Today the IIHS released the results of its second round of booster seat fit tests. They tested 60 seats and grouped the results into 4 performance categories – Best Bets, Good Bets, (Questionable or Inconsistent) and Not Recommended. All the tests were conducted using the 6-year-old Hybrid III dummy which weighs 51.6 lbs, has an overall height of almost 45″ tall, and a seated height of 25″. These results evaluate belt fit – not crash protection. In each case, the boosters were given a total of 8 scores – 4 for lap belt fit and 4 for shoulder belt fit. The 4 conditions span the range of seatbelt configurations in different vehicles. The overall rating that each booster received was based on the range of scores for each measurement.
The Today Show ran a segment this morning on the results of this testing and they even interviewed our very own Darren Qunell! High-fives going out to the Qunell kids for being such great booster models! http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/34521238#34521238
This second round of tests cannot be directly compared with the 1st round of test results from the IIHS because the engineers have modified the test device and protocol. These changes will supposedly make it easier for manufacturers to reliably reproduce the results. This probably explains why the Combi Kobuk highback model dropped from a “Good Bet” in the 1st round of testing to a “Not Recommended” in this second round. It is worth mentioning that the Kobuk when used without the back portion (as a backless booster) was rated a “Best Bet” in both the 1st and 2nd rounds of IIHS testing. Unfortunately, The Kobuk is not currently available in just a backless version so consumers would have no choice but to buy the full highback version if they wanted this “Best Bet” pick.