View Full Version : Britax vs. Fisher Price vs. Cosco Eddie Bauer Car Seats
06-11-2001, 03:58 PM
I read recently that the Britax Roundabout (I think it was the Roundabout) did NOT pass the Consumer Reports crash test for 35 miles per hour - that the baby's head moved too far forward. Did anyone else see this?
I seem to read only great things about the Britax from online forums - any bad news?
Any positives about the FP Safe Embrace? Ease of use? I'm thinking of getting this one.
Has anyone bought a Cosco Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 Car Seat? It looks really awesome, but nothing mentioned by Consumer Reports...
Thanks for your imput.
06-11-2001, 04:35 PM
LAST EDITED ON Jun-11-01 AT 03:35PM (Mountain)[p]Hi there. Consumer Reports has just issued it's latest crash tests for those car seats you mentioned. Here is our analysis of the tests and a link to the CR article:
Alan & Denise Fields, Authors
06-11-2001, 11:21 PM
Thanks - I saw the Consumer Reports info on their website but didn't get the magazine yet. The website didn't list the Cosco Eddie Bauer 3-in-1. Does the magazine mention it? They look so great, I was considering it despite the many problems I've heard about Cosco. Guess I'd better reconsider.
What are your thoughts about the Fisher Price Grow-with-Me Toddler/Booster? If it seats up to 80 lbs., why buy the FP Safe Embrace when you can get a seat that lasts longer?
I appreciate your comments. Today was my first time on your site and I think it's wonderful.
06-12-2001, 06:44 AM
It's probably a safe bet to stay away from anything Cosco - they do not seem to be a company comitted to safety, given the zillion recalls they seem to go through every other week. Also, Consumer Reports says that it isn't safe to use the Cosco 3-in-1 carseat as a belt-positioning booster. As far as the FP Grow-With-Me, CR liked this seat very much, just keep in mind that this is not a convertible seat which means you can only use it once your baby is at least 1 year-old and 20 pounds. Both the FP Safe Embrace and the Britax Roundabout scored very highly in the latest CR crash test, with a slight edge going to the FP. As for personal experience, I have the Britax Roundabout and I just love it. It's easy to install and with the tether, and it fits in our Ford Explorer rock-solid.
06-12-2001, 10:19 PM
Thanks for writing. WHY do you love your Britax? Have you used anything else?
My daughter may be just at 22 pounds and is 14 months old now. I can't decide whether to turn her around to front facing or not. My neighbor said her baby is happier facing front, but they say it's safest to stay backwards. (Obviously this is my first kid!)
I bought the FP Safe Embrace today, but don't know if I made the right decision. Everyone with a Britax seems to love it, but no one makes any comments about the FP seat. My concern about the Britax is that CP rated it only Fair if you don't use a tether. It failed their 35 mph crash test without the tether. Thus, the poor rating. What if you need to put it in someone's car when you visit them, and their car has no tether? That scares me. Does yours have a tether?
My concern with the FP seat is that the sides stick out so far and it seems so big, with no contouring. My baby seemed to fit better in the Britax. It also doesn't have as much cushioning as the Britax. And with FP quitting making car seats, will I be able to get any seat covers, etc. from them later on?
I am thinking of getting the Britax also to try in the car and see which fits best in my Toyota Corolla. Am I nuts?
Thanks for listening.
06-13-2001, 06:36 AM
Hi, Eve. For the record, I have used the Britax RA only with the tether, which really does make for a rock-solid installation. Also, the padding on the seat seems to be far superior to any other carseat on the market. In fact, that was one of the main reasons why I opted to go with the Britax RA over the Fisher Price SE. I do have some basis for comparison in that prior to the Britax, I had a Century SmartMove, which I couldn't stand given how enormous the seat was and how impossible it was to secure it tightly in my car. I also own a Century 1000STE, which I use on airplanes and in other cars given how lightweight it is and how easy it is to install. Also, as far as the Britax goes, I know the high price can be a turnoff, but given that your daughter is over 1 and 24lbs, you could get the Britax Freeway, which is forward-facing only and retails on TheBabyWarehouse.com for about $150. Good luck with your decision.
06-13-2001, 11:07 PM
Thanks for your info - I appreciate it. Today I installed the FP car seat I had bought yesterday. But before installing it, I cut out a couple of pieces of foam egg crate and put it between the cover and the bottom of the seat, and in the lower back area. It made it nice and cushy! Don't know why FP didn't just do that themselves... I might go back and do that to the whole back part, but it does have some foam there already and I wanted to make sure she would fit in it okay first.
I haven't got the tether installed yet, but will go to Toyota to get it done right. The seat seems pretty tight-fitting, but I will also go to some people here who inspect your car seat install to make sure it's okay. So far what I don't like is that the straps are tight around her thighs and I didn't think it would be that way. If I pull the strap down front, it seems to tighten the legs more than the shoulder straps. Hmmm... Also, it's hard to get her in and out of the straps. Maybe it just takes practice. Is the Britax hard to use that way??
It's interesting that you mentioned you use another seat for travel. I was thinking about that because the FP is SO heavy. We might also want a second seat for my husband's car. I thought about the Britax for travel also but don't like the fact that CP's report says you need the tether and it might not be available in other cars. The FP does seem big for my baby - she's only maybe 22 lbs. I still might buy the Britax and try it out and return one or keep both - who knows!
06-14-2001, 07:27 AM
Hello, again. As far as the straps go on the Britax, I have never noticed them being too tight on my daughter. So far, they have proven to be very easy to adjust. Another neat feature on the Britax to make getting your child in and out of the seat easier, there are velcro tabs on the sides of the seat that the straps attach to when they are not in use. This way, when you go to put your child in the seat, the straps are already apart and out of the way. I have also read of other mothers putting velcro tabs on other seats themselves, so this may be something you would be able to do on the Safe Embrace. (Gee, did you ever think something as simple as a carseat could be so utterly confusing?!?!) Good luck!
06-14-2001, 04:03 PM
This sounds like such a simple and reasonable solution. The seat has too little padding, add some. However, it isn't that simple. Adding padding may very well increase the head excursion of the test dummy (or your child). That is probably why it isn't there in the first place. One inch of foam can translate into one inch of head excursion, such that the seat wouldn't pass the tests. You sound quite concerned about crash test results. So I'm sure you don't want to mess with that kind of thing.
I've got a lot of experience with different convertibles. I own the Britax Roundabout, the Fisher Price Safe Embrace, the Evenflo Horizon, and the Cosco Touriva. I've played with most of the others. So I'm pretty familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of each seat.
I love my Roundabout (RA) and my Advantage. I love the no-twist straps. I love the harness adjuster that works even when the seat is installed, and the child is in the seat. I love the thick comfort foam that covers the entire back area of the seat, from head to knees. I love the thick covers in fun prints. The lock offs are easy to use and much nicer than metal locking clips. The rear facing tether makes for such great installs in my cars. The little extras, like the velcro for keeping the straps out of the way and the belly pad, are nice. I feel that my RA was worth every penny I spent on it. I do use it tethered. I like how easy the seat is to use, so I don't worry when my partner is home with the kids (she's not as detail oriented as I am).
I like the FPSE too. It is my second choice convertible. It has some of the same features, like no-twist straps and built in locking clips and eps foam. I don't like the lack of padding and thin cover. I really don't like that the top harness slot is lower than the RA by about an inch.
Both of those seats are heavy and wide. For travel, I use my Cosco Touriva. Harder to use correctly every time, doesn't have the features, but is light and narrow. The Century Accel is also good for those reasons. Both of those seats rear face to 30 or 35 pounds and come in a 5 point harness. The Century 1000 only rear faces to 20 pounds.
So given the frustrations you are experiencing, I'd suggest you try the RA. The FPSE is a great seat, as are the other cheaper ones. But they don't have the features that the RA does, and which it sounds like you'd like.
And you shouldn't have to modify the seat (major no-no) to get it the way you want it.
Toby, CPS tech and owner of a LOT of carseast!
06-15-2001, 06:20 PM
I have personally used all the seats you mentioned and I would just say "Go with the FPSE or the Roundabout."
The Britax seat is the best seat I have ever used. I have installed it in at least 10 different cars and have never had anything but a rock-solid installation both rear and forward facing. I love the tethers, the energy-absorbing foam, the easy to wash cover, the easy to adjust harness, and everything else about it. I know a woman who was in a 50 mph crash with her forward facing daughter in a Roundabout and her daughter only received two minor bruises on her shoulders from hitting the harness so hard. She didn't have any other injuries. She seemed to have had a little bit of whiplash, but that would happen in any carseat, I'm sure.
I also LOVE the FPSE. This is my second favorite seat. I love it for all the same reasons as the RA. The FPSE doesn't have the rear-facing tether, though. But I still love it for all the same reasons.
I HATE the Cosco 3-in-1 (a.k.a., Alpha Omega). I have had nothing but trouble with it and its company, Cosco. But that is just my opinion.
Just to let you know, the word is out that Fisher Price is going to stop making all carseats. I don't know if this is true, but it is at the very least a nasty rumor. If it is true, that is too bad because their carseats are some of the best.
07-02-2001, 10:03 AM
07-02-2001, 10:06 AM
remove it right away!!!
I have the Roundabout and would buy it again in a heartbeat regardless of the CR results. britax is the worldwide leader in child safety. Britax is one of the most used mfg's of seats in the countries with the best survival rates in crashes.
The CR testing isn't valid imo.....there are just too many factors not taken into consideration....poor sled design etc etc etc.
katherine in atl
07-03-2001, 12:21 AM
How does the Britax Advantage compare to the Roundabout? Is it safer?
07-03-2001, 07:28 AM
I don't believe the RA Advantage is any safer than the RA. The big plus with the Advantage is that you can adjust the harness height to any level without having to remove and reinsert the straps. This way, the straps will always be at the perfect height for your child.
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