Which Car Seats to Purchase?

Updated on July 07, 2011
M.W. asks from Garland, TX
7 answers

I'll give you the kiddos stats, first:

DD#1: 3 years old (just), 33 lbs, 38 inches tall; currently in her bigger sister's Britax, which is expiring

DD#2: 5 months old, 18lbs, 27 inches tall; currently in a Graco baby bucket

We're driving a 2008 Kia Sedona, with the two carseat riders in the middle row, captain's chairs

We've been looking at & reading about new carseats & are having a hard time deciding. We tried some seats out yesterday & liked the Britax Frontier for DD1; it seemed roomy & I like that the harness straps don't have to be rethreaded as she grows taller. We've read that some people have troubles with the installation, but found that it's probably due to not reading & following the instructions properly. DD1 tried several seats yesterday & liked this the best; she does, however, HATE being strapped in & will complain for the first 2-10 minutes of every single car trip that it's "too tight!" So she's not going to be truly happy in any carseat, but too bad for her. I also liked the Graco Nautilus, which is quite a bit less expensive than the Britax but only harnesses until 65 lbs, as opposed to 80 with the Frontier. I've just found the SafeGuard Child Seat, too, and the one looks awesome but doesn't move into a booster after the harness limits have been exceeded.

For DD2, I liked the Recaro Como. She looked very snug & safe. I was reading last night, however, that for chunkier kids it's not so comfy. My littlest one is quite a chunky nugget, so I worry that she'll get uncomfortable. I also would prefer a seat that top tethers when rear facing; the Recaro does not. But I found a great price for this seat, which is really the only thing keeping me interested in it.

We also looked at the Sunshine Kids Radian80 for DD1 and DD2, but it seemed so uncomfortable; not nearly as soft & cozy as the others. Does anyone have kiddos in this one that think it's uncomfortable? It seems quite narrow; how does it fit fluffier kids? It also doesn't have the side impact wings, but I saw that they're introducing the Radian XT, which does have the side impact protection. Is it wise to purchase a carseat model that's only just been introduced?

So I've read too many Amazon reviews and manufacturer testimonials; I'm almost cross eyed. Any advice for a momma ready to make a decision already?! I know I may get a chorus of Britax believers, but I'd really like some personal experience info about the others I'm looking at, too, fingers crossed.

Thanks, mommas!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

i'd go with the britax regent for your older daughter, and a britax boulevard for your younger one. yes, i'm in the chorus of "britax believers", but after BOTH of my kids walked away literally without a scratch after a 75mph rollover(5 sideways rolls and 2 front over tail) interstate collision while strapped securely into their britax boulevards at ages 1 and 4, i will NEVER purchase anything but britax. when we replaced those seats, i went ahead with the regent for my older one, and my younger one i got another boulevard. my boys are now 3 and 6, and still in the boulevard and regent - my 6 year old has PLENTY of room in the regent too. i also have a 13 day old little girl now, she is currently in a chicco keyfit infant seat, but when she's older, she will get a boulevard as well. good luck on your hunt! btw, we have the sunshine kids radian in my husband's car b/c they are the only ones that will fit 3 across, my kids have never complained about the seats.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My son is 6 1/2 months old, 22lbs and has outgrown his infant car seat. We bought him the Evenflo Symphony and he absolutely loves it. He used to fight me to strap him into his infant seat and would scream most of the time he was in it and since purchasing this seat he loves riding in the car. It is very easy to install. I think it took us like 10 minutes the first time now we can change it back and forth between cars in about 3. Anyway it has all the features of the Britax for a lot lower price and lets face it we all could use to save a little money.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We moved our girls from the infant carrier to the Evenflow Triumph and then to the Graco Nautilus. We have been pleased with both. The Triumph is testy at times in getting used to buckling your child in it, but once you get the double straps down...it is no big deal. It got great safety ratings---equal to better than Britax at the time we bought them. The Graco Nautilus is awesome. My four year old loves it and I figure she will be too big/old to harness past 65 lbs. Most carseats are only to 40, so this is definitely protecting her longer than the norm. I am trying to imagine harnessing an 80 lb child....what is that like a 10 year old....

Anyway, the nautilus is great and easy to use...it takes up less space than the triumph as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We have the Britax Frontier for my 3 y.o. and we all LOVE it. I had read the same thing about installation, but it wasn't hard at all. I was so worried I had it wrong that I went and got it checked, and there were no issues. There is a simple trick to it - tighten the Latch straps through the slots in the seat (go under the seat cover) rather than pulling from the sides. It makes it soooo much easier. For your little one, I would suggest the Britax Boulevard. My daughter has been in hers since about that age. Check out albeebaby.com and elitecarseats.com for some good deals. I have used both sites and been happy with their service. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Check out the Evenflo Symphony. A friend has this and couldn't recommend it highly enough. She and her husband are self-proclaimed research freaks, and this is what they chose over the Britax. I just saw it last night at Babies'r'Us and it looks VERY posh. Best part, it has some new kind of technology that makes it super, super easy to install tightly. Here's the description and a link:
"New! Easy to use, SureLATCH™ Connectors for easier installation— Just Click, Click, Push… And GO! This exclusive system provides a super-fast, tight and safe installation, in a fraction of the time.
New! All-In-One Car Seat! 3 seats in one that fits children 5-100 pounds
Infinite Slide™ Harness Adjustment System simply slides to any height with no rethreading
Removable and washable ComfortTouch™ pad and pillows provide extreme comfort for your baby! Easily remove the pad without rethreading the harness!
Contains Energy Absorbing Foam liner
Side Impact Tested! Meets or exceeds all applicable U.S. Safety Standards AND Evenflo’s Side Impact Test Standard.
ReclineRight™ multiple-position upfront recline is easy to use and adds comfort for the child!
Flip-out cup holder conveniently holds drinks, or folds up out of sight!
5-point harness provides security for your child
One-hand Adjustable Headrest makes adjusting to proper height a breeze!
2-piece chest clip allows child to be put in and taken out in seconds!
Designed and tested for structural integrity at energy levels approximately 2X the federal crash test standard"

Good luck. I know how overwhelming all those reviews can be--makes it hard to make a decision!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Buy just one car seat for all sizes 5 pounds on up till children are out of car seats. I got mine at Costco for $80 I think. Elite is the brand on it, if you have trouble finding it, feel free to contact me & I will look up more info for you.


answers from Allentown on

We are VERY happy with our Radian80s from Sunshine Kids. We have two of them (one for our 4 year old, one for our 2 year old). They are nice and slim therefore they fit well in our compact car (along with a rear-facing Britax for our 9-month-old). I agree that it does not look as comfortable as the others but I assure you that they have not complained about it! It's very heavy duty and well made, that's for sure.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches