We know that these high back boosters are not budget friendly, but if you have a narrow spot where you need to fit a high back booster, you don’t have many options. Having done hundreds of 3-across scenarios, the Maxi Cosi Rodifix is simply the most likely high back booster to fit – and if the Rodifix doesn’t fit, there is literally NO other high back booster that will.
To say we love the Rodifix, would be an understatement. It is the most versatile booster we’ve found (and we’ve tried them all).
It fits where literally no other high back booster does. It has the narrowest footprint and flexible side wings which allow it to squish in next to another seat when needed. If the Rodifix doesn’t fit, there is literally no other high back booster in the US that will fit in that seating position.
Rodifix fits skinny kids and wide kids fabulously.
By design, Rodifix has eliminated the most common, and most serious, misuse of all boosters which is where someone accidentally puts the lap belt over one or both of the arm rests (which then puts the lap belt across the child’s belly which is super dangerous) – so by designing this booster without arm rests, you can’t make this mistake when buckling up. The lack of arm rests also makes it easier for a child to see the buckle and to get their hand in to buckle and unbuckle themselves independently.
The head rest is so well designed on Rodifix we’d love to use it on planes for ourselves! It captures the head perfectly so your kid’s head won’t be bobbing around during sleep. Keeping the head well positioned during sleep is an important part of keeping the whole body properly positioned in the seat belt – because if the head falls, sometimes the torso starts to fall forward or slump sideways, both of which are dangerous as the seat belt won’t be on the proper part of the child’s body.
Rodifix is only a high back booster
The back of Rodifix is rigid enough to support the child’s head and does not need the vehicle seat back to come up to the child’s ears for whiplash protection. It also handles vehicle head rests that protrude better than most other boosters.
Rodifix can be secured to the vehicle using rigid lower anchor connectors (rigid LATCH). Note – it is NEVER required to secure this or any other booster to the lower anchors.
Most kids will fit in Rodifix until 8-10 years old before becoming too tall for it.
For a booster that accommodates the tallest child of any high back booster in the US market, the Shuttle Plus 120 is surprisingly slim on the outside compared to most others (but definitely wider than the Rodifix).
Shuttle Plus 120 has the highest capacity for both height and weight of any high back booster in the US. If you have a child with a very tall torso, they will fit in this high back booster longer than any other.
In addition to the height of the back rest being adjustable, the side panels are also adjustable in width – which can help for keeping this on the narrower side when there isn’t much room in the vehicle.
While there are arm rests on this booster, they are spaced far enough apart that many wider kids should be comfortable but narrow enough that it fits where a lot of other boosters don’t.
The back of Shuttle Plus 120 is rigid enough to support the child’s head and does not need the vehicle seat back to come up to the child’s ears for whiplash protection.
The back can be removed to turn the Shuttle Plus 120 into a backless booster.
The Shuttle Plus 120 can be secured to the vehicle using rigid lower anchor connectors (rigid LATCH). Note – it is NEVER required to secure this or any other booster to the lower anchors.
Most kids will fit in this booster until 10-12 years old before becoming too tall for it.
Of the less expensive high back boosters, the Turbo TakeAlong is the one that is most likely to fit in a narrow spot
However, it is also the soonest to be outgrown as a high back booster – as the top setting for the shoulder belt is quite low compared to other boosters (and all kids are too tall long before too heavy for a high back booster usually).
It will often be very difficult to get your hand in to buckle the child in this booster when used in a narrow spot.
The back can be removed to turn the Turbo TakeAlong into a backless booster – however, one of the narrow backless boosters below would be a much better option than this in backless mode if you don’t have a lot of room in the vehicle.
Remember: In order to use a backless booster, you need to make sure the vehicle seat back comes up to at least the top of the child’s ears in order to provide adequate head support. If the vehicle seat back does NOT come up to at least the top of the ears, then you need to use a high back booster.
No exaggeration, the RightGuide is the best thing we’ve ever seen in the category of backless boosters.
It has the narrowest footprint of any booster (highback or backless) – meaning it is great for fitting in narrow centers or next to another car seat where other boosters didn’t fit.
The Rightguide fits both skinny and wider kids very well due to the lateral flexibility in the red belt guides. It has a slight upwards slant at the knees which not only enhances the comfort, but also the safety as it helps prevent kids from wanting to slouch (slouching puts the lap belt on the belly, which is dangerous!).
Rightguide is also a fabulous booster seat for travel, playdates, etc as it weighs just 1.8 pounds and easily slides into a child’s backpack and many purses, diaper bags, etc. The red belt guides tuck flush with the underside of the booster to make it super compact for carrying around when you aren’t in a car.
This booster has not yet been evaluated by IIHS… but in our informal testing of it with a variety of kids in lots of cars it offers great belt fit.
Turbo Go has two design features that make it ideal for wider kids.
First, it is generous in width and has a longer-than-average seat depth for the longer legs. However, the longer seat depth is a problem for the younger kids as their knees may not bend naturally over the edge without slouching.
Second, the lap belt guides are very high and completely vertical – rather than tapered in like many others – which allows them to be higher than the child’s thighs and not pushing into the thighs compared to many other booster designs.
Turbo Go weighs 4 pounds and folds to allow it to fit in a large backpack.
Turbo Go boosts the child up a fair amount (several inches more than the very-flat Graco RightGuide) – making Turbo Go great for shorter kids but also a potential problem for older, taller kids if their head starts getting too close to the roof of the car or their head is not supported by the vehicle seat back or vehicle head restraint.
These are both very lightweight and inexpensive backless boosters that are quite narrow. Due to differences in their contouring, one might fit better than the other in a specific narrow spot in your car.
The Rise has not been evaluated by IIHS for its belt fit.
FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this page. No monetary compensation was provided, however, some of the reviewed products were supplied by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate the review. All opinions are those of The Car Seat Lady LLC.