I've tried installing the CA in one of the middle row captains chairs in my Honda Odyssey using LATCH, and I cannot for the life of me get it tight enough. I'm a pretty strong person (built lots of upper body strength from lugging around my 35 pound son), but no matter how hard I tug on the LATCH belt, it's not enough for a solid install. The seat still moves several inches side to side.
Now, I'm certainly no car seat expert, but I have installed my fair share of car seats in my six years as a parent, but I cannot figure this one out. The seats I've installed in the past have alway had a latch belt on each side though making it really easy to tighten. This is the first seat I've used that has a belt that goes across the seat and can only be tightened on one side. Is there some trick to this or what? Or do I just need to use the seat belt?
RF or FF? If RF, have you tried putting a noodle or tightly rolled towel under the foot end of the seat?
There's no reason that you shouldn't use the seat belt to install it. Sometimes LATCH is easier, sometimes not. For instance, my Radian installs just perfectly FF with the belt in my CR-V in about a minute flat, but not as easily with LATCH. And when I used a Maestro in a relative's car, the way the LATCH connectors hit the car seat made it difficult to install well. However, using the belt was a cinch.
LATCH is not safer than a seat belt. Whichever method gives you the best install is safest!
OB RN, partner to and mama to (2008, 31 weeker) and (2011)
It's just a matter of getting the correct angle, so you're not leveraging the force you're using counterproductively against the LATCH or seatbelt buckle adjuster.
If you're installing rear facing, pull up the cover on that corner of the seat and pull the LATCH tail through the opening so you're working WITH the adjuster instead of against it.
Rolled towels/pool noodles are only for getting the correct rear facing angle, not for achieving a tight installation.
Sorry I forgot to mention that I'm trying to install it rear-facing. Thanks for the input. I'll go out in a bit and try your suggestion Maedze. If that doesn't work, I might have to go with the seatbelt. I know rationally it's just as safe if used correctly, but for some reason I just feel better using LATCH. Seems more idiot-proof. I guess I could always go get it checked at the fire station.
Removing the corner of the cover, feeding the part you pull on under where it routes and pulling across the seat is the trick to get a tight rfing install with the CA. Never gotten one without doing that.