Britax is known for safe, innovative car seats, and parents say the Parkway SG delivers on that reputation. The seat features ample side-impact protection and a SecureGuard feature that keeps kids from slipping under their lap belts in a crash. It also has a narrow profile that reviewers like for carpools or fitting multiple car seats in one row. However, some complain that SecureGuard makes the seat uncomfortable and hard to buckle for kids.
Unusual anti-submarining feature. The Britax Parkway SG is a belt-positioning booster that uses a vehicle's existing seat belts. It features side-impact head and side protection, energy-absorbing foam and a SecureGuard seat-belt plate that keeps children from slipping under their lap belts (called submarining) in a crash. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) names the Parkway SG a good bet for proper belt fit in high-back mode and check fit in backless mode, meaning it doesn't offer proper belt fit in as many vehicles as some other boosters. Like most belt-positioning boosters, the Parkway SG should be should be belted to the seat even when unoccupied -- otherwise, it can become a projectile during a crash. The similar Britax Parkway SGL offers LATCH connectors that eliminate that risk for about $30 more.
Tricky for some kids to buckle up independently. Reviewers say the Britax Parkway SG is easy to install, and they like the quick-adjust headrest. Most say the color-coded belt guides are easy to use and understand, but some parents say their children have trouble independently buckling themselves in because of the SecureGuard plate. In ease-of-use ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the seat receives 3 stars overall, with testers criticizing needed assembly and incomplete or unclear labeling.
Narrow seat is good for tight spaces. The Britax Parkway SG converts from a high-back to a backless booster. It has two retractable cup holders and padded armrests. Some reviewers complain that the armrests are too low and small to be comfortable. The seat cover is removable and machine washable. Reviewers give the seat mixed reviews for comfort. Some say it is amply padded and the head wings are ideal for car naps, but others say the seat is too upright and the SecureGuard plate puts the squeeze on their kids. The seat is relatively lightweight, even in high-back mode, and its narrow width makes it a good pick for carpoolers or families with multiple car seats. It is recommended for children who are 40 to 120 pounds and 38 to 63 inches tall.
Good reputation for customer service. The Britax Parkway SG has a limited one-year warranty on the Parkway SG. Britax gets high marks from reviewers for its customer service. The seat expires six years from its date of manufacture.
Review Credibility: Excellent The Britax Parkway SG is one of CarSeatBlog.com's picks for best booster seat. Editors praise the seat's versatility and ability to grow with kids because of its high height and weight limits. They also like the SecureGuard belt clip, dual cup holders, removable back and one-hand height adjustment. However, the SecureGuard clip may irritate some kids, they say.
Review: Recommended Carseats, Editors of CarSeatBlog.com, September 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent The IIHS evaluates booster seats on how well they make a safety belt fit an average 6 year old. The Britax Parkway SG is rated a good bet in high-back mode, meaning the lap belt was flat or nearly flat on the thighs, and the shoulder belt was correctly positioned at or very near the mid-shoulder, but not in as many vehicles as best bet seats. It is rated check fit for backless mode, meaning it offers "good protection for some kids in some vehicles, but not in as many cases as top-rated boosters."
Review: Booster Evaluations for 2012, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Not dated
3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Review Credibility: Excellent NHTSA rates car seats on a 5-star scale for ease of use, focus on label content and clarity, instruction content and clarity, ease of installation and ease of securing a child. The Britax Parkway SG receives 3 stars overall, with testers criticizing the needed assembly, unclear conversion to a backless booster and unclear or incomplete labeling.
Review: Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Not dated
4. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Excellent Baby Bargains, a comprehensive book by Denise and Alan Fields, reviews baby gear and common baby brands. The authors review popular car seats based on expert testing and parents' reviews, as well as information from manufacturers and retailers. Their website offers up-to-date information, additional reviews, recall information and forums for parents to discuss baby products.
Review: Car Seats: Picking the Right Child Safety Seat, Denise and Alan Fields, Tenth Edition, 2013
Review Credibility: Excellent Editors of ConsumerReports.org test 13 combination and 33 belt-positioning booster seats, including high-back and backless models. The ratings are reliable and unbiased, and they include editors' highs and lows for each seat -- helpful for parents who want a quick summary of each seat. However, there are a couple of discontinued models listed, and it's unclear when the tests were performed.
Review: Booster Seat Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good BabyCenter.com editors pick five booster seats for their best-of roundup. They praise the Britax Parkway SG for its narrow profile -- good for big families or carpools -- as well as safety features and high 120-pound capacity. However, the armrests don't adjust as much as those of some competitors, and the SecureGuard plate may be uncomfortable for some kids. This also isn't a seat for kids who weigh less than 40 pounds, they say.
Review: The Best Booster Car Seats for Big Kids, Editors of BabyCenter.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good The Britax Parkway SG receives 4.4 out of 5 stars in more than 130 reviews on Amazon.com. Reviewers like the advanced safety features, narrow profile and cup holders. They say the seat is easy to install and adjust. Some reviewers say their children seem uncomfortable, citing the SecureGuard plate, upright angle and low arm rests. Others say it can be difficult for their kids to buckle themselves on their own.
Review: Britax Parkway SG Booster Seat, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good Heather Corley's short review says the Britax Parkway SG is a top-notch safety pick, praising the head wings and torso protection as well as the SecureGuard plate that prevents submarining. The review does not note any cons or compare seats.
Review: Top 8 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seats, Heather Corley, Not dated