My younger son is rear facing in a Radian 80sl. I could plan to get a Diono r120 as the current equivalent. But I also see a lot about the newer Graco seats: Size4me, Headwise and MySize 70. I was looking at some info on car-seat.org and it seems that the r120 has higher weight limits. The harness heights are the same. The Graco seats seem to have an advantage in the internal seating height category.
My son is 2.5 years old, 29 lbs and about 34 inches. I plan to rear face him till 4. Would one seat be better for that goal than the other?
What size shirt does he wear? The Radians are outgrown by most kids by height (not weight) while I cannot imagine the child that will outgrow the Gracos by height instead of weight (they'd have to wear a size 7/8 shirt, but weigh less than 40 pounds).
Based on your son's current weight, he is predicted to hit 40 pounds (rear-facing limit of the Graco) after 5 years of age. Based on his height he would fit in either of the seats until after four rear-facing unless he has a crazy long torso.
I'd pick between those based on which seat you prefer. For forward-facing, the Radian's booster capacity will be basically unusable for your son, BUT it does allow the shoulders to go over the top slots (as long as the ears are still contained) so it could last longer. Either should get him to a safe booster age, though (when you can get a dedicated booster).
If you have a Babies R Us nearby you can try out the Graco in your car to see how it fits. Some people have had harness issues with them (not tightening enough) so be aware of that (Graco is being good about refunds/ exchanges). If your budget is open, you could also look at the Chicco Nextfit which has a 40 pound rear-facing limit, is between the Radians and Gracos in height and is a much plusher seat (if that appeals to you).
We've always used and loved Gracos, but, if you liked your Radian, there's no good reason not to just get the equivalent. I don't think you can go wrong with either brand. It just depends on a combination of your preference and your child's build which one will work better for you.
Happy transplanted resident of the "not so deep" South. Married to a great man for 9 years and counting. Mom to two wonderful gifts from God: DS (8) always moving, atypically thinking, ballet dancing boy and long-awaited DD (2) cuddly, curious, fearless, book loving girl.
What do you think?
TiredX2 - Can I pick your brain about a seat for my older guy? He is 4.5, wearing a 4t shirt, 42 lbs and about 42 inches tall. His seat is a forward facing True Fit. I am thinking about replacing it with a combination seat. Contenders: Graco Nautilus, Britax Frontier or Harmony Defender. I have heard the Nautilus can have problems with the crotch buckle sticking. The Frontier is pricey. I know the Defender requires zero overhang so I would have to purchase the seat, try installing it then return it if it didn't work out.
What do you think?
It sounds like you have all the information. Besides the sticking crotch buckle, some kids also complain about the Nautilus hurting their crotch (esp boys and heavier children).
How is he fitting in the True Fit and how much longer do you want to harness him? The top slots of the True Fit are 17.5" and the top slots of the Nautilus 18-18.5" so if he has a ways in the True Fit, he might be good going just directly to a booster (most kids are ready for a booster around 5-6, if you want to go longer that is great). If he is already at the top slots of the True Fit, the Nautilus/ Defender will probably get him less than a year harnessed, so you'd need to look at the Frontier then (I don't think that is probably true given that he's in a 4T shirt).
Oh, it just occurred to me that the True Fit may have been in the accident as well. Oops. If it wasn't an option would be to pass the True Fit to your younger son and get a combination seat for your older.
I'd try the Defender and Nautilus with your son and see how he reacts to them (the Defender has a known short crotch strap, but they will send a longer one for free if you call).
I have a Scenera back up for my younger guy and just ordered a Maestro for my older son on Amazon. (Was considering purchasing one for a summer trip and now I see how valuable it can be to have back up seats!)
I will meet with the insurance adjuster on Thursday and supposed s/he will look at the seats. I already found and highlighted portions of the manuals which state to replace seats.
TiredX2 - Just noticed you mentioned kids complaining about crotch discomfort. It probably won't be a good seat for my ds1: he has on occasion complained about his penis being squished by the True Fit crotch buckle. Sigh.
I have actually heard that. There is something about a "different way" to buckle/ unbuckle it (something about the angle or the precise place to push that I can't remember. I do know that has been brought up as an issue for suggesting it as a grandparents seat, though (major issue for people with hand strength/ arthritis issues).
There is a small part of me thinking that maybe I should just get two Radians but I know I should probably use this chance to get something that will last longer....
You may just want to stick with the maestro for now and then use the insurance money to get a nice booster. The maestro will last him long enough to be mature enough for a booster, in all likelihood.
Hello, I understand your concern about getting the proper car seat for your child. I have a done some research on the Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 car seat and have found this review very helpful. Hope you find it informative. http://www.squidoo.com/graco-nautilus-review
Those are two great seats! Enjoy :)
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