Booster Seats

The most important thing with boosters is that they properly position the belt on your child. The following ratings are directly from IIHS’s testing on BPBs to determine which BPBs are more likely to fit kids well; however, it’s important to make sure your child fits properly in whatever booster you chose. This means the shoulder belt crosses the chest between the neck and shoulder (not near the edge of the shoulder), the lap belt crosses low on the thighs (not up on hips/abdomen), and the seat belt makes good contact with the child’s body at both the lap and shoulder.

High Backed Boosters (provide more support and side impact protection, better for younger or less mature booster riders)

“Best Bets”

Britax Parkway SG 2013 40-120# HBB & backless booster, 21.5″ belt guides, base with SafeCell technology, SecureGuard (prevents submarining under seat belt when used), head restraint adjusts from front, easy remove cover, fixed armrests, retractable cupholders

Britax Parkway SGL 2013 40-120# HBB & backless booster, 21.5″ belt guides, base with SafeCell technology, SecureGuard (prevents submarining under seat belt when used), head restraint adjusts from front, easy remove cover, fixed armrests, retractable cupholders, SGL version has ISOFLEX LATCH system

Clek Oobr HBB 33-100#, backless 40-100#, 21” belt guides as HBB, rigid LATCH, magnesium frame, EPS foam, head wings adjust like vehicle head restraint, comfort foam, recline feature (only works properly when installed with LATCH), movable dishwasher-safe cup holder, stain/bacteria/moisture resistance (Crypton) fabrics

Cosco Pronto HBB 30/40-100# HBB, 40-100# backless booster, slide out cup/snack holder (does require vehicle head support behind child’s head, even in HBB mode)

Cybex Solution X-Fix /QFix HBB only 33-100#, 19” belt guides, rigid LATCH (connectors pivot and rotate for easier installation), comes with LATCH guides for ease of installation (sold separately as well), reclining interior head rest, EPS foam, torso wings adjust with head wings, top rated booster in Europe, Q Fix has LSP (Linear Side Impact Protection), air ventilation system, and reclining backrest

Diono Cambria HBB and backless booster 40-120#, 21” belt guides as HBB, EPE foam, fairly narrow for 3 across, deep for long legs, cupholders, flexible LATCH straps (regular not premium LATCH connectors), EPS foam, deep side and head wingswipeable fabric with removable and washable cover. 2 recline positions, packs flat, (requires vehicle head support in HBB and backless mode)

Evenflo RightFit HBB 30-110#, backless 40-110#, 4 year minimum age, 19″ belt guides as HBB, e3 side impact protection, 4 backrest and 3 headrest adjustments, activity lights, integrated cupholders, energy absorbing foam liner

Graco Affix/Affix with Safety Surround HBB 30-100#, backless 40-100#, cup holder and pull out storage cubby, LATCH connectors to keep booster in place, EPS foam, safety surround version has enhanced SIP

Graco Turbobooster/Turbobooster with Safety Surround HBB 30-100#, backless 40-100#, 19” belt guides as HBB, EPS foam, cup holders, safety surround version has enhanced SIP, don’t forget to install the screws in the armrests

Harmony Dream Time HBB and backless booster 30-110#, 2 recline positions, cup holders, comes with shoulder belt guide

Harmony V6 Highback 30-110# HBB and backless, 2 recline positions, “Seat saver” bottom, comes with shoulder belt guide

Kiddy CruiserFix Pro 33-100# HBB only, shock absorber (crumple zone) in both sides of seat, rigid LATCH connectors (green indicators show proper connection), breathable thermotex fabric, height and shoulder width adjust together, 3 layers foam in headwings

Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR HBB 30-100#, backless booster 40-100#, adjustable recline, cup holder, EPP foam, MUST have vehicle head support even when in HBB mode

Maxi-Cosi RodiFix  HBB 30-120#, Air Protect SIP, Isofix retractable rigid LATCH connectors, adjusting head and side wings, front access recline mechanism, locking shoulder belt guides, easily removed cover

Recaro Performance Booster HBB only 30-120#, 20.5” belt guides, EPS foam, deep side and head wings, recline mechanism, Performance series hasupgraded fabric and foam as well as push-on non-adjustable LATCH attachments

Safety 1st Boost Air HBB and backless booster 30-100#, “air protect” side impact protection, cup holders, MUST have vehicle head support even when in HBB mode

 

“Good Bets”

Combi Kobuk Air Thru HBB and backless booster 33-125#, 20” belt guides, vented shell, removable cup holder

 

Other HBBs

Evenflo Big Kid Amp Highback/Sport HBB 30-100#, backless 40-100#, 20” belt guides as HBB, EPS foam, one-hand adjustable height and seat depth, pivoting arm rests, IIHS “best bet” in backless mode but “check fit” in high back mode

Harmony Baby Armor 30-110#, adjustable width, “seat saver” bottom, comes with shoulder belt guide, IIHS “best bet” in 2010 but not on current ratings

Harmony Folding Travel Booster 30-110#, folds for travel/storage, EPS foam, integrated carry handle, cupholder, not yet rated by IIHS

Peg Perego Viaggio HBB 120 40-120#, HBB only, EPS foam, LATCH connectors, recline feature in base/bottom, cupholders, not yet rated by IIHS

 

Backless Boosters (provide less support and side impact protection, should generally only be used for older, more mature booster riders)

“Best Bets”

BubbleBum 40-80#, 4 years+ (and able to ride entire trip w/o sitting on knees), deflates for storage in bag, very lightweight, memory foam, energy absorbing materials

Evenflo Big Kid Amp 40-100#, easily wipes clean, comes with belt positioning clip

Graco Connext 40-100#, connects with LATCH to keep booster in place

Graco Turbobooster Backless 40-100#, cup holders, don’t forget to install the screws in the armrests, colorz versions have interchangeable padding and colored accents

Harmony Cruz 30-110#, “seat saver” bottom, cupholder, comes with shoulder belt guide

Harmony Olympian 30-110#, extended width and depth, comes with shoulder belt guide

Harmony Transit Deluxe 30-110#, slide out storage drawer, cupholders, “seat saver” bottom, comes with shoulder belt guide

Harmony Youth 30-100#, “seat saver” bottom, comes with shoulder belt guide

Safety 1st Boostapak 40-80#, both booster and backpack

 

Other backless boosters

Clek Olli/Ozzi 40-100#, rigid LATCH, Olli has quick release LATCH system, easily customizable w/ “Clek Jacket”, Olli comes w/ carrying strap

Cosco Ambassador/HighRise 40-100#, flip down cup holder, rated “check fit” by IIHS

Cosco Stack It! 40-100#, multiple boosters nest/stack, 2 integrated cupholders, rated “check fit” by IIHS

Cosco Topside 40-100#, designed to fit larger kids better, rated “check fit” by IIHS

Diono Santa Fe 30-120#, adjustable width, deep for long legs, deep cupholders, attaches with LATCH straps (doesn’t install as tightly as harnessed seats and has regular not premium LATCH connectors)

Kids Embrace backless booster 40-100#, easily removed machine washable cover, cupholder, not yet rated by IIHS

Safety 1st Incognito  60-120#, colors to match vehicle interiors, designed to provide better belt fit for older children who don’t quite fit the adult belt without the look of a booster seat.

 

Not Recommended Boosters  Combination seats and 3in1s in booster mode except those listed in the FF seat section result in poor, potentially dangerous, belt fit. This is especially true of the Dorel (Cosco/Eddie Bauer/Safety 1st) 3 in 1 or Alpha Omega seats in booster mode.

 

Budget Seats These seats are decent boosters that can commonly be found for around $100 or less.

Britax Parkway SG

BubbleBum

Clek Olli/Ozzi

Any Cosco dedicated booster

Diono Monterey

Diono Santa Fe

Evenflo Big Kid/Amp/Big Kid Sport

Graco Affix

Graco Turbobooster

Any Harmony dedicated booster

Learning Curve First Years B530/B540/Pathway B570

Recaro ProBooster

Safety 1st Boost Air

 

Best Choices for 3 Across

Britax Parkway SG/SGL

BubbleBum

Chicco Keyfit Strada

Clek Oobr

Cosco Ambassador/Highrise

Cosco Topside

Any Evenflo dedicated booster

Any Graco dedicated booster

Any Harmony dedicated booster

Kiddy Cruiserfix Pro

Recaro ProBooster

 

Coming Soon or Seats Too New to be Placed on List…

Chicco KidFit

Diono Cambria (prototype 40-120#, lower LATCH attachments, swivel out cupholders, 6 height positions vs the Monterey’s 11)

Diono Solana (prototype 40-120#, lower LATCH attachments, swivel out cupholders)

Little Tikes boosters (Diono boosters with bright primary colored fabrics)

Orbit Booster

Safety 1st Store N Go HBB and backless boosters (HBB prototype had 22.5″ belt guides, will require vehicle head support, 4 year/40# minimum, will have storage space under/within booster)

Safe Traffic Systems booster (made almost entirely out of EPP, 3 yr/30# minimum when used with travel vest, 4 yr/40# minimum when used without travel vest)

One thought on “Booster Seats

  1. Pingback: Car Seat Questions Board FAQ | danianniesafety

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