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Car Seat.Org - Carseat, Automobile & Child Passenger Safety Community Forums


CAR SEATS - General Child Safety Seat Questions, Help and Advice>True Fit, Boulevard, Roundabout 50 - Recommendations?
texasben 10:25 AM 06-08-2010
We are trying to decide on a convertible car seat and struggling to decide between the True Fit and the Britax set of the Advocate, Boulevard and Roundabout 50. Our daughter is 10 mos. and about 50% for both height and weight. From what I have read they are all quality car seats and I don't forsee the weight limits being an issue for our daughter which is why we are also looking at the Roundabout 50. My main concern is if the True Fit will fit in our 2007 Toyota Camry as I have read that it can be problematic in certain cars but haven't seen anything specific to the new model Camry.

We are also expecting our second in Dec. so will need it to fit behind the passenger or driver in order to get two car seats in the back seat.

Anyone have experience with the True Fit or recommendations amongst this group?
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cpsaddict 02:52 PM 06-08-2010
I would not get the Advocate because it's really a waste of money. The side impact things are only for someone riding next to the car seat and don't add to the safetyofthe child in the car seat itself. I have the RA50 and love it. Nice harness adjuster, easy installation. The True Fit is nice because it has built-in lockoffs, but I don't like the harness on it. The RA50 has less leg room than the True Fit and the headrest can be left off the True Fit if your dd is under 22lbs. Honestly, either the True Fit or the RA50 are good choices. Me personally? I would go with the RA50.
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rachelandtyke 03:12 PM 06-08-2010
I now have all 3 for rf DS (TF, Blvd, RA50) . . .

We have rf the TF and Blvd both outboard in my parents 2005 camry with tons of room for the passenger. We have also done a rf TF outboard with a ff TF center and a rf TF outboard with a Snugride center. (driver outboard is left open for an adult).

For an older baby, the Brtiax seats can be as upright at 30 degrees and the TF can be as upright as 35 degrees. This means both take up much less room than when used for an infant (and usually take up less room than an infant bucket).

The RA50 and Blvd are the same shell and take up the same amount of space front to back (I have them installed side by side in my van right now.) I measured the seating/leg area and got the RA50 to have about an inch or so more room, but it might be because I have an older Blvd with the 33 lb rf limit. Not sure if it changed at all over the years.

I love my Blvd, but it is $$$. If the seat is going to stay in and not be moved, I'd say go for the RA50 or TF. Out of all, the Blvd is the easiest to take in and out and change frequently (not that the others are difficult) due to the 2 LATCH connectors and built in lockoffs that are easily accessible.

Here is a cut and paste of a comparison I made between the Blvd and TF a while back:
OK, I'll bite. I got a Blvd for DD when I moved her out of the bucket. She was in it rfing until she was 4y4m and outgrew it by weight, then she was ffing in it until I decided to move DS out of his bucket and I put him in the Blvd and moved her into the TF. I bought extra TF to keep at my parents' house, so she had also riden in that rfing in my parents' car and now rides in it ffing in their car, but DS rides in one rfing in their car (without the headrest as he is still quite small). Oh, and we have a 2001 T&C, but we have captain's chairs instead of a bench in the middle.

I LOVE my Blvd. I am so happy DS is in it and sad it will expire next year. When it does, I will have a TF to put him in. I honestly have tried to figure out a way to justify another Blvd (since I could pass it down to another sibling for rfing potentially) since I love it so much, but I can't justify the cost when the TF is a perfectly good seat, he does fit well in it, and it fits our long term needs better with a lower cost (also has a year longer life).

Here are some of the highlights for me of the two seats (and I know you have a Blvd, so know some of this info, but might be helpful for someone else thinking about the 2):

Rfing limits - both rf to the same weight (35 lbs), but the TF has a taller shell with headrest attached, so can fit a taller, skinnier kid rfing (which very well be my DS in a couple of years)

FFing limits - both ff to the same weight (65 lbs), but the TF has taller top harness slots, so it can keep a taller, skinnier kid ffing in a harness longer (my kids are low on the weight, so will outgrow the seat by height not weight)

LATCH connectors - they have the same nice lower anchor connectors, which I like. The Blvd has 2 different ones, one on each side, so you adjust them independently. The TF has one long one with the adjuster on one side. It is just as easy to adjust and having one over the other doesn't phase me at all. Both are not difficlut to move from position ffing/rfing. As far as the top tether, the TF has a little catch on the back of the seat for the tether to attach to when not in use, which I like better than the little bag the Blvd has.

Lock-offs - the Blvd lock offs you only use when you are installing with a seatbelt and they are easy to access. The TF has lockoffs that you must use for either a LATCH or seatbelt installation. They are located under the cover, but the cover is easy to move in those areas to access it. The lockoffs are easy to use, I'm just not used to having to use them all the time! I have installed the seat ffing with LATCH and seatbelt, but only with LATCH for rfing.

rfing considerations - the Blvd has much less leg room for ERF compared to the TF. When DD was in the Blvd, she had to put her legs over the sides, but in the TF, she was able to have them criss crossed right in the seat and was able to move them more during the trip. This is a big plus for us and one reason (besides higher harness slots) that I won't get another Blvd when ours expires. The TF does not tether rf like the Blvd does. The TF can be used without the headrest for babies less than 22 lbs and who have more than an inch of shell over their heads. I like this a lot, as DS doesn't seem lost in the seat. I also really like the infant insert it comes with. That can be used up to 22 lbs IIRC. There is also a little head insert thing that my DD likes. It doesn't seem to do a lot, but she likes it. My DS did not fit in the Blvd until 6-7 months, but would have fit in the TF much sooner with the lower harness slots and infant insert. I have only installed both rfing for older babies, so have not needed to do the 45 degree angle. I have been able to get the 30-35 degree installs rfing with no trouble. The TF has a foot on the bottom that you flip one way or the other for ff or rf and it is easy to use, plus does not have any mechanism to potentially break or anything that needs to lock into place.

space in car - both seem big and wide. The TF sits lower in the seat, so impairs my view much less. I can install the TF in the middle of my back bench and an average adult female can sit on either side easily. The rfing TF without headrest takes up less room, and both take up about the same amount I think when the TF has the headrest attached. I have had the TF installed with and without headrest and the Blvd behind the passenger seat in my parent's camry and it fit fine with lots of room for the adult passenger and both behind my DH's driver seat in the van and he fit OK, too, and he's tall.

covers - TF cover is very easy to take off if needed, I have never tried the Blvd cover, but it seems less easy. My Blvd covers seems much cushier, but the TF cover is still soft (and no mesh) and my DD hasn't complained (and she is picky!)

adjusting - harness height can be adjusted for either without having to uninstall the seat, which I really like. You need 2 hands for the TF one, but it is faster than the Blvd knob. The harness tension adjuster is a little harder to reach rfing on the TF, but I really have had no issues with it and really haven't needed to adjust it much (probably because of the continuous harness).

other thoughts - TF is MUCH lighter, so easier if you need to travel. Both can attach to my gogokidz.

OK, I think those are the main points comparing the 2. They are both great seats, but really the TF does more for the $ and it's less expensive and will last longer. HTH!

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yetanotherjen 03:18 PM 06-08-2010
I have a blvd and a RA50 and I like both of them for different reasons. I like having the head wings on the blvd, I like the hugs and I like the harness heigh adjust, I like that it has built in lock offs where as the RA50 comes with a locking clip (not that you need it unless you have seat belts that don't lock). The RA50 has three crotch buckle positions instead of one, the pistachio cover is amazingly soft (lol) and it actually takes me less time to install this seat than the blvd.

The True Fit is taller and will last longer
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rachelandtyke 03:18 PM 06-08-2010
differences between the Blvd and RA50 (besides ff weight limits):

RA50 does not come with harness strap covers (for the shoulders) or HUGS, Blvd does
RA50 does not have built in lock offs, Blvd does
RA50 has one LATCH connector strap with adjustor on one side, Blvd has two LATCH connector straps with adjustor on each side
RA50 has 3 crotch buckle positions, Blvd has one
RA50 has 4 harness height positions, Blvd has infinte hieght adjust, so can do any height, but I think you lose a 1/2 inch or more in overall harness height because of this
RA50 is lighter, so in that regards is a better travel seat for flying, even though the Blvd is a faster install in another car
RA50 cover is slightly different for the harness tension adjust (easy to access, but harder for the child to reach) than my Blvd BUT the newer 35 lb Blvds with the new headwings might have this same redesign
Blvd has headwings, RA50 does not

I think those are the main ones that stuck out to me . . .
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texasben 06:15 PM 06-08-2010
Your responses are very helpful, thanks! Sounds like the TF has a good feature set and more longevity at a lower price then the Blvd and it also sounds like it should fit in our cars just fine. The only other seat we were considering is the Sunshine Kids Radian. It also appears to get very good marks. Any insight into the Radian?

Also, this is probably a silly question but what do dd, ds and dh stand for? I assume it's something with daughter, son, etc. but can't figure it out.

Thanks!
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jjordan 06:28 PM 06-08-2010
Originally Posted by texasben:
Your responses are very helpful, thanks! Sounds like the TF has a good feature set and more longevity at a lower price then the Blvd and it also sounds like it should fit in our cars just fine. The only other seat we were considering is the Sunshine Kids Radian. It also appears to get very good marks. Any insight into the Radian?

Also, this is probably a silly question but what do dd, ds and dh stand for? I assume it's something with daughter, son, etc. but can't figure it out.

Thanks!
dd = dear daughter
ds = dear son
dh = dear husband

ETA - depending on how much growing space your daughter has in her infant seat, you may want to wait a couple of months and see if one of the new Britax convertibles looks good. The new versions (of Britax marathon, boulevard, advocate, and roundabout50) are due to come out in August.
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msg221 02:22 AM 06-09-2010
Originally Posted by cpsaddict:
I would not get the Advocate because it's really a waste of money. The side impact things are only for someone riding next to the car seat and don't add to the safetyofthe child in the car seat itself. I have the RA50 and love it. Nice harness adjuster, easy installation. The True Fit is nice because it has built-in lockoffs, but I don't like the harness on it. The RA50 has less leg room than the True Fit and the headrest can be left off the True Fit if your dd is under 22lbs. Honestly, either the True Fit or the RA50 are good choices. Me personally? I would go with the RA50.
Actually, according to Britax, the side impact cushions do reduce crash forces by 50% for the child riding in the seat (as well as protect passengers riding next to it).

http://www.britaxusa.com/safety-cent...ion-technology

That was the first time I have seen the video in the above link. I believe they are comparing the Advocate's SIP to the Complete Air's. That is what it looked like to me anyway.

Just be aware that they do take up more room (I had one, so I know).
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texasben 12:00 PM 06-09-2010
We decided to go with the TF Premiere. We were able to get a good price from diapers.com w/ the price match. Probably in the market for a second carseat in the fall so this will give us a chance to evaluate the TFP to see if we would want another or try a Radian or Marathon. Thanks for everyone's input.
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