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Old 01-07-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
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Installing seats without LATCH?

Our 2001 Astro is behind the times, and it sits up really high. Before I make a final decision on new car seats, I'm just wondering if any of the following seats require LATCH for installing or just work better/safer with LATCH:

For the almost 5 and 3 year old:
*Evenflo Maestro
Frontier 85
Radian

For the baby:
True Fit Premier
*Graco My Size 70
Britax Marathon 55

*I'm leaning toward the starred seats. Are there better choices for vehicles that do not have any anchors?

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Old 01-07-2013, 03:19 PM   #2
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Re: Installing seats without LATCH?

All seats are required to be able to be installed with seatbelt or LATCH. Some may be easier with LATCH, some easier with seatbelt...I find that tends to run more because of the shape of the vehicle seat though, not the actual car seat though. If you can top tether a forward facing seat, that is ideal, but its not required in the US. You may be able to have top tether anchors retrofitted into your vehicle, but I don't have a LATCH manual handy to see part numbers or notice numbers or anything like that.

A plus to the Britax Marathon 55 is that you can rear tether it, and you can just loop the tether anchor around a fixed part of the vehicle in the floor board--most people use a metal part of one of the front seats near the area on the floor where they're bolted down. It will be easier to recommend a seat based on the size of the children that will be using it...age, height, weight, and torso height can help there
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:21 PM   #3
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Re: Installing seats without LATCH?

. All of those will be fine without LATCH, and an '01 Astro should have top tether anchors already installed.

For your combo seat list: I would caution you with the Maestro that it has a 50lb harness limit (which may be plenty for you) and the booster is often outgrown soon after the harness because the headrest is not adjustable. Have you considered the Evenflo SecureKid or the (very new) Harmony Defender? The SecureKid is an upgraded Maestro with a 65lb limit and an adjustable headrest. The HArmony is a Wal-mart exclusive and looks really cool. It becomes a highback, then backless.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:13 PM   #4
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Re: Installing seats without LATCH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jess71903 View Post
. All of those will be fine without LATCH, and an '01 Astro should have top tether anchors already installed.

For your combo seat list: I would caution you with the Maestro that it has a 50lb harness limit (which may be plenty for you) and the booster is often outgrown soon after the harness because the headrest is not adjustable. Have you considered the Evenflo SecureKid or the (very new) Harmony Defender? The SecureKid is an upgraded Maestro with a 65lb limit and an adjustable headrest. The HArmony is a Wal-mart exclusive and looks really cool. It becomes a highback, then backless.
I was just reading carseatblog.com about the SecureKid. It must be an old entry because it said the weight limit was also 50lbs for the harness mode. 65 lbs would last much longer, for sure. I was thinking the Maestro only because DH might go for it because of the price versus what I'd really like to get and feel would be better and last longer.

Digression...
I'd love to buy three Radians or at least two for the oldest two kids, but DH is already balking at buying new seats for our oldest. He doesn't keep up with safety and thinks that harnessed seats are unnecessary. After hearing his grandmother constantly reminding me that their kids rode around in no seats, not even as infants, for all those years, it's no wonder DH thinks a booster seat with no back is sufficient.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:19 PM   #5
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Re: Installing seats without LATCH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smashncakes View Post
All seats are required to be able to be installed with seatbelt or LATCH. Some may be easier with LATCH, some easier with seatbelt...I find that tends to run more because of the shape of the vehicle seat though, not the actual car seat though. If you can top tether a forward facing seat, that is ideal, but its not required in the US. You may be able to have top tether anchors retrofitted into your vehicle, but I don't have a LATCH manual handy to see part numbers or notice numbers or anything like that.

A plus to the Britax Marathon 55 is that you can rear tether it, and you can just loop the tether anchor around a fixed part of the vehicle in the floor board--most people use a metal part of one of the front seats near the area on the floor where they're bolted down. It will be easier to recommend a seat based on the size of the children that will be using it...age, height, weight, and torso height can help there
DS 4 years 10.5 months old, 40.8lbs, 41 1/8" tall
DS 3 years, 33-34 lbs, 37" tall
DD 15 1/2 months, 23lbs, not sure about height, but she seems a bit short for her age, maybe more in her legs than her torso

I did not know that about the Marathon. Because our van sits up so high, I always wonder how well a seat belt would keep their seats in place in the event of a crash. Having it tethered would ease my mind a little more.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:52 PM   #6
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Re: Installing seats without LATCH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maeus View Post
I was just reading carseatblog.com about the SecureKid. It must be an old entry because it said the weight limit was also 50lbs for the harness mode. 65 lbs would last much longer, for sure. I was thinking the Maestro only because DH might go for it because of the price versus what I'd really like to get and feel would be better and last longer.
That may have been when they first announced it coming and had a prototype out. It's definitely 65.

I really want to get my hands on the Harmony Defender. It's $100, so may be the perfect seat to fill that "$100 or under" but over 50lb need. Given that it converts to a backless and has an adjustable booster, I'd spend the $20 more or so and get it over the Maestro.

ETA: did you see this review on Car Seat Blog? http://carseatblog.com/16523/evenflo...ination-seats/
. It lists 20-65lbs. MAybe you saw the 50" height limit and your brain said "50lbs".
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:05 PM   #7
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Re: Installing seats without LATCH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jess71903 View Post
That may have been when they first announced it coming and had a prototype out. It's definitely 65.

I really want to get my hands on the Harmony Defender. It's $100, so may be the perfect seat to fill that "$100 or under" but over 50lb need. Given that it converts to a backless and has an adjustable booster, I'd spend the $20 more or so and get it over the Maestro.

ETA: did you see this review on Car Seat Blog? http://carseatblog.com/16523/evenflo...ination-seats/
. It lists 20-65lbs. MAybe you saw the 50" height limit and your brain said "50lbs".
Yep, that's the review I read, so that must have been what I did. I had seen someone else mention the Harmony on DS, but I could not find it readily available, at least online.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
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Re: Installing seats without LATCH?

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Originally Posted by maeus View Post
Yep, that's the review I read, so that must have been what I did. I had seen someone else mention the Harmony on DS, but I could not find it readily available, at least online.
The Harmony is not available online yet. It is only available in store at Walmart and it will be a Walmart exclusive.
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