The IIHS has just released ratings for boosters in regard to how well they are likely to fit your child. It’s been almost a year since Kecia commented on their last round of tests. No doubt, manufacturers and industry groups will be issuing their responses soon, too. You can see some of the previous responses and a video demonstration of correct fit in my blog from last winter.
Within the next couple weeks, we will have a more detailed response to these new ratings and some information to help you determine when your child is really ready to “graduate” from a booster to just a seatbelt. I’ll tell you it isn’t always at 4’9″ tall, at 8 years old, at 80 pounds or any other easy to remember number! For now, please consider the IIHS guidelines as simply that, good suggestions on models that are likely to work well with a variety of kids in various vehicles. Because they tested with one specific size dummy (average 6-year old size) in four vehicle seats, the ratings are somewhat limited and subjective. That means that there will be many exceptions. Even so, the models they rate as “Best Bets” and “Good Bets” are a good place to start when you are shopping. We’ve reviewed many of the same models and often agree with the IIHS conclusions. What if your booster is “Not Recommended”? Don’t panic! Just check for yourself to see if it fits your child well in your vehicle. Don’t know how? Check out Kecia’s great guide. If it doesn’t, then you might consider a different model or consulting a trained technician in your area for help.
Finally, kudos to Kecia, our booster expert and author of many of our booster reviews. I know she worked with Harmony regarding some concerns with the original Secure Comfort Deluxe and other models. I’d like to think some of that feedback helped Harmony put the revised Secure Comfort Deluxe plus 4 other models in the “Best Bet” category!
Best Bet models include: 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 The First Years Pathway B570 (highback).
Good Bet models include: 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 the Maxi-Cosi Rodi (dual highback).
Stay tuned, as we hope to have a giveaway or two of some of these top rated models over the next couple weeks!