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Different Types of Britax

Traveling with a Britax


Britax Roundabout for infants

2002

I'm a future-mom and considering getting the Britax Roundabout for a car seat. Is it safe to use this ''convertible'' model for both infants and toddlers? Or, is it safer to purchase a separate infant seat and then use Britax for toddler stage? I'm aware of the so-called advantages of having infant seat to use as carrier (too heavy!), so that's not part of my consideration. Also, is this Britax not too big for small infants? Can head rests, etc., make up for the extra space? Thanks for the advice! Nona


I would definitely recommend getting a separate infant car seat. They fit small babies better and seem more comfortable. When reading reviews for the Britax seat the only negative comments were for people who used them from birth and said the straps were too wide and the angle uncomfortable. And while now you don't understand wanting to use the seat as a carrier, we just used ours to carry him from the car to the house so he wouldn't wake up! This is a very important consideration because trust me you won't want to wake up your sleeping baby! Even though our son weighs around 19 pounds now and the carrier weighs a ton we are still using it (we got an infant seat that goes up to 22 pounds). Good luck! A Mom of Five Months
I have the Britax Roundabout for my infant and I think it's fine. It's supposed to be the best/safest carseat around. The only thing that was a consideration when my baby was really little (1-2 months) is the fact that you cannot recline the seat too far for an infant. I found this not to be too big of a deal by using little head accessories (mini boppy pillow, small blanket, etc) to keep the baby's head in place and prevent it from coming forward or dropping sideways. You can also tuck a couple of towels under the front part of the seat to make it ''recline'' a little more. Now that my baby is almost 5 months old it's not even an issue anymore. I'm glad I don't have to think about buying another carseat for a while! anonymous
My friend was in a serious car accident when her baby was 3 months old. The baby was in the Roundabout and was completely uninjured after the car was hit at the passenger door and spun three times (the car was totalled). That sold me on it and I have had my own baby in one since she was 5 months old. I believe they are for use for babies and kids from 5 lbs to 40. It is simple to use, anchors very securely and seems comfortable for baby. It is pricey but after seeing how well it performed when needed, I wouldn't use anything else. Nicole
I would not use a convertible car seat for an infant. They don't recline far enough so the baby ends up getting squished since they can't hold their upper bodies up. It's a hassle having to buy 2 car seats but it is a good investment. Gabrielle
All car seats that are sold with the proper government certification are safe when properly installed! In particular, the Roundabout has something very few detachable infant seats do -- a tether -- which probably adds to its safety level. We used a detachable seat when our preemie was very small, but we quickly switched to the Britax because we didn't like hauling the thing in and out of the car -- it was easier for us to just pick up the baby. With the help of a head rest and a baby boppy pillow to support her neck, she always did fine in the Roundabout -- you just have to set the shoulder straps on the lowest setting. And actually, I think the Britax reclines a little more than the detachable did. If there's a minimum size for the Britax, it should say so in the product information packet. In any case, unless you have a 4-pounder (as we did), I can't see any reason the seat would be too big!
We bought a Britex Roundabout and intended to use it for our daughter (now 13 mos) from newborn until she was too big for it. But, when we put her in it to come home from the hospital, we realized it was not going to work. She was fairly big newborn (almost 9 lbs.), but she still seemed to be swimming in the Britex, even with the head/body cushion we had in it. We ended up using a used infant seat from some friends for the first 4-5 months. We were going to sell the Britex (I tossed the box, so we couldn't return it), but I decided to go see a car seat installation person first. I'm very glad I did. She showed me how to use cut up swim noodles underneath the Britex so that it would sit level. Apparently, part of our problem had been that the seat couldn't tilt at the right angle in our car. It's a great car seat - but the bottom line is, if it doesn't fit well in your car, it's not going to be safe. I'd definitely recommend going to an inspection place to make sure it works in your car first. As far as using it for an infant, I've had friends who used it for newborns just fine. And, we probably would have had better luck if the seat had been installed properly in the first place, but I still think the seat would have been too big and stiff for a little newborn. anonymous
We tried to use the Britax Roundabout for our infant and found that it did not work as well as the infant carrier type. Firstly, the Roundabout facing backward and tilted back to accommodate an infant is VERY long and forced the front passenger seat into a position that was painfully (and dangerously) close to the dash in our Audi A4. Secondly, the infant carriers do seem to cradle the baby in a semingly more natural and comfortable shape. thirdly, it is nice to be able to transport a sleeping baby while they are still in the car seat by carrying the top portion of the baby carrier type. Our children stayed in the carrier for 12 months, then transferred to the Roundabout, and now our older has graduated at four years of age to the booster style. We have used only Britax for each and been very happy with the quality and comfort. Laura
Britax is a great for when your baby grows out of the tiny infant carseat. I put my kids in it at about 6 months and they stay there until close to three years. I have to say, I think you are making a HUGE mistake dismissing the infant carrier car seat. As far as I'm concerned (and every other parent I know agrees) it is indispensable. I never carried mine, but I put it into a snap 'n go. The day my 3 kids outgrew that seat I went into mourning. The first time you have to wake up a sleeping baby to pull her out of a car seat and into a stroller, you will understand why these items sell so very well. Ayelet
We bought the Roundabout for our son after doing very extensive research about car seats. By the way, we got it on sale at Lullaby Lane... check them out. We didn't want an infant carseat because we wouldn't be using it as a carrier (my husband has had wrist problems), and we knew we'd probably be having a very big baby. Low and behold, we had a heavy and extremely *long* baby... he would have outgrown an infant seat lengthwise (the length limit is generally 26'') before he was 3 months old. Needless to say, he always fit well into the Roundabout. If you have good reason to suspect that you'll have a baby on the large side, I'd definitely go with a convertible seat instead of an infant seat. We love our Roundabout, and it is very secure in our car... there's absolutely no wiggle whatsoever, and our son seems very comfortable. Kristine
I used the Britax Roundabout from the day I brought my son home and highly recommend it. It's a very safe and highly rated car seat. The key to it facing backward is the anchor tether which makes it very secure. However, not all cars have a good place to anchor the seat and some backseats may be too tight for it. When you decide to buy, have the store try it out in your car first. As for the size, I used a Nojo head rest for the first couple of months which worked well. Vicki
I would not recommend using a rear-facing, tethered Britax for very young infants. Although it would only matter in very severe forward collisions or rear collisions (which are less common), its important for the car seat to ''give'' towards the back of the car.

This is the same logic that recommends against putting children under one year in a forward facing position - their necks and spinal cords can get hurt. In the forward facing situation, this happens when the car stops suddenly (in the relatively common forward crash).

When a child is rear facing, this can happen when the car accelerates suddenly (is hit from behind) or, after a large forward crash, the car seat rebounds backwards. The Britax is tethered while rear facing, so a child is at risk. Now, the accelerations towards the rear are both less common and less severe, typically, than to the front. But, very young infants are more susceptible to the spinal cord problems. The relative risks are hard to determine, but an expert (Kathleen Weber) gave me the rule of thumb that she wouldn't recommend a child under 6 months in a rear-facing, tethered car seat. Again, though, it will only matter in severe rear crashes or very severe forward crashes (and depends on the size of your car, driving habits, etc.)

Unfortunately, I don't think you should use the Britax without tethering it while rear-facing, since that is the way that Britax has tested it. It was disconcerting to me that our (non- Britax) infant seat could rotate all the way up to the back of the rear seat, but for the issues above this is a good thing. Nate


We used the infant carrier until about 8 months, when our baby was too long for it. We found the infant carrier very convenient, as others have said, in case our baby fell asleep and we wanted to go into a store, restaurant, etc. What really made it convenient was using a snap'n go stroller. You can lift the infant seat out and put it straight into this stroller, then wheel the carrier around instead of carrying it. We use the Britax Roundabout now that she is older and wait until she wakes up to go into stores, or carry her to her crib when we get home. It is a great carseat too but we do miss the convenience of the infant seat. Diana
Just read the postings about the Britax round-about and wanted to add that we also loved it. We just used a nojo headrest at the beginning as did others who wrote. I mostly wanted to add that we always transferred our sleeping son from car seat to sling. If he woke at all, a bit of swaying or jiggling with him in the sling and he was fast asleep again. Once in the sling we'd either wear him or put him down in a bed from the sling. The latter is easy to do by laying down and unhooking the sling or slipping it off your neck. susan

Britax Marathon

2002

Hi - I just noticed recently that the Britax Marathon is now shipping. Has anyone gotten one yet? I would be interested in hearing opinons of what you like and what you don't like. We are considering it for our 4-year-old daughter who is petite and still in her Britax Freeway. She is 38 1/2 inches tall and 30 pounds and I figure the Marathon would probably last a good long time until she hits the maximum weight on it. As an aside, I would be curious to know if others with any kind of 5-point-harness booster seat (not car seat) have found their children unhappy in any way because their friends have the ''other kind'' of booster seat that buckles like grown-ups buckle up in the car. I would anticipate such protests with my daughter (not that she gets a vote when it comes to safety). Thanks. Want my kid safe and happy, too


I recently bought a marathon at rockridge kids in oakland, and it's fine. I had considered the britax husky (the 5-point harness booster that goes up to 80 lbs). Besides the fact that the husky was unavailable at the time, when I had tried the earlier model it was so huge it wouldn't fit in my car! The marathon is fine - somewhere between the roundabout and the husky. It isn't much different than the roundabout looks-wise or features-wise. The buckle is a little better to use, the belly pad worse (falls off all of the time) but no important differences. It does have the latch system if you have a new car (which I don't) but apparently you still can't use the latch over 40 lbs anyway. janet
I love our Britax Marathon. My son is very tall for his age (41 inches, just turned 3) and his shoulders were way past the top slot of our other two convertible (or is it combination?) seats, the Century NextStep and the Cosco Summit. He's too young and thin to use those seats as belt-positioning boosters, so I was stuck until the Marathon came out. It'll work for him as a five-point harness seat until he's something like 48 inches and 65 pounds. It feels more substantial than our other seats--basically just like the Roundabout but with a higher back. It's also more comfortable (at least, my son starts falling asleep as soon as he sits down--with the others, he might eventually fall asleep, but he looked totally uncomfortable) and more reclined, and it's easier to install. And the straps don't twist like the Summit's do--there's a rubber thingie on each strap to prevent twisting. Like the Roundabout, it has velcro on the arms so you can keep the harness out of the way. I have no complaints about this car seat--it's definitely worth the $250! Linda

Is the Britax worth it?

The post for a Britax car seat prompts me to ask: I just bought a Britax for my son, figuring the money was worth the extra safety, since "everyone" says they're the best. But the latest issue of consumer reports actually ranks them lower than one of the century models, and says that the tether can make safety worse, not better, in the rear facing position when attached toward the front of the car rather than "toward the rear". I realized I don't have anything solid to back up the word of mouth on Britax. Has anyone done the research enough to contradict Consumer Reports? and does anyone know how one could attach the tether, when the seat is rear facing, toward the back of the car? it seems physically impossible. I must say that I hope consumer reports doesn't have the full story, since otherwise I just spent an extra $100 for a less safe seat. Thanks for any information! Ann
As for if the Britax is worth it, that depends how worried you are about car accidents. I think the thing about the Britax that makes it "safer" is that it has passed the European safety tests as well as the ones in the US. In the book Baby Bargains they explain the difference between these two sets of regulations. Some of these differences are that in the US car seat manufacturers are on the honor system to test seats while in Europe the government does the testing. Also, in the US the tests are done on a flat bench seat with a 2 point seat belt (while most cars have a bucket seat with a three point seat belt) and only test the seats in head on collisions with dummies sized at 9 mos., 3 years and 6 years. In Europe they test with bucket seats, three point seat belts, they require side impact crash tests and use 6 sizes of crash dummies (newborn, nine month, one and a half year old, three year old, six year old and ten year old.) I think the reason the Britax didn't score so high in the Consumer Reports article is that they tested it without the tether and found that the infants head moved farther forward than the standards allowed. They then explain that if the tether is used the performance of the seat improves. Having said all this, we are simply trying to find a car seat that fits in the back of our car since proper installation is really the most important thing of all. Rose
I have the Britax roundabout carseat and am currently using it rear facing. I did not need to buy any additional anchor's for my car. There is a thether anchor strap that comes with the car seat (or purchased from Rockridge Kids) that enables you to use the hardware under the front seats as the anchor. It is quite simple to do. I am going to turn the seat around to forward facing soon and I did purchase an anchor from our car manufacturer (Ford) to use the thether. When it is forward facing, I'm not sure if the thether is really needed, or just more of an added safety measure, as I would imagine the seatbelt alone should be able to prevent any seat movement. Good Luck! Rachel
I highly recommend getting the Britax Roundabout car seat versus any other. After discussing car seats at length with the CHP and the NHTSA (?), I believe that Britax has the safest car seats on the market. I would also recommend contacting your local police station about where you can get the tether anchors installed. In addition, you can make an appointment with them to actually install the car seat for you...or you can go to one of the quarterly car seat checks that is open to the community. After having them install the car seat for my daughter, I was amazed at how many mistakes I made installing it, and therefore, would only trust them to do it now or in the future. Having two 250 pound policemen (who are trained to install car seats) put in your car seat is going to make it a lot tighter and safer than you could ever do...I know this from experience. Sherri

Britax compared to Century STE1000

2001

Re Car Seat for 10-month old: We got a Britax which we love, but got a Century STE1000 as a second seat. Pros: it is a fraction of the cost of a Britax (about $55 at Target), was highly rated by Consumer reports (I'm told) and is easy to install and relatively easy to clean (takes a bit of patience to take off the cover, but it washes in the machine and is quite easy to put back on). Cons: it's not as cushy as the Britax, you have to be patient with the straps so they don't twist, and it's less fun for the babe since it doesn't sit as high so they can't see out the car window as well (and our little guy is tall). If you can swing the Britax expense, we've found this is a good combination.


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