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Old 04-14-2012, 05:30 PM   #1
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I know nothing about convertibles

DS is 6 months, around 22ish pounds, and will be measured on Monday but I am thinking he is around 27-28 inches. Right now he is in a Peg Perego 30/30 infant bucket.

I like the Peg Perego a lot and feel that he is totally safe in it. He seems really comfortable as well, and I think he would make it known if he was not because he is very serious about telling us when he doesn't like a swing, bouncy, etc.

I saw that Peg Perego has come out with a convertible so I was considering that off nothing else than brand recognition - we like the one we have and love the stroller too. Does anyone know anything about this?

My sister has the Maxi Cosi Pria and likes it because of the fabric as she has a sweaty baby. Does anyone have opinions on that as well?

I also cannot seem to find which Britax is "better" as it's really confusing.

Space-wise, he is an only child, and we have a Prius and an Excursion so latch systems as well as regular seat belt in both, and space galore. Anything will fit.

I really don't care about cost. I just want the safest thing out there, the most comfortable, and lastly, ease of use and maybe cleaning.

Can someone please give me some recommendations?

Thank you!

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Old 04-14-2012, 06:38 PM   #2
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Re: I know nothing about convertibles

We do not have comparative safety ratings. All seats on the market are required to pass exactly the same federal crash tests. Beyond that, every brand of seat will brag about its "safety features" and why that makes their seat better. Which is fine, go ahead and look at the various features, but keep in mind that none of them have been proven to be any better than any others.

That being said, a seat is only safe if it's used correctly. So, when you're looking at seats, go ahead and try some in your car, read the manuals, and make sure you will be able to use them correctly.

Personal preference is nothing to sneeze at either. Most "big" convertibles will fit most children until they are 5 or 6 years old. So if you're buying something that you're going to use every day, probably multiple times most days, for 5 years, you might as well have something that you actually LIKE!! So really put the display seats through their paces once you've narrowed down your choices a bit. In the end, choose the one that you are comfortable with from a safety standpoint, one that you can use correctly, and one that you actually like.

Carseatblog.com is a good source of car seat reviews. I wouldn't trust *most* other reviews out there, including user reviews on Amazon, Babies R Us, and the like.

The Peg Perego is relatively new, but from what I've heard, it seems like a decent seat.

The Pria, like all Dorel seats (as far as I know), sticks by an overall stated height limit for rear facing (40"), which, in my opinion, is a bit of a pain in the neck. For that reason *I* would not have any Dorel convertible on the top of my list (Pria, Safety 1st complete air are the "big" ones).

The Britax seats are all basically the same size. The roundabout 55 is the least expensive ($150-ish), and has a slightly lower harness height and a lower weight limit. (The weight limit is not really an issue for most kids, just possibly the really chunky ones.) The others all have a no-rethread harness, which can be nice, and head "wings." The marathon has slightly smaller "wings" than the boulevard, and the advocate adds side impact "cushions" on the outside of the seat.

Other than those specific seats you asked about, any convertible with a 40# or higher rear facing weight limit, 55# or higher forward facing weight limit, and 17" or higher top harness height would be a good choice. You might try the Graco MyRide, Evenflo Triumph 65 or Momentum 65, and Diono Radian seats. If you want to wait a couple of months, you might like the Clek Foonf (which is really expensive! but looks impressive). The First Years Truefit is often-recommended, but since your little guy is already 22# at 6 months, personally I'd skip it because of the 35# rear facing weight limit. Rear facing is the safest way for a child (actually anyone!) to ride, and it's especially important the younger a child is. A 35# RF weight limit might mean turning your kid to forward facing while he is still young enough where RF is quite a lot safer.

HTH! Be sure to post back if you have more questions.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:00 PM   #3
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Re: I know nothing about convertibles

that was pretty comprehensive! great reply jjordan!

i want to second the carseatblog recommendation. read all about the features and narrow it down from there. I would never have a seat without headwings or major side impact protection just because i feel more comfortable with my child riding outboard with protection from the glass. i watched a side impact crash test and it was very hard to see. the dummy's head smashed into the glass without the headwings. its just personal preference though, and even if you spend $300 on a seat it will be worthless if it isn't compatible with your car's seat and yo can't get a good install or if your child isn't in the harness properly.

get a car seat that is easy to install. i realize it will be hard to know unless you try, but reading around will help you determine which seats are easy and which ones are hard. i spent 3.5 years fighting for hours with a seat even though we really didn't really move it around very frequently. now today i got a new seat and it was installed perfectly in under a minute. i can't tell you how much i wish i hadn't gotten that seat and wasted all those hours (and suffered the sore thumbs and shoulders!!!) and just gotten a seat that wasn't known to be hard to install in the majority of situations.

a no rethread harness is sooooo nice. it isn't a deal breaker for me, i've only had 2/7 seats with this but it is on my list of favorite features. its so handy to be able to adjust quickly to fit a different kiddo without having to uninstall it. so handy.

i would caution you to stay away from radians. some people love them, i used to be one of them, but after using more seats i can see in comparison how much more difficult they are to use. we have 3 of them and i sold 2 others and they were all HORRIBLE to install in every vehicle. It was very hard to adjust the tightness of the harness, though some were worse than others. if they were easy to install and fit well in most cars i think i wouldn't have such a bad opinion of them but as it stands i feel like they don't work in more cars than they do. all the latch straps needed to be replaced to the resale value is shot and even the new latch straps slip. i can't get them to work with the seatbelts in my van FF at all. i am definitely on the anti-radian bandwagon!

if i could start over i think i would try a roundabout and then when the kiddo hit 40lb i would flip and get a nautilus. the nautilus is pretty awesome so far but its my newest seat and i'm still honeymooning.

eta or a complete air then nautilus. i don't mind the 40" rule because i don't mind buying the nautilus after the kiddo gets to be 40". realistically, my dd is 4 and in the 97th percentile at 42ish inches tall. so she would have lasted a long time in the complete air even with that rule, and i know that probably no convertible is going to last her until she is in a seat belt anyway. does that make sense? it makes sense in my head.
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