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  1. #1
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    Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    Hello everyone!

    I just purchased the Alpha Omega Elite convertible car seat for my daughter. She is 11 months old and almost to 20 pounds (I am not really sure, we haven't checked since her 9 month doctor appt.). She is really petite so I want to keep her rear facing.

    I figured out how to get the latch straps ready to be installed in the car (a little confusing) and hooked both latch straps in my car today rear facing, put all of my weight down on the car seat, and tightened it as hard as I could and the seat could be still moved from side to side (more than inch). Is there something I am doing wrong?

    Stacia

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    If you pulled the strap straight out/up, try angling it towards the opposite side of the carseat instead.... What is the vehicle hyear, make, model? What seating position are you installing in?
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  4. #3
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    Quote Originally Posted by papooses View Post
    If you pulled the strap straight out/up, try angling it towards the opposite side of the carseat instead.... What is the vehicle hyear, make, model? What seating position are you installing in?


    This is why I prefer Britax for installs, the latch straps you can pull straight up on as they are two separate straps. Much more intuitive.

  5. #4
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    Try removing the base, it makes installation of the seat 100 times easier.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  6. #5
    CPST/Firefighter Judi's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    I take the cover off near the belt path and put the strap through the hole, that way the strap is coming from a better angle. Sorry easier to show than tell.

  7. #6
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    I am installing refacing and I threaded the latches through the side hole in the belt loop path into the other side hole so I don't think I threaded it wrong. I just feel after I hook up the latches to my back seat, the seat still feels really loose? I guess I am just used to her small infant seat. The seat is so much bigger that I think it would be virtually impossible to keep it from moving.

    Thanks for your help,
    Stacia

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member tjham's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    I hesitate to say this, but I had one of these and it was just OK (but not worth the $$$ it costs!). Is there anyway you can take it back? The regulars here can give you lots of good recommendations!

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    I found with the cosco latch its all in the angle you pull the belt to the plate part. You need to pulll it straight out and it an be tricky to get the right angle. I loved that seat though, I'm one of the few, my son was 3.5 before he outgrew it and yes I wasn't using top slot, he's short torsoed. We have the regent now and my friends use their marathon for him, and yes the marathon is a way better seat but I still loved the AOE. I also couldn't use the base in the middle of my back seat because it would install tight enough.

    Janet

  10. #9
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    Janet -

    I have my AOE installed rearfacing in the middle of our back seat? Do you think because it is in the middle that is why it won't tighten enough? I was just keeping in the middle because I know that is the safest.

    I understand about pulling at the right angle. How much more difficult can they make it to install a car seat?

    I was looking at the Fisher Price Safety Voyage but they are now discontinued and I wasn't really comfortable not seeing in person and just buying it online.

    tjham - I still have the box, the receipt, and everything. I am just testing this one out for a week or 2 and see if I like it. I defenitely do not want to buy a Britax and spend that much $$. I plan on passing on this convertible seat to hopefully my next child and buying a regular booster seat down the road. Is there anything else out there that you would recommend other than a Britax?

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    The Fisher Price Safe Voyage is a Britax shell. Did Britax make it? i think someone is an expert on those things and could maybe chime in. Its being discontinued, but I heard its a really, really good seat. You could give that one a shot. It FF to 55 lbs, I think.

  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy Sarabela's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    I had a lot of trouble with mine as well. It took DH and I 3 hours to install them (we have twins so had 2 seats) to where we felt they were good and tight and it took the both of us, one to push in and down on the seat and the other to pull the strap. I then took them to be inspected and the techs readjusted them, said they were not in right. They also used 2 people to install. I recently replaced them with Britax Boulevards and what a difference! It took 10 mins each seat to get a good tight install by myself. I would also recommend you take it back if you can and get something different, especially if you will have to take it out and reinstall it ever. You can find out where to have it inspected at http://seatcheck.org/

  13. #12
    CPS Technician Jewels's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    Have you tried installing the AOE with the seatbelt? LATCH is suposed to make installing seats easier but that is not always the case; sometimes using a seatbelt install is easier. It is safest to keep children in a harness for as long as possible (really as long as they fit in one). The AOE has low top harness slots which lots of children outgrow by around 2-2.5, at this age they are not ready for a booster and then need another 5pt harness seat. If you are not set on this seat yet I would recommend looking at some more seats before deciding. I posted the following quote about the AO/AOE's from this thread:
    Originally Posted by Iluvbabies57
    I stole this one from someone on Delphi!

    1. This WILL NOT BE THE ONLY SEAT YOU WILL EVER NEED!! Reason being... Carseats expire after 6 years max (plastic starts to break down after 5 years and the seat can have hidden damage and fail in a crash). Children need to ride in a booster seat until they are 8-10 years old and at least 4ft 9in tall. Also there are new advances on carseats all the time and in 6 years there will be lots of new information and new seats out that will be better. You will need to purchase a new seat after your AO expires.
    2. There have been problems with the harness straps twisting. You may or may not have a problem with this, but something to be aware of and for others to know. These MUST be untwisted EVERY SINGLE RIDE and need to lie flat against the body.
    3. The harness slots are rather low on this seat and your child may outgrow it by height before weight and making them need the belt position booster when they should still be in a harness (should be in a harness until at least 40lbs).
    4. The back on the booster is not all that high and will probably be outgrown by a child at about 60lbs (tips of ears are even with the top of the shell).
    5. The AO is designed with less head/side support then other convertibles in order to accommodate the later belt-position booster. But yet it offers too much side support for a belt position booster and it could cause the shoulder belt to be held away from the child’s body and in a crash the child could slip out from under the belt.
    6. The chest clip tends to slide down when in use and the clip needs to stay at armpit level in order to prevent ejection from the seat and car in the event of a crash. Cosco is aware of this problem and has redesigned the clip, but some models still have the old clip.
    7. This seat can be very difficult to install in many vehicles. It has many incompatibility issues. Some of which cannot be fixed and a different seat is recommended.
    8. Seat shell may crack in extreme heat. This renders the seat completely useless. Cosco is not at all surprised this accurse and Cosco customer service says (according to one mom who spoke with customer service) "sometimes that happens on these seats when you have a hot spell".
    From Consumer Reports…
    9. When used a belt position booster (with out the harness) the belt guide can stick causing the belt to have slack. The child could slip out from under it in the event of a crash.
    10. Also when used as a belt position booster (also with other Cosco boosters) children can slip out from under the lap belt portion in a crash.
    New info I have learned about Cosco as a company: First, Cosco has several lawsuits filed against them right now for allegedly selling dangerous seats. They are aware of many problems with certain seats and refuse to pull them from store shelves as they “pass all federal safety standards”. The reason these seats pass standards is because they are only TESTED in frontal collisions, but the in real life results have been much different and unfortunately it has resulted in many children being seriously injured, paralyzed, and killed. Second, Cosco has been fined by the government many, many times for reporting false information to NHSTA about their seats. Third, Cosco will wait until they absolutely HAVE to put a recall out on one of their seats before doing so. This to me tells me they are a company out for a few $$ instead of worrying about children’s lives
    Some seats you might want to look at are the:
    Cosco Uptown ($99)
    Cosco Scenera ($40ish)
    FPSVD ($150ish)
    Sunshinekids Radian ($179)

    Quote Originally Posted by VLsMom View Post
    The Fisher Price Safe Voyage is a Britax shell. Did Britax make it? i think someone is an expert on those things and could maybe chime in. Its being discontinued, but I heard its a really, really good seat. You could give that one a shot. It FF to 55 lbs, I think.
    Yes, Britax makes the FPSVD. It is similar to the Marathon (MA) with the same 17" top harness slot. The FPSVD does not have all the bells and whistles that the MA has (ie. the FPSVD does not have high weight limit of 65lbs, RF tether or built in lock-offs etc.)

  14. #13
    Senior Community Member sirrahn's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    I have an AOE that I use rfing pretty often....it doesn't take me long to install it anymore, but it's definitely more effort than my Britax seats. The tip you've already gotten about pulling the tail of the LATCH strap up through the hole in the shell makes the biggest difference IMO. I have the base on mine and it hasn't been an issue (I've tried it w/o as well and couldn't tell that it was any tighter or easier) in my cars at least.

    Just to clarify too...you don't want it to move at the beltpath....the back and top of it is going to be wobbly...that's normal. You may also need some pool noodles under the front to keep it reclined. I can *not* get it installed tight and with any recline at all without noodles in DH's car.

  15. #14
    Carseat Crazy cdncasper's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    I have the AOE too and I found with RF it is easier to install with a seatbelt instead of the latch. If the seatbelt buckle is even with the vehicle seat than I liked having the base off but if the buckle is longer than it is better with the base. Either way pool noodles are great for getting the recline that is needed.

    April
    mommy to K, 5 years, 41.5 lbs, 44 inches, harnessed in a Britax Frontier CT


  16. #15
    Senior Community Member tjham's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    I have 2 of the FP Safe Voyage seats and love, love, love them! I also have a Britax Marathon and love it too. But if you've never used a Britax, you won't miss the "bells and whistles"! I got one of my FPSVD seats from Albeebaby.com for $129.99 (free shipping). It came in about 6 days, I think.

    I agree with all the OP's reasons for NOT keeping the AO. And it's about $150, IIR.

    I also really like my Scenera from Walmart for $40! I don't have an Uptown but they look great too. You would just need another higher harnessed seat later on.

    With the FPSVD (high top slots, to 55 lbs), you would most likely be able to go right to a dedicated booster.

  17. #16
    Senior Community Member Amaris's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    Also, you might want to check that your car allows latch installs in the center position!



  18. #17
    CPS Fanatic mominabigtruck's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    I've had a AOE and found it really easy to install. I'm probably one of the weird ones but I never took the base off of mine and used it in a caravan with no latch and got a great install. I would say though if you're having this much problems with it its probably not going to be a great seat for you because you absolutely need a seat you can install right everytime. I just bought a fpsv for my babysitter from albeebaby and I got it last week and it had a manufacture date of 3/27/07 so they're not discontinued, they're still making them somewhere. So far I've only installed mine ffing in a semi and an older truck but I will be installing it tommorrow rfing in an explorer in the middle so I will let you know how that goes.
    If it seems like I'm not making sense, it's probably just my phone

  19. #18
    Senior Community Member all together ooky's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    Yeah, from what I've been reading the FPSVD is not discontinued. It's just not available at BRU anymore. www.albeebaby.com has it for $129.
    I'd return the AOE.
    ~Sonja~

    Gwenllian: Born Feb. 7, 2004
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    Beatrice: Born Sept. 30, 2012

  20. #19
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia12 View Post
    I still have the box, the receipt, and everything. I am just testing this one out for a week or 2 and see if I like it. I defenitely do not want to buy a Britax and spend that much $$. I plan on passing on this convertible seat to hopefully my next child and buying a regular booster seat down the road. Is there anything else out there that you would recommend other than a Britax?
    I would suggest the Safety First Uptown. It has the same weight limits as your AO, a price tag of only $90, but taller harness slots and a taller seat shell. It has a nice soft (Britax-like) plush cover , energy-absorbing EPP foam, and it's pretty easy to install with either the seatbelt or LATCH.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  21. #20
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: Costco Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Installation Question

    Ditto the Uptown or FPSVD (preferably the FPSVD because it has taller top slots and a higher harnessed weight limit).

    Ditto checking that your car allows center LATCH use (what vehicle is it?).
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

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