View Full Version : Musical car seat - infant moving up, new seat for toddler?

09-29-2006, 09:52 PM
Hello. We drive a 1998 Honda Accord. Slightly tight on space with the 2 kids back there. Love our Snug Ride & Roundabout, but baby will be needing a new seat very soon. Both kids are approx 50% height, 75% weight.

Planning on using Roundabout for infant. Since we can't do it in the center this time around I think there will barely be enough room between front seat and baby when rear-facing.

Not sure what to do for toddler (3 in Jan). I have TB 2.0. From those reviews I was leaning towards Century Next Step or Cosco Summit. But I'm not really finding much about them here. Have the recommendations really changed since 2.0 book?

Most appealing features...good saftey review (ie, Cons Rpts, etc), easy harness adjust, padding, combo seat. Am I missing something here?

Also THANKS to you experts who dedicate so much time to make this such a valuable board. Really rich advice here. thank you thank you.

Lastly...somehow I am thinking I am about to buy a $20,000 car seat...this might be the thing that pushes over the edge (kicking & screaming) to get a bigger car. Ouch!

09-30-2006, 09:27 AM
Yeah, ignore that review info. Century isn't even on the market anymore! :) And the Summit isn't highly recommended b/c it has very low harness slots.

What is the weight and height of the older child. That will help a lot. If he's anywhere near 40 lbs, that will cut down your options considerably. Its best to harness for as long as possible, at LEAST until 4. Many combos max out for the harness at 40 lb (or when they get too tall which could be even before they are 40 lbs).

Ones to research-
Cosco Apex 65/Alpha Elite - the "front facing only" one that harnesses to 65 lbs. NOT the convertible that that becomes a booster (Alpha OMEGA Elite)

Evenflo Generations/Bolero

Graco Cargo

Britax Regent

Any larger Britax (MA, etc), the Fisher Price Safe Voyage DX or the Radian - could be used for the older child now and passed down to the younger when the RA expires or its outgrown. :) This is likely the route I'd go, depending on the older child's size....

HTH get you started!

09-30-2006, 08:31 PM
Thanks that gives me something to work on! Toddler was 35" and 30 lbs at her 2.5 year check up. Should be roughly the same. (She's been a chunker. Finally thinning out. ;) )

Some other questions...

Does the latest version of the book have better reviews or should I just go with what's online?

Do car seats really expire? I had no idea...! Why and when?


09-30-2006, 08:42 PM
One more question...does it still matter which of the Cargo? I think there is more than one model. Does it make a difference? Thanks.

09-30-2006, 09:49 PM
Honestly, I'd skip the book. You can check over on the baby car seat board, there have been a few threads about why lots of techs and plain car seat nerds (my status) disagree with some of their advice. ;) There are GREAT techs on here and over on the baby board (which has more traffic, by the way) that install seats regularly, they use them and know what works well, for the longest amount of time with the least amount of day to day annoyance. A HUGE factor that lots of reviews (Consumer Reports, etc) ingore is the height of seats and therefore when it'll be outgrown, or they simply don't test/install them in actual cars and use them with actual kids. :)

re: expiration - Most brands of car seats expire after 6 years from its date of manufacture. Plastic does degrade, parts and manuals go missing, technology or recommendations improve (for example, just a few years ago, seats only rear faced to 20 lbs, now that the experts have stressed how much safer that is thru toddlerhood - seats rear face longer, LATCH was instituted, more EPS/bicycle helmet type foam was added), etc. A seat isn't going to implode on its 6th birthday, but it clearly isn't in The Best Condition anymore, nor is it likely that it is "leading edge". ;) Your RA will expire 6 years from its date of manufacture. That's why I floated the idea of a larger Britax that both kids would end up using. An MA is so much taller than the RA (and goes to 65 lbs), the younger could go into it and last for 2-3 years past when the RA is expired and/or outgrown.

The Graco Cargo's are VERY nice harnessed. They have the EPS foam and are pretty well liked when harnessed. Models don't really matter, just *avoid* the one that doesn't have a front adjuster - Platinum, maybe? Crazy hard to adjust w/o a front adjuster! The other differences are just cosmetic. However, some don't like it as a booster. The things that hold the belt in place are "closed". This means that if the kid leans forward, its highly possible that the belt will not retract back properly and that's not good. The Evenflo or the Apex has an open belt path, so that's not a problem. But, the belt clips are optional if the belt lays right without them. Hard to determine though when your child is too small to worry about booster mode yet. Basically, the combos are nice in theory but you run the risk of hating one mode or the other, ya know?

edited to fix typo

10-01-2006, 10:18 AM
I think you've gotten great advice so far. Just thought I'd share this link with you:

If found this site extremely helpful. It lists which car seats are generally considered the best and the pro's and con's of each.

It recommended you keep your dc harnessed to *at least* 4yrs and 40lbs. At 2.5yrs & 30lbs you might *just* make it to 4yrs in a 40lbs seat, but you will have a much greater chance of making it past that point if you get one of the "niche" seats that harnesses past 40lbs as they also have taller harness slots. How does your oldest fit in the RA currently? Where are her shoulders in relation to the top harness slots on that seat?

there will barely be enough room between front seat and baby when rear-facing.
Oh, and something you should also know...only infants need a 45 degree angle so once you switch to a rear-facing convertible, your dc can sit more upright and it is perfectly safe. This will allow more room for the front seat. If you can fit an infant seat back there then you should also be able to fit a rear-facing convertible.