Child booster seats are improving. Here are the best.

Graco

These simple seats can protect older children in a crash

When children reach a certain age they outgrow their car seat and graduate to a “booster” seat, a much simpler device that raises the child slightly and adds protection in the event of an accident.

If you are in the market for one of these child booster seats, here’s some good news: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports the latest versions of these seats are improvements over previous models.

Forty-seven out of 54 booster seats introduced last year earned IIHS’s highest rating of BEST BET.

The BEST BET rating means a booster provides a good seat belt fit for typical 4- to 8-year-olds in almost any car, minivan or SUV. Boosters that are rated GOOD BETs provide acceptable belt fit in almost any vehicle, while those rated Check Fit could work for some children in some vehicles. Seats designated “Not Recommended” don’t provide a good belt fit and should be avoided.

Among the other new booster seats, one is a GOOD BET and six are rated Check Fit. None are Not Recommended.

“Booster seats are simple, low-tech devices that don’t have to cost a lot to be effective,” said Jessica Jermakian, IIHS vice president of vehicle research. “All a booster needs to do is raise the child up a bit and guide the seat belt so it is positioned correctly. The lap belt should lie flat on the upper thighs and not up against the tummy, and the shoulder belt should fit snugly across the middle of the shoulder.”

BEST BET-rated booster seats

If you are shopping for one of these seats, IIHS says these are the best:

  • Britax Highpoint (highback mode)

  • Britax Skyline (highback mode)

  • Century Boost On 2-in-1 Slim High Back Booster (backless mode)

  • Century Boost On 2-in-1 Slim High Back Booster (highback mode)

  • Chicco KidFit Zip Air (backless mode)

  • Chicco KidFit Zip Air (highback mode)

  • Chicco KidFit Zip Plus (backless mode)

  • Chicco KidFit Zip Plus (highback mode)

  • Cybex Solution B2-Fix + Lux (highback)

  • Cybex Solution B-Fix (highback)

  • Diono Monterey 2XT (backless mode)

  • Diono Monterey 2XT (highback mode)

  • Diono Monterey 5iST FixSafe (highback)

  • Diono Radian 3QXT (highback)

  • Diono Radian 3RX (highback)

  • Diono Radian 3RXT Safe+ (highback)

  • Diono Radian 3QX (highback)

  • Diono Solana (backless)

  • Diono Solana 2 (backless)

  • Evenflo ALL4One (backless mode)

  • Evenflo ALL4One (highback mode)

  • Evenflo All4One DLX (backless mode)

  • Evenflo GoTime (backless)

  • Evenflo GoTime LX (backless mode)

  • Evenflo GoTime LX (highback mode)

  • Evenflo GoTime Sport (backless mode)

  • Evenflo GoTime Sport (highback mode)

  • Evenflo Revolve360 (highback)

  • Graco 4Ever DLX Extend2Fit (backless mode)

  • Graco 4Ever DLX Extend2Fit (highback mode)

  • Graco 4Ever DLX Extend2Fit SnugLock (backless mode)

  • Graco 4Ever DLX Extend2Fit SnugLock (highback mode)

  • Graco 4Ever DLX SnugLock Grow (backless mode)

  • Graco 4Ever DLX SnugLock Grow (highback mode)

  • Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow (backless mode)

  • Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow (highback mode)

  • Graco Tranzitions SnugLock (backless mode)

  • Graco Tranzitions SnugLock (highback mode)

  • Graco TriRide (highback)

  • Graco TurboBooster LX (backless)

  • Graco TurboBooster Stretch (backless mode)

  • Graco TurboBooster Stretch (highback mode)

  • Graco Turn2Me 3-In-1 Car Seat (highback)

  • Graco 4Ever DLX SnugLock (backless mode)

  • Harmony Dreamtime Elite with LATCH (backless mode)

  • Harmony Dreamtime Elite with LATCH (highback mode)

  • Harmony Youth Booster Elite with LATCH (backless)

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