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  #1  
Old 02-22-2013, 10:32 AM
Danni Danni is offline
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Default Hey car seat techs! Give us the best choices for each stage!

I know a lot depends on your car, your budget etc. But can you give us a list for great choices for each category.

I know Laurel has mentioned some of her top choices for a few categories and I thought it could be nice to have a list in one place!
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2013, 01:55 PM
kesmeya kesmeya is offline
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Off the top of my head

Infant bucket I would go with the Chicco Keyfit 30
Convertible = Radian, but lately I really like the look of the head wise/size for me/ Mysize 70 from Graco

Combination Harness to booster the Frontier hands down.

On stats alone I like the Parkway as a booster but I haven't used it yet.
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This list of course does not take into account budget, vehicle fit, or space concerns.
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Last edited by kesmeya; 02-22-2013 at 01:56 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost by CDN
  #3  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:15 PM
Jenga Jenga is offline
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I do no think there is a "best choice" in each range. Is there a best choice for a certain kid in a certain price range? Yes. There is a list of commonly recommended seats by price range HERE. It's a rather long list, and that's not a bad thing.


There is no onesize fits all "this one is the best hands down" recommendation and I am not comfortable listing a couple seats singled out as "being the best" so I am not going to do that.
~~~~~~~
More depends on the kid and their expected rate of growth than the car itself. However extremely small cars call for small car seats and your range is a lot limited. Budget is a big factor. Look at the list I posted, it breaks the most commonly recommended seats down by price.
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Last edited by Jenga; 02-22-2013 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost by CDN
  #4  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:56 PM
Jenga Jenga is offline
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But if you're asking about my personal favorites? And WHY I like them?

Infant seats: I like the Snugride 30 because it is narrow and has generous limits. I like the Snugride 32 because it has lockoffs on the base but it isn't as narrow.

Same with the Chicco Keyfit, it also has lockoffs and has generous limits while still being narrow.

I like the Mico and Prezi as well, but I haven't played with them.

Under 100$ I recommend the Safety 1st Comfy Carry. It fits small babies and it is not a huge seat. Easily found for around 60-80$ on sale.

Convertibles: I like the Graco Size4me/Mysize70/Headwise but many people have had issues with the harness on those seats. It is somewhat narrow, up on a base so it puzzles well with combination seats and boosters, has an extremely tall shell RF (higher than any other on the market) and it isn't over $200.

The Myride isn't a bad seat but it is is wide, it takes up a lot of space, and it is outgrown more quickly than the Mysize.

The Cosco Scenera is OK, good value seat. I'd go with the 40lb version or choose the APT. The Scenera is not huge but requires pool noodles or rolled towels, the APT is larger and requires the same but should get kids to at least 3 RF.

I don't dislike Britax seats, but they are not for tall kids at all. The shells will be outgrown sooner for taller kids, and they offer less legroom than other seats at comparable prices. That isn't a safety concern, but parents don't like it.

I like the Radians but they are hard to fit in some cars because of the angle they naturally have to be in. The angle adjuster isn't for newborns, so it can be hard to use them for newborns in some cars. They are great ERF seats but they can be difficult to install and the ratcheting harness adjuster is annoying.

I like the Chicco Nextfit but it isn't out yet, it seems like a great seat and I want to know more about it.

I like the Foonf but it does have limitations, the biggest obstacle is the price. It's over $400.


Combination seats : Nautilus/Argos. The Argos is the no-rethread version of the Nauti. makes a good booster, decent for most sized kids.

Frontier is a good option for most larger kids but it can be a bear to install in some cars and it is huge, so it may not fit in smaller cars.

Harmony Defender is a good option under $100 but it has a short crotch strap and that seems to be a problem for some kids. .

Recaro Prosport is outgrown sooner than the Frontier (at the same price) but it is narrow and if you have space concerns it can be a good option. The belt path in the back can bother some kids.

Secure Kids 300/400 is a good option, seems to fit well in booster mode and works in harness mode to 65lbs. It's not too expensive, so that is a plus.

The Maestro is good for lightweight kids (harness maxes out at 50lbs) but it outgrown in booster mode before kids are done with boosters so they need a dedicated booster after that.


Boosters: Evenflo Big kid - narrow for small spaces and fits most kids well.

Graco Turbobooster - (with or without safety surround or latch capabilities) also fits most kids well but is not as narrow.

Harmony Dreamtime - narrow and tall, inexpensive.

Britax Parkway - tall but more expensive. Has an option for LATCH with the SGL.

Diono Monterrey - has good height but is wide and might not puzzle well.

There are many other options for high back booster seats and for no back seats as well. Any of them are appropriate given that they provide a good belt fit and the child can sit properly in the seat.

No back boosters for small spaces - the Evenflo, the Harmony and the Bubble Bum.
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:43 PM
kesmeya kesmeya is offline
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I would just like to clarify that this was my short list of personal favorites. They may not work for every person in every situation.
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:19 PM
urchin_grey urchin_grey is offline
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Not a tech anymore, but when I was, most of the parents I dealt with were very low income (or otherwise just not interested in spending much). So my "most recommended" list would be Cosco Scenera, Evenflo Maestro, Graco Turbo Booster. I also steered parents AWAY from the Graco Comfort Sport and Dorel booster combo things (I don't even know the proper name for them haha).
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:42 PM
Katiebear Katiebear is offline
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Ha! I was just coming to ask about the harmony dreamtime. Ha ha. Awesome. I had never seen it before. Is it better/worse/equal to the graco turbo ride?
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:51 PM
urchin_grey urchin_grey is offline
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I like I like Harmony. I recommend their backless booster quite often as well (it's only $13.50 and I'd rather see a 4yo in a backless than nothing at all).

I'm not sure how the Dreamtime compares to the Turbo, but I know my nephew got one when he turned 5 and it fit him very well.
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Last edited by urchin_grey; 02-22-2013 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost by CDN
  #9  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:51 PM
kesmeya kesmeya is offline
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It is shorter and won't last as long as the turbo booster. There are other taller HBB out there.
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2013, 06:43 PM
Jenga Jenga is offline
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I like the harmony and it is pretty tall, just not as tall as some other seats. It is lightweight and narrow, though. It will work for some kids.
~~~~~~~
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Last edited by Jenga; 02-22-2013 at 06:43 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost by CDN
  #11  
Old 02-22-2013, 06:56 PM
urchin_grey urchin_grey is offline
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Yup, pretty sure I saw it at Target the other day. -_-
The harness height on that thing drives me up the wall.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:00 PM
Jenga Jenga is offline
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Walmart sells it for a low low $99.

>.<
~~~~~~~
I narrow my eyes at that one and the AOE/clones. I hates it. Hates it my precious.
~~~~~~~
And DH is all "don't be so intense!" and I'm all "hates it" :angry face:
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2013, 07:13 PM
urchin_grey urchin_grey is offline
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Yeah, and let me guess... its right next to the Scenera and APT?

You can stick a pretty cover on it, Graco, but you shall not fool me. Hrmph.
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2013, 07:19 PM
kesmeya kesmeya is offline
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I was recommending carseats on a FB post the other day and a friend of theirs chimed in with "we love our AOE" When I responded with "DON"T BUY THAT" they asked why....hummm let me count the ways!!

I also despise the crappysport. I convinced my grandmother to give me her old one to trade in on an infant seat for #3 even though it wasn't expired because I hated the idea of them using it long after it was outgrow with my aunts son and well they didn't need it for my kids they all came with their own seats =)
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2013, 07:19 PM
Jenga Jenga is offline
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FTR, the reason why I hate the AOE is that the older ones cannot be used in the highest two height positions in harness mode leading to misuse. Also, they're a bitch to install and they are easily outgrown. Plus, they make a deadly booster 99.99% of the time. Not a good option.


I dislike the comfort sport because it is outgrown very quickly and for the price it should last a lot longer. For 50$ more you can get a My Ride, which is wide but lasts a lot longer. A parent might buy it when their baby outgrows an infant seat only to find that they don't get much use out of it at all and they're right back at the store buying a new seat. This leads to babies in boosters too early.

I think that when people hear "I like X seat!" or "I hate Y!" it should be followed by "because..."
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