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  5. Which is the best booster seat to purchase? SnS Maxi Rider AHR, Infa Vario-Max, Hipod Barcelona??

Which is the best booster seat to purchase? SnS Maxi Rider AHR, Infa Vario-Max, Hipod Barcelona?? Lock Rss

Hello all.
I am currently in the market to purchase 2 new booster seats for my 4.5 son Lachlan (~20kg) and 2.5 son Hunter (~15kg). Lachlan currently in original SnS Maxi Rider (purchased June 2006) and Hunter in SnS Royale (purchased May 2004). Hunter is at the stage that he is starting to outgrow Royale carseat and although Lachlan enjoys his Maxi Rider, I find that when he's asleep in the car, it provides no real head support. Hunter enjoys sitting in his brother's "big" seat when we go out alone, so no problems about him not fitting into a booster seat now. I've been looking around at all the booster seats on the market, and love that they all head extendable headrests for growing, taller kids. Both my boys are quite tall for their ages (probably take after my husband who's 6"5').
So I'm wondering if anyone out there has purchased or is using any of the following booster seats that I have looked at: SnS Maxi Rider AHR (~$399.95), Infa Vario-Max (~$149.95),Hipod Barcelona-Target (~$249.00), or Cargo Titan-Big W (~$228.00). Apparently from 18kg, all booster seats require use of Protecta Child Safety Harness (~$59.95). I've read that Hipod and Infa seats have performed rather well in safety testing.
I would really appreciate any feedback/suggestions as to which booster seat is best to purchase, as my children's safety is paramount to me, as it would be to anyone else.
Cheers, Mel.


We got the maxi rider AHR and ordered it online from BabyZone Direct - which was cheaper, also for the protecta harness as well. Our DD doesnt usually sleep in the car so we dont have the issue of head comfort, if we do a long trip where she might sleep I use a rolled up cloth nappy and wedge that in once she's fallen asleep, or a jumper or something as even though the AHR has the head rest there is still a gap and her neck looks on a funny angle. The advantage of the AHR is that it does have extra head protection in the event of an accident.

I think the Infa Vario Max got a good rating from choice, it was either first or second (to maxi rider), not sure on the other brands but I think the important things are the five point harness, bolts to car and anti submarine clip.
I personally would go for the SnS Maxi Rider. The newer version out has the head support so better for sleeping. The older version has no sides so no good for sleeping. I am about to buy one for my 2 year old daughter and I know it will last for ages which is awesome.

Keep an eye out for the January sales - you will save alot!

Good luck with your decision!

Mummy to Maddie and Ollie smile

Thanks for your replies.

After many hours looking at various booster seats and searching the web for information about different brands. My husband and I decided on the Hipod Barcelona. 1)It is made by Britax, who make the SnS Maxi Rider AHR and has many features the same as it; 2) It was on sale at Target until 17/12/2008 for $100 off - only $149.00 each; 3) Both the boys enjoyed sitting in the Hipod seat more than the Sns seat.
So, we were able to buy 2 seats and 2 SnS Protecta harnesses as well all for under $420.00, compared to $920.00 if we had bought 2 SnS Maxi Rider AHR and 2 Proctecta harnesses.

Thanks all again.

the only problem with that is that there is no antisubmaring clip on your new seats. Plus your ds1 has already outgrown the protecta harness by weight so therefore it is of no use. The most common form of injury of children is the improper use of child restraints. The maxi rider is a much better option although expensive.........but how much a your childrens lives worth?
Thanks for reply. Protecta harness can be used safely for child weight upto 32kg (about 8 years old), so my eldest son Lachlan - 4.5years (20kg) still has a fair amount of growth for it to work safely. (As advised be person that we had professionally fit car restraints). Both my boys thoroughly enjoy using / sitting in their Hipod Barcelond Booster seats with the added safety of the SnS Proctecta Harness in use. I would never comtemplate risking the safety of my two boys, and as the SnS Maxi Rider and Hipod are made by the same company I haven't really sacrificed their safety. At least, I am using the SnS Proctecta Harness for added safety, as I have seen numerous children in booster seats using only the lap sash selt belt. Not very safe in my eyes.
Thanks again.


When I upgraded my girls car seats I looked at the MaxiRider, Barcelona and the Infa Vario Max. I ended up going with the Infa Vario Max (with Protecta Harnesses) for a number of reasons -

It got a better rating than the others in RACV (Crash Tests) and by Choice. The Infa Vario Max was No 1 in the over 14kg category. No they don't have the Anti-Submarining clip like the Maxirider but they have an Anti-Submaring design so that the child's bottom sits in a bit of a dip and then the legs raise up slightly reducing the risk. Another plus with the Infa Vario is that the headrests are adjustable so the seat will grow with my girls until they are about 7 or 8 as they are tall, thin children. They are also much thinner in size than the MaxiRider and Barcelona while still having plenty of seat room for the child. I have 2 of these seats in my station wagon and still room for an adult to sit in the middle.

They are molded plastic (not foam) and anchor to the car. The harness then anchors to an attachment on the seat anchor point. They are very easy to install, I did mine myself and then too them to RAVC to be checked.

Also, from what I understand the Protecta Harnesses are recommended up to 26kg but I think I ready somewhere that they are tested up to 32kg. I will look into that more when my girls get to that weight.

Hope this is of some help to other's trying to make this decision

Mum to (Olivia 3 Feb 2004) & (Emily 26 Jan 2006)

Although it seems to be a resolved post i thought i'd write somthing smile
When looking for a car seat i checked the rta website and they had done tests on a number of carseats and the results are on there. They have a list of the safe seats and the most successful in the test were listed as 'recommended'
I noticed that some carseats may have been very expensive but not because they were better..

i think your being a bit rude "my happy kids". She was after opinions not criticisms and judgement. And implying that money is more important then her childrens safety is just wrong, its hurtful and belittling. You havent even checked your facts. The protecta harness is suitable up to 32kg therefore is not useless at all and perfectly suitable for both children, in fact they are the recomended option for all children as normal seatbelts are made for adults and dangerous for children. And according to the RACV crash tests the hipod barcelona rated higher then the maxirider. Just because its more expensive and more popular does not make it the best!

So i think you made the right decision.
[Edited on 18/02/2009]
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