Seeking Advice on Car Seats - Charlotte,NC

Updated on March 05, 2008
T.D. asks from Charlotte, NC
7 answers

My husband and I have done some basic research on car seats and would like to know what the bottom line is on what types to buy and when. Right now we have an infant seat (Graco) for our 7-month-old son and really don't know what to purchase next. We're confused with whether we need a convertable seat (one that goes from infant rear-facing to front-facing for a toddler) or a hybrid (one that goes from toddler to booster seat). We like the Britax models because of their high safety ratings. They're quite expensive so we'd rather not have to buy 2 more seats.
Any advice?

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answers from Chattanooga on

Britax car seats are the best!! We have not used anything else since our kids got out of the carrier. My kids are 4 and 6 years old now. Yes, we bought 2 of everything so both cars would be well equpped. I did not ever want to have second thoughts that if only he/she had been in the Britax they would not have gotten hurt. I know the Britax car seats are expensive but consider what your child's safety is worth!!

That said, here are a few things to consider:
1. Will your son be able to stay in the carrier safely until he is 1 year old AND 20 pounds? My kids got too heavy for me to lift in the carrier before they really outgrew it so I used a convertable seat (Britax Roundabout) which goes up to 40 pounds. If you need to move your child out of the carrier before he is 1 year you will need the convertable seat that can be rear facing now and forward facing later.

2. If you go with the convertable seat, consider the weight limit of the seat AND the weight limit for using the LATCH system in your car (check your owner's manual) We moved my son (now 6) to the Britax Husky (which is only forward facing) when my daughter was ready for his Roundabout. The Husky has a weight limit of 80 pounds BUT the weigh limit for using it with the LATCH is much lower for our Honda Odyssey. My son had exceeded the weight limit for the LATCH so we tried installing it with the seatbelt per the instructions. It did not seem secure at all! It moved from side to side way too much!! We decided to re-install it with the LATCH and use it for when my daughter has a friend riding with us. We bought 2 Britax Parkway boosters for my son so that he and a friend can ride safely without having to move carseats.

3. My 4 yr old daughter rides in the Britax Regent (the newer version of the Husky). Although she could still fit in the Roundabout weight wise, she seemed too tall for it a long time ago so we moved her to the Regent.

4. If your son seems to be big (weight or height wise) you might want to consider the Britax Marathon. I think its weight limit is 60 pounds (MY 6 yr old weighs 50 pounds and my 4 yr old weights 35 pounds, just to give you an idea). Just be sure to check the LATCH limits and try installing it in your car both with the LATCH and with the seatbelt before you buy. We did not try before we bought and might have bought different Britax models if we had.

Righ now, my hubby has a Britax Regent and a Britax Husky in his car. His car has higher weight limits on the LATCH so it is still ok for my son.

I have a Britax Regent, a Britax Husky, and 2 Parkway boosters in my van. I can carry 4 kids at all times which is nice.

Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

You sound like me, I went through the same thing searching for a seat for my now, 4 year old daughter, and in my experience and searches here is what I have found. If you are looking for a seat to last through their years (rear facing, forward facing, and booster) check for an expiration date. I was going to donate my child's rear facing seat when I came upon an expiration date stamped on the bottom. At some point we bought her a forward facing/booster to use with the 3 point harness that can eventually be used as she gets older as a booster using the car's seatbelt instead of the harness. The seat is so bulky she can't reach to buckle herself using the seatbelt. If I use the 3 point harness the red button between the child's legs used to release the straps is too difficult for her to release herself, so either way, she needs my assistance. So, in other words, I know you have a way to go before your son is in a booster, but for me it's just so wonderful when they can strap themselves in(I have 2 year old boy as well and anything that makes life easier, I'm all for it). This is just a preference for me to have a regular booster that sits a little closer to the seats and not be so bulky. It prevents me from having to stand out in the cold, rain, sleet, snow, 100 degree heat and 100% humidity buckling kids in that are at the age of doing it themselves.

the carseats we have bought are Graco and we have bought them at Sam's. So far we have been VERY happy with them..with the exception of them being too bulky.

hope I have not confused you

good luck



answers from Chattanooga on

T., that's my sister's name too, you don't have to spend 300 dollars to get a quality carseat with a great safety rating. I too used a Graco infant seat that I thought was great. Once my son started to outgrow it we purchased an Evenflow rear/forward facing toddler seat that has been great. My son started riding in it at about 8 1/2 months (rear facing) and when he was a year old we turned it around and he's been in it ever since ( he's now 2 years). It had great customer reviews and an excellent safety rating. In my opinion, some brand names become the "it" thing even if they aren't actually better than some much less expensive brands. Evenflo Triumph Advance DLX - Convertible Car Seat is the name of the seat that I bought for half the price of a Britax. If it is just as safe and has great consumer reviews then why spend the extra money? Hope this helps!



answers from Raleigh on

you definitely need a convertible seat next for your little peanut, not the toddler to booster. No one wants to buy different seats, but you want it all to be age appropriate of course. If you can afford the Britax, go with the roundabout or check the next size up to see if it would work, but that little guy doesn't need anything even close to something that would convert to a booster yet! Good luck...



answers from Lexington on

britax seats are the best. both of my babies are in them. my daughter is almost five and she is in a regent, which goes 22-80lbs. it will hold her in a five point harness until she is old enough to be out of a seat all together. my son is not yet one, and he is in a marathon. a convertible seat that rear faces 5-35lbs and foreword faces 20-65 lbs. the marathon is probably your best bet for fit and comfort of your son, but if you don't want to buy two seats, a regent is great. a regent is also great for a child who you expect to be above average hight, it goes up to 53 inches high. as long as your son does not exceed the weight limit on his rear facing infant seat, rear facing is the safest, even after one year. hope i helped.



answers from Jacksonville on

Britax and Sunshine Radian are two carseats that will keep your child in a 5pt harness for the longest amount of time. I am a carseat fanatic and it blows my mind that boosters are even allowed to be sold. I had my son in a booster until I saw a Youtube video about a little boy named Kyle. After that, I Googled everything I could about child safety restraints, how they test them, the weight limits that they use to test the seat belts in our vehicles, etc......That days long search led me to buy nothing but a Britax or Radian. Radians are slightly less expensive and they are for smaller built children. My son is solidly built so he is in a Regent but my dd is small and petite so we have her in the Radian. The Regent is huge, I'd recommend having it fitted before buying. And think of it this way.....if you bought an infant seat, a todder seat and a booster the end you would ony be spending slightly less than if you just bought a Britax or one similar! Or you can divide the number of years your son will use it into the cost of the seat, roughly 3 bucks a month??? My math is bad, lol. I'm really trying to sell you, huh?? I told you, after reading up on it, you want to have laws changed!! Good luck with the search :)



answers from Chattanooga on

i bought my dd the britax regent when she was a year old (she was in teh carrier till then and met the weight requirements to get out of it at one year) this seat goes up till she will no longer need a seat. they also have a new seat out, duno what brand it was in my parenting magazine that is rear and forward facing and it goes up to they no longer need a seat so

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