11-30-2012, 10:42 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Central Arkansas
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The Evenflo Triumph Advance mentioned above has been replaced by the Triumph 65, which RF to 40lbs, and FF to 65.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.