*This seat has been discontinued*
Car seat manufacturer Kiddy started in Germany and has a strong history in the children’s market there. Kiddy currently offers a few seats in the United States including the Kiddy World Plus and the Cruiserfix Pro that we’ll review today.
The Cruiserfix Pro is a belt positioning booster that includes a variety of features that I would not have thought to include on a booster — adjustable thigh support, adjustable sidewings, rigid lower anchors, and shock absorbers. Those features contribute to the awards that this seat has won.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- High back booster weight range: 33-100 pounds
- High back booster height range: 38-60 inches tall
- Highest booster guide position: 20.5 inches
- Expiration: 8 years
- Does not convert to a backless booster
- Replace after 10 mph or faster crash
- Does not require a vehicle headrest behind it
- Required to be flush against the vehicle seat back
- Rigid lower anchor connectors
- Adjustable length leg support
- Torso support widens as the child grows and the headrest is raised
- Thermotex fabric
- IIHS Best Bet booster fit
The Cruiserfix Pro is very cushioned with lots of room in the hip, torso, and shoulders. I’m told that this padding makes for a very comfortable ride!
One unique feature about the Cruiserfix is that as the headrest is raised, the shoulder area expands as well. This gives growing kids more room so their shoulders don’t feel squished in the booster. This made for just the right amount of support for my new booster rider — the side supports helped remind her to stay in place. However, the headrest area doesn’t expand so the child may feel more closed in by the headrest as they grow.
The thigh extension is another unique comfort feature. This section of the seat pulls out to 4 different positions so that children with longer legs don’t slouch or leave legs dangling uncomfortably. This was my daughter’s favorite feature of the seat; previous seats have caused her to slouch due to lack of support in the thigh area.
The seat’s fabric is yet another comfort feature. Certain areas of the seat contain Thermotex fabric, which is designed to increase the circulation of air and keep the child from getting too hot. When we first reviewed this seat, it was during the winter but since then we’ve had the chance to use the seat during some warmer weather and our models have nothing but good words to say about staying cool.
KSA — Kiddy Shock Absorber
Yet another unique feature on the Cruiserfix Pro is the Kiddy Shock Absorber. This feature borrows ‘crumple zone’ technology from the automotive industry, placing a shock absorber on both sides of the seat shell. The manufacturer describes this feature as follows:
“The vehicle seat belt rests against the KSA when installed properly. In the event of a collision, the force of impact is transferred into the KSA and deforms the special crumple zone materials inside.”
Like all features that aren’t part of the FVMSS213 standard for car seats, we can’t assert one way or the other if this technology adds any safety to the seat; we can say that it has the potential to do so.
Rigid Lower Anchor Connectors
The Cruiserfix Pro is equipped with lower anchors, which Kiddy refers to as k-fix. This allows the seat to be attached to the lower anchors of the vehicle, if your vehicle is equipped with them. This is a convenience feature and prevents you from having to remember to buckle the seat belt in if it’s not in use.
Kiddy also includes guide funnels in case you have lower anchors that are buried deep within the seat bight. The lower anchor connectors can also be pushed back into the seat if they aren’t being used in the vehicle, to prevent interference with the seat bight in a car without lower anchors.
When using the lower anchors with the seat, they will click (or “klick” according to the Kiddy Manual) into place. You will know they are correctly attached to the lower anchors when the indicators on the attachments show green. Once the lock indicators show green, press the release button while pushing the seat towards the vehicle seat back. The anchors are connected via a flexible stalk so the Cruiserfix Pro moves around a little when connected via these anchors. I found that this flexible stalk helped the Cruiserfix Pro sit nicely in my vehicle seat which has a bit of a dip to it.
Flush Against the Vehicle Seat
The Cruiserfix Pro requires the entire bottom of the seat be touching the vehicle’s seat and vehicle seat back. If you have a vehicle with adjustable seat backs, make sure that they are in the upright position. If the headrest of your vehicle pushes the booster forward, adjust or remove it so that the Cruiserfix Pro can sit flush against the vehicle seat back. Check your vehicle manual to make sure that removing the head rest is allowed — if the head rest is creating a gap and cannot be removed from the vehicle, the Cruiserfix Pro’s manual suggests trying a different vehicle or seating position.
Fit to Child
The Cruiserfix Pro is a winner of the IIHS’s Best Bet for fit on boosters because it offers an excellent belt fit for children that are at the minimum age, weight, and height requirements for the seat. While we applaud this type of excellent belt fit, CSFTL recommends harnessing your child until they are mature enough to use a booster properly on every ride.
Shoulder Belt Guide
In addition to all of the other unique features of this seat, the shoulder belt guide is also unique. Instead of just being a belt guide where the belt is threaded through, it has a release mechanism that makes removing the child from the seat easier. By pressing down on the shoulder belt guide to release it, the seat belt feeds back into the vehicle’s seat belt retractor more smoothly.
Fit to Child
5 Years Old
At newly 5 years old, this model is at the youngest end of the age range we suggest for booster riding. He’s 5 years old, weighs 45 lbs and is 44 inches tall. Before making the move to a booster full time, his family will take a hard look at how ready he is to sit properly on every drive. One way to decide is by reading our article Harness to Booster, When to Make the Switch! We’re including him in this review to illustrate how well the Kiddy Cruiserfix Pro fits a variety of children, including some of the smaller riders.
6 Years Old
This model is 6 years old, weighs 49 lbs, and is 48 inches tall. The shoulder belt lays nicely across the middle of her shoulder and the lap portion of the vehicle seat belt lays flat across the tops of her thighs. She was able to buckle herself in properly without too much fuss from the front seat.
6.5 Years Old
This model is 6.5 years old, weighs 51 lbs, and is 47 inches tall. The Cruiserfix Pro was her first dedicated booster — she had ridden in a harnessed car seat until this point. The wide, cushioned sides, and the easily accessible belt paths for the seat belt have made the Cruiserfix Pro a fan favorite from her first ride in the seat!
9.75 Years Old
This model is just days weeks away from her 10th birthday. She weighs 63 lbs and is 55 inches tall. According to the stated height limit of the seat, she has 5 inches of height left to grow in this seat. However, with the top shoulder belt height of 20.5 inches, she’s already outgrown the seat.
Important Information: Where to Find
Because the Cruiserfix Pro is a booster seat, it’s not approved for use on aircraft. We’d suggest that families who would like to use the Cruiserfix Pro on an airplane trip pack the seat in a cardboard box, then check that box through as luggage.
Date of Manufacture
The Cruiserfix Pro has an 8 year expiration. The date of manufacture is found on a label underneath the seat’s bottom. The label also includes information on replacement after a crash.
The manual for the Cruiserfix is also very clear and easy to understand. As a technician, anything that makes things easier to understand makes me very happy! It even comes with a handy storage compartment for the manual on the back of the seat.
There are some specific situations where the Cruiserfix Pro shines — it fits well in the the third row of a Chrysler Town and Country, which is notoriously difficult for booster seats because of the sloped seats and awkward seat belt geometry. The Town and Country can also be tricky for high back boosters because the ceiling is quite low in the 3rd row, but the Cruiserfix fit nicely even with the headrest fully extended.
Because it has a small footprint, but wide top, it may not be ideal for three across situations unless you are placing it next to a rear-facing seat where the shoulder supports would not interfere with another seat.
My overall impression of the Kiddy Cruiserfix Pro is nothing short of love. With its combination of unique and functional features and its comfort features, it makes this booster a top contender for families shopping in this price point.
The few minor drawbacks to the Cruiserfix Pro are the the seat’s weight (only an issue if you’re carrying it between vehicles on a regular basis) and that it does not convert to a backless booster. The fact that it does not convert to a backless booster does slightly shorten the lifespan of the seat, however my 10-year-old cardboard friend Ben, still fits nicely in the Cruiserfix!
I can’t end my review without mentioning my new friend Ben. Kiddy was kind enough to include him for my review of the seat; Ben is the size of an average 10-year-old. We know that kids need a booster seat until they are 10-12 years old, so he is perfect for evaluating how an older child will fit. He has also become a familiar face at our dining room table.
Want to win a Cruiserfix Pro of your own? Kiddy is offering a giveaway! One lucky reader will win! Enter the contest below for your chance to win.
Contest is open to US residents only, remember that CSFTL recommends your Little be at least 5 years old before riding in the Cruiserfix Pro.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you to Kiddy USA for providing CSFTL with this AWESOME seat to review. As always, we were not compensated for my opinion, all opinions are our own. Originally written by Kim Robinson, published December 2013. May 2016 edits and updates were made by Liz Tan.