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Car Seats for Toddlers
I am getting ready to buy a new car seat for my 11 month old. I
keep hearing about Britex and while doing the research I can not
figure out why they are $100 or $150 better than the other ones
that seem to fit my needs and have so many of the features that
people keep raving about. (E.G. The harness is controlled by a
roll switch, baby can be left rear facing in a RECLINED position
for up to 30lbs Very important to me)When I have questioned
people I know that have these car seats the overwhelming response
I get is that everyone likes them and there is an assumption
that because they are more expensive they MUST be best. But when I look at consumer
reports and AAP reccomendations, they
speak well of Gracco and Evenflo.....ANy one have any REAL reason
I should spend the extra money? OR experiences with the less
expensive ones that bear sharing? Good or bad? Also one friend of
mine said her Britex isn't convertible? Are there some that go
from this stage to booster seat that I'm unaware of??? HELP!
Thanks in Advance.
Hi there, we've been using a Britax Roundabout with our *big* 7 1/2 month-old
since she was born. I did all the research too and decided to get the expensive
seat after 1) figuring that we'd have a big kid, and it wasn't worth getting the
carrier seat only to replace it a quarter of the way to two years old, and 2)
more important: recommendations from two extremely safety-minded cousins, one of
whom is an ER doctor and sees lots of car accident victims. Here's why I think
people like them better, besides their excellent rating -- my conclusion after
our girl sat in similarly-rated 5-40 lb rear-to-front convertible seats made by
Cosco and Graco when visiting grandparents. The Britax is shaped so that your kid
sits securely, no matter how little they may be. It's narrower at the place where
your kids waist/hips end up when they grow, so when their shoulders are narrow,
there's less room to wiggle. We never even really needed to put rolled towels in
there. I know you're shopping for an 11-month-old, not a newborn, but that's what
I've noticed with our daughter. You might want to look at a Marathon or something
even bigger that will grow with your kid. I think that Rockridge Kids would let
you sit your kid down in their display models so you could see which one to get.
happy britax purchaser
I have often wondered the same thing about the Britax carseats. They are very
expensive, and the price isn't backed up by the consumer reports crash tests. We
got the Evenflo, which is always ranked higher than or the same as the Britax,
and costs less than 1/3 of the price. When I asked around, I found that people
assumed that because Britax was more expensive, it had to be the ''best'' or that
people got the Britax because everyone else had it. In any case, we've loved our
Evenflo so much that we got a second one for our second child. It can be used
facing and reclines- in fact, we used this carseat for each of our children from
birth, and we were able to keep our taller / heavier than average children rear
facing until 14 or 15 months. Happy Carseat Owner for $70
One of the main reasons I bought Britax after going through a few
carseats was comfort for my daughter on long car rides. She used
to complain that her bottom was hurting on longer car trips. When I took a look
under the carseat cover, I realized there was
minimal padding and she was pretty much sitting on hard plastic
and then there are also parts where the plastic is shaped so that
there are like holes (kind of hard to explain). I looked
everywhere and all carseats were the same. Britax was the only
one I found that had a layer of padding and also used styrofoam
to fill those holes so that it was an even surface. I also find
that the straps for the britax tend to get tangled up less
frequently. Finally, I feel that the covers look better longer
and hold up to spills and cleaning a little better. I don't know
if that justifies $100 more, but for me it did. I am very happy
with my Britax carseats
We thought the same thing -- can the Britax really be THAT much better than the
others? -- but we bought the Britax Boulevard after test-installing the less
expensive seats in our car. All cars are different, but at least in our station
wagon it was much easier to install properly than the others were. So we paid
for ease of use and a good tight fit -- the best safety features you can have.
(We also got a great price online, at Amazon I think, on a discontinued fabric.)
By the way, a convertible seat is one that can be installed rear-facing and
forward facing; it has nothing to do with booster seats. Our Britax is the
larger size and can accommodate taller and heavier kids than most convertible
seats, so we will use it in place of a booster for years to come, another
economy. Nicole R.
Probably not exactly the advice you are looking for but I did a lot of research
on the Britax. One of the tools I used was Epinions.com. Consumers like you and
I post opinions of products they buy. I was seriously considering a Evenflo
Triumph as a second carseat. I already had a used Britax Roundabout that I
really liked. As with many products I sort by highest rating and then lowest.
Many people had similar concerns in the lowest category. They said that it was
very hard to adjust the straps and entire seat needed to come out. I knew that
would be an issue for me so decided to continue w/ the Britax (which I still
love). I bought two used Britax, one was stolen w/ my car. Thus, had to buy
second new one. One thing I considered is that I can probably recoup some (maybe
nearly 1/2) of the cost if I sell the seat later
We have both a Britax Marathon and an Evenflo Titan. The Britax
was a very generous gift, we bought the Titan because the Britax
is way too huge to be practical for traveling--something we do
with our daughter several times a year.
Here are my opinions about the pros and cons:
Britax: Seems to be a very comfortable ride--much more
comfortable than the Evenflo. My 18-month-old almost never falls
asleep in the Evenflo. She does still fall asleep in the Britax.
She's also less likely to fight getting into it. However, even
though it is FAA-approved (most five-point harness carseats are),
it's far too big and unweildy to travel with if you plan to use
the car seat in an airplane. We bought the Evenflo so we wouldn't
have to muscle it through any more airports or onto any more planes.
Evenflo: It's a manageable size to travel with, but overall if I
were looking for a second carseat again, I'd try to find another
brand. Biggest con--the straps are actually one long strap that
connects underneath the seat, which means that every time our
daughter gets out of her car seat she pulls one strap longer than
the other and thus it has to be readjusted every time she gets
into the car. The sides also seem to get uneven as we ride, so
sometimes when I take her out she's in a bit sideways, obviously
being pinned down on one side. Before I bought this carseat, I
wouldn't have given this design feature a second thought, but it
turns out it's a really bad idea. The posture in the seat also
looks pretty uncomfortable.
I hope this helps
We have two Britax Marathons and they seem very comfortable and
safe for our big boys. One reason I got them was because our
boys are tall, and they go to the largest height for a
I did notice that Britax came out with a Fisher Price car seat
this year that is more reasonably priced, the Safe Voyage Deluxe
Convertible Car Seat. They have it on Babycenter for $144, plus
free shipping. Maybe this would be a good compromise
My son is just a couple of pounds from outgrowing his Britax Roundabout. I don't
think he is ready for a booster seat. Also I would like to keep him in a 5 pt. harness
for another couple of years. We travel a lot and the bulk of the Britax Marathon just
seems overwhelming. Has anyone tried the Radian Car seat from Sunshine Kids? It
looks like it will meet all our needs, but I've read that it is very difficult
using seatbelts. (Latch seems to work great.) I'd appreciate your comments or
suggestions for other alternatives.
Try the Cosco (not Costco) Summit. Available at Rockridge Kids for about $60? I can't
remember. But, it's got the five-point harness for now and can be removed when he's more
responsible - about age 4? (Depends on the kid, I guess.) Ask for Christian. He's the best
and he'll even install it for you!
-Love RR Kids for Carseats!
We use the Ride Ryte booster and Kid Y Harness
car seats for 40-60 lb. Kids
From: Wendy (8/98)
We just went thru the "ordeal" of purchasing a forward-facing car seat for
our daughter (now 1 year), so maybe some of what I learned might be
Britax is considered one of THE best carseats on the market; they are new to
the US (only been available for a year or two), but have been in the
European market for quite a few years. They are designed to meet/exceed
European standards (re: height/weight), which are actually 'higher' than US
standards... kids are expected to be in REAR-FACING carseats until at least
30 lbs, instead of 20, and in some sort of carseat/booster seat until 5
years of age (instead of 4 yrs/40 inches). Or, so I've been told, but by
multiple sources, so I'm comfortable that it is reasonably accurate.
I looked at many carseats, and kept coming back to the Britax... it's a bit
more pricey, but seemed WELL worth it. They make a booster-seat for kids
that are bigger (both height and weight) that seemed MUCH more comfortable
and well-made (and easier to install) that some of the others I saw
(Century, Evenflo) -- but, since that wasn't what I was looking for, I
didn't pursue this style, so unfortunately, I can't recall the model name.
If you have the time, I would take a trip to Lullaby Lane, out near SFO (San
Bruno Ave) -- their staff is very well-informed, and are ALWAYS happy to
spent time talking to you about the various carseats (as well as other items
they carry). If you've done some prelim research, it helps; otherwise, you
can expect to spend at least an hour, probably more, learning about the
various models. But, it is well worth it!
Anyway, hope this helps! Happy shopping....
From: Charlotte (9/98)
The Britax Roundabout is available at the new Berkeley Baby store in
Berkeley for $189. I like the store and the owner a lot.
this page was last updated: Jul 29, 2007
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