B.B. asks from Cottage Grove, WI on February 16, 2008
Convertible Car Seats - Cottage Grove,WI
i'm a little overwhelmed right now. My daughter is 10 mos old and about 17lbs and 27-28 inches. i've started looking for the next car seat but am so overwhelmed by the choices out there. Price is a factor- but not if it compromises Safety. I've looked at the Britax Roundabout and Marathon ( unsure if the extra $50 is needed to extend the life to 65lbs?) The Evenflo Triumph Advance seems to get great safety reviews, and goes to 50lbs ( at quite a bit less than the britax ) however some note it to be user UNfriendly. We had the Chicco Keyfit infant carrier and i LOVE it. the straps were so simple to adjust- so i'd love to have a similar feature, especially now that we'll need to get her in and out, inside of the car. I have also looked at the ALPHA OMEGA ELite- the 3 in 1 car seats- i read in the old baby bargains book - not to bother w/ the 3 in 1 seats. I know there is a new edition out there but all the stores are out of it around here- i'm curious if the reviews have changed- safety wise. Sorry to go on and on- anyone's opinions would be greatly appreciated! THANKS!!
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you So much for everyone's responses. It really was helpful to read all the different points of view. We ended up buying the Britax Marathon for our main vehicle. We haven't decided yet what we'll get for the second vehicle ( used mostly for back and forth to daycare ) We haven't even installed it yet- but I'm sure she is going to love it!
M.M. answers from Minneapolis on February 18, 2008
We bought the Fisher Price car seat. It is made by Britax and is the same as the Marathon, but for about 1/2 the price. The straps are easy to slide, it's easy to put in the car, and my son seems to like it.
S.L. answers from Minneapolis on February 18, 2008
I agree that Britax is worth the money, but I may be in the minority on one thing. Personally, we went with the Roundabout and we love it! My son is small for his age (just reached 20 lbs. at 16 months), and we decided that at that rate, if he stays in the 5th percentile he could be 11 before he grew out of the Marathon weight wise. We decided that he probably wouldn't want to sit in it that long, and since we travel by air quite often we decided to go with the smaller seat that was easier to carry around. Saving $50 was a nice bonus, too. It's great and was definitely worth the money.
R.L. answers from Grand Forks on February 18, 2008
Go with the more expensive Britax. We have the Marathon and I would never get anything different again. My husband has a cheap model in his truck for occassional use and the straps are constantly twisted and it is difficult to get in and out. My mom has a Graco Comfort Sport and the same things happen, her head also falls forward when she sleeps. With the Britax, it fits great in every vehicle I have tried it in, especially with the LATCH system, and my little girl looks so comfortable and sleeps great in hers. The price is a little hard to swallow, but it is well worth it for ease of use and comfort.
B.H. answers from Minneapolis on February 17, 2008
I am super duper picky and have owned/borrowed/tried over 15 seats in my daughter's 6 years on Earth.
I've owned the Britax Roundabout,Marathon and Regent and to tell you the truth I should have skipped the Roundabout and just went straight for the Marathon it's worth the extra $50bucks.
You will want to keep your lil one in a 5pt.harness as long as possible and not use a booster seat til you absolutely have no other choice.
I love BRITAX because they're safe, comfortable, extremely user friendly and the straps don't twist and get all tangly.
I just used a Evenflo with a child I was babysitting and their latch system is horrible I got the carseat stuck in my backseat and couldn't un-latch it for like 15min. I was ready to scream.
I'm a single mom who's financially challenged and I splurged and bought the better seats.
My daughter was in the Marathon til 5.5 and could have gone another 1-2 years but I got a great deal on a Regent so switched her. She's now 6.5 and in first grade and loves her 5pt.harnessed carseat.
The Alpha Omega is by the brand of Cosco/Eddie Bauer worst brand I could ever think of. My daugter has actually broken one of their seats when she was 2 years old, their straps twist so bad they become unsafe and to use it as a 3in1 won't work well, when you go to use them as a booster seat they stink.
1 mom found this helpful
B.W. answers from Minneapolis on February 18, 2008
To Brandi R- the Evenflo Big Kid Booster is for older kids. THe Minimum you want to use a belted booster is 4yrs AND 40lbs, regardless of what the box says. She needs a convertible, and not a booster for at least 4 more years.
Yes, skip the 3-in-1 seats. They are ok... a jack of all trades, master of none. THe good thing about them is they rear face to 35lbs... but after that they aren't the greatest. The straps twist up like crazy, you want the straps to remain flat against the body. They only forward face to 40lbs, then must be used as a booster, but they are short seats,so most kids outgrwo them by height long before weight, and then must be used as a booster. THat top harness notch on the Alpha omega seats can only be used in booster mode, so the 2nd to the top harness is the tallest that seat will get. My oldest outgrew this seat at 3, and we had to buy another one because there is no way I was putting my 3yo in a booster. Plus the seats are wide, so they make bad boosters, they hold the belt too far away from the body.
THe Roundabout is a good seat, but it will only harness to 40lbs, and again most kids outgrow around age 3/4, and you WANT your child to remain ina five point harness as long as possible, to age 5/6 or longer. So I would skip the roundabout and go with the Marathon if you choose a Britax.
The Marathon is a GREAT seat. I own one and will never own another brand/make of convertible seat again. It will rear face to 35lbs, and forward face to 65lbs. My 5 1/2yrold is 49'' tall and 45lbs and still has a little growing room in the Marathon (but he sits in a Regent). Its so worth the money, your child, teeny as she is, will easily be able to use this seat to age 6 and expire it (seats expire after 6yrs). The seats are large, plush, and you can look online (www.albeebaby.com has the best prices) and find adorable girly covers! We have a Mossy Oak cover on our seat!
Another option for you is the Fisher Price Safe Voyage Deluxe. It will rear face to 33lbs, and forward face to 55lbs. It has the same shell as the Britax Marathon, it is in face made BY britax for Fisher Price. It is $130 on www.albeebaby.com and its a GREAT seat.... basically a Marathon without all the bells and whistles like belt lockoffs, fancy covers. I really like this seat as well.
The Evenflo Triumph ADVANCE will rear face to 33lbs and forward to 50. It says it will fit most 5yr olds, but my 5yr old was too tall, and I didn't like the eternal adjusting systme, but it was a great seat, but unless your child is shorter and heavier, it will be outgrown in height before weight. BUT its still a great option for hte price!
IMO, yes, it is more important to have the extra poundage on the seats like the Marathon or the Fisher Price Safe Voyage Deluxe. The Radian seats are great too, but they can be incompatible with some vehicles, so if this is the route you go, make sure you can reutrn it if it won't install correctly. The extra height/weight options iwll allow you to keep your child in the MUCH safer five point harness to age 5/6, or longer! You WANT your child to remain in a five point harness for as long as possible. 4yrs and 40lbs is the bare minimum. My 5 1/2yr old is still in a 5pt (the Britax Regent) and will remain there until he outgrows it.
Safety wise, any seat you choose will be safe as long as you use it correctly, install it correctly, EVERY TIME. It doesn't matter if you spend $40 or $300 on a seat if you don't use it right. BUT, in my opinion, and after owning quite a few seats in my 6yrs as a parent, the Britax seats will last you, the MArathon has lasted us almost 6yrs and I wouldn't trade that for any cheaper seat because of its higher harness height and weight.
Also, please consider practicing extended rear facing. your daughter is a peanut, and she is only 10 months old so she has to remain rear facing right now, but studies now show, and the AAP recommends, that children remain rear facing up to 33/35lbs ,the rear facing weight limits of thier convertible carseat. Here is a great link to support this, and it contains GREAT information. http://z3.invisionfree.com/Carseats/index.php?showtopic=32
J.T. answers from Lincoln on February 18, 2008
We are HUGE Britax fans and willing to pay for what we believe (and the ratings show) to be the safest carseats on the market. We have both a roundabout and a marathon and I much prefer the marathon - it is bigger and more comfortable for our 2 year old. Both seats are easy to get in and out of the car (esp. if you have a latch system) and they are easy to get the child in and out of the seats. We just purchased a Regent (5 pt. restraint booster seat) for our 2 year old (will be three in April) so we can use the marathon and roundabout for our 5 month old who just outgrew the graco infant carrier. Good luck, but check out the ratings for the seats at babycenter.com or amazon.com and see for yourself.
B.G. answers from Milwaukee on February 18, 2008
hey! i am a big britax fan and would suggest to go with them. i own a roundabout and a marathon. i originally bought the roundabout b/c we had a smaller car. now that our second is ready for a convertible seat we got the marathon, b/c having your kids in a five point harness is definitely the safest way for them to be in the car. the roundabout only goes to 40 lbs. and i think keeping the kids in the car seat for as long as they fit is the best way so the marathon going up to 65 lbs. is brilliant.
K.N. answers from Minneapolis on February 18, 2008
You can get the Alpha Omega for $90 at BabyAge.com (through Amazon.com). My husband likes it, he drives our son to and from daycare so he uses it all of the time. I'm looking into a 2nd one for my car. My son is over a year, but still fits in his rear facing seat, so I still use it when I cart him around. We spoke with a Britax sales rep in a store and he recommended that we keep him rear facing seat as long as he can stand it. It's the safest. I think I'll eventually get the Alpha Omega for a 2nd one, but there are some other great deals on Amazon.com and their partner sites. Babycenter.com has a sale going on now for 2006 models. Good luck! Sorry I can't give more specific advice, I'm in the search too.
D.S. answers from Des Moines on February 18, 2008
I have been in your shoes not that long ago ! We got the Alpha Omege Elite because it was a consumer reports best buy for safety and I found it online for $80 (instead of $120). We bought two of them, but they are horrible to use and I am thinking about putting them on ebay to try to get some money back out of them. It is impossible to pull the straps tight enough. I think the 3 in 1 car seats are the way to go. I will keep a lookout to see if anyone likes one brand over another also.
A.D. answers from Des Moines on February 18, 2008
My husband and I purchased the Britax Boulevard for our son. It was $300, but after all of the research I did, I found it to be the best carseat out there.
It is tested to European Standards, which means it is tested at speeds of 65MPH, whereas the others have only passed American Standards, which are 35-45MPH.
It also has more shock absorbing padding around the sides as well as some "easy to use" features.
We have had wonderful luck with our Britax and I would recommend the brand to anyone else looking to purchase a car seat.
Good luck! I know the information out there can be overwhelming.
J.G. answers from Omaha on February 18, 2008
B....I have a 3.5 year old. I had always planned on getting a Britax with him but was given a New Free Evenflo Triumph. I loved it for the most part, but I absolutely haveted having to get it in and out of the car. It was not easy at all to get the latch system all set up. It is also a much wider car seat. I have just purchased him the Britax Marathon. He is about 42 lbs. and has out grown the evenflo model that we had. I can't put him in a booster yet because he un-buckles himself, therefor I have to keep him in a 5-point harness. I Absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Britax, and wish I would have bought it from square one. He loves it too. It is worth every penny!!!