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Difference between carseats?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any recommendations for the safest car seat? I saw that there are ones that are 7lb to 25lb and others that go all the way up to 70lb! Ideally we would like one that goes up to 70lb if necessary but are they safe for an infant?
post #2 of 11
If you post in "Family Safety" you'll get some good info, there's some very knowledgable mamas over there.
post #3 of 11
Kind of depends on whether you want a "baby bucket" that snaps in and out of a base for the infant stage, or a convertible that is rear facing for the baby/toddler stage and then forward facing till the kid is ready for a booster. Good "baby buckets" I have heard of are:
Chicco Keyfit or Graco Snugride
Good convertibles that can work well from birth I have heard of are:
First Years Truefit
Sunshine Kids Radian

I am sure others have more suggestions to add. We are going with a Graco Snugride for the infant stage, since my friend gave me hers (someone I trust who has NOT been in an accident), and then I am thinking we will go with a Radian till she is old enough for a booster. My other two are in a high back Graco Turbobooster (7 year old DS), and Britax Decathlon just turned forward facing (4 year old DD), and the Radian is pretty narrow as well as long lasting, so will help me fit 3 across the back seat of our car well.
post #4 of 11
I agree, decide first if you'd like a bucket or a convertible. There are larger buckets that go to 30 or 35 lbs but they are outgrown either by max weight or when there is less then an inch of shell over the baby's head and only very short, chubby kids will make it to the max weight. The higher weight buckets also tend to be heavier so by the time your kid is 20lbs, you're not really going to want to carry the thing around.

Even with a higher weight bucket you will most likely need a convertible to get the maximum amount of rearfacing time, at least two years. DS out grew his Key Fit 30 (by height) a little before 18 months although we'd stopped using it long before that. And he's SUPER tiny.

That said, I have a Keyfit 30 and LOVE it. It's super easy to install and fit my 6lb newborn beautifully. We'll be using it again in one car for the newbie but are going to get a convertible from birth for our other car since I babywear anyway. I'm considering another True Fit (removable headrest, fits newborns really well) a MyRide which I believe also fits newborns really well or a Radian.

The Britax seats, although they claim to be rated down to 5lbs, will almost never fit a newborn since their shoulders need to be at or above the bottoms slots in order to fit safely and the bottom slots on the Britax seats are very high.
post #5 of 11
I think if you want a convertible the way to go would be the Radian65 or the Radian80 I believe that they both hold newborns well and one or both of them now RF to 45# and then ff to 65 or 80 depending on which of the two you chose. We will be going with the radian 80 when its time to get another seat (in another year and a half to two years.
post #6 of 11
Ok, not the OP here, but I have a couple of questions.

Are the Britax Marathons ok for infants? The straps on the marathons look to go way lower than any other britax I've seen. Also, do the Radians lean back while rear facing? I've heard really good things about those, but to me they look so straight up and down. I can't see that being a safe position for a baby who has no head control.
post #7 of 11
Moving to Family Safety
post #8 of 11
The only convertible I know that goes up to 70# is the Recaro, and it is not suitable for a newborn or small baby. When rear-facing, the bottom straps must be below the baby's shoulders. Recaro and Britax convertibles have tall bottom straps: the vast majority of newborns will not have their shoulders above the straps.

Convertibles that safely fit most average-size full-term newborns and also have the height/weight capacity to get most kids to a safe booster age/size include the Learning Curve TrueFit and Sunshine Kids Radians. The Graco MyRide also fits newborns, and *might* get *some* kids to a safe booster age/size.
post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
Are the Britax Marathons ok for infants? The straps on the marathons look to go way lower than any other britax I've seen. Also, do the Radians lean back while rear facing? I've heard really good things about those, but to me they look so straight up and down. I can't see that being a safe position for a baby who has no head control.
All Britax convertibles have the same lower straps (give or take maybe 0.25") and none of them are suitable for most newborns.

Radians are very reclined rear-facing.
post #10 of 11
My first concern would be to make sure they are in a car seat that is Rear Facing for the longest amount of time. I am told that in America, this is 35lbs? If you have been lucky enough to find them, they go RF up to 55lbs here. This is the safest way to keep your child - the longer the better!

But I do not know if these car seats are suitable from birth. Only a handful here are suitable from birth - most are only suitable from 13kgs (thats about 25lbs?) onwards. So you would need an infant carrier (aka 'bucket') type of car seat to use before that. Not a problem - those are cheap enough really. Most are pretty much the same. In the UK, as far as I am aware - 'buckets' only go up to 13kgs max weight. They may have others out there now though. But its a basic newborn car seat and if they can go into a safer, longer max weigh rear facing one after that, I am not going to spend more money to keep them in a 'bucket' for longer.

And unfortunately - that is also our max 5-point harness limit here as well (55lbs in the RF car seats). In America, I know they have ones that go harnessed up to 80lbs. But these are no RF and are not suitable, as far as I am aware, until a much older age. I would keep my child RF for as long as I could in a RF car seat and them move them to this higher harnessed weigh car seat if that were an option.
post #11 of 11
1. We have seats that RF to 45#.

2. As already stated, the seats cited above (Graco MyRide, Learning Curve TrueFit, Sunshine Kids Radians) are indeed suitable for most full-term newborns, and the TrueFit and Radians will keep many kids harnessed to a safe booster age/size.

2. There is only one seat that, practically speaking, harnesses to 80# -- the Britax Regent. (The Sunshine Kids Radians and Britax Frontier, though certified for use to 80#, will be outgrown by height closer to 55#-65# for most kids.) The Regent has issues of its own; regardless, it is not necessary and not necessarily safeR to keep most kids harnessed to 80#. Most children can use a booster safely by age 6-7, and there is no evidence that a typically developing child is safeR harnessed to 80#.
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