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  1. #1
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    Question Help picking a convertible seat - Air travel

    Hello,

    I'm new to the site and have spent a few hours reading threads, but I must admit that I'm thoroughly confused about picking the right convertible.

    We have a 8mo baby girl 27" and 17.5lb (50% for both) and is currently using Peg Perego SIP30/30. We have a upcoming trip to that involves 12+hr flights. The baby will be 10mo by then and assuming that she stays in 50%, that would mean 28" and 19.5lb.

    I looking for a convertible that is airplane/travel friendly (will have to lug the seat through airport and foreign country). Is it possible to put RF in econ seats at all (without upsetting the passenger in front)? I think for airplanes, RF is not as critical (except for takeoff/landing when she would likely be held anyway). But would still like the convertible to be RF in our Honda Pilot.

    I'm considering 1.Recaro Signo G2, 2. Safety1st Air Protect, 3. Britax Diplomat (don't like roundabout without side head protection). I see that Radiant is often mentioned, but is the baby too small for it? What do you guys recommend?

    Thx!

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  3. #2
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat - Air travel

    I personally like my Cosco Scenera for travel because it's light enough for me to carry by myself (and with baby) through the airport.

    What countries are you going to be traveling from/to? What airline? A lot of non-U.S. airlines restrict carseat usage on the plane.

  4. #3
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    Question Help picking a convertible seat

    Hello,

    I mistakenly posted my question in the special needs sub-forum. So now, I'm reposting/updating it here hoping to receive more comments.


    I'm new to the site and have spent a few hours reading threads, but I must admit that I'm thoroughly confused about picking the right convertible.

    We have a 8mo baby girl 27" and 17.5lb (50% for both) and is currently using Peg Perego SIP30/30. We have a upcoming trip to that involves 12+hr flights. The baby will be 10mo by then and assuming that she stays in 50%, that would mean 28" and 19.5lb.

    We will be traveling to Thailand and Taiwan. Flying on United, Thai (both with 17" wide 31"pitch econ seats, and on ANA (16.5" wide seats). Also will need to utilize the seat in rental and unfamiliar cars.

    I'm looking for a convertible that is airplane/travel friendly (will have to lug the seat through airport and foreign country). Is it possible to put RF in econ seats at all (without upsetting the passenger in front)? I think for airplanes, RF is not as critical. But would still like the convertible to be RF in our Honda Pilot. Our other car is a Mini Cooper and would be great if the seat can be swapped (tho, not necessary. I'm an mech engineer so removal/installation won't be an issue).

    I'm considering 1.Radian XTSL, 2. Britax Boulevard, 3. Learning Curve TrueFit 4. Britax Diplomat. Note that I prefer to have SIP on the seats (I know, some won't be useful until DD gets bigger). I like the Radian but think DD is too small for it? What do you guys recommend?

    Thx!

  5. #4
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat - Air travel

    Thank You Bensmom,
    I've decided to repost/update to the parent thread to get more response. Country/airline have been included in the other thread.

    Thx again.

    Mods, please close this thread.

  6. #5
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat - Air travel

    Does she still fit in your Peg Perego seat? If she does I would use that for air travel is the airline you are flying allows it. Infant seats are great to travel with.

    Once you buy a convertible, do you want this to be your main daily convertible that you can also use for travel or would you be interested in buying a separate seat for travel? A lot of people have a cheaper, lightweight convertible they use for travel and then a heavier, more expensive seat they keep installed in their car. The Cosco Scenera and the Safety 1st Avenue are the most often recommended travel convertibles.

    Whether you'll upset the person in front of you RF really depends on the person in front of you on the plane. I heard someone say that the Combi Coccoro allows the person in front to still recline somewhat and I am intrigued by that. Of the three seats you listed I would personally pic the Complete Air and I know someone here (Ketchupqueen) has used one RF on a plane. I don't know how the experience was though. I would pick it over the others because I think it is narrower and lighter and also taller with a higher weight limit so it should last longer rear facing. You'll want to make sure your baby is tall enough for it alright though because it has pretty high bottom slots. So I would try her out in it before you buy it.

    ETA: I forgot your Radian question. It will only fit RFing in *some* bulkhead seats and since your DD won't be old enough to FF in it yet according to the manufacturers directions on this trip I wouldn't plan to use one for this trip if I were you. RFing young kids on the plane has lots of benefits other than safety. They don't lose their toys, they can see you and interact with you, they're easier to feed, etc. I would much prefer RF for a 10 month old on a plane and no American seat allows you to FF at that age without going against the manufacturers instructions so that's another reason I would want to avoid it.

    I hope that helps! I know it can be overwhelming.
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  7. #6
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat - Air travel

    The Radian fits many kids from birth-- but doesn't fit RF on planes well unless you're able to get the bulkhead seats (and sometimes not even then-- depends on the plane), which is not always possible.

    The Diplomat is outgrown well before other seats, I just don't consider it worth the money.

    The Signo is heavy and doesn't give much leg room to older rear-facers, and is often awkward to load a rear-facing child in because of extremely high profile.

    The Complete Air is a great seat and JUST barely fit on the Southwest 737s we flew on last month, with only slight difficulty. However it has such high slots that when installed more upright (and it will install upright) it may not even fit a child that young properly, depending on torso height. (It fits at about a 30 degree airline on the planes we flew on.)

    For convenience on a plane and lugging through the airport-- I'd be looking at the Cosco Scenera and the Safety 1st Avenue, and learn to use a locking clip if you're going to a foreign country with non-locking shoulder belts, OR the Combi Coccoro, which will not last as long but is VERY convenient for travel with littler ones, and has a lockoff.

    I also would consider taking the infant bucket. It doesn't sound like she will have outgrown it. (You have until her head is even with the top of the seat, as illustrated in your manual, or until she reaches the weight limit, which she is nowhere near.) That way you won't have a fight (on an American airline, anyway) about which way to install it (yes, I would recommend rear-facing for children under 2, even on an airplane-- while mostly you're holding them down during turbulence, there is the very occasional incident on the ground and you want your child properly restrained if that is to happen. Plus, they sleep better.) Again, practice without the base and with a locking clip before going. What airline are you flying? What country are you going to?
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 12, Bridget, 10, Maggie, 8, Katie Sue, 4
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  8. #7
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    First off, over hieght is not as important as having 1" of plastic carseat above her head. If she is all legs it will take longer then if she is all torso.

    I would say if she still fit the peg take it.

    If not I would look at the myride. It installs easily in everything I have tried without pool noodles.

    The radian won't work rf on planes. I wouldn't ff even on a plane until at least 1y and 20#. Rf longer is 500x safer.

    The dipomate won't last as long as anything else.

    The boulavard is a nice seat, but won't last as long as the truefit.

    As there is no standard for sip in the us. So, we don't know if it is that much better.
    Stefanie - CPST in Iowa
    mom to dd 11,/00, ds 11/01, ds 3/06, dd 04/07, dd 08/12 (radian rxt) ds 12/13 (evenflo sureride)

  9. #8
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    The Peg seats actually allow use until the head is even with the top of the shell, as demonstrated in the manual.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 12, Bridget, 10, Maggie, 8, Katie Sue, 4
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  10. #9
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    I replied on your other thread. (The special needs forum was actually the right place to post. ) But i just wanted to say that I personally wouldn't consider the My Ride or the True Fit as a travel seat. Both will be too wide to fit without the armrest up and the True Fit is very heavy as well. But they would both be great choices for your car and then you could choose something else for travel, if that appeals.
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  11. #10
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    Quote Originally Posted by ark1214 View Post
    We will be traveling to Thailand and Taiwan. Flying on United, Thai (both with 17" wide 31"pitch econ seats, and on ANA (16.5" wide seats). Also will need to utilize the seat in rental and unfamiliar cars.
    All convertibles are FAA approved and will fit both rear and forward facing by width on a plane, though you'll likely need to put the armrest up. The Radian is an exception to this and will not fit rear facing. At 10 months old forward facing is not an option, even on the plane, nor is it allowed by any carseat out there.

    I'm looking for a convertible that is airplane/travel friendly (will have to lug the seat through airport and foreign country). Is it possible to put RF in econ seats at all (without upsetting the passenger in front)? I think for airplanes, RF is not as critical. But would still like the convertible to be RF in our Honda Pilot. Our other car is a Mini Cooper and would be great if the seat can be swapped (tho, not necessary. I'm an mech engineer so removal/installation won't be an issue).
    Well, for this particular trip, I'd just use the infant seat, provided she has more than 1" of hard shell above her head (that's when she'll outgrow it by height). That'd be SO much easier than taking a convertible.

    I'm considering 1.Radian XTSL, 2. Britax Boulevard, 3. Learning Curve TrueFit 4. Britax Diplomat. Note that I prefer to have SIP on the seats (I know, some won't be useful until DD gets bigger). I like the Radian but think DD is too small for it? What do you guys recommend?
    The Radians fit newborns well, so her size isn't a problem. I'd be shocked if it'd fit rear facing in a Mini Cooper, though. I wouldn't do the Diplomat, you'll need a new seat to rear face longer in in about a year or 18 months. True Fit is great, but wide on a plane. Boulevard is nice, but it won't last as long as the True Fit or Radian.

    What *I'd* do is buy a True Fit or Radian, then buy a lightweightand narrow travel seat. Something like a Safety 1st Avenue or Cosco Scenera. They're cheap and easy to use, far narrower than the other options (nicer to sit next to on a plane for you), lighter to haul, and that way you don't need to uninstall the seat that's in your main car. Both would fit in a Mini, I'd bet.

    (in fact, that is what I did. We have a True Fit Premier and a Safety 1st Avenue for travel, or if we ever want a seat in my husband's car).

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 61", 99#, seatbelt
    laine 9/16/09, 46", 54#, Diono Monterey, Chicco KidFit Zip Air
    in a 2015 BMW M235i, and my 2011 Mercedes E350 wagon


  12. #11
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    All convertibles are FAA approved and will fit both rear and forward facing by width on a plane, though you'll likely need to put the armrest up. The Radian is an exception to this and will not fit rear facing.
    I thought there was a consensus that the True Fit won't fit RF with the headrest on (so for kids over 22 lbs)? Or am I misremembering the last few travel posts about the True Fit?

    OP, ome international airlines won't allow rear facing seats, but I wasn't able to quickly find out if ANA or Thai are among them. I'm guessing ANA at least does allow them. But you may want to call the airline and check, especially if you are considering bringing the infant seat.
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  13. #12
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    Quote Originally Posted by InternationalMama View Post
    I thought there was a consensus that the True Fit won't fit RF with the headrest on (so for kids over 22 lbs)? Or am I misremembering the last few travel posts about the True Fit?
    You know, that didn't occur to me. I don't know.

    Wendy
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    piper, 7/26/02, 61", 99#, seatbelt
    laine 9/16/09, 46", 54#, Diono Monterey, Chicco KidFit Zip Air
    in a 2015 BMW M235i, and my 2011 Mercedes E350 wagon


  14. #13
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    This is great! Thx of all the comments.

    I'm coming to the realization that I would need to buy 2 car seats.. Seem the consensus is to use the peg if she still fits. For the past few car rides around town, DD seemed to protest being strapped in for long periods of time. So I naturally assume the seat is not comfortable and therefore looking to buy a bigger seat.

    ANA does allow car seats, tho not clear on RF. For Thai, we did the lap child thing and will use peg if there are open seats.

    Yea, I didn't expect a bigger seat to fit the Mini.. guess the Pilot will be the only car she rides in.

    Thanks for the comments, I'll bring the little one to stores and try out ones that were suggested.

  15. #14
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    Quote Originally Posted by InternationalMama View Post
    I thought there was a consensus that the True Fit won't fit RF with the headrest on (so for kids over 22 lbs)? Or am I misremembering the last few travel posts about the True Fit?
    Are Canadian planes different (I know very little about airplanes ). What I do know is that we flew on two different planes (one big and one little) with Air Canada in November and I can't remember if I had the armrest down on the little plane but I'm sure I did on the big one because I was leaning on it sleeping lol. The headrest was on the TrueFit when installed both times and he's under a year so he was rearfacing both times. The angle was barely acceptable on the big plane, but it did successfully install and it didn't take me very long to do it.
    Alison
    Tobias... 7y2m; 51lbs; harnessed and Linus... 4y9m; 35lbs; harnessed and Malachi 3y1m; 34lbs; rearfacing
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  16. #15
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    Quote Originally Posted by triscuitsmom View Post
    Are Canadian planes different (I know very little about airplanes ). The headrest was on the TrueFit when installed both times and he's under a year so he was rearfacing both times. The angle was barely acceptable on the big plane, but it did successfully install and it didn't take me very long to do it.
    Great! Thanks! For your info, The company that makes the airplane is the thing you need to know, rather than the airline that is flying it. So, for example, a Boeing 747 will be the same around the world. It's usually written on your ticket.

    OP, if you might be checking the seat as luggage for part of your trip I would definitely bring the infant seat. Then it won't be as much of a loss if it gets damaged or destroyed, whereas that would be very sad with a new convertible, KWIM?
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  17. #16
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat - Air travel

    Quote Originally Posted by ark1214 View Post
    Thank You Bensmom,
    I've decided to repost/update to the parent thread to get more response. Country/airline have been included in the other thread.

    Thx again.

    Mods, please close this thread.
    I merged your two threads together into a single thread as they both have helpful replies. Cross posting isn't generally permitted because it winds up generating duplicate threads with answers to both threads that ultimately should be merged together for continuity and bandwidth's sake.
    Regards,
    Jean

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  18. #17
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    Quote Originally Posted by InternationalMama View Post
    Great! Thanks! For your info, The company that makes the airplane is the thing you need to know, rather than the airline that is flying it. So, for example, a Boeing 747 will be the same around the world. It's usually written on your ticket.
    Not necessarily. Each airline may configure individual seats on the plane differently. I know that there is one airline (I can't remember who) that is ordering planes with a few less rows of seats so that they can increase legroom between seats. Also, some airlines use a 747 with a 2-class configuration, and some use with a 3-class configuration, which is going to change where seats are on the plane.
    Rolling around town with my best friends:
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  20. #18
    Senior Community Member SuzaBanana's Avatar
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    Quote Originally Posted by InternationalMama View Post
    The company that makes the airplane is the thing you need to know, rather than the airline that is flying it. So, for example, a Boeing 747 will be the same around the world.
    Sorry, but this is not the case. While there are "standard" plane types, many airlines "upgrade" or modify seating arrangements, seat width/depth and cabin design. So while it's helpful to know what type of plane you'll be traveling on, it's more helpful to find out from your airline what the cabin configuration is on their plane for your itinerary.

    ETA: cross-posted with karlatta
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  21. #19
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    Quote Originally Posted by karlatta View Post
    Not necessarily. Each airline may configure individual seats on the plane differently. I know that there is one airline (I can't remember who) that is ordering planes with a few less rows of seats so that they can increase legroom between seats. Also, some airlines use a 747 with a 2-class configuration, and some use with a 3-class configuration, which is going to change where seats are on the plane.
    Thanks! I always wondered why people were always mentioning the airline they were flying on when talking about planes. It makes a bit more sense now. I think it's still important to mention both the type of plane -and- the airline. For my information I always go to seatguru.com. There I think you can get the specs for how the individual airlines have their planes set up.
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  22. #20
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Help picking a convertible seat

    Quote Originally Posted by ark1214 View Post
    I'm coming to the realization that I would need to buy 2 car seats.. Seem the consensus is to use the peg if she still fits. For the past few car rides around town, DD seemed to protest being strapped in for long periods of time. So I naturally assume the seat is not comfortable and therefore looking to buy a bigger seat.
    Well, that's not necessarily true.

    Your child is at an age when many kids cry in the car seat. For some of them, switching to a convertible helps-- but for some, it's just an age when they don't like to be confined and strapped in ANYWHERE, at least not as tight as they have to be in the car. Sometimes a new seat helps for a week or even a month or two, and then it starts again. This happens on and off until they're about 3 or 4, quite honestly, for some kids there will be phases even later than that... I wouldn't worry that she's uncomfortable unless she's showing physical pain or discomfort (pulling/scratching at an area because it hurts, etc.)

    The good news is if it is just frustration with being strapped in, there's a chance that being in different surroundings (on the plane) might help and she might do better. There's a chance she won't too, but hey, it could happen.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 12, Bridget, 10, Maggie, 8, Katie Sue, 4
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

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