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Which is safer? A high back booster with side impact/head protection or a 5 pt harness with less side impact protection?

13 replies

PussinJimmyChoos · 01/01/2010 12:57

DS is 18kgs. I have got the Britax Evolva 123 plus which converts into a high back booster secured with 3 point adult seatbelt when 18kgs is reached.

However, my research has led me to believe that remaining harnessed for longer is safer so I brought the Britax 2 Way Elite which harnesses for up to 25kgs. This seemed an ideal solution.

However, now that DS has been using it on a regular basis, I can see that the 123 plus has much more side/head impact protection than the 2 way elite.

So, is it safer to put DS in the high back booster secured with adult lap belt or the 5 pt harness with less side impact protection?

The whole car seat issue is doing my head in and DH is getting cheesed off with me as we have too many car seats in my quest to find something that's the safest for DS!

Any advice appreciated.



OP posts:
PussinJimmyChoos · 01/01/2010 15:30


OP posts:
moshie · 01/01/2010 15:49

I think a five point harness is much safer than a seat belt for a young child.
I use the Elite for a four year old I childmind rather than have her in a booster with a seat belt, even though that's what she has in her parents' cars.

moshie · 01/01/2010 15:53

It does have side impact protection, it doesn't seem as much as some other seats, but if you think about it at the child's head is being held back too because of the straps over the shoulders rather than being able to lean forwards with just a seat belt.

PussinJimmyChoos · 01/01/2010 17:52

That's a really good point actually, I hadn't thought of that! I just wish a car seat company would do one car seat that does everything!

Its just that compared to the First Class Si and the Evolva 123, the 2 way Elite just seems to have hardly any side protection. Mind you, we do have a new Toyota and its got a number of air bags for side impact ...I have to remember that DS is getting bigger all the time but the whole car safety thing is the one thing that stresses me out - I guess each parent has their own thing don't they!

OP posts:
kbaby · 01/01/2010 19:08

I could be complely wrong about this so hopefully someone will come along and tell me what I was told was wrong however, when my friends ds weighed 18kgs and needed a new car seat they were advised by halfords that using a 5 point harness would cause more damage to a child who was older than using a seat belt. The reason they were given was that a 5 point harness compresses the spine and neck which would cause more damaage to an older child that a traditional seat belt. The reason a 5 point harness is used on smaller childen is because their shoulder bones(clavical or something) are not strong enough to withstand the pressure a crash would cause if they had a seat belt on but once these bones have developed a seat belt with booster seat is safer.

Im not sure if that is true or where halfords got this information from(so please dont shoot me if its completly wrong)

PussinJimmyChoos · 01/01/2010 19:53


There is too much confusing information out there don't you think? I mean in Scandanavian countries, the 2 way Elite is used REAR facing until 4 years old as, far as I know as they think rear facing is safer again than the options we have here

The research I've done on the net seems to point towards 5 point being safer as it distributes the weight of the impact, whereas an adult lap belt won't do this, even past 18kgs....

I may e-mail in the in car safety centre where I bought the 2 way Elite from and see what they say...but the problem with asking suppliers for advice is that they are usually very cagey as scared stiff of getting sued or something!!

OP posts:
moshie · 01/01/2010 20:11

Having watched a few videos on youtube I'm sticking with a 5 point harness being safer.

car seat v booster tests

PussinJimmyChoos · 01/01/2010 20:23

I've just looked at a car seat forum and from what I see, there is not much research out there for 5 pts vs high back boosters but the general consensus is that there is more restraint with a 5 pt harness and with a child's frame not being as developed at this stage, its better for them to be more restrained.

One good point it did make was children who fidget a lot - if they are constantly leaning forward/to the side with a high back booster, then harnessing is safer for them in an impact

The only issue I have with the 2 way elite is that when DS sleeps, his head pitches forward which doesn't happen when he is in the 123 evolva. The elite does have a recline function but I haven't used it yet as didn't feel it 'sat' well enough in the car when in this position, which I think is just me being daft as they have to be tested in both positions before they can be sold!

OP posts:
nicm · 01/01/2010 21:54

i know how you feel, this is one of my stress things for ds! i think it's because car accidents are something we really have no control over so just have to do the best we can.

lol at comments from halfords! a 5 point harness is safest. in america you can buy a booster with a harness uo to 80lbs! i have been looking at getting one for mindee as he hangs forward in the hbb all the time.

i would stick with the twe and use it rf for the safest option.

desertgirl · 02/01/2010 06:10

if a 5 point harness gets 'unsafe' after a certain age, why do pretty much all adults in unsafe situations (racing drivers, aeroplane pilots, etc) wear them?

They are safer no matter what age you are - and at the younger end of the age range, regular seatbelts have bigger disadvantages.

(also obsessive about car seats!)

PussinJimmyChoos · 02/01/2010 10:31

So nice to be able to chat to others that stress about car seats!

DH gets really annoyed with me as, as soon as I read something new about safety, I change car far we have

A Graco Baby seat with base
Britax First Class Si
Britax 123 Evolva
Britax High Back Booster

and now the 2 way Elite!! I bought the high back booster when he reached 15kgs thinking it was ok for him to go into it, then when I realised it wasn't, I bought the 123 and was going to harness him for as long as I could. Then when I was told the 5pt harness on the 123 wouldn't be safe past 18kgs, I changed to the 2 way elite!

But, like I said to DH, DS is my most precious gift - I intend to take care of him as best I can!

OP posts:
maxybrown · 02/01/2010 11:57

I am fed up of car seats and cannot get one to fit in our classic old car. We have 1 DS and 3 car seats. Damn them! We do not have the money for 2 way elite unfortunately. We are looking at replacing our lap belt instead now. Sheesh

AnnieBeansMum · 02/01/2010 12:02

This is my dd's car seat and I adore it almost as much as she does. She is securely restrained but can still turn and look out the window and it is super lightweight when swapping it between two cars. And it's adaptable up to 11 years old.

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