The best booster seats for your buck

Oct. 13, 2011 at 11:49 AM ET

Proper seat belt fit with a booster.

Being safe doesn’t need to break the bank.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on Thursday released its ranking of booster seats that fit most kids best in any vehicle. The top picks are designed to best fit the average 4- to 8-year-old in any vehicle.

Of the 31 “best bets,” we picked out a few examples that are also low cost.

Harmony Youth Booster: Several of the Harmony brand boosters get high rankings, but this one is the best bargain. Walmart lists it online for $13.50.

Evenflo Big Kid Amp: This booster seat sells at major retailers and online for about $25.

Graco TurboBooster, Baldwin: The high-backed booster seats are a little pricier, but you can still find a reasonably priced one on the best bets list. This one is listed for $49.99.

The Bubble Bum is a little pricier for a no-back booster, at $39.99, but we added it to the list because we’re guessing parents who travel a lot or rely on taxis will pay for the convenience of a booster that can be deflated and folded into a little pouch then pulled out when needed.

The list also shows that paying more doesn’t always equal being safer. The Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite convertible car seat is one of several IIHS doesn’t recommend. It lists for $159.99.

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