Car Seats

Sarah - posted on 08/09/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I'm in need of some good advice about a convertible rear facing car seat. My 1yr old is about to out grow hers, but I want to keep her rear facing as long as possible. Unfortunately, there are only a few seats out there that will convert. I'm a bit torn between the Graco "My Ride 65", Sunshine Kids Radian 80, and the Britax Advocate. Do any of you moms have experience with these or have another car seat to advise about? I'd appreciate anything. Thanks!

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User - posted on 08/09/2009

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I'm not sure where you are from, but there are a lot of convertibles on the market in the US. However, I'd say that you've named a couple of the best available anywhere now...so if that's your short-list, then I only have a couple of suggestions.



Were I in the market for a seat right now, I'd get a Sunshine Kids Radian (though I'd go with the 65 rather than the 80). You'd want the 80 if you were using it for an infant (since it has the infant insert), but honestly most kids are not going to go to a full 80 lbs in this seat...unless they are short and heavy. (For an average child, the 65 lb limit is pretty decent.) The Radian has the tallest shell available and can be tethered while RFing (the Britax seats are the only others that you can do this with). It also will RF to 40 lbs, the highest limit on the market right now in the US. This seat will last you a very long time. It's also the narrowest, so if you're looking to do multiple seats across in the future this will help. However, because of the height it may not work well with all vehicles. The MyRide 65 will also RF to 40 lbs, which is nice. The shell is a decent height...it may or may not last you as long as the Radian. I'd skip the Britax Advocate and either do a Boulevard, Marathon, or Roundabout50 if you're going to use a Britax product. The Advocate doesn't really have much extra benefit beyond the others (won't RF further, etc.) and it's just a BIG seat, making it difficult or impossible to install in many vehicles. The Blvd or Marathon will RF to 35 lbs, FF to 65 lbs...Roundabout50 will RF to 35 lbs, FF to 50 lbs.



(For myself, I've got a Britax Marathon and a First Year's True Fit that I'm quite happy with...but if I were buying again now, I'd go with the Radian as long as it fit well in the car.) I've not installed a Radian yet (I just became a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician recently)...but have done a MyRide, Marathon, and a Blvd. All of them installed pretty easily.

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Patti - posted on 08/21/2009

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I think there are a lot of seats that will convert... I have checked consumer reports at the time that each of my kids reached the stage for a (new) carseat. I don't know the latest, but Britax and Graco seem to lead the bunch most years. We have Britax for our toddlers, different models. We've been very happy with them. They have different maximum weights which is what made our final decision...we wanted them to last as long as possible before having to move to the booster seat. (5-point restraints always safer.)

Hayley - posted on 08/20/2009

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hi sarah i found areally good ar seat for my daughter it's make is britax and it's car seat that convets into rear and forward facing. you could probably find it on the britax website or toys r us... it cost about £160 .

but it is a really good quality car seat and i'd really recommend it ..hope this helps!!!

User - posted on 08/17/2009

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Actually, the Air Protect rear faces to 40 lbs and forward faces to 50 lbs. I've heard mixed reviews on this one so far. Most seats available now have some sort of side impact protection. Though it is important to keep in mind that what everybody calls "side impact testing" in the car seat arena is different. The NTSB does not currently have set standards for this. While I think it's important to get something that you feel will provide good side protection for your child, keep in mind that claims about one side impact protection being better than another are not so clear because of the lack of a single standard upon which to evaluate. Some have larger "wings" than others. While it appears that the head wings may provide some protection, there are some downsides. In some cars, it may be difficult or impossible to get a child into the seat because of the size of the wings. Some children may also not fit well in seats with big wings (this can be especially true for some kids with wider shoulders).

I'd still look at this seat, for sure. It does offer a few nice features, but so do other seats where you can tether rear facing, etc. For me personally, I'm not sure I think this seat is worth the heavy price tag.

Heather - posted on 08/17/2009

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Safety 1st has a new car seat at Babies R Us and Toys R Us called the Air Protect. It goes up to 50lbs. Both rear and forward facing. Around the head are air pockets that protect the child in side car crash. No other car seat has this feature. If my child was younger (under 50 lbs) I would definitely be purchasing this for safety purposes.

Michelle - posted on 08/13/2009

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Good for you to keep your child rear facing as long as possible! Many rear facing infant seats go up to 22 lbs now(some even higher). Check the side of your seat to see what the height and weight limitations are. Also, You can always go to Toys R Us/Baby's R Us and take the seats you are asking about out to your car and "play" with them. The best car seat will be the seat the best fits your child and best fits in your car.

Amy - posted on 08/13/2009

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I have an Eddie Bauer 3in1 (RF,FF,Booster) I love it! I also just received an email from graco about their newest convertible, it looks awesome, I'm going to be checking that one out next :D

Tammy - posted on 08/13/2009

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I have 3 children and this is my 3rd go at the car seat thing.I have a a 03 Mustang GT .The back seat is very small ,and I was having a hard time finding a seat that would fit corectly. I went to one of the car seat work shops that the police stations had in our area and also talked to my sons doctor. I was told by the police to first make sure it fits in your car then go by the weight. I was told by both to make sure that the seat made for the corect weight and size. In my case I could not do a rear faceing seat it just would not fit. The seat I chose converts into a booster and has a 5 point harnes.

Jessica - posted on 08/12/2009

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I definitely think it depends on how big your car is......I am a stickler though be careful on the weight restrictions and height. I see people putting a 1 yr old in a booster! Just make sure it's the right one for your child.

Danyele - posted on 08/12/2009

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I just bought the Graco My Ride 65 and I returned it 1 week later. The comfort was great for the baby, but the straps were considently getting twisted and it drove me NUTS! I now have the new "Air" car seat and I love it.

Elisabeth - posted on 08/12/2009

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I just bought an eddie bauer convertible car seat for my son and i love it. We made sure that we got one that would recline because he falls asleep in the car often, and I love that feature!!

Tiffany - posted on 08/12/2009

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number one, how big is your car? i bought the Sunshine Kids Radian 80 off target online, b/c it was not in the store, and the thing is freaking HUGE!! i mean like tall, like to my waist, (i am only 5'2", but still) and is VERY heavy. so if you only have one car great, otherwise, forget about swapping everytime to a diff car. I took it back and got the Britax, more $$ but it lasts longer & has best ratings. I got a second one used off Craigslist for my truck, he is rarely in the truck anyhow. BUT i am a fan of the Britax brand.
I was going to keep him rear facing as long as possible too, but his legs are sooo long. he'd put them up against the seat and push as hard as he could, trying to move the seat back. so, i figured it was time...
good luck, car seat buying sucks! and if you have a small car... you better head down to Toys-r-us and try out EVERY SEAT. They will let you, and it is what I finally had to do. We got the Britax marathon, goes to 40lbs, and we are only at 27 now. So i figure another year or so till I have to get a new one.

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I love my recaro como convertible! It's cushier than a britax marathon, and converts from newborn to toddler. You just remove the side impact and neck padding as they grow. I loved mine so much, I bought another one for our second car.

Delicia - posted on 08/12/2009

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I have the First Years True Fit Convertible Car Seat. I really like it because my daughter could have been rear facing in it until she was 35 pounds and foreward facing in it until she is 65 pounds. There are lots of pros to this seat and if you goggle the car seat and look at the reviews you'll be able to see what I am talking about. Good luck with buying a car seat!

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