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Did anyone look at these two careseats for their 3 year old? DS #2 is now needing a bigger seat so my plan is to give him my older son's Britax marathon and get my older son a new seat that will last him forever. I thought I would get the Graco Nautilus but then saw the Sunshine Kids Monterey and really like it. The concern I had was that it seems like it does not lock into a position. So, if it reclined a little, itcould push forward. I am sure I am not making sense but I am hoping someone has looked at both seats and can help me
Re: Sunshine Kids Monterey vs. Graco Nautilus
The Montery is a booster with use for just a seatbelt, and not recommended for 3 year olds (4 years and 40 lbs is the generally recognized minimum for safety, even if the seat says 30 lbs). Even most 4 year olds are not mature enough to use a booster properly. The Nautilus is an ok seat, but it has a really short shell. Keep in mind that most kids will reach the height limit on seats before the weight limit, so a 65 lb limit on the harness is great but the average child will outgrow the height limit on this particular seat by about 3.4-4 years old and then they will have to switch to booster mode before they're ready.
For a 3 year old, there are several options to keep them safely in a 5 point harness longer. I would still get a convertible seat. The Sunshine Kids Radian 80 or XT, and the First years TrueFit will get most kids to proper booster age.They have the highest harness and shell heights on the market.
I have both a Radian and a TrueFit and my taller than average 4 year old still has a LOT of room left before she reaches the height limits on these seats- probably another 3 years.
Emilie--The nautilus has a shell and top harness higher than the radian or true fit, the harness by at least an inch! Ethan is about the size of a 5 year old and has about 2 inches left in this seat harnessed. You must have it confused with something else.
I would get a seat like the graco nautilus or britax frontier at this point. The frontier makes a far better booster than the nautilus, but both are fine seats.
You could get a convertible seat, as well, like the radian. This makes okay sense if you're planning on having a baby to hand the seat down to in about 3 years when DD is at a good booster age. For now, she is way too young for the monterey.
Opps! You're right, I was definitely not thinking of the Nauti. Sorry!! Carry on
Hmm...I am surprised to hear that about teh Monterey...I wonder why they didn't tell me that at the store. They didn't ask me my sons age (he was with me) but he is 38lbs and 42 inches tall....so maybe he is big enough despite his age? Back to do more research. I tried him in the Radian 65 but it is so slim that he was not comfortable at all already, so I can imagine it would just get worse as he grew. If I were to go that route I would just get another Britax Marathon (what he is in now) but I am thinking he will outgrow that in a few years anyway....if not earlier, because of his height.
People at the stores do not know a lot about car seat safety. Size has nothing to do with it. Really, neither does age. They must meet a minimum size, but the biggest part is maturity. There is no 3 year old that could sit correctly in a booster 100% of the time, and that is the requirement to ride in a booster. That doesn't typically happen until 5.5 or 6, sometimes later.
My son is 3.5, 44 or 45 inches, and 42 lbs and not anywhere close to being in a booster. It's simply not as safe for a child to ride in a booster at this age or size.
I'd suggest looking at car-safety.org for more information, and asking on car-seat.org. Please, please, please don't put him in the monterey or any other non-harnessed seat right now.