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Can I go by the combined weight limit for the LATCH anchors now?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna. My 6 year old is still harnessed in a Britax Frontier (old style), which I think is about 20 lbs. He just hit 40 lbs., himself, so we tried switching the seat to a belt install but we can't get it tight enough. We've tried it different ways in different seats and it's just not working.

I think we have two options. We can either go back to using the LATCH and just assume that the 65 lbs. combined weight limit is safe or we can switch to booster mode. I prefer to keep him harnessed. I also prefer LATCH install in general because I find belt install to be a major pain.

What is safest?
post #2 of 9

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/perfi/basics/story/2012-06-06/child-safety-seat-latch/55452346/1

 

Starting in 2014 it will be 65lbs total weight, but if they are recommending this, I would start doing it now.  It's not like your seat or car magically change in 2014.  So you have 5 more pounds.  Safety wise, there is no data that show harnessing or boostering is safer for older kids (who are at least 4/40lbs) who are also mature enough to sit properly in a booster.  So it's up to you.

 

I would ask on car-seat.org for install tips for the frontier in the 2004 sienna if you want to keep using it harnessed.  Someone there will be able to help you.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I thought I had read somewhere that the 65 lbs. combined weight limit was for 2005 vehicles and newer so I was afraid I'd have to stick with the 40 lbs. weight limit for my van. It makes sense to me, though, that I could go with the 65 lbs. limit now and keep the seat latched. Thanks.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

I thought I had read somewhere that the 65 lbs. combined weight limit was for 2005 vehicles and newer so I was afraid I'd have to stick with the 40 lbs. weight limit for my van. It makes sense to me, though, that I could go with the 65 lbs. limit now and keep the seat latched. Thanks.

I can't find anything that differentiates the years of the car. 

post #5 of 9

I had trouble installing our Frontier with the belt in our Honda CR-V, and I consider myself quite car seat saavy.  The only way that worked was to do the long belt-path route.  I'd recline the CR-V seat back a few clicks, thread the belt through the long belt path and tighten as much as possible, then bring the seat back to upright position (with a bit of effort).  That got it very tight.  LATCH didn't get nearly as good of an install in my car, even with a lot of effort.  Plus, with all the changing rules about how much weight LATCH can hold, I felt better with the seatbelt (my guy is hovering right around 40 pounds).

 

I am now using a HBB for most rides.  My son just turned 5.  But he sits properly in the seat all the time, and it is statistically just as safe.  I'm grateful to pass the Frontier on to my husband's car, which it installs in easily.  I think it helps having really squishy seats to smash it into when installing.  The CR-V has very hard seats, and it's just not a super fit.  I prefer our bare-bones Maestro over the Frontier for longer car trips because it's so simple to install and so lightweight!

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

I thought I had read somewhere that the 65 lbs. combined weight limit was for 2005 vehicles and newer so I was afraid I'd have to stick with the 40 lbs. weight limit for my van. It makes sense to me, though, that I could go with the 65 lbs. limit now and keep the seat latched. Thanks.

I haven't been keeping up to date on all the changes, but if your van specifically states there's a 40 pound limit for LATCH, I'd follow that no matter what.  I know that Sunshine Kids/Diono specified that Super LATCH could be used with vehicles from 2005 and newer.  Is that what you're thinking of?

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2soren View Post

I haven't been keeping up to date on all the changes, but if your van specifically states there's a 40 pound limit for LATCH, I'd follow that no matter what.  I know that Sunshine Kids/Diono specified that Super LATCH could be used with vehicles from 2005 and newer.  Is that what you're thinking of?

Oh, maybe it was something about the super LATCH. I've been reading so much lately that I can't keep it all straight.

My car manufacturer, Toyota, doesn't set a limit for their LATCH anchors as far as I can tell. irked.gif They defer to the child safety seat manufacturer. Britax says not use LATCH with a child over 40 lbs. but my seats are old, made in 2007 and 2008. That may be for the Boulevards, though. Now I'm not sure about the Frontier. I'll have to look that up again.

We can get a really tight install with the LATCH. The problem with the belts appear to be that it gets bunched up in the clip because of the angle of the female part so that the belt won't slide anymore. I think the Frontier is too wide.

Maybe I should just try him in the booster mode. He is 6, after all. That just makes me really nervous. We had our now 9.5 year old in the harness until he was probably 7 or so. The Frontier is also a pain in booster mode because the seat belt is hard to pull through. I still had to buckle my 7-8 year old in because he couldn't pull the belt through the seat.

Would you use the LATCH system to attach the seat to the car if using in booster mode or leave it unattached?
post #8 of 9

I would check the manual about using latch - I don't know if the frontier allows it.

 

If you really hate the frontier as a booster, you could invest in a dedicated booster.  The Turbobooster is a great seat that fits smaller riders quite well and it's inexpensive.  You can also pay a bit more and get the Graco Affix which is the Turbobooster with latch you can use in booster mode.  You could most likely sell your Frontier on Craigslist and easily finance one of the boosters.  Just a thought.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm pretty sure the manual does allow for using LATCH with the Frontier in booster mode. I remember using that way with my older son when he was in it.

We're keeping him in the harness and continuing to use the LATCH. He's just barely 40 lbs. and only 43-44" tall, not big enough for the Frontier in booster mode. I prefer that, anyway.
.
We have a highback Turbobooster. Our 9.5 year old uses it without the back now.

The LATCH anchor weight limit info is so confusing! One of the stickers on the Frontier says to go with the vehicle manufacture weight limit. Info on the Britax website says to assume a 40 lbs. weight limit if the vehicle manufacturer doesn't state one. But, then, a sticker on the Boulevard says not to use the LATCH with a child over 48 lbs. How is anyone supposed to figure out what to do?!
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