Can you help me figure out this car seat puzzle? - Mothering Forums
Family Safety > Can you help me figure out this car seat puzzle?
pammysue's Avatar pammysue 05:05 PM 04-08-2012

So I am expecting twins at the end of Aug and have two sons who will be 4 and 2 when the babies are born. We bought a 2009 Pilot to fit 4 car seats. We currently have four car seats that I was planning to use but I now have another one that would be available for  me to use. The seats I have are:

 

2 Britx Boulevards (currently using)

1 Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30 (bucket)

1 Cosco Ventura (HBB with 5 pnt harness)

 

Here is what I could get (sorry all I have is a phone pic right now):

 

712625493_2546348803_0.jpg

 

My plan was to put 4 y/o in the Cosco, 2 y/o will stay in his Britax, one baby in Peg, one baby in other Britax. 2 older sons will sit in the third row one will be LATCHed and one seat belted, both FF with tethers. (I'm not interested in a RF discussion, I know the safety aspects of RF, but this is the decision DH and I have made. 2 y/o will be RF until babies come then switch to FF.) Babies will be in 2nd row, one on driver's side and one in the middle. Middle will be seat belted in Britax and driver's side will be LATCHed with Peg. I can't do both LATCH in the second row and have access to the third row. I know I can get a super tight fit with the Britax with a seat belt. 

 

But now am I wondering if 4 y/o would be better staying in a convertible (I would move him to the Evenflo), but I know nothing about Evenflo car seats and nothing about this one. He is (now) about 35-40 lbs and 40" with a very lean build-the kind where you can count his ribs. Obviously, if I decided to use this I would check the model, year made, accident history, recalls,LATCH, etc...but I think if I contact my friend about it to ask these questions she will want to know right away if I want it.

 

So my questions are:

 

What do you know about this Evenflo, if anything? I tried finding it on Amazon,but I think it is old enough that none of the current models look similar.

 

Which seat would be best for the 4 y/o?

 

What is the difference (for a four year old) between and high back booster with 5 pnt harness and FF convertible?

 

What do you think about my configuration? Any safety concerns or other ideas.

 

Thanks for reading my novel!

 



Maedze's Avatar Maedze 03:47 AM 04-09-2012

Good morning!

 

I really, really hate to burst your bubble, but you're going to have to do some major switching up and car seat purchases before the babies come, because what you have now is not going to work at all redface.gif

 

1.  Problem one:  That is a really OLD Evenflo Triumph.  It was discontinued about 5 years ago.  Chances are, it's likely expired, illegal, and unsafe, or about to be in the next few months.  You can't use it; it needs to be destroyed and thrown away.   (Even if it weren't so, it's a 40 lb maximum seat.  Your 4 year old, at 35-40 lbs, simply would not be able to use it.)

 

2.  The Cosco Ventura is also a 40 lb only seat.  Furthermore, it has a very short top harness position.  Even if he weren't outgrowing it by weight, a 4 year old has likely outgrown it by height unless he's quite short.  It also makes a dangerous and deadly booster and should not be used as such. 

 

3.  Britax Boulevards are not appropriate seats for newborns, particularly small ones.  If you have one of the old style Britax seat, it's completely out.  Not an option at all.  Those have 10+ inch bottom harness positions (the torso size of a 6 months old).   If you have the new style (Britax Boulevard 70) with the infant insert, it will fit a large newborn ok, but still would be out for a small newborn/multiple. 

 

4.  Peg Perego infant seats are NOTORIOUSLY bad fits for newborns, even term singletons.   The bottom most harness position is simply too tall.   

 

 

I just do want to assure you that LATCH is not safer than a seatbelt.  A seatbelt install is just as safe.  Just make sure forward facing kids are always top tethered.  


Depending on your four year old's torso height (bum to shoulders), it's possible that he could use one of the Boulevards and the 2 year old could ride in the other, or he may be too tall.  If you come back with that info, I can tell you if the Boulevard will fit him. 

There is no difference in safety between a forward facing convertible and a combination seat (harness to booster).  A forward facing 5 point harness is a forward facing 5 point harness. 

Your twins are going to need new seats that fit small newborns well.  You don't own anything that fits that descriptor, currently.    Would you like suggestions for baby buckets, or for convertibles?  How big were your singletons at birth?   


pammysue's Avatar pammysue 09:40 AM 04-10-2012

Thanks for the feedback. 

 

 


1.  Problem one:  That is a really OLD Evenflo Triumph.  It was discontinued about 5 years ago.  Chances are, it's likely expired, illegal, and unsafe, or about to be in the next few months.  You can't use it; it needs to be destroyed and thrown away.   (Even if it weren't so, it's a 40 lb maximum seat.  Your 4 year old, at 35-40 lbs, simply would not be able to use it.)

 

You were right. I texted my friend and she told me it was manufactured in May 2006, so I told her it would expire in May and she needed to destroy it. She hasn't texted me back. So the Evenflo is right out. She had also told me that it was 5-80 lbs and since I didn't know the model I couldn't check that out.

 
2. The Cosco Ventura is also a 40 lb only seat.  Furthermore, it has a very short top harness position.  Even if he weren't outgrowing it by weight, a 4 year old has likely outgrown it by height unless he's quite short.  It also makes a dangerous and deadly booster and should not be used as such. 
 
Ok, we must not be talking about the same seat.  What I have is just called a "High Back Booster Car Seat." I can't find any other model name. The Instruction manual cover says "Commuter/Ventura High Back Bootser". It looks like this one. http://www.amazon.com/Cosco-Juvenile-High-Booster-Viola/dp/B00313JA4A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334070850&sr=8-1. The manual says the weight limits are 22-80 pounds. I got this seat from another friend and I regularly strapped her TALL 5 year old in it without a problem. It is a HBB. 
 

3.  Britax Boulevards are not appropriate seats for newborns, particularly small ones.  If you have one of the old style Britax seat, it's completely out.  Not an option at all.  Those have 10+ inch bottom harness positions (the torso size of a 6 months old).   If you have the new style (Britax Boulevard 70) with the infant insert, it will fit a large newborn ok, but still would be out for a small newborn/multiple. 

 

4.  Peg Perego infant seats are NOTORIOUSLY bad fits for newborns, even term singletons.   The bottom most harness position is simply too tall.   

 

I had both my DS's in these seats as newborns without fit problems. I had other (non-safety) issues with the Peg and would never buy it again, but fit was not one of them. My boys were 7+ lbs at birth.

 

I know that if I am bringing home a preemie the Britax will not work and had planned on dealing with that if it happened. Buying two new seats (and having two at home sitting in the closet not being used) is totally outside of the realm of possibility right now. Obviously my children's safety comes first and we will do what we need to. Buying the Pilot stretched our budget to the absolute limit. We are struggling to buy our older sons shoes as they are out growing the ones they have now. Spending $500+ on two new car seats will be near impossible.

 

Well, you may be thinking, then maybe I shouldn't be having twins right now. I totally agree. This was an unplanned pregnancy and twins do not run in my family. I was shocked and upset when I found out about the twins. I am still having a hard time dealing with it. But, that is for another thread in another forum. 

 
Please, let me know your suggestions. I am having a shower (not my idea at all) and maybe I can get enough gift cards to at least get one smaller seat.
 
Thanks again for your help.
 
 

 


chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 10:57 AM 04-10-2012


Quote:
Originally Posted by pammysue View Post
Ok, we must not be talking about the same seat.  What I have is just called a "High Back Booster Car Seat." I can't find any other model name. The Instruction manual cover says "Commuter/Ventura High Back Bootser". It looks like this one. http://www.amazon.com/Cosco-Juvenile-High-Booster-Viola/dp/B00313JA4A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334070850&sr=8-1. The manual says the weight limits are 22-80 pounds. I got this seat from another friend and I regularly strapped her TALL 5 year old in it without a problem. It is a HBB.

 

The harness maximum is 40#, the booster maximum is 80#.

 

In a forward-facing harnessed seat, the straps must be above the child's shoulders.  For a TALL 5yo, the straps would almost certainly be coming from below the shoulders (they are about 14.5", which fits an average 3yo), which would mean that the seat is outgrown by height even if the child is under the 40# harness maximum.

 

Classic Britaxes do not fit newborns, even full-term newbs.  Straps must be BELOW the child's shoulders.  The Boulevard straps don't fit most babies until 6-10 months.

 

My suggestion would be to ask for two Evenflo Titans for your shower.  Those will fit small babies and they are pretty cheap.  If you're looking for infant seats, the Safety 1st OnBoard35 is relatively inexpensive.  You can get an Evenflo Maestro for the 4yo, since he can't use any of the seats you currently have (unless he still fits in the Boulevard with his shoulders under the top strap setting).  Two Titans and a Maestro (2yo can use Boulevard) should run about $220 total, which I realize is a hefty sum if you weren't expecting to have to buy any carseats, but it's a far cry from $500 and everyone will be safe for a while.


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 11:30 AM 04-10-2012

1.  That is an old style Evenflo Triumph in the picture.  Your friend is incorrect.  It goes from 5-40 lbs.  

2.  Chickabiddy did a good job of explaining it. (the Cosco HIgh back Booster/Ventura/etc are all the same seat with different paddings and names)  That seat goes to 40 lbs as a harness and 80 lbs as a booster.  The topmost harness position is about 14.5"...far too short for a five year old unless he was very petite and/or short waisted.   Straps must not go below the shoulders in a forward facing harnessed seat.  Most kids outgrow this seat in harnessed mode before the third birthday.   

Also, in booster mode, it makes a dangerous and inappropriate booster because it cannot position the belt correctly, so it should never be used that way.   

3.  The Britax seat is not going to fit a preemie or a full term singleton.  I'm really sorry.  It's out.  It can't be considered as an option.

 

4.  It's possible that a really huge term singleton would fit a Peg at birth, but the likelihood of a multiple doing it is pretty much nil. 

 

 

The good news is there is absolutely zero need to spend that much money on car seats....500 dollars?  goodness gracious.     If you want to go straight to convertible, the Titan chicabiddy mentioned would well, as would the Cosco Apt 40 RF (50 dollars a piece). 

If you want baby buckets, the Safety First Onboard 35 would be perfect.    Those are about 100 a piece.  Alternatively, the Safety First Comfy Carry Elite (around 80 dollars), would fit newborns well, and will last you probably around 9 months or so.  

 


Given that  you say money is tight, the Cosco Apt 40RF (which will get your twins rear facing to 3-4 years depending!) would be the most economical option. 


pammysue's Avatar pammysue 05:45 PM 04-10-2012

UGH! I just deleted my whole post! Anyway...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post

 

The harness maximum is 40#, the booster maximum is 80#.


Ok, I see now. I was missing the booster part. I sat DS1 in it today and the top straps are a couple of inches above his shoulders, but it sounds like his weight will make the difference. He is no where near ready for a booster, even if this was a good option. Oh well. He still fits well in his Britax, so we will leave him there.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

The good news is there is absolutely zero need to spend that much money on car seats....500 dollars?  goodness gracious.     If you want to go straight to convertible, the Titan chicabiddy mentioned would well, as would the Cosco Apt 40 RF (50 dollars a piece). 

If you want baby buckets, the Safety First Onboard 35 would be perfect.    Those are about 100 a piece.  Alternatively, the Safety First Comfy Carry Elite (around 80 dollars), would fit newborns well, and will last you probably around 9 months or so.  

 


Given that  you say money is tight, the Cosco Apt 40RF (which will get your twins rear facing to 3-4 years depending!) would be the most economical option. 


I see that now. We spent a lot of money on the Britax and Peg, so if we were going to buy the equivalent now, it would be about $500 more if we needed to replace DS1's seat. 

 

I registered for the Onboard 35. It is more expensive, but I like that it goes to 35#. I think my best option is to go with buckets. If I need to go somewhere alone with all 4 kids, it will be best to have one baby in a bucket and wear one, especially since DS2 is a runner. I will limit the time in the bucket though as I know they are not designed to be used as carriers or beds. 

 

Thanks again for your help. It was a little disconcerting at first, but your advice is invaluable and I will really do what is safest for the kids.

 


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 06:37 PM 04-10-2012

Sounds like a plan!  Just for future reference, you won't get to 35 lbs in those seats unless they're very healthy babies. LOL.  But they ARE tall and most kids will get 18 months to 2 years of use out of them, giving you plenty of time to save up for convertibles down the road.    

 

Also, if it makes you feel better: cost does not equal quality.   A 100 dollar infant seat is just as safe as a 180 dollar one.   The Onboard Air 35 is one of my most oft recommended seats because

 

A.  It's easy to install

B.  It's not obscenely expensive

C. It fits newborns, even tiny ones, very well

D. It can fit even older toddlers very well.   

E.  Despite being relatively inexpensive, it's front adjust.  

 

Win!   

Congrats on the babies! 

 

I'm really not sure how a 4 year old could have 'a couple of inches' above his shoulders in the Cosco HBB.  As I said, top slots of 14.5".  A 12.5" torso is the size of an 18 month old. 


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