Clek Olli backless booster with Rigid LATCH in Scurvy Camo at Amazon for only $58.23! This is a seriously amazing price on this booster. Olli's normally sell for $80-125. Eligible for FREE Prime shipping, and has FREE returns! Get yours quick before Amazon raises the price back up, and they will...
The Clek Olli uses Rigid LATCH to secure the booster seat to the vehicle. This accomplishes two things. Firstly, Rigid LATCH has been shown in testing to reduce seat rotation during a side impact crash. I'm a HUGE fan of Rigid LATCH and think it should be on many more car seats sold in the USA. I like it and recommend it! Secondly, it secures the booster seat to the vehicle when not in use. With a normal booster you MUST remember to buckle it in when not in use, or it WILL become a very large and heavy projectile flying about your vehicle in the event of a crash. Do you want to get hit in the head with something that big and heavy flying at you around 20-60+ MPH? I know I don't!
Now... Appropriate ages and emotional maturity for booster usage:
4 years AND 40 lbs is the BARE minimum for booster seat usage! No child younger or smaller than this should EVER be in a booster seat! Most children at that bare minimum do not fit properly in a booster seat, regardless of what your state law says. My physics trumps your state law each and every time!
Boostering is about 30% fit and 70% maturity. Firstly, your child has to properly fit in a booster seat. That means the shoulder belt lies across from the shoulder and through the sternum. If it rides high on the neck, then the fit is wrong. If it doesn't bisect the strongest part of the chest, then the fit it wrong. Next is the lap belt. That has to ride low on the hips. If it is riding high on the abdomen or into the stomach area then the fit is wrong.
If all these things are correct, then we have to look at the emotional maturity of your child. They must be able to sit 100% correctly in the seat 100% of the time. Not some of the time. Not most of the time. Not almost all of the time. 100% all of the time. Every single time. If your child fails that test at all, then they are not ready for a booster. Even then, you need to make sure that you put the child safety locks on the back doors so they can only be opened from the outside.
Now, tell me... Is your child ready to stay boostered? If all of the above answers are correct, then keep them boostered. If your child fails any of the above tests, then no. They are not ready for a booster and should still be in a 5-point harness until they are. If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to ask.
Is your child ready for an adult seatbelt? Do the 5-Step test below:
1) Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2) Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3) Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
4) Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5) Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
If you can answer "yes" to every question, your child is okay to ride without a booster. If you answer "no" to any of these questions, your child still needs a booster in order to be safe.
The bare minimum for a child to sit in the front passenger seat is 12 years old. Period. End of discussion. This is the law in most states. If it isn't in your state, then your car seat laws suck. My personal preference is to push it to 13 years old because that extra year will give them both the height for a better seat belt fit, and the weight to better control the weight sensors in the seat for airbag deployment.