I am using an evenflo triumph for my son, who is 15 months old, 20 lbs and 31 inches. The problem is that the straps are a pain to adjust and also it seems that I cannot get them both to stay over his shoulders, no matter how tight I put them. It seems that he has a tendency to lean toward his right and when he does so, the left shoulder strap slides down from his shoulder. This of course seems unsafe to me.
Doe anyone know what I am doing wrong and how I could correct it? the double straps are also so difficult to adjust, and if seems as though I have to adjust them every single time I put him in the seat. Anyone else having these problems?
I would also welcome recommendations for a different seat, preferably not too expensive. We do have a nautilus that he could use once he can forward face, but I'd like to keep him rear facing as long as possible, so need a good and reliable seat for rear facing him.
Thank you for any advice!
Would it be possible to post a picture of him in the seat? You might get better suggestions. Feel free to crop or hide his face if that makes you more comfortable.
Basics: Where are you putting the chest clip? How tight are the straps (have you done the pinch test)? Where are the straps coming out of the seat compared to his shoulders?
When my kids got really close to needing the shoulder straps moved up, I would find they'd slide off their shoulders (because the straps were coming out so far below). So he may need them moved up. Sometimes I made the parental decision to have them a smidge above when rfing for this reason (I know how seat mechanics work, with lots of shell above my child's head I was much worried about injury from ramping up then I was from injury from not having shoulder straps on their shoulders.)
Thank you for the responses, and sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Here are a couple of pictures of my son in his seat. The straps come from below his shoulders. I don't think he is ready for the straps to be adjusted up, though. I posted a picture with the straps above his shoulders as well, but I know this is not correct. By the way, where can I found info regarding the need for the straps to come from below the shoulders? (my husband doesn't seem to think this is important but I know it is). Also, feel free to tell me anything else you see wrong with how DS is riding in his carseat if you spot anything. Thank you!
Is there another strap placement option for the crotch strap? It looks like it might be too far forward for him which allows him to slouch and introduce extra slack.
What version of the Triumph do you have? The Triumph (40 pound forward facing limit), the Triumph Advance or the Triumph 65? The top picture looks like his head will be approaching the rear-facing limits soon, so you might need a new carseat anyway.
It's the triumph (40 lbs forward face limit). I almost wish he was close to outgrowing it rearfacing, because I really dislike the seat now, but I think it might be an illusion from the picture, especially as moving the straps to the higher position results in such a bad fit (bottom picture), don't you think? I will try to measure him tomorrow and report back, though. I should say the seat is close to reach its expiration date, though, as it used to be my daughter's so I should probably get a new one anyway (another reason why it would be good if he were about to outgrow it, so I wouldn't have to convince my husband a new car seat is needed because of the expiration date, he does not quite believe in those). It would still be good if I could figure out why the fit is so bad so I can correct it in the mean time, though. Very frustrated with this seat, I don't remember it being an issue with my daughter, but I think that was because she was older and used it forward facing only (she was also a much bigger baby than my son is).
I know this is not a simple question, but what might be a good choice for an alternate seat, one that is good but not too expensive?. We have a nautilus from my daughter that we could use for forward facing when is time in a couple of years, so I was originally thinking we could buy something good but not too expensive for the mean time, though now I'm thinking we might have the same issue with the expiration dates getting close by then. In such a case, it might be a better idea to invest in a good convertible seat now that could last him for several years and forget about using the nautilus, perhaps?
Thank you again!
I found this information, and I'm thinking this might be our problem:
"When the straps come so far below the shoulders that they slip off, you need to raise them to the next slot level. Note that many convertible seats have 3 slots for shoulder straps--the lowest two for rear-facing and the top one for forward-facing only" (from http://www.thecarseatlady.com/car_seats/rear-facing_seats_8.html).
In the pictures I posted, the top picture shows the fit when the straps come from the lowest of the three slots, so I'm now pretty convinced they are too low for him and that's probably why they slide of his shoulders. However, if I move the straps the next (middle) slot, they are then coming from way above his shoulders (bottom picture, although it is not very easy to see how high they are). So I'm puzzled. The middle slots are supposed to be used for either rearfacing or front-facing, so why are they so high on him? and how do I know that if I get him a different car seat I will not run into the same problem? is there considerably variability in the position of the strap slots across carseats?
Any help welcome, I really want to make sure he is riding as safely as possible!
Do you have the manual? If so, that will tell you if you can use the top harness position rfing.
You are right about not putting him in the nautilus yet. He needs to stay rfing. If you're looking at buying another seat 1) what is your budget, 2) how long do you want it to last rfing, 3) how long do you want it to last ffing. Do you have only one other child or are you looking at a potential 3 across situation?
I don't have the manual (though I could look it up online, I believe). The seat itself says that the middle slots can be used for either rear- or front-facing, though (the slots are labeled). The top slot is labeled as only for front-facing). What puzzles me here is that there does not seem to be a setting adequate for my child. The lowest slot is too low (straps slide off his shoulder) and the next one up (the middle one) is apparently too high (straps come from way above his shoulders)....why is this? and how do I know this wouldn't happen with a different carseat?
To answer the questions, I'd like to keep him rear-facing as long as possible and if I can use the same seat for front-facing him as well that would be great. I only have two children, and one of them is 8 and using a booster, so space is not too much of a constraint. I don't have a specific budget in mind, maybe around $150? I'm willing to bite the bullet and pay more if I can justify it with increased safety and quality.
Most newer seats allow you to use all harness slots for rfing. And the Triumph is the only one I know of that has that huge "jump" in distance between the rfing slots and the ffing slots. I had an old triumph like that for my oldest (he's 8 1/2 now), but he was a big baby with a monster torso and outgrew it rfing before a year!
On the upper end of your price range, you could look at the Diono Radians. They are usually closer to $200, but sometimes you can find them on sale. They go to 45lbs rfing and have a nice, tall shell. They do convert to a booster, but they are outgrown in booster mode really early (usually by the time the harness is outgrown), so you will need to buy a dedicated booster later. That being said, the seat should last him to booster age, so after the radian is outgrown (which ffing could be anywhere from 6-8 years old), you just have to buy a booster and be done with seats. One issue with the radians, is they tend to have quite a recline rfing, so you would probably want to buy the angle adjuster when he's 1 year old to make it more upright easier.
I've heard good things with the Graco Size 4 Me. It tends to be around $180. I also own and like the MyRide (which is closer to the $150 range - Target has a couple of them on sale for $135 this week), but depending on torso height it might not get your son to booster age. My boys were tall, and wouldn't have made it, but my daughter is 4 and still fits with about an inch of growing room left rfing. It will last as long as most of the Britax seats would, for about half the price. Those all go to 40lb rfing. If the nautilus you have doesn't expire for a few years, you could use it for a year or so after the myride until he's ready for a booster. There are other Evenflo seats (like the triumph advance) which might work for you, but if you don't like the one you have now, you might want to just avoid those. The True Fit is another seat to consider, they run around $170, though you can look for sales and get them cheaper. The True Fit goes to 35lbs rfing. Another seat I love, but some do not is the safety first complete air. It goes to 40lb rfing, but the manufacturer put a 40" rfing height limit on it. You can make a parental decision to go beyond that, or not, it's up to you. Just for reference, my daughter at 4 years was just barely 40", so in all likelihood it will last your son somewhere between 3-4 years rfing. It has a no rethread harness, which I love, and air filled padding around the head. My oldest, with the long torso, still fit in it ffing, just barely, at 6 years old. The average kid would probably last until at least 7. So definitely booster age.
Probably your best bet is to go to stores near you that carry these seats, take a look, and see what you think. Then you can google and find the best deals online if you don't find a good deal in store. If you plan on your ds being your last, you really don't have to worry too much about getting a seat that's a year old and a year closer to expiration if you can get a really good deal on it. If you want to pass it down to a future child, I would make sure to try to get one with a more recent manufacture date. Albeebaby.com is often good for deals on discontinued patterns for seats (i.e. last years models, and the newer seats have different covers).
I hope that helps!
Thank you so much for those seat recommendations. I really like the idea of a no rethread harness, because that might prevent us from having the same issue we are now having with the evenflo triumph (that is, baby being "in between" the two harness slots...too tall for the first one, too short for the middle one). My babysitter (who has a two year old child) let me try her recaro proride, which she loves because of the no rethread harness and easy installation and harness adustment. It seems like it would work and I generally like it (except for the price, of course!), but I've heard that people have had issues having to turn their children around too early because the seat has little room for the legs in rear facing position.
I think it will be best, like you suggested, to go to a store and try some of the seats you and others have recommended and then decide and try to find a good deal. I'm OK with investing in a good seat, but really want to avoid running into the same problem with the harness. My son is a little guy (at 16 months, only a little over 20 lbs, and about 31 inches), so I'm not too concerned about him outgrowing the seats too early, except maybe for the leg room issue that someone mentioned with the recaro. I was just looking at the Radian R100 and I like how it looks and that it folds for travel. Can you tell me more about the angle adjuster? where do I buy it and any idea how much it would be (couldn't find it in amazon, though didn't do an exhaustive search). Which of the Radians would you recommend? or are they generally comparable?
I think I'll go to the store tomorrow and see what I think after trying out some seats. I may come back with some other questions!
Thank you so much for your help!
The Recaro ProRide actually has a very short rear-facing height limit (seated height of 22.5" versus around 24" for the Diono and much higher for the Graco My Size).
There are three basic Diono Radians (there is also a GTX, but I've never met someone who actually bought one, lol). The Radian R100 rear-faces to 40 pounds, the R120 to 45 pounds and the RXT to 45 pounds and has headwings. The average weight child doesn't hit 40 pounds until around 5 years of age, so the 40 pound limit is perfectly fine for most kids. Some people like the idea of the headwings (they feel it's safer) and other's don't (might block the child's view, can't use them until the third set of slots from the bottom). The Radian does not have a no rethread harness and is quite heavy but most people really like. Generally you can get an angle adjuster at Amazon, but they're out right now:
Otherwise, you can get them at most online stores you'd buy a Radian at:
The Graco My Size 70/ Size 4 Me/ Headwise is actually has the tallest rear-facing limits currently available. There are three different seats that are virtually identical but sold at different stores with different fabrics (and the Headwise has slightly different headwings than the others). I've seen them on sale in the $145-155 range OR Babies R Us should be having their trade in event soon so that would take it into your price range.
I wanted to make sure you knew that a no rethread harness will not make a harness infinitely adjustable--- it's that you don't have to undo the straps to move to the next level. There are still specific heights that it adjust to so there will still be times when your child could be awkwardly between harness heights.