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Old 08-09-2011, 06:15 PM   #1
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Would this be a safe choice?

Hi all, I'm looking for brutally honest opinions here, because this is a situation where if anything happened, I would never forgive myself for not choosing the safest possible option.

So, both my kiddos are in 5pt seats - 5.5 year old FF, and 2 year old RF. We're going out of town in a couple weeks, and we got a rental car at our destination, with one rental carseat in it, and we will be bringing one seat with us.

We could either - have 5.5 year old in the rental carseat, and bring our Britax Chaperone infant seat (the bucket) for out tiny 2 year old who still is within the height/weight limits of it. Downside of this is if the rental carseat is a small convertible, 5.5 year old will be too tall for it.
(eta - 2 yr old is not typically still riding in the infant seat, but it's our option in this case since it would be easy to bring with us on the plane)

Option #2 = have 2 year old in the rental carseat (assuming it can go rearfacing), and bring a seat for 5.5 year old - our convertible seats are too heavy to handle, but we do have a Graco Turbobooster that we could bring easily since it's so lightweight. Question is, at 5.5 years old, at 43 inches tall and 39.5 pounds (within the weight limit for the booster seat), is he safe enough in a booster seat? He is good about sitting straight up and wearing the seatbelt properly when he is in the booster seat.

What would you do? I don't want to ever doubt myself in case the unthinkable happens. Would you do either of the above options, or suck it up and do the third option of bringing 5.5 year old's massive convertible seat (and have 2 year old in the rental carseat).

Any thoughts would be super appreciated, thank you!!

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Old 08-09-2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: Would this be a safe choice?

Please reconsider using a rental seat. You have no way of knowing what kind of seat it will be or what condition it will be in.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/paren...usting-2465407
http://www.blogher.com/think-twice-r...eat-your-child

They could give you a seat that is completely inappropriate for your child, like a booster seat for your 2 year old. When you rent a seat you are putting your child's safety in the hands of a complete stranger that may not care one bit about your child or their safety.

I would bring the 2 year old's seat and buy a Ride Safer Travel Vest for your 5 year old. It will roll up and fit in a bag and it never expires meaning you can use it later for your 2 year old.

ETA: You could use the Turbo for the 5 year old as long as the 5 year old is going to sit properly in the booster 100% of the time even while sleeping.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:05 PM   #3
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Re: Would this be a safe choice?

I'd bring the chaperone for the 2 yo (assuming his head is no closer than 1" from the top of the shell) and the booster for the 5 yo. OR bring your convertible for the 5 yo (along with a seat for the 2 yo) - load both car seats on a stroller to take them through the airport and use them both on the plane.

I would never, no NEVER use a rental car seat from a car rental place. Well, *maybe* if I personally knew the rental agency employee who was in charge of the car seats, and knew that he/she was a huge CPS advocate, AND he/she was able to assure me of the seat's safety. But I can't imagine that ever happening, so yeah, I'm pretty much back to NEVER using a rental car seat.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:22 PM   #4
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Re: Would this be a safe choice?

I agree.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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Re: Would this be a safe choice?

If both the kids have seats on the plane I would just bring their regular seats and strap them to a luggage cart to wheel through the airport.

Whatever you decide I wouldn't use a rental seat either!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:13 PM   #6
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Re: Would this be a safe choice?

Bring your own car seats because renting one is a bad idea.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TalkinBoutMyGirl
Bring your own car seats because renting one is a bad idea.
This. You never know what you will get on the other end.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:34 PM   #8
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Re: Would this be a safe choice?

Thank you so much for the replies. This has definitely given me something else to consider, since before I posted I wasn't at all worried about the rental carseat (we've done it several times before and the seat was always clean and looked fine to me). I was mostly worried about whether or not my 5.5 year old would be safe enough in a booster seat instead of a 5 point harness. I definitely need to think more about the rental carseat now, thank you all for giving me more food for thought!! Any opinions on the booster seat vs. 5pt harness issue?
Thanks, everyone!

eta - we're not using the carseats on the plane, so they would be checked with our luggage (any tips on how to protect them?)
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:40 PM   #9
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I'm with everyone else...would never use a rental seat, nor even a borrowed seat from a friend unless I KNEW it was within date and what kind, safe etc. I would just take our own 2 seats we always used...it's a pain but if I'm taking seats I just take ours instead of buying new ones (cheap lighter etc). I flew home by myself 2 summers ago with 8mo old twins, took both their infant seats, used one in a seat and gate checked the other. Last summer we flew again, hubby with me this time, I was 5mos preggo, we took 2 Truefits and also gate checked them. It was a big pain, and said next time I'd send my mom or whoever out to buy some next time (and seats I specify), but in reality, we wouldn't have the money for that, and I'd just take ours again.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:42 PM   #10
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Re: Would this be a safe choice?

I would ask the rental company:
What brand and model is the rental carseat?
What is height/weight limitations?
How old is it?
Has it ever been in a wreck?
How often do they replace them?

If they answer your questions honestly and you are comfortable with their answers, then I don't see a problem.

HOWEVER, for the biggest peace of mind, just suck it up and bring both carseats.

Good luck.

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