Got proof on carseats? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 07-21-2004, 04:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Dh and I are trying to find a good careseat for our 31mo. We have an alpha-omega convertible and we plan to start putting our 5mo in it. I am interested in getting our toddler a Britax but he is not willing to pay that much $$$ for a carseat .... he says "it's the same thing". He wants to get another Alpha-omega from Cosco.

How do they compare saftey-wise, etc.? DH needs proof- what are their ratings, do you know? I read in another thread that Britax was very good... but what would be the next best carseat?
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#2 of 19 Old 07-21-2004, 04:43 AM
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Here are 2 links to sites that discuss this. The first is from the AAP.

I didn't look through either of these sites thoroughly but I did look through another before I bought my car seat. The site said that all car seats have to meet the same safety standards so one is not necessarily safer than another. What makes a car seat safer is ease of use. In other words, the easier it is for you to use properly, the safer it is for your child. This is an individual thing because different people find different features easier. For example, I opted for a car seat that had knob adjustments for the straps outside the seat rather than a strap that hung out of the front so that I could easily adjust the straps without removing the seat while it was rear facing.The other thing to consider is whether or not it fits in your car. If I remember correctly, I think I actually read that the more expensive Britax was a lower rated car seat because it was more difficult to use and didn't fit in more most smaller cars. So, I'm sorry to say it, but I think your dh is correct.

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#3 of 19 Old 07-21-2004, 09:25 AM
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I might meet with a lot of disapproval for saying this, but we got an evenflo triumph for 119.00. It got awesome crash ratings. It scored slightly less on ease of use than the britax (unsure why- it is easy and the straps don't twist) but scored slightly higher on infant crash protection both with belt and latch. Plus it is SO cozy and cool... we call it our jetsons chair Chart
Evenflo Triumph Pics & Specs
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#4 of 19 Old 07-21-2004, 11:34 AM
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Rainbow- We have the Evenflo Triumph, too, and it is working quite well for us. My parents have an Alpha Omega for their car and I find the Triumph to be much easier/less of a hassle to use.

Marie-Mom to two boys and a girl.
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#5 of 19 Old 07-21-2004, 11:49 AM
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Consumer Reports does a series on car seats every year or two. the results are free, and they look at crash test data from an independent crash facility, ease of use, and also talk about cost. I think this is a great source of information.

Here is a link--you can follow the links in this web page to find more detailed info on their full results...

edited to add that when I looked at the Cosco Alpha Omega in the rankings, it is ranked mediocre-to-low in the group. There are lots of other, higher-ranked, inexpensive seats available that may be worth considering.

Stacy-- Wife to my DH, mom to three: noodle girl:, Lego boy , little guy :
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#6 of 19 Old 07-21-2004, 12:47 PM
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We have the Cosoc Alpha Omega. Our model has great ratings for the 5-point harness, but has horrible ratings as a booster seat. I wish we too just bought the Britax Marathon as our first and only seat.

Why is carseat information so confusing!!!???
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#7 of 19 Old 07-21-2004, 12:59 PM
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I agree that it's hard to figure the car seat thing out. I have a Cosco high-back booster with a five-point harness that we bought when my dh broke our wonderful (but now discontinued) Fisher Price convertible car seat. I must say that I really haven't been happy with the Cosco, although it was highest rated by CR. I have found it very difficult to adjust and get comfortable for my dd.

We just opted for the Marathon, which was a splurge but I think worth it. Dd will be able to fit in it until the new baby is out of her infant seat. After that it will be probably be used for another 3 or more years, so I'm glad to have spent the money for a seat that is easy to install and use.

One of my favorite features of the Britax is the built in locking clip (my FP car seat had this, too), which makes it soooo much easier to get the seat in snugly.
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#8 of 19 Old 07-21-2004, 01:28 PM
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The Britax is so worth it!!! We compared and looked around 4 years ago and decided on the Roundabout and never regretted it. Then 2 yrs ago I went to the four-day training to be able to install and inspect carseats. We practiced and used all different brands and I was even more convinced at the end of the course Britax is the only seat my child will ever ride in. The ease of use is beyond anything else. Yes, there is no recommendation per say beyond a new seat safety certified that fits your car that you will use right each time. The Britax is the seat in my opinion that best fits the bill. We now also have the Marathon and love it and my MIL bought one to be able to haul Carrie in her van. Once you pick one up, see how well it's made and what the cover is like compared to the average seat, I think you'll be convinced. I understand the cost can seem prohibitive compared to other seats, but feel one for yourself. For our family we decided there were plenty of other things to cut back on. We are also car/van shopping and will not consider anything the Britax doesn't fit well in. We currently have 2 Accords and the seats fit great in the middle spot. W/ another child on the way I would like a third seat row so both children can be in the middle spot.
This ended up being long, but it's a subject near and dear to me. Good luck.
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#9 of 19 Old 07-21-2004, 04:16 PM
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For the reasons the 2 PPs mentioned I only buy Britax convertibles. I have a Roundabout that I bought when ds was 5 months (he just turned 3) and I just moved him into a Marathon. He has about an inch to grow in the torso before his shoulders are too high for the Roundabout, which could take a week or a year. For now I am going to put it in MILs van for when he is with her.

Anyhow, to get to my rambling point, I love Britax seats. I've used other seats and there is just no comparison. Some people don't think the expense is justified or just can't afford it and that is fine. I saved half of the cost of the Marathon from refunding and half came out of the family money.
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#10 of 19 Old 07-21-2004, 08:46 PM
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another vote for Britax....

I LOVE my marathon. Not just for ease of use, but for my daughter's comfort. She is much happier in her Marathon than her previous seat, a Fisher Price Safe Embrace. She is still RF at 2 1/2.

I actually bought two -- one for my car, one for my husband. It is also handy when friends visit, we have 2.

Best $200 I ever spent. Just MY opinion, though...

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#11 of 19 Old 07-22-2004, 10:13 AM
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I have to give another thumbs up on the Britax!! They are not going to show the same comparison ratings for US made seats b/c the testing standards in Europe are very different. They are actually BETTER. If you look at the Britax seats, they are rated to 65lbs - this means no extra booster seats or anything. We had an Alpha-Omega and recently purchased a Britax Wizard for our 3 yr old. The quality difference is absolutely AMAZING!! Not all seats are the same. We will be purchasing another one for our 5 mo old next month and will never use another brand seat again. We are not wealthy by any means, but our childrens safety carries absolutely no price tag!
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#12 of 19 Old 07-22-2004, 10:33 AM
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I got the Britax Wizard for several reasons - has the side impact protection for head, straps don't get tangled, adjustment knobs are on the outside. It is big but fitted into the center seat of my old Subaru ok.

I'd heard too many complaints about the straps tangling on the Alpha Omega although I'd heard it was just as safe.

Ultimately though no other seats had side impact head protection like the Britax Wizard. It was the single most expensive baby item we bought but seeing we didn't need a crib, didn't bother decorating a nursery etc, the $250 didn't seem so bad.

I'm rather paranoid about accidents though and the way I looked at it was, if I had an accident where the car seat proved useful, would I care about paying an extra $100 for it? No.
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#13 of 19 Old 07-22-2004, 11:16 AM
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[QUOTE=mama2myangelWill If you look at the Britax seats, they are rated to 65lbs - this means no extra booster seats or anything. [/QUOTE]

I absolutely agree that one advantage of the Britax seats is the large size range, but you will still need a booster seat--at least in our state, you have to have a child in a restraint until 80 lbs/8 years old. But it does mean that the child can stay in a 5 point harness for a much longer time, which is of course safer.
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#14 of 19 Old 07-22-2004, 11:46 AM
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One reason I love my Britax is that it's so comfy for DS. It has nice foam cushioning and the seat seems so comfortable. Other seats we looked at had hard bottoms, and I didnt' want ds sitting on something like that for several hours.
I love, love, love the Britax.
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#15 of 19 Old 07-22-2004, 12:17 PM
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I'm another Britax fan, and I did a ton of research before I bought my first carseat (a Roundabout for ds1 before he was born 3 yrs ago). Huge ds1 is now in a Wizard, because I want him in a 5-pt harness for as long as possible... the high weight limit/height limit were very attractive to me. Huge ds2 is in the Roundabout.

Whatever you get, have the installation checked by a certified technician. It's free, and it's so worth it.
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#16 of 19 Old 07-22-2004, 02:39 PM
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One thing that no one else has mentioned about the britax is that it has the EPS styrofoam (like whats in a bike helmet) around the head. Last I knew, there was only one other seat (a Graco something or other IRRC) that had that. IF you look under the cover of most seats, there is just some foam to provide (minimal, IMO) padding, and then the hard plastic. It may meet the saftey standards in the US, but that doesn't make it good enough for my kid, yk?

Go for the Britax, it is so worth it. My britax is the *ONLY* thing I have researched, chosen, and purchased new for my kids. I get everything else on the cheap or hand-me-down, but not carseats!
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#17 of 19 Old 07-22-2004, 10:40 PM
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I was going to mention the head protection of the Britax also. I love ours. Easy to use (we have to move it between cars), always gets a super secure fit. I figure if it is the stuff they pad motorcycle helmets with, why buy a seat that didn't have that extra padding. It is so comfortable looking compared to any other I've seen. It was an extra expense but the savings in cloth diapering alone paid for it early on! I really think it is the best car seat going!
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#18 of 19 Old 07-23-2004, 12:16 AM
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Another Marathon lover here. I have a 1998 car with no LATCH and was shocked at how easy it was to install. I was expecting a fight but it was installed in a few minutes. I've driven 2 door cars with odd back seats, 4 door, etc and was able to properly install the Britax seats with no problem. I've returned quite a few other seats since I couldn't get them set up securely in my cars. I've had a Roundabout, the Marathon now and I have 2 Star Riser Comfy Britax booster seats. With 3 kids, I've had a few different seats but really love the Britax.

My understanding is that Britax seats are made to meet US standards and that of other countries, which have much higher standards than the US. They do cost more but I've never been disappointed.

Stephanie, mom to 3 big girls ('94, '99 & '02) and to my little guy (12/30/09) intact & CD'ed!
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#19 of 19 Old 07-23-2004, 06:13 PM
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The other seat that the one poster mention that has EPS foam other than the seats made by Britax is the Evenflo Triump 5 which we have. We have been real happy with the seat. No problems with the straps tangling, it was easy to install, and DS (20 months) sleeps in it all the time since it is pretty comfy. According to consumer reports it was ranked 3rd as the best car seats in the country. It is also $100 less than the Britax Roundabout. If I were buying a seat from beginning to end I would consider a Britax seat but since I had booster seats already and DS had outgrown the infant car seat, we bought the Evenflo Triump 5 instead.

Loving Mom to DS (7) and DS (5).
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