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  1. #1
    CPS Technician
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    Decisions, Decisions...

    OK, so I'm going to have to purchase one more seat (ya, we'll say one more, but I doubt it...I like my new seats...lol!) for my chunky monkey. He's currently 5mo old, but lugging him around in the bucket is beginning to get a bit taxing and he's starting to dislike not being able to see. I like that the bucket is deeper, keeping him somewhat encapsulated. I also like the way the headwings keep his head nice and upright with no flopping when he falls asleep (he's in a Chaperone). So, obviously I'd like to keep him secured and protected when I do give up his bucket entirely.

    So, here's the debate. He'll be in a late 2008 model BV in the Jetta. Easy enough. But, what to buy for the truck (Ram crew cab)?! I was looking at the Radian XT's because of their RF limits and the fact that the base doesn't sit as high off of the seat as some others, but I'm not totally convinced. The side of the seat base is so short and he's so tiny in such a big seat. I feel like there is too much room for his bottom and nothing to hold it in. And, rethreading harness straps is not my idea of fun. They don't seem that padded either, which is fine for a diaper bum, but what about a potty trained rugrat? Oh, and weight...I like that the base folds, but who wants to backpack that seat? Thankfully we have a GoGo Kidz Travelmate...

    I still like the new Britax seats. I realize the shell is shorter, and I think they are slightly wider than the last generation. I'm not overly worried about outgrowing the shell (my kiddos float between 50 and 75th percentiles for h/w). We just moved my daughter out of the BV and into a Frontier XT in the Jetta. She still had harness height left (she's 3.75yrs and ~37lbs) in the BV, but we chose to graduate her and put her brother into BV. She also rides in last gen Frontier and a Nautilus.

    I suppose I've gotten a little too used to the conveniences of my current Britax seats (no rethread harness, easy installation, built in lock offs). So, any suggestions for something I'd like, knowing this info?

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician shauburg's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    Re: Decisions, Decisions...

    Quote Originally Posted by mam521 View Post
    He's currently 5mo old, but lugging him around in the bucket is beginning to get a bit taxing...
    Don't forget that you can just leave his bucket car seat in the car, but still keep using it until he outgrows it. I always like to wait as long as I can to buy the next seat in case something new comes on the market.

    RE: your Radian questions/concerns
    - The straps will hold his body (and therefore his bottom) in!
    - Rethreading the harness straps on the Radian is pretty easy, especially when RF, as you don't even need to uninstall the seat.
    - My potty trained (for 1-year +) DS has never complained about a lack of padding
    - Yes, it is heavy, but we just love it as a travel/airplane seat. It fits so nicely (FF) on the airplane seats with plently of legroom for your child and they can even use their tray.
    - The most important thing with the Radian is to try it in your vehicle before buying to see if you can get an acceptable install.
    Canadian CRST & Mommy to:
    DD - 19 Months & 22 lb RF - Radian Premier & True Fit
    DS - 4.5 Years & ~48lb FF - Frontier XT x 2

  4. #3
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    Chicago-ish
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    12,178

    Re: Decisions, Decisions...

    For what it's worth, the Radian installs like a dream rear-facing in my Ram MegaCab. I have no idea what the crew cab is like, though (all the different names and styles confuse me.)

    As a Ram owner, could you do me a favor and take a look at this thread? http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=144687

  5. #4
    CPS Technician
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    Aug 2010
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    Spring, TX
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    Re: Decisions, Decisions...

    Oh ya...that was my other concern...the number of people who say they can't get an acceptable install with a Radian...:S

    I do know one thing...having the Chaperone has pretty much openend the door for most RF seats fitting...its a bit of a beast with that base!

    I try to leave the seat in the vehicle, but its somewhat of a challenge to get him into it (I'm short, the truck isn't...lol!) when its on the base without literally throwing him in until I can step up onto the running board. Hence the worry about the base height of any seat. I'm so jealous of my neighbour...she's got over half a foot on me and its so much easier for her to balance the bucket!

  6. #5
    CPS Technician featherhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Manitoba, Canada
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    3,876

    Re: Decisions, Decisions...

    There is definitely not a lack of padding in the Radian. It has a layer of comfort foam that goes from the top, all the way down and under the bum that is about 1/2 inch or so thick.

    Heather ~ CRST ~ mom to...
    S ~ Harmony nbb, K ~ Parkway SG
    M ~ Radian XTSL, S ~ Fllo
    T ~ June 4, 2016 ~ Boulevard G4.1

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Calgary, AB
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    363

    Re: Decisions, Decisions...

    Quote Originally Posted by mam521 View Post
    ... He's currently 5mo old... I also like the way the headwings keep his head nice and upright with no flopping when he falls asleep (he's in a Chaperone).
    ... I was looking at the Radian XT's because of their RF limits and the fact that the base doesn't sit as high off of the seat as some others, but I'm not totally convinced. The side of the seat base is so short and he's so tiny in such a big seat. I feel like there is too much room for his bottom and nothing to hold it in.
    FWIW, my DD outgrew her bucket by height (long torso) right around the 4 month mark. We put her in the RN Premier (no headwings, which you won't be using anyways for awhile) at that point. She isn't a light-weight but she's relatively tall & skinny (though at 50% on both), and with the infant padding, she fit like a dream in this seat. I didn't use the head padding that came with the seat as we found it actually caused head slump (pushed her head forward) but instead we use Baby Hugz pads (you could also use a rolled up towel or receiving blanket) basically from her shoulders up. I can take a photo if you'd like. With the body padding, she fits nicely in the seat with only enough room beside her to tuck a warm blanket over her, but she's not squished either.

    Our current family vehicle is a Chev 2500 series truck. Its not as high as the Rams but its plenty high so I totally sympathize with the difficulties getting lo's in & out. I'm not sure where your seat is but mine is in the centre. What I do is basically place DD on the outboard seat, climb up onto the running board (or right up if its yucky out), then lift her into the seat. Getting her out is easier as I can lift her out while stepping down. I would not want to do this with a bucket, or a seat with high sides! If your seat is outboard you could always put DS on the floor while you step up or just place him in the seat then step up to position & buckle. I know what you mean about feeling like you're throwing them across the truck though.

    As far as weight goes, all convertibles are pretty heavy (I'd be interested in a thread comparing them!) but at least the RN folds flat. You may not want to carry it on your back, but it stacks nicely on a luggage cart. And if you didn't want to use it on the plane (why not?) you could even put it in the overhead storage! Try *that* with any other seat!

    Long story short, we love our RN & I'm excited about the limits for ERF. I would agree with the suggestion to try before buying, but I doubt you'll have any problems, and I'd personally recommend trying any seat before buying.

    Good luck with your decision,
    Melissa
    Last edited by dogmelissa; 10-15-2010 at 12:50 PM. Reason: part went missing!
    Selina joined us Feb 19, 2010
    Calgary, AB, Canada

    Selina RF until 4 years, 1 month, 21 days old. FF in Radian until 6 years, 2 months (too tall). FF (harnessed) in Harmony Defender until 7 years, 2 months.

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