I thought I had decided on a Britax Boulevard or Marathon, but then I read that it's not the best for tall, skinny children to stay rear-facing longer. So, that's now out. Here's what I want:
1. Able to fit in our 2010 Ford Focus and our 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee. (I currently drive the Focus, but if the seat we choose only fits in the Jeep, I'll just drive the Jeep, and hubby can drive the Focus. I'll be getting a van or SUV in a couple years anyway...)
2. Able to keep her rear-facing till four years old. (She is currently 17 pounds and 29 inches at 9 months old. I was 32 pounds at 5 years [wish i knew my height, darn it], so I think she may follow the tall/skinny path... )
3. Comfortable for her (sleeping and awake), as we take 2-4 hour drives to see the in-laws a couple times per month.
4. Able to loosen/tighten straps (to get her in and out more easily) easily... from the front, while rear-facing.
After two days of non-stop research (and reading TONS of reviews) on the best rear-facing seats for tall/skinny kids, I have it narrowed down to (I think ):
1. Diono Radian R120 (not the RXT because of the fact that the wings don't adjust)
2. Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 (I could potentially use it for next baby if she grows out of it...)
3. First Years/Lamaze True Fit Premiere (Recline model isn't as tall, right?!)
4. Safety First Complete Air (heard that you may not be able to loosen straps easily in this... and may not fit in small cars? But it does look about the same size as the Pria and TrueFit, I think...)
*We put her in the Radian and Pria today. Before trying them out, I was leaning toward the Radian. She seemed to LOVE the Pria. She was STOKED when I put her in it. She was smiling and laughing and shrieking with glee. Seemed to just love it in there! Then I put her in the Radian. Either she was sick of being in carseats already (very possible, even though it was the 2nd one, she *is* a baby... LOL) or she didn't like the Radian. She looked uncomfortable and squirmy and was fussing and whining to get out. We're going to go try again though and put her in the Radian *first* this time.
I *did* try putting the Radian in the Focus (but it's so hard because you can't *actually* take the time in the store parking lot to install it in there properly!), and I think it will fit with the passenger seat pushed up nearly all the way. Not sure how that would work if both hubby and I needed to sit up there, but I could sit in the back with the little Ninja. :-) I didn't have time to try out the Pria in there. On Saturday, I hope to try again... with the others as well.
Anywho... sorry if this was long. Any advice or suggestions would be awesome. Thank you.
I have a radian rxt and like it. Not sure what you mean about the head wings not adjusting? There is the angle adjuster out now which helps with install issues and it not taking as much room front to back.
My kids tend tall and skinny by toddlerhood (start out big and get bigger fast for the first year then slim out) and both hit 35lbs before 4yrs old (which is the top weight for the true fit, not sure on the others) Both hit 35lbs somewhere around 3.5yrs.
My son is long and lean. We have a Radian TXT inside a Honda Fit.
It's a bit of a tight squeeze for whoever sits in the passenger seat up front (I have long legs like my son) but it works and I feel it is the best, safest option. My son is comfortable and likes his carseat. He regularly falls asleep in it. We have it rear-facing and he never complains.
we have a complete air that I am annoyed with, my son finds it uncomfortable and has never fallen asleep in it. Our radian is great, wings don't adjust down enough for the youngest kids so it is a better toddler/preschooler carseat, the radian is fine for rearfacing though 4 for my child.
We have a Radian (although it's the Sunshine Kids version from a couple years ago so things may have changed a bit) and we like it. It is long front to back, but with the angle adjuster you can gain a lot of space which should make the front seat useable. My DD seems to like it OK, although we just got a Graco Myride for the grandparents' car and she loves that seat. It might just be the novelty factors plus cupholders though! We've done a number of really long drives with the Radian and she seems comfortable and sleeps easily in it.
Carlin - loving life with DH and 2 amazing daughters