Combi Kobuk booster seatBooster type: High back and backless booster.

Weight: 33 to 125 lbs.; 33” to 57” in height.

Price: $87

IIHS rating: Good Bet.

NHTSA ease of use rating: Four out of five stars.

Pros: Side impact protection; can be used as a backless booster. Picked as a “good bet” by IIHS.

Cons: Funky cup holder; not sold in many stores so it may be hard to see in person.

Comments: Want side impact protection but turned off by the restrictive wings of other booster seats? The Combi Kobuk aims to fill this niche with a protective headrest, minus the tight-fitting wings. We liked the padding of this seat (even the armrests are padded), but the cheesy cup holder that sticks straight out of the seat and relatively high price (almost twice the price of a Graco TurboBooster) are negatives.

On the plus side, the entire seat is lined with EPS and “egg shock” (comfort) foam. Combi’s pitch for the Kobuk includes a claim that its front air vents allow for “healthy ventilation.” Well, given parent feedback, we don’t think this seat is any cooler than other boosters, but it’s hard to measure that claim. In the past year, Combi hasn’t made many changes to this seat but it is now rated to 125 lbs. (up from 100 lbs.).

Parent feedback on this seat has been positive. The Kobuk scored as a good bet on the latest IIHS rating and four out of five stars in the government’s ease of use tests. Critics note that the fabric/padding is difficult/impossible to clean if your child gets sick in the seat. And the headrest doesn’t adjust—so if your child doesn’t fit when in the seat at the outset, this is probably not the best choice.

It would be best to try out this seat in person before buying it. Unfortunately, like many Combi products, the Kobuk may be hard to find at retail.

Rating: B+

Dimensions. 20” long, 18” wide, 27” high.