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Huxley 11-30-2012 09:21 AM

I'm Absolutely Clueless
I feel awful because I try to do my research, but I still don't know nearly enough about car seats. My daughter is 8 months old and I'm saving to buy her next carseat, but have no clue what to get. I want to keep her rearfacing and I want a seat that will last a long time. I hope for it to be able to be moved between two cars (I don't think I can afford two and we go in lots of out of town trips in my mother's car)

My dd is 16 pounds right now at eight months old, and is 26 inches. She is in a Maxi Cosi Mico at the moment and I love that seat. I love the bases, I keep one in my moms car and one in mine. I love how you just have to latch the base in and it snaps on. I imagine this is a feature only for bucket seats.

Does anyone have any recommendations for me? I have been looking at Britax and Radian. I also saw extremely cheap ones from Safety First. I don't even know what I need. I feel stupid. I know that I want her rearfacing as long as possible and then harnessed as long as possible.

Thanks for helping. I'm so overwhelmed.

momtojande 11-30-2012 09:28 AM

Re: I'm Absolutely Clueless
I felt the same way! It all seems pretty straightforward now, but with the first baby it was sooo confusing.

I would avoid the Radian for a seat you'll be switching around alot, because they can be a pain to install. (To my experience anyway.) Also, it's heavy.

I've never had a Britax, but I believe they're supposed to be easy to install. The favorite seat of mine that I've owned was a Evenflo Triumph Advanced -- I'm not necessarily recommending that (I think that model isn't even around anymore), but it really opened my eyes to how much easier a carseat can be to install! I loved that thing.

So I would look around for something known to be easy, and also keep an eye on the weight.

jess71903 11-30-2012 10:42 AM

Re: I'm Absolutely Clueless
What vehicle will these be going into? If you are with you parents a lot and will be going in their vehicle, I would probably get a "main" seat for your car, and a cheaper seat for theirs. All seats pass the same safety standards, so one can't be said to be safer than another. You just pay for bells and whistles.

My very favorite seat is the True Fit (the First Years, or Lamaze at BRU). It's super tall, with tall top slots, so will last a long time forward facing. It's down side is the rear-facing weight limit is 35lbs vs. the 40 that many seats have now, or the 45 on the Radians. Your DD isn't very big, though, so 35lbs should get her to 3 or 4 easily. My long skinny DD almost 3 and 30lbs and still RF in one, and my bruiser of a son was just over 3 when he hit 35lbs. He is 5 now and still occasionally FF in one, with room to grow, although he has a different main seat now.

I do like the Graco MyRide, although not as much as a FF seat. It RF to 40lbs, FF to 65 or 70, depending on the model. It's an easy install in everything I've ever tried it in.

The Evenflo Triumph Advance mentioned above has been replaced by the Triumph 65, which RF to 40lbs, and FF to 65. It has a sliding harness so that the straps are always AT the shoulders if properly tightened. I like it, too.

The Radians are tall and have high weight limits. There are a bunch of huge fans here, but I'm not one of them. I'm a tech and I fought with mine a lot. That's why I got rid of it. It just wasn't a good fit for my vehicle at the time. I may feel differently now, with a different vehicle.

Britax seats are nice as well, and are notoriously easy to install and use. They aren't the tallest and they tend to lack leg room. Most kids aren't bothered, though. If you play with one and like it, go for it! If your daughter is little all over, it will probably last her a long time. You can also get a "classic" Marathon or Roundabout 50 at Target these days for less than the new 70 line, if you like those.

For cheaper seats, the Cosco Scenera (super cute cover in the link, BTW!) is the old standard. It's usually around $40 at Wal-mart. It does the job, and is light-weight. You will probably need a rolled towel or pool noodle or 3 to install rear-facing. It RF to 35lbs FF to 40lbs. There is/was a version that RF to 40lbs, but people report not finding it much anymore.

The Cosco Apt is a newer and pretty similar to the Scenera, but with cup holders! It RF and FF to 40lbs. Top slots are only 13" (similar to Scenera, I think).

Then there's the Safety 1st Guide 65, which may be what you saw. It RF to 40lbs, FF to 65, and has really tall top slots. I don't know much more about it. It is also known as the Eddie Bauer XRS65.

jjordan 11-30-2012 11:25 AM

Re: I'm Absolutely Clueless
Your options are going to be a bit limited compared to what we have in the US, and your prices in general will be higher.

If you live near a store that has a wide variety of seats, your best bet is to go to that store when you have a good amount of time to spend, and try out as many seats as you can - both in the store AND installing ones that you like in your car. Once you've narrowed it down to a couple of options, then bring your child and put her in the seat - that may help you to decide on your favorite.

In general, you want to look for a seat with these characteristics:
*at least a 35# rear facing weight limit
*at least a 50# forward facing weight limit
*top harness height of at least 17" (above the seating surface of the child seat)

jess71903 11-30-2012 12:07 PM

Re: I'm Absolutely Clueless
And that's what I get for not checking the user's location. Oh well. True Fit rec still stands :).

Huxley 11-30-2012 03:49 PM

Re: I'm Absolutely Clueless
I drive a Saturn Vue and my mom dives a Subaru Forrester (I think, lol). I live in a small town so I cannot buy my carseat here. There is a Walmart an hour away. I mostly online shop.

thtr4me 11-30-2012 05:24 PM

Re: I'm Absolutely Clueless
The Radian is a tank. My DH cursed at me when I made him pick it up, and laughed at my idea to use it as a travel seat because it folds. He said there was no way in h3!! that he was ever going to carry it anywhere. It is installed in our VW Double-cab and does not get moved, ever.

I have Britax seats in our other cars, and yes, they are SUPER easy to install. Love them. I also have smaller than average kiddos, so don't have to worry about the shorter shell and them being outgrown. My 6.5yo can fit FFing in the Boulevard, and is just at the RFing weight limit, although long outgrown by RFing height.

I have heard good things about both the TrueFit and MyRide, although I don't know availability where you are. Is there any place near enough to you that you can go and try seats in your car, see how they install, and go from there?

And it is okay to feel clueless. You have recognized that you need help, and sought it out, which is more than a lot of people seem to do.

jackyl08 11-30-2012 05:38 PM

Re: I'm Absolutely Clueless
The problem with Safety 1st/Cosco seats in Canada is that they only rearface to 32" or 36"(Scenera is 32 and Complete Air is 36), so if your child is tall, then they may not last super long. I know some recommended seats in Canada are the True Fit, My Ride, Radian. 26" at 8mths doesn't seem exceedingly tall. Both of my kids were about 27" at 8mths, which was 50%. So, I think a Britax seat would work fine for you. I have the Marathon 70 and love it. It's so easy to install and use. The Roundabout 55 is also really good.

Huxley 11-30-2012 07:38 PM

Re: I'm Absolutely Clueless
Wow! Thanks for all the help! I think the Radian is out. There is no way I can handle a tank. I'm a single mom and I like to bring my carseat in at night. It's so so cold here and I find her current carseat stays cold for a long time. I prefer her to not go into a freezing seat (I'm hoping she doesn't outgrow hers until winter is almost over.)

I'm going to look into the true fit, my ride, and all the Britax ones.

And my dd is just under the 50th percentile.

monica-m 11-30-2012 10:42 PM

Re: I'm Absolutely Clueless
I think that calling the Radian a tank is an over-exaggeration. I move mine all the time by myself and I'm 5'1" and I haven't been to the gym in a few months.

I think that moving the seat indoors every night is a bit much. Here is some good information about keeping your LO warm and safe in the car in the winter months:

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