Cybex offers some well-featured booster seats — the Solution Q2-Fix, Solution M-Fix, and Solution X-Fix. Though the boosters all have similar names, they each have features that set them apart. Today, we’ll take a look at the M-Fix, which is the midpoint of Cybex’s booster seat offerings.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- High back booster weight range: 40-110 pounds
- High back booster height range: 38-60 inches tall
- Highest booster guide position: 20.5 inches
- Expiration: 8 years Note: our seat’s manual says 8 years; the labels on our particular seat say 6. The manufacturer confirmed that 8 years is correct.
- High back booster only
- Vehicle head restraint must NOT interfere with the booster seat headrest
- Three position reclining head rest
- 12 position height adjustable back rest
- Rigid lower anchor connectors
- Linear Side Impact Protection
- Optimized ventilation system
- Seat pan depth: 13 inches
- Width at widest point: 21 inches, 22.5 inches with LSIP fully extended on one side (the manual states to only extend the LISP on the side closest to the vehicle door)
- Height with headrest fully extended: 33 inches
- Weight: 13.8 pounds
The Solution M-Fix has some additional comfort and ease of use features that make this seat a nice option. The Optimized Ventilation System has ventilation channels running through the back of the seat. This helps the child maintain a comfortable body temperature as they ride. My model had zero complaints about her temperature or overall comfort level.
Lower anchor guides are included with the seat. These can help when the lower anchors in a particular vehicle are hard to reach.
Assembling the Solution M-Fix
The Solution M-Fix arrives in two separate pieces. Connect them before use — though it ships in two pieces, this is a high back booster only; it can not be used backless.
A label attached to the bottom portion of the seat and a large label on the bottom of the seat state clearly that this seat can never be used backless. Since the seat’s top shoulder belt guide is only 20.5 inches, the fact that it doesn’t convert to a backless booster makes it a fairly short-lived option.
Linear Side-impact Protection System
This additional feature is an oval that’s mounted on both sides of the seat, around the child’s shoulders, offering side impact protection. It has three settings: storage, half extension, and full extension. To activate the L.S.P., push the button on the side facing the car door. While the L.S.P. may well offer additional protection, the current federal car seat standard doesn’t address side impacts so we can’t assert whether or not this feature makes this booster any safer than any other properly used booster seat.
The manual mentions two positions: half extension and full extension but doesn’t clarify when each should be used. The manufacturer clarified:
“It needs to be in a fully locked setting for use. In some vehicles depending on the dimensions of the vehicle door, you may not be able to get the full extension to lock in place, so the half is provided as another option.”
The manual is quite clear — the vehicle head restraint must not interfere with the booster seat headrest. While the Solution M-Fix can recline in 12 different positions, the vehicle seat back can be adjusted up to 15 degrees. The back of the Solution M-Fix must be flat against the vehicle seat.
Inside the headrest, there’s an additional adjustment to recline the headrest. It offers three different positions that are supposed to keep your child’s head in position should they fall asleep. The manual asserts that older children can be taught to adjust this piece themselves and that smaller children may benefit from having this adjustment on the semi recline or full recline positions.
My primary model didn’t notice a substantial difference in the fit or comfort level using this particular adjustment.
The optional rigid lower anchors store under the base of the seat and extend out when in use.
There’s a handle under the seat’s bottom portion — squeeze that to release the anchors, then rotate them out away from the seat. Once they’re extended, attach them to the vehicle’s lower anchor connectors until both sides click into place.
The indicators on the lower anchor connectors will turn green when they’re correctly attached. Push the bottom portion of the seat into the back of the vehicle seat to lock them in place. Then, thread the vehicle seat belt through the shoulder belt guide, and the Solution M-Fix is ready for a passenger!
Shoulder Belt Guide
When I’m unpacking a new high back booster, one of the first things I look at is the shoulder belt guide. My car, a 2016 VW GTI, has a fairly significant dip in the seat itself, fixed head restraints, and recessed buckle stalks. These things all combine to make installing some car seats a bit of a challenge and, more importantly for this review, they can make even the most robust shoulder belt guide work extra hard to keep that shoulder belt inside.
The Solution M-Fix was no exception. Even with the little red clip at the end of the guide, I found that the shoulder belt slipped out of the guide more often than I’d like. My kiddo got fairly proficient at putting it back in. I did figure out that if the headrest was exactly two fingers above her shoulders, the vehicle seat belt would remain in the correct position.
Fit to Child
7 Years Old
My primary model is newly 7 years old, she’s 49 inches tall and wears a size 7/8 in clothing. She’s been riding in a booster seat for most of the last year. We’ve found that she needs a booster with larger sides and a deeper headrest to remind her to stay in place. Given that history, I had hopes that the Solution M-Fix would be a great option for her.
She’s been riding in the Solution M-Fix for a few weeks and while the belt fit is great, she has a couple of struggles with it that may well be unique to her. When the headrest is raised to the correct position, the flap of padding that hangs down from the headrest hits the middle of her back. The edge of that padding is just padded enough that it inspires this model to lean forward and out of position.
Another interesting thing about the fit is that the headrest has to be in exactly the right position just above the child’s shoulder or the shoulder belt guide won’t place the vehicle seat belt in the right place — directly across the middle of the child’s shoulder. The manual states that the bottom of the headrest should be two finger widths above your child’s shoulders.
9 Years Old
This 9 year old is small for his age at 50 pounds and 50 inches tall. He he calls the M-Fix his squishy seat because of the plush padding.
He rarely naps in the car, but he does find the deep headwings very comfortable and option to recline the headrest comfortable. He’s not bothered by the shallow seat pan in his dad’s 2017 Honda Civic, although he did prefer to have a lightweight foot rest (we use an empty styrofoam cooler as one) for added leg support in our 2012 Honda Odyssey. The shoulder belt guide has stayed in place in both of our vehicles.
Where the Solution M-Fix Shines
- Plush, padded cover
- Shallow seat pan could fit on shallow bench seats
- Rigid lower anchor connectors
- Deep headrest
Important Information: Where to Find
The manual stores in a clearly labeled slot on the back of the booster seat.
Like all booster seats, the Solution M-Fix is not approved for use on aircraft. This is because booster seats require a lap/shoulder belt and airplanes only have lap belts.
Date of Manufacture
The Solution M-Fix manual states that the seat expires after 8 years, yet the labels on the seat itself say 6 years. Cybex has clarified that the actual expiry is the 8 years listed in the manual.
The Solution M-Fix brings a lot of really nice features to the table. The smooth, padded cover, the adjustable headrest to help keep the child’s head in place if they fall asleep, and the rigid lower anchors add up to a lot of very desirable advantages. Because the top shoulder belt guide is only 20.5 inches and it doesn’t convert to a backless booster, it’s not the longest-lasting booster in the world. However, it’s a well-padded option for newer booster riders.