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Car Seat Reccomendations/Booster info Needed

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have two boys and a 2007 Toyota Sienna. We were recently in an accident that deployed the side air bags (one side only). 


I'm going to replace the car seats that were in the accident as soon as possible and I'm currently doing some searching.


My oldest turns 6 in August. He's on the small side (38.5 lbs and 42") I don't think he's ready for a booster quite yet. He's currently in a Britax Decathlon. Any suggestions for an affordable seat that will be comfortable for some time to come? 


My youngest (2 1/2 years 26 lbs and 33") is in a True Fit Premier. This car seat will be intended to last until he is ready for a booster. He is FF. 


My oldest is begging for a booster seat. I've been adamant that he must be over 40 lbs before we transition him. He isn't particularly unruly in the car. He sits well, doesn't sleep or slump (even on long car rides) but he's so small...How/when did you decide to put your lo's in a booster? 


Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

I just found the Frontier Convertibles on Britax's website. That would be perfect for Ds1 since they convert to boosters, but they're out of price range (though I could hold out and save up)...

post #3 of 7

Overall, in terms of safety, it would be far more beneficial to put your two year old rear facing, than to keep your 6 year old harnessed, if that makes sense.   


(Unless, of course, you're in Canada, where he must be 40 lbs to booster.)


If you want a combination seat that coverts to a (Good) booster, there's no need to buy a Frontier.  More affordable options include the Evenflo SecureKid and the Graco Nautilus, both of which would be perfectly adequate for him. 


A child is ready for a booster when he meets the height and weight requirements and can be reliably trusted to sit correctly without mussing with the seatbelt, turning around, bending over to pick up dropped things, etc.   Boosters that fit smaller children well include the Graco Turbobooster, Recaro Vivo, Recaro Probooster, and Diono Monterey, among a few others.  


Would you like recommendations for a convertible to keep your two year old rear facing?  I do not, for the record, recommend forward facing two year olds outside of very extreme circumstances. 

post #4 of 7

I usually like to see kids around 40lbs for a booster.  That being said, there is a world of difference between a 38.5lb 4yo and a 38.5lb nearly 6yo.  If he can sit properly, I wouldn't have a problem with a booster for him.  Parental decision.  If you want an affordable harness, the pps suggestions are spot on.

post #5 of 7

In my state, the law says children MUST be 40 lbs to ride in a booster. So I would wait for 40 lbs. Period. The data we have that suggests boosters are probably just as safe as a harnessed seat (assuming both are properly used) do not break down the numbers by the child's size and I am not convinced they adequately account for the wide range of sizes children come in. The entire country of Canada, several states, a number of car seat manufacturers, and at least one automobile manufacturer have decided that 40 lbs is a good minimum weight for boosters and even if I lived in a state where it wasn't the law that's the absolute minimum cut-off I'd use. I've heard some scary anecdotal stories of smaller children being thrown forward without engaging the seat belt's locking mechanism; whether that is common and whether the magical 40 lb cut-off really matters is not certain. In fact, there are lots of people (including other car seat techs) who disagree with me on this point and who believe a 35 lb 7 year old is perfectly safe in a booster. It boils down to this: we don't really know and you have to make the best decision you can. 


Since your seats were in an accident, is insurance involved? If so, you should be able to replace the seats with anything that is similarly-priced. 


If money is an issue, I'd probably get an Evenflo Maestro for the older child and something that rear-faces such as a Safety 1st Guide 65 for the younger child. If you do choose a booster for the older one, get a high-back version, make sure it is rated for 30 lbs and up, and check this list for some good suggestions:


post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Insurance is involved, but they're charging us a "betterment" because the car seats have "depreciated" since we purchased them. duh.gif


Since I have no idea how much they'll pay, I'm erring on the side of saving money (if possible) without compromising a good seat! 


I think I'd be more comfortable with him in a harness until he reaches 40 lbs. With that in mind, I will look into more of the convertible/booster options. I was just agonizing over spending the money on another harness seat and then spending money again in the near future on a booster. (I didn't even realize there were harness to booster seats available until now!)

post #7 of 7

I have been having a hard time choosing a car seat for my child as well! I just want to make sure i'm choosing the safest car seat out there to be honest. If anyone has a recommendation for the safest convertible car seat that faces the rear of the car I would greatly appreciate it!

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