My bigger kids are always on the go it seems. School events, friend’s houses, trips with Grandma; they’re never home and need a light weight booster that is easy to use in various vehicles. Enter the Cosco Topside. At 2.5 lbs., even if it doesn’t fit in their back packs, it’s super easy to carry around. Let’s check it out.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Weight range: 40-100 lbs.
- Height range: 43-57″
- Expiration: 6 years
- No seat belt adjuster
For shorter trips, a 6+ age rating would be appropriate if the child can remain upright even while sleeping. We generally recommend using a high back booster until the back has been outgrown as it does often position the seat belt better on small children and the back helps draw limits for children who aren’t used to the freedom a backless booster brings. The Topside does not come with a seat belt adjuster to help the shoulder belt fit. In some cases that means it would be best to hold off on using this seat until the child is a bit bigger and the shoulder belt fits properly without an adjuster. Like all backless boosters, the Topside requires head support up to the top of the child’s ears.
The Topside is a little different from most backless boosters in that the shoulder belt does not get routed back under the armrest, it goes over the armrest. This can pose a problem for shoulder belts that are already close to the child’s neck. However, in vehicles where the shoulder belt tends to lay towards the outside edge of the child’s shoulder, this may help provide a better fit over other backless boosters. In this case a high back booster could also be used instead.
Fit to Child
Olivia is 6.5 years old, 55 lbs., and 48″ tall. She doesn’t use a backless booster full-time, but does well in one as a spare when traveling with other people. This booster provides a proper belt fit on her and is light enough for her to carry to school or a friend’s house if needed.
Evan is 10.75 years old, 55″ tall, and 65 lbs. He is still a ways away from being able to pass the 5 step test and safely go without a booster. The Topside also provides a great belt fit on him, and again, is a good choice to bring when he travels in other vehicles. This is narrow booster, and thus on average to bigger children slipping the lap belt under the arm rests will be tighter. The unique routing of the shoulder belt over the arm rest does make that easier.
Important Information: Where to Find
Expiration: The Topside has a 6 year expiration. The expiration date is stamped on the bottom of the seat. This seat was manufactured 2/2/2015 so will expire 12/31/2021. Along with the expiration date is the 800 number that can be called to order a new manual if the one that came with the seat is lost.
Manual Storage: The manual for this seat is stored underneath the seat pad for the seat. This handy tag towards the back of the seat on the bottom of the seat cover identifies where the manual should be stored.
FAA approval: This seat is not FAA approved as it requires a lap and shoulder belt to be used. It is however, small enough that it would make a great carry on for children old enough to use a backless booster to use at their destination.
The most important part of using a booster seat is that the child is mature enough to sit properly for the entire ride, and that the belt fits properly. A good booster fit positions the shoulder belt even across the torso – not sliding off the shoulder or cutting into the face; the lap belt should be lying low on the hips, touching the tops of the thighs.
If you need a light weight, backless booster or maybe a booster in a car with three across, the Cosco Topside may be an option for you. At less than $20, and able to found in everyone’s favorite color, it’s affordable enough to have several around the house! You can find it several big box retailers as well as on Amazon.com.
Cosco did not sponsor this review or compensate me in any way. As always, the words are all my own.
Originally written by Jennifer Penick. Edits maintained by CSFTL.