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Safest Car seats that are easy to install...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My son is 3 and he sits FF in a Britax decathlon. (We switched from a bucket to the Britax at 6 months).

I do not like the Britax. It's massive and difficult to install. (My husband has to use his knee and body weight to make the seat tight and stable enough, my mom is completely incapable of getting a tight fit and it's frankly WAY too much work for my pregnant self).

I'm expecting in November and considering what to buy for the new baby. I've read that buckets are the safest for newborns. Can anyone recommend an affordable (and safe) infant seat? (I think we had a Gracco with ds).

I'm also wondering if anyone has experience with an easier to install convertible that's reasonable and very safe.

post #2 of 11
For your newborn, I would suggest a Chicco Keyfit, Graco Safeseat, or Britax Chaperone. Those are my fav's, at least. But then, I have found that Britax were actually the easist convertable car seat to install (and I've owned more than a dozen car seats) but I suppose it depends on the vehicle. Really, though, especially when using LATCH, installation is (almost) effortless. My DH gets the seats rock solid in a matter of seconds.

Can you visit a CPS tech and have your seats installed and then leave them in so you don't have to deal with it? As long as the base of the infant carrier is in good, you shouldn't have much trouble clicking the seat in and out as needed.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the suggestions! (I think we may have had the Safe Seat for ds) I'm going to compare them all tonight.

As for the Britax...Oh no!!! My dh installs ours in seconds (but he still has to use his body weight to make the seat stable enough). We only have one car and often switch the seat to my mom's vehicle if she takes ds and I somewhere while dh is at work so leaving it in one place isn't an option. Can you recommend where I may find a CPS tech? We live in a VERY small town so I have no idea where to begin to look.
post #4 of 11
Hmm, I thought it was basic common install technique to put your weight in the seat and tighten? That's what I do with all my seats, and I always get a rock solid install. And yes, it takes seconds. I mean, what seat doesn't require this? Even my friend's infant seat needs this. Of course if you are using a base you can leave that in all the time. And of course you can leave the seats in all the time, which is nice, but most people have to move theirs at least some of the time.
post #5 of 11
What car are you installing in, and are you using seatbelt or LATCH to install?

It is common to need to use body weight and a considerable amount of strength to tighten up a seat. They need to be able to withstand crash forces, so it is truly a physical exertion to get them in properly. Britax has some ease-of-installation bells and whistles, and are generally recognized as one of the easiest installs on the market with their push-connection LATCH and pull straps on both sides of the seat.

What exactly is challenging about the install? Because the seat is so large/heavy and has to be moved frequently? Or because tightening it down is too hard?
post #6 of 11
We have an Evenflo Titan or maybe it's Triumph and it's really easy to get a good install. I still have to put my body weight on it to get it tight, but it doesn't' seem very hard and it's not a struggle.
post #7 of 11
Well, the Boulevard and Marathon are very easy installs; the DC is a bit tougher because it has a different LATCH belt.

Car seats really shouldn't need that much physical exertion. The only seat I ever get into to install is the Regent; the others I just use the force of one hand.
post #8 of 11
With the two britax seats I have, I definitely use my knee to put some decent weight into it while pulling the latch straps tightly. I can do a seat belt install, it's just a little harder for me. With the other seat I routinely use (Safety 1st/Cosco Apex) I have to actually sit my butt in the seat while tightening it, knee it while tightening the tether, and pull on it from different angles until it's snug enough. It can still be done in under 5 min - but the latch connectors are not near as nice as Britax's and the base of the seat is just shaped that it is not such a smooth install.

I really think, OP, that you may find you are spoiled a bit by Britax's install - other seats, IME, are more challenging.
post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Well, the Boulevard and Marathon are very easy installs; the DC is a bit tougher because it has a different LATCH belt.
this is good to know, I only have experience with two Marathons and a Roundabout.
post #10 of 11
The Chicco Keyfit is by far the easiest bucket seat to install. I can literally install mine in less then a minute. This is my 3rd bucket seat and I wish these seats were around with my other kids!

I'll agree that the Marathon and Boul are easier then the DC, but I find them way easier then other seats. We've got a couple Recaros as well, they install easily with a seltbelt but the LATCH is a PIA, the Britax is just a dream. I've had a number of seats over the years and always go back to the MA for the seat that everyone can install quickly.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
We've installed the Decathlon in a 2003 Trailblazer (our primary car), my mother's Lincoln and a Toyota Prius.

I *think* my dh uses the Latch system...but to be honest, I'm not sure how my mom installs (I'm assuming with a seat belt unless the difference with installing is very similar...I'm not too familiar since I only attempted it myself twice...and gave up when I couldn't get the fit tight enough).

My husband was the only one who could fit the seat right until he told my mom about using her weight and that has helped significantly. If I were able to find a CPS tech I would have them assess her install and show us what we're doing wrong or perhaps the seat is less compatible in her car (I think it may be that the leather makes it more difficult to install correctly).

Thank you for all the responses. My husband says he thinks the seat is a breeze to install...I had no idea that applying so much pressure or weight was normal so I was a bit concerned.

As for the infant seats, which seat among the recommended is the slimmest (or are they all the same)? I imagine there will be times when I need to squeeze between both car seats.
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