27 IIHS-Rated Best Bet Booster Seats

Expecting a new addition to your family in 2015? Upgrading from a convertible car seat to a booster seat? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released their list of booster seat ratings and a record 27 were named a “Best Bet” out of 41 models tested.

Of those seats, many of them appear ranked on the list several times, in various back support positions.

To test the seats, scientists measured how three-point lap and shoulder belts fit a child-size test dummy seated in the booster on a stationary test fixture. Measurements were taken under four conditions spanning the range of safety belt configurations in passenger vehicles. The evaluations focus on belt fit and don’t involve crash tests.

A Best Bet booster correctly positions belts on a typical 4-to-8-year-old child in almost any car, minivan or SUV. The list of 27 highest rated seats includes:

Three booster seats ranked as “Good,” a step below “Best Bet”- Baby Trend Hybrid 3-in-1 (highback mode), Cybex Solution Q-Fix (highback), Diono Rainier (highback). A “Good” ranking was achieved by a seat providing “acceptable belt fit in most vehicles.”

Another step down on the ladder, categorized as “Check Fit” are eight seats from a variety of manufacturers including:

The IIHS rated these seats as “Check Fit” because, “the booster may provide good belt fit for some children in some vehicles, but not as many as boosters that earn either of the top two ratings.” They advise that parents should try them out to see if they properly position safety belts on their children in the vehicles they will ride in.

Of the three seats the IIHS does not recommend this year, two come from Diono- the Olympia (highback) and Pacifica (highback), and lastly the Kids Embrace Batman No Back Booster (backless). Shoulder belt fit is the issue with both Diono models.

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