The Cosco Pronto high back booster seat has been on the market since 2014 and has consistently been an excellent, low-budget booster seat option for tall kids who need the support of a high back booster (as long as the vehicle they are riding in has a headrest in their seating position). Dorel has released the booster seat into Canada under a new name – the Safety 1st Crossover, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to check out this solid booster seat with fresh eyes!
CSFTL Quick Stats
- High back booster weight range:
- United States and Canada: 40-100 pounds (Prior to late 2016, the US Pronto had a 30 pound weight minimum. Check the labels to confirm your seat’s weight limit.)
- Height range:
- United States: 43-57 inches tall (older versions have a height range of 34-57 inches tall. Be sure to check your seat’s manual)
- Height range, Canada: 40-57 inches tall
- Backless booster weight range: 40-100 pounds (United States and Canada)
- Minimum Listed Age: at least 4 years old (CSFTL advocates that children be at least 5 years old before using a booster seat)
- Expiration: 10 years (older versions are 6 years, check the labels to confirm your seat’s expiration)
- Requires vehicle headrest support to the tops of the child’s ears in both high back and backless modes
- Width at widest point: 17 inches (mid back and across the front of the booster seat)
- Width at widest point when cup holder extended: 20.5 inches
- Width at armrests: 17 inches
- Weight: 7.5 pounds in high back mode
- Weight: 4.4 pounds in backless mode
- Internal width at the child’s hips: 11.75 inches
- Internal width at the child’s knees: 16 inches
- Seat pan depth: 15 inches in backless mode
- Seat pan depth: 13.5 inches in highback mode
- Lowest shoulder belt guide: 15.5 inches
- Highest shoulder belt guide: 22.5 inches
Vehicle Headrest Support: Required
Because this is an important thing to note, we gave this its own section. While all backless booster seats require that the child have vehicle headrest support to the tops of their ears, the Pronto/Crossover also requires this in high back booster mode. For seating positions without headrest support, this may not be the best high back booster option.
The Pronto/Crossover ships unassembled and requires assembly for high back booster mode. Here’s how to assemble the booster:
- Attach the backrest to the seat base (insert the backrest hook into the backrest opening at the rear of the seat base, ensuring the seat base pad does not get caught between the moving parts.
- Rotate the backrest up until locked (when locked, the backrest will remain upright).
- Tuck the flap on the seat base pad under the backrest pad.
To remove the back, perform those steps in reverse.
Shoulder Belt Guide
The shoulder belt guide of the Pronto/Crossover is nice and open, which makes it easy to thread for both children and caregivers, and allows the shoulder belt to slide freely in most seating positions.
The main downside to this economical booster is that the headrest is a bit difficult to adjust up and down. While most caregivers will not be adjusting the seat’s height anywhere near as often as we do for our reviews, we did find that the adjustment was often more difficult than we would like. We MIGHT have uttered a few swear words when figuring out how to adjust it the first time (the manual instructions were a bit confusing).The manual instructs:
“To raise or Lower Headrest
- Grasp the top of the headrest with one hand and push down on the headrest while pulling out on the headrest adjustment lock with the other.
- Raise or lower headrest to selected position. Release the headrest adjustment lock into one of the headrest heights.
- Check to make sure the headrest is locked by pushing and pulling the headrest up and down.”
If only it were that easy! We found that releasing the headrest adjustment lock was much more difficult than it seemed because the plastic moves so easily that when you pull up on the lock release, the rest of the backrest starts to pull off the track. This made the headrest stick. Three hands would have made the adjustment MUCH easier. Unfortunately, I have just two. We were always able to adjust it eventually, but were unable to discover any tricks to make this adjustment easier while writing this review.
The backrest has two positions: upright and slightly reclined. The reclined position is only to be used to install the booster seat flush against the vehicle seat back (if needed).
To recline the backrest push firmly on the backrest release tab and rotate the top of the seat back about 1 inch. The backrest will lock into place and is now in the reclined mode.
There’s a wide range of requirements around headrest placement among booster seats so it’s important to take note of the requirement for your child’s booster seat. These requirements are written in the manual (and in our reviews, if we’ve spent some time with your particular seat!).
The manual of the Pronto/Crossover specifies the following requirements:
- Tops of child’s ears should never be above the top of the headrest
- Tops of child’s ears should be below the top of the vehicle seat back/headrest
- Shoulder belt should lay snugly across the center of the child’s shoulder, across the chest (not on the face or neck)
The Pronto/Crossover includes an extendable cup holder that can be used or stored. In three across scenarios or other tight spaces, the cup holder may not get much use because it makes the booster seat a full three inches wider.
Fit to Child
High Back Booster Mode
5 Years Old
This model is 5 years old, weighs 49 pounds, and is 46 inches tall. He is testing out the Pronto/Crossover in a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe XL. While he’s not *quite* ready for a booster seat full time just yet, he was willing to sit properly and test out this booster for us.
He needed help with buckling (which is not unusual for new booster riders) but the vehicle seat belt fit him very well – the shoulder belt was centered on his shoulder and the lap belt was low on his thighs, touching his hips.
6 Years Old
This model is 6 years old, weighs 50 pounds, and is 49 inches tall. She has graduated to riding in a booster seat full time, and was eager to test out the Pronto/Crossover for us.
Like our 5 year old model, the vehicle seat belt fit this model perfectly. Again the Pronto/Crossover positioned the shoulder belt centered on her shoulder and the lap belt low on her thighs, touching her hips.
She tested out the Pronto/Crossover in the second row captain’s chair of a 2007 Honda Odyssey. Although the vehicle seat is not narrow, she struggled a bit buckling herself into the booster. That’s because the vehicle seat was so wide that it nestled the booster seat’s edge right beside the vehicle seat belt buckle. We were able to get her buckled in for a safe fit, but we wouldn’t want the vehicle seat to be any wider!
8 Years Old
This model is 8 years old, weighs 68 pounds and is 53 inches tall. Here he’s sitting in the back seat of a 2012 Dodge Ram crew cab. We will not get sick of telling you that the Pronto/Crossover yet again provided our model with an excellent vehicle seat belt fit (it sure makes our reviews easier when seats are consistent!). The vehicle seat belt is yet again centered on his shoulder and low on his hips.
While he is old enough that a backless booster could be an appropriate option, he prefers the support of a high back booster, and he enjoyed using the Pronto/Crossover and his mom loved that it will last him for many years. It is very likely that he would be able to use the Pronto/Crossover as a high back booster until he is ready to sit in the adult seat belt alone.
Fit to Child
Backless Booster Mode
6 Years Old
Our 6 year old model remains 50 pounds and 49 inches tall. She has never ridden in a backless booster before but agreed to a short trip in the backless Pronto/Crossover (with the promise of treats, of course).
Even though the Pronto/Crossover does not have a shoulder belt guide for backless booster mode, the shoulder belt fit this model well in this 2007 Honda Odyssey. It is positioned a little closer to her neck than what would be considered ideal, but it is touching her shoulder and not falling off her shoulder so it would be acceptable for emergencies if needed. Ideally she would wait until she’s a bit bigger to take the back off this booster seat.
8 Years Old
Our 8 year old model remains 68 pounds and 53 inches tall. Sitting in the outboard back seat position of a 2012 Dodge Ram crew cab, he would definitely benefit from a shoulder belt guide adjuster when using a backless booster seat.
Here we can see him leaning a bit to the side to improve the shoulder belt fit of the Pronto/Crossover. The lap belt fit is excellent, but since our model fits this booster in high back mode, we won’t be in any rush to remove the back in this seating position.
Important Information: Where to Find
All of the key labels and manual storage are found on the bottom of the backless portion of the Pronto/Crossover.
FAA Approval Like all booster seats, the Cosco Pronto/Crossover requires a lap/shoulder belt to use, so therefore is not FAA approved. The backless portion is light enough that it could be a great travel option. Just carry it on board the aircraft, store it in the overhead bin, then use it in the car at your destination.
Date of Manufacture: The date of manufacture label is located on the side of the seat
National Safety Mark (Canada only): Located on the opposite side of the seat from the date of manufacture label
Expiration: The Pronto/Crossover expires 10 years from the date of manufacture. The sticker with the model number and date of manufacture is on the bottom of the seat. The expiration information is moulded into the plastic on the bottom of the seat.
Manual Storage: There is a storage spot on the bottom of the Pronto/Crossover to keep the manual neatly tucked into the seat (warning: the tabs are tight so the manual takes a bit of shimmying to store and to remove from storage. The good part about this is that there is NO WAY the manual could fall out accidentally if it is stored properly).
The Pronto/Crossover offers families with a lower budget an excellent booster seat for their taller children who need the benefits of a high back booster. While the backless booster mode of the seat is also excellent, the big selling point for this booster really is the tall belt guide in high back booster mode. This reviewer, at 5’8”, fits within the torso height limits of the Pronto/Crossover (even though she is well over the stated height and weight limits!). It would be nearly impossible for a child to outgrow the high back booster mode of this seat before hitting the stated height or weight limits – and we can’t ask for much more from a low-cost booster seat.