Car Seat and Diaper Bag

Updated on July 26, 2011
M.T. asks from Austin, TX
16 answers

Hi! I'm looking for a convertible/combination car seat. I want one of those that can be used from 22 lbs with the 5 point harness and then remove the back and be used with the car seat belt. My budget is $ 200 max.
I'm also looking for a diaper bag. Either backpack/tote or messenger. My budget is $ 50 max.

Any suggestions are welcome!!!

Txs everybody and have a great day!

Note: I already have the infant car seat so the car seat that I'm looking for if for after that one. Forward facing, 22 lbs to 60 lbs aprox with harness, 60 lbs to 100 lbs with car seat belt

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So What Happened?

Txs everybody for the input. Everything was a huge help. And no, geez, I'm not planning on "illegally and unsafely forward facing your infant". A relative is having a baby in another country and I'm trying to buy everything here and take it there altogether. I didn't know that car seats expire after 6 years so I guess I'll buy the convertible seat next time I visit.

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answers from Chicago on

I found the best diaper bag- it's small, but I have fit everything in there for a full day away with two kids, fabric, so it can be dropped in the washer, and has compartments for everything. I think it was $25 online. It's from I also have a big, regular size backpack and hate it for everyday. It's so big and bulky, and I can fit the same amount of stuff in this half-sized one! I realize I sound like an ad, but I really would buy it again if I had to start over. Love it!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I think they type of car seats you mention do exist (like the Marathon Frontier). However, maybe not the most appropriate for a toddler or young child (they are enormous!). By the time you need to remove the back, you can just buy a backless booster for about $20 or less! I wouldn't worry about being so versatile. I had the Britax Marathon for both of my children. They have been absolutely fantastic car seats. Easy to install, comfy to sleep in, straps rarely get tangled and they sit up high so my kids can see out the window really well. They may be a little large if you drive a small car. Although, they fit in small cars, I think I'd want something a little more compact if this is what I drove on a daily basis. I think the Evenflo Triumph is a well liked car seat (and cheaper than the Britax). However, I think you can buy a Marathon online for about $200 (depending on the print, some prints are more expensive than others). The older prints are often a lot cheaper. My son was in his until the age of 6 and then went straight to a backless booster that I bought for $15 at Big Lots. My daughter is 4 and still in her Marathon.

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answers from Austin on

You say 22 lbs, but are you wanting something that has a 5 point harness and can rear face? That is safest. Also safer to keep your child in a carseat with a harness as long as possible. A lot of the seats now you can keep them harnessed alot longer. It is hard though to find a GOOD seat that rear faces, works as a front facing convertible and can convert to a booster. It is just hard for them to do all of those jobs well. I would suggest getting a convertible that can rearface and has a high harness weight limit/height limit. Then you can buy a booster when the old seat is outgrown. There are alot of good bosters out there for around $50 or some even less so it's not like you are going to be spending a lot when that time comes....and it is years down the road.

Britax is great, whichever model, if you can find one for under 200. Graco makes a MyRide 65, which converts, rearfaces and harnesses up to 65 lbs. Also the First Years Truefit or Evenflo Symphony 65, or Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 (those are going to be on the pricer end too).

If your child is over 2 you can buy some that front face only and convert to a booster and do good job of doing those two jobs. Graco Nautilus is a great affordable seat in this category. But like I said, injury risk is much much higher if you turn a child front facing between 1-2 and you should keep them rearfacing to the rear facing weight limit of the seat. Britax makes one like this too (Frontier) but I doubt you will find one for less than 200.

Diaper bag my all time fav is my Land's End backpack diaper bag, but sadly they don't make them anymore. I would just buy a nice quality back pack with different sections. I've heard Skip Hop is nice too. But most of the more "stylish" ones either aren't very functional or just don't work very well.

Just a note on your comment, you don't want a forward facing seat after your child grows out of an infant seat. You want an convertible seat (like I mentioned above). They are called convertible because they convert from a rear facing seat for the younger child to a forward facing seat after they outgrow the rear facing weight limit. So when they reach that limit you turn them forward facing in the same seat. Then when they outgrow that seat, then you buy a booster. Unless you have a very high weight/height limit infant seat (and some do go up to like 32 lbs these days so check your manual) you will want to continue to rearface the child until they hit the rearface limit of whatever convertible you buy (hopefully this is not before the age of 2). I had standard infant seats that my boys grew out of usu by height before weight, but their max was 22 lbs. They both grew out of theirs between 4-6 months. The absolute minimum (but NOT the safest) age to front face is 12 months. So no matter what if you have a seat that the weight limit is 22 lbs, you are going to need to rear face, unless your child is just very very small, and in that case it would be important to keep them rearfacing anyway since they could be thrown around more easily. Please look into the rear facing issue though, the AAP recommends keeping them rearfacing as long as possible now.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Your child will not go from an infant seat to a forward facing seat, you will need a convertible. Most kids outgrow the infant seat between 4 and 8 months, and you cannot forward face before a bare minimum of 1yr and 20lbs. So you have an infant seat, but you need a convertible and not a forwad facing only seat, unless you plan on illegally and unsafely forward facing your infant.

Please go look up convertible car seats. You can find great ones that harness up to 65lbs for $150 (Graco MyRide 65), and eve nthe Britax Roundabout50 will harness to 50lbs and is $160 at Target. Many options available.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

As far as a diaper bag, go buy a cute, big purse instead. Every diaper bag I've ever bought cost a lot and broke within months. I bought this huge, adorable teal purse for $20, and it's lasted almost 2 years, AND I've put it in the wash, AAAND I can use it as a purse too :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I have two Britax Marathons for my kids and LOVE THEM!!! Best place to buy them is on line - should be able to get one there for under 200. They can be in there until 65 lbs. (depending on height at least until 5 years old). BUT might need latch to be safest - check the manuals. I loved My Skip Hop Diaper bag too - pricey, but worth it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I just wanted to suggest a big, quilted purse-bag (think Vera Bradley) instead of a traditional diaper bag.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Britax makes some of the best car seats. I read up on them alot and ended up getting 2 of theirs for both of our cars. They have a couple of styles that are under $200. Here's a link to one on Amazon that is $149 w/ free shipping & handling. You can also read the really good reviews as well.

Also for the diaper bag, I got the beach tote bag from Pottery Barn Teen for around $30 or so and I love it. I've had several people ask me about it so they could get one too. It holds alot, looks great, and really holds up. I've had mine for over a year now and it's been used as a diaper bag and travel bag and has held up really well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

For the diaper bag...check out Skip Hop...they have GREAT diaper bags! I don't use my other ones anymore, because Skip Hop has the best pocket layout and is durable and should be in your $50 budget.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

As far as a carseat it depends on your child's age. If under 2 I suggest you get a convertible (rear/forward facing seat) because kids are safest rear facing until at least 2 years of age per the newest aap guidelines. I like the graco my ride 65 it will last you until you need a booster seat (minimum 4 and 40 lbs) best to stay harnessed as long as possible it's much safer.
For a diaper bag I used my old ll bean backpack from high school. It held everything I needed better than any diaper bag I tried.
Edited: that's not really the safest way to go. Best to get one that rear faces to 35-40 lbs and harnesses to 65 lbs then get a booster seat. The rear facing/ forward facing convertible seat is not the same as an infant seat/carrier it IS the next step up. I will never understand why people continue to skimp on car safety with children even though all the safety facts are out there you do know by forward facing too soon (before age 2) you run the risk of internal decapitation.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

for the diaper bag id actually just get a regular backpack that has different zipper pockets and use that. that is what we are using and its soo much easier because i can just throw it on my back when we go places and its easier and it just stays in the car



answers from Victoria on

i dont remember the weight for our car seats but we bought some for much less than two hundred dollars. i belive we paid around fourty for ours. it was either from sams club or walmart. then we ended up buying one from target that was just the seat to use with the car belt. it was around fifteen dollars. we used the five point harness one for our son and now our daughter uses that one. our son sits in a base seat only now.



answers from Phoenix on

We bought Britax car seats for our two boys. I suggest Radian 65 though if you don't have a minivan. Why? Because the Britax seats are comfy but WIDE. If you ever want to fit three in the back, they won't fit. Radians fit 3 across.

Target has a shoulder style diaper bag for 35. It is pretty large and tough. If you only have one kid, probably too big. Then I suggest just looking on Ebay. Lots of people getting rid of new diaper bags they didn't want that they got for a baby shower.



answers from Houston on

Check out my website and see if you would like any of these bags tgat can be monogrammed. People really like the org. utility tote.
Everything is 15% off this month.



answers from Seattle on

You won't find a seat that safe that takes them from 22-120lbs, you will need a convertible seat first then a combination booster later. But my big and tall daughter was in her convertible until age five! Plus they expire after a certain number of years so using one seat for that long isn't recommended. A convertible can rear face or forward face, and children should rear face for as long as possible!

We have the britax marathon, super comfy, easy to install, great safety reputation, and good experience with one in an accident. and new in box on eBay will be your best prices, plus free shipping! Sometimes they have last year's fabrics/models on sale too. Goes up to 70lbs. If your child is above age two and the right weight (above 40?) check out the britax frontier as well.

I love my skiphop diaper bag too, also check craigslist and eBay for bags. I agree the purse type ones are best when they're older and don't need as much stuff! We always kept one stocked in the car with extras just in case we needed more than what we actually wanted to carry.

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