Britax vs Sunshine Kids or ? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-25-2008, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

today the search seems out of commission, so I'm posting first. I'm pretty clueless about car seats beyond infant seats. DS will soon need a forward facing one as he will be one yo.

I'd like to hear your pros and cons on either brands and which models you like and why. Of course, if neither, then suggest something else which is fine

TIA
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure others will chime in on this but just to let you know, you don't HAVE to turn your DS when he turns one.

Rear-facing is still a safer position for our LO's to be in so a lot of us have chosen to RF our LO's up to the seat limits (30-35lb depending on which seat).

To address your q, we have a Sunshine Kids Radian80 for my 2y.o. (still rear-facing) and so far we've been pretty happy with it.

He seems comfortable in it and looks like lots of room for growth.

The only issues I have heard of when it comes to this seat is that depending on which car you install it in, there could be some compatibility problems. In our 2003 Subaru Impreza Wagon, we had to employ a few tricks in order to get a tight install.

If you are installing using LATCH though, it's very easy.

I don't know much about Britaxes since we don't own one but heard very good reviews about it as well.
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I forgot about the car fit... thanks for the reminder. I have a Subaru Forester and currently a Chicco Keyfit 30 and using LATCH

I didn't know you could keep the child rear-facing. We will still need a new car seat for weight constraints.

Thanks again. I have much to learn.
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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Yes, rear-facing is four times safer than FF, so I would encourage you to continue rear-facing until he reaches the limits of his seat.

The Radian is a great seat, but I have heard of some install problems in Subuarus once you do you have him FF.

I would suggest the Britax Marathon or Boulevard, Recaro Como or Signo, Evenflo Triumph Advance, or Learning Curve/Compass True Fit. These are all seats with high RF weight limits (35 pounds) as well as tall top slots and high forward facing weight limits. They would all last you a good long time. If possible, try going to a Babies-R-Us, USA Baby, or specialty baby store if you have one near you and try your DS in the seats to see which one you prefer Some stores will let you take the seat out to your car to see how it installs as well.

CPST & mom

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Old 06-25-2008, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like the idea of going to the store and see how DS likes it.

Checking the link in your sig while I'm at it

Thanks!

Keep it coming ladies ...
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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One thing about the LATCH in Subarus though is that you cannot install in the middle position using LATCH.

I only mention this because we did it for more than a year (I read the car manual but I must've missed it) and despite having been in 2 carseat checks, no one spotted that huge blunder . It was only after re-reading my car manual a year and a half later did I realize that we could't do it. I don't know if it's a common mistake or I was just really dull.

So just a heads up.
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My car manual says that "In this seating position, you should use only a child restraint system that has a bottom base that fits snugly against the contours of the seat cushion and can be securely retained using the seatbelt."

The Keyfit 30 is nice and snug. I wonder if it depends on the year the car was made.
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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My top three choices, in order, would be:

boulevard
marathon
radian

-Angela
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:36 PM
 
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We have 99 Subaru Legacy Outback, so no Latch and no way, no how can get our Radian in FF. I haven't tried it RF though.

I have had great success with our Marathon though, both RF and FF outboard. Rock solid.
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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DS is in a Marathon and I love that carseat. DD is currently in a Radian but it is quite long rear facing and only fits in the middle position on our car. The size plus the issue the PP mentioned about Radians and Suburus might not make it a great choice for you (overall I am happy with it though).
Anyway, I love the Marathon and ds seems very comfortable in it. He is forward facing now but rear faced in it until he was 2 years 3 months. It is easy to install and very plush. I have also heard good things about the Evenflo Triumph Advance.
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:49 PM
 
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I'm debating between the two, as well. I know I have a few threads about it if you search for them.

DC should not turn FF yet. It's safest to keep them RF until they outgrow the upper weight limits of the seat (33 or 35 lbs), or the top of their head is within an inch of the top of the shell of the seat.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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I already have a Boulevard (you can see a pic of my 20 month old in it here)

And was debating on whether to get another Boulevard or a Radian for number two. The main reason I chose the Radian is because it fits newborns much better than Britax convertible seats.

Other pros/cons:

-The Boulevard has built-in lock-offs for when you have to install in vehicles without locking belts, or if you get too much tilt when installing your seat. The Radian, in this situation, would need to use a locking clip (total PITA, lol)
-The Boulevard has infinitely adjustable harness height--just a knob that can roll them up and down, even with your child IN the seat... however, the Radian's top harness slot is 1" higher than in the Boulevard, and since most kids outgrow seats by height before weight (once they are forward-facing, anyway) this can be a big perk. The Radian is also the only seat on the market that allows you to harness your child AFTER they are above the top shoulder strap slots, although this is very highly debated and most don't do it (generally, for forward facing, straps must be at or ABOVE shoulders).
-The Boulevard is insanely easy to install everywhere I've put it, ever, period (and we've test-driven about 18 vehicles lately, so it's gotten around!). I've done seat-belt and LATCH, both are a breeze. The Radian, I hear, CAN have install issues. However, the Radian is thinner width-wise than the Boulevard (although it DOES take up an obscene amt of room rear-facing, lol)
-The Boulevard is deep, the Radian isn't. Meaning, you'll get more air flow to the rear-facing child in the Radian, but you'll also lose more sippy cups and pacis over the sides.

HTH!!

Sunny coolshine.gif: gun toting, retired breastfeeding, car seat loving, guitar playing, home birthing and schooling mama to Jakob (10.06), Mikah (07.08) and Korah (07.11). uc.jpg 

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Old 06-26-2008, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just realize that I am premature in looking for a car seat to replace my Key Fit 30 Apparently, on average, boys reach 30lb around 30 months. So we'll be RF until we have to switch.

I'm in no way near that 30 lb mark or 30 in and who knows what will be available then.

Meanwhile, I started to like the Boulevard and the Regent... it might not be worse it then to get a Boulevard for an extra 3 lb of RF considering the upper weight limit which is much lower. Also, DH is tall, so who know what will happen with DS

I learned a LOT today. If there is anything else anyone would like to add, I'll stay tuned into this thread for a couple more days.

Thank you!
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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Newer Boulevards have a top RF weight of 35 lbs. That five pounds might get you a year or more of RF time; DS1 was 29 pounds at one year, but was 33 pounds at 3 years.
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:41 AM
 
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And, your child is much more likely to outgrow the Keyfit by height before 30 pounds. The seat is outgrown when there is less than one inch of shell above the head.

CPST & mom

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Old 06-26-2008, 01:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
Newer Boulevards have a top RF weight of 35 lbs. That five pounds might get you a year or more of RF time; DS1 was 29 pounds at one year, but was 33 pounds at 3 years.
Really? Is that retroactive in any way? We have a Boulevard...I think the manufacture date is Oct 2007 but I'd have to double check on that...we got it during one of the big Britax sales. Not that it really matters I guess since dd is 11 mos old and barely 15 lbs LOL.

Rachel, mom to Jake (5/04) and Alexia (7/07) a surprise UC thanks to hypnobabies!
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Shelsi View Post
Really? Is that retroactive in any way? We have a Boulevard...I think the manufacture date is Oct 2007 but I'd have to double check on that...we got it during one of the big Britax sales. Not that it really matters I guess since dd is 11 mos old and barely 15 lbs LOL.
Nope. Sadly not retroactive.

-Angela
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelsi View Post
Really? Is that retroactive in any way? We have a Boulevard...I think the manufacture date is Oct 2007 but I'd have to double check on that...we got it during one of the big Britax sales. Not that it really matters I guess since dd is 11 mos old and barely 15 lbs LOL.
As Angela said, not retroactive. February 2008 and newer seats only, IIRC.

And... my 2-month-old is 15 lbs. ;-) Enjoy your tiny baby!
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:12 AM
 
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DS has been over 35 lbs since he was 14 months old! I have both my almost 2 year old and my 5 year old in Britax Marathons. LOVE THEM! DD is only 42 pounds, but she is almost too tall for her Marathon, so we are looking at the new Britax Frontier, I think. It is a FF harness that converts to a belt positioning booster. I figure that will make the $280 worth it!
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:01 AM
 
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Does anyone know if a Radian will fit RF in a Honda Civic in the center position? If so, will it interfere with the driver's seat being pushed back quite far? That is my one fear in buying a Radian over a Marathon for DS. He has almost outgrown his Touriva, and I need something with a narrow base. I tried the website that lists car/carseat combos for fit, and the Radian/Civic combo were not listed.

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Old 06-26-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pumpkin_Pie View Post
Does anyone know if a Radian will fit RF in a Honda Civic in the center position? If so, will it interfere with the driver's seat being pushed back quite far? That is my one fear in buying a Radian over a Marathon for DS. He has almost outgrown his Touriva, and I need something with a narrow base. I tried the website that lists car/carseat combos for fit, and the Radian/Civic combo were not listed.
What is your reason for needing it in the center?

I don't think it would really fit well there.

We have always had our boulevard outboard because of that reason.

-Angela
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, good thing I stayed tuned in Thanks again for your replies, ladies.

Has anyone the link to this site or any other that fit the bill? How reliable are they?

Thanks

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I tried the website that lists car/carseat combos for fit, and the Radian/Civic combo were not listed.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:10 PM
 
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What is your reason for needing it in the center?

I don't think it would really fit well there.

We have always had our boulevard outboard because of that reason.

-Angela
I frequently transport my 17 month old daycare boy as well as my son, and do not feel comfortable with either boy FF. I am very tall and cannot have a RF car seat behind my seat. Ideally, my seat is pushed back as far as it will go, but with the Scenera on the passenger side and the Touriva in the center spot, I have to come forward more than I am comfortable, but am still able to drive.

If the Radian will not fit RF in the center spot, then it will go RF on the passenger side and the Scenera or possibly the Touriva will be in the center RF or worst case, one will be FF behind me.

A new vehicle is absolutely not possible currently, unfortunately.

ETA: I know it is an irrational fear, but I worry about DS being on the passenger side of my car. I know that the safest spot is the center, the next safest is behind the driver and the third is behind the passenger seat. I "know" he is theoretically nearly as safe as I am, but it still worries me.

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Old 06-26-2008, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You're absolutely right... for some reason I forgot to double check the height/age and 30 in is between 12 and 15 months for an average boy. Looks like I'm back looking. LOL

This is what I'm looking at if anyone wants to know: http://pediatrics.about.com/library/...nboysbirth.htm

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And, your child is much more likely to outgrow the Keyfit by height before 30 pounds. The seat is outgrown when there is less than one inch of shell above the head.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:14 PM
 
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Well, good thing I stayed tuned in Thanks again for your replies, ladies.

Has anyone the link to this site or any other that fit the bill? How reliable are they?

Thanks
This is the site : http://www.carseatdata.org/

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Old 06-26-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pumpkin_Pie View Post
Does anyone know if a Radian will fit RF in a Honda Civic in the center position? If so, will it interfere with the driver's seat being pushed back quite far? That is my one fear in buying a Radian over a Marathon for DS. He has almost outgrown his Touriva, and I need something with a narrow base. I tried the website that lists car/carseat combos for fit, and the Radian/Civic combo were not listed.
I don't know how it fits in a civic but it fits very nicly rear facing in the center of my golf, even with the seat pushed back. It fits better in the center than everywhere else. If it was rearfacing on the passenger side the front passenger seat would be unusable but the back sort nuzzles inbetween the seats when it is in the center.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pumpkin_Pie View Post
I frequently transport my 17 month old daycare boy as well as my son, and do not feel comfortable with either boy FF. I am very tall and cannot have a RF car seat behind my seat. Ideally, my seat is pushed back as far as it will go, but with the Scenera on the passenger side and the Touriva in the center spot, I have to come forward more than I am comfortable, but am still able to drive.
Britax seats can be installed VERY upright and that way take up very little space. I would try it!

-Angela
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:20 PM
 
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okay- somehow misread- thought you were talking about a marathon in the center.

I think a radian might fit.

But I can't envision how you have ANY seats side by side in the civic with one in the middle

-Angela
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.

Go figure, the one I seem to like, the boulevard wouldn't do well in the back of a 2006 Forester... Marathon is a go. I'm still going to try it myself though when I go to a store

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This is the site : http://www.carseatdata.org/
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:28 PM
 
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Thanks.

Go figure, the one I seem to like, the boulevard wouldn't do well in the back of a 2006 Forester... Marathon is a go. I'm still going to try it myself though when I go to a store
Boulevard and marathon are the same base. If one would work the other would as well.

-Angela
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