View Full Version : 5pt Seat for 4-year-old

05-23-2006, 12:07 PM
I've done so much research my head is swimming, so I thought I'd give my specs and see if I can get expert suggestions.

My daughter just turned 4, 36 pounds, 40" tall, torso height 15". Currently she is riding in a Roundabout in my 2000 VW Jetta and a Graco Comfortsport in my husband's 2003 Nissan Altima. I discovered at the doctor yesterday that she had reached 40", and sure enough her shoulders are about an inch above the top slots on the Comfortsport. The Jetta is in the shop for a few days so I'm not able to check her shoulders in the Roundabout. Can anyone tell me if her torso height would also be too high for the RA, or might she last a bit longer riding safely in the RA?

Assuming we need new seats very soon, I want a 5pt harness up to 65lb. From my research, my choices are the Marathon/Decathlon or the Regent, but I'm open to suggestions. I like the Marathon because she'd be up higher to see out the window, but I worry about how long we'd be able to use it for since she's 4 years old (mainly wondering about the slot heights since she's already 15" torso). And I have a small car so the Regent's size is a concern. But she's an only child so space isn't much of a problem as long as whatever seat gets a good fit in the car.

Also since it will take at least a few days to make a decision and buy a seat, especially if I order online, is it extremely unsafe for her to be in the Comfortsport with shoulders 1" above the top slot, or will she be OK for a brief time until we can get the next seat?

Thanks for any help you can give me!

05-23-2006, 06:10 PM
http://www.carseatdata.org/csnumbers.html has the CS at 14.5" and the RA at 15.5". They likely aren't exact, but it gives you an idea. I do not think I'd let her ride in the CS at an inch over, but I'm not a tech.... That seat is notoriously low.

She'd be in the 2nd top slot on an MA, so it would be a good choice that should last you for awhile at her size. I'm very happy with mine. My 3.5 year old is on the top slot already though, so I'm hesitant to buy a second. (She's too tall for the Scenera in her dad's truck.)

A Regent would last her for a VERY long time. Overall, its not much larger than an MA b/c it sits so low while the MA is up on a high base. I'm actually longing for a low seat at the moment, because I'm sick of her dropping things and not being able to reach them! ha ha. That same website I gave you also has a Compatibility Database. Check for your cars and the Husky (now called Regent).

Other things to research - Cosco/Safety 1st Apex 65/Alpha Elite (not Omega). Its a combo booster - harnesses to 65, then becomes a good booster. Harness heights are listed to be similar to the MA, but I've heard differing opinions on that (some say the Apex's are quite a bit higher). Its a good seat, but has a restriction that the midpoint of the child's head MUST be at or below the vehicle's seatback or headrest. For this reason, it will not work in our truck. Its pretty large, as big as a Regent, but rather floppy (more moveable parts).

The Sunshine Kids Radian is very narrow, a bit taller than a MA, and harnesses to 65. Its a very solid seat, but has problems installing in some cars when using the seat belt.

I'm currently deciding between the Radian and the Regent. Honestly, I know the Regent is the way to go, but am just somewhat intimidated by its size/weight and am not a fan of the covers. ;) If I *knew* the Radian would install in the various vehicles, it'd be great, and a bit cheaper, but it seems a crap shoot.

The baby board gets more traffic (for toddler seats too), so maybe check over there also.

HTH, a bit.

05-23-2006, 08:35 PM
>I'm currently deciding between the Radian and the Regent.
>Honestly, I know the Regent is the way to go, but am just
>somewhat intimidated by its size/weight and am not a fan of
>the covers. ;) If I *knew* the Radian would install in the
>various vehicles, it'd be great, and a bit cheaper, but it
>seems a crap shoot.

The Regent is AWESOME (despite its covers). I love it. We bought two recently and installed them in the center (we only have 1 child) of our two cars- a Toyota Camry & a very small Toyota Echo. Neither car is LATCH & we got a rock solid installation with the long belt path. We didn't use the recline bar or either. I'll be posting installation notes & pics next week sometimes, as well. Obvisouly I'm the cheering section for the Regent. The Sahara pattern is quite nice. NONE of the patterns blew me away, but the Sahara is sharper in person than in online photos.

After our DD outgrew her RA (4 yrs, 39" 38 lbs) we agonized over getting a MA/BV/DC instead of the Regent but they're NOT that much smaller than the Regent. We knew we'd get more years out of the Regent. DD has a long torso & short legs & only had one belt slot left to grow in the aforementioned Britax seats. In the Regent she's in the second slot of four, lots of growing room. I would seriously consider that seat.

Amy :)

05-24-2006, 10:28 PM
You definitely want the Regent... the other Britax seats would only give her 2" additional torso height.

it just wouldn't be worth the price.


06-16-2006, 11:58 PM
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE my Regent. The Sahara is really nice and subtle. Great install with the long belt path also did not use the recline bar.

Madeline's Mom

06-17-2006, 05:30 PM
We have two Husky/Regents and absolutely love them. They are installed in the rear seat of our 97 Plymouth Voyager. I used the recline bar on them because I get a more secure fit in my car with the recline bar. I also used the long belt path and tether. Both seats are rock solid. At one time I had one of these seats in a 91 Ford Festiva (a very small car) and the fit was great. An advantage to the seat being lower is, the child can generally climb in and out of it by themselves so you don't have to lift them into the seat. Just have them climb in and then buckle them up. I hope this helps.
---Melinda---mom to Sarah, Kaylee, Jayci & Davis
-------------grammy to Trevor & Katie

06-19-2006, 01:58 PM
We recently had a similar issue with 3 year old DS in the Roundabout. He's about 1/2 inch to go in the RA and I panicked because he's too young and too light to be in a booster (he's only 28 pounds sopping wet!) :)

Anyway, after weighing my options, I first bought a Graco Ultra Platinum Cargo. It's a nice enough seat, but difficult to get the straps tight after you've loosened them. So then, I went ahead and bought a Regent, which is what I really wanted but was trying to justify the price. I really like it. It fits in my Ford Focus wagon, which is not the biggest car in the world. DS will be harnessed for a LONG time to come! No regrets on this seat.