New Car Seat - Sonoma,CA

Updated on July 19, 2010
M.B. asks from Sonoma, CA
16 answers

My son is just about to outgrow his first car seat. I would like to buy a new seat that he can use for awhile. One that I can use rear facing until he turns one and then use as he gets older. Any suggestions would be great.

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Thank you for all the suggestions!! I'm going to the website someone mentioned and search for a deal on a Britax.

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answers from San Francisco on

I second Sunshine Kids Radian 80! They are terrific and I have used them from birth to 5.5 years old.



answers from Washington DC on

We have Alpha Omega car seats and love them. In fact, we love them so much we have 4 - my truck, hubby's truck, and both sets of grandparents. They are rear facing up to 30 lbs, forward facing with a harness to 50 lbs and then a booster to 100 lbs. For $170 each these car seats will last until he no longer needs a seat!

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answers from Minneapolis on

You do not need to spend a fortune to get a good reliable car seat. I love my Britax seats, but I would never tell anyone they are the only seat they should purchase.

Cosco Scenera is $50, will rear face to 35lbs, forward face to 40lbs, and is a good bare bones seat. Its a good safe seat for a low price. Its not padded much but its still very safe and should last most kids to age 3 when another higher harness weight seat should be purchased.

Evenflo Triumph ADVANCE is $130 and will rear face to 35lbs and forward face to 50lbs. Great seat, no thread harness adjustments! Will fits most kids to age 5 forward facing, its a really nice padded and lots of features seat for a low price.

First Years TrueFit is $170-$230 will rear face to 35lbs and forward face to 65lbs. Nice tall seat that fits older kids well, most kdis can use to age 6/7.

Graco MyRide 65 is $150, will rear face to 40lbs, forward to 65lbs. EXCELLENT seat for extended rear facing and is a big comfy padded seat. Fits most kids to 4 rear facing and 5/6 forward facing!

SUnshine Kids Radian is $200-$300 will rear face to 40-45lbs, forward face to 65-80lbs (depending on model) and is a narrow seat, fits three across and into smaller cars easily. NICE seats.

Britax Marathon or Boulevard is $270-$300 will rear face to 35lbs (new ones will to 40lbs) and forward face to 65 (new ones will to 70lbs) I love our Britax seats ,the yare well made, easy to use and install too.

These seats will all work perfectly for your child, please go to the store and look at them, put him in them, try them out and see what you like .AVOID the 3-in-1 seats like the Cosco Alpha Omega nd the Eddie Bauer 3-in-1, etc. They are ok rear facing, but are outgrown really fast forward and they make horrible booster seats, they've failed EVERY crash test they've been in.... you never want to use one of those seats as a booster. Not worth the money, you can get a better longer lasting seat for the same money.

Also, here are some car seat safety tips that you may not know.
When rear facing, the harness should be just at or below the shoulders. THis prevents the child from riding up in the seat in a crash.

CHildren should remain rear facing as long as possible. THe law sucks but states 1yr AND 20lbs, however the AAP, NHTSA, Safekids, etc all recommend children remain rear facing untli they outgrow the rear facing convertible car seat, or at least 2yrs and 30lbs. Feet touching the seat are NOT a problem, and there has been no documented case of broken legs while rear facing. Please google INTERNAL DECAPITATION, JOELS JOURNEY, and EXTENDED REAR FACING for more information.,

The harness should be snug as a hug, and the chest clip should be level with hte armpits, no lower no higher. No bulky clothing in the car seat, and no aftermarket products are allowed.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't know what your budget is, but I love the Britax Boulevard. It's a large carseat, but my daughter loves it. It rear faces up to 35 lbs, and now they suggest that you keep your kids rear facing as long as possible. My daughter is 16 months and still rear facing. It forward faces up to 65 lbs. The latch system is easy to use. The downside is that they run about $330. I was able to get mine on sale and use a Babies R Us Coupon for 20% off. Also, Buy Buy Baby sells them and you can use a 20% off coupon there as well. I also have the Evenflo Tribute or Triumph, I can't remember but it retails for about $70. I got it for when we travel and for my husband's car. It's not as nice as the Britax and the latch system is definitely harder, but overall it is a nice carseat for the price.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

Anything Britax. They are some of the best seats out there. Instead of just being lined with EPS foam, they put some in the frame so it absorbs a lot of the shock from impact. I have the marathon and it can hold up to 35 lbs rear facing which is the best for your baby even if he is a year old and 20 lbs. Watch this video. I'm pretty much thinking about buying another carseat with a higher rear facing weight (my son is very heavy and at 9 months is 28lbs. so I want him to be rear for even longer)
Britax is pricey, BUT I was able to get mine for $170 on ebay (new, never buy a used seat since you don't know its history. Even if they say it's never been in an accident don't get it) vs the $300 plus that they can run.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Everything BeckyW said :-)
Plus, here's a good summary of safety reasons to keep your son rear-facing beyond the 1 year/20 lb. *minimum* - rear facing provides significantly better support to the developing head, neck, and spine - click this link for more info:
And for more specific car seat questions, check the forums at - many certified child passenger safety techs hang out there and they're very helpful and well-informed. Although highway patrol/fire department/ police stations often have certified techs, not all of them do so just going to your local office won't necessarily get you the most accurate car seat info.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I am all about the Britax Marathon. We purchased Graco carseats when my son was about one and he is just about to turn 4... They are junk!! I ended up going out and replacing them with Britax so that he can continue to be harnessed. I wish I would have just gone with my gut feeling from the begining and purchased a Britax. It will give you the longest use time and they are very easy to use and install.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Like the others said Britax is worth your money. I use the Britax Marathon because it goes to 65# front facing. I kept my son rear facing until about 15 months even though he weighed enough to be turned around. New studies say keep them turned around backwards as long as your car seat weight recommends which I think Marathon is 30 pounds. You can also contact your local fire dept and see if they do car seat installations. Our local one has trained people that do it for free as a community service.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I love my Britax Boulevard. I just feel a little bit better with that added side impact protection. I have the Boulevard and the diplomat and really regret getting the diplomat. It's smaller then the boulevard and although my daughter is still in the weight range, I think she's too tall for the diplomat. When the car seat if fwd facing the straps should come out above the shoulder (rather then a little below when they are rear facing) and I have the straps as high as they can go and they are still a little blow. I'm sure she would be ok if we had an accident, but I'm very vigilant about car safety.
Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

We have 2 Britax Boulevard's and LOVE them!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

You should definitely check out "The First Years True Fit PREMIERE". It is the only one with an anti-rebound bar while being used rear-facing and a removable head-rest to save some room. It is super-easy to install, adjust the straps, and clean. Also, it will last until your son outgrows the need for a carseat. I almost spent way more money on a Britax but luckily I found this one and it is cheaper and actually has better safety and ease-of-use ratings from the NHTSA (and it isn't nearly as gigantic as the Britax). I bought mine when they only had two colors available but now they have some new really cute patterns. I ordered mine from Amazon. Keep in mind, the original TrueFit (not the premiere), does not have the anti-rebound bar.



answers from Sacramento on

Just one comment on the Britax seats - the Marathon and the other ones that go up to 65 lbs are quite large, so keep that in mind! Depending upon what you drive you might not be able to fit one of them into your car.

I have the Britax Roundabout because when we needed a new car seat for our off the growth charts 6 month old LO I was driving a Subaru Impreza wagon and I was concerned about fitting the Marathon in rear facing. I had to turn it around to forward facing earlier than I ideally wanted to (at about 14 months) but she still fits fine in it at 19 months (about a month ago she was over 29 lbs and almost 35 inches tall.) I'm hoping she'll grow slowly enough that we'll be able to transition her to a Britax Frontier 85 at two years old. had the best prices on Britax seats when I bought mine about two years ago. But when I was looking at the Frontier recently, it would have been cheaper for me to use a 20% off coupon at Babies R Us.



answers from Salinas on

Love our twins marathons



answers from San Francisco on

The Britax Marathon is great. Our son used it until he was about 2. He got upgraded to the Britax Frontier and that will be his last seat, it goes up to about 100 lbs. Our daughter got the Marathon and she is 2 and will be in it for a long time.

If you want a coupon I have a 20% off coupon for BabiesRUs and it can be used to buy Britax. Thats how we bought ours. Send me a private message with your address if you want me to mail it to you. There are 2, one is good through 8/2 and the other is 8/2 - 8/12. You can have them both.



answers from Seattle on

Hi, just wanted to let you know that the ladies here will not only be able to give you the best seat recommendations but also be able to let you know of the best deals going on and perhaps even find you coupons to use for your purchase. The minimum is 1 year and 20lbs but it is now recommended that children stay rear facing until 2 years.

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