Safest Booster Seats for Kids: Complete List of New Ratings
This picture shows proper fit of the shoulder belt. The shoulder belt should fit across the middle of the child's shoulder.
Credit: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

A record number of booster seats have won the designation of "Best Bets" in ratings by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety this year.

In the ratings released yesterday, 31 seats were rated that highly because they correctly position a vehicle safety belt on a typical 4- to 8-year-old in almost any car, minivan, or SUV, the nonprofit research organization said. [Full list of rated seats below the pictures]

Booster seats are for children who have outgrown forward-facing child restraints, the IIHS said. A booster should elevate a child and route the lap and shoulder belts, which are designed for adults, to the correct position to restrain a child during a crash.

The lap belt should lie flat and on top of a child's upper thighs, not higher up on the abdomen, the IIHS said. The shoulder belt should fit across the middle of a child's shoulder. If it falls off the shoulder, or rests on the neck, a child might move the belt behind the back or under an arm.

If the shoulder belt falls off the shoulder, or rests on your child's neck, it won't work as well. This picture shows a poor fit of the shoulder belt.
If the shoulder belt falls off the shoulder, or rests on your child's neck, it won't work as well. This picture shows a poor fit of the shoulder belt.
Credit: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The shoulder belt should fit across the middle of the child's shoulder. This picture shows poor fit of the shoulder belt.
The shoulder belt should fit across the middle of the child's shoulder. This picture shows poor fit of the shoulder belt.
Credit: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

This picture shows proper fit of the lap belt. The lap belt should lie flat and on top of the thighs, not higher up on the abdomen.
This picture shows proper fit of the lap belt. The lap belt should lie flat and on top of the thighs, not higher up on the abdomen.
Credit: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
This picture shows poor fit of the lap belt. The dotted line outlines the placement of the armrest.
This picture shows poor fit of the lap belt. The dotted line outlines the placement of the armrest.
Credit: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Here is a full list of the seats rated by the IIHS:

Best Bets: These are seats that provide good fit for typical 4- to 8-year-olds in almost any car, minivan, or SUV, the IIHS said.

  • Britax: Frontier 85, Frontier 85 SICT and Parkway SGL (highback mode)
  • BubbleBum
  • Chicco KeyFit Strada (highback mode)
  • Clek Oobr (highback mode)
  • Cosco Pronto (highback mode)
  • Cybex Solution X-Fix
  • Diono/Sunshine Kids Monterey (highback mode)
  • Eddie Bauer Auto Booster (highback mode)
  • Evenflo: Big Kid Amp, Big Kid Sport (backless mode), Maestro and Symphony 65 e3
  • Ferrari Dreamway SP (highback mode)
  • Graco: Argos 70 (highback mode), TurboBooster Baldwin (highback mode) and TurboBooster Elite (highback mode)
  • Harmony: Cruz Youth Booster/Harmony Carpooler, Dreamtime (backless mode), Dreamtime (highback mode), Olympian/Secure Comfort Deluxe andYouth Booster Seat
  • Kids Embrace Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR (highback mode)
  • Recaro: ProBOOSTER, ProSPORT and Vivo
  • Safety 1st: Boost Air Protect (highback mode) and S1 Rümi Air
  • The First Years B570 Pathway

Good Bets: These are seats that provide acceptable fit in most cars, minivans, or SUVs, the IIHS said.

  • Britax Parkway SG (highback mode)
  • Combi Kobuk Air Thru (backless mode and highback mode)
  • Evenflo Symphony 65
  • Maxi-Cosi Rodi (highback mode)

Check Fit: These are seats which the IIHS says it has tested and found varying results, depending on child size and vehicle model.

  • Britax: Parkway SG and Parkway SGL
  • Chicco KeyFit Strada
  • Clek: Olli, Oobr and Ozzi
  • Cosco: Ambassador, Highback Booster and Pronto
  • Diono/Sunshine Kids: Monterey and Santa Fe
  • Eddie Bauer Auto Booster
  • Evenflo: Big Kid LX, Big Kid No Back Booster and Big Kid Sport
  • Ferrari: Dreamway SP and Ola
  • Graco: Argos 70, Backless TurboBooster (Aspen), Backless TurboBooster (Baker), Backless TurboBooster (Love Hearts), Nautilus (Matrix), Nautilus Elite, Smart Seat, TurboBooster (Baldwin) and TurboBooster Elite
  • Maxi-Cosi: Rodi and Rodi XR
  • Safety 1st: Boost Air Protect, Go Hybrid, Summit, Vantage and Ventura
  • The First Years: Compass B505, Compass B530 and Compass B540
  • Volvo Booster

Not Recommended: These seats don't provide good fit and should be avoided, the IIHS said.

  • Evenflo: Chase, Express, Generations 65 and Sightseer
  • Safety 1st: All-in-One and Alpha Omega Elite

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