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Insurance institute names 31 boosters 'best bets'

October 13, 2011

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WASHINGTON—Parents have more options than ever when buying quality booster seats for young children, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said in a report released Thursday.

The institute named a record 31 seats among its "best bets," meaning they "correctly position a vehicle safety belt on a typical 4- to 8-year-old in almost any car, minivan or SUV." Brands with more than one "best bet" included Britax, Graco, Harmony and Recaro.

Engineers evaluated 62 booster models. Some dual-use seats, which can work as high-back or backless boosters, were evaluated twice, so a total of 83 seats were tested.

Five seats were rated "good bets," providing "acceptable belt fit in most vehicles." Nearly half of the models -- 41 -- fell into the "check fit" category, meaning they "may provide good fit for some children in some vehicles."

Only six models were "not recommended."

IIHS' 31 "best bets" are:

--Britax Frontier 85, Frontier 85 SICT, Parkway SGL (high-back mode)

--BubbleBum

--Chicco KeyFit Strada (high-back)

--Clek Oobr (high-back)

--Cosco Pronto (high-back)

--Cybex Solution X-Fix

--Diono/Sunshine Kids Monterey (high-back)

--Eddie Bauer Auto Booster (high-back)

--Evenflo Big Kid Amp, Big Kid Sport (backless mode), Maestro, Symphony 65 e3

--Ferrari Dreamway SP (high-back)

--Graco Argos 70 (high-back), TurboBooster Baldwin (high-back), TurboBooster Elite (high-back)

--Harmony Cruz Youth Booster/Carpooler, Dreamtime (backless and high-back), Olympian/Secure Comfort Deluxe, Youth Booster Seat

--Kids Embrace Dale Earnhardt Jr.

--Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR (high-back)

--Recaro ProBooster, ProSport, Vivo

--Safety 1st Boost Air Protect (high-back), S1 Rumi Air

--The First Years B570 Pathway

The "not recommended" models are:

--Evenflo Chase, Express, Generations 65, Sightseer

--Safety 1st All-in-One, Alpha Omega Elite

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