21 Safest Child Booster Seats

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Car booster seats are getting safer. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave top marks to 21 of 72 booster seats it evaluated for properly restraining children. Last year, only nine of the 60 seats it reviewed received top marks.

Booster Seat 411

Booster seats elevate children so seat belts designed for adults fit them better. Children in booster seats are less likely to sustain injury in crashes because their seatbelt fits correctly. When fitted properly, seat belts go across a child’s upper thigh and cross over the middle of the shoulder. Generally, booster seats are used by children ages 4-8. The government recommends booster seats for children over 40 pounds until they are eight years of age or four feet, nine inches tall.

Red Flags

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes some booster seat red flags. When shopping for a booster seat, be aware of lap belts that ride up on the tummy and shoulder belts that either fall off the shoulder or rub against a child’s neck. The IIHS urges parents to keep looking until they find a booster seat that fits their child in their vehicle.

The Ratings

According to the IIHS, here are the booster seats you should buy and the seats you should steer clear of. The best booster seats received the IIHS’s top ratings of “Best Bet” or “Good Bet” because they correctly position belts on average booster-age kids in most vehicles. The booster seats that “Might Work” don’t consistently fit belts on most children. There are also seat belts that are “Not Recommended” at all. Keep this list with you when shopping for a safe and effective booster seat for your little one.

Best Bets

Britax Frontier 85 (combination highback),

Chicco Keyfit Strada (dual highback),

Clek Oobr (dual highback),

Cosco Juvenile Pronto (dual highback),

Cybex Solution X-Fix (highback),

Eddie Bauer Auto Booster (dual highback),

Evenflo Big Kid Amp (backless),

Evenflo Maestro (combination highback),

Graco TurboBooster Crawford (dual highback),

Harmony Baby Armor (dual highback),

Harmony Dreamtime (dual backless),

Harmony Dreamtime (dual highback),

Harmony Secure Comfort Deluxe (backless),

Harmony Youth Booster Seat (backless),

Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR (dual highback),

Recaro ProBOOSTER (highback),

Recaro ProSPORT (combination highback),

Recaro Vivo (highback),

Recaro Young Sport (combination highback),

Safety 1st Boost Air Protect (dual highback) and

The First Years Pathway B570 (highback).

Good Bets

Britax Parkway SG (dual highback),

Combi Kobuk Air Thru (dual backless),

Combi Kobuk Air Thru (dual highback),

Evenflo Symphony 65 (3-in-1 highback),

Graco TurboBooster Sachi (dual highback),

Graco TurboBooster Wander (dual highback) and

Maxi-Cosi Rodi (dual highback)

Boosters That Might Work for Kids in Some Cars

Britax Parkway SG (dual backless),

Chicco Keyfit Strada (dual backless),

Clek Olli (backless),

Clek Oobr (dual backless),

Clek Ozzi (backless),

Cosco Ambassador (backless),

Cosco Highback Booster (combination highback),

Cosco Juvenile Pronto (dual backless),

Eddie Bauer Auto Booster (dual backless),

Evenflo Big Kid LX (dual backless),

Evenflo Big Kid LX (dual highback),

Evenflo Big Kid No Back Booster (backless),

Graco Nautilus Elite Monti (combination backless),

Graco Nautilus Elite Monti (combination highback),

Graco Nautilus Matrix (dual backless),

Graco Nautilus Matrix (dual highback),

Graco No Back TurboBooster Cameo (backless),

Graco TurboBooster Baker (backless),

Graco TurboBooster Crawford (dual backless),

Graco TurboBooster Sachi (dual backless),
,
Graco TurboBooster Wander (dual backless),

Maxi-Cosi Rodi (dual backless),

Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR (dual backless),

Safeguard Go Hybrid (combination backless),

Safety 1st Boost Air Protect (dual backless),

Safety 1st Summit (highback),

Safety 1st Vantage (highback),

Safety 1st Ventura (highback),

Sunshine Kids Monterey (dual backless),

Sunshine Kids Monterey (dual highback),

The First Years Compass B505 (highback),

The First Years Compass B510 (highback),

The First Years Compass B530 (highback),

The First Years Compass B540 (highback),

Volvo Booster (dual backless) and

Volvo Booster (dual highback)

Not Recommended

Eddie Bauer Deluxe (combination highback),

Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3-in-1 (highback),

Evenflo Express (combination highback),

Evenflo Generations 65 (combination highback),

Evenflo Sightseer (highback),

Harmony Baby Armor (dual backless),

Safety 1st All-in-One (3-in-1 highback) and

Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite (3-in-1 highback)

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