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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to thank you in advance for considering what may end up being a rather long post. We are trying to decide which convertible car seat to get for DS who is 9 months, 20 lbs and 28.4 inches. He is currently in a Chicco Keyfit 30, and while we have a couple months left before he hits the 30 inch height restriction, we want to have the next seat ready. We would like a seat that would take him up to a backless booster rather than having to buy a combination seat. We have narrowed our search down to the two seats in the title -- I am currently leaning more towards the radian, and DH is leaning more towards the evenflo.

General considerations: DH was slightly chunky as a child, I was super skinny, DS seems to be splitting the difference and has hovered right around the 50% for weight. Both of us are pretty tall, and DS was around 70% for height, but that percentile has been dropping at recent visits -- now it more like 55-60%. From the information we could find on-line about the weight and height limitations for both seats, he would likely be able to use either rear facing until he 3 years old, possibly until he is 4 for evenflo and almost definitely until 4 for radian. We definitely plan to keep him rear facing until 2, and as long after that as seems to make sense for us. We have a 2004 Saab 95, and would like to use the latch system behind the passenger seat.

Radian specific considerations: Pros -- Very strong seat. Has both higher height and weight restrictions so has the potential to last longer. Has a slim profile so it might fit better if we have more children in the future. Is low enough that it would be easier for DS to get into independently when older. Folds, so it could be easier for traveling, moving, or storing. Has a deep seat that might be more comfortable for extended rear facing.
Cons -- Almost double the price. Does not claim to be side impact tested. Extremely heavy. Latches and straps are a little difficult to use (based on my experimenting with them at a local store). We may be paying for height and weight limits that we won't actually need based on DS's body type. It maybe be hard for an adult to sit in the front passenger seat while it's rear facing.

Evenflo specific considerations: Pros -- Less expensive. Claims to be side impact tested. Straps seem very easy to adjust for a safe, tight fit every time. Slightly higher seat so that DS could see out the window better, especially when rear facing. Has decent height/weight limitations and would probably last as long as needed. Reportedly very easy to remove padding for cleaning. Won't interfere as much with front passenger seat.
Cons -- Does not last as long rear facing (or FF for that matter) if DS ends up being significantly bigger than we predict. Larger and more cumbersome for moving/ sharing back seat with potential siblings. Higher seat will make it harder for DS to get in and out of independently. Overall less sturdy seeming construction.

So -- it's rather a wash at the moment. There is a part of me that is nervous about going for the cheaper seat simply because car seats don't seem like a good place to skimp, but I'm not sure that's actually necessarily a problem in this case. Has anyone installed either of these seats in a Saab 95? Is there some factor that I am missing that would clearly tip the scales in one direction or another? If all else really is equal (in terms of our needs) should we just go with the less expensive seat?

Thanks for any input that might help us make a final decision here and for taking the time to read this long post!
 

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First of all, the Keyfit is outgrown when there is less than 1" of hard shell left above his head, even if he is longer than 30". Manufacturers have to attach a height limit, but they make no sense, since every child is proportioned differently.

When you say the Triumph, do you mean the Triumph Advance? (Infinite adjutable harness and knobs to tighten?) or the Triumph? (Slots)

I wouldn't buy the Triumph at all - it's just not worth the money.

Between the Triumph Advance and the Radian, I'd probably still look at the Radian, simply for the taller shell, which will last you a LOT longer FF'ing than the Triumph Advance - probably until booster age.

Other seats I would consider are the Learning Curve TrueFit, the Graco MyRide and the Safety 1st Complete Air. All have higher weight limits and nice tall shells. Remember that you can install a convertible seat much more upright once your child has good head control (as upright as 30-35*) so don't be put off by the size of the seats.

If you can get to somewhere like Toys R Us or some baby boutiques that will let you try the seat in your car before you buy, you may find that helpful
 

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If the Radian fits will in your car, it's a great choice. I took a look at carseatdata.org, which is a site to check out how well a car seat might fit in your car. When I searched for a Radian in a Saab, I got 4 entries, 3 out of 4 said the seat had a great install. Half said the install was very easy, the others said it was difficult. Do you have a place where you can see the seat in person and try it in your car? Or, you can order from a site like diapers.com that has a decent price and a good return policy.
 

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I would choose the radian simply because it will last quite a bit longer rf'ing.

You'll need a high back booster after that though. Most kids outgrow the radian around 6 years and that's much too young for a backless.
 

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Radian. I just bought a 65SL and waiting on delivery of a XTSL. It's a great,solid seat. Too bad you missed the sale last Saturday on diapers.com, they had them for $119.99 PLUS you could use 10% off first time buyer discounts. I'd keep checking that and other sites because there are lots of sales going on now.

Check babyviva.com, I think they are still having 20% off. So the Radian might not end up being twice the price after all.
 

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I'd say either one, really.

Don't worry about the "side impact tested" thing. Really, there are no standards for side impact testing, so really one could hit the side with a hammer and call it tested
That said, any 5-point harness car seat offers good SIP, and while RF'ing, you have TONS of protection.

I prefer a RF tether, so I'd lean towards the Radian, but I had an old-style Radian and hated it. We have a Triumph Advance and still use it for DD1 in DH's car.
 

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I think that expecting a convertible to get you to a backless booster is too ambitious. Kids aren't really ready for backless boosters at age 4 or 5. That's about the age when you'd be wanting to maybe move to a highback booster, though. And you can get those very cheaply, and you can get ones that convert to backless boosters for later on. And who knows what might be available by the time you get to that age.

We love our Radians, but they can be a pain in the neck to install. I have problems installing ours if I have to do a seatbelt install, but I haven't had any trouble using LATCH with these. But I have heard of other people having issues with not being able to get a tight install.
 

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I'd go with the radian. There is a much greater chance of your DS outgrowing the triumph advance before he is ready for a booster (and yeah, a high back booster like everyone else has said). At that point you'd have to buy a seat like a nautilus or a frontier so it would end up costing you quite a bit more in the long run.
But I would also look at the true fit, the my ride and the complete air as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for the input.
Twinklefae, yes I meant the Triumph Advance (I didn't realize there was a difference other than fabric with the different kinds of Triumph). Do the other seats you mention have higher height limits than the Triumph Advance? DH said that he found the maximum height for the Triumph Advance was 50 inches, and from the growth curves it looks like DS would reach that around 6 years old. He has a pretty long torso though, so maybe before then. It seems like the Radian would only gain us a few more inches of height, but I guess those inches could mean years. I doubt he will reach 50 lbs before he outgrows the Triumph by height, so that's the number I have been focusing on.

Latte Mama -- We saw that deal and tried to get the Radian then, but they were out of stock, and now they aren't offering the deal anymore, which is why DH no longer wants to consider the Radian.

At what age do most children move into boosters? Hypothetically, from the information we could find, it looked like DS should be able to be FF in both seats in terms of height and weight until at least 6 years old, would he still need a high back booster then? If so, I guess that's what we are aiming for.

Overall it seems that you all agree with my instinct to go with the Radian, anyone have a concrete advantage that I could use to convince DH?

Thanks again for the help and advice.
 

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The EFTA and radian have about the same top slot height (which is more important for determining how long it will fit than overall height) but I've found that my DS has a bit more room to grow in the radian probably because it can be installed much more upright. Plus, you can go over the top slots of the radian some (though I wouldn't do this personally unless I had no other option and my kid truly wasn't ready for a booster).

The EFTA has the lower weight limit, but most kids would outgrow it between 40 and 50 lbs anyway, unless they are on the heavy side.

Both seats will get most kids to booster age.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by evening start View Post

At what age do most children move into boosters? Hypothetically, from the information we could find, it looked like DS should be able to be FF in both seats in terms of height and weight until at least 6 years old, would he still need a high back booster then? If so, I guess that's what we are aiming for.
Most kids will be ready for a booster by age 6 and yes, you will need a highback at that point.
 

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For the same price, I think the TrueFit or MyRide are better seats than the triumph. The Truefit you can wash the covers without taking the seat out of the car!

I had the Truefit and sold it for a Radian (XTSL), I really like both of them.
A friend of mine has 2 Triumph's one RF and one FF, and her 2.5yr old looks very big in the FF seat. Doesnt seem like it will last as long.

My ds had TONES of room to grow RF in the TF when we sold it a few days ago.
 

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We have an EFTA and a Radian 65. Ds is still rf'ing in both of them. He is close to outgrowing EFTA, but I'm hoping he stays the same height till winter is over. Plus he's almost to the 35lb limit on both seats so his weight needs to stay the same too. I love the EFTA more though. The infinite harness allows me to use his seat for dd when I'm just taking her out. She's still in a bucket but I like to babywear her when I'm out so I don't use the bucket.
 

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you need to be more concerned with the top strap height than with the overall height for the seat. Saying a seat will fit a kid until 50 inches just isn't true because there is so much variance in kids - long legs/short torso vs short torso/long legs, etc. The top strap height on the triumph is 16 inches on the radian it is 18 inches. 2 inches of torso growth could be years in a particular kid. My DD only grows about 4-5 inches a year over her whole body, so 2 inches of torso height could be over 2 years time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Snoopy5386 where did you find the heights for the top slots? Are the posted somewhere, or is this from your own measurements of the seats? I've looked at both seats in the store, but I didn't think to make any measurements, just looked at their published limits. I eliminated the true fit and my ride because they didn't do as well as the EFTA in the recent consumer reports testing, but do they have higher top slots than the EFTA? It seems by the time we pay more for one of those, we might as well go all in and get the Radian, but maybe I'm missing an advantage those seats have. Thanks for all the info.
 

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since i own both i must say radian. my ds was in a radian from 4.5 months when he maxed his weight in a bucket seat. he then used a triumph from then till 2.5 years. when he was 2.5 years when he was at the max for weight. i love both seats but by far the radian rules. my dd is 7.5 and still in her radian.
 

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i say either radian or a truefit. i have an efta, and while its a fine seat, i just don't like it. i don't like the way the knob gets shoved into the seat padding when installed RF, which makes it hard to adjust (manageable, but not smooth). its not the easiest to install, imo, but then i haven't installed a radian either (my other seats are fisher-price safe voyage, which are super easy for me). so for me ease of use is a big factor, since i will be using and adjusting for YEARS! lol, so i'm in the market too. i'm thinking radian or truefit. we have a local CD store that also sells car seats--with a cpst ons staff! -- so i can try them out before buying, which i didn't do before but won't make that mistake again. best of luck to you and happy shopping!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by evening start View Post
Snoopy5386 where did you find the heights for the top slots? Are the posted somewhere, or is this from your own measurements of the seats? I've looked at both seats in the store, but I didn't think to make any measurements, just looked at their published limits. I eliminated the true fit and my ride because they didn't do as well as the EFTA in the recent consumer reports testing, but do they have higher top slots than the EFTA? It seems by the time we pay more for one of those, we might as well go all in and get the Radian, but maybe I'm missing an advantage those seats have. Thanks for all the info.
I found the measurements online - threads at car-seat.org
 
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