Any Advice on a Good Forward Facing Car Seat That Is Not a Britax or a Radian?

Updated on April 21, 2008
N.S. asks from Pickerington, OH
8 answers

Hi everybody
It is time for us to think about putting our son in a forward facing car seat. I've looked at car seats extensively and am just not able to decide on one. I like the Britax and the Radian but they are so expensive. There have to be car seats out there that moms love, that are not so expensive... My son is a big boy and I was told by a friend not to get a Graco car seat b/c the crotch cannot be adjusted. So, I'm looking for a seat that will acomodate a bigger child, with adjustable crotch buckle and that still can be reclined (although I'm not sure if there are forward facing car seats that can be reclined). Any advice would be great.
Thanks, N.

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answers from Columbus on

We really like the eddie bauer (sp?) carseats, they can be used from birth until you no longer need a booster seat. Not too expensive, less than $100. I would not get the one with the 3 point harness with shield, I prefer the 5 point harness style-we have one of each, but hubby prefers the 3 point harness with shield, I guess it just depends on personal preferance. We never had any trouble with either child who used them getting out of either one
Good Luck!

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answers from Cleveland on

First, I read the previous posts . . . and you ABSOLUTELY need at 5 point harness for safety.

We have several carseats and here's my opinion.

Britax: We have the Roundabout and really like it. It *looks* more comfortable than some of the other seats and s super easy to install. But, it is very heavy and difficult to travel with. I initially bulked at the price, but your child is going to be in it everyday for at least a year, so cost per day really isn't that bad. However, if I went the Britax route again, I would by the Marathon since my older child (who is small framed) outgrew it sooner than I thought he would.

Evenflo: We bought the Titan as our 2nd car/travel seat. I am not sure if they make this model any longer, but has been a great seat for air travel. Super lightweight and easily adjustable. It got top Consumer Reports ratings in 2005 when we bought it.

Cosco: When my older child outgrew the Britax, we recently bought a Cosco brand seat from Target (not Costco, the store) for about $45. I also really like this seat. It does not sit as high off the seat as the other two (because it is a booster as opposed to a front/back convertible) so I don't whack my son's head on the door of the car EVERY time I put him in. LOL It can take a child as small as 22 pounds which my younger one was at 1 year. (He's still in the Britax, but we have used this one in a pinch.)

One other thing to consider is how the seat will fit in your car. For example, a Jeep Grand Cherokee has puffy seats, so it is really, really hard to get a sit fitted properly. Likewise, the seat length on a Mazda 3 is really short and the Britax hangs over. If possible, go to a place like Babies R Us that will let you fit the display in before you buy! There are simply too many choices!! Good luck.



answers from Cleveland on

I have 2 comfort sport carseats from Graco. I won't purchase anything but Graco or Century. Which is now the same company.
They crotch strap is adjustable. You just have to get a philips screwdriver. There is 2 adjustments.
I love the 5 point harness. I have a 4 yr old boy who has known how to get out a 3 point harness since 2 yrs old. Nothing scarier then to have a boy reach up and touch your back with his hand.
The 5 point keeps him back in his seat. And he can't get the main buckle loose.



answers from Cleveland on

I used Cosco Alpha-Omega carseats, and loved them. They convert to a toddler seat, and then to a booster, so it's the last seat you'll need to buy. And they do have the 5-point harness, which is a must.

Another mom recommended the Eddie Bauer car seat, and I'm pretty sure those are "fancy" version of the Alpha-Omega.



answers from Columbus on

Hi N.!

I know you said your friend said not to go with Graco...BUT we have 2 of them and absolutely love them.

The one in the main car is the 'Graco Stellar Step2 Toddler Seat' from Target. It fits our son wonderfully with lots of room to grow and he's in the 70th for height and weight (16 months old), it's available online at Target and right now it's on sale for $116 with free shipping. It's very comfy/cushy, has a cupholder and has several recline positions without having to take the seat out of the car. The best part is that the recline bar glows in the dark so if your little one falls asleep in the car you can recline then without waking them up! This is just a forward facing seat.

Our second carseat (was our first until we found the recline one and he didn't have to face the rear anymore) is 'Graco ComfortSport Convertibe Carseat in Frazier' available in the store at Babies R Us and right now is $99. This was also a very comfy/cushy seat with a lot of room to grow. The shoulder straps can adjust quite a bit so by the time your child would not fit the crotch he would probably be ready for a regular booster anyway.

We have been 100% satisfied with both. We actually had a different seat first and once we got it home we really didn't like it and our son wasn't comfortable. He actually fell asleep in the seat IN THE STORE while trying out the one at babies r us. I figured if he was that comfortable how could we pass it up! If you have any specific questions just message me and I'll be happy to help in any way possible. I could even send you a picture of the seat in the car to show you how much room out little guys has :)



answers from Columbus on

well, your friend is right I went out and baught a Graco it does not adjust and pinches my daughters "fluffy" legs. I went to wal-mart and found a Cosco Scenera 5-Point Convertible Car Seat and love it. I was really suprised how easy it was to adjust and how much room my daughter has in it I paid around $50 for it and really reccomend it heres the link to wal-mart



answers from Indianapolis on

We have two of the Graco Comfort Sport seats. We LOVE THEM. My nephew is a BIG boy at over 28 pounds. He just turned one and fits in it just fine. We also have an Evenflo It is easier to adjust, but doesn’t seem as comfortable as the Comfort Sport ones. I also like that the Comfort Sport seats sit up a little higher so they can see out the windows.


answers from Cleveland on

Hi N.!

My first forward facing car seat was a Graco that had three different adjustment settings for both the shoulders and the crotch! So I don't know what your friend was talking about. My son has always been big for his age (90th percentile for everything!), and this car seat was absolutely fine for him. I know it had a 5 point harness and went up to 40 pounds.

However, I don't remember the model. I was involved in a car accident (without my son), but since the car seat was in the car I had to get a new one. This time around I went with the Eddie Bauer Adjustable High Back Booster. It goes from 30-100 pounds. So I won't have to buy anymore seats! It cost about $96 with taxes. I am very happy with it. The directions are very clear about how to adjust the seat to accomdate your growing child. My son loves the two cup holders; one side for his snacks, the other for his cup! It is a little bulky. So it would not work in smaller cars. It fits fine in my Focus. But it did not work so well in my Mazda 3 rental.

Good luck!

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