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  1. #1
    Senior Community Member TnT's Mom's Avatar
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    Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    So, we are traveling to Florida soon and DS#2 will be almost 5 1/2. He is a pretty good size kid and I have been tossing the idea around about just taking a HBB for him for the rental car in Florida and letting him ride on the plane without a seat. Last year at this same time he rode in his Nautilus on the plane and then I had it for the rental car. I am ok with him not being in a seat on the plane (bad mom confession here: part of me is looking forward to not lugging the Nautilus on this trip this year)....he is about 44.5 inches tall, 16-16 1/2 inch torso and 45+ pounds. I am however slightly nervous about using the HBB all week while on vacation. We have been taking rides using various boosters for several months and he sits pretty well so I don't know why I am stressed about it. Maybe because he is my "baby", I don't know. My oldest was riding part time in a HBB at this same age and I don't recall that I was as worried and he was actually smaller at 5 1/2 then DS#2.

    I had hoped I could get the Parkway SG to fit in the Compass bag that I have but it doesn't...I think if the armrests weren't fixed it might work. I want to be able to carry the HBB on the plane and avoid gate checking it. I have a Compass B510 and a B500. Oldest DS will have the B510 (as a carry on in it's bag) but I don't like how the belt sits on younger DS when we try the B500 so I don't want to use that for him.

    Does anyone know if a TurboBooster would fit in the Compass bag...maybe if I left the armrests off and screwed them on when we got there? I could pack a screwdriver in my checked luggage. I am thinking the TurboBooster would fit him better than the Compass even though he is a solid kid. Or should I go with the Safety 1st Hybrid Go Booster and hope that our rental car has tether anchors that go above a 45 lb weight limit? The lack of side impact protection on the Go worries me but so does using the HBB.

    Another option might be to pack the back of the Parkway SG in one Compass bag and then the bottom of it and another LB for my oldest son (who will be 9) in the other Compass bag. I think that might fit...but I am not crazy about my oldest being in a LB all week on vacation. Ugh, I know it, you can all say it...I have issues.

    Good thing DH loves me and supports my quests for the perfect seat for every occasion, as I look to purchase yet another carseat .
    DS#1 12yrs., 85lbs., 58"tall, 5-stepping in my car!
    DS#2 9yrs., 65lbs., 49" tall, Jane Indy, Compass Pathway B570

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    I'd get a RSTV.

    With a Go you can use LATCH to 60 pounds, since the seat weighs nothing. And the only cars that have less than 48 pounds anyway are Saab, Honda, Acura, Mercedes, and Porsche. Not exactly your normal rental car fare. :-)

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  4. #3
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    If you use an RSTV you can put him in the middle. (Probably harder to find a rental car with center LATCH, though there are a few-- I don't enjoy the Go install with lap/shoulder belt.)

    Also, I generally advise parents to disregard the tether anchor limits. First of all, they are extremely conservative. It's likely that a short but intense force of a crash is less likely to cause them to fail than a constant, lower-force pull they are tested with. If they do fail, it's likely that they will already have done their job. And like Wendy says, the Go only weighs 8 lbs.

    The RSTV is sooo much easier to carry around, though. The Go is rather bulky, though it has a carry bag, it's still bulky when you're lugging so much stuff through the airport. (And I found the bag rather... cheap-seeming.) The RSTV you can fold to put in a purse, if you have to. It goes easily in a carry-on you were already taking. (I do advise taking it out for security screening and putting it in a separate bin.) And, it weighs a little less than 1 lb.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    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!

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member TnT's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    I have considered the RSTV but was afraid he wouldn't like being so low on the vehicle seat and had heard that it can be cumbersome to get him all buckled into it correctly with the seatbelt. I don't suppose it could be used with a LB to give him some height to see? I always worry about side impact protection but I know putting him in the middle would help with that but what about his head being right next to his brother's HBB? I had thought about the 86Y as well thinking that it might make the belt fit better on the Compass but again wasn't sure about tether anchor limits.

    I know I am way over thinking this, as usual.
    DS#1 12yrs., 85lbs., 58"tall, 5-stepping in my car!
    DS#2 9yrs., 65lbs., 49" tall, Jane Indy, Compass Pathway B570

  6. #5
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    The RSTV can't be used with a booster. 86-Y can.

    You don't need the heavy-duty anchor with the 86-Y until over 80 lbs., I believe (someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)

    A study done about un-carseated occupants between two car seats showed that they actually had better side impact protection than an un-carseated occupant alone or next to other un-carseated occupants.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    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!

  7. #6
    CPS Advocate Kat_Momof3's Avatar
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    I agree... for air travel, I'd go for the RSTV... you can tuck it in his carry-on (let him bring a nice backpack full of stuff and he can take an airplane pillow, put it on top, and rest his head on a pillow on the backpack)



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  9. #7
    Senior Community Member TnT's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    So with the RSTV do I need to buy the tether separately? They have it here...

    http://www.healthchecksystems.com/ca...an_id=247&Safe

    and the description sounds like it has the top tether but then they also sell the top tether separately so I wasn't sure...

    I am still wondering how he will feel about being low on the seat right next to his brother sitting in his HBB.

    I am also not sure what vehicle we will rent but most rentals will have a center tether attachment, right? Because I definitely would want him in the middle if I use the vest.
    DS#1 12yrs., 85lbs., 58"tall, 5-stepping in my car!
    DS#2 9yrs., 65lbs., 49" tall, Jane Indy, Compass Pathway B570

  10. #8
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    I haven't seen a car yet without three tether points.

    You don't need to buy the tether separately. Or at least I'd be surprised if that was the case with the new ones. Mine came with a tether there. That's the new one you linked to. And it makes a comment at the bottom about using the tether that's supplied with it.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

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  12. #9
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    I wouldn't have an issue with him in the booster, but I do think the RSTV would be a whole lot easier to haul through the airport.
    Mommy to two wild little boys and a little princess!
    DS1 (01/05, 46 1/2", 44 lbs), Boring Gray Turbobooster / Harmony Literider
    DS2 (07/07, 39 1/2", 40lbs), Harvest Complete Air / Booster Training in a Maui Blue PWSG / RSTV
    DD (07/09, 33", 23lbs), rfing Flair MyRide / rfing Scenera

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  14. #10
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    You don't need to buy the tether separately. It comes with a tether attachment. You only need the tether that's sold separately for use with the size Large with a lap-ONLY belt with a kid over 60 (I think-- double check that) lbs. If using with a lap/shoulder belt the tether is not required but allowed. The one that's sold separately is the special dual tether for use with a lap-only belt at higher weights.

    And I agree, I don't have an issue with him in a booster if he sits well but the RSTV is so much easier to carry around.

    If you rent a 5 passenger vehicle there will be a tether in the center. Rentals tend to be newer, and it's required (except in some very heavy trucks and some convertibles that are exempt from all tether requirements.)
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    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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  16. #11
    Senior Community Member TnT's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    Thanks everyone for all the good advice and information. As I continue to ponder my decision I was wondering if anyone had information, opinions, feelings one way or the other as to the safety of riding in a HBB (assuming good fit) outboard versus the RSTV in the middle of the car. Is it inherently safer to be in the middle in the harness or in the HBB with better side impact protection? Is one leaps and bounds safer or is it basically a wash based on my son's size? In the vest in the middle seating position he will be right next to his brother who will be in his HBB but no one on the other side of him unless I ride in the back.
    DS#1 12yrs., 85lbs., 58"tall, 5-stepping in my car!
    DS#2 9yrs., 65lbs., 49" tall, Jane Indy, Compass Pathway B570

  17. #12
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    Well, it depends on what you mean by "safer."

    The middle, yes, is inherently safer. Period. And the RSTV has excellent head excursion numbers-- because it is basically NO profile, does not lift the child or push them forward at all, and does an excellent job of containment. I don't think any high-backed booster can say that.

    As for SIP, being in the middle is the best SIP. Period. The containment on the vest is also pretty good, I think it in the middle exceeds any SIP of a booster outboard.

    However, if the booster is what is easiest FOR YOUR SITUATION and the only way to put him in it is outboard and he is a good booster rider (even when he falls asleep, which he may do after a long trip)-- then I would have no regrets about doing that. None. It would definitely be a safe enough choice.

    I just think that personally I'd rather carry a vest than a booster, and since I still have to buckle my daughter in either way it's much easier for me to use the vest were I travelling by plane. But of course YMMV.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    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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  19. #13
    Senior Community Member TnT's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Still trying to solve my travel dilemma...

    Yep, there is definitely the appeal of only having to lug one booster if we get little guy the RSTV. I do appreciate all the advice and information you have been sharing with me !
    DS#1 12yrs., 85lbs., 58"tall, 5-stepping in my car!
    DS#2 9yrs., 65lbs., 49" tall, Jane Indy, Compass Pathway B570

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