Why do children keep growing? I’m guessing so I can keep buying seats. Our newest addition is the Cosco Pronto. With the seat belt geometry of our van, my 10-year-old needs a high back booster still in the third row. He was pushing the height limit of his other boosters so needed something tall and yet affordable. I’m hoping this is the answer.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- High back booster weight range: 40-100 pounds. Prior to late 2016, the Pronto had a 30 pound weight minimum. Check the labels to confirm your seat’s weight limit.
- High back booster height range: 34-57 inches tall
- Backless booster weight range: 40-100 pounds
- Backless booster height range: 43-57 inches tall
- Highest booster guide position: 23 inches
- Expiration: 10 years (older versions are 6 years)
- Requires head support behind the booster at all times
- IIHS Best Bet in high back mode only
This is a good budget seat, but with that comes some work on my part. The booster comes out of the box in three pieces and the cover is not on the seat. It wasn’t too difficult to put together thankfully. It all snaps or slides together without the use of any extra tools. The seat does come with a flip down cup holder built into the base but that’s about the extent of extra features on this seat. In a three across, it’ll never get used anyway. This seat is very similar in build to both the Safety 1st Store ‘n Go and the Safety 1st Boost Air Protect. This seat does come in a variety of colors, including several Disney prints.
The lowest belt guide position on this seat is 14 inches with the top being about 23 inches. This tends to be a good choice for taller children. This seat does require a head restraint behind the seat at all times so keep that in mind when choosing a booster. This seat must be adjusted from the back so it’s not super easy to adjust, especially in tighter spaces or third rows where mine is. Not a big deal if the seat is not used by multiple children.
I bought this seat for three across in my third row. It’s not an easy fit with the flared sides of the Evenflo, but it’s working out. You can see it here with the Evenflo Sureride and a Cosco Pronto on each side. You can read more about my adventures in three across at Your Guide to Three Across. Like was mentioned in the three across article, this seat does have the same retraction issues that are common in my van with most boosters. This means if a child were to lean forward in their seat for some reason, the belt does not retract back fully through the belt guide. This leaves the shoulder belt very loose and unable to protect the child in a crash. The choices are different booster, different position, or to teach the child to reach back and thread the shoulder belt back into the retractor.
This model is almost 6, 50 pounds and 46.5 inches tall. She’s been practicing in boosters for several months now and is doing great. While the fit looks good without the back, she’s not quite ready for that yet and it would fit a bit better if she were bigger. While it can become a backless booster, it does not come with a seat belt adjuster for use in backless mode. This means only bigger, older kids should use this seat backless. With the back though, she’s ready to make the switch to a booster at least part-time. She is using the fourth of eight height adjustments.
This model is 8, 75 pounds, and 50 inches tall. The fit is great, shoulder belt is properly positioned when using the seat with the back on and lap belt is low on the hips and off the abdomen as described in the Proper Fit article. She’s on the sixth adjustment of eight so she has plenty of growing room.
This bug guy is 10, 63 pounds, and 52 inches tall. Like our second model, the fit is great, both with a back and without. This is his seat and he appreciated the more mature pattern in the darker colors that blended in with our gray upholstery, even though you can’t tell by his expression. We had to replace the seat after a crash and went with a Disney pattern. He was not as thrilled about it, but he’s a good sport and takes my whims in stride.
The manual is stored underneath the seat. Under one corner is the expiration date. This seat hasa ten-year expiration. Since this seat was manufactured in 2014, the expiration states DO NOT USE AFTER 2024. The date of manufacture is very easily seen on a large sticker on the side of the armrest.
Overall, I’d give a ‘try cautiously knowing it might not work for you’ if doing a three across. Otherwise it’s a great, long-lasting booster that works well as long as there is a head support behind the seat. The booster is so tall though, it will not fit fully extended in the third row of my van. Seven is about as high as I could get it out of the eight adjustments when using it in a three across, which sill gives plenty of growing room.
The Cosco Pronto is available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Safety 1st did not provide this seat for review, nor did I receive compensation from them in any way. As always, thoughts expressed here are completely my own.