Pros: -adjustable shoulder guides -simple lapbelt positioning -use with/without back -movable cup holder
Cons: -back and seat not rigid at 90 degrees -not widely available
My husband and I bought this booster seat for our son last year, right after his third birthday. We have been very happy with the booster. We had a difficult time deciding on which booster to buy and our son tried out several. He is not chubby or exceptionally tall for his age but several of the booster seats with a "high back" support were too narrow, in the shoulders or the seat. This booster is the perfect size!
The booster has an adjustable backrest, or rather, the top half of the booster can be raised and lowered to accommodate the height of the child in relation to the shoulder belt guides. Since there is a seat belt guide on both sides, the booster can be used on either driver or passenger sides of the vehicle, which we personally switch often. Changing the height is very simple: just grab onto the top of the seat back, gently squeeze the handle/button, and raise or lower. Very easy!
The lap belt fits quite snuggly under the arm rests. Depending on how long the belt is on your seat belt latch, you may have a problem with this. One seat in a friend's car has a LONG strap on the latch portion of the seat belt, and once the child is in the booster and seat belted in, you can not tighten the belt enough simply because the latch doesn't fit under the armrests/through the lap belt guide. So we just don't put the kid and his booster in that seat. It has never really been a problem. The seat belts slide right under the armrests so there is no need to thread the belt through anything. It's quite easy to buckle the kid in and out of the booster.
Another feature of this booster is the removable backrest. The seat portion and the back portions are connected by two plastic C-shaped pieces that swivel on a plastic bar. They lock together in the fact that the two pieces will not come apart unless you really mean it. But, they do not lock together in a 90 degree angle. There is supposed to be a bit of a catch in the plastic but it doesn't work but 5 percent of the time. Most every time we move the booster from one vehicle to another, the two portions swing out to 180 degrees, freely swinging on the two C-shaped hinges. Not a problem at all, and you'll only think you broke it the first time that happens. There is no resistance to putting the two pieces back into a 90 degree angle, so it's not a big deal. Just be sure you don't have something sitting in the booster when you remove it from the vehicle as it's sure to drop out when the two pieces swing free.
Our son believes the biggest advantage to this booster is the cup holder. When you look at this booster on line or in a store, it won't look like anything great, and will probably look flimsy. On the contrary! The cup holder is light weight yet strong. It is deep enough that narrow cups will not tip and fall out of the holder. The McDonald's milk jug that currently accompanies Happy Meals are too big for this cup holder. This is the only cup or container we have not been able to use with this booster. There are ridges in the cup holder so the rectangular juice boxes by Rubbermaid fit in there perfectly. Another big advantage is the cup holder can be attached to either the right or left sides of the car seat. So regardless if the booster is on the passenger or driver's side of the vehicle, the cup holder can always be moved toward the center of the vehicle for perfect parent reach.
I have never needed to wash the booster seat cover, so I can not comment on this aspect. I know the cover comes off, but that's the extent.
The entire booster seat is incredibly lightweight. You can carry it around or throw it into the vehicle one-handed.
The only local retailer we could find this booster (in a city of 250,000 people) was a children's furniture store that typically carries higher-end items. Definitely not available at your local Wal-Mart. I think we paid around $150 for this booster and have been quite happy with it. My family proudly recommends this high back booster.