View Full Version : new carseat or booster, 3 kids in backseat?

08-02-2006, 02:41 PM
Hi~ I've read so many posts and am a bit overwhelmed with the information available, and not sure which way to go. We have a Toyota 4Runner.. 1998 (so not a 7-seater, just 5 passengers). We have 3 kids: DD1 is 3 1/2, and around 38 inches, 33 lbs; DS is 23 months, around 34 inches, 30 lbs; DD2 is 5 months, and ready to out-grow her Graco Snugride (25.5 inches, 16 lbs)

Now we have the snugride in the middle of our backseat, the Britax Roundabout for DS on one side, and Britax Marathon on other side for DD1. I am thinking of buying a new SOMETHING for DD1, moving DS into MA and DD2 into RA.

Ok-- now for questions:

We want the SAFEST, but I am having trouble finding official ratings for some seats I've read about here-- any sources?

For safety reasons, I am leaning toward a convertible carseat that goes to at least 65 lbs and has TALL shoulder straps so will last DD1 both in height and weight-- is that the best plan, and if so, which seats would qualify??? (I am worried Regent will be too wide, but am not sure...)

Any place I can get info on shoulder strap heights?

Does Safeguard Child Seat REQUIRE latch? our 98 4 runner is pre-latch, but we do have the tether anchors (2-- one on each side)

IN a related quandry-- would you put 3 1/2 DD1 in a carseat on an airplane, or just let her sit in the regular seat & check her carseat?

ANY input/guidance would be greatly appreciated!!

Mom of 3

08-02-2006, 03:11 PM
This site has car seat measurements.

I do think that getting a taller/heavier weight seat is a good idea. The Safest car seat is the one that fits your car and your child. The Britax Marathon/Decathlon/Blvd's all harness to the same weight (65lbs) and height, & are easy to install and used. These are convertibles that also r/f to 33lbs and are airline approved. (Unlike the Regent which is f/fing only & is not airline approved.)

The Sunshine Kids Radian www.skjp.com might also be a consideration for you. very tall, harnesses to 65lbs and folds for travel. It is also airline approved. They are also coming out with one this fall that is approved for up to 80lbs but I have heard the top slots are the same height (same seat shell I think). We will have to wait and see... The Radian is very narrow and is supposed to work well in 3-across situations but there have also been reports of install problems when using the seatbelt so definitely try it out before you buy it.

I do believe the Safeguard Seat can be installed without LATCH and just the top tether. It is airline approved so there is a seatbelt path to install it. If you haven't seen it here's a link to their website: http://www.safeguardseat.com/child/index.htm

About airline travel, the FAA recommends children under 40lbs use a CRS on the airplane. It is not required though. Tests have shown that airplane lap belts are not adequate for children under 40lbs, so it is up to you with what you feel comfortable with. Fwiw, statistically you're safer in a plane than in a car. I only have one child who is tall and skinny and am looking forward to the day we won't need the car seat on the plane any more however at under 3-1/2 and just 30lbs it will pbly be a while yet. MY choice is to keep using the car seat on the plane as long as he fits in it. At this point though, it keeps him seated when he needs to be whereas I know he wouldn't keep the airplane lap belt on (they are so easy to undo), so there is that aspect of it.