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Old 01-11-2013, 03:09 PM   #1
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What seat to get next?

Our 4 year old will likely outgrow our britax marathon about the time our 4 month old is ready to move out of his infant seat. The marathon was manufacturerd 11/4/08. So, it will expire before our youngest has outgrown it. Thinking ahead, in about 6 months, when both kids have outgrown their current seat, would it be best to get a new seat for our oldest & put our youngest in the Marathon till it expires, then move the oldest to a booster & put our youngest in the newest seat? Am I making sense? So, does that make the most sense or should we be planning for something different? And what seat would work best for our situation?

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Old 01-11-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: What seat to get next?

Is it safe to assume that the two children mentioned in your post are the only ones in the family? The situation could change if you plan to have more or have other kids that are in between those two. I'll respond as though the two kids are the only ones.

Since the marthon expires when your youngest is about 2, ideally, he/she would next move to another rear facing seat. So if you got a convertible seat (one that can face either direction) next for the 4 year old, then you could pass it along to the 2 year old in a couple of years, at which point the older child should be ready for a booster. So that is one option. However, you'd have to be careful in choosing the convertible to make sure that it offers more growing room than your marathon, which does have pretty high top harness slots. How much does the 4 year old weigh, and how far below the top harness setting are his shoulders right now?

Another option is to get a forward facing combination seat for the 4 year old now, and a new convertible for the younger child in a couple of years (while the 4 year old continues to use the combination seat in booster mode once he/she is booster-ready). This option probably has you spending a little more money, in the end, although that depends on what particular seats you choose. And sometimes older harnessed kids think that combination seats look more like "big kid" seats compared to convertibles.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:25 PM   #3
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Re: What seat to get next?

These are our only two kids and, if my husband has anything to do with it, they will be our only kids

Our oldest is 44 7/8in, 43lbs, & turned 4 on 12/13. He is just under the last harness slot on the Marathon. Our 4 month old was 28in at his 4 month apt- so he is also long.

And I drive a Honda Pilot.

Last edited by Pink84; 01-11-2013 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Added car info
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:41 PM   #4
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Re: What seat to get next?

Would the Diono work best for our situation? Does it have the widest range of size to fit?
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:09 PM   #5
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Re: What seat to get next?

If you're thinking convertible, then you should try your 4 year old in the seats when installed in your car, if possible, and look for how much room between his shoulders and the top harness slot. The general rule of thumb at this age is 1" of room will give you about a year of torso growth, and that's probably a pretty realistic harnessing goal. Unless he has special needs that warrant harnessing longer, he has a good chance of being able to follow booster rules around age 5, and he's certainly big enough where there would be lots of boosters that would properly position the seatbelt on him by next year.

A Diono Radian is definitely an option, though they don't always install well in cars, and I'm not sure how well they work with a Pilot. It will probably give you another year of harnessing over your current Marathon. The newer generation Britax convertibles (Marathon 70, Boulevard 70, Pavilion 70CS, Advocate 70CS) might also give you another year or so of harnessing time, though I'd install in your car and check your son's shoulder position to be sure. On paper those seats have the same top harness height as your current marathon, but anecdotally, some kids who have outgrown a classic Britax seat still have growing room in the newer ones. Other possible options are the Safety 1st Complete Air (I'd go with the 65# weight limit version rather than 50# since he's already over 40#), Peg Perego convertible (again, same official top slots as your current seat, but may give more growing room in person), Maxi Cosi Pria, Graco Size4Me/MySize 70, and The First Years/Lamaze TrueFit.

If you decide to go with a combination seat now and then get a new convertible for the younger child down the road, I'd probably go with a Recaro Prosport, Britax Frontier, Evenflo Secure Kid 300/400, or *possibly* a Graco Nautilus (though sometimes bigger boys, especially, find that the harness is uncomfortably tight well before they've officially outgrown it).

ETA: Another option would be buying a combination seat for the older child AND a convertible for the younger one, and selling the Marathon on Craigslist now while it still has 2 years of usable time before expiration. In some areas, the resale value on Britax seats is quite good. And if you happen to have a sought-after cover that is in good shape, that alone could fetch $30-ish, maybe more. Just a thought!

Last edited by jjordan; 01-11-2013 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:33 PM   #6
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Re: What seat to get next?

Thank you jjordan! I really appreciate how helpful you have been. I also had the thought of trying to sell the Marathon asap. Decisions, decisions!
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