News New booster ratings: 9 best bets & 6 good bets; 11 out of 60 seats evaluated aren't recommended

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ARLINGTON, VA — New ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety take the guesswork out of selecting boosters most likely to provide good lap and shoulder belt fit in a range of vehicles. The Institute rates 9 belt-positioning boosters BEST BETS, and 6 are GOOD BETS out of 60 models examined in a new round of evaluations. Eleven boosters aren't recommended at all because they do such a poor job of fitting the belt. Fit is important because safety belts are designed with adults in mind, not kids. Boosters elevate children so belts will fit their small frames better to protect them in a crash.



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bobandjess99

Senior Community Member
Holy moly, they diss the dorel combos hard, AWESOME!!!!!! They nearly comprise the not recommended category.
BUT..where is the Nauti?
 

bobandjess99

Senior Community Member
ok, i fiund it. towards the bottom of the "middle" category that is neither recommended or not recommended. And, as we all suspected, it does better backless with clip than highback.
hmmm...
might have to keep that stupid frontier after all.
 

Qarin

New member
I think this is the final bit of ammunition I need to make it clear to DD1 that she will not be able to use her Nautilus as a booster seat, and it will instead probably be handed down to DD2 when she outgrows it (or when she decides she's ready to sit in a booster seat fulltime; she's 8, she's mature, she's tall and heavy enough... it's really up to her at this point).
 

hsjwmom

New member
Is it totally pathetic that I just breathed a sigh of relief that the Oobr was listed as a best bet? I mean, spend over $200 and end up with a clunker? :p (though I'm sad the Olli didn't score all that well, it works for us in the vehicles we have.)
 

bobandjess99

Senior Community Member
I think this is the final bit of ammunition I need to make it clear to DD1 that she will not be able to use her Nautilus as a booster seat, and it will instead probably be handed down to DD2 when she outgrows it (or when she decides she's ready to sit in a booster seat fulltime; she's 8, she's mature, she's tall and heavy enough... it's really up to her at this point).

Actually, I don't think that is necesarily true. If you look closely, the nauti actually placed the belt decently in the lap portion, and acceptably in the shoulder, although they claim it was too far out? But that can possibly b fixed just by adjusting the headrest. And honestly, I think it ALL has to do with your belt geometry, and which setting the belt is, and the size of your kid. I know in my vehicle, with the headrest and belt guide appropriately placed, the shoulder guide fits dd REALLY, REALLY well. Remember, they were using a 6 yo dummy...which is the equivalent a child that probably has a harness slot to go on the nauti...and we've said all along that it really seems to make a decent booster *for children who have outgrown the harness*. The 6 yo dummy wouldn't have outgrown the harness.
Again, i think it really comes down to your vehicle and child. I've seen some kids not fit well, and I've seen some, including my 5 year old, who fit very well into the nauti used as a booster.
Now - if it doesn't fit her well in your vehicle, then of course she shouldn't use it. But if it does fit her well, I don't think you should dismiss it out of hand. :twocents:
 

crunchierthanthou

New member
ok, i fiund it. towards the bottom of the "middle" category that is neither recommended or not recommended. And, as we all suspected, it does better backless with clip than highback.
hmmm...
might have to keep that stupid frontier after all.

I think this is the final bit of ammunition I need to make it clear to DD1 that she will not be able to use her Nautilus as a booster seat, and it will instead probably be handed down to DD2 when she outgrows it (or when she decides she's ready to sit in a booster seat fulltime; she's 8, she's mature, she's tall and heavy enough... it's really up to her at this point).

Is it totally pathetic that I just breathed a sigh of relief that the Oobr was listed as a best bet? I mean, spend over $200 and end up with a clunker? :p (though I'm sad the Olli didn't score all that well, it works for us in the vehicles we have.)

remember, these aren't performance tests, simply fit. The GN and Olli are in the middle group in terms of the range of kids they fit well. If it fits your child in your vehicle, I wouldn't think twice about using it.
 

murphydog77

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
remember, these aren't performance tests, simply fit. The GN and Olli are in the middle group in terms of the range of kids they fit well. If it fits your child in your vehicle, I wouldn't think twice about using it.

Exactly :thumbsup:. The last time IIHS did these ratings, they dissed the Compass B505/B510 series (or whatever # it was) and that's what we were using in our vehicle. It fit my ds perfectly: lap belt low across thighs, shoulder belt squarely on shoulder. I'd actually prefer the shoulder belt a little toward the neck now given that they've seen dummies rotate out of the shoulder belt on seemingly properly placed shoulder belts, but on some kids, there's not much room to move it around.

It all goes back to the basic tenet of child passenger safety: it must fit your vehicle, fit your child, and fit your budget.
 

Qarin

New member
Remember, they were using a 6 yo dummy...which is the equivalent a child that probably has a harness slot to go on the nauti...and we've said all along that it really seems to make a decent booster *for children who have outgrown the harness*. The 6 yo dummy wouldn't have outgrown the harness.

To be fair here, my 8 year old is probably about the size of the 6yo dummy (do you know the specifications for it?).

When we've tested out the belt fit in my van, it's marginal; the shoulder belt is OK, but the lap belt is just on the edge of almost not quite touching her belly. Along with that, I don't like how heavy it is, and I do like how well it would fit her younger sister (who is currently riding in a Wizard), so mostly I'm looking to have independent verification that the Nautilus isn't great as a booster so that she willingly gives it up.

It is in the bottom 9 of the not-good-not-terrible group of 34, if I'm counting right, about which the overview page says, "Lap belt fit is the problem for the bottom 9 boosters that just miss the not-recommended list. These provide poor lap belt fit most of the time." So it doesn't surprise me that I find exactly that, a marginal lap belt fit.
 

murphydog77

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
I noticed that and that they got varied results :confused:. Does the memory foam in the base portion really make that much difference?
 

bobandjess99

Senior Community Member
To be fair here, my 8 year old is probably about the size of the 6yo dummy (do you know the specifications for it?).

When we've tested out the belt fit in my van, it's marginal; the shoulder belt is OK, but the lap belt is just on the edge of almost not quite touching her belly. Along with that, I don't like how heavy it is, and I do like how well it would fit her younger sister (who is currently riding in a Wizard), so mostly I'm looking to have independent verification that the Nautilus isn't great as a booster so that she willingly gives it up.

It is in the bottom 9 of the not-good-not-terrible group of 34, if I'm counting right, about which the overview page says, "Lap belt fit is the problem for the bottom 9 boosters that just miss the not-recommended list. These provide poor lap belt fit most of the time." So it doesn't surprise me that I find exactly that, a marginal lap belt fit.


If the fit is bad, it's bad, and you certainly shouldn't use it.
The 6 yo dummy specs are here.http://www.ftss.com/crash-test-dummies/children/hybrid-iii-6-year-old at the bottome, choose external specs and weights, etc.
It's small. Well, at least from my perspective, lol. only 52 lbs, 45 inches, 25 inches from butt to head. A child that size, unless they had an extremely long, disproportionate torso, would still fit in the nauti harness for a year or more.
 

Qarin

New member
It's small. Well, at least from my perspective, lol. only 52 lbs, 45 inches, 25 inches from butt to head. A child that size, unless they had an extremely long, disproportionate torso, would still fit in the nauti harness for a year or more.

My DD is a bit more than an inch taller, and 5lbs lighter. Haven't measured butt to head lately (or ever). She is small! But she's also totally developmentally ready and reasonably sized to be in a BPB rather than harnessed; making the decision to switch it to HBB mode would be a totally reasonable one. I'm just saying that the IIHS is backing up my own impression about the marginality of the lap belt fit, and that that back-up is helpful to me in respecting my daughter's ownership of her seat while simultaneously manipulating her into doing what I want.

Please carry on with actual discussion of the booster fit ratings!

I found myself mostly unsurprised by their findings, except that my experience has been almost universally good with the Graco Turbobooster so I'm surprised to see it only in the second "good" group, not the first "best" group.
 

bobandjess99

Senior Community Member
Me too, totally agree, I have NEVER seen the TB place the lap belt poorly, which they claim??? really??? I was surprised by that, as well as what us being discussed that different padding levels are getting different results?? Interesting.
Many backlesses scored higher than highbacks, and again, they are straight out saying there is no advatage to highbacks, and either is a good choice....I can see many, many parents putting their 4 yo in backlesses because of this and feeling they are making the best choice.
 

Evolily

New member
In the TC tests the nautilus tested "good" in all 6 booster mode tests. Which, honestly, made me more than comfortable using it in booster mode provided the belt fit is good.

Anyway, this is sort of all over the map with some seats? I guess I would much rather them just explain how to tell if a seat fits well. Kids aren't crash test dummies.
 

snowbird25ca

Moderator - CPST Instructor
I think this is same thing as last time really. And it all comes down to seatbelt fit.

We'll be booster shopping in 3 or 4 months time and my biggest tool for assessing seatbelt fit in a collision will be the tip that was given in the TC page about pulling some extra webbing from the retractor and having your child scoot forward. (Don't remember the exact wording off the top of my head now.)

I think this list is more useful as a "place to start" type thing for a parent who has never bought a booster and has to buy one sight unseen... it's helpful for them to know they'll be more likely to have success by starting out with one of the best bets.

So far as backless vs. highback, I think actual benefit from a crash perspective is really going to vary depending on the vehicle and the type of collision. In a pure frontal collision and with a shoulder belt that is well placed, there really is no benefit to the highback portion during the collision. Younger kids generally do better in hbb due to the extra support, and because they tend to position the shoulder belt better. And they may provide some extra protection in a side impact collision - but really, the hbb from my perspective is more beneficial in terms of helping a child still feel somewhat contained and provide more firm boundaries for staying in position - along with giving a place to rest the head and sleep.

(Of course in vehicles that there isn't adequate head/neck support a highback is essential, my comments are assuming proper head support if a backless was being used.)
 

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