • Proprietary staged release switches reduce movement of the seat in the instance of a crash.
  • The price of the child safety seat is just right when it is compared to other less durable models in its range.
  • The variety of settings that it has makes this seat suitable not only for long time parents but also for first time parents since it is easy to install and maintain.
  • Removable body pillow and plush fabrics and foam padding offers top level comfort for the child.
  • Easy buckle system and angle level indicator shows the parent when the car seat is correctly angle for better protection and comfort of the child.

The Cons

The most frequent complaint regarding this seat is that the dial on the Clicktight is too difficult to turn. One parent said that she had to get her husband to turn the dial after trying unsuccessfully to turn it. It is also quite a bulky car seat and hence removing it to clean it or install it into another vehicle can be quite a pain. One parent asserted that the shoulder straps are too difficult to tighten.

The Verdict

I firmly believe that the Britax Marathon Clicktight is the best car seats for your toddler in the market. It is quite an improvement on the Britax Advocate Clicktight. While several parents complained about the ease of installation I do believe that these are aspects that may be dealt with by correctly reading the manual. As for the bulk of the child safety seat I have established that most of the parents that find problems with it have smaller vehicles that are not the most appropriate for the Britax Marathon Clicktight.

Britax Marathon clicktight

Britax Marathon Clicktight Installation Video

The Britax Marathon car seat reviews are mainly positive it has some flaws the fact that it is made like a tank make all the flaws not matter really. The fair price of [amazon_link asins=’B013YCX22I’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’becocasehq-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ca937498-c8f6-11e6-aebc-67efaef185cb’] in comparison to lower quality models on the market make this is the child safety seat every parent ought to consider. Offering ease of installation through the Clicktight System, and safety through the SafeCell Technology makes this quite a safe seat even for first time parents. If you want to compare britax child safety seats check out the britax advocate clicktight which is the best britax car seat.

Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat Video Review

Related Links

Britax Advocate Versus Boulevard Versus Marathon

Britax USA Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car seat Review

 britax clicktight car seat

Britax Advocate Clicktight Review

The Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat is the safest and best convertible car seat in the market 2018. It makes use of the ClickTight Installation System which I believe is the best in the market in terms of ease of installation and safety.

No car seat in the market offers comparable side impact protection like that of the Britax Advocate. With a steel frame, an impact absorbing base and three layers of side impact protection, it is one of the most robust products in the market. It makes use of a Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator that will always indicate the correct tightness of the child’s harness which will ensure your child is always protected with the optimum tightness.

britax advocate clicktight

Premium padding and fabrics offer which also include removable pillow and car seat ensures ease of use and greater comfort for the child.

Released by Britax in 2014 , this convertible car seat is available to buy on Amazon for[amazon_link asins=’B013YCXAG6′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’becocasehq-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0b874897-c90a-11e6-8855-75e96d772946′]

Features of the Britax USA Advocate ClickTight

  • The ClickTight Installation System offers the best ease of installation and use coupled with safety; for installation simply open the front of the car seat, secure it in place with the seat belt and lastly click it shut for robust installation. On ease of installation, this is the car seats with the best car seat ratings in 2018.
  • It has the proprietary SafeCell Impact Protection system made of an energy absorbing base, a steel frame, staged release stitches for reducing and slowing forward movement in the instance of a crash, and a V-shaped tether which reduces seat rotation during travel or during a crash.
  • The side impact protection is composed of three layers; a deep foam lined layer, side cushions and quick-adjust head protection that are energy absorbent thus protecting the child from crash shocks.
  • The Click &Safe Snug Harness Indicator clicks audibly enabling you to properly tighten the child’s harness in the appropriate manner.
  • A 2-position buckle and a quick-adjust 14-position harness makes it easy to position the harness and buckle upward and outward respectively offering a more secure and comfortable fit for a growing child.

britax clicktight installation systemside impact protectionimpact absorbing baseimpact stabilizing steel frameimpact absorbing tetherquick adjust 14 position harnessautomatic level indicator7 position reclien

The Pros

The ease of installation of the ClickTight system makes installation a breeze even for first time parents or parents that have never used it before. While other infant seats have only one layer of protection or at most two this car seat offers three layers of protection. An indicator that informs the parent when the seat has been installed in the correct position gives the parent peace of mind. It is also one of the first car seats in the market to introduce the anti rebound bar that makes your child even safer in collisions from the back. The product comes with a one year warranty.

Britax Advocate Clicktight Installation Video

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′][/responsive_video]

More Pros

  • These convertible car seats offer greater durability as compared to other models in the market due to their sturdy construction.
  • It is easy to install the car seat in either the forward facing or rear facing positions with the easy ClickTight Installation System.
  • An extra two inches of support strap makes it easier to strap in adolescents safely as compared to its predecessors.
  • It is manufactured using the environmentally friendly EPP foam technology thus making it suitable for the environmentally conscious parent.
  • The price  at [amazon_link asins=’B013YCXAG6′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’becocasehq-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’575b5d45-c90a-11e6-bc27-099c911429b2′]is comparatively cheap given the great value that the car seat offers.
  • The different weight settings available in the use of the car seat makes it ideal for parents with infants, toddlers and even adolescents.
  • It is designed to compress during a crash which lowers the center of gravity of the child thus offering more protection for the child.

The Cons

The most frequent complaint about the Britax Advocate ClickTight is its lack of an inbuilt cup holder though it allows for a clip on. There have been complaints regarding its large size and bulk which may reduce its ease of use for persons with small cars or for persons without the physical dexterity to handle it. Some users have complained that the cover material on the seats is of low quality and comes off easily.

The Verdict

Most of the flaws of the Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible car seat may be easily addressed or dealt with. Even as several reviewers have complained about its bulk and weight, the reviewers have asserted that its safety ratings and the comfort and protection it offers for the child more than makes up for the negative.

A clip on cup holder can also be easily purchased from and attached to the convertible car seat if one so wishes. Proper care of the car seat will ensure that the cover does not wear off so fast. More so, the car seat comes with a one year warranty which would in any event take care of any problems arising within one year of purchase.

Our convertible car seat reviews show that the bulk of the car seat is more a matter of the car that a parent owns and hence I believe looking at other models that suit your preference or needs is always best.

The majority of the users of the Britax convertible car seat have given rave reviews regarding the robust nature of the seat that gives it a very high rating on protecting your child. The relatively low price of [amazon_link asins=’B013YCXAG6′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’becocasehq-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8c2cc97f-c90a-11e6-a238-755f8c722b4f’] in comparison to similar value models is also one aspect of this seat which ought to be taken into consideration.

It’s triple protection features, durability and ease of installation make this the top rated convertible car seat in 2018. This is the best Britax car seat.

Britax USA Clicktight

Britax USA Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat Video Review

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′][/responsive_video]

Booster Seat Safety: {ULTIMATE GUIDE} to Safe Usage of Booster Seats

Even as most parents have fond memories of jumping up and down on the back of the family station wagon without caring for seatbelts, we have to acknowledge that as much fun as it was, it was very dangerous.

In modern times, we drive a lot more than in our times and our children will likely spend much more time in our vehicles that we used to before the invention of the car seat.

While, the the use of car seats and seat belts has resulted in a significant decrease in death and injuries, crashes still account for millions of deaths of children above 3 years.

graco backless booster

While seat belts are a good invention, they are inadequate to protect your child as they are made for adult bodies and hence they are not fit for your child. This is where top rated booster seats will come in handy.

The best child booster seat lessen the chance of your child getting injured in a crash by up to 45% since true to their name, they boost the child to ensure that the seat belts and the vehicles lap are strapped on tightly. Children that ride without using a seat belt without a booster seat have a higher chance of injury as compared to those that do.

If you do not make use of a booster seat, the lap belt will more likely than not rest on the child’s belly which may result in injuries to the spleen, stomach, and liver if you happen to get in a crash.

Additionally, without a booster seat the shoulder belt will lie on the child’s neck as opposed to the chest which could make the child attempt to move it below the arm (it could cause internal damage by cracking ribs) or behind the back (could result in spinal injuries and leaves the neck and head completely unprotected.

As such the NHTSA recommends that all children travel in a booster seat if they have outgrown the convertible car seat, They should ride in a booster seat till they reach a height of about 4 feet 9 or about the age of 8.

Moreover, most states have now made it mandatory to strap the child into a booster car seat. It is only in South Dakota, Florida and Arizona where it is not a requirement for children to ride in a booster car seat. The Insurance institute for Highway Safety has the map showing the different guidelines for each state.

Nevertheless, even if you are not legally required to use a booster car seat in your state, it is advisable to use one. The lack of proper restraints resulted in the death of over 1300 children and 179,000 injuries that would have been avoided had they been strapped into booster seats.

Majority of these tragedies happened in undivided highways or local roads as opposed to high speed collisions that many associate such accidents with. Half of the accidents were in streets in which the legal limit does not exceed 44 miles per hour.

Majority of these tragedies happened in undivided highways or local roads as opposed to high speed collisions that many associate such accidents with. Half of the accidents were in streets in which the legal limit does not exceed 44 miles per hour.

According to Stephanie Tombrello Safety Belt USA Executive Director,

“The trick is to ensure we have lesser judgment lapses where we say things such as “we are just going to the grocery store . Ask yourself were I to be involved in a crash would I be confident in how my child is strapped in? and ensure your child always rides that way everyday”

For parents that are short on time, convenience is usually a touchy issue, and hence Tombrello asserts that having a system which is consistent yet simple would automate the process ensuring your child is safe.

For instance, families with two cars ought to have a booster seat in each vehicle as opposed to trying to switch booster seats from one car to another – which may be ignored when you have a frantic morning.

How to Find the Best Child Booster Seat

  1. While a booster seat may be up to scratch with regard to meeting standards of safety set by the state and federal government, it may still be unsafe if it is not used or installed correctly. The best and safest booster seat is therefore a car seat that offers ease of installation and use and offers best fit for your car and the child.
  2. For children that are less that 40 pounds a booster seat or a combination seat that are fitted with a removable five point harness as opposed to convertible car seats. A five point harness is safer since the child is restrained at both the hips and the shoulders which would make them less susceptible to injury in a crash as the forces are distributed to the body’s strongest parts.
  3. Always make use of the harness for as long as is practical for maximum safety of your child. As such it is critical to go for a car seat that comes with adjustable harness strap height settings particularly if you have a tall baby.
  4. Avoid older convertible or combination seats that make use of T-Shaped shields as during a crash most of the force of the collision will be on the child sensitive parts. Furthermore, while lacking a five point harness, such seat have been found to be not as comfortable as booster seats.
  5. Children that are chubbier will also be uncomfortable with such seats as the shield or tray may press on their belly or thighs. You may also have problems getting the tray over their head if you have a tall child.
  6. When the child outgrows the booster or combination seat such that the top harness strap lots are below their shoulders, you can remove the back and harness and use the booster seat to ensure they are strapped in tightly with vehicle shoulder and lap belts. Alternatively you simply move to a simpler booster seat that is backless.

best <a style=graco backless booster









For vehicles with rear seats that are sitting low, a high back model which offers better neck and head support in the instance of a rear collision would be best. For rear seats that are of sufficient height to offer support to the neck and head though they have deep contours, a backless model will be a better fit as it wont be prone to tipping over as compared to the high back model.

According to auto safety experts, the backless booster seats are recommended since they make it easier for the child to sit more snugly in the seat as they can sit further back making the use of seat belts and lap belts more effective.

However, it is important not to buy second hand backless car seats which are designed with the shield style closure since they have been determined to be unsafe by the NHTSA.

Features of Top Rated Booster Seats

  • For whatever booster car seat that you will opt for, you need to be sure that it comes with a guide on how to install and position the car’s shoulder belt, so that it is on the right height on the chest of the child. It is critical to ensure that the car seat installation guide shows how to easily retract the seat belt.
  • The majority of high back and chair booster will come fitted with side clip ons. The best booster seats will usually have different height positions that will allow for adjustment to take into account the needs of the child as they grow. Backless booster seat should come with a detachable belt positioning clip guide that shows you how to position the lap belt at the hips and most importantly how to affix the shoulder belt’s lower end.
  • Several types of high back booster seats will have padded wing like protrusions on their headrests. These will come in handy to offer greater comfort for your child if they have a tendency to fall asleep during travel.
  • Some booster and convertible seat combos come with a recline feature for the child that has a tendency to sleep during travel. Nevertheless, such seats tend to exert much more pressure on the child’s groin during a collision and hence you have to take this into consideration when buying this type of car seat. It is also critical to keep in mind that a car seat ought to be reclined no more that 20-30 degrees from the vertical. If you incline the car seat more than this, it could result in the seat belt not being tight enough which could cause the kid to slide out in the instance of a collision.
  • The size of the child is another factor that you ought to take into account when analyzing the features of the booster car seat. For stocky children, find a booster seat that has an adjustable or wide base. For tall children, find a booster seat whose base is roomier or one with higher shoulder strap slots.

How to Install  A Booster Seat Correctly

Test It Before Purchase

Booster seats are made to be used with the vehicle’s shoulder and lap-belts and hence their installation is relatively easy as simply  installing them on top of the vehicles rear seat. Nevertheless, you have to make sure that the booster seat lies flat on the seat in order to reduce the possibility of tipping over.

If it is possible you should test the seat by having your child sit in it before you make the purchase.

Determine if the Child is Ready for a Booster Seat

A major mistake that parents make is switching to a booster seat before the child is ready. Some parents switch to a booster seat while the child has not yet attained the height to make the use of a booster seat safe.

Even as most booster seat and car seat combo manuals assert that such seats may be used without a harness of the child is 30 pounds and above, in truth, only a thin and tall child that has outgrown the harness yet is below 40 pounds could ride safely in such seats.

For the majority of kids though, it is advisable that you you employ the use of the harness till they are at least 40 pounds.

Children that tend to be especially active need the harness more since they may push the shoulder belt under the arm or get out of the seat belt. Having the five point harness will make it harder for them to struggle out of the shoulder or seat belt.

To determine your child’s readiness for switching to a booster seat , make her sit in the backseat of the vehicle and check whether she can sit with with bended knees at the edge of the seat while sitting all the way back in the seat.

If the child is not ready for the booster seat, she will slide forward or slouch and the legs will be sticking out rather than being bended at the knees.

Keeping her in the booster, check how the seat belts are positioned. The lap belt ought not to be at the belly but should be at the hips on top of the thighs. The shoulder belt ought not to be on the upper arm or the neck but should be on the center of the chest landing on the shoulder.

Install the Booster Seat in the Appropriate Position

The safest position to install booster seats and indeed all convertible car seats is the center of the back seat as this is the position that offers the most safety to the child in the instance of side impact. However many older vehicle models have only the lap belt in the center seat which would not anchor the seat properly.

If the center seat only has the lap belt do not install the booster seat on the center as this could be dangerous. Instead anchor the booster seat on the seat that has both lap and shoulder belts.

For parents that have to travel with two children, how you position the booster seats will be determined by the backseat contours and the type of seat belts in your vehicle. If possible, I would advise having one child on the right side and one in the center of the back seat.

Nevertheless, if your children are the type to grab pinch and poke each other you had better have the center as a buffer zone so that they do not distract you from driving.

In this instance, the younger child ought to ride on the right side given that you may have to check up on him far more than the older one. Alternatively, you could have seat belts installed in the center of the back seat. You can find a retrofit kit from Amazon.

It goes without saying that your child that is younger than 13 should always ride in the back seat rather than the front seat.

This is particularly so if your vehicle has air bags in the passenger side of the car. While airbags may save the life of an adult, they can be very dangerous to the child since they can result in severe neck and head injuries during a collision.

Make Use of a Belt Positioning Clip

Some booster seats will come with belt positioning clips that may come in handy since they can be attached using a special strap on the backless models or on the sides of high back booster seats.

The clips are useful in ensuring that the shoulder belt goes over your child’s chest in the recommended manner. If the your car’s shoulder belt goes over the chest and is on the shoulder you do not need to use these clips.

belt positioning clip

Employ an Anchoring System

If you are using a combo booster seat an anchoring system could come in really handy. All combo car seats that have been manufactured since 2002 now come with the LATCH system.

LATCH is a combination of lower and top anchors that are made into the back seat of the vehicle that hooks on the car seat thus enhancing their safety. It is a requirement that all front facing car seats have both lower and upper attachments.

The LATCH system is made to ease the installation process of the combo car seat thus making seat belts unnecessary. However you still have to make use of seat belts if you are using rear facing car seats.

Even as some recent models of booster seats come with lower anchors for better positioning, LATCH is not a necessity for all booster seats given that shoulder and lap belts are a requirement in order to securely strap in your child when using booster seats.

For more information regarding safest booster seats and their usage visit the NHTSA Website.

How to Install a Booster Seat Video

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′][/responsive_video]