Tall 3 year old needs a new carseat. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 02-07-2011, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wonder if you wise mothers ever get tired of helping less knowledgeable mothers like myself choose the right car seat for their child. :p

 

So here's the situation. DS turned 3 in December. I think he's just under 40 inches tall and about 37-38lbs, depending on the day. That puts him in the 90th% for height and about 75% for weight. He's been in a Britax Roundabout, forward facing, but he's just about outgrown it for height and weight. My ideal carseat will harness him for 3 more years or so and then convert to a hbb. I also love how easy it is to tighten/loosen the straps on our Britax and really need our future seat to be similarly simple to operate. (Edit: Simple on a day to day basis, getting in and out of the car. I don't mind if it's a little tougher to change the harness slots since we don't have to do it often.) Finally, since we have to buy 2 seats at once, I'm hoping not to spend the nearly $300 some Britax seats can run, but at the same time, I'm willing to make an investment for the right seat(s).

 

Since it's forward facing and he's currently our only child, I'm not sure it matters, but the seats will be going in the middle of a 2000 Jetta and a 2001 Audi A4. I hope to have another baby in the next year or 2, but in that case each seat will probably go outboard because there's not enough space to put 2 seats right by each other.

 

I'd really appreciate any guidance or direction you guys could give me.


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#2 of 9 Old 02-07-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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Have you looked at the Graco Nautilus?  It seems to fit all your criteria.


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#3 of 9 Old 02-07-2011, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post

Have you looked at the Graco Nautilus?  It seems to fit all your criteria.



Actually, I had looked at one seat that I thought might work and couldn't remember which one it was. Just googled it, and that's it! :) I think as long as the harness slots aren't particularly low, it might be just right. Does anyone here have any experience with that seat?


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#4 of 9 Old 02-07-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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I think the nautilus has a 18.25" Top harness slot.


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#5 of 9 Old 02-07-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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My daughter is 4, about 43" tall and 37lbs, and still has miles of room to grow (height and weight-wise) in both her TrueFit in one car and her Radian in the other car.  Not sure the height limit off the top of my head, but the weight limit is like 65lbs.

 

Of course, neither of those convert to a booster.  We used those from birth, so one seat from birth to age, oh, probably about 5 before she outgrows it by height (which she surely will before weight) before having to get a booster was the best solution for us.

 

For a 5pt harness that converts to a booster, I was also going to suggest the Nautilus.  Just throwing these other options out there in case it's an option you're considering, of just getting a carseat with a higher height limit before getting a dedicated booster.


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#6 of 9 Old 02-07-2011, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post

My daughter is 4, about 43" tall and 37lbs, and still has miles of room to grow (height and weight-wise) in both her TrueFit in one car and her Radian in the other car.  Not sure the height limit off the top of my head, but the weight limit is like 65lbs.

 

Of course, neither of those convert to a booster.  We used those from birth, so one seat from birth to age, oh, probably about 5 before she outgrows it by height (which she surely will before weight) before having to get a booster was the best solution for us.

 

For a 5pt harness that converts to a booster, I was also going to suggest the Nautilus.  Just throwing these other options out there in case it's an option you're considering, of just getting a carseat with a higher height limit before getting a dedicated booster.


I am open to this too. Is there any reason why this is better/safer than going with a seat that converts to a booster? Since we're not likely to need it RF, that is. I guess maybe down the road we could always use it RF too, but since we don't have a time line for baby yet, it could well be expired by then. Hmmm...


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#7 of 9 Old 02-08-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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I don't know that there's any advantage one way or the other, in terms of safety... it just comes down to what would be more practical for your particular situation.  Like if there's a regular 5pt seat that's perfect for your kid and your car vs getting a booster-convertible one that's not ideal...  So it's just keeping the options open.  :) 

 

And yes, that's a good point that if you are planning for another baby in the next few years, then the extended 'regular' convertible would be a good option, since by the time baby came along, the older kid would be in the dedicated booster and the seat could be handed down to the baby.  But if there's no baby plans at all, if this is absolutely the last kid, then the convertible-to-booster option might be the best.  Or if there's a cousin in the works, a regular seat could be handed down to them, etc etc.  Lots of possibilities for advantages either way.  :)


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#8 of 9 Old 02-08-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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If you're not planning to RF, there's no reason to buy a RF/FF convertible.  You will be paying for a feature you will not use.  You'd likely spend as much on a RF/FF convertible as you would on a FF/booster combo seat.  The Frontier ($250), Nautilus ($150), and Maestro ($80) would all be great choices to keep your DS harnessed another 2-3 years until he's ready for full-time boostering.  If/when you do have another child, buy a new RF/FF convertible, then pass down DS's Frontier/Nautilus/or Maestro when the newbie is finished RF at 2-3+ years.  By that time, DS will be boostered full-time, and you can buy an safe, inexpensive dedicated booster like the Graco Turbobooster for DS.

 

The Frontier, Nautilus, and Maestro all make great harnessed seats and boosters.  Other combo FF/booster seats do NOT make safe boosters, and many of them are outgrown quickly in harness mode.  


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#9 of 9 Old 02-08-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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The new Britax Frontier85 now has harness strap heights that go up to 20", so if he is very long in the torso, t hen I would trend towards that HOWEVER, it seems to be harder to install in a lot of cars. DD at 2.5 is a little over 39" and I've been looking into options - she is currently RFing but is close to outgrowing her seat weightwise (Radian XT). The 2 seats that I am looking at are the Nautilus and the Frontier85 because of the tall strap heights. If you have a BRU near you, you can try out both seats in your car. 


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