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Old 08-09-2011, 07:52 AM   #1
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What Should I do?! 5 pt or Booster?

My 5.5 yr old son is 42.5" tall and weighs 36 lbs. Right now he is still in a 5 pt harness (Graco Nautilus). We just purchased a second vehicle because he will be starting school, we need a seat for our other vehicle but don't have much to spend. I would prefer not to spend $150 or so on another seat...

I was thinking about purchasing a Graco Turbobooster. My Mother has this for my 8 yr old brother, and when my son rides with her, he rides in the booster seat (this is on occassion). The belt fits him well.

I'm just not sure if I should have him continue to ride in a 5 pt harness or if it would be ok to transfer him to a booster. I figured I would transfer him to a booster at around 40 lbs anyway. I just read on the IIHS that many 3 in 1 car seats like the Nautilus sometimes aren't safe when used as a booster because of belt fit. I don't want to be switching out seats so often!

What should I do?

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Old 08-09-2011, 08:22 AM   #2
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Re: What Should I do?! 5 pt or Booster?

I it was me...I'd got with the Turbobooster. My 5.5 year DD daughter rides harnessed in a Nautilus in my van (primary vehicle), and a Britax Parkway SGL Booster in my hubby's car. For the record, I don't like the Parkway AT ALL. I so wish I had just gone with a Turbo booster! :-)
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:18 AM   #3
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Re: What Should I do?! 5 pt or Booster?

If you wanted a 5pt there is the Maestro that is around $80
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:39 AM   #4
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I believe the way the nautilus positions the seat belt is very good. Most are not but it doesn't position it from the outside of the seat. It slides in so it's placed on the shoulder correctly. It's one of the top picks on here and you can find it for under $100 on sale.

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Old 08-09-2011, 10:09 AM   #5
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Re: What Should I do?! 5 pt or Booster?

At 5 1/2 it really depends on the kid for me. My middle would have done fie in a booster younger than that, but my oldest at 8 1/2 is just now getting to where he can handle behaving in the booster for more than 10-15 minutes. Is he pretty calm and a "rule follower" or more bouncy and impulsive? If he's still pretty impulsive I would keep him harnessed a bit longer.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:25 PM   #6
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Re: What Should I do?! 5 pt or Booster?

If he's only 36lbs, it may not be legal to have him in a booster. I know here it's 4 AND 40lbs.

FTR, we have both Nautiluses (Natuili?) and a Britax Parkway and my DS prefers the Nautilus.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:54 PM   #7
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Re: What Should I do?! 5 pt or Booster?

The 3 in 1 seats that the IIHS was talking about that make poor boosters are the Dorel Alpha Omega and its clones. Pretty much any Dorel combination seat makes a poor booster. The Nautilus makes a good booster for many but not all kids. If your child is mature enough to sit properly and be in charge of his own safety in the car then a booster is a perfectly safe and acceptable choice for him at his age and size.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:57 PM   #8
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At his age I would be ok with a booster but not at his weight... You can deal a good deal on a 5pt.. that's what I would do!

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Old 08-09-2011, 01:56 PM   #9
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Re: What Should I do?! 5 pt or Booster?

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Originally Posted by idnar82 View Post
I it was me...I'd got with the Turbobooster. My 5.5 year DD daughter rides harnessed in a Nautilus in my van (primary vehicle), and a Britax Parkway SGL Booster in my hubby's car. For the record, I don't like the Parkway AT ALL. I so wish I had just gone with a Turbo booster! :-)
Hmm, all these responses made me re-read your original post. At your son's weight, I'd also say got with a 5pt harness. My DD who is your DS's age weighs 48lbs...thats a BIG difference! Your little guy is still pretty little :-) We love our Nautilus!
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:59 PM   #10
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Re: What Should I do?! 5 pt or Booster?

Due to the fact that we were looking at a car seat for our second vehicle, I wasn't sure. I'm not quite sure why I asked here because I knew in my heart that he needs to stay in a 5pt. I cringe knowing the amount of money we had to dish out but my son will be safe! The seat will be in my DH's car and will use it daily to go to kindergarten. With that said we purchased a second Nautilus as we like the one we have but it's way to big to transfer between cars!

The reason we went with the Nautilus is because we already have one AND the construction is so much better than many other seats. We are combi, Britax and Graco fans. We went for the Eddie Bauer XRS 65 but it wasn't as nice as the Nautilus IMHO. Anyway, I know we made the best decision!
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