Nurseries and Baby Gear

Car Seat Preference

It's time to move my DD into her toddler car seat.  She is 15 months old and just under 21 pounds and almost 31 inches in height....

We are having a VERY hard time deciding what kind to get.  We currently use an Orbit car seat (as well as the stroller) and LOVE it.  I know there is an Orbit toddler car seat as well....this is one that we are looking at.  We are also looking at the Britax Marathon 70 and the Diono Radian RXT as well as the Recar Pro Sport Graco SmartSeat.  

 We are first time parents, new to this kind of seat and are so confused reading all the different reviews!! We only want to buy one really good seat if possible and just transition it between the two cars when necessary. We also travel a lot (by car) and want her to be comfortable.  We plan on rear-facing until at least 2, not sure if we will go beyond that yet.  

We also possibly want to use it while traveling by plane, and we want to have ease of use to install in rentals, cabs, and older cars that do not have LATCH systems (grandparents).  Can anyone reccomend any of the above from experience...or give me some comparison...any help would be appreciated!


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Re: Car Seat Preference

  • ebp913ebp913
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    I would take the SmartSeat off your list.  It's just not a good seat.  Recaro and the Britax tend to run short on legroom.  The Radian is what I would do from your list but a few other good seats to consider are the Foonf, Nextfit and Peg Perego convertible.  The Radian can have a tricky install so any of the other 3 I listed might be better for installing in various cars.  

    I am an avid car seat enthusiast and I think the Orbit seat costs way too much for what it is personally.  You could get that and 2 bases but the at that price, you mind as well have just gotten 2 seats.  

    I would get 2 seats.  Moving a convertible seat isn't fun and the more times you do it, the more likely you are to not do it correctly.  If your child rides in both cars pretty frequently, I would do 2 seats.  You could get away with 1 if you almost never use one of the cars.  

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  • The radian is a great seat, but not easy to install. Chicco Nextfit is not in your list, but it is one of the easiest convertible car seats to install that I have used. The britax is another good seat, easy to install, but has a shorter shell, so it will be outgrown quicker than other car seats.
  • We move our seat from car to car and have the Nextfit. I love everything about the seat. When we were seat shopping this was the only one that was not a pain to install correctly every time in 3 different cars.
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  • JKTTC1JKTTC1
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    We LOVE how easy our britax Boulevard is easy to install! Out of all the seats we have and grandparents, it was the best install and seemed to be the safest!
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  • Since you were the first to comment on the Orbit seat (which is the stroller system we currently have so we actually have two bases already)...knowing that we already have the bases and will only have to buy the seat itself...would you now reccomend this at all?  Our concern with this one is that it only uses the base rear-facing, so will still be annoying and difficult when ff and also does not convert to booster...so not very much bang for our buck....

     

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  • image ebp913:

    I would take the SmartSeat off your list.  It's just not a good seat.  Recaro and the Britax tend to run short on legroom.  The Radian is what I would do from your list but a few other good seats to consider are the Foonf, Nextfit and Peg Perego convertible.  The Radian can have a tricky install so any of the other 3 I listed might be better for installing in various cars.  

    I am an avid car seat enthusiast and I think the Orbit seat costs way too much for what it is personally.  You could get that and 2 bases but the at that price, you mind as well have just gotten 2 seats.  

    I would get 2 seats.  Moving a convertible seat isn't fun and the more times you do it, the more likely you are to not do it correctly.  If your child rides in both cars pretty frequently, I would do 2 seats.  You could get away with 1 if you almost never use one of the cars.  

     

    Sorry please see above post...I forgot to quote you!!!  

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  • Unless your child is petite, I would cross the britax seats off your list. Their current generation of convertible seats have very short shells, so they are outgrown sooner than most competitors. While I could get behind that if they were also less expensive, given their price tag that's ridiculous. My kids outgrew the older generation marathon (which has a shell that's 1" taller than the current generation) RF by 18 months and FF by 3.

    The recaro is reputed to have very little leg room so that wouldn't be my first choice either.

    The chicco nextfit is supposed to be fantastic, so I would look at that.

    I have two radians that my girls outgrew waiting for DS. I love them! My very tall, very long-torsoed girls who outgrew a marathon RF by 18 months made it to nearly 3 RF in the radian.

    The Foonf is an awesome seat but there's no way I can spend that much on a seat (I wish I could!). 

    The graco headwise/mysize/size4me also has a very tall shell.

    If you routinely use both cars you're absolutely going to want two seats. Moving seats often is known to result in sloppy installs since convertible seats aren't easy to install. That said, we can't fit all 3 kids in DHs car so we don't keep 3 seats in his car. The girls ride in it frequently, so we use seatbelt install on the bucket the rare times DS rides in it (I think he has been in it once). It may be possible to make sure that whoever has the baby has the car with the carseat. That's what we do.

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  • ebp913ebp913
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    image vicky7139:

    Since you were the first to comment on the Orbit seat (which is the stroller system we currently have so we actually have two bases already)...knowing that we already have the bases and will only have to buy the seat itself...would you now reccomend this at all?  Our concern with this one is that it only uses the base rear-facing, so will still be annoying and difficult when ff and also does not convert to booster...so not very much bang for our buck....

     

    I never knew that. Interesting.  I personally wouldn't want to carry the seat between cars even if you have the base.  It just seems like a pain. Then what if you have the seat and the other person needs to transport your child?  I don't know.  It just seems annoying.  The infant bucket makes more sense because the baby is IN the seat but it's not like you are going to carry the Orbit seat with your toddler in it.  

    It's not a bad seat at all but I just think there are more cost effective and practical options.  There would be a lot of planning involved if you are a 2 car family. 

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  • I have the Orbit Toddler seat as well. It's a great seat. DD is comfortable and it's very easy to install and use. The only negative is that it is only RF til 35lbs. I would like to ERF. In my other car I have a Foonf and love that as well. It's VERY easy to install. My only complaint is obviously after using the Orbit infant seat I got spoiled with the rotation and can't do that with Foonf. But, I still love it and would buy it again. I suggest either of those two.
  • ebp913ebp913
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    Penguingirl's list of seats is the same ones I would look at plus the Peg convertible. The Peg won't last as long as the Radian, Nextfit or Foonf but if you don't plan to RF til 4, that probably won't be a big concern for you.  
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  • image vicky7139:

    Since you were the first to comment on the Orbit seat (which is the stroller system we currently have so we actually have two bases already)...knowing that we already have the bases and will only have to buy the seat itself...would you now reccomend this at all?  Our concern with this one is that it only uses the base rear-facing, so will still be annoying and difficult when ff and also does not convert to booster...so not very much bang for our buck....

     



    Friend had the Orbit. They got the toddler seat for the stroller and found it was a pain because was so bulky for folding. They went with different brand carseat (not sure which).
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  • I have a question for those of you responding to the OP: where are you getting your information? I have spent hours doing online research and still don't know as much as some of you do! Just curious. Thanks!
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  • I don't respond but two great sites that are used a ton are carseat.org and Facebook group carseats for the Littles
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  • Of the seats you listed, the only one I would recommend for your child is the Diono Radian RXT. Your child is on the taller side so I'd nix the Britax and the Smart Seat. The Recaro has almost no legroom and is also quickly outgrown. 

    Seats not on your list that I'd recommend are the Graco Size4Me, My Size, or Headwise 70 or the Chicco Nexfit. 

    I'll also echo previous posters in saying that you'll probably want to get 2 car seats. You can get 2 of the same or you can invest in a more expensive one for your main vehicle and a less expensive one for the other vehicle. 
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