Lil Fan Club Seat Booster Review

I first met the Lil Fan booster seats at the ABC Kids Expo last fall. It took all of about two seconds for me to find the booster wearing the Ohio State cover and sidle up for a closer look. As a lifelong Buckeye fan, and fan of car seats, clearly it was fate that I met this seat. Seeing the fairly high 21″ top belt guide position made me even more eager to see how it would fit my young Buckeye fans!

When the Lil Fan Club Seat booster arrived on my doorstep, it was just about the greatest day ever.

Buckeyes. And a booster. All at the same time.  What more could I possibly want during football season?

To celebrate CPS week and herald the start of football season, our friends at Lil Fan are giving away a Club Seat booster seat in the team of your choice!  Enter below for your chance to win one of these lightweight, lovely boosters.

CSFTL Quick Stats

  • High back booster weight range: 30-110 pounds
  • High back booster height range: 38″ – 57″
  • Backless booster weight range: 40-110 pounds
  • Backless booster height range: 40″ – 57″
  • Highest belt guide position: 21″
  • Expiration: 6 years
  • Vehicle headrest not required

Features

  • 5 position headrest
  • Removable cupholder
  • MLB, NFL, and college sports team themed covers

Measurements

  • Weight: 8.5 pounds in high-back mode
  • Width, backless mode, back of seat: 10.5″ at the narrowest, 17.5″ measured across the armrests
  • Width at widest point, high-back mode: 17″

Features

Lil Fan Club Seat cupholder

Lil Fan Club Seat cupholder

When I saw the Lil Fan Club Seat before it was released, the prototype cupholder left a lot to be desired. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that the production version is pretty great. The cupholder is slim, fits on either side of the seat, and has an enclosed bottom. Best of all, it can be used in high back and backless modes!

Clear Labelling

Lil Fan Club Seat label

Lil Fan Club Seat label

The Club Seat also has a label on the seat’s cover — this label addresses almost any question or scenario that a caregiver might encounter.  Throughout the manual, and on this label, the Club Seat outlines clearly defined limits and instructions.

High Back Mode

Lil Fan Club Seat shoulder belt guide

Lil Fan Club Seat shoulder belt guide

At 8.5 pounds in high-back mode, the Club Seat is fairly lightweight. If you have to move boosters around fairly often, this can be a very nice feature. One other great thing about the Club Seat is that the back stays locked onto the bottom portion when the booster is being moved — many other boosters don’t lock in place so the bottom portion tends to flop around. Not so for the Club Seat!

Lil Fan Club Seat shoulder belt guide

Lil Fan Club Seat shoulder belt guide

The shoulder belt guide is fairly open and the guide threads quite easily. Our oldest model was able to get the belt threaded through the guide fairly easily, though our younger model isn’t quite ready to attempt that step.

One sort of unusual item in the manual states that “the headrest on the vehicle seat
that the child faces should be put in its lowest position.”

Fit to Child

High Back Mode

5 Years Old

Lil Fan Club Seat: 5 Years, 7 months old, 46 inches tall, 48 pounds

Lil Fan Club Seat: 5 Years, 7 months old, 46 inches tall, 48 pounds

Our first model is 5 years, 7 months old. She stands 46 inches tall and weighs 48 pounds. She’s new to riding in a booster so our trips are full of reminders for her to sit properly in the seat. The lap belt fits her nicely across her thighs and the shoulder belt falls across the middle of her shoulder. Overall, that’s a solid belt fit. Take a closer look at proper belt fit.

The contoured sides and deep headwings made the seat a great option for her booster training — having that extra support around her helped to remind her to stay in place. That’s a big plus for me since I didn’t have to worry that she’d wiggle out-of-place or sit improperly while she rode in the Club Seat.

 

9 Years Old

Lil Fan Club Seat: 9 years old, 51 inches tall, 59 pounds

Lil Fan Club Seat: 9 years old, 51 inches tall, 59 pounds

Our next model is 9 years old. She stands 51 inches tall and weighs 58 pounds. She’s at the top range of the height for using this seat in high-back mode but as you can see, she’s still got a little room left. The Club Seat also offers her a solid belt fit in the lap and shoulder areas.

Over the years, this model has struggled to find high-back boosters that are comfortable on her back. The Club Seat has enough padding in all the right places that she deemed it a comfortable booster. That’s a high compliment from this kiddo!

Converting to Backless Mode

Lil Fan Club Seat: converting to backless mode

Lil Fan Club Seat: converting to backless mode

My budding CPST helped me read through the instructions and remove the back to convert the seat to backless mode. To convert the seat to backless mode, push the seat back down until the handle releases. Then rotate the back piece so it’s below the backless portion of the seat, and push the high-back piece away from the bottom portion of the seat.

In backless mode, the plastic piece that locks the back portion in place makes a convenient carry handle. This feature makes the Club Seat a nice option for carpooling since the child can carry the seat around.

Fit to Child

Backless Mode

9 Years Old

Lil Fan Club Seat: backless mode, 9 years old, 51 inches, 58 pounds

Lil Fan Club Seat: backless mode, 9 years old, 51 inches, 58 pounds

Here we see our older model demonstrating the fit in backless mode. She’s 9 years old, 51 inches tall, and weighs 58 pounds. The fit in this mode was also excellent. The shoulder belt rests nicely across the mid-portion of her shoulder and the lap belt fits nicely across the tops of her thighs. She found this mode to be slightly more comfortable than high-back mode. I suspect that’s because the vehicle seat back is more padded than most boosters.

Seat Belt Adjuster

The Club Seat includes a seat belt adjuster for use in backless mode. It’s attached to the bottom of the seat. This piece should be used to adjust the belt fit if the vehicle shoulder belt lies either too close to the child’s neck or off the child’s shoulder.

When needed, the seat belt adjuster attaches to the vehicle’s seat belt and sits behind the child. The opening of the seat belt adjuster should face the front of the vehicle. Adjust the tension so that the shoulder belt lies across the middle of the child’s shoulder.

Where to Find: Important Information

 

FAA Approval

LIl Fan Club Seat: not approved for airplane use

Lil Fan Club Seat: not FAA approved for airplane use

Since the Club Seat is a seat belt positioning booster, it must always be used with a lap-shoulder belt. Airplane seats have lap belts only, so the Club Seat and all booster seats are not approved for use on airplanes. The FAA sticker on the Club Seat specifically prohibits using it on airplanes. The sticker is located on the bottom of the base of the seat.

Manual Storage

The Club Seat doesn’t have a dedicated storage location for the manual.  However, the manual suggests tucking the booklet under the cover.

Date of Manufacture

Lil Fan Club Seat date of manufacture sticker

Lil Fan Club Seat date of manufacture sticker

The date of manufacture sticker is located on the base of the seat. Once the seat is flipped over, this sticker is visible at the back of the seat.

Overall Thoughts

The Lil Fan Club Seat has a lot to offer. From a technical perspective, it’s a seat that fits children at the lower end and upper end of the height range well. That’s a big plus because it means that the Lil Fan Club Seat can grow with your Little. From an extreme fan perspective — this seat is amazing. The broad range of very attractive sports team covers available is phenomenal. There’s a Club Seat out there for fans of almost any team!

My only concern is that these seats are so attractive that enthusiastic caregivers might be tempted to purchase one of these lovely seats for their Little before the child is old enough and mature enough to sit properly in a booster seat. We take a closer look at how to determine if your child is ready for a booster in our article: Harness or Booster, When to Make the Switch.

At $149 MSRP, the lowered price on the Club Seat is a more attractive price for a licensed product, though it’s still a little high for a booster seat that doesn’t have LATCH. However, it’s an eye-catching, well-fitting seat that offers a solid belt fit for younger and older booster riders.  The Club Seat has a lot to offer for young sports fans and their caregivers.

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The Club Seat is available in a variety of NBA, NFL, and college sports teams via many retailers, including Amazon. Neither Lil Fan nor Amazon sponsored this review, but Lil Fan was generous enough to offer the seat for review and one for giveaway for our readers. All thoughts are all my own.

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