Help me choose a convertible seat - Sybermoms Parenting Forum
Carseats 101 Kids in the car? Buckle them in and do it right. Need ideas? Come inside!

 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Help me choose a convertible seat

Maya is going to be a year old soon and her bucket seat goes up to 30lbs but she is going to hit the 32 inches max limit soon.

I've been leaning towards another Marathon because that is what I had/have with Harrison. I bought that seat when he was one and now at almost five years later he is still using it. I'm going to retire that seat and move the Radian 65 to the main car and get a booster for the other car which is used more like a backup.

My questions for the Marathon are this:
  • With Harrison when he was rearfacing he was in the center, but I have both kids on each side right now, would it fit in my car (2003 Saturn VUE) rearfacing behind the passenger seat comfortably? I guess I could use his seat to check.
  • Harrison is still less than 45lbs at almost six, so not even close to 65lbs which is the Marathon max. So I've been thinking about the Roundabout 50.
  • Am I just old school and there are better products on the market now and I should be looking at other carseats?
  • Where are the best places to buy and get the best deals normally?

And when I do get a booster for the backup car, what should I get? Same for a convertible, I don't need anything blingy for that car just something that will do in a pinch and it can't be huge because it's not a huge car.

Click here to enlarge

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Quote:
I'll buck the trend, I don't think her kids are all that in the cute department. not all kids are cute. they have other attributes that make up for that, but look at tweedle's aiden, that is a cute kid. and your kids mel, those are adorable kids. Her's are average. I wouldn't take a second look passing her on the street.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 11:43 AM
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For a booster, the Turbobooster is a great seat. For convertibles though, I don't know, I prefer my blingy Radian over any other convertible(including the Marathon) now.

And wow, she's tall. DS is nowhere close to outgrowing his SafeSeat 1. He's a peanut. In retrospect, I think that seat purchase was the best one I made. $100 and he should be able to use it until he's 2, when he'll go into his big brother's Nautilus(which he's about to outgrow in height)
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 04:10 PM
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For Maya, even if she's 32", as long as she has 1" of solid plastic shell above her head, she'll still fit in the infant seat. I can't imagine a baby her age outgrowing that seat.....unless you and DH are 6'5 each!

For a convertible, the Marathon ranks a solid 'meh' for current convertibles. There are plenty of seats that will last longer, work better, and do it for cheaper.

There are no fewer than five seats that go to 40 pounds rear facing right now...the Safety First Complete Air (Babies R Us), the Graco MyRide, and all three of the Sunshine Kids' Radians (65/80/XT). Two year minimum for rear facing, push for three/four based on all the current research.

Another option is the First Years True Fit. It only has a 35 lb minimum rear facing, but it has the tallest shell of any convertible out there so if your baby is skinny but long, it will probably get her those 3 to 4 years.

As for forward facing, the 65 lb limit on the Marathon and other convertibles is really generous. Most kids will outgrow by height (shoulders over the top harness position) around 40-50 pounds.

The Turbobooster is a great, affordable booster for younger booster riders. It should fit him nicely. Just be sure to put the screws in the armrests (they come in a separate plastic package). For some reason almost no one remembers the screws and the seat won't work properly without them.

Last edited by Outnumbered; 07-29-2009 at 04:13 PM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 07:58 PM
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If the marathon is only 5 yr. old, why not use it for another year with Maya and then get something else?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 09:16 PM
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ugg, I have not followed the car seats threads on here ever. My ped said we could forward face her at a year, and that is what we did. Am I a horrible, terrible mother who should have her 4 year old still in a rear facing car seat at 5? My 9.5 year old is out of a booster, the 7.5 year old and 6 year old are still in one, but jsut a regular booster, not a highback one.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limeade View Post
If the marathon is only 5 yr. old, why not use it for another year with Maya and then get something else?
I thought that they "expired" after five years if you lived in super warm climates like hot as hell TX?

ON, do those convertible seats you recommended also come in cute prints Click here to enlarge and are cozy to sit in? I'm looking at sticking this kid in it for five years here, I don't want to hear any complaints Click here to enlarge.

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I'll buck the trend, I don't think her kids are all that in the cute department. not all kids are cute. they have other attributes that make up for that, but look at tweedle's aiden, that is a cute kid. and your kids mel, those are adorable kids. Her's are average. I wouldn't take a second look passing her on the street.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunkassPie View Post
I thought that they "expired" after five years if you lived in super warm climates like hot as hell TX?

ON, do those convertible seats you recommended also come in cute prints Click here to enlarge and are cozy to sit in? I'm looking at sticking this kid in it for five years here, I don't want to hear any complaints Click here to enlarge.

Seats expire six years from date of manufacture, not before, not after Click here to enlarge Those 'super hot climates' have nothing on the testing they do to them before they ever leave the factory Click here to enlarge Your DOM sticker will be on the shell of the seat, either on the side toward the top or towards the front of the seating area, just lift up the cover to peek at it. (There's also a chance that it will be underneath the seating area, just look under the lip)

Yes, the seats come in cute prints, particularly cute girly prints, and are all quite cozy Click here to enlarge
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Jello View Post
ugg, I have not followed the car seats threads on here ever. My ped said we could forward face her at a year, and that is what we did. Am I a horrible, terrible mother who should have her 4 year old still in a rear facing car seat at 5? My 9.5 year old is out of a booster, the 7.5 year old and 6 year old are still in one, but jsut a regular booster, not a highback one.


You are NOT a horrible, terrible mother, but your ped is a bit of a jackass, considering s/he made a recommendation that's directly contrary to NHTSA, SafeKids and the American Academy of Fucking Pediatrics and has been so since 2001 Click here to enlarge

At four, nearly five, it would be a rare child whose cervical spinal vertabrae are not fully developed. However, even if they weren't unless you have very petite kids, it's unlikely that there is an American rear facing seat out there that would accomodate a child of that size. Because of this, it is crucial that when you use a forward facing car seat, you must always use the top tether.

For the 6 and 7 year olds I would MUCH prefer to see that child in a high back booster. There have been studies showing a significant difference in mortality and injury results for high backs compared to backless. The head and neck are contained in line in a side impact, and the head area generally has EPS foam.

This does NOT mean the combination seats that convert to boosters, but rather dedicated boosters, which do a much safer job of positioning the belt.

'Good' dedicated high back boosters include the Graco Turbobooster, the Sunshine Kids' Monterey, the Recaro Vivo and the new Britax Parkway SlideGuard.

Does the nine year old pass the five step test?

1. Lap belt crosses at the thighs/hips and does not rise up on the belly
2. Shoulder belt crosses firmly at the shoulder and does not touch the throat or slide off the arm.
3. Tush rests firmly in the bight of the vehicle seat, and the bum doesn't slump forward
4. Knees bend at or beyond the end of the vehicle seat and feet remain flat on the floor
5. The child can maintain this position for 100% of the ride without bending over, reaching, slumping out of position when napping, leaning forward, etc.

If any of these is not true, the child still needs a booster.

Last edited by Outnumbered; 07-30-2009 at 07:26 AM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, I just climbed into the back of the car to try to find the DOM and I can't find it anywhere. I will say though that my DH did an excellent job of installing it, I mean I really rocked it and nothing budged at all. It's installed with latch still, that's okay right? I thought I read something once about latch and older kids? I don't know.

Anyway, I pulled back the cover on the sides and the front and looked all around and didn't see anything, is it like a sticker? If it's behind the top I will have to uninstall it to check.

ON, as for the safeseat, Maya is almost 30 inches now so I was giving her a few more months until she hit the 32 inch max but she is still only using the middle thingy for the straps so if I can still use it if there is an inch of plastic above her head I'm going to keep using that. I was looking for a new carseat mostly because I thought we only had a few months left and because her birthday is in a few weeks and was trying to think of birthday ideas in case grandparents asked Click here to enlarge.

And DH was asking me what I was doing and I told him if it's past DOM that we're moving the Radian into the VUE and will get a booster for the other car and he was all "why don't we just get a booster for both cars" because he thinks I baby him and I said "because a 5 point is safer" and he just kind of looked at me and dropped it. What's he going to say? No, I want him to be in a booster even though the other one is safer? Click here to enlarge

It's not a feeling, it's a knowing.

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Quote:
I'll buck the trend, I don't think her kids are all that in the cute department. not all kids are cute. they have other attributes that make up for that, but look at tweedle's aiden, that is a cute kid. and your kids mel, those are adorable kids. Her's are average. I wouldn't take a second look passing her on the street.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 07:58 AM
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Yes, it's on a sticker, the size of pre-printed address label for a business envelope. You're probably going to have to uninstall to find it.

Several things about LATCH and the Marathon. Both the Marathon and the Vue have a 48 lb maximum for LATCH useage, so if he's under 48 pounds, he's fine, otherwise he needs the seatbelt.

When you turned the seat from rear to forward facing, did you 'switch' the LATCH connectors? That metal bar they're on runs all the way through the seat (you can lift up the cover to see it running underneath). Each LATCH connecter is on a loop of webbing.

The seat comes with the LATCH set up for rear facing. To switch it to forward facing, those LATCH connectors need to be pushed up into the middle of the seat, one run 'through' the other, and then pushed down again on the opposite side, so that each LATCH connecter is on the opposite side of the seat it originally was on.

If this is NOT done, it's possible the connectors will pop off in an accident and won't hold the seat in the car.


For the height limit issue, remember that height limits for maximums are generally guidelines, because children don't gain their height identically, some are longer torsoed and some are longer legged. Height limits are tested by how the torso fits in the seat, so as long as there's an inch of plastic shell it's safe to use presuming she's under the weight maximum. (for a forward facing seat, the height maximum is when the shoulders go over the top harness position or the tops of the ears go over the top of the seat).


For the harnesses are safer, well, uh....Click here to enlarge There is no evidence showing that a harness is any safer than a well-fitting high back belt positioning booster presuming the following qualifications are met.

1. The child is at least 4 years old
2. The child is at least 40 pounds
3. The child can sit maturely in the booster without squirming or reaching.


Now, I also have an almost five year old boy and I would NOT put him in a booster full time. Little boys have ants in their pants Click here to enlarge MOST kids reach that 'mature' age by 6 years old. Some reach it by five. A very small few reach it at four. So yeah, I'd keep him in the MA as long as it fits him (under the weight limit, ears under the top of the shell and shoulders below the top harness position) and then revaluate. If he still needs a harness because of maturity, the Graco Nautilus or the Britax Frontier are your best bets. Otherwise, a good booster like the above mentioned are fine.

Last edited by Outnumbered; 07-30-2009 at 08:00 AM.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Well, you're not helping me here. I always thought it was safer. Have you seen that you tube video? I know you have Click here to enlarge. Hmmmm, now you have me thinking of other options. Maybe we will get a booster for each car and use the Radian for Maya when she grows out of her seat. No cute print though Click here to enlarge.

I will ask DH about the latch, I'm sure he did it correctly because he's not one of those a-holes that assume they know how to do it correctly, he will get out the manual and install but now that I said that watch, he didn't this time Click here to enlarge

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Quote:
I'll buck the trend, I don't think her kids are all that in the cute department. not all kids are cute. they have other attributes that make up for that, but look at tweedle's aiden, that is a cute kid. and your kids mel, those are adorable kids. Her's are average. I wouldn't take a second look passing her on the street.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 08:50 AM
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Honestly, I would NOT switch a not yet five year old boy to a booster. I just wouldn't. They're way too impulsive. The KDM video did a lot of good, too, but it did a little harm as well on two counts. One, it had people convinced their seven year olds were GOING TO DIE! in boosters, which is hogwash. Two, it had people buying Regents for their one year olds, which is just ridiculous.

In Sweden, the holy grail of all things CPS, they keep their kids rearfacing till between their 4th and 6th birthdays and then put them directly into a belt positioning booster, and their rate of childhood injury/death in auto accidents is nearly non-existent. Unfortunately we don't have that option for the most part. A good harnessed seat with a top tether is the next best bet.

Don't be too hard on DH if he didn't do it....Marathons are insanely common around here and I've never seen a parent do it right yet. Britax finally addressed that this year by making the LATCH connectors two-way...they no longer need to be 'switched'.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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He's going to be six in a few weeks and he does not mess around in his carseat at all, never has. He even sometimes has to remind us if we forget the bottom clip. He does the top clip by himself and sometimes we will get in the car and start to pull out of the driveway and we hear "bottom clip!!" Click here to enlarge Click here to enlarge.

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Quote:
I'll buck the trend, I don't think her kids are all that in the cute department. not all kids are cute. they have other attributes that make up for that, but look at tweedle's aiden, that is a cute kid. and your kids mel, those are adorable kids. Her's are average. I wouldn't take a second look passing her on the street.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 09:05 AM
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Ooohhh I thought he was a full year younger Click here to enlarge

Yeah, he will likely be fine in a booster now. Despite the fact that it was mocked on the ME, however, he DOES need to be 'booster trained' Click here to enlarge

You're getting the Turbobooster for his other 'ride'...take a few short trips with just him and the booster. (Remember those screws!). Make them short, with no other distractions. Warn him immediately if he leans over, tries to grab something, turns around, leans forward, etc.

Most people who insist their kids are fine in boosters don't notice these behaviors and/or don't realize just how detrimental they'd be if the kid happened to be doing that at the time of a crash. Moving from a harness, which can't move, to a seatbelt, which can, is a huge amount of freedom for a kid who isn't used to it, and they do have to be trained to resist the temptation Click here to enlarge

For a primary booster, I'd get either the Sunshine Kids' Monterey (which is LATCHable), or the new Britax Parkway Slideguard, which has a new feature, a crotch strap that clips onto the lapbelt and holds it down preventing submarining under the belt and also prevents the lap belt riding up in an accident and causing Seat Belt Syndrome.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Click here to enlarge for your help ON Click here to enlarge

It's not a feeling, it's a knowing.

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Diva ~
Quote:
I'll buck the trend, I don't think her kids are all that in the cute department. not all kids are cute. they have other attributes that make up for that, but look at tweedle's aiden, that is a cute kid. and your kids mel, those are adorable kids. Her's are average. I wouldn't take a second look passing her on the street.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 07:42 PM
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Mah pleasure Click here to enlarge

You can thank me by sharing pictures of whatever lovely thing you end up with Click here to enlarge
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