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Another "what would you buy" thread

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So.  I have an almost 5 year old - today he was 43" tall, 43 lbs.  He's in a Radian 65 that he's been in since, oh, 7 months old or so.  He's at the top slot.


We're expecting a little one in August.  I kind of don't like bucket seats, I think they're awkward to carry and I have no problem babywearing.  DH kinda wants one though since he doesn't really do the babywearing thing.  At any rate, either we'll hopefully borrow a bucket seat or not get one at all?  Not sure.


The car situation - DH drives an older Honda Accord.  We don't often use his car as a family though.  If we're together we drive my Mazda 5.  Usually one of us drops off to day care and one picks up, so there's that logistical twist, although with DS starting 5K next year, our schedule may be completely different.


OK, I'll finally get to the point. lol.gif  DS will probably outgrow his Radian sooner rather than later.  What next for him?


For the new baby, I was eyeing the RadianRXT, since we're used to them, we like them, and it seems like they added a lot of nice features (and it would last forever, being a booster at the end).  But we need two car seats - do I spend the money on two of them when the baby will only be in DH's car for very short periods during the week and often not at all on the weekends?  I kinda think not, but I'd like to hear other opinions.  What other models should I be looking at given we like the Radian?  Any thoughts on the combination of seats/big kid/baby we're about to have?  I haven't looked, but I'm guessing the Radian we have will be too close to the expiration date to be worth anything to the baby, especially since it doesn't have an infant insert.


In short, I'm trying to find the best combination of value/thriftiness/safety I can.  And you ladies are really good at figuring this stuff out.  ;)

post #2 of 7

Because you want the baby in 2 cars potentially, an infant seat with 2 bases is probably going to be the easiest and cheapest.  They do make some with nice tall shells now that will last rfing for at least a year.  Keep in mind, the radian rfing at 45 degrees takes up A TON of room front to back.  If you wait until your baby is a few months old, you can install it more upright (even use the angle adjuster) and that will help a lot.  The radian does convert to a booster, but it doesn't make the best one and it will be outgrown before your child is ready to sit without a booster.  So it will not be the only seat you need.


As for your 5yo, I would look at a Graco Nautilus, Graco Argos, or Britax Frontier.  They are all seats that work ffing with a 5 point harness and then convert to boosters.


Does your 5yo have 2 radians now, or do you move it daily?  What are the expiration date(s)?  If you already have two, you could just pass the radians down to the baby for now, use them until they expire, and then decide what's next...

post #3 of 7
If you do get a bucket seat for baby, I wouldn't get a second base necessarily. My keyfit was very easy to install securely with the seatbelt. The base stayed in our car and we just used the seatbelt when using another vehicle. Do you have big babies? I love my truefit and it's significantly cheaper than the radian. The downside is that the RF limit is 35lbs. If your kiddos tend to be leaner then that may be a good choice for baby.
post #4 of 7
I suggest, letting your oldest use the radian until it either expires or he outgrows it and ideally move to a booster, like turbo booster, at ~5.5yrs if you think your son is ready

Not sure where you live, but if it is cold, land of beer and cheese often is, a bucket is nice.

Personally, I borrowed a bucket for the first few weeks as my truefit was very late arriving. My baby has several health issues where we were out much more than I usually do with newborns. So I liked the bucket.
Rally like my tf. Though with a 43lb 4yr old you currently have, I would only suggest the seat if you are willing to turn at 35lb which sounds like early to mid 3 based on your oldest. OR you drive a very small car where you can't fit something like a radian. Though there are always new seats coming out and I think there are some seat that last longer than 35lb but don't take up as much room as a radian. Which is way borrowing a bucket is nice, as it gives more time for new things to come on the market.

My spare seat is the scenera. Love it. Light weight and great for travel. Yes, I've had to ff in that seat sooner than her main seat, but it is great for travel and rarely used
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

You've given me great things to think about, thank you.  Let me answer some questions you had:


 - I don't know off-hand what the expiration date is on our current Radians, I keep forgetting to look at the sticker when we're hurrying in the cold and snow lately.  nut.gif  I would have purchased them in mid-2008.  It doesn't have the infant insert, so if we passed them down to the baby, we'd still need something in between (like a bucket).  If we couldn't borrow a bucket and had to buy one, I'd probably want to use that as long as I could and then by that time, I'm guessing the Radian will be about expired.


- We do have two Radians now, one for each car, money wasn't as tight back then. ;)  Plus we were using DH's car more as a family back then, we didn't have the Mazda 5 yet.  Someone gave us a bucket and two bases last time, but those are long gone (expired and they sucked too).


- My son isn't chunky, but he was TALL and...I don't know, just sturdy, so kinda heavy too.  So yes, he has in the past and will continue to grow out of things by height rather than weight.  I have no idea what this baby might be like.  I was a little shrimp, my son weighs now what I probably weighed in first grade, so who knows.  lol.gif


Is the newer Radian taller than my Radian65?  It was a pinch to fit the 65 rear-facing in DH's Accord, but I think it might fit better in the Mazda 5.  If they are similar heights, I could try it out.  That's a good point though about getting a bucket just to get past the 45-degree recline stage, I hadn't considered that...

post #6 of 7

With a 2008 manufacture date, I *think* you get 8 years for an experation date with a Radian.  That takes you until mid 2016 which is when your *new* baby would be 2.5-3 (depending on exact month).


In your situation, what I did would depend on if I wanted my older child to stay harnessed or to go into a booster.  No matter what, if you borrow an infant seat, you have until at least the new year, meaning DS would be 5.5. 


So, I would:

1) borrow infant seat for first few months

2) when ready to transition into covertable, get DS1 seat of your choice (either a dedicated high back booster OR something like a Nautilus or Frontier).

3) get new baby the Radian of your choice in your car, the Radian 65 in DH's car (used less often)

4) reevaluate what you want to do with DH's carseat when the Radian 65 expires in 3 years (there may be a seat you like better by then)

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

 bow.gif  I think that's a really good plan.  I'll double-check the expiration, obviously, but that makes so much sense.  We may just buy a bucket seat after all, as someone else said, I think there are more options for those now than last time we did this, and since DH is hell-bent on having one anyway...  winky.gif  That would give us more time to decide too, as someone mentioned.


Thanks ladies!

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