July 31, 2008,
M.F. asks from Highland Park, IL on July 30, 2008
Does anyone have any thoughts on the Graco ComfortSport? My husband and I are getting an infant carrier at first and a britax boulevard for my car when the baby out-grows the infant seat. We will need a second carseat for my husband's car (preferably one that will easily fit on an airplane for when we travel). The baby won't be in his car too often but we want hime to have a seat in there as well. My mother needs to get a car seat for her car as well (she live in the same city and will usually have the baby once a week) and I was thinking about her getting this one as well. Baby Bargains likes it but I want to hear from moms! Thanks for your help!
2 moms found this helpful
C.S. answers from Chicago on July 30, 2008
My husband and I both have the Eddie Bauer 3 in 1 car seat from target. The police officer we had install the seat said it was a good seat and he was quite impressed with the value $189. What I liked about it besides comfort/safety was that it is for infant to child (from 5lbs to 100lbs). As far as moving it from car to car in the rear facing position it was a little more difficult, but it is super easy now that she is forward facing. Do your research and examine how easy they are to install before you decide to purchase. They can be tricky and that is the last thing you will want to deal with when you have a cranky infant.
B.M. answers from Bloomington on July 30, 2008
There are a number of much better options...the Comfort Sport is notorious for having some of the lowest harness height slots (and other issues with the overall quality of the seat...for some reason Graco didn't design this one that well)..meaning most children outgrow it by height very early (and you don't get the best use out of the seat)..on car-seat.org and other carseat forums I have learned so much...one of the most highly recommended "2nd" or extra seats which is also light for travel is the Cosco Scenera...it's available almost everywhere for under 45.00..I have one for travel although my main seats are Britax Marathons and Britax Regents....it's a very safe (no bells and whistles)seat that is light, fits in almost every car well and installs quickly...also the Safety First Uptown (it's called the Avenue at Sears) is another under rated seat and can be found at some BigLots for about 40.00,,,the Scenera will last quite a long time...it rearfaces to 35 pounds and Forward till 40...the harness heights are very high and most 4 year olds will fit in it as well as having lower slots for babies....the 3 in 1 Eddie Bauer although it says it is the last seat you'll need also has low harness heights and most kids outgrow the 5pt harness and then have to be moved to booster mode WAY TOO early...
If you visit car-seat.org and post this question the very knowledgeable techs and members will give you many great choices...and of varying price points.
Are you sure you don't want to use an infant seat (carrier)...I couldn't have lived without mine...especially with a fall baby...getting them strapped into the seat inside and not dealing with the seat outside is so convenient as is taking them places in the carrier...I know some folks do use the convertible seats right from birth...but almost everyone I know has found the infant carrier invaluable....and there are two great infant seats the Graco Safeseat and Chicco Keyfit 30 that last babies well past 12 months due to their higher weight (30 pounds) limits than the other infant seats.
Oh...and a little info that you may not have heard...the new recommendations are to keep your baby rearfacing unti the seat limits which means usually 33 or 35 pounds...so please don't turn her at one year...it's so much SAFER to stay rearfacing...anyway..check out car-seat.org they are great and will give you lots of good info...wish I had found them before my first....
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L. answers from Chicago on July 30, 2008
I have that one and have had some problems with the straps tightening well. It is great to have as a second car seat and is relatively OK to travel with I'd think. I have an Evenflo which is more expensive, but better straps to tighten. The Evenflo is much bigger than the Graco so it would be tougher to travel with and is harder to install for me. Just my thoughts!
C.K. answers from Chicago on July 30, 2008
Just a suggestion...car seats (and bases)are really easy to move. The publicity of "needing" one for each car is a marketing ploy by the carseat makers to get us parents to buy more junk than we really need. Much less of a pain than you are probably thinking...I remember thinking the same thing. We thought about purchasing a seat for each car, however it didn't happen and we're really glad about it. I mostly drive the kids so whichever car their seats are in I get for the day, but it's nice to have a carseat-less car for date nights or for my hubby in work related circumstances. My MIL did get one for her car, but we have kept them all the same so there's no confusion or discomfort for the kids.
T.G. answers from Rockford on July 31, 2008
I agree with the pp who said that it isn't worth the money. It can be a pain to install, straps tangle and adjust with difficulty after a while and it is just outgrown too quickly. My neice outgrew hers at age 2.5 and that is not uncommon. For what it costs you can almost get 2 of the Sceneras that will last longer or 1 of the Safety First Uptowns/Avenues (which is more padded and has epp foam) that will last even longer than the Scenera.
When buying a convertible you need to look at the height of the top slots. On average, a seat that measures 15 inches from where the baby's butt sits to where the top slot are in the plastic shell will last a typical kid to age 3-3.5. My daughter lasted in the Scenera until she was 38 lbs and 4yo and she is more petite in the torso area. A seat with 16 inch slots will last until approx 4-4.5 (uptown/avenue) and so on and so forth. I know the the new Britax Marathons have been measuring about 18 inches (BLVD is similar and has just slightly shorter top setting but still very good). Most kids will outgrow seats by height before getting too heavy which is why you want to look at that top slot height. Most of the 3in1 seats have 15 inch top slots (some are 16). The very earliest you want to put a child in a booster is age 4 and 40lbs due to both physical and emotional maturity (go to you tube and search for "Belle's Gift). Since most kids are going to outgrow the harness before that time on those seats, and the seats instructions state that it cannot be used in booster mode until the child weighs 40lbs, you have a problem. Either you have to put a young child in the booster too early against the seat's instructions or buy another seat that will harness your little one for a while longer. And you can expect to pay $100+ for that next seat. Measuring the 3in1s top harness height is a bit deceiving at times because its top slot for harnessing are actually the second from top. The very top is not reinforced and is only for converting the seat to a booster. If you look on the back of the seat, that is stamped into the plastic.
I also second what they said about considering using an infant seat because they just fit tiny babies better. You need the harness straps on a rear facing seat to come from below baby's shoulders and a lot of convertibles have bottom slots that are too tall. The average infant seat will have bottom slots between 5-7 inches. Britax seats have bottom slots at 10 inches and almost no newborn will be above that (and I am not dinging Britax here as I own some). If you do decide to look for one, look for something with a front adjust and if you want the handle to be able to be up in the car, be sure to avoid the Evenflo. They require that the handle not only be down but have 1.5 in between it and the front seat which makes it take up a lot of room. Snugrides, Safeseats, and Chiccos all allow the handle to be up and I think the newer Safety First ones do as well. If you really want to skip the infant seat though, the Scenera will fit a newborn pretty well and the Evenflo Triumph Advance does too (and this one will last until she is about 5 yo too). Whatever you decide, don't buy your convertible until you are going to use it though as they do expire and you don't want to waste valuable lifetime having it sit in the house waiting to be used. Congrats and good luck!
C.B. answers from Chicago on July 30, 2008
I have that carseat. Overall, it's okay -- it was priced right, so we went with that one. The things I don't like about it, is unlike the Britax, sometimes the straps get a little uneven & you really need to pull to get them tight. One side will tighten more than the other & then you have to yank the straps around the legs to get more slack on the other side. My sister had the Evenflo Triumph & I liked that one a little bit better. Plus it had a couple positions for rear facing / forward facing so you could adjust how straight up they sat depending on the child.
D.G. answers from Chicago on July 31, 2008
I have it for my 2 year old, and we love it! I actually just bought another one for my one year old too! But...I would use the Graco Snug Ride (which has the highest safety ratings of Graco infant seats and I think among most brands-this is NOT the Grace Safe Seat which is not rated as high) for the first year at least! I am just transitioning my 13 month old into the ComfortSport, and I am still going to kept her rear facing as long as possible! Plus, your mom and husband can just purchase bases that are compatible with the infant seat (for about $30 at Babies R US) and then your baby can go in each car easily! I would NOT recommend taking out and putting in your car seat for each car all the time, it only takes one time to overlook something or be in a hurry and improperly install something and have a horrible accident....so not worth it!
Every baby MUST be rear facing for AT LEAST a year, so one reason I LOVE the ComfortSport is that it can be rear facing and forward facing, so you can keep your toddler rear facing for longer!
S.O. answers from Champaign on July 31, 2008
I would like to recommend a carrier carseat, base and snap n go combo. Even if you plan to get your little girl out each time and "wear" her in a carrier or hold her, there are many times it's nice to have a carrier she can continue a nap in, or to transport her through a store. If you're looking for something for multiple cars, I recommend multiple bases to snap the carseat into.
I do think a convertible carseat is a great idea for when she outgrows the carrier (usually 29 inches or 22 lbs).
For carrier seats I have had great experiences with both evenflo and graco brands. For convertible carseats I have used evenflo (the straps don't go high enough my just barely 3 year old is almost too tall), alpha omega and the cheapest brand at walmart (for my husband's car, works great).
How far is your mom? We bring carseats with us when we travel. Manufacturers recommend carseats be replaced every 6 years for safety reasons, so our parents have not purchased carseats, we just take them with us on trips.