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Best & Worst Car Seats of 2009

Not all car seats are the same.  In fact, we discovered there was quite a difference in terms of how well they worked and performed. Mind you, all child car seats sold in the United States undergo fairly rigorous testing requirements, so with a minimum baseline, you can feel a bit confident that any carseat will work okay.

When it came down to it, a lot of seats simply didn't seem to work very well, and some of us were left questioning whether these manufacturers actually tried their own products out much.  The main problem was how well the seatbelts fit on the child.  Quite often, they just didn't sit in a very good position, which perhaps reduces their effectiveness.  This does not even discuss how some car seats are simply hard to use. Further information on these review can be found at sites like the III and Car Seat Blog.

 


BEST

You can buy boosters as highbacks or as backless seats — both kinds are represented here. These 9 best bets are the most likely to position lap and shoulder belts correctly on many children in many cars, minivans, and SUVs:

 

Britax Frontier, model#E9B54H6 Clek Oobr, model #OBM1U Combi Dakota backless with clip, model #882066

Britax Frontier
Tested model: #E9B54H6

Clek Oobr
Tested model: #OBM1U

Combi Dakota
backless with clip

Tested model: #882066

Cosco Juvenile Pronto, models #22491/#22255/#22275 Eddie Bauer Auto Booster, models #22888/#22829 Evenflo Big Kid Amp backless with clip, models #3401913/#340XXXX

Cosco Juvenile Pronto
Tested model: #22491
Results also apply to:
models #22255/22275

Eddie Bauer Auto Booster
Tested model: #22888
Results also apply to:
model #22829

Evenflo Big Kid Amp
backless with clip

Tested model: #3401913
Results also apply to:
model #340XXXX

Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR, model #22223-CIP Recaro Vivo, model #351.00.MM14 Recaro Young Sport, model #340.00.MM14

Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR
Tested model: #22223-CIP

Recaro Vivo
Tested model: #351.00.MM14

Recaro Young Sport
Tested model: #340.00.MM14

 

 


GOOD

You can buy boosters as highbacks or as backless seats — both kinds are represented here. These 6 good bets provide acceptable lap and shoulder belt fit in almost as many vehicle belt configurations as the best-bet boosters:

 

Britax Parkway SG, model #E9LA869 Combi Kobuk backless with clip, model #8970 Evenflo Symphony 65, model #3451925

Britax Parkway SG
Tested model: #E9LA869

Combi Kobuk
backless with clip
Tested model: #8970

Evenflo Symphony 65
Tested model: #3451925

Graco TurboBooster SafeSeat Step 3, Sachi, model #1751523 Graco TurboBooster SafeSeat Step 3, Wander, model #1751952 Maxi-Cosi Rodi, model #22575

Graco TurboBooster
SafeSeat Step 3, Sachi

Tested model: #1751523

Graco TurboBooster
SafeSeat Step 3, Wander

Tested model: #1751952

Maxi-Cosi Rodi
Tested model: #22575

 

 


NOT RECOMMENDED

Parents should avoid buying the 11 boosters on this "not recommended" list. These are seats that don't provide good belt fit — the main job boosters are supposed to do.

If you already have one of the seats on the not recommended list, don't throw it away. Any booster seat is better than none at all. But take a look at the belt fit, and if it's not doing a good job, replace it when you can with one that works better.

 

Alpha Omega, model#22469 Alpha Omega Elite, models #22149/#22148 Alpha Omega Luxe Echelon, model #22799

Alpha Omega
Tested model: #22469

Alpha Omega Elite
Tested model: #22149
Results also apply to:
model #22148

Alpha Omega Luxe Echelon
Tested model: #22799

Combi Kobuk, model #8970 Eddie Bauer Deluxe, models #22800/#22862/#22865 Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3-in-1, model #22790/#22795

Combi Kobuk
Tested model: #8970

Eddie Bauer Deluxe
Tested model: #22800
Results also apply to:
models #22862/22865

Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3-in-1
Tested model: #22790
Results also apply to:
model #22795

Evenflo Express, models #3292198/#329XXX Evenflo Sightseer, models #2692198/#269XXX Harmony Secure Comfort Deluxe backless with clip, model #0304001DRM

Evenflo Express
Tested model: #3292198
Results also apply to:
model #329XXX

Evenflo Sightseer
Tested model: #2692198
Results also apply to:
model #269XXX

Harmony Secure Comfort Deluxe
backless with clip
Tested model: #0304001DRM

Safety 1st All-in-One, model #22178/#22177 Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite, models #22465/#22456/#22195/#22187  

Safety 1st All-in-One
Tested model: #22178
Results also apply to:
model #22177

Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
Tested model: #22465
Results also apply to:
models #22456/22195/22187

 

 
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