This paper reports the results of a study to determine the effects of a top tether strap on the performance of child restraint systems (CRS). Four commercially available CRSs and the CanFIX were tested. All restraints tested had a similar design T-shield type harness system to minimize harness variability. As part of the test matrix, tether webbing, tether height and tether slack were varied. The dummies used for testing were the 12-and 18-month CRABI. Head and chest acceleration, head excursion, upper and lower neck loads and resultant moments were recorded. Although the presence of slack in the tether strap degrades the performance of the CRS, a tether strap with slack present improved the response of a dummy restrained in a CRS when compared to an identical tetherless restraint. With maximum slack, the results for the restraint condition approached results from a tetherless condition while still demonstrating a slight benefit.