What Carseats Do You Recommend?

Updated on April 01, 2010
J.T. asks from McKinney, TX
7 answers

My first child was born five years ago and his brother got his hand me down seats. However, I know we're pushing the limit as we near the expiration dates on the seats and now I'm shopping for another booster seat (for four year old) and infant/toddler transition seat (6 months to four years). We currently have my almost four year old in the Britax Marathon, but need to replace it before the next baby can use it.

I wondered if you have any thoughts on the Rodi Booster seat and what other brands and models you'd recommend. The last booster I bought did not have enough head support and looked uncomfortable when my son fell asleep. Also, my five year old is in a backless booster and I'm wondering if that is as safe as one with a back.

Thank you so much, ladies!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I would hold off on putting your 4yr old in a booster. If the Marathon isn't expired, keep using it until it is. I'm sure he has plenty of growing room in it as its a large seat that fits most kids to age 6. Until he outgrows it or it expires, don't move him to a booster seat.

For a convertible car seat (rear and forward facing) look for one with higher rear facing weight limits, and higher forward facing weight limits. the Graco MyRide 65 will rear face to 40lbs, and foward face to 65lbs. Its very comparable to the Britax Marathon size wise, and it fits babies and older kids alike very well. Other great seats are First Years TrueFit (rf to 35lbs, ff to 65lbs), Sunshine Kids Radian (rf to 40 or 45lbs depending on model, ff to 65 or 80lbs depending on model). Avoid the 3-in-1 seats like the Alpha Omega. The yare ok for rear facing, and ok for forward facing but are outgrown pretty quickly forward facing and they have consistently failed booster crash tests. There are better seats for the same or less money, so avoid them.

A rear facing car seat is outgrown when there is less than one inch of shell above the child shead, or the child goes over the rear facing weight limit. Legs touching the seat is NOT a problem. The harness should come from at or below the shoulders for rear facing. Google extended rear facing, Joels' journey for more information.

A forward facing seat is outgrown when one of three things happens, the child goes over the weight limit, the shoudlers go over the top harness slot, or the ears are level with the seat back. THe harness should come from at or above the shoulders for forward facing.

If your Marathon is expiring, consider the Graco Nautilus for your 4yr old. It will harness to 65lbs and then becomes a great booster.

For your 5yr old, absolutely a high back booster is safer than a no back booster. My 7.5yr old uses a Sunshine Kids Monterey, LOVE IT! Graco Turbobooster is a great booster seat, as is the Evenflo Big Kid Booster. Britax makes good booster seats too.



answers from Dallas on

I have a 4 yr old and 2 yr old. When my second needed to be forward facing I put her in the Britax Decathlon we had for my son and put my older son in the new Graco Nautilous. LOVE IT! It is an ALL in ONE. From the start of facing forward at 20lbs to 65lbs in the 5 point harness, then it is the high back belt positioning booster, THEN it is a backless booster which hold up to 100lbs. It has great head support and a cup holder and little cubbies for stuff. I also love that it has the latches for the booster when the child wears the seat belt. That is important to me so the seat belt does not have to hold the weight of the booster and my child. A little less weight on the seat belt, so it will hold better. It is a VERY heavy seat too, but that makes me feel like it will really protect my child if it comes to that. I think there are steel bars in it. Anyways, love it so much that will probably get my daughter one when she outgrows the Britax. Also it will run you around $170, which was nicer than the Britax. Hope that helps and happy hunting!


answers from Detroit on

Hello J. ~ I also posted this for someone else awhile back...... I switched my daughter from the britax marathon to the britax parkway booster she's 5 & loves it.... she is just a little over 40 lbs and 43 inches tall. one of the things that I really loved about the britax is the secure guard it looks like a belt in the middle between the legs that works w/the seatbelt (works with the vehicle safety belt to prevent the child from sliding under the lap-belt portion of the safety belt (submarining) during impact, thus minimizing the risk of abdominal )injury. I purchased the booster from chitchatbaby.com w/a coupon it came to 95.99 free s/h no tax. It can be changed to a backless booster later.




answers from Dallas on

A few months back I had to get my daughter a new car seat. I researched and researched until I was dreaming about carseats! The one that I decided on was The First Years c670 True Fit Premier Convertible Car Seat. It can go rear-facing up to 35 lbs which my daughter will be until she turns 2, then forward facing to 65 lbs. The reviews were great for it and my daughter really likes sitting in it. I have been VERY pleased with my choice. We are expecting again and I am going to purchase another one for number 2! Good luck in your search!!

Oh, look online, I think it may be diapers.com, but there are several sites that offers coupons for a discount. I know we didnt have to pay shipping and I think we got an extra 15% off.



answers from Washington DC on

The rule of thumb is that every step up in a car seat is a step down in safety. Rear facing is safer than forward facing; Harness is safer than seat belt; High back booster is safer than belt positioner booster.

My son has been in his Alpha Omega seat since he was 7 months old. He HATED the infant carrier so we got the Alpha Omega and he has loved it! Its is rear facing to 35 lbs; forward with a harness to 50 lbs; high back booster to 100 lbs. They are under $200 each and we will never need another car seat!

We've already decided that next time, we are skipping the infant seat and going straight to this one!



answers from Dallas on

We have the Graco Nautilus and I'm very pleased with it!!! My 3yr old loves it and I like it b/c it's the 3-in1.



answers from Houston on

I highly recommend the Recaro Vivo booster seat for your five year old. My daughter has been in hers for over a year now, and I think it's one of the best booster seats out there. The head support is excellent. When my daughter falls asleep in the seat (which is about 5 mins after we get into the car), her head never bobbles. My daughter can buckle herself in without my help. Overall, it's a sturdy, well-built booster seat. You can go to Elitecarseats.com to learn more about it and to read more reviews. I purchased my seat from their website; they have great prices with free shipping! (No, I don't work for them, but I am very happy with the company.) Also, I use the Britax Roundabout for my now two year old and love it! For convertible carseats, the safety, comfort, and style can't be beat. Hope that helps!

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