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Old 12-09-2008, 01:00 PM   #1
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Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

I recently installed my younger son's new Nautilus in my car (Volvo XC70) and while it feels like a tight installation when I try to move it at the belt path, it doesn't seem as tight and wants to move at the front of the carseat, like a sliding motion, in both side to side and forward directions. It isn't a huge amount but I don't understand why it is doing that?

Also, I have the harness set on the second from top slot and this seemed fine when I first set the seat up for him but this am when I put him in, it seemed like the harness was coming from below his shoulders and then after we arrived at our destination it was slightly above. I am guessing it is because he settled into the seat and wasn't sitting as upright. Should I move the harness up? That would put him on the top slot already and I just bought the seat...also it will make the headrest seem too high for his head , in order for the belt guides not to touch the harness straps.

Oh, sorry, one more question. When the harness on the Nautilus is tightened, is it similar to the Britax seats where the shoulder part of the harness is snug but the leg portion not quite as snug? That is another problem I am having with him in this seat.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:15 PM   #2
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

That movement is normal. Just feel for tightness right at the beltpath and if it's less than 1", it's fine. Our Nautilus does that in both vehicles. It's solid (does not move at all) at the beltpath, but will move if grabbed at the front.

It sounds like your kiddo might need the top slots. Did you take the insert out of it? My son is on the next to top slots, but fits like your son does in the next slots down. The headrest looks better on him at the next slots down, but his shoulders are too close to the slots for my comfort. The headrest looks too high in the correct position, but it is safe and he'll grow into it.

I don't remember if the hip portion seems looser than the top. I just buckle him completely, grab both shoulder straps and pull up (to pull the slack out of the leg portion), then tighten the harness. I then check for tightness, which is usually perfect. If it isn't, I just pull again (to get the rest of the slack out) and tighten the rest of the way. Feel for tightness around the collar bone. If I can only get 2 fingers (I have small fingers) flat underneath, I know it's fine. You can also do the pinch test...you should not be able to pinch the harness together from vertically.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:56 PM   #3
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

I am glad to know that about the movement at the front of the seat. I have also installed it in my husband's truck (Ford F150) and had the same problem, tight at the belt path but movement at the front. Now knowing that is normal, I think I may get another Nautilus for the truck (I had been considering a HBB since he rides in the truck less but he doesn't seem to want to give up his "race car driver harness" as he calls it ).

I did take the insert out (I think...that is the part that was for if you were on the lowest slots, right?). My son has a torso length that is pushing 16 inches (which is why we had to replace his Marathon and Boulevard) so I guess it is feasible that we may need to go up to the top slot. I hope he will still be comfy sleeping in the seat...it seems like his head may end up leaning on the plastic belt guides.

I tighten the straps exactly like you do so I am thinking they are fine. I can't seem to pinch the strap at all. It just seems like it could be tighter at his thighs but that is probably just me wanting him in completely snug.

Thanks so much for your help. I appreciate it. And by the way, your sons are so cute!
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:37 PM   #4
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

You're right, the insert is just for the lowest strap height. My son doesn't sleep as well in the Nautilus as well as he does in his Marathon, but still does fine. His head tends to fall forward more. He prefers the Nautilus though, simply because of the wings. In the Marathon he always says something about he doesn't have his headrests.

I know exactly what you're talking about, when you say it looks like his head will rest on the belt guides. There's a thick layer of EPS (or EPP?) foam in there though, so the belt guides stay away from the head. It shouldn't be a problem at all (just have to get over how "wrong" it looks, lol...I'm still trying).

It sounds like your kiddo's harness is tight enough too. The Nautilus, in my opinion, is the easiest seat ever to tighten...it'd be really hard to mess up!

And thanks for the comment on my guys!
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:09 PM   #5
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

To make it so the Nautilus doesn't move at the top you can tether it to the seat. It always helped make mine rock solid when I had it..
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:58 PM   #6
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

I don't think she's talking about the top (but I could be wrong, of course) with or without the top tether (we always use it). Mine has no movement at the back/top, only at the front (where kiddo's knees are).
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:33 PM   #7
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

Mine wants to move if it's not tightly..it wont move side to side but i can literally pull the bottom forward, away fom the seat back, until I go back and wrestle it in even more tightly...when it is in really well, it wont move at all in my car.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:36 PM   #8
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

Oh... gotcha. Mine didn't move at all, anywhere, when I had it. I installed it with latch and tethered it, and that thing didn't budge. I loved it...
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:38 PM   #9
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

My Nauti has some weird movement too. I have it in very tight (no movement at the belt path) but when I pull the strap to tighten the harness, the seat pulls forward.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:24 PM   #10
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

SamPacey&Joshua, thanks for the info about the belt guides. You are right it does just look "wrong". He hasn't seemed to have the forward head slump but has only slept in the seat twice so far. It seems like there is enough of a recline due to the way the vehicle seats are that it keeps him back enough not to have the slump. So, it is ok for me to move the harness up even though it will be like 1-2 inches above his shoulders? Will the harness still tighten as snugly? I wonder how long this seat is going to last after all...I hope his torso growth slows down!

Blondie87, I do have it tethered and there is barely any movement at the belt path but it is the front (where his legs bend and hang down) that moves. I do like the tether on this seat, though...very easy to tighten and loosen. As much as I loved my Marathon, I had trouble with the tether strap when tightening and loosening.

BobandJess and An Aurora, Mine actually moved forward as well when we pulled the strap to tighten the harness. I have reinstalled it several times...I literally am kneeling in the seat and pulling and tightenting the seat belt but I still can't get rid of the movement at the front (it is better than it was originally but still moves. I thought it might be the angle of my vehicle seat, since it is a station wagon (seats seem to have a slight angle to them) but it does the same thing in dh's truck (seat are very straight and upright). The seats in both vehicles are leather, so maybe they are just a little slidey (is that even a word?).

Thanks for all the input!
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:27 PM   #11
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

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Originally Posted by TnT's Mom View Post
I literally am kneeling in the seat and pulling and tightenting the seat belt but I still can't get rid of the movement at the front (it is better than it was originally but still moves. I thought it might be the angle of my vehicle seat, since it is a station wagon (seats seem to have a slight angle to them) but it does the same thing in dh's truck (seat are very straight and upright).
Have you tried pushing back on the base of the seat when tightening, rather than just kneeling in the seat and pushing down? That usually does the trick for me.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:41 PM   #12
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

Andrea, I did try to push down and back as I was kneeling in it and pulling the seatbelt but I don't think I was as successful as I could have been. I am going to try to talk dh through installing it again when he gets home from this weeks business trip (I am the carseat installer in our house but I think I need his strength this time, or at least an extra set of hands). It would be so nice to have three or even four hands when installing a carseat, lol.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:12 AM   #13
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

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Originally Posted by TnT's Mom View Post
So, it is ok for me to move the harness up even though it will be like 1-2 inches above his shoulders? Will the harness still tighten as snugly?
Yep, it's fine! You don't want his shoulders over the slots at all (can cause spinal compression in a crash), so if he's too close to the 2nd slots down for your comfort, go ahead and move them up. Pacey's are a few inches (I'm bad at guessing how many) to go until his shoulders reach the slots he's on.

The harness will still tighten snugly, but will have a different feel to it (it takes a little while to get used to it or at least it did for me). It won't feel as tight on his shoulders, so be sure to check for tightness around the collarbone/chest area (or you may get paranoid and try to tighten the life out of him ).

Oh and our Nautilus slides forward too when you pull the harness adjuster...neither of us has leather seats. My car doesn't have LATCH, so it's a seatbelt install w/ top tether. There's no movement what-so-ever at the beltpath. I kneel (feet off the floor, me in the seat completely) in the seat and rock it side to side as I tighten the belt and Alisha does the same. It could not be any tighter. Still, when you tighten the harness, it slides forward and you can grab it at the front and move it side-to-side a little bit. In Alisha's car (we rarely use it in there), we install with LATCH and top tether. Again, no movement at all, at the beltpath, but will slide forward when tightened and go side-to-side when grabbed at the front.

Now that was a hard thing to get used to! We are used to our Marathons being wedged down into the seats (because of the smaller base) and not moving at all, anywhere. I don't worry about it now though...we're just more careful when tightening. Since I have a 2-door car and have to climb back there anyway, I just lean my back against my front seat and put my knees against the Nautilus when I tighten...that way it doesn't move.

Okay, I'm done writing a book now!
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:37 AM   #14
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Re: Nautilus harness height and movement after installation ?'s

SamPacey&Joshua, I am laughing about the tightening too much comment because my son will say "Um, mommy, remember you pull it too tight, um that is really tight on me" on a regular basis so I will have to be careful after I move the harness up. It sounds like we install carseats the same way...I am completely in the seat as well and I rock back and forth to get the belt as tight as possible. I didn't even try to install it with LATCH because he is already pushing 45 pounds and I just figured it would be just as easy to use the seatbelt and it sounds like it would move forward even when installed using LATCH.

You are right about the no movement at all with the Marathon...I really loved that seat...too bad my kids couldn't have longer legs and shorter torsos, lol. I have been tightening the strap with one hand and holding the front of the base with the other so it doesn't pull forward as I tighten.

Thanks so much, all your input is really helping to ease all my paranoid mommy thoughts and worries! Well at least the current ones .
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