Britax:only drawback is the price?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 41 Old 11-16-2009, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just like many of you, my head is spinning as I research car seats...
I was always planning to get a Britax because I thought they were the best...now I read on this forum that they haven't kept up and are overpriced. So, I was thinking of going with the True Fit. We currently have a Chicco Keyfit and love it. It turns out that our back-up car seat is a Keyfit 30, so we have a really long time until we have to get a new seat. Speaking of, is there any negative to keeping our 19month old in a bucket? He is 22 pounds. Thanks so much. I feel dumb posting this instead of spending years reading old posts. I have read a lot of them...

I want the Goldilocks/Holy Grail car seat!!! I don't mind paying for it

safe
comfortable
easy to use
easy to install
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#2 of 41 Old 11-16-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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If he still fits by height and weight, it is fine to continue to use the bucket. Obviously he should be under 30 lbs, but he also needs to have at least 1" of shell above his head in the seat.

Britax are good seats, but as you've found out, they're not really the "best of the best" anymore. Many other companies now have seats just as nice with the same great features, but for less money and longer usage.

Absolutely get a britax if it works best for you, but there are other great seats to consider.

The seats I usually recommend are the First years true fit, any of the sunshine kids radians, graco my ride, evenflo triumph advance, safety first complete air, and the larger britax convertibles.

The britax and true fit are probably the easiest to install. The complete air and the radians hardest to install (but totally doable in most vehicles). The longest lasting ones, as far as weight are concerned are the complete air, my ride, and radian. The longest lasting for height are the radians, complete air, and the true fit.

All seem pretty comfortable. The britax don't have a lot of leg room for bigger rf'ing kids though.
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#3 of 41 Old 11-16-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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Britaxes drawbacks include price, limited leg room rear facing, limited overall height and weight rear facing, and a shorter forward facing harness position than many other convertibles.


They really have almost nothing to sell them anymore over other brands

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#4 of 41 Old 11-16-2009, 08:37 PM
 
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Do you have a Babies-R-Us near you? If so, take your kiddo in and play around with all the different seats, practice putting your DS in and installing them in your car. You'll probably find several that you can't stand for whatever reason and a couple that you really like. That will help narrow it down. The Radian and the TrueFit are not sold in BRU, but if you have a specialty baby store near you they might carry them.

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#5 of 41 Old 11-16-2009, 08:58 PM
 
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Yeaaaah. I got a Britax when baby was 3 months gestated and am sad that I did. I will be watching this thread with interest.

I'm Kellie :, married to Chris , and mom to one baby girl (7/12/09).
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#6 of 41 Old 11-16-2009, 10:46 PM
 
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Britax DOES still have something to recommend it over other makes... the Marathons with the LATCH bars are so easy to install well, every time, in every vehicle, without a tech.

For a non expert, having two seperate buckles to independantly tighten on either side of the seat is great. I am sure CPSTs and super experienced multi seat users have no problems with the standard, cheaper single LATCH adjuster, but for me, I'll pay an extra $50 - $100 once to eliminate many cumulative hours of tugging, sweating and cussing at a more difficult to install seat.

Just my two cents.

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#7 of 41 Old 11-16-2009, 10:56 PM
 
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I personally love my Britax! Not only is it a breeze to install, but I absolutely love the no re-thread harness. I looked up reviews and info on the other convertible seats now available for baby #2, but I still am convinced that Britax has the best features.
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#8 of 41 Old 11-16-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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I love the ease of installation. I would not trade my Regent nor my Boulevard.

+ + =
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#9 of 41 Old 11-16-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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Britax used to be the be-all-end-all of seats, but no longer. There are many seats on the market that actually fit newborns well, and have higher RF weight limits and taller shells. I have two Marathons, one of which expires soon, and the other that I bought for $60 from the Target mixup. The expired one will be replaced with a MyRide. I have a Regent that I love and there really is not much else comparable, but unfortunatley they have discontinued it.

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#10 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 12:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Aliyahsmommy View Post
I personally love my Britax! Not only is it a breeze to install, but I absolutely love the no re-thread harness. I looked up reviews and info on the other convertible seats now available for baby #2, but I still am convinced that Britax has the best features.
Lots of other seats have no-rethread harnesses now The true fit for one...

I used to be a huge britax fan (still have 3 of their seats....) but if I were buying a new convertible today I wouldn't even consider a britax.

-Angela
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#11 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 12:29 AM
 
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Best features? Like a lower rear-facing weight limit and a shorter forward-facing harness height for more money?

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#12 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 01:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Lots of other seats have no-rethread harnesses now The true fit for one...

I used to be a huge britax fan (still have 3 of their seats....) but if I were buying a new convertible today I wouldn't even consider a britax.

-Angela
What would you consider?

:Mama to 2 :
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#13 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 01:39 AM
 
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For CONVERTIBLES, there are a lot of seats that you can get a lot more use out of than any of the Britax models anymore.

For FF-only combination seats (harnessed/booster), the Frontier IMO narrowly beats out the Nautilus. Probably not by$130, unless your kids are spaced juuuust right that the 9-year lifespan makes a huge difference for you (like for us). But the harness is easier to adjust, the crotch strap gives more room, and it's a skosh narrower.

For FF-only harnessed for extremely tall or SN kids, the Regent still offers unbeatable harness height for a retail seat.

I don't know anything about the new Chaperone infant bucket. The old Companion that it replaced had loyal owners and regretful ones; it was very secure, but was HEAVY and apparently difficult to get in/out of the base without waking a sleeping child. Hopefully the Chaperone offers some improvements over the Companion.
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#14 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 02:07 AM
 
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My son is not comfortable in his Britax... there very thin foam for padding under his but, on a hard shell... we just bought another seat for new baby (cant remember the name right now, sorry, exhausted) and it has a super comfy seat, non-rethread harness, and the lowest setting on the straps is VERY LOW. It's a convertible. DS loves it

Placenta eating EC mom to my sweet DS Skyy 08/24/08 and Lotus Birth HBAC DD Aspen 01/13/2010 Healed by her birth
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#15 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 02:15 AM
 
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I have a marathon and it does not work, rear facing, in either of our two cars (Honda Element and Accord). Its too darn big for the Accord and inaccessable in the Element.
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#16 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 02:21 AM
 
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We have had no problems with our Marathon RF in our 2002 Accord sedan, both in the center and passenger outboard position. In the driver outboard position, it would be a *bit* uncomfortable for DH behind the wheel, but would otherwise be fine.

We've also installed the same seat RF in an Element with no issues whatsoever. The trick there was reclining the seat first, installing, then putting the seat back upright.
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#17 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 02:36 AM
 
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I adore our Marathon. We've had it since Dd was born. She was RF until nearly 2 years old (and 32 pounds). It installs SO easily - less than 30 seconds in my husband's Prius. Seriously! I was astonished; I did the long belt path in the middle and it was ROCK SOLID on the first try.

So when I got pregnant and we were looking at needing another seat, I gravitated to the Britax Frontier, since my Dd is a very large 3 year old and ready for a good 5-point booster.

Well, words can't really express how much I loathed the install of the Frontier (something the reviews all rant about). I tried it first in the middle of my Honda CRV and never got a decent fit. I hooked up the LATCH as backup and called it good enough. (Since then I've moved the seat to outboard driver side and got a much tighter fit.)

KidsWoot.com was having a great offer for the True Fit booster for only $100, so I snatched one up to put in my parents' car. I actually like that seat better - MUCH better - than the Frontier! Before I got the Frontier to work in my Honda, I was seriously considering CraigsListing it and getting another True Fit.

Were I to do it again, I would definitely get the True Fit for the booster stage. I haven't used it as an infant seat, so I can't speak to that. Besides, I really do love my Marathon still!

This whole Frontier experience has jolted me out of my Britax-haze and for an infant seat, I'm considering other options.

High-tech Hippie Mama to Dd1 (9/22/06), Dd2 (2/25/10) and Ds (05/27/2013). I eat Clean, cloth diaper, and spend way too much time online.

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#18 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 10:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Becken View Post
I adore our Marathon. We've had it since Dd was born. She was RF until nearly 2 years old (and 32 pounds). It installs SO easily - less than 30 seconds in my husband's Prius. Seriously! I was astonished; I did the long belt path in the middle and it was ROCK SOLID on the first try.

So when I got pregnant and we were looking at needing another seat, I gravitated to the Britax Frontier, since my Dd is a very large 3 year old and ready for a good 5-point booster.

Well, words can't really express how much I loathed the install of the Frontier (something the reviews all rant about). I tried it first in the middle of my Honda CRV and never got a decent fit. I hooked up the LATCH as backup and called it good enough. (Since then I've moved the seat to outboard driver side and got a much tighter fit.)

KidsWoot.com was having a great offer for the True Fit booster for only $100, so I snatched one up to put in my parents' car. I actually like that seat better - MUCH better - than the Frontier! Before I got the Frontier to work in my Honda, I was seriously considering CraigsListing it and getting another True Fit.

Were I to do it again, I would definitely get the True Fit for the booster stage. I haven't used it as an infant seat, so I can't speak to that. Besides, I really do love my Marathon still!

This whole Frontier experience has jolted me out of my Britax-haze and for an infant seat, I'm considering other options.
The marathon is not appropriate for a newborn or young infant. While rated from 5+ lbs, the bottom slot is too tall to fit any newborn correctly (the straps must be at or below the shoulder rear facing)

The truefit is not a booster. It will, however, get most children to an appropriate booster age, when you can buy a dedicated booster. The truefit is a fine seat for newborns.
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#19 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 11:43 AM
 
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I have a marathon and it does not work, rear facing, in either of our two cars (Honda Element and Accord). Its too darn big for the Accord and inaccessable in the Element.
The Marathon can EASILY fit in both the Accord and the Element. You don't need a 45 degree angle install. It can go upright as thirty degrees. I've put Marathons and similarly sized convertibles in both those vehicles with room to spare.

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#20 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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We can easily fit the Marathon rear-facing in our 05 Civic.


I'll admit to being a Britax lover, but then I also did all my carseat research a few years ago when other companies couldn't hold a candle to them, things have since changed. Now I still have my Marathon and Regent, with no plans of changing that, but it's sad that they have felt they don't need to keep up.

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#21 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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The Marathon can EASILY fit in both the Accord and the Element. You don't need a 45 degree angle install. It can go upright as thirty degrees. I've put Marathons and similarly sized convertibles in both those vehicles with room to spare.
This. I have a Camry, which has almost the exact same dimensions as the Accord, and I have a Marathon rearfacing that has been there for over a year, fits perfectly fine, and plenty of room for the passenger in the front.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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#22 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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I scannd through the replies, and noted a lot of discussion of price, features, install, harness heights, weight limits, etc, all of which are valid points of consideration, but wanted to touch on eth safety issue - and just wanted to state, very CLEARLY, that Britax does *NOT* have a SAFETY advantage at all. I still see so many parents believeing that a britax seat is somehow SAFER, which is absolutely not true. All seats pass the same standards to be sold, so all meet the same standards. Technically, all seats are equally safe.
However, in some recent testing by both the US and Canadian governments, we have started to see a trend that not only do Britax seats not perform better than many other seats...they actually perform worse in some of the tests performed. Now - we do NOT know how the crash tests might or might not translate to real-world safety, we do not know for certain whether or not a seat that passes with flying colors is actually going to protect a child better than a seat that *just* squeaks by under the required limits. It seems like of course, a seat that performs better in a crash test would perform better in real life, right? But we really just don't know. There is simply no way to know, unless we want to start using live children as test dummies. (I'm going to assume none of us want that, lol.) So anyway...you can argue other merits of a seat, but on the safety front, please, PLEASE do not think for a second that a Britax is safer. There is simply no evidence at all that is true, and possibly some minor evidence to the contrary.

now, we do know that it is important, in terms of safety, to use a seat CORRECTLY and that it be appropriate for the child, and istalled correctly in the vehicle.
So..a Britax seat which installs easily and which you know how to use, might very well be the best choice, especially in a situation where you need it to be as "dummy-proof" as possible, maybe for a grandparent?
But in terms of value, of use, many other seats blow the britaxes away at this point. A britax isn;'t big enough to get many kids to booster age, it can't be used with newborns, and it has a shorter shell and lower RF weigth limit...in short, you get a lot less for your money in terms of both rearfacing and forwardfacing time, than in many, many other seats at this point. And, you'd pay a huge Britax price for that less-time, as well.
Most parents i meet are looking to get the most for their money, and their are seats for half the price that will last longer, and which, quite frankly, perform better in governmental testing. Even though i know that higher performance in crash testing might not translate to better real-world protection, i'll say that when picking a seat for my own kids, i DO take it under advisement how a seat performed in crash tests. I feel it is a PIECE, a small one, of the overall equation.

I agree, I woudl go and try out the seats..your holy grail might not be mine, or anyone elses. If i personally were buynig a convertible seat, I'd probably go for a Radian XTSL, since it has the 45 lb Rfing limit and a tall shell. but, it does have some quirks, and wont work for everyone.
The truefit ARB would be on my list, as would the 50-lb Alpha Omega seats, complete air, myride, possibly one of the new Recaro convertibles. Many people also like the symphony 65 and triumph advance, and they are great seats worthy of consideration, but I personally probably wouldn't, because i don't like the continuous harness height adjuster.

CPST
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#23 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 03:36 PM
 
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When I bought our Marathons, they were the only decent seats available. I love them, but we just went for a Radian for DS since it was on sale and it makes it possible (though still very difficult) to get three across in our back row. The best thing about the Radian (besides being thin) is that it sits low on the seat instead of having a big base like the Marathon, so my son can sit directly in it instead of having to climb up on the vehicle seat next to the carseat then in. Yay for no more muddy boots prints there!

On the other hand, the Radian was a total pain to install, and while I've done the best I can and have an acceptable install, I don't have the rock-won't-budge-at-all install I am used to from Britax. And it would only take me a minute to install the Britax with latch, the Radian took ages and a lot of trouble and bad language.

For ease of install, I'd definitely pick Britax over a Radian if you don't need a skinny seat. I don't have experience with the Tru Fit or the MyRide or the Complete Air, and I suspect I might have ended up with one of them if they had been around when I was buying for my older two. I'd suggest going to babies R Us sometime when you have time to try installing a bunch of seats and see what you think.

Britax does have lower harness slots than other seats. My tall six year old has been in a booster almost a year, but she still has plenty of room in it. A younger/shorter friend of hers has ougrown it already though. It's not so much of an issue if there is expected to be a younger child to pass it down to though when the older one ougrows it and moves to a Nautilus or something though.
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#24 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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What would you consider?
For a convertible, right now my top considerations would be a radian seat (several options) or a true fit premier. After those I'd consider the new graco and the regular true fit.

-Angela
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#25 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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As someone who used Britax exclusively for many years, my recent seat purchases have been a Radian XT and True Fit Premier. I do think that there was a time (even 5 years ago) that Britax did make convertibles with the best features AND used the best materials. But now, other companies are catching up and offering seats with the same features that used to be used exclusively by Britax, PLUS new features, and will last kids longer. If you've never seen a Radian IRL, it's truly an impressive seat. The frame is steel, not flimsy plastic. The overall design is well thought out and very very sturdy.

There are a couple of companies that I would not trust, but I do trust The First Years and Sunshine Kids with my kids' lives every day. I'd probably buy the My Ride if it had a RF tether or anti rebound bar. Not a big deal for many, but it's a deal breaker for a RF convertible for me.

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#26 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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Ease of installation is definitely something to think about. My '06 Britax Decathlon is way more easy to install than my '08 Graco Nautilus, though in every other respect the Nautilus is a better seat.

I wouldn't have bought a seat based on ease of installation, but I'm glad that my Britax is so easy to install/uninstall--with carpools to school and drop-off at a nanny share, we move the Britax between 3 different cars at least 3 times per week. On occasion, the person installing/uninstalling the carseat is taking care of 3 3 year olds by herself! Every second counts in that situation.

ETA: I just realized you're looking for a RF/FF convertible, in which case the Nautilus will not work for you. It is a FF harness/HBB/Backless booster convertible.

Part-time WOHM to another introverted extrovert just like his mother born 5/5/06.
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#27 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 04:38 PM
 
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another truefit vote, my sister is a former britax only and loves her truefit. i tried the radian 80 and it just was not as easy to install as the britax so i took it back and havent been brave enough to try anything but britax since
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#28 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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When I need to replace our Britax convertible when my son outgrows it RF, I will likely not be buying another Britax convertible, that is unless they come out with something between now and then that can compete with all the higher height/weight limit seats.

I love the seat though. It's very well made, and very easy to use and install, and it has served us well with both kids. But I'd like to keep my son refacing as long as possible, and I simply cannot do that with a Britax at the moment. I will admit, I'm not thrilled about trying another brand. There are a lot of things I like about Britax.

I did buy a Britax Frontier (forward facing only harness to booster) earlier this year though, and we love it .

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#29 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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Right now I have a Britax Boulevard, which has been perfectly fine, other than the fact that it's super heavy and lately I feel like I'm constantly moving it between my car and my sister's car when she babysits or we go places together. So I finally gave in and ordered a radian 80. I'd been planning on getting it eventually for the higher rear facing limit, and now I'm just ready to be done moving seats. I can't wait until it comes... although, after reading this thread I'm a little nervous about installing it. How is it different from installing a Britax?

Single Mama to Vincent 3/30/09
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#30 of 41 Old 11-17-2009, 05:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Maedze View Post
The Marathon can EASILY fit in both the Accord and the Element. You don't need a 45 degree angle install. It can go upright as thirty degrees. I've put Marathons and similarly sized convertibles in both those vehicles with room to spare.
OK, I lied..upon closer inspection I actually have a Boulevard. And the thing is HUGE. The problem with the Element is not that the seat does not fit...there is plenty of room in back...but that the darn head wings prevent actually getting the kid into the seat! I suppose some could crawl in from the other side and get the kid in that way, but I can't.

With the Accord it impedes the front seat space. I'll look into the 30 degree not 45 thing, but according to the instructions it came with you have to recline it all the way to install it rear-facing. This leaves the person in the front seat with so little leg space that their knees are around their ears. Again installing it into the center is not an option (until my kid is mobile) because I can't crawl into the car and place him there (I have bursitis in my shoulder).

So long story short I wish I had purchased a smaller seat.
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