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High-back booster seats: why our tough crash tests matter

We’ve put group 2/3 and i-Size child car seats from Cybex, Maxi Cosi and Chicco through our tough crash tests

High-back booster seats: why our tough crash tests matter

The right kind of car seat is as important for your child as it is for babies and younger children.

Once your child reaches the age of three or four, they’ll need to move on to a group 2/3 or i-Size child car seat.

These are designed to last your child until they no longer legally need to sit in a car seat.

The very best ones will be comfortable, with a high back and sides to the seat that provide protection in front and side-on collisions.

Head straight to our latest car seat reviews to see all our tested models, or read on for our recently tested high-back booster seat reviews.

Our latest high-back booster car seat reviews

Cybex Solution B-Fix car seat

Cybex Solution B-Fix, £70

This is a group 2/3 car seat that’s approved to the older regulations (R44), so can be used with children weighing 15kg to 36kg. This is from age three or four up to around 12 years old.

It has a 12-position height-adjustable headrest, and the backrest can also be reclined slightly to provide a more comfortable position.

Cybex states that the seat has linear side-impact protection to help shield your little one in a side-on collision.

Read our full review of the Cybex Solution B-Fix car seat to see how it fared in our tough crash tests.

Cybex Solution Z i-Fix car seat

Cybex Solution Z i-Fix, £190

The Solution Z i-Fix is an i-Size-approved car seat and is suitable for children who are from 100cm to 150cm tall, which is around age four to 12 years old.

Your child and the seat itself are secured into the car using the vehicle’s adult 3-point seatbelt. But it also has Isofix connection points to provide additional stability and to keep the seat in place if nobody is sitting in it during your car journey.

The Solution Z i-Fix has a few more features than the Solution B-Fix – find out if that makes for better protection and higher test scores.

Read the full review of the Cybex Solution Z i-Fix.

Maxi Cosi Kore Pro car seat

Maxi Cosi Kore Pro, £219

The Maxi Cosi Kore Pro is another i-Size high-back booster seat that’s approved for use with children measuring 100cm to 150cm.

It has an innovative light that detects when your child is in the seat and illuminates the buckle area to help you (or your child if they’re old enough) to see when buckling up.

Read the full review of the Maxi Cosi Kore Pro to find out if the seat is also easy to install and whether it impressed our parent and child panel.

MiFold HiFold Fit and Fold Booster car seat

MiFold HiFold Fit and Fold Booster, £155

The travel-friendly MiFold HiFold is a high-back booster seat that’s approved for use with children weighing between 15kg and 36kg.

It has an impressive 243 individual combinations for you to adjust the seat to as your child grows, including the seat width, body width, head width and the height.

It can be folded in on itself for easy storage (25×34.4×34.4cm), and it comes with a carry strap so you can sling it over your shoulder. This means it could be a great option if you’re travelling abroad and want to bring your own car seat.

But can a seat such as this provide adequate protection in front and side-impact collisions?

Read the full review of the MiFold HiFold Fit and Fold Booster to find out.

Chicco Fold & Go i-Size car seat

Chicco Fold & Go i-Size, £149

The Chicco Fold & Go is another foldable high-back booster seat, although one that’s approved to the latest car seat regulations (R129).

It’s not as compact as the MiFold seat when folded, but does have a carry handle.

The seat has a belt positioner, similar in design to the crotch strap you’d get on a three- or five-point harness, and it’s designed to help position the seatbelt across the hip bones and ensure that the delicate abdominal area is protected in a crash.

Our state-of-the-art crash test dummies use sensors to check whether a seat is protecting the various areas of a child’s body in a collision.

Read our full review of the Chicco Fold & Go to find out how good this car seat is.

Why should you use a high-back booster seat?

UK law states that a child must use a car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall – whichever comes first. However, safety experts recommend using a car seat until they’re 150cm.

For older children, the best type of seat is a high-back booster seat. This is either one that’s approved for children weighing 15kg to 36kg or measuring 100cm to 150cm.

High-back booster seats are better than backless booster seats because the padded wings provide protection during a side-on collision.

However, a recent Which? survey in March 2020 of 1,800 parents with a child under 12 revealed that 35% of parents incorrectly think that backless booster seats offer the same protection as high-backed booster seats.

Read our guides to the best child car seats for older children and booster seats: are you breaking the law?

(Illustration: Guilherme Henrique)

How Which? testing is improving car seat safety

Which? car seat tests are more severe than the EU and UK regulations – we test at higher impact speeds and in both front and side-on collisions, no matter which version of the regulations the car seat claims approval to.

With more than 50 years of car seat testing under our belt, manufacturers know that a good Which? test score is the hallmark of a great seat. It’s what pushes them to develop seats that don’t just meet the requirements of the legal regulations, but also succeed in the tougher tests that we put car seats through.

You can read more on this in the latest issue of Which? magazine (July), plus tips on how to ensure your baby or child is safely strapped into their seat.

Read our how we test car seats guide for more information on our tests, which exceed the requirements of standard car seat regulations.

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