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She feels like she’s in a big girl seat with all the comforts of a booster seat, but with all the safety of Chicco and a five-point harness. Whether you’re using the seat with or without a back, belt positioning is crucial: the shoulder and lap belt should fit over the kid’s thighs and diagonally across their chest, not their abdomen, which could be injured by the seat belt in the event of a crash. According to our testers, the Diono Monterey XT looks and feels nicer than many other seats we examined. Chicco Kidfit Zip weighs in at 12.1 pounds and is another car seat from Chicco that comes with so many features. The Diono Monterey XT performed the best of the booster seats we subjected to crash testing, is easy for kids to buckle in and use properly, converts from a high-back to a backless booster, and comes with hook latches that are easily adjusted at the front of the seat. These SafeCells help to absorb the energy from a crash and divert it away from your baby. Like the Diono, it converts to a backless booster, though it does so a little too easily, our testers observed; in transferring it in and out of the car, you should hold the seat at an angle or the two seat halves will come apart. Graco Nautilus vs Atlas – Which Should You Buy? As your child grows, he or she will require adjustments to the Britax Frontier ClickTight and luckily, those adjustments can be made quickly. I love that this will be the last seat she ever needs.” – Klamp on Amazon. A child has outgrown a high-back booster seat when the tops of their ears are at or above the top of the seat’s head restraint at the highest setting (it’s okay for the top of their head to be above the top of the seat as long as the ears are not). Our testers and Amazon reviews both say it’s easy to thread seat belts through the seat and position the strap in the right place. SuperCinch Tightener that adds all the force needed to make sure that you get that tight and secure fit but without you having to get into some yoga poses! My reporting on policy and parenting has appeared in outlets including Slate, The Washington Post, Health Affairs, and Marie Claire. Because so many children are built differently and grow at different rates, it’s important that a car seat such as this one goes a little above and beyond what your standard 2-in-1 booster car seat will offer. Both car seats are meant to be with your child from ages two and up and who are at least 25 pounds, so they can’t be used for your infant, but they can be used once your toddler is ready and until your child no longer needs a car seat or booster seat at all. NHTSA currently conducts front-impact testing on booster seats, though its database is not exhaustive, and not all of our finalists had crash testing data available. A Wirecutter editor has been using this seat installed in the back seat of her compact car, a Chevy Bolt, for the past three months (alongside the Britax Marathon ClickTight, our convertible car seat pick) and doesn’t feel it overly crowds the space. The Diono has two cupholders, both of which you can slide out of the way when not in use. If they lean forward and then lean back, the seatbelt should be routed in a way that it moves with them. So much so, I bought a second one for a spare to use for whoever needs to pick my son up if I’m not able. I expect to be using this seat until she is completely out of the booster.” – Megan Sebastian on Amazon. car seats manufactured after Sept 1, 2002, notice of proposed rulemaking for side-impact standards is pending with NHTSA, stringent rules surrounding car seat use are merited, how to determine when your kid is ready to make the switch, biomechanics research scientist, Child Passenger Safety Research team at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, able to keep their back against the vehicle seat, able to keep their knees naturally bent at the edge of the seat, able to keep their feet flat on the floor. “I absolutely love this car seat. “There is a whole lot of seat between the dummy and door.” Apart from the issue of door impact, the Diono performed about the same as the Chicco (our runner-up pick) on head and chest impact, with a nearly identical head-impact score (623 vs. 625) and a very close chest-impact score (15.4 vs. 16.8). Three layers of side impact protection that features external impact cushions. This car seat comes with some great features for both safety and comfort. It’s one of the widest seats we looked at, however. “This is a great car seat!! Based on the results of that testing, and our own long-term use, we stand by our booster car seat recommendations, including the Graco TurboBooster LX as a budget option. A great little feature is that it comes with flexible lower connectors meaning that you can secure the car seat to the car even when not in use. One Wirecutter editor who tested our picks prefers the cupholders on the Diono “for sliding to a completely recessed position under the seat versus the Chicco’s foldable ones, which are never truly out of the way; makes a difference when loading three in a row on a bench seat.”. No more car seat sliding around the back of your vehicle. I strongly recommend this brand and this car seat!” – Heather K. on Amazon. High Strength Steel Frame that reinforces the base of the car seat. An Integrated Steel frame offers strength that is second to none. Mountain Buggy Nano vs Babyzen Yoyo – Which Is the Best Buggy? It has a very spacious design and comes with deep side walls this ensures that your child has the full head, torso, and pelvic side impact protection. This would be important depending on the size of the child that you require the seat for. According to ProPublica, the box, label, and manuals accompanying some Big Kid seats still claim suitability for children who weigh as little as 30 pounds. Convert from a high-back to backless booster: Some families may want to keep spare lighter, more portable backless boosters around for carpools, but we wanted seats that would meet a range of needs for a longer period of time, which can be achieved with a seat that converts from high-back to backless. This system allows you to transfer your baby from the car seat to the stroller in one simple and easy click. This booster seat performed well in crash testing and is lighter and easier to use than our main pick in some ways, but its back has a tendency to come apart when it’s being moved around. “Excellent car seat for my 3.5-year-old! The Britax car seat has no rating with NHTSA currently this may be due to the fact that it is a recent addition to the Britax family. Black Friday / Cyber Monday Baby Deals 2020, Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight Combination Booster Harness-2 Car Seat, Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight Combination Booster Car Seat, The Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Seat Review That You’ll Love. For more on deciding when to transition your child from a seat with its own harness to a booster seat that uses the car’s seat belt, see “When is a child ready for a booster seat?”. The Graco had a strong safety performance in our crash testing, though not as strong as the main picks’. It has 2 foldable cup holders and comes with a detachable compartment that fits into either cup holder for storage. Wirecutter is reader-supported. The high-back option fits kids 30 to 100 pounds and 38 to 57 inches tall, which is a shorter and lighter cutoff than the Diono. This car seat has no 5 point harness system. The car seat is heavy and can be bulky, especially if you need to put more than one across your backseat. Kid testers enjoyed the double cupholders, which push in and out, and the colorful fabric is easy to wipe down and comfortable to sit on. Thanks to the incline options, your toddler can sleep in their car seat without the discomfort that the head slump brings. The seat weighs 12 pounds which makes it easy to transfer from vehicle to vehicle with little trouble or need to be built like the Mountain (Game of Thrones). The Zip Air also comes with extra padding and a leg rest, which testers didn’t find that useful, and both the Zip and Zip Air include a console attachment with a lid, which our kid testers loved to use as a private toy stash (the console is also available for purchase and fits into the regular Chicco KidFit cupholder, though a representative of the company told us that the console is not intended for use with seats other than the Zip). I’ve reported on car seats for Wirecutter for over a year, writing the infant and convertible car seat guides. Another tester found this seat to be one of the easiest to customize to the height of her 5-year-old. As we wrote in our guides to infant and convertible car seats, the stringent rules surrounding car seat use are merited. In a major crash it might not offer additional protection from head injuries, but in a less serious crash it can prevent internal bleeding and injury for a kid. As with any baby or toddler product, there is the chance that you or your child won’t like it, but there’s also a good chance that it will be the perfect solution to your growing toddler who isn’t quite ready for that car seat booster, but will be in time. The high-back booster has a range of 30 to 110 pounds and 38 to 57 inches tall, and the backless range is 40 to 110 pounds and 43 to 57 inches, about the same as the Chicco and lighter and shorter than the Diono. Be reasonably priced: We looked at seats that cost more than $200, but found popular, high-quality options that performed well in our crash tests and have all the useful features we wanted for half that amount. Both seats have a high rating with the NHTSA but the Britax does score slightly higher as it received 5 stars where the Chicco received 4 stars. Personally I think that if you chose a car seat from either of these well-established brands you will not go far wrong. Evenflo Symphony Elite vs DLX - Which Car Seat is the Best? Other reviewers on here complain about the comfort, but I felt it was highly padded as far as boosters go and very sturdy material.” – Tiffany S. on Amazon. Colour coded belt guides for your child to follow making it super easy for them to get it right each and every time. But just because your kid has met the minimum weight requirement doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to rush to move them to a booster seat. It’s sturdy and very comfortable for my 2 1/2-year-old son. All their car seats have great features for ensuring that your little bundle is comfortable at all times in their car seat. We spoke with experts on car seat safety, policy, and installation, and looked closely at the results of government testing conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Association, the federal agency charged with road safety.

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