Car Seat/Booster seat experts, help - 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 09-13-2009, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Car Seat/Booster seat experts, help

Doin' the car seat shuffle, need advice because I have been out of the carseat loop since Zora was born.

We have one day a week where it works the best in our schedules for dh to drop Zora off at preschool and grandma to pick her up. Grandma has no car seats, dh has carseats in his work car (our old car, but it has an old roundabout and wizard in it, although the roundabout might be pushing the expiration date by now...7 years old or so)

The stats:
Zora: 38" tall, 35 lbs
Zane: 49" tall, 66 lbs (low-normal muscle tone & might not sit correctly in a belt positioning booster. currently in a big 5pt car seat)


Option 1: the preferred option. Get a booster seat for Zora that can be dropped off with her at preschool so Grandma can put it in her car when she picks Zora up.

Option 2: same as the first, except install the booster seat into Grandma's car.

Option 3: Install Zora's main car seat in Grandma's car, give Zora Zane's current seat, and get Zane a booster seat. (if money wasn't an issue, this would be the preferred option)

We can't afford to get both of them booster seats right now because if we get one for Zane it would be better if was a 5 point harness, and the only one that is big enough (that you don't have to go to the specialty $1000 seats) is the Britax Frontier up to 80lbs in the harness, 100lbs as a belt positioner.

What would you do? Seats recommended? Both vehicles are Mercury Mountaineers, a 1998 (ours) and 2006 (theirs), so room isn't an issue. Theirs had the latch stuff.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 05:32 PM
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We put 2 86Y harnesses in the Vanagon and, while they're taking some practice, I really love them. At 66 pounds, Zane is big enough to sit in one without a booster. It'll provide him with a chest harness until 168 pounds, and Zora can have his carseat. Click here to enlarge

http://www.hipmonkey.com/Ez-On-86Y-U...ess_p_135.html
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 05:40 PM
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BTW, if you go with the 86Y, use the code 15OFF at hipmonkey. They charge no tax, shipping is, I think $5 (and fast) and the total is $60 or a little less.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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That is really cool, and we will have to keep in mind when we get another, newer, vehicle. Unfortunately, the vehicle that Zane travels in doesn't have latch system.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 06:43 PM
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It doesn't require LATCH at all. Most people install it in a car with only lap belts, which is why we got them. It just requires a tether anchor. And it actually comes with a big burly one that needs to be used over 80 pounds.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liza Doolittle View Post
It doesn't require LATCH at all. Most people install it in a car with only lap belts, which is why we got them. It just requires a tether anchor. And it actually comes with a big burly one that needs to be used over 80 pounds.
ooo...let me look at it again.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 07:31 PM
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The lap belt (or shoulder belt with locking clip) is threaded through the two ends (there are loops there), and the clip clips onto the tether anchor. The straps themselves are seat belt grade - much much heavier than car seat belts. And the chest clip is very burly. The easiest way to get in and out is to unthread the lap belt from one loop and open the chest clip. Easy as pie (although my kids have a hard time opening the chest clip. It's big and stiff).

You can also use it with a backless booster (if your car has a headrest in the back) or a high backed booster with a narrow neck/shoulder area below the head wings.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 07:31 PM
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Much heavier than carseat belts. not car's seat belts. Click here to enlarge
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 08:41 PM
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The 86-Y harness is a definite possibility. A booster is not an option because Zora is too young and too small. (4 and 40 is the bare minimum).

FYI, Britax seats have a 6 year expiration, so it sounds like your Roundabout expired a long while ago. Chop that puppy up!

Another option, that is somewhat more flexible, is a Ride Safer Travel Vest for Zane (with the Wizard, assuming it's not expired, for Zora).

The large size should fit him well. It is worn like a vest, as the name suggests, and it routes the belt properly across the chest and lap. It comes with a crotch strap and tests more like a 5 point harness than a booster. It's portable so you don't have to leave it in one vehicle...it will work in any position with either a lap-shoulder belt or a lap belt that has a top tether anchor.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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I thought the oldest carseat might be expired. Nobody has ridden in it in forever because it is in the old car.

I think we will probably just suck it up and get Zane the booster seat and install his old car seat into Grandma's car.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Ok...stupid question....is the Britax Frontier a regular carseat that converts to a booster, or is it a booster seat? I thought it was just a booster seat, but when I read it again, it sounds like it is a regular carseat and, the way it is different from the infant-toddler seats is that it is exclusively FF instead of being RF and FF, and that it goes up to a much higher weight/height limit.

Am I reading that right? If so, would this be a good option for both kids? (we can't get them both one right now, but that is the eventual goal.)
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Ducky View Post
Ok...stupid question....is the Britax Frontier a regular carseat that converts to a booster, or is it a booster seat? I thought it was just a booster seat, but when I read it again, it sounds like it is a regular carseat and, the way it is different from the infant-toddler seats is that it is exclusively FF instead of being RF and FF, and that it goes up to a much higher weight/height limit.

Am I reading that right? If so, would this be a good option for both kids? (we can't get them both one right now, but that is the eventual goal.)


It's a combination seat, with 18" top slots and an 80 pound max on the harness. It then converts to a high back booster.

Trouble is, depending on whether Zane is short or tall torsoed, he may all ready be too tall for the harness. What seat is he currently riding in for his main ride? Do I remember Recaro Signo correctly? If he fits in the Signo, he'll fit in the Frontier.

Last thought... the Nautilus is 100 dollars less and is just as good of a seat, but it has a 65 pound weight max on the harness, so Zane would have to use it in booster mode (if you were planning to share between the two.)
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Dang, good memory. Yes, he is a Recaro. He is really getting uncomfortable in the straps at this point, so it is about time. We tried the Britax one in the store and couldn't get the harness to fasten on it, so we ended up getting a Graco one for him.

It makes me irrationally nervous to have him in a regular booster seat (it has a back on it and the wings at the head). I will keep a close eye on him and if he isn't sitting properly, then we will have to suck it up and get the special need seats, but since they are more in the $1K range, I will see if this works first. His old Recaro is going into Grandma's car and dh is installing it for her. Dh is taking the old roundabout out of the car and trashing it as we speak.

Thank you for your help. My brain just feels so fuzzy the last week that I appreciated the extra brainpower as I sifted through the options.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 08:12 PM
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I have a crazy memory for car seats. Even if people mention it in passing, it tends to stick Click here to enlarge

If you're thinking of the Roosevelt as a primary seat for Zane, you should be able to get insurance coverage for it. I know someone who really got one for her nine year old with moderate-to-severe autism, and insurance footed the whole bill . That sucker is HUGE. He's the size of an average 9 year old boy and he's got a good six inches of torso growth in the Roosevelt.

Seriously, though, if you're worried take a second look at the RSTV. It's super easy to use, portable and not too spendy.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Just an FYI, since you are the go-to person for carseats. If I had to do it over again, I would have gotten Britax again over the Recaro. The reason I got the Recaro is that in the original ads they rated for much higher weight. They since changed their ad. They are not horrible seats or anything, but are much more of a PITA than the Britax, and I have a lot of problems with the straps twisting that I never had with the several Britax we have owned over the years.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 05:10 AM
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Yeah, Recaro's convertibles were not all they cracked up to be....disappointed a lot of people, especially when the Start and the combination seat were so great.

That being said, I wouldn't buy Britax again either (and for a long time it's all I bought). There are now companies out there that make a better product, that lasts longer, with fewer quirks, for less money.
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