If your firstborn will soon become a big brother or sister and you plan to use your toddler’s current convertible car seat for the little one on the way (which is the circumstance we found ourselves in), you’re likely in the market for something along the lines of a booster.
We were lucky enough to try out the super modern Clek Oobr, which—as you’ll find out—received rave reviews from both big sister and myself.
The car seat is easy to use (once you read the instructions!) for parents and ultra comfortable for passengers. Plus, it looks snazzy in the back seat and includes a handy “drink thingy” for those ever-thirsty kiddos. Oh yes, and the fabric cover is stain-resistant, which means that when beverages held upright by the “drink thingy” are picked up and inevitably spilled by small passengers, the seat can be cleaned and restored to its original spot-free state in a jiffy.
The fixed/rigid installation system clips easily into the hooks in the back seat of the car. The seat is easily secured with the back on or off. (Clek recommends children between 33 and 100 pounds use the seat with the back; children between 40 and 100 pounds may use it sans back. Of course, you should check your local laws and comply accordingly.) The push button system on the latches makes it a snap to remove as well. (The LATCH feature wasn’t something I’d seen on a booster before, and I really appreciated the relatively novel convenience factor.)
The only downside is the weight—it must weigh close to 25 pounds—so it’s not so easy to wrestle into the back seat when you are also dealing with a diaper bag, school backpack and younger sibling. However, once the seat was installed, I felt confident that my precious cargo would be safe and secure. It’s such a solid seat, not the least bit flimsy. (As long as you’re not planning to transfer the car seat from one car to another on a frequent basis, I wouldn’t let the weight discourage you from considering the Oobr. If you’re like us, you’ll leave the seat in the same car most of the time, so it really won’t be an issue.)
The seat has nice cushy padding so there were no complaints from my little one. (Well, no complaints about seating discomfort at least—I wish could say the same about the music, the air temperature and the sun in her eyes!) The seat can also be reclined slightly (12 degrees), which is a nice feature on longer car trips when achieving a reasonably comfortable sleep position is essential. Our Oobr is a fabulous shade of green, which looks uber (or would it be Oobr?!) cool in the back seat. The “drink thingy” is handy for keeping those little milk jugs from the local drive-thru within reach. And most importantly, the seat belt guides do an amazing job of keeping the shoulder harness and lap belt right where they need to be.
I would recommend this booster to anyone wanting a safe, sturdy, comfortable and easy to use car seat for a big-sibling-to-be.
To buy: elitecarseats.com