New rankings reveal safest booster seats for your kids

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Thirteen out of 16 new booster seats for 2017 earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest rating, bringing the total number of boosters on the market with that designation to 118.

Booster seats are designed for children who have outgrown harness-equipped vehicle restraints.

Vehicle safety belts are designed for adults, and the job of a booster is to make them fit a child.

Children ages four to eight are 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries in crashes if they are in boosters than if they are using safety belts alone. Children should ride in boosters until a vehicle safety belt fits correctly by itself. For some kids, that doesn’t happen until age 12 or so.

The IIHS “Best Bet” rating means a booster provides good safety belt fit for typical four to eight year-old child in almost any car, minivan or SUV.

The 13 “Best Bets” include nine distinct models, and range in price from about $40 for the high-back Cosco Finale and the backless Chicco GoFit, to $250 for the high-back Maxi-Cosi RodiFix.

The 2017 “Best Bet” models are:

  • Chicco GoFit (backless)
  • Cosco Finale (highback)
  • Cosco Finale DX (highback)
  • Diono Monterey XT (backless mode)
  • Diono Monterey XT (highback mode)
  • Evenflo Spectrum (backless mode)
  • Evenflo Spectrum (highback mode)
  • Graco Wayz (backless mode)
  • Graco Wayz (highback mode)
  • Maxi-Cosi RodiFix (highback)
  • Nuna AACE (backless mode)
  • Nuna AACE (highback mode)
  • Peg-Perego Viaggio Shuttle (backless)

Boosters that are rated an IIHS “Good Bet” provide acceptable belt fit in almost any vehicle. None of the 2017 models of boosters are rated “Good Bet.”

The IIHS “Check Fit” designation is given to boosters that could work for some children in some vehicles. Three models are designated “Check Fit” for 2017:

  • Harmony Folding Travel Booster (highback)
  • Kiddy Cruiser 3 (highback)
  • Ride Safer Delighter Booster (backless)

None of the 2017 models received an IIHS “Not Recommended” designation, which specifies boosters that don’t provide good belt fit and should be avoided. However, there is one seat currently on the market, The Safety 1st Summit 65, that is designated “Not Recommended.”

A full list of all available booster seats, and the accompanying IIHS ranking, is available at this link.