Which Booster Seat Should I hire?
Which Booster seat is the best option?
With so many car seat and booster seat options available, it can be difficult to navigate the many options to work out which option will best suit your needs, your child's size and age, along with the vehicle that it will be going into.
Harnessed or seat belt booster? What's the difference?
The first thing to remember when choosing a child restraint is that all Australian Standard child car restraints now use should height markers to determine the limits of each safety seat.
Your child's seated shoulder height is what is used to determine which safety seat is suitable. This is measured by sitting the child on the floor, and measuring floor to shoulder.
The second thing to pay attention to is that child restraints commonly referred to as booster seats can be split into two main categories. Seatbelt positioning boosters and harnessed boosters.
Seat belt positioning booster seats
Seat belt positioning boosters help position the seat belt over the child, ensuring it sits over the strong bones. These options are legally only able to be used from age 4, however most children would be best to remain in a harnessed car seat until at least 6-7 years of age when they're more likely to be able to sit up straight and remain in a position where the seat belt fits them properly for the entire car ride.
What this means is if they're leaning over to pick items up off the floor, putting a leg in their siblings face, slouching or pushing the seat belt out of position they're not ready to be using this type of booster.
Harnessed Booster Seats
Harnessed boosters, whilst suitable for children of a similar age range as seat belt positioning booster seats, are not technically booster seats at all. Whilst commonly referred to as harnessed boosters, they're an entirely separate category of child restraint.
Nonetheless, a harnessed booster option is often a much more user friendly option than a seat belt positioning booster as not only are you not depending on the child to stay in position for it to perform properly, but a harnessed booster is a much more three-across friendly option.
Harnessed boosters are commonly advertised as suitable from 12 months to 8 years of age. Whilst the current Australian Standards dictate that this is how they must be advertised for sale by each manufacturer, current research suggests that they are a more suitable choice for preschool age and up - until such a time as the height markers are outgrown regardless of age.
It's advisable for younger children to remain in convertible car seat until outgrown, always following the shoulder height markers. Similarly, it it recommended that a harnessed booster is used until outgrown rather than moving to a seat belt positioning booster based on the minimum legal age.
A popular option whilst away from home, this option will be suitable for most older children.
All of our tethered booster seats offer a 51cm exit marker. A tethered booster seat is always provided unless there is no anchor point present. (An untethered booster would be provided in this instance).
This option is best suited to children aged 6-7 years+ that meet the lower shoulder height marker, and are able to remain seated for the entire car ride without bending or slouching.
This option is not ideal for situations where you may require three car seats across.
A tethered or untether booster may be a good option for situations where you require accress to third row seating of an SUV or van but have multiple children in child restraints requiring the availability anchor points.
Much like our other booster hire option, Premium booster seat hire is an option that guides the seatbelt over the strong bones of the child's body, all the while ensuring that the seatbelt is correctly placed.
This option offers a few more features, such as higher limits, expandable side wings (to accommodate growing pre-teen children) and two recline options built into the base.
Whilst still not ideal for fitting three-car seats across many SUV's and hatchbacks, our Premium Booster Seat Hire is an ideal choice for older children who have outgrown all available harnessed options (Maximum harnessed options go to 51cm seated shoulder height).
Harnessed booster seat hire is a great choice for fitting three- car seat across (model dependent), children who can't or won't sit still for a length of time, or simply for your own peace of mind that they will remian strapped in for the duration of the journey.
This option is a great option for preschool aged children until outgrown anywhere from around eight to ten years of age (or when the should reachs the upper height marker of 51cm).
Our harnessed booster seats offer a the option of reclining and are ideal for children who like to nap in the car.
If looking for an option to suit younger children during a short stay, a convertible car seat may still be a good option.
Please note: Whilst all of our hire stock offers an inbuilt harness up until 51cm seated shoulder height, there are some products available for purchase that only offer an inbuilt harness as long as a 0-4 child restraint, before converting to a seatbelt positioning booster.
Just like our harnessed booster option, the 0-8 harnessed convertible car seat also offers an limit of 51cm.
The main difference is that 0-8 car seats are also able to turn around to rearward face for younger children. As a result of this function, 0-8 convertible car seats often offer more recline options, that may be well suited to children who like to nap in the car.