Forward-Facing Car Seat
July 12, 2004 3:45 PM   Subscribe

Parentfilter (which would be a nice idea, btw). The Boy has grown out of his backward facing car seat (Jersey law is 20 lbs and one year. He'll meet both in 12 days), and we need to upgrade into something forward facing. I've hit a bunch of sites comparing the safety and prices, but I'm hoping for advice from people using them. Who makes the best car seat for children?
posted by FunkyHelix to Shopping (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We've used the Cosco Alpha Omega since our daughter was six months old. The five point harness is easier for us and more comfortable for her than the bulky overhead get up of the previous car seat. (I believe the five point system is safer, too.) The weight limit for backward facing is higher than most other car seats, in case you want to keep him in that position longer (which we did with our daughter) and after he outgrows the forward facing position, it converts into a booster seat. There are cheaper seats out there, but as we can use this seat up to 80 pounds, we thought it a good investment. It's easy to use, adjust, and clean, and aside from the occasional twisted strap, we've had no problems with it.
posted by Ruki at 4:14 PM on July 12, 2004

I can't name the manufacturer as I don't remember it, but yes, buy something with a five point harness and which allows you to use a tether. You may want something which reclines, as well.
posted by majick at 4:33 PM on July 12, 2004

I've always used Graaco car seats, and I find them to be really secure *and* easily cleaned. The model I'm using now has a strap that actually attaches to the frame of the car and a five point restraint. It comes with cupholders, and the straps are very easily adjustable. Like Ruki, the only problem we've had with it is the occasional twisted strap, which is fixes easily enough.
posted by headspace at 4:45 PM on July 12, 2004

Whatever you buy, make sure that the shoulder strap tongues click into the crotch strap individually, unlike some where you have to put both shoulder strap tongues into the buckle at once. If you have ever tried to strap a reluctant 2 year-old into a car seat, you will know why.
posted by dg at 5:26 PM on July 12, 2004

i'd have to second the folks that go with the five-point harness instead of the overhead pulldown plastic thingy. they're harder to deal with, but come on...they just scare me when i envision collisions, you know?

anyway, i've moved on from a forward facing car seat to a forward facing booster seat... both had five-point harnesses.
posted by taumeson at 5:29 PM on July 12, 2004

We went Britax all the way. (I'm sure you'll find a lot of detractors, especially considering the relative costs compared to other brands, but they are _solid_, and they're built to completely disassemble, sanitize, and re-assemble very straightforwardly. We've tried others, and we really like them a lot.)

No matter what the brand, though, we initially went from the standard car seat to a booster for our oldest--which just allows a normal seat belt to strap him in--and then went back to larger car seat once we realized that although he was physically big enough for a booster, he was really too young to really stay safely in place. He would undo the seat belt way too easily, and more importantly, when he would relax or go to sleep, he would slump off the sides of the booster in a way that really didn't seem safe.

That larger car seat is a big piece of equipment, but it uses the LATCH clamps, holds him very solidly in place, and if he falls asleep on a longer trip, he's still safely and securely cradled by the seat. Even now, when he can actually strap himself in all alone and let himself out, it's comforting to keep him securely tied down with a five-pointer while we're enroute, and we've relegated the "booster" to occasional use when he's in Grandma/Grandpa's car, etc.

(Oh yeah, and to second dg's point, the newer Britaxes all allow the two straps to click in separately--the older ones made you fit the two halves together in a little kind of puzzle before you could snap them in, and it's a total pain in the neck.)
posted by LairBob at 7:07 PM on July 12, 2004

the older ones made you fit the two halves together in a little kind of puzzle before you could snap them in

I'll have to say though, mastering that with my nieces was quite a point of pride.

For our daughter, we're moving to the Britax. As noted, expensive but solid.
posted by jalexei at 7:19 PM on July 12, 2004

My wife is downright anal about car seats. She combs mama message boards, safety warnings, etc etc. She says the Britax Marathon is the way to go. Safety ratings out the wazoo and it will hold up to a 60 lb kid, pretty much as long as you will ever need a car seat. You can rear face it too up to 33 pounds so if you have another you can use it also. The roundabout is another good one from Britax that can rear face to 30 pounds and forward face to 45 pounds and is a little cheaper. Its easy to get a good tight install in most vehicles with a Britax too. Whichever model you get Britax is definitely the way to go.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 7:34 PM on July 12, 2004

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