Car Seat Question...... advice needed. - Mothering Forums
Family Safety > Car Seat Question...... advice needed.
slimkins's Avatar slimkins 01:39 PM 01-03-2012

I am in the market for a third convertible for my 2.5 year old son. We currently have seats in my car, my husbands, and I want to get one for my mom's car. The thing is, I want to keep the costs down (around $150) on this one since it is our third, but I don't want to sacrifice safety of course. Our other two seats are britax seats, so, this time I was looking at the roundabout 55 because of price. I have also seen good recommendations for the Myride 65 and true fit.

Question is.... which one?

Or just to make things even more complicated, should I even consider one of the combo/convertible to booster conversion seats?

 

And for additional info, my mom has a small kia car, and I just turned my son to FF this month. I know early to most on this board, but thought I would mention it to keep in mind for the height limit. Currently, my son is 30 pounds and about 36 inches.

 

Thanks in advance for any help.



Maedze's Avatar Maedze 04:42 PM 01-03-2012

Is your child at least rear facing in his primary vehicle?  I would not suggest or recommend forward facing a two year old.   Is the two year old's forward facing seat top tethered?  If not you need to turn him back around rear facing. 

 

That being said, if you intend to have your child forward facing, a convertible seat is silly since you can't use half of it.  In that case you may as well buy a combination seat.

 

If you intend to keep your child rear facing, I do not recommend the Britax seats, as they are outgrown too early.   The Graco My Ride or the Evenflo Triumph 65 are much better choices.  They will last much longer. 


slimkins's Avatar slimkins 05:46 PM 01-03-2012

Nope, he is forward facing in all vehicles. Yes, his seat is top tethered.

 

With that being said, do you have a recommendation for a combination seat? I haven't really researched any at all, as of yet.

And you mentioned the My Ride... do you know how many more inches it offers than most Britax models in terms of outgrowing the shell?

Or which convertibles have the longest or deepest shells?


MacKinnon's Avatar MacKinnon 08:17 PM 01-03-2012
If he's forward facing in all vehicles, and won't be rear-facing, there is no reason to buy a convertible unless you want to be able to use it rear-facing later with another baby. I would look at the Graco Nautilus or Argo, Evenflo Maestro, the Recaro ProSport Booster, or the Britax Frontier 85. Best luck!
Eresh's Avatar Eresh 08:27 PM 01-03-2012
Just a general comment ... Britax carseats are not necessarily any safer than any other car seat on the market. Car seats either pass testing or they don't and we do not have any information beyond that. With Britax you are paying for the name brand and extra nice to haves. The safest car seat is the one that fits your car and your child, is properly installed, and is properly used every time.


slimkins's Avatar slimkins 07:58 AM 01-04-2012

MacKinnon, thank you very much for the info. yes, I do have a little one on the way, so, I am torn about which one to get. Until this thread, I hadn't thought of a booster because the convertibles do seem to last for quite a while (obviously not RF for Britax).

 

Does anyone know if I were to get one of those boosters, would that be the last seat I would have to purchase?


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 10:18 AM 01-04-2012


They are called combination seats :-)  (Sometimes a brand name might call them 'harness to booster').  A booster only positions the vehicle seatbelt over the child's body.   A combination seat works as a harnessed seat and then converts to a booster when your child is old and mature enough (usually not before 5-6 years of age or later).  

 

If you buy a *good* combination seat, such as the ones mentioned above, theoretically they may last through a need for any seat.   Combination seats will last a lot longer harnessed than convertibles will.  A child will outgrow those convertibles mentioned above several years before outgrowing the harness on a good combo seat. 

 

What car do you drive and what seating position does the child go in?   The Prosport will eventually have to be replaced by a backless booster.  The Nautilus converts eventually to a backless which only works if the head rest in the vehicle seating position is adjustable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slimkins View Post

MacKinnon, thank you very much for the info. yes, I do have a little one on the way, so, I am torn about which one to get. Until this thread, I hadn't thought of a booster because the convertibles do seem to last for quite a while (obviously not RF for Britax).

 

Does anyone know if I were to get one of those boosters, would that be the last seat I would have to purchase?



 


slimkins's Avatar slimkins 11:17 AM 01-04-2012

Maedze, I have a Ford Flex, and am currently using the latch system with my son on the right side. From reading the manual, I didn't think I was able to use the middle latches (one from each side) but after reading again, I could have. I feel more comfortable using the latches than I do with the seat belts.

 

And my headrests are removable, as I just removed the one on my son's side to properly position his seat FF.

 

I do like the idea of a combination, and think I will go with one of them. If so, should I put that seat in his secondary car (like my husband's) cause he is still so young. I have read that convertibles (even when FF) offer more side protection than combination seats. Do you find this to be true in most cases?

 

And I really do appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.

 


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 12:20 PM 01-04-2012

Nope, convertibles are no more or less safe than combination seats.  A forward facing 5 point harness is a 5 point harness :-)  

 

A Ford Flex has adjustable head rests, so you'll be fine if you eventually use a backless booster.  Keep in mind the Ford LATCH limit is 48 lbs, and different seats have their own LATCH limits.  Once the child reaches that weight you MUST install with the seatbelt and top tether and discontinue using lower anchors. 


MacKinnon's Avatar MacKinnon 09:15 PM 01-04-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by slimkins View Post

Maedze, I have a Ford Flex, and am currently using the latch system with my son on the right side. From reading the manual, I didn't think I was able to use the middle latches (one from each side) but after reading again, I could have. I feel more comfortable using the latches than I do with the seat belts.

And my headrests are removable, as I just removed the one on my son's side to properly position his seat FF.

I do like the idea of a combination, and think I will go with one of them. If so, should I put that seat in his secondary car (like my husband's) cause he is still so young. I have read that convertibles (even when FF) offer more side protection than combination seats. Do you find this to be true in most cases?

And I really do appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.


Nope, no more side impact protection in convertibles. Some seats do have more side impact protection, and market that feature, but it's not exclusive to one or the other, by any means!
slimkins's Avatar slimkins 08:15 AM 01-05-2012

Thanks for the info about the latch system.

 

And if I want a combination that will maybe last through needing any other seat, will it need to be one that eventually converts to backless?

Since I am familiar with Britax, I would probably be most comfortable with the Frontier 85, but it doesn't seem to ever go backless.

And it starts as a harness seat at 25 lbs. and my son is 30lbs. I'm guessing he should fit fine.


mama2soren's Avatar mama2soren 08:24 AM 01-05-2012


I wouldn't worry too much about the backless option.  When you need a backless booster years and years down the road you can pick one up for about $15-20.  The Frontier is a nice seat, as are the other ones mentioned (ProSport, Nautilus/Argos).  Do you have a Babies R Us near you?  Or a Buy Buy Baby?  Both stores typically have a good car seat selection and also let you try the seats out in your car.  You could see which one seems most comfortable to your child and which one is easiest to install in your car.

 

If you're very worried about side impact protection, please consider that the best SIP is achieved by staying rear-facing.  


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 04:28 PM 01-05-2012


Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2soren View Post


I wouldn't worry too much about the backless option.  When you need a backless booster years and years down the road you can pick one up for about $15-20.  The Frontier is a nice seat, as are the other ones mentioned (ProSport, Nautilus/Argos).  Do you have a Babies R Us near you?  Or a Buy Buy Baby?  Both stores typically have a good car seat selection and also let you try the seats out in your car.  You could see which one seems most comfortable to your child and which one is easiest to install in your car.

 

If you're very worried about side impact protection, please consider that the best SIP is achieved by staying rear-facing.  

Yuppers.   

 

A backless booster will only be needed if the child outgrows the high back booster before passing the 5-step test to fit in the seatbelt.  That won't happen in a Britax Frontier 85, but will happen in a Recaro Prosport.  The Nautilus high back booster is outgrown before 5-stepping, but the seat converts to a backless. 
 

 


slimkins's Avatar slimkins 07:42 PM 01-06-2012

OK, I can't stop thinking about this, and it has been driving me crazy. I am going to turn my son back around tomorrow. I don't think he will be thrilled, initially, but I know he will adjust. I think I am going to find a local CPST to make sure I have everything right. My son is around 36 inches, and when I thought he had outgrown his seat, I was looking at the line straight across and not at an angle. Do any of you ladies know off hand, at about what inches, on average, a child outgrows a marathon 70?

I'll probably now buy one of the convertibles mentioned earlier in the thread. It stinks that I am still gong to have to buy a combination down the road, but I guess that is my only choice.

 

I think I need to have more children to make up for all these seats.... ughh! I kiddd.

 

Again thanks for all the advice.

 

*edit to add one more question*

The top of the shell is the actual shell, not the adjuster part that raises, right?


an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 11:41 PM 01-06-2012

Make sure you are measuring like this

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=30201

 

All kids are different in terms of torso height versus leg length, so if you take 10 different 36" tall kids, they will all fit differently in seats.  On average, I'd say most kids outgrow the seat around 40".  What size shirts does your son wear? 


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 06:41 AM 01-07-2012

Yes, 1" from the top of the shell, not the head rest.  Unfortunately the Britax convertibles are some of the shortest convertibles on the market, which is why I pretty much never recommend them.  There's a chance a 36" kid could be too tall for the Marathon, or he might fit with room to grow. 


If you're ok with sharing pictures, you could take a side angle shot of him in the seat (rear facing obviously!) and we can give you an idea of what you're dealing with.

 

I'm really relieved to hear you're turning him back around thumb.gif   He may not be thrilled at first, but he'll get over it real fast (especially if you don't make a huge deal about it, "This is how your seat goes now" and don't discuss it further, he should move on in a few seconds).  Plus, you're the parent, and you make decisions that keep him safe. 


slimkins's Avatar slimkins 10:40 AM 01-08-2012

He generally wears either a 2T or 3T. He is tall, but very proportioned. Not a long torso or anything.

 

I will get a pic of him, but after putting him back, he definitely has almost 2 inches before he outgrows it. And that was just eyeballing it, maybe more. I hope he goes through a growth shortage here soon. :)

And he had no problem being turned back. Just told me it was upside down, and that was it. I wasn't surprised, because he does listen and I told him he had to be a little bigger for the other way. But I was surprised he wasn't sad. He really enjoyed being able to see everything. But that time will come again. No biggie.


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 11:16 AM 01-08-2012

Upside down, LOL!

Rear facing kids can actually see a lot more than you'd expect.  My kids used to give me a running commentary on EVERYTHING when they were rear facing.  


slimkins's Avatar slimkins 01:17 PM 01-09-2012

Here are a couple of pics from my phone, though I feel he looks closer to the top of the shell in these than he does in real life. Maybe funny angle.

 

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c359/teamawesome/hodgepodge/IMG_1417.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c359/teamawesome/hodgepodge/IMG_1415.jpg


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 03:29 PM 01-09-2012

Based on those pictures I'd say he has about an inch of torso growth before he's too tall, which could be 6 months to a year.   Keep in mind though that he's not strapped in...you usually gain a little growth once you've got them tied down ;-) 


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