Safest Bucket Seat These Days? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 02-17-2012, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The bucket seat we've used for our two kids is expiring so I'm in the market. Anyone happen to know which brands have the best safety ratings these days? I'd kind of like to just go straight to a convertible but DH really likes being able to take a sleeping infant in and out of the car.


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#2 of 12 Old 02-17-2012, 11:34 AM
 
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There are no legitimate safety ratings for any car seat :-)    The 'safest' seat is the one that fits your car, fits your baby, fits your budget, and that you can use correctly.  

That being said, within those perimeters there are seats that probably should be avoided depending on your circumstances.    What car do you drive, what size kids are in the back and what seats are they riding in, and are they forward or rear facing, and what is your budget for the new seat?

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Originally Posted by dogmom327 View Post

The bucket seat we've used for our two kids is expiring so I'm in the market. Anyone happen to know which brands have the best safety ratings these days? I'd kind of like to just go straight to a convertible but DH really likes being able to take a sleeping infant in and out of the car.



 


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#3 of 12 Old 02-17-2012, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great points. I should have included more info.

 

We have a 2002 Durango and a 1993 Volvo Wagon. My two kids are in Radian convertibles (both forward facing at this point, we normally rear face until at least 2 yo) in the Volvo and in the Durango (which they ride in much less often) one is in a Britax convertible and one is in a Recaro convertible. Budget isn't a huge concern. We know a Flex Trend bucket fits in the middle for both cars. My sister has a Graco we could try for size too. I saw Britax makes an infant bucket but have only every owned their convertibles.


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#4 of 12 Old 02-17-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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What are you hoping to get out of your bucket, a few months before you transfer to a convertible, or are you hoping for something long-lasting?  How big are your current kids?   

Having a 1 year old forward facing is pretty serious business, may I ask if there was a problem you couldn't figure out how to address? 


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#5 of 12 Old 02-17-2012, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My kids are almost 5 yo. and 3 yo. We'd never forward face a 1 year old. They both rear faced until 2.

 

I don't think either kid has been in a bucket seat past 8 months (and then went to convertibles) as they are both relatively tall and I anticpate it will be the same thing with this baby.


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#6 of 12 Old 02-17-2012, 06:50 PM
 
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Wow...I must be demented.   I KNOW it's 2012.  I looked at your signature and thought, that baby is only 20 months old *facepalm*.  Thanks folks, I'll be here all night!

 

Ok, so buckets that will reliably get you through the first nine months or so and install easily in most vehicles:  Graco Snugride 30 (the number is important!) and the Chicco Keyfit 30.   Easy to use, fit newborns well, and aren't overly wide. 

 

If you want to expand your choices for a bucket that will last a lot longer but is still narrow (2ish years for most kids), I'd look at the Safety First Onboard Air 35.   

 

Do you have top tethers for your kids in the Volvo wagon?   And are the seats tethered in the Durango?


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#7 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 01:40 AM
 
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I'd personally go with the Chicco keyfit as its base is narrower and the seat is overall shorter, making it less likely to hit the back of the front passenger seats.  We have one installed in the outboard position behind the front passenger seat of a ford focus...and there is still room for an average sized passenger in the front to ride reasonably comfortably (remember, adults too are safer when their seats are further back from the front dash!!!!).  My 5 yr old dd rides in the middle back seat in a Radian.  There is still room on the other side for a seat (we have a Britax marathon that we put in there sometimes for her friends).  In addition, my keyfit (which is the 22 lb, 30" height version) does not require that the carrying handle be down while being transported in the car (not sure about Graco's design here) - which helps with front passenger space issues.

 

Also, the base of the Chicco looks far more stable/secure than the Graco base...especially if you need to secure it with a seatbelt (has built in belt locking mechanism.  I've found the Graco bases don't install well in my car (they're tippy and the infant seat angle was hard to get to 45 degrees without using some pool noodles.   I had challenges, even with the latch install....and the belt install of a Graco base just totally sucked!  The design of the Chicco base is far superior to Graco, imo.  

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#8 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 04:43 AM
 
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Ok, the base of the Keyfit is not more 'stable or secure' than the base of the Snugride 30.  They are both very good seats, and they are both narrow, which means they'll do just fine in a three across.   The design of the base of the Snugride 30 is excellent, and not at all like the design of the 22, which is what you're probably thinking of. 


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#9 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 05:04 AM
 
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We went with the Keyfit, and I have been really happy with it.  No, it's not "safer" than any other seat, but it's super easy to install in every car I've tried it in, and it's relatively narrow.  It's also a little shorter than some other buckets, leaving more room for the passenger in front.  We might need to move to a convertible sooner than if we had gone with the Onboard or Snugride 35 because it's more a more compact seat, but that's ok with me.  We plan to RF our daughter until 3.5 or 4, so we'll need to use a convertible anyway.  I liked that the handle could be kept in any locked position in the car, unlike many brands which have restrictions on which handle positions are safe to use while driving.

 

Plus, I liked the cover options! winky.gif  

 

 


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#10 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 05:10 AM
 
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The Keyfit really is a nice seat :-)

 

Any infant seat by Dorel allows the handle in any locked position.   (Safety First, Eddie Bauer, Cosco, Maxi-Cosi etc).    
 

Graco's handle may be upright, and down, but there may be at least 1 interim position that isn't allowed (it's different between the 22, 30 and 35).     

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Originally Posted by mama2soren View Post

We went with the Keyfit, and I have been really happy with it.  No, it's not "safer" than any other seat, but it's super easy to install in every car I've tried it in, and it's relatively narrow.  It's also a little shorter than some other buckets, leaving more room for the passenger in front.  We might need to move to a convertible sooner than if we had gone with the Onboard or Snugride 35 because it's more a more compact seat, but that's ok with me.  We plan to RF our daughter until 3.5 or 4, so we'll need to use a convertible anyway.  I liked that the handle could be kept in any locked position in the car, unlike many brands which have restrictions on which handle positions are safe to use while driving.

 

Plus, I liked the cover options! winky.gif  

 

 



 


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#11 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the ideas!  Yes, the seats are tethered currently in our cars. Off to look at all these seats. I really appreciate everyone's input :)


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#12 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 08:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

Ok, the base of the Keyfit is not more 'stable or secure' than the base of the Snugride 30.  They are both very good seats, and they are both narrow, which means they'll do just fine in a three across.   The design of the base of the Snugride 30 is excellent, and not at all like the design of the 22, which is what you're probably thinking of. 


Oh yes - sorry to confuse things - I was thinking of the 22 and the Graco "Safe Seat" which has a 32 lb/32" capacity (and in Canada had the same base design as the Snugride 22).  However, when I went into Baby World last summer with my tape measure, the Chicco did have the smallest dimensions and the shortest front-back length of all the seats there...which is what sealed the deal for us - we needed that room for the front seat passenger.  Plus we planned to use a RF convertible once the baby reached 22 lbs or 30" (as I didn't want to carry a bucket that heavy anyway).  Otherwise, I would probably have gone for the higher wt/ht. limit bucket seat (which is much easier in winter as the seat can stay warm).

 

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