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OK car seat experts... UPDATED

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

... We have a 2008 Civic, and two kids in booster seats, and expecting another baby at the end of the year.  We are short on funds at the moment BUT I feel the need to shell out on three seats at once.  (Yikes.)  My kids are almost 5 and 5.5, about average for their age I guess.  They are in backless boosters since DH thought they were old enough - and they are pretty good about sitting up straight and not slouching etc - but I would prefer them to be in a high backed booster.  And of course the baby needs a new seat.  I don't need a travel stroller thingie; we don't really use strollers and just use baby carriers.


I need to figure out the most economical way to get three across where they all have the ability to buckle themselves.  (Well, baby obviously excluded.)  It's kind of hard to buckle themselves as it is because the seat belt thingies are always hiding under the boosters... but they're pretty good with it right now.  I'm not sure how that would work out if they were back in high backs WITH the baby seat in the middle...  How does that work?  (They can even buckle more easily than I can crawl in there myself to do it for them anyway.  We do a lot of short in-and-out trips around town so I'd be in there half the day buckling and unbuckling them if they can't do it for themselves.


Suggestions? smile.gif

Edited by tiqa - 10/25/12 at 8:17am
post #2 of 34

What are the kids' sizes?  To be honest, the best way to work a tight three-across is to put the kids in harnessed seats (most 5yos can still fit in harnessed seats) There may be blood, sweat, tears, and bad words getting seats three-across a Civic, but the good thing is that once the seats are in, they stay in, and all buckling is done up front in the seat instead of trying to wedge your hands between the seats to buckle.

post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 

Hmm....  Well, let's see.  I don't have accurate weights or heights on them, but let me try to recall from our check-up at the end of the summer.  My 5.5 year old is around 46 inches maybe (growing quickly) and quite skinny.  He's... I'm going to guess 45 lbs but I can check on that.  I'm not sure he would fit in a harness very long, though, he's growing so quickly.  My daughter, who will be 5 in January, maybe 42 inches or so but weighs a bit more than him... think of a Hispanic build (which is generalizing too) - kind of compact and very muscular.  Maybe 50 lbs?

post #4 of 34

From someone with 3 kids in the backseat of a not-very-big car.. the fewer boosters, the better :) I'd for sure get a harnessed seat for your dd!  I have 2 radians and one kiddy cruiserfix in the back of our aerio. dd being able to buckle herself is a fantasy I will not see fulfilled until we're able to get a van. At the very least, we've worked out a system where she holds the female side of the buckle steady while I physically buckle it. That way I only need one hand. We're getting pretty quick at it. 

post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 

I'm kind of nauseated from the prices, but do you think that two Britax Frontiers on either side would work with a Combi Coccoro in the middle for the baby?  The Frontiers can harness up to 80 lbs IIRC... OTOH I think the Britax Parkways are thinner but they are only boosters and not harnesses, so it might be hard to buckle them...  Oh, my head hurts.  And also, how tall is TOO tall for a booster seat?  I don't want to block our rear windows...

post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 

Incidentally i tried to look up Sunshine Kids Radians but I don't think they're made anymore?  Amazon is sold out and none of the other stores have them.  It looks like they changed their name to Dion or something but they don't look very thin to me.

post #7 of 34

radians are Diono now. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=diono+radian plenty on amazon! They are very narrow. 

post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 

Ugh... Radian is more than twice the cost of the Parkway... but they do harness...


So would it be worth it to get two Radians for each side and the Coccoro?


The price is making me faint heh.  $600... It would be under $400 with the Parkways.

post #9 of 34

Well, its cheaper than a van at least. Here's what I'd do: Buy a radian for your dd, and a coccoro. Install those, then go to BRU and try the floor model of the parkway with your son and see how it fits and how easy it is to buckle. If its easy to buckle, get that. If you're scraping skin off the back of your hand, order another radian. 

post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 

You know, that's not half bad an idea!

post #11 of 34

Is a different car an option?


I have a 2005 Civic. It has a slightly worse back seat than the 2008, but the '08 isn't exactly generous either. 


I do not believe that it would be possible to put two boosters and a car seat in my Civic. It may be possible with an '08 but I wouldn't promise. 


I own Radians, a Coccoro, and a Parkway. So I've tried a lot of stuff. 


If I put a rear-facing Radian in the center and then shove it with all my might an inch to one side, then I can wiggle a Parkway into place next to it. I would not be able to do it next to a forward facing Radian. I can buckle the Parkway but it's very difficult and always bruises my knuckles. There's no way the 6 year old who rides in it would be able to buckle it herself. I can't even shut the door if I try to put a Frontier in there next to the Radian. I have my doubts as to whether I'd be able to fit another car seat on the other side, even a Radian or a Coccoro, with a Parkway in there. Plus, I'll have to use the Parkway backless soon because she's almost to tall to use the high back in the highest position I can get it into in the car. It hits the roof LONG before it's in its highest setting. 


All that being said... the 2008 is NOT as bad as the 2005. So it's entirely possible the fractions of inches you have that I don't will make all the difference in the world.


If your older kids would fit in Radians, that would be the way to start. Sit them both down on the floor against a wall, and measure them from their rumps (the floor) to the tops of their shoulders. Report back. That will give us an idea of whether Radians are even an option. 


But if a different car is even an option... that's what I'd be looking at. Maybe an Accord?

post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 

No way is a different car an option... This is brand new to us (OK, it's a year and a half old to us, but to me that's brand new!) and it was paid for in cash.  And we have debt now instead of cash (cross-country move, etc.).  To be honest, it may be on the small side, but I love the Civic...  we traded in a Ford Explorer for it and I love, love, love having another fuel efficient car with next to no maintenance fees.  It's also our only car, so that's that.


I went ahead and ordered the Radians.  I think the kids should be fine with them as far as fitting in them... I'm not sure how they will fit in the actual CAR but if they don't make it I will just return them.  Worst case scenario, I can get one Radian in for DD, the Coccoro in the middle, and DS will have to make do in the backless booster he's in now.  I'm not thrilled about it but hey, he's been in it for half a year anyway.  And honestly, if we get sideswiped by a semi, our car is going to be a pancake anyway... =/

post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 

Huh.  Well, I was a bit off on the measurements I posted earlier.  They're actually awake now so I could measure them.  I don't know their weights though because we don't have a scale.  But they're around 45 lbs. Ish.


DS(5) is 43 inches standing and 23 sitting, 15.5 at shoulders. 

DD(4.5) is 41 standing and 20 sitting, 23 sitting, 15 at shoulders.

post #14 of 34

They'll fit fine in the Radians, with probably at least 2 years of growing room, especially if you ordered the ones without the head wings.


If you went with RXTs, I'd suggest calling and asking them to change the order to R120s. RXTs are outgrown about a year sooner than R120s because the kids' shoulders bump into the head wings even in their highest setting, and it just gets too uncomfortable. 


You'll have better luck with two Radians and a Coccoro than you will with a booster seat. The Radian is narrower (where it counts) and you won't have to bloody your knuckles to get it buckled. 


I suspect this will work just fine but you'll probably have to put the Coccoro in the center. 


When someone outgrows a seat, you can re-think at that point. Perhaps passing down a Radian to the baby (RF) in the center and squeezing a booster in at that point will make sense. I would be surprised if you could put two Radians facing the same direction side by side - I know I can't in my 2005 - but you should have no trouble putting them next to each other if they're facing opposite directions. I can fit 3 Radians in my Civic if I alternate directions. 

post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 

I got the 100's...  is that alright?  Or is the 120 still better?   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005MQR708/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i00  I got two of those and the Coccoro here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001RAFWEG/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00 .  And yes... I plan on putting the baby in the middle.  It should be fun to juggle him/her in and out, but we don't plan on driving much until the warmer months anyway, at which point he/she shouldn't be QUITE a total lump.  :)


DH also fake-cried when I told him the total of all those, but he still took it better than I thought he would.  Hee.

post #16 of 34

The 100s are fine.  The 120s have a higher rear-facing limit, but it doesn't seem like that you'd take advantage of that anyhow since both the kids are forward-facing.  Very very few kids will make it to 80# in the harnesses before outgrowing by height -- 65# is actually a much more realistic harness limit.  So since you won't need the extra capacity either rear- or forward-facing, no need to spend extra for it.


And yeah, new car seats are expensive, especially the specialty ones you need.  But they are a lot less expensive than a new minivan!

post #17 of 34

The 100s are fine. They have a 65 lb weight limit, so there's a chance that your heavier kid *might* outgrow it sooner, but it's still unlikely. Most kids outgrow either seat at around 60-65 lbs anyway because they max out the height limit. And if your child does happen to hit 65 lbs before outgrowing it by height, you can always use it as a booster at that point. At least it won't have arm rests to make it even more impossible to buckle in your tight situation. 

post #18 of 34

Keep in mind that at some point you will need boosters.  And at that point you may need to look into a nother vehicle.  You probably have 2-3 years, but it's coming, so start planning for it now.

post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 

I'm confused... two are already in boosters?


Another car isn't in the cards for us for at least another 5-6 years.  Minimum.

Edited by tiqa - 10/16/12 at 6:30am
post #20 of 34
Originally Posted by tiqa View Post

I'm confused... two are already in boosters?


Another car isn't in the cards for us for at least another 5-6 years.  Minimum.

No, they're in harnesses :-)   Boosters means 'belt positioning' booster, a seat that positions the adult seatbelt on the child. 

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