Need to Purchase a New Car seat...what Do You Suggest?
May 01, 2008
My baby, Emma, is no longer a baby and we are getting ready to make the transition from infant carrier to "big girl" car seat. I'm overwhelmed with all the choices and I understand that the most expensive does not always mean it is the best or the safest.
I'm looking for suggestions...Which car seat do you prefer? If you were buying a new car seat today, which one would you get?
Thanks for your help!!
Another big fan of the Britax! We went with the Decathalon and are thrilled with it. It's one step bigger than the Marathon, but truthfully either one you go with you will be happy. My husband has the Eddie Bauer carseat in his car and it's MUCH less quality than the Britax! Good luck!!
I would suggest a Triumph or one of the Britax models (Marathon or Boulevard) . We used a Triumph and loved it. Now it lasts even longer than when we purchased it, because the maximum weight has been extended. Our Triumph went up to 40 pounds. Then we went on an endless internet search for finding a booster seat.
Keep you little darling rear facing as long as possible. It is the safest way to travel for children. Many of the newer seats allow you to keep infants and toddlers rear facing until they are 35 pounds.
Britax seats are wonderful. They are expensive, but do go on sale (and I mean REALLY on sale) twice a year (I believe it is February and September). Expensive, but protect your child.
When our son outgrew his Triumph, we wanted a 5 pt harness for as long as possible. We looked at the vehicles we drive (one LATCH, one without LATCH), one roomy, one not. We ended up getting a Britax Regent (40-85 pounds) for our LATCH vehicle, and a Graco Nautilus for the other (a convertible from a 5-pt harness (up to 65 pounds) to a booster, to a backless booster).
There are websites were you can consult with certified carseat installers. Describe your vehicles, you child's height and weight, features you are looking for, and they will give you suggestions. I will say, that most of them personally used (for an older child) Britax.
Before you put out any money, contact your local police department. There is someone there certified in the installation & they will recommend the best one for your child's age. I scheduled a date & the officer installed it for me on the spot.
I asked the same question about a month ago. I have twins and belong to a twins club, most of the club moms and mothers from this website suggested the Evenflo Triumph. I was looking for something smaller than the Britax Roundabout or Matrix.
Evenflo Triumph got good ratings and I love it. It is really easy to put my children in and out of them, the straps adjust easily and there is a lot of padding. I would check it out reviews on Target and Babies R Us and see what people read. I just knew there had to be a good, safe car seat that wasn’t as expensive as the Britax. Good luck.
We've got the Britax Marathon for our son and will get it for our 5-mo old, too. We love it. Super easy to use - easy to remove and install - and easy to take apart to clean. I highly recommend this one. It's pricey - but well worth it.
I have a 20 month old and both my husband and I have car seats and we put one in my mom's car... We have The Eddie Bauer High Back, Cosco (from Sam's Club) and the evenflo... The evenflow is so easy to tighten and loosen especially at this time a year where the temperature changes on a daily basis.. We tighten it up when she is in a light jacket and easy to let out when she wears more layers...
We also have the newer version of the Triumps with the new latches... it makes it so much easier to install or change cars... just a click. No more digging your hands behend the seat looking for the latch...
I cannot say enough nice things about this car seat!
I tried about 4 different brands/kinds when my son was ready to transition and by FAR I found Britax (yes, most expensive) to be easiest to use and safest around. I purchased the smallest of them - the Roundabout - for about $200 but it was worth EVERY penny. I purchased a $60 Graco (which got good reviews - though I didn't test it) to use at my in-laws so we didn't have to bring the Britax on plane when we visited and have regretted it as the straps twist, don't tighten right, etc. It only made me appreciate the Britax that much more. I highly reccomend it!!
Get an Alpha Omega! It will take her til she's too old for a carseat! WE got one w/my youngest [now 13 months old] and she came home from the NICU in it [they're good from 5-80lbs!]. It's pricier, but worth every penny! Wish I'd had one w/my older two.
We have two car seats a Britax Boulevard and a Recaro Young Sport. We love both seats. BTW Recaro produces racing car seats so they make wonderfully safe child seats as well. Good luck there are many out there.
You really want to purchase a seat that will harness your child until at least 65 pounds...recent research is really showing that children who move out of a harnessed seat before age 5 can sustain much more seatbelt related injuries than those in harnessed seats, it has to do with bone maturity/hip and pelvic injuries can be devastating...quite honestly I don't see that spending 250 or less on a seat for a child who can use it until age 5 is expensive....that being said I'd recommend either the larger Britax seats (Marathon, Boulevard or Decathalon), they AREN'T that big...I'm tiny and have carried it through airports and never had difficulty installing it in any car....they are a breeze to install and offer many features that other seats don't..such as tethering rear facing which adds to the safety aspect....the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 is also highly recommended...the Britax Roundabout is a good seat but your child will outgrow it before they are ready for a booster and so you'll need a new seat.....most of the seats that harness to 40 pounds won't even get you to 40 pounds as they have lower harness slots....so you'll again need another seat (the Alpha Omega Elite has the booster abilty but the carseat tech don't recommend it as the harness slots are so low you would be putting a child in booster mode way too early)...the new Triumph Advance now harnesses to 50 pounds and has higher slots, it's about 150 dollars...I'm really a fan of Britax for many reasons...have tried many other seats....plus Britax seats especially the Marathon come in some great fabrics which for something you have to look at for the next 5 years is important for some...the covers come off much easier than some other brands and wash easily in the machine and dry overnight...their latch connectors and heavy straps that do not twist are wonderful.
Email me with questions on great online retailers..buying in stores is more expensive, fewer choices...and if you post on the www.windsorpeak.com (Baby boards forum- go to carseat topics the techs there will let you know if your vehicle will easily fit the seat you pick- that site is great by the way!)
I have 2 versions of the Evenflo Triumph. Both go to 50 pounds, 1 is a bit smaller (and cheaper) and goes to 47 inches the other to 50 inches. I love them both. I use the bigger one in my car and it is wonderful except when the straps twist and it is pretty big to move back and forth between cars. It is very comfy with a pillow even and SUPER easy to adjust strap height and to loosen/tighten. Great value! My son is 16 months, 25 pounds, and has been using them for about 7 months now.
I just had to do this transition with my daughter as well. After much research, I picked the Graco Step 2 SafeSeat and have been very happy with it. It's about $120 at Babies R Us, so middle of the line expense-wise. My daughter is very secure in it and she also seems pretty cozy as she doesn't fuss much in the car and has no problem falling asleep in it in long car trips.
I LOVE our Britax car seat. I believe it's called a Round a bout or something like that. We use it in the main car. it's kinda expensive (I think $200+) so we only have one and we bought a less expensive seat (Graco) for the 2nd car. With the Britax we have no problem with the straps twisting, as with the Graco. It's easy in easy out - our kids really like it and so do we. If we could afford it I would have one in each car.
I found the best way to purchase a car seat, was to bring my 12 month old son with me. I took down the car seats that interested me and put him in each one. I tested the ease of use with him in each one. I also considered which car fit him the best with the room to expand. I ended up with an Evenflo and absolutely love it and so does my son. I think it worked out best for both of us.
We like the Cosco Touriva... two of them fit nicely in the backseat of our Ford Taurus with a booster in between them. The Britax is HUGE. They are also used in our town by the United Way car seat safety checks, and are economical. Around $50 each at Meijer, K-Mart or Wal-Mart.
A space saving seat may be a consideration if you plan on adding to your family again, or have a smaller car! (Not that your 10 year old needs a booster!)
I really like the Britax Roundabout. It's expensive, but it's rated one of the safest and I definitely think it's the easiest to use. It's also very easy to move from one car to another, so you don't really need to buy two. I don't like that it's tricky to clean the seat if it gets stained, to be honest. But the benefits outweigh that bother.
I do not recommend the Graco seat - grandparents have it and I never feel totally safe having our son ride in their car.
Britax Marathon is what I purchased and my daughter has had no problems with it. I love it because it had really high ratings. Yes, like one of your comments, it is a bit more expensive; however it is worth the safety.
I am a police officer and I am also trained as a child safety seat installer. I see that alot of people are suggesting one of the Britax seats to you. Britax is a great brand and is always highly recommended by Consumer Reports, but they are expensive seats and don't always fit in every car. There are a lot of great seats out there, but the besy one for you is going to be the one that fits your daughter the best as well as fits in your vehicle the best. There are alot of seats out there these days that have a wide range of weights of the child that they will fit. You may like the convenience of a convertible seat that has a 5-point harness that is usually used for up to 40 pounds and then you can take the straps out and use it as a booster with the seatbelt in your car. So, my advice is to take your time and choosea seat that fits your daughter and your car. Most stores will let you test one with her in the seat and should let you see if it fits in your car too, you just have to ask them! Good Luck. You can even have your local police or fire department ensure that the seat is properly installed after you purchase it!
I too am in the process of researching and promoting my baby girl to a bigger car seat. Here is a great website about car seat safety as far as chemical toxicity!
Based on this website in car seat chemical safety and car seat safety, I am looking at the Eddie Bauer 3 in 1 Montecito, Britax Marathon in Graystone or the Britax Decathlon in Cappucino. There are some Britax that rank horrible in the amount of chemicals they use. There are others on the list that rank low in chemical toxicity, but not sure about safey and looking into that now.
Fisher Price Safe Voyage Deluxe Convertible Car Seat in Black
is the one we have and it is great. It is made by Britix but it is half the price. you can only find it online becuase it was discontinued. We have bought a few others and returned them for this one. Check the life span on some of them. The even Flo I believe only has a four year life span and if you plan on using it for more than one kiddo it may not be the way to go. I got my fisher at:
BRITAX is the BEST and SAFEST!! I'd recommend the Marathan because it will fit your daughter up to 65 lbs if you choose to keep her in it until then! It is a wonderful seat - I own 3 for my car, my husband's, and my mom's.
I used the Cosco high back booster seat w/ my boys. It was Great w/ my 2nd son as we took him right from the infant seat to the booster. It still has the 5point harness straps for this young age and you just take them out once the kiddo is big enough for just the booster part. I think it's only about $45 at your local WalMart too. GOOD LUCK
We love the Britax Marathon. It is expensive, but it's worth it. It has great ratings and my 18 month twins look very comfortable in them. It goes up to 65 lbs, and not only 40 lbs, like most carseats. You can use it rear facing till your daughter is 30 lbs (it's worth leaving them rear facing as long as you can).
Hands down ~ the Evenflo Triumph. We tried putting our daughter in both Britax models at the store and because she is tall she looked like she would outgrow it sooner than the Triumph. We did a lot of research and both Britax and the Triumph were both rated well, but Triumph is less expensive and just as good. I know a lot of people with Triumphs who are extremely happy with them.
We have a Britax and Evenflo for our Emma...hands down, the Britax is SO much easier to use on a day-to-day basis. For instance when the weather is fluctuating and one day there is a winter coat, the next it's just a long-sleeve tee, it is easy to adjust the straps on the Britax. I just can't do it very well with the Evenflo. So what it's come down to is that the Britax goes with my car, and the Evenflo goes with my hubby. :)
It costs a little more but I feel I am buckling in my daughter better, and that's worth it to me.
So this doesn't answer your question...but it seems like you received some really helpful input from the other moms...
I was just wondering where you moved to and from. We are going to be moving from Elgin to Morrison (about 2 hours west and a little south). Any advice and/or tips? We're very excited as my in-laws moved out there and have loved it. Every time we visit...I think how nice it would be to live in a place that appears to be more about people and less about the hustle and bustle of "keeping up with the Jones'".
You can email me directly, if you want
The Britax Marathon has a 5-point harness and is padded for side impact. It is more expensive but goes up to higher weight limit. This is a great car seat from a safety perspective. The downfall is that it takes up some major real estate in your car.
It can be a challenge to keep your older child content in using this carseat. My daughter is 4 y.o. and she sees that many of her friends are just using a booster with the car seat belt. She is always asking me to switch her carseat to one of these. I actually did but then saw the video at this link: http://youtube.com/watch?v=azgBhZfcqaQ and switched it back.
I recommend the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat by Graco Baby. I just purchased this and it's really great (and it was less expensive than the Britax)! If you go to Amazon.com you will see the other reviews, as well. Best of luck!