At nearly $300, the Clek Oobr is pricey for a belt-positioning booster, but its owners say you get what you pay for. Reviewers say the rigid LATCH connectors and magnesium frame make the Oobr one of the safest boosters out there, and they love the sleek style and moisture-resistant fabric. But the Oobr weighs a hefty 20 pounds, and some say the seat could be deeper.
First-class safety features. The Clek Oobr is a belt-positioning booster that uses a vehicle's existing seat belts. It has a magnesium frame, energy-absorbing foam, side-impact head protection and rigid LATCH connectors that help ensure a secure installation and keep the seat from becoming a projectile in a crash. LATCH can be used regardless of the child's weight. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) names the Oobr a "best bet" for proper belt fit in high-back booster mode but "check fit" in backless mode, meaning it doesn't offer a proper fit in as many vehicles as some competing seats. The seat expires nine years from its date of manufacture.
Easy to install and use. Reviewers say the Clek Oobr's rigid LATCH connectors make the seat one of the easiest-to-install boosters on the market. The headrest and recline are also easy to adjust, and the seat belt is easy to thread through the Oobr's belt guides, reviewers say. In ease-of-use ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the seat receives a perfect score. Installation and instructions are clear, testers say, but there is no label demonstrating the conversion from high-back to backless booster. A handful of owners also say the seat belt can get stuck on the armrests.
Sleek but heavy. The Clek Oobr converts from a high-back to a backless booster. It has padded armrests and a detachable cup holder. Reviewers love the Crypton fabric, which is moisture- and stain-repellent, and available colors range from bright pink and green to more sophisticated neutrals. The bottom seat cover is removable and machine washable. While parents say the seat's 12-degree recline and head wings make it ideal for car naps, a few caution it doesn't seem as plush as some competing models. At 20 pounds, it's heavy and bulky, especially for a booster that doesn't have a five-point harness, reviewers note. High-back mode can be used for children from 33 to 100 pounds and 38 to 57 inches; backless mode can be used from 40 to 57 inches and 40 to 100 pounds. One expert says the seat might not be deep enough to comfortably accommodate longer-legged children.
The Clek Oobr is a pick for best booster seat. Editors praise the rigid LATCH connectors, recline, stain- and moisture-resistant fabric and style choices. However, the seat is wide and heavy, and the seat depth may not accommodate some long-legged children as well as other models, they say.
Review: Recommended Carseats, Editors of CarSeatBlog.com, September 2013
2. Baby Bargains
"Baby Bargains," a comprehensive book by Denise and Alan Fields, reviews baby gear and common brands. The authors review popular car seats based on expert testing and parents' reviews as well as information from manufacturers and retailers. Their website offers up-to-date information and forums for parents to discuss baby products.
Review: Car Seats: Booster Seats, Denise and Alan Fields, 10th Edition, 2013
The Clek Oobr receives 4.6 out of 5 stars in about 90 reviews. Reviewers say the seat feels sturdy and is easy to install. They like the fabric, style and wide headrest. Some complain it is heavy and doesn't seem as comfortable as other boosters; others say the belt can get stuck.
Review: Clek Oobr Booster Car Seat, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2014
Editors test 13 combination and 33 belt-positioning booster seats, including high-back and backless models. The ratings are reliable and unbiased, and they include highs and lows for each seat. However, there are a couple of discontinued models listed, and it's unclear when the tests were performed.
Review: Booster Seat Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluates booster seats on how well they make a seat belt fit an average 6-year-old. The Clek Oobr is rated a "best bet" in high-back mode and a "check fit" for backless mode.
Review: Booster Evaluations for 2013, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Not Dated
The Clek Oobr receives 5 stars overall for ease of use, as well as for installation and instructions. However, the seat's belt path is not labeled, and there is no label demonstrating conversion to a backless booster, NHTSA notes.
Review: Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Not dated
BabyCenter.com editors praise the Clek Oobr for its sleek looks, 100-pound capacity, quality materials and rigid LATCH connectors. However, the price is high for a seat without a lot of plush padding, and this isn't an ideal seat for children under 40 pounds, they say.
Review: The Best Booster Car Seats for Big Kids, Editors of BabyCenter.com, Not dated
The Clek Oobr earns praise for its magnesium frame, energy-absorbing foam, easy LATCH install and safety. The reviewer also likes that it can turn into a backless booster, but notes the price is high and says some of the instructions are lacking.
Review: Best Booster Seats: Top 10 Rated Booster Seats 2014, Valerie Baldowski, Not dated