Best Booster Seats
Why you should trust us
I interviewed 13 industry experts, safety authorities, and physicians while researching this guide, collecting their insights on what makes a quality booster seat and best practices in using one.
Lani Harrison is a certified Child Passenger Security Technician and she installs over 300 car seats annually in Los Angeles. Aditya Belawadi, Ph. D, is a biomechanics scientist leading the Child Passenger Safety Research Team at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Julie Mansfield is a researcher with The Ohio State University College of Medicine’s Injury Biomechanics Research Center. Bill Horn is the head sled testing engine at Calspan in Buffalo (New York), which has one of America’s most prestigious crash-testing facilities.
I’m also a Certified CPST and I completed a 40-hour training course through Safe Kids Worldwide. I interviewed representatives of the car seat manufacturer Chicco, Diono Nuna, Graco, Bubble. Bum. Fold. The Fold. Gear. Lab Car Safety Seats for Littles Once the top seats had been identified, Calspan engineers were commissioned to do side-impact crash testing.
Since over a decade, I have been reporting on automobile seats at Wirecutter. In addition to writing the guides for infant convertible carseats, My experience includes almost 10 years on Capitol Hill, as well as at the Department of Commerce. I am also familiar with the regulations that govern car seat safety. Slate, The Washington Post and Marie Claire have published my reporting about policy and parenting. While my children are 5 and 2 years old, they haven’t been in boosters yet. However, I feel confident placing them into any one of these Wirecutter recommendations.
What We Tested
We asked five families to try our finalist booster seats and report how easy it was to use the seat, have the child buckle themselves in, and move it in and out of their car.
After speaking with industry experts, independent side-impact testing was conducted with Calspan in Buffalo (New York).
Julie Mansfield of the Injury Biology Research Center at The Ohio State University College of Medicine found that, while frontal impacts are more frequent than other types of collisions, injuries sustained in side-impact crashes were higher. Mansfield says that due to the design of cars, side impact doesn’t offer as much protection. “You can see that there’s a lot of intrusion into the door” In the event of a frontal impact crash, the vehicle acts as a barrier to protect the passenger and prevent the accident.
The US has no federal law that would require car seats for children to comply with standards related to side impact protection. NHTSA, an agency that regulates car seating, has filed a notice proposing rulemaking regarding side-impact standards. However, it does not currently include booster seat requirements.
NHTSA conducts current front-impact testing of booster seats. However, its database does not include all the data and some of our finalist did not have crash testing data.
Another important point to be noted: Although booster seats are tested for crash safety, they do not provide protection against injury like infant and convertible car seats. A child using a booster requires protection from the seat belt. As with adult passengers, safety features in the vehicle play an even greater role.
Calspan thought that side-impact tests should only be conducted using a 3-year–old dummy. High-back boosters typically have weight limits of at least 30 pounds. NHTSA crashes with an identical 3-year old dummy. Although this dummy is significantly smaller than a child that would ideally be relying on a booster seat, the protocol was the best option available for evaluating the relative safety of various booster seats, Calspan’s experts told us. Bill Horn, an engineer who was responsible for the crash testing said that “the 3-year-old doll is normal.” To confirm and distinguish our choices, we used crash testing results. Because we only tested six seats, these results should not necessarily be taken to mean that another seat would fail in a crash.
Diono Monterey XT – The most comfortable booster car seats This beautiful, well-designed booster seat has performed exceptionally in our side impacts crash testing.
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Diono Monterey XT rated highest in booster seat crash tests. This seats is comfortable for children to buckle into and uses properly. Diono’s unique backrest adjustable feature makes the seat better for kids as they age. The double cupholders allow for easy access to the drink. According to the testers, Diono Monterey XT appears and feels better than any other seat we looked at.
Only one crash test, the Diono crash test run, saw the head of the dummy not contact the door. We didn’t reproduce this test, but Calspan engineer Bill Horn suspects that the seat’s padded headrest is partly responsible for this result. The headrest of the seat is thick, Horn noted. “There’s a lot of room between the door handle and the headrest,” he noted.
It was the seat with the most enclosed and substantial headrest that we found to be the best at preventing the dummy’s head contacting the car door in side impact testing. Video: Calspan Calspan A Wirecutter editor also tried the Chicco, the Graco and other seats with his children. He noted that the Diono has a “shoulder buckle buckle pass-through” which is a better fit for his shoulder than any of our others. A second tester said that this seat is easy to adapt to her 5-year-old’s height. The headrest can be adjusted easily, just like the other choices. Adjusting the Diono’s shoulders can be done with the knob in the back. It can provide more space, something that is rare among booster chairs and make it easier for kids to use. It has two cupholders which fold up into itself, so they don’t take much space.
By pressing the red adjuster at the back, you can elevate or lower the Diono’s headrest. Our only tested model has the ability to adjust its backrest width. To widen the shoulders, turn the red knob. Video by Rozette Rapo. The Diono has the ability to be transformed into a booster without a back. Each booster fits kids 40 to 120lbs, 38 to 63inches and between 40 and 123inches tall. You will be able use your Diono for longer periods of time because it is lighter and more accommodating than some other models.
10 Best Booster Car Seats Of 2021, According To Experts
Picks to keep your big kid safe, even after they’ve outgrown their car seat.
When your child has outgrown their car seat harness, but they’re not quite ready to sit directly in your vehicle’s back seat, it’s time to transition to a booster seat.
Two options exist for booster cars seats: one with a high back, and another without a back. A high-back booster seat offers the protection and support of a car chair, however you will need to use your vehicle’s seatbelt instead of using a harness. The booster places the seatbelt at your child’s shoulder, across their chests and along the arms of seat. At the top of the legs, the arm extends across to support the child’s legs. The shoulder guide is no longer necessary for your child. Your child may then be ready to use a booster seat that only guides the buckle across their lap. Many booster seats transition from high back to backless.
Good Housekeeping Institute’s Little Lab conducts product and parenting testing on all the essentials for infants, toddlers, and children. They test everything from crib mattresses and baby humidifiers to swing sets and everything between. To evaluate safety, comfort and adjustability of booster seats for children under the age of 12, we have road-tested them. The following are our top picks for booster cars seats:
Car Seat with the Best Overall Booster Seat
Best Value Booster Car Seat:
The Best All-In-One Booster Car Seat
Our editorial team has independently reviewed each product that we have featured. You may receive commission if you purchase through the included links.
Skip gallery slides kids in booster seats Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock Booster seats help your child’s seat belt fit properly, which reduces the risk of injury if you get into a car accident. You can learn more about safety regulations for booster seats, as well as our choices for the most popular high-back/backless models on the marketplace today.
Best Booster Seats
You will need a booster to keep your child safe and happy throughout elementary school.
Babylist editors love baby gear. We have curated our favorite items to share with all of you. If you buy something through links on our site, Babylist may earn a commission.
For the long term, Clek bucket seats convertibles seats, boosters… This is particularly true for booster seats because your baby will use them for years.
Get ready to learn all you can about safety and boosters. We also have information on when it is safe to change to boosters.
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The Best Babylist Booster Seats
Where is The Safest Booster Seat 2020
- Britax Parkway SGL – G1.
- Evenflo Chase LX Harnessed Booster Car Seat.
- KidsEmbrace Combination Toddler Harness, Booster Car Car Seat
- Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Car Seat.
- Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat.
- Maxi-Cosi RodiFix Booster Seat Car
- Graco High-Back Turbobooster Car Seat.
What Is The Safest Booster Seat 2021?
Mar. 17. 2021
Which is The Best Car Booster Chair?
Diono Monterey XT is our best Overall Booster Car Seat. Evenflo Big Kid XL has the best Value Booster Car Seat.
What is the best booster seat?
Older children often prefer to use backless booster chairs, as they are less bulky and expensive than car seats with harnesses. 12. 2020
.Best Booster Seats