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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been getting mildly obsessed with this topic lately and I am on the hunt for a safe new car and a safe new carseat.<br>
I wanted to share some links I found useful.<br><br><a href="http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/safety/articles/43804/article.html" target="_blank">An ariticle "What Crash Test Scores Mean"</a><br><a href="http://www.safercar.gov/" target="_blank">The Government Crash Test site</a><br><a href="http://www.iihs.org/ratings/default.aspx" target="_blank">The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Crash test site</a><br><a href="http://informedforlife.org/viewartcl.php?index=24" target="_blank">A site that synthesizes crash test data with other data</a><br><a href="http://www.car-seat.org/index.php" target="_blank">A website and forum dedicated to carseat safety.</a> (I know there is some issue with posting links to other forums, and mods, if its a problem PM me and I will remove it. I hope it's not a problem as they are filling a niche we don't really cover here and I am not inciting debate)<br><br><br>
I am also curious if anybody else has started carseat shopping already.<br>
I got a convertable carseat for Seamus, but I am thinking I want a carrier type carseat for the next, even though I will use the sling a lot still it will be nice to have a safe place to set the baby down if I need to.<br>
I am currently split between the<br><a href="http://www.gracobaby.com/catalog/product.aspx?modelNumber=8A05RXY&CategoryID=1" target="_blank">Graco Safe Seat</a> It goes to 30lb!<br>
and<br><a href="http://www.britaxusa.net/products/detail_companion.aspx" target="_blank">Britax Companion</a> It has side impact protection.<br>
Any imput?
 

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We were planning on going with the Britax Boulevard. The Companion looks awesome, but my dd would have outgrown it by 6 months. She was in an Eddie Bauer Cosco 3 in 1 seat and was able to stay rear facing until she was 2 1/2. Now she's in a Britax Regent.<br><br>
It's a big decision. Good Luck!
 

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Thanks for the links!
 

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FWIW my DS would have gone berserk if we tried to put him in a carseat with those side "rails" beside his head. It was a nightmare to get him anywhere in his Graco seat as it was. When we bought a larger Britax seat, we considered one with the side impact protection, but decided against it because would have made it impossible to actually go anywhere in the car, so teh whole safety aspect would have been moot. DS flipped out just from the pillow head propper thing that you can add to the carseat to hold up infants' heads when they fall asleep.<br><br>
We opted to buy an very safe new minivan and the best Britax available without the side rails as a livable compromise. (I swore up and down I would NEVER buy a minivan BTW, before ds was born. But boy am I glad I changed my mind. Family and friends never hesitate to rub it in, though).<br><br>
My message is to consider whether it's possible you will have a little one that would buck against the extra blind spots/restraint of the side impact protection.
 

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By side impact protection, do you mean the puffy thing that supports the head on either side in the Britax Companion? Because that's removable, just like the pathetic little ones in a Graco. I love that puffy thing, though. It supports her head while she sleeps and before she can support it herself.<br><br>
We loved the Companion. I would definitely buy it again. Little babies are definitely safer in an infant seat than a big convertible seat. Having looked at the Britax and the Graco (this is in 2005), I wouldn't even consider buying the cheaper seat.<br>
By the time your kid hits the weight limit on the Britax (22lb? 26lb?) he'll be big enough to fit comfortable in a convertible seat. And you certainly don't want to carry the bucket with a 30lb baby in it, so I see no advantage there.<br><br>
I do like having the option of leaving a sleeping baby in the bucket when going out. I take her out as soon as she wakes up.
 

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Oh yeah, and on the cars.<br>
I'll buy carseats excusively based on safety, but cars, there are so many more considerations. Gas mileage, features, driveability. (You're more likely to wreck a car that doesn't handle well.) The relative crash test results don't influence my decision much. They make 'em all pretty safe these days, and the differences within a class of vehicle don't seem huge. (maybe there are exceptions - point 'em out so we know!)
 

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I would never buy a mini or a SMART car, I'd get squashed in commuter traffic. It doesn't matter how safe anyone tries to tell me those are, the fact is, if a semi runs into me, I'd be dead.
 

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I do like how the Graco goes to 30 lbs. We had an infant seat for my DD and I didn't carry her around in it past the 15 lb. mark but occasionally it was great to take her in the house in it and not wake her. And what I like too is that the convertible seats, especially the Britax's, are so HUGE and don't seem to fit as well rear-facing. We got ours in very snug but it really blocked some of the driver's visibility. Seems like having the infant seat rear facing for longer would be nice.<br><br>
Most people around here drive SUV's and even though most new cars are safe, they just won't do well against a big SUV (especially when so many are lifted with the big tires, etc.) We have a minivan and it was probably the single best purchase we have ever made. I never thought I'd have one either but I tell you, I LOVE that thing! My BIL just got one too and he REALLY never thought he'd get one. They are great. I love how my little one can sit farther in toward the middle (because the seat slides on a track to allow people to enter the backseat).
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">We have a minivan and it was probably the single best purchase we have ever made. I never thought I'd have one either but I tell you, I LOVE that thing! My BIL just got one too and he REALLY never thought he'd get one.</div>
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Same here. I highly recommend the minivans that have the sliding door on BOTH sides for rear passengers. I don't think I'll ever go back to one that doesn't have that.
 

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Yes, that's what I want! Double automatic doors. It's all about the automatic doors. The sliding seats sound cool too.<br><br>
Most babies I know reached the length limit before the weight limit in their infant seats. Check the height limit on the Graco, and see if it is any better.<br><br>
The Britax convertible seats (Wizard, Boulevard) rear-facing simply do not work in small cars. We can't put one in our Baja. In our Maxima, it restricted the passenger seat going back and was a pain. Even in MIL's gigantic Lumina, with the carseat in the middle, it hit the backs of the front seats. I love having the car seat facing forward. Riding in the car is sooo much easier that way.<br>
But yeah, the infant seats rear-facing are not as bad. Even that was crowded in the Baja, but doable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div style="font-style:italic;">We were planning on going with the Britax Boulevard. The Companion looks awesome, but my dd would have outgrown it by 6 months. She was in an Eddie Bauer Cosco 3 in 1 seat and was able to stay rear facing until she was 2 1/2. Now she's in a Britax Regent.<br><br>
It's a big decision. Good Luck!</div>
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One of the seats we have now is a boulevard and I love it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I got the Britax Marathon for DD when she outgrew the Graco Snugride. The Britax Marathon is expensive ($300) but is cheaper with free shipping at <a href="http://www.elitecarseats.com" target="_blank">www.elitecarseats.com</a> I spoke with our police department and they said it is the recommended seat. It holds a child to 65 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jessitron</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6483423"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh yeah, and on the cars.<br>
I'll buy carseats excusively based on safety, but cars, there are so many more considerations. Gas mileage, features, driveability. (You're more likely to wreck a car that doesn't handle well.) The relative crash test results don't influence my decision much. They make 'em all pretty safe these days, and the differences within a class of vehicle don't seem huge. (maybe there are exceptions - point 'em out so we know!)</div>
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Well, while I get what your saying- yes there is a lot to consider- and drivability is DEFINITLY a big safety factor,<br>
The statement "they make 'em all pretty safe these days" just isn't true. Even if you don't use the crash test ratings on deciding which cars to consider <i>please please please</i> look at them before you make your final decisions. You will be surprised at which BRAND NEW cars (chrysler 300 for example) have "poor" ratings in the institutes tests and have "safety concern"s in the government tests (example: honda element, if I remember correctly).<br>
Also, I just learned about gen3 seat belts which are used to this day in BRAND new Dodge/chrysler mini-vans. Look it up. You'll be horrified. They fail frequently.<br><br>
I know this isn't really a "newer" car, but my 1998 honda civic has a safety concern for rear passenger side impact. High likelyhood of pelvic internal injury. That's right where my kids would be sitting! FWIW- 2006 civics, not that anyone on here is probably looking into small cars have 5-star ratings and all good ratings.
 

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We have a Graco Snugride that was DS's that will get used for this baby as well, and when she grows out of that, we'll buy another Britax. DS has a Marathon right now, and we'll either buy another Marathon or buy a Regent and move DS into that.
 

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Laura, thanks for the info. We're buying a minivan next, and i'll do some research on it when we get there. Since driveability is never going to be spectacular in a minivan, and it's all about kids, safety is more of a concern. But the same is true for the manufacturers, so I'm not too worried.<br><br>
Some of my friends on another board recommend this video:<br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azgBhZfcqaQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azgBhZfcqaQ</a><br><br>
I haven't watched it (no videos here at work) but it made lots of chicas cry and buy new carseats.
 

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Hey my little minivan gets around pretty good! It's no sports car but I was surprised, I thought it would feel like a boat and be harder to drive but it's not. And it has pretty decent "get-up-and-go" and not too bad on the gas mileage.<br><br>
I do love how both side doors slide open, that was a must.
 

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A minivan will be a better drive than my MIL's Lumina (ugh, hate that car), but none of them can touch our Maxima for speed or our Baja for handling. Dang, I wish Subaru made a minivan. We are spoiled with our current cars.<br><br>
My mom has a Ford Windstar and it's very useful, but I do not like driving it. The worst part is that it'll go 30mph with my foot not touching the gas peddle. The high idle in a Ford drives me crazy.<br><br>
So Danielle, which one do you have? which one does everybody else like?
 

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I have a Ford Windstar and don't find that it idles very high, maybe something isn't adjusted right? I prefer the Windstar over the Dodge Caravan, every one my parents owned had HUGE transmission problems. BUT, when I was out shopping for our minivan, if I'd had the extra $8000 I would have bought the Pontiac Montana. It had everything the Windstar had PLUS the stow-and-go seats and a roof rack and cruise control (which ours doesn't have because we could only afford the lot model) and it was a bit bigger inside. With the seats folded down you could fit a 4x8 sheet of plywood in it no problem. Our van is 4" shorter. The ability to put that plywood in will sell just about any man on a minivan. Dry plywood, what could be better!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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We'll be using a Graco infant seat. We used it with DS for all of 3 months or so. It will be used for about the same with this babe. Then I want to get another Britax. Those car seats are amazing!
 

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We went from the Graco Snugride to the Britax Marathon and Evenflo Triumph (one for each car). The Regent has a higher weight limit, right? So it might be a better investment if you want to keep the bub in a harness for longer. Of course some of the combination seats have a harness, then convert to a booster ... so much to know!
 
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