It’s kind of a rare day when a car seat that’s exclusive to Canada comes along. So we were more than excited to meet the new, Canada-exclusive, backless booster from bily, an acronym which stands for baby I love you. This seat is distributed by Elfe Juvenile products and has a lot of potential for three across scenarios, carpooling, and travel!
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Weight range: 40-100 pounds
- Height range: 38-57 inches
- Age range: At least 4 years old and has the ability to sit properly at all times. CSFTL advocates that children be at least 5 years old before riding in a booster seat and closer to 7 or 8 before riding in a backless booster seat
- Must be replaced after any collision
- Cannot be used in front of an active airbag
- Width at widest point: 15.5 inches
- Depth: 14 inches
- Width at the child’s hips: 10.5 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Expiration: 7 years from date of manufacture or date or purchase (with proof of purchase)
- Easy to set up without (very much or any) adult assistance
- Easy to carry
- Consistent belt fit
The manual is a palm-sized gem that is full of great information and details that answer just about every question a parent could have about the seat. We always applaud a well written, clear manual.
Although this manufacturer does not currently make a harnessed car seat, they encourage caregivers to use their child’s harnessed car seats to the maximum height or weight limits before transitioning to a booster seat. We were very happy to see bily putting children’s safety ahead of sales.
Vehicle Seat Belt Routing
The bily booster seat has an unusual seat belt routing, like the Cosco Topside. The lap portion of the vehicle seat belt must pass under both armrests. The shoulder portion of the vehicle seat belt routes over the booster armrest. We find this routing sometimes positions the shoulder belt close to the neck on small or young booster riders.
This can cause a child to play with the seat belt or push the belt off of their shoulder, so we would encourage parents and caregivers to double check the shoulder belt fit when using this booster seat.
Adjusting the vehicle’s shoulder belt (when possible) may help the shoulder belt fit. There is no shoulder belt positioner available for this seat, nor are there any plans to add one at this time.
Fit to Child
We encourage younger booster riders to use a high back booster until they’ve outgrown it because the extra support can help serve as a reminder to the child to sit correctly. We tried some younger children in the bily booster seat to check the fit and gather their thoughts.
5 Years Old
This model is 5 years old. He weighs 49 pounds and is 46 inches tall. Here we see him in the third row outboard seating position of a 2007 Honda Odyssey. He has only been riding in a booster seat for a few months, and this is the first time he is using a backless booster seat.
The seat belt fit on him is quite good — the lap belt is low on his thighs and touching his hips, and the shoulder belt is across his shoulder. The shoulder belt is not quite centred on his shoulder, which would be ideal, but it is far enough from his neck that he is unlikely to be bothered by it.
He was not completely comfortable at the thought of riding in a backless booster, but he was able to easily buckle and unbuckle himself into the bily booster, which is something he cannot do in some of the high back boosters he has tried.
9 Years Old
This model is 9 years old, weighs 75 pounds and is 55.5 inches tall. She’s riding in the outboard seat of a 2005 Ford Freestyle. Our model found the seat portion of the bily booster comfortable, but the armrests made it a tight fit on her hips.
The snug fit made it a bit harder to adjust the bily than the booster seat she is used to riding in, but she remembered to route the shoulder belt on the outside. Still, her belt fit was good and she was comfortable in the bily for short rides, so it would be a good carpool option for her.
10 Years Old
This model is 10 years old, weighs 70 pounds, and is 53 inches tall. She’s riding in the centre “cutout” seat of a 2012 Dodge Ram truck. This seating position can be difficult for child restraint use, because it’s a very shallow seat. The bily booster seat fits beautifully here both front to back and side to side.
This model complained that the booster was a bit tight on her hips, but it provided an excellent vehicle seat belt fit. She is seated between a Graco Extend2Fit and a Graco 4Ever, which are both very wide seats, and she has plenty of room to buckle and unbuckle easily. She has head support just to the top of her ears with the centre headrest fully extended. This setup would not be a long term solution — she won’t be able to ride here once her ears are over the top of the headrest — but it’s a great option for now.
Travel, Carpooling, and Tight Spaces
The bily booster seat is very easy for even young booster riders to buckle themselves into the vehicle. The seat itself weighs only 2 pounds, and it easily fits inside a regular backpack with room to spare. All of these add up to a seat we can highly recommend for carpooling and travel.
Because it is so lightweight and easy to use, there should be no issues bringing it as part of your carry-on luggage while on an airplane, or tucking it in a duffel bag for a sleepover.
We offer bily a warm welcome to the world of child restraints. While the narrowness of the bily booster seat may not make it a viable option for all big kids, we are excited to see a booster enter the market that makes safe carpooling and three across scenarios potentially much easier for parents and caregivers. We were satisfied with the booster fit on all of our models, even the 5 and 6 year olds who would ideally be in high back boosters.
We are excited to see what’s next for bily, and hope our American readers aren’t too jealous of this Canada-exclusive seat.
The bily booster seat is currently available at Canadian Tire and select retailers with a retail price of about $30CAD.
CPS Week 2018 Giveaway!
To celebrate our 300,000 milestone, our friends at Elfe Juvenile Products are giving away one backless booster to a lucky reader from Canada. Read our terms and conditions, then enter below for your chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway