25 answers

Installing Car Seats on Leather Seats

We are considering purchasing a mini-van that has leather seats. My sister-in-law says that installing car seats on leather seats is NOT recommended due to the fact that the seatbelt does not hold the car seat tight enough. Has anyone else heard anything similar? Does anyone have a car seat currently on leather seats, and if so, do you feel the seat is safely restrained?

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Hi M., I have 5 car seats installed in my minivan that has leaterh seats. I would pay you $20 if you could move either of them. I do use seat protectors and maybe that makes a difference but mine are in so tight that they do not move. I have locking seat belts and I use the latch lock. Kinda double protection! Hope that helps! A.

My in-laws's car has leather seats. She and I struggled with trying to put my older son's seat into her car and could not get it tight enough so that it wouldn't slip less than an inch. She called Evenflo and they said to put Grip Liner under the child seat, on top of the leather. Do you know what that stuff is? It is used under carpets, as a shelf liner, under cutting boards etc. I hope you know what I am talking about since I can't show you what it is over the computer! HOpe this helps.

Email me if you need any more info, I know child seats are a pain in the neck but necessary!

I have always had leather seats and never had a problem. We have bought seat protectors that protect the seats and keep the car seat from sliding. You can find them in the baby section at WalMart. I think they are around $20. The leather has always been nice b/c you can wipe up messes easier. Good Luck.

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Never heard of that at all! If anything, the leather would make it stick, lol. Why would they make vans with leather if you're not suppose to use car seats in them? I have a new van with leather seats. It's actually about a year old. I have triplets. We are on our second type of car seat, larger ones. What we did so we wouldn't ruin the leather is buy padded seat covers. They're made of fake leather and are black. I think hubby bought them at Walmart. They're not covers that wrap around the seat, just flat that sit on the seat and backrest. This helps protect the leather seats bottom and back. We know this is true cuz we've had to pull the seats out a few different times over the last year and checked the seats and they were fine. Make sure they're padded for best protection. And when you install the car seat, yes, use the seat belt, but most of all use the anchor which is behind the car seat on top. That strap can be connected anywhere on the back or under the seats. Hubby uses the seat belt, anchor and the LATCH for overall protection. When in an accident the part of the car seat that will detach first, usually, is the top at the head. It will flip forward so be sure to use that anchor strap! Yes, you can use car seats on leather, just protect the seats with pads or even rubber covers that are specifically made for leather seats though they may cost more.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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1 mom found this helpful

I've never heard that before. I have a Chrysler Town and Country with leather seats and our baby's car seat fits so incredibly snug. We also purchased a 'seat saver' (a rubber mat-like thing) to go under the car seat to save the actual leather. Our son is almost 4 months old and his car seat isn't going anywhere. Just like Denise stated, if the seat is installed correctly it shouldn't budge. Call your local fire/police station and find out if they offer car seat safety checks to make sure the seat is installed correctly.

1 mom found this helpful

I love my minivan! :-)

I would contact a CPST from www.Kidsafe.org (or .com???). He/she'd be able to tell you what would be safe. I BELIEVE that using a anti-slip mat (like for under capets) would be safe, but I'm not positive.

I DO know that using a "seat protector" (ie: from Sunshine Kids) is NOT SAFE since it's considered an after-market product. Even though they're "crash tested", they may not have been crash tested with your car seat, in your model car with leather seats. In the even that you got into a crash & heaven forbid, the carseat failed to protect your child, your warranty would be voided b/c you were using an after-market product in/around the seat which could be to blame. It's just not worth the risk, in my opinion (I used to use one till I found this out).

Hope that helps some!!!

My in-laws's car has leather seats. She and I struggled with trying to put my older son's seat into her car and could not get it tight enough so that it wouldn't slip less than an inch. She called Evenflo and they said to put Grip Liner under the child seat, on top of the leather. Do you know what that stuff is? It is used under carpets, as a shelf liner, under cutting boards etc. I hope you know what I am talking about since I can't show you what it is over the computer! HOpe this helps.

Email me if you need any more info, I know child seats are a pain in the neck but necessary!

i haven't heard of this before. Although leather tends to be a little slippy, most seats come with a locking clip to lock the belt so the seat does stay in place.

Hi M.! Installing a car seat on leather is no big deal. I saw multiple responses to check out www.seatcheck.org, and that's a great idea. Also there's a local website (seatcheck.org is the national registrar) www.patechs.com where you can find a tech in your area or attend one of the monthly (sometimes more) free seat checks. I've been a certified Child Passenger Safety tech for over 2 years now, and there are lots of other great techs in the Pittsburgh area that can help you out as well.

If you install the seat properly, and feel that the vehicle seat is too slippery, you can buy a roll of shelf liner (the grippy kind, not the adhesive obviously!) and cut a piece to the approximate size of your carseat base - the shelf liner is thin enough that it won't compromise the installation of your carseat and provide you with a bit more resistance. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy a seat protector. They are usually too thick and are not safe to use.

The next seat check event in on September 10th in West Deer (and I may even be there if my work schedule allows!). However, if you need to see a tech earlier than that there is a contact number on the patechs.com home page to schedule an appointment.

I don't have leather seats, but I know tons of people who do. Their car seats are installed very tightly. It does make a big dent in the leather seat, though. I don't know if that will eventually go away or not since no one I know has taken the car seat out permanently yet.

Well, that is a new one for me and I thought I had heard it all where car seats are concerned. :) I think you will be fine with leather seats in your new car.

I currently have a Britax Boulevard installed on leather seats in our Chrysler Town and Country. I've used it with and without the seat protector, with a towel for a leveler . . .

And had it checked at a car seat check, which vetoed the seat protector . . and I've always been really happy with the installation I acheived. I did have some trouble installing it in my mom's santa fe, with slippage on the seat, but I've since had my misconceptions about installation refuted. The seat should not move more than an inch(?) in any direction, AT THE BELT PATH. When I have my seat installed in my van, it does not move no matter where I pull on it. Harder to achieve in the santa fe.

My minivan has leather seats (I have a Town and Country). We have our infant seat base installed with no problem. I haven't tried to install the "big" carseat yet. I use the pads that protect the seat under the car seat (they are sold at Babies R Us- specifically designed to keep your upholstery nice under the car seats) and I have it attached with the latch system. We haven't had any problems.

We've had 3 vehicles in the last 5 years and they all had leather seats. We use a Graco Infant seat and Britax Marathon car seats. The trick to making a car seat tight is to sit on the seat or base while pulling with all your might on the LATCH straps. I can't say the same for booster seats because I don't yet own one.

Not true at all. We have leather seats in our minivan and have had no such issue at all. The only thing is that you really should put a piece of cloth or an old towel underneath just to protect the seat.

I have leather seats and placed that rubbery material used for lining shelves under the seat to also protect it. That is what the people who do car seat checks recommended. You can get it at bed bath and beyond or similar stores. it is rubbery and has tiny holes throughout. here's a link http://www.amazon.com/Griptex-Wonderliner-240-Inch-Standa...

We have ours installed on leather seats and have gotten the installation verified by our cardealer -- like the previous poster suggested, definitely go get your car seat installed (or checked) by someone authorized by seatcheck.org -- its a great FREE service that just might save your child's life.

I've never heard that. I HAVE heard (and used) the grippy shelf liner under the car seat to keep it tighter in place. Please visit www.seatcheck.org My son is six and at least two of my cars in that time have had leather seats. I feel that, installed PROPERLY, the seat was safely restrained. You'd be amazed at just how tight you can get that carseat installed IF you learn to do it the correct way.
You would be shocked at how many people use car seats incorrectly and know very little about them. Please base your purchase on fact, not someone's "opinion" or "misinformation."

M.,
My son is 5 now and we have had leather seats since he was 3 months old. I bought a seat protector to place under the car seat. I was rear-ended at a light about 2 years ago and my son was not injured.

M.,

We went to bed bath and beyond and purchased two small bath mats - fury material on one side, plastic grip on the other and put them on the leather seat in the back of our SUV. We put the car seats on top of them and the traction has been great.

Best of Luck
J.

I have never heard of that. I used a piece of rug under the car seat in order to prevent the leather from getting divets.

Bottom line: if you're buying new, your car will have LATCH. When you install, try to get both knees (as much of your weight as possible) into the seat as you tighten the LATCH straps. You'll be fine. My ex rankled at installing the seat tightly in his precious leather upholstered Murano, I put my foot down, installed the seat properly, he moaned about damaging his leather almost daily, but now that we've moved on to a booster, you can't tell there was ever a Britax infant seat in the center back seat, no dings or damage. Really, which is more important to YOU: dings in your leather, or saving your child's life, or spinal cord, in an accident? I gamble that it's the latter. Weigh your options and make your choice.

I have always had leather seats and never had a problem. We have bought seat protectors that protect the seats and keep the car seat from sliding. You can find them in the baby section at WalMart. I think they are around $20. The leather has always been nice b/c you can wipe up messes easier. Good Luck.

We have a Jeep Limited with leather seats and we have a car seat installed. It is nice and secure. We have the seat belt in the back along with the tether strap and it is fine. It does not move at all. As long as you pull the straps tight enough when you install it, then it should be fine. I have had cloth seats before also, and they seem the same. I heard it was recommended to use a non-slip shelf liner under the car seat. That may help keep the car seat from sliding on leather seats. We installed the car seat first to be sure that we were getting a good fit, then you can reinstall with the shelf liner. We did not need the liner. Our seat did not seem to slide.

Believe me, I am very protective when it comes to my children, especially in the car. I want to make sure that they are as safe as can be. That is why we purchased the car we did. 5 star ratings and the 2nd row side airbags. We wouldn't have purchased it if it was not safe to install car seats on the leather. Just make sure the car seat is pulled as tight as it can go and use the tether strap. Hopefully this helps.

I have a durango with leather seats...they are harmless, in fact easier to clean. Just put a cloth under the car seat.

As for the belt being tight enough, when installing the seat - in any vehicle....you need to fasten the belt and then put YOUR knee into the seat. Put your full body weight into the seat and then tighten the belt.

Also, FYI.....do not use the color free markers (color wonder) for kids in the car. Leather and those are a no no.....

Leather seats are not a problem. We have had leather in numerous cars and my husbands Suburban. All we did was get a nice thick towel and used it to level the seat and protect the leather from indentations from the seat as well as stains, spills, etc. Never had a problem with slippage. When installing the seat, make sure to place your weight (use knee) to get the seat attached as tight as possible.

I bet you will learn to love the mini-van. You sit higher while driving (increases the view), ease of getting kids in and out, plus all of the storage space (great for trips to Sams Club and yard sales,antique shopping) Best of Luck

I have a car with leather seats and did not have an issue putting in a car seat in my car. I recently bought another car but never had problems with my other car which has leather seats. I think the bottom line is to make sure the car seat is installed properly and you should be fine.

Hi M., I have 5 car seats installed in my minivan that has leaterh seats. I would pay you $20 if you could move either of them. I do use seat protectors and maybe that makes a difference but mine are in so tight that they do not move. I have locking seat belts and I use the latch lock. Kinda double protection! Hope that helps! A.

Does your mini-van have a latch in the seat to secure the car seat? That should keep it well in place.

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