Building a Better Booster
- What: Britax Grow with You Booster
- When: 5 years and up
- Why: High safety rating, long lasting, easy to use,
- Where: Amazon
We recently moved my seven year old daughter from her convertible car seat to a booster seat. Because she tends toward the petite side, I wanted an option that could keep her in a five point harness as long as possible. My older son outgrew his harness in height at nine years old, so I knew I could get the same 3-in-1 Graco Nautilus for her if needed.
But I wanted something different. The Nautilus had the highest safety rating we could find when we switch my son at 6 years old. But it weighs a ton, cost a lot, and I hate installing it, especially in the third row of our Mazda5, which doesn’t have LATCH or a seat back with an angle that adjusts.
I tried the Evenflo Evolve because it offered the same three in one flexibility (harnessed booster, highback booster with seat belt, and backless booster with seat belt) at a lower price point. But neither my daughter or I cared for it. She only liked the two cup holders and the color. The only thing I preferred was the lower price. Everything else about it made riding in the car more complicated.
So I went back to the drawing board, and ended up going with the new Britax Grow with You, which replaces their earlier Frontier booster seat model. Unlike the Graco Nautilus, it only offers two options: a harnessed booster and a highback booster using the seat belt. But we have two seats that convert to a backless booster, and I didn’t feel that option added a lot of versatility for us with our existing seats.
Because I love and trust Britax, we’ve used their seats from birth. My daughter can easily work the familiar style buckle, chest clip, and harness tightening strap on her own. I had zero problems installing the car seat even in the tight confines of our third row, especially since I splurged and got the ClickTight option.
The seat offers armrests and four cup and snack holders, making it feel more like a big kid seat even though it keeps her as safe as her convertible car seat. I liked the narrower profile (it comes in at an inch skinnier than the Graco Nautilus 65 and 80) and feels less bulky even though it weighs more. The Britax Grow with Me also has two locations for the buckle, so kids don’t get crowded between their legs.
The nine position adjustable harness and headrest height alone makes it worth the extra money I spent. Instead of having to uninstall the seat and rethread the harness, I can simply squeeze the button to get a perfect fit anytime, even switching between kids. That means every child who goes in this seat rides safer, because I don’t compromise a quick ride with the right harness height. It also makes it easy to adjust as my child grows, without me being in denial to avoid yet another car seat installation.
We haven’t used this safety restraint in seat belt mode yet, but I can easily see the seat belt guides and can tell my child will have no problem spotting the buckle to fasten herself, thanks to the slimmer arms. Even though we didn’t use them in its current vehicle position, it boasts the LATCH connectors I love, with their easy on and off secure attachments. You can also remove the cover for cleaning without having to uninstall the seat.
I paid the extra money to get the fancy ClickTight option. This option didn’t exist when we bought our first Britax convertible car seats, but it does make getting the correct installation much easier. This seat also features a built-in pocket for the instruction manual, so you never have to hunt when you have questions.
If you want a high-quality and safe booster seat for everyday use that can easily adjust and switch from a five point harness to a highback booster, and don’t mind spending more, check out Britax’s latest offering.