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Thread: Upgrade path

  1. #1
    Cameron
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    Smile Upgrade path

    Hello,
    tried to do my reading up here and would love an educated opinion on our best next step.

    The facts:
    4 year old this month, small and light: 29#, 37" tall, 14" seated shoulder. Currently in Britax Marathon, manu Feb 2007.
    Standard sized 6 month old who will need to move out of Graco Snugride in the next month or so.
    Car: 2007 Mazda 3 Sport.
    Location: Canada

    Our thoughts:
    As we need to get a new car seat, we see two options:
    1) get another high capacity seat like the Marathon for the 6 mos old.
    2) move 4 year old into a Frontier XT/Nautilus, 6 mos old to Marathon

    Considerations:
    Our daughter is pretty small, so I imagine she'd be Ok in the Marathon for, well, eons, but she's always been cranky about her seat, particularly winter coats etc., so it might be nice to try something bigger with more depth for the front clip. But then she won't be able to see out as well as the Marathon sits pretty high.
    I imagine that a full back booster, and definitely the 5-point for longer is better, but on the life happens meter, we turn down rides to people all the time (I know this is a silly argument, but there it is).
    Finally, and probably most significantly, the 6 mos. old will be 3 years, 4mos when our current Marathon expires, so not sure on the upgrade path for another seat, which we'll certainly need. I imagine we could move him into a XT/Naut comfortably at that age (he's pretty on curve size wise) and get a booster if necessary for our older?, and at least the XT should last with the long expiry (does the Naut have this?)

    Or we could get him a probably slightly cheaper new seat that would last him until he was ready for a booster and get our 4 year old a booster whenever that time comes.

    SO.

    Is there any other reason not to get the XT/Naut or pick a Marathon or similar if we don't need to move it frequently, which we don't.

    As an aside, the Nautilus vs. XT question isn't an issue. If we can find both, our 4 year old can pick the more comfy. But if there's something obvious we're missing, feel free to correct our misperceptions.

    Thanks in advance. : )
    Cameron

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade path

    Hi and welcome!

    I would definitely pass down the Marathon to your daughter and get a Nauti/FRXT for your son (make sure that her shoulders are even with or above the bottom harness slots!). There is really not much sense in buying another convertible unless you wish to turn your son back RF, which at 4yo I don't see a huge need for, though he would still fit in some of the newer seats available, and it is a bit safer (thoguh not so much an issue at his age as if he was younger).

    A caution for you about snowsuits, since you mention it - it is dangerous to put your child in the seat in bulky clothing of any sort as it can interfere with strap tightening and adds compressible material which creates slack in a crash, and can cause ejection. We highly recommend using regular clothing with a thin fleece coat/suit and then adding blankets on top after the harness is snugly adjusted. Here is Transport Canada's Consumer Information Notice on this topic:
    http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/s...1-menu-336.htm

    You may find that your DD is less cranky once she is in the Marathon, as sometimes the baby does not like the particluar seat, especially an infant bucket as rhey tend to be shaped so that the baby is positioned a bit differently than convertibles. She may be happier with the convertible, especially if it is installed a little more upright than the 45* angle required for a newborn.

    At just 4yo and only 29lbs, your DS NEEDS and MUST HAVE a harnessed seat. Must. And is legally required to until a minimum of 40lbs. With how light he is and looking at how you may want to pass the seat down to your DD later on, I would look at the Britax FrontierXT since the harness height is the tallest available at 20", giving your son lots of growing room by height to let him catch up on the weight before outgrowing the harness, leaving you with boostering him illegally or buying another seat, and because the whole seat is good for 9 years, allowing you to potentially pass down the harness to DD if DS is min 40lbs and you are able to buy him a booster at that point. The Nautilus harness and high back booster portion expires at 6 years, while only the no back booster section is good for 9 years. The top slots for the Nauti are about 18.25".

    A cheaper seat option you could look at would be an Evenflo Maestro, it has 18" top slots and a harness limit of 47lbs, but I THINK that the expiry is only 6 years and it will definitely not last as long as a booster as it doesn't adjust any taller.

    I suppose you could also consider getting a HWRF convertible like the Radian or Complete Air or True Fit, harnessing your son RF or FF in that and then passing it down to DD when she outgrows the MA RF (only 30lbs limit and the shell is not as tall as those 3, so she will outgrow it sooner) and get him a dedicated booster then (assuming he is 40lbs). Does she tend to be as petite as your son, though? If she is as light as he is at the same ages, she may not need the higher limits for RF. I would probably just go with the FR or Nauti, myself.
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  4. #3
    Cameron
    Guest

    re: Upgrade path - Thank you!

    Hi Cat,
    Thanks so much for your reply. Glad to confirm that the Frontier has the least variables for disappointment. Hopefully it goes over well on a trial sit.
    We're in NS too, West End Halifax.

    Cameron

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member TerisBoys's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade path

    One thing to check before settling for this route (Frontier for elder, Marathon for baby)...

    Make sure baby fits in the MA. By 6mo it should be big enough, but the bottom harness slots are fairly high. They need to be at or below baby's shoulders for proper fit.

  6. #5
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade path

    Thanks Teri, for highlighting this - I had only tacked that on as an afterthought and it was easy to miss in my novel of a post!

    Hope you have good luck with getting a new seat, Cameron. If you have issues with installs, etc., do post back or give Child Safety Link a call - they are very helpful and a bit more local and may have a clinic scheduled (I'm only in town some days).
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  7. #6
    Senior Community Member TerisBoys's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade path

    Quote Originally Posted by mommycat View Post
    Thanks Teri, for highlighting this - I had only tacked that on as an afterthought and it was easy to miss in my novel of a post!
    I completely skimmed over your mention of it.

    I'll wander back south of the border now.

  8. #7
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Re: Upgrade path

    No, please don't. We like visitors!
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  9. #8
    Cameron
    Guest

    Re: Upgrade path

    So got the Frontier XT trialed and installed, working well. Not an expert, but seems to fit our daughter and 2007 Mazda 3 well on latch and long path (short path was a disaster). Thanks again Cat for your time and considered thoughts.

  10. #9
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade path

    Thanks for the update. I just reread and noticed I was calling your DD, "DS" and your Ds a "DD", sorry about that! I somehow got them switched about.

    I am guessing you just tried out all the different beltpaths/latch but just in case someone else reads along and gets confused: you only use latch (erm, UAS) OR the seatbelt, not both at the same time.

    Hope DD is less cranky about her seat now and that DS is enjoying the MA.
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

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