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  1. #1
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    Apr 2011
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    Radian rear-facing in a small car

    Hi,

    I have a Prius 2nd generation and I'm currently looking for a seat that will allow my 3 yr old to ride rear facing. She is currently in a Marathon but it seems like she will outgrow the height soon (weight is fine - she is only 30 lb).

    I tried the Sunshine Kids Radian XTLS today in my car and we were able to install it pretty tight with LATCH in the passenger side. The problem was, the passenger seat had to be pulled forward quite a bit to leave room for the seat RF. So I have a few questions.

    I need to be able to fit this seat in the driver's side because I want to have my 3 yr old in the driver side and my 5 month old in the passenger side so it's easier to get the baby out when paralleled parked. But in order to fit this seat behind the driver's seat I need a *little* but more room.

    1. According to my husband's Droid's phone, the angle of the seat was 30 degrees already, but my kid looked pretty reclined to me. Is it possible/safe/correct to try to put her more upright? How can I do that? Is it safe to put a towel or something under? How vertical can I make it? 20 degrees?

    2. Can the car seat touch the seat in front, or does there have to be a gap between them? (I would push the front seat forward to install the car seat, then push it back and it "touches", but it doesn't PUSH the car seat or anything).

    3. Is there another car seat that has a higher shell than the Marathon AND that is smaller than the Radian so it can fit in my car? The Radian has SO much more space in the legs than the Marathon, I wish it had less leg room and then it would fit my car just fine.

    I just want to keep my 3 yr old rear facing longer and my baby is outgrowing his bucket seat so we do need to get a new seat.

    Thank you!

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  3. #2
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    Re: Radian rear-facing in a small car

    The Radian doesn't have a limit on how upright you can put it. You can't use a towel though. Will it fit in the center next to the baby's seat? That way it can poke a little between the two front seats.
    Aurora 5/23/94 (married 3/9/13), Oliver 12/27/95, Simon 9/11/98, Savannah 4/9/00, Harrison 2/26/03, Genevieve 2/24/05, Sebastian 4/24/08-Monterey, Radian XT, or Literider, Magnus 4/26/14-Combi Shuttle 35

  4. #3
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: Radian rear-facing in a small car

    What model year is your Prius? Generation II models are 2004/2005 and newer if I'm remembering correctly, and Toyota phased in advanced airbags in its model lineup around the 2005 model year. You'll need to double check the airbag section of your Prius' owner's manual to see if it warns against allowing a rear facing carseat to touch the front seatbacks because Toyotas equipped with advanced front airbags typically warn against touching due to potential interference with the advanced airbag sensors.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

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  5. #4
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    Re: Radian rear-facing in a small car

    Thank you!
    I have to check my car's manual. It's a 2009 model. I wonder if bracing is allowed then?

    We didn't think of trying the car seat in the middle, duh! But I think it won't fit. The seat the baby will use is the Marathon my 3 yr old is using now, and that seat is pretty wide. If I use the seat belts instead of the latch on the MA, I might be able to fit them side by side but they will definitely be touching/bracing each other and I'm a little nervous of leaving it like that in a permanent set up. I would prefer to have them more separate. But I might go back to the store and try it in the middle this time just to see how it would fit.

    We'll have to try putting the Radian more upright and see if it fits better, on the driver's side. Thanks!

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Radian rear-facing in a small car

    The Radian and Marathon (at least the older model Marathon - don't know about the current model) only fit next to each other if facing opposite directions.

    Since your issue is height and not weight you might want to try out the True Fit. It has a tall shell but the headrest attaches at a different angle than the back of the seat so it takes up a little less room than the Radian. It can only be installed up to 35 degrees though. Lots of people also say they can get good upright installs with the Complete Air. I have yet to install one of those.
    ~Tracey~
    Little Boy 1 - Graco Turbo Booster & Diono Monteray - 6 yrs, 50lbs, 48"
    Little Boy 2 - FF Radian XT - 4 yrs, 42 lbs, 45"

  7. #6
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Radian rear-facing in a small car

    I'd be interested to know what your manual says about bracing or touching, because I'm trying to decide whether or not to bring the Radian to visit my parents who have a 2nd gen. Prius.

    Wouldn't the advanced airbags issue only be a concern behind the passenger seat? The driver's side airbags shouldn't be operated by a sensor, since there's always a driver, right? I'm not a tech, though, and I'm not looking at a manual, obviously.

    Also, looking at the data spread sheets gives a RF height of 40 inches for the Complete Air but a RF height of 53 inches for the Radian. Children all have different torso lengths, obviously, but that's a huge difference for two of the seats often suggested to tall children! Is that even possible?! I guess people are following the 1 inch rule rather than the stated height (which is silly, of course, but it is the stated height).

    Spreadsheets are here: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?...EE&hl=en#gid=0
    Last edited by KaiLing; 04-30-2011 at 08:16 PM. Reason: got CA clarification elsewhere.

  8. #7
    CPS Technician glockchick's Avatar
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    Re: Radian rear-facing in a small car

    I have 2 RN's rear facing in my Honda Civic. They are braced pretty tightly in order for the two front seats to be usable, but it does work. I install the seats with my vehicle seats all the way forward and then slide my seats back before attaching the rfing tether. Bracing helps just a touch with the angle in my car as well.

    Shanna - Paramedic & Mom
    Trenton (19), Michael (17), Gabriel (15), Miss Abigail (12), Kaleigh (10), and Caleb (8) - Evenflo booster

    They just don't make em like they used to.

  9. #8
    Senior Community Member
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    Re: Radian rear-facing in a small car

    I've had a old style Marathon and a RadianXT both rf next to each other and they fit great. The Radian sits lower and sits right under the edge of the Marathon all the way up to the top. I'd definitely try that. As long as the two seats are installed tight independantly, it is fine to have them touching. Install one tight, then the other. Take the first one out and see if the second one is still tight. Then reinstall it all!!
    Aurora 5/23/94 (married 3/9/13), Oliver 12/27/95, Simon 9/11/98, Savannah 4/9/00, Harrison 2/26/03, Genevieve 2/24/05, Sebastian 4/24/08-Monterey, Radian XT, or Literider, Magnus 4/26/14-Combi Shuttle 35

  10. #9
    CPS Technician LuckyFins3Lil'Fish's Avatar
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    Re: Radian rear-facing in a small car

    I've found that it takes 2 people to get a tight upright install of a RN in a Prius. You won't be able to brace because of the advanced airbags. I have a friend w/ a Prius & a RN & it takes the both of us to do it so we can get it where it doesn't brace the seat. It's a lot of hard work & takes lots of effort but it can be done.
    DS: 2-3-06 Boostered in a Diono Monterey. DDs: 3-21-08 FF Evenflo Big Kid Amp & Britax Frontier 85 Booster Mode
    Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next. ~Franklin P. Jones

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