2019 update: these seats are no longer sold in stores; we only see them for sale on Lil Fan’s own web site. Below is an archived review.
Booster type: High back and backless booster.
Weight: 30-100 lbs. high back booster; 40-100 lbs. as backless booster.
Price: $30 (backless); $125 (high-back).
IIHS rating: Best bet (no back model only); 2-in-1 was not reviewed.
NHTSA ease of use rating: High back: three out of five stars. No-back: Four out of five stars.
Pros: Themed seats; EPS foam, great seat padding that is washable.
Cons: Puny armrests, only one cup holder that sticks out from side of seat. Pricey. No LATCH anchors.
Comments: Lil Fan specializes in licensed gear including kids booster car seats. The seats feature the colors and logos of NCAA football and MLB teams. Yeah, some car seat experts roll their eyes at this type of car seat branding, but we figure if anything helps get a six year old more excited about riding in a booster seat, then more power to them. For little NCAA or MLB fans, who wouldn’t be excited to sit in a team seat?
To Lil Fan’s credit, these seats are more than a college logo slapped on an inferior booster seat. There are two models: a backless model (referred to as the Box Seat or Slimline No-back; pictured above) and a high-back model (called the Club Seat or 2-in-1; pictured below) Both have excellent padding—there won’t be any complaints about a lack of comfort. The headrest has five positions and a seat pad that easily removes and is washable.
The Club high-back seat converts to a backless seat that is a bit wider and somewhat flatter than the Box Seat.
So what’s not to like? Well, the armrests are these little cheesy stubs that probably don’t do much more than hold the lap belt in place. And it would be nice to have slide-out integrated cup holders; Lil Fan’s cup holder that sticks on the side of the seat looks like an afterthought.
Lil Fan seats also lack LATCH—that means you’ll have to remember to re-buckle the seat when the seat is unoccupied, lest it fly about the car if you sharply brake. Of course, you pay a premium for the college and baseball theme: the Lil Fan’s backless booster would probably run about half as much as the $40 without the logos.
FYI: These seats are best for kids at least four years of age who no longer fit in their harnessed convertible.