Originally Posted by soxthecatrules
I came back to post that this seat would definitely not be the last one you need....but, somebody already beat me to the punch!! I just finished our search for a seat for DS and was trying to get him back to RF. I swear I put him in every convertible seat in town and really nothing (even the few Britax models in town) was going to last him much longer than his CrappySport. I've ordered a Nautilus. $143 on Amazon.
Did you get a chance to try a TrueFit? I think it'd RF longer than a Marathon by a good bit.
Originally Posted by thixle
So, too small for a tiny baby is the main reason for no 3-in-1? or is it bc they are too small for the larger kids in the weight class? Or, what the heck am I missing here? :
There's a few things you want to see in a convertible carseat:
* Low bottom slot for newborns (not significant if your baby is older)
* High weight limit for rear-facing (35 lbs. is as high as they go right now in the US)
* High *height* limit for rear-facing (this is determined by the shell height; the child's head has to be at least 1" below the top of the shell when RFing)
* High top slot for front-facing (child's shoulder has to be BELOW the slot when FFing, unlike RFing where the shoulder should be ABOVE the slot)
* High shell for front-facing (child's ears should not be above the top of the shell)
* High enough weight limit (the highest out there is 80 lbs., but most kids outgrow by height well before weight)
Ideally, you want your convertible to keep a child RFing until at LEAST two, but the older the better, and harnessed front-facing until booster-ready, which would be at LEAST age five for most kids (it's more a maturity thing than a size thing, though size is a factor too; most kids reach the minimum size well before they can handle using a seatbelt properly, though).
The 3-in-1s don't generally meet those standards. Additionally, they don't position the seat belt well in booster mode, and there's often a gap between when the child has outgrown the seat forward-facing with harness, and meets the seat's requirements for booster use.
These days, I'd recommend a TrueFit, and then either a combination seat (Graco Nautilus or Britax Frontier) or a dedicated booster, depending on the child's age when they outgrow the TrueFit. If you're pretty sure you'll be getting a combination seat anyway, then the Marathon or Boulevard are great seats, too.