We test 12 booster seats, suitable for children aged from about four to eight years, priced from $68 to $489.
We've assessed each booster seat for:
- ease of use
- ease of fitting, and
On this page:
Children come in all shapes and sizes, so when selecting the appropriate child car restraint, age isn’t the only factor to consider. You also need to take into account the physical size of your child, as restraints are designed to protect a child of a particular size. An ill-fitting child restraint, particularly one designed for older or larger children, can greatly increase the risk of serious injury or worse.
The George Institute in its Buckle Up Safely study estimates that if all child passengers were restrained properly between 14 to 18 deaths and up to 1000 serious injuries could be prevented on the road each year.
20/11/2012: The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has released a recall for over 60,000 child car seats due to safety concerns. See the full media release.
Brands and models tested
Babylove Ezy Boost
Babylove Ezy Combo
Babylove Ezy Up
Britax Safe-N-Sound Hi Liner Sg
Britax Safe-N-Sound Maxi Rider Ahr
Britax Safe-N-Sound Urban
Infa-Secure Comfi Cruiser
Infa-Secure Luxi Ride
Infa-Securé Vario Crowné
Mother'S Choice Prospect
Mother'S Choice Silhouette Imperial
Safety 1St Custodian
Safety 1St Swish Air
The First Years Pathway B550Au
Choosing the right restraint
National child restraint laws specify age ranges for the different types of restraints. These are important in guiding consumers to the correct restraint, however there are instances when these age ranges are not suitable for particular children. Generally speaking, a child should remain in their existing restraint type until they physically outgrow it, even if they’re legally old enough to graduate to the next. But you can move your child to the next type of restraint earlier, provided they no longer fit their current one. There’s some variation in dimensions between makes and models of restraint, making some more suitable for certain body types than others. Children should not be moved into adult seat belts until they are approximately 145cm tall.
All restraints sold and used in Australia must comply with Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754 and be marked accordingly. The latest version of this standard (July 2010) includes amendments to make it simpler to determine the correct size of restraint to use. All forward-facing seats and booster seats manufactured to this standard have shoulder-height markers that indicate the minimum and maximum height of the child. Coloured belt path indicators are also mandatory to help reduce the risk of a restraint being fitted or used incorrectly. This standard is one of the most stringent in the world, so child restraints meeting it offer very good crash protection.
How we test
For this test, CHOICE tested 12 stand-alone booster seats, priced from $68 to $209, and compared them to nine previously tested convertible child restraints that were re-examined in booster seat configuration. These are suitable for children from about four to eight years of age.
We assess child restraints based only on ease of use and ease of fitting, but the Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) provides crash test information on a number of these models.