We're going to switch DD out of her bucket to a convertible. I've been looking at the oft-recommended ones - Tru eFit, My Ride, Marathon, Triumph Advance - but can't make up my mind. Anyone want to give me their two cents?
DD is 14 months, just about 22 lbs and 28 1/2 inches, so on the smaller side. We have a '97 Maxima (no LATCH) and we have her in the middle seat. DH is tall and needs his seat back all the way. We'll be RFing as long as possible.
We have the Triumph and like it RFing except for the fact that in our car, the crank that tightens the belt digs into the seat a bit so it is hard to reach. DH is also tall and has the seat pretty far back. With a more upright install it is ok.
Right now we have the Britax Roundabout RFing behind the driver and it is also good. The Marathon also fitted.
We have a Mazda3 sedan.
Leila, mama to Eleanor (10/08) and Emmett (4/10)
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Britax seats, especially the new ones wont last you as long rearfacing or forward facing as many other seats that cost the same or less.
My favorites are the Truefit and Radian, I know a lot of people who love their MyRide's, which work well for kids on the smaller side sense the shell is a bit shorter.
They all have pros and cons. The Britax seats really are easy to install, so if you'll be moving it a lot that helps. And they have built in lock offs, since you have to use a belt. But they won't last as long, and have less leg room RFing that some of the others.
The TrueFit also has a built in lock off. It's got a nice tall harness but only has a 35lb weight limit rear facing, if you think that might be an issue.
The MyRide is crazy reclined FFing. I am not comfortable with the forward facing recline and neither was my son.
The Evenflo Triumph Advance often needs a noodle or something to help the recline rearfacing. And sometimes the knob tightener ends up buried in the seat back.The seat belt install can be a pain, so for that reason alone I would skip it if I knew I would be using a belt all the time.
Best luck deciding!
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By height, the seats that will last the longest are the Complete Air, Radian, and True Fit. The CA rf's to 40lbs, the radian to 40 or 45 depending on model, and the True Fit to 35. The CA and TF forward face until 65lbs, the Radian until 65 or 80 depending on model (though in all honesty any of those three will most likely be outgrown by height before 65lbs). My 6yo is around 43lbs and 47" tall and he still fits in the Complete Air, just barely. He is a smidge to tall to ride in the radian. But really, any of those should get you to booster age.
The radian can take up a lot of room front to back rfing, depending on your vehicle. Some it works great in, others not so much. The CA is easy to install more upright to take up less room. I haven't tried the True Fit, so I can't comment there.
Oh, I should add you won't need a lockoff/locking clip unless you are installing with a belt in a pre-1997 vehicle. I believe the belts in your car should lock. And you probably have a lap belt in the center, which even if the outer belts do not lock the lap belt does so you don't have to worry about that.
Thank you all for your responses! I actually just ordered the Marathon 70 yesterday (on sale right now at Albee Baby). Seemed to have the most consistent reviews, and Consumer Reports gave it pretty high marks for rear-facing fit-to-vehicle. The other one they liked RFing was the Triumph Advance LX, but I read too many stories of the tightening mechanism getting buried in the seat, so I decided against it. I'll update when we've got the Britax in case anyone's interested. Thanks again!