View Full Version : What should i get? please advise

05-21-2006, 03:58 AM
I currently have the britax marathon in my car for my 28 month old. it's great and he still has time in it (second slot from the top is what he's on and we did that not that long ago). he's a big boy at 35+lbs and 36+ inches (at his 2 yr checkup).
my question is about my mom's car. she's going to be taking ds to preschool (local drive) a few days a week this coming year and she wants to get a car seat in her car. i don't think she needs something as big and expensive as the marathon. i also think she should get one that will take her to booster age/time. so that means a 5 point harness for now and able to use a car seatbelt later.
any recommendations, please? i really have no idea what to get.
thanks so much!

Aunt to sweet baby boy
05-21-2006, 09:31 AM
The least expensive seat that has a harness above 40 lbs is the Cosco Apex. It is a really large seat and requires a headrest behind the seat. it is about $130 at toys r us, less if you have a coupon. In your case i might think about getting you a Regent and giving your mother the MA. I personally do not like children to be in boosters until they are at least 4 years old, hopefully 5 and by your sons weight and height now you may have to get him a Regent when he outgrows the MA.


Ilana, aka Nana to my sweet nephew Avi


05-21-2006, 09:43 AM
you mentioned you don't like children to be in boosters till they are at least 4 years old. even though they won't be using that car seatbelt feature of a booster, but the 5-point harness?
isn't the graco cargo (i think that's the name) up to 100lbs and it's cheaper at around $99? is that a good one?

thanks for your response. now i really don't know what to do and could do with lots of replies :)

05-21-2006, 06:10 PM
The problem with all the other combo seats on the market (the ones that convert from harnessed to belt-positioning-booster) are the harnesses only have 40lb weigt limits, with the exception of the Cosco/Safety 1st Apex seat (marketed under both brand names and the names for each brand are slightly different so that can be a bit confusing as well, just so you're aware).

The Apex harnesses to 65lbs and then boosters to 100. The other seats only harness to 40lbs. Since your ds is already 35lbs at 28mos you won't make it age four in any of the 40lb harness combos. So the most economical choice is the Apex.

This site has a list of options to keep your dc harnessed past 40lbs:
(just so you can see what is available)

ds-4/03 harnessed, r/fing, in Britax Boulevard

Aunt to sweet baby boy
05-21-2006, 06:22 PM
I said around 4 years old because most(not all) kids do not have the ability to stay properly positioned with a seatbelt until they are around 4 years old. There are exceptions but that is what i say as a baseline. The 5 pt harness of the Graco Cargo can only be used until the child is 40 lbs. Since you say that your son is 35+ i would not want you to buy a seat for $100 that he may only last in for 6 months. Once the child reaches 40 lbs or their shoulders are above the top harness position they must use the seat as a booster. Additionally the Cargo does not make a good booster in alow of cars, it does not allow the belt to sit properly on the child's lap and the loops can also allow the belt to move from the correct position.


Ilana, aka Nana to my sweet nephew Avi


05-22-2006, 10:20 AM
Well, she means 'booster' as in 'with the seatbelt'. The Apex would allow him to stay harnessed to at least four, probably age 5-6, even and so it's 'the same as' the marathon, in that respect.
Julie CPS Tech and mom to 3 in seats

05-24-2006, 10:18 PM
well, I would still want something that harnesses past 40lbs.. because I think your son will be 40lbs before 4yrs old.

I also agree that she probably doesn't need something as expensive as the Marathon.

The Fisher Price Safe Voyage Deluxe has the same top slot height and goes to 55lbs.

it just doesn't have the built-in lockoffs, the rearfacing tether, and the fabric is cheaper...the recline also is a two-hand thing.

it's a hundred dollars cheaper.

I just don't see a harnessed booster lasting your son to at least 4yrs old.


05-24-2006, 10:35 PM
so when will my son be able to go into a seat that uses the car seat straps? i'm still confused.
thanks everyone for responding and helping me. i appreciate it.

so try to get him in a seat that is 5 point harness till he's 4 yrs old so the seat should go to 55-100 lbs harnessed. not many out there. just the apex or the regent. apex is more affordable.
then he can go to the car seat belt.

did i get that right?

05-25-2006, 08:11 AM
>so when will my son be able to go into a seat that uses the
>car seat straps? i'm still confused.

The miniumum (per car seat safety experts, not law) is 4 years of age. The law is just the law, you can meet it and still not be doing what's safest. (Ask Britney). ;)

Four years is because under that age, they aren't mature enough to "do their job" which is sit upright, don't mess with the belt, don't touch the buckle, don't lean over, etc. They shouldn't bear any responsiblity for their own car safety at under four.

If a kid is light for their age (38 lb, 5 year olds) its easy to stay harneessed until they are mature enough to a booster.

It is harder for taller and/or heavier kids. Parents of kids who hit 40 lbs or get too tall before they are four years old need to do some homework. (Trust me I know!) As mentioned, your best bet would be an Apex or a Regent. (The combos like the Graco Cargo or Evenflo Bolero with the 40 lb harness just don't work for us. Grrrr.)

An Apex harnesses until 65 lbs (or until its outgrown by height), then uses the car's seat belt in booster mode to 100. Its also had pretty tall slots, so likely, your child will get to 5 in the harness system. Then you can use it as a booster until he's old enough to sit in the car w/o a booster.

The Regent is similar in overall size to the Apex, but is JUST a harnessed seat. But, it keeps the kid **harnessed** until 7-8 or older. It has VERY tall slots. Lots of kids can go straight from this seat (if maxed out) into a plain seat belt.

I think these seats offer the most longevity and least future seat purchases for you. He'll hopefully last until 5 in the MA, so when that's outgrown, use the Regent or Apex in the primary car as harnessed is preferred, and get a booster-only seat for the in-town car. Booster-only seats are pretty cheap, so this should work out well.

>so try to get him in a seat that is 5 point harness till he's
>4 yrs old so the seat should go to 55-100 lbs harnessed.

Not 100 harnessed. 65 harnessed, 100 in booster mode - with the Apex. Harnessed to 80 lbs in the Regent, no booster mode. :)

Its maddening, isn't it?!

(edited for clarity)

05-25-2006, 10:20 AM
Ideally, everyone would be in a 5-point harness... every carseat/seatbelt milestone is a step down in safety.

That's why we really push people to rearface as long as possible, harness as long as possible, then booster as long as possible.

We want our kids protected... things like turning baby forward facing just so he can see mom, moving a child to a booster just because it's easier to buckle, moving a child prematurely into no seat and just a seatbelt because you don't want to have to buy another seat, or because other kids are just in a seatbelt and they are just fine are all pointless reasoning.

They are, unfortunately, reasons we've all heard.

We want to delay those step downs in safety as long as possible, and hopefully until our children are completely ready to make the step.

I would go with the Regent... because your son is tall and big for his age and I just see it as ensuring that he'll really be mature for just a seatbelt... Kids who ride in the Regent until it's outgrown typically don't need a booster.


05-25-2006, 11:22 AM
wow, thank you for all that information.

we currently have the marathon in our car. i'm looking for a seat for my mom's car. something that she can have in her car for a long time and not worry about getting another seat in the future.
i don't think i will need another seat until i just buy a plain booster because we have till 65lbs and his growth rate will slow down.

so i think we will end up with the apex.

thank you so much!!

HOWEVER- i went to BRU yesterday to see the apex and interestingly enough, it was sitting near the graco cargo and the height slots looked exactly the same! and currently my son is on the second notch from the top in his marathon.

05-25-2006, 11:42 PM
yes, the top slots on the Apex are equal to that of the Marathon... the Graco Cargos have about the same... it all just depeneds on if your child will need the weight limit.

the Graco only harnesses to 40lbs