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  1. #1
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    Jul 2011
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    Question Secondary seat rec that is good for traveling

    First, let me say that I have spent a number of hours reading this forum over the last three years and have never posted. But you all have already helped me a lot. So thanks!

    I have two kids (DD will be 3 in August and DS will be 1 in August) who are on the bigger side. DD is 39 lbs and tall, with more of her height in her torso than legs. DS is 22 pounds and also tall. The seats we currently have are a TrueFit Premiere, a Radian 65, and a Complete Air, (and a Keyfit 30 which isn't relevant to this question).

    Our cars are a 2005 Subaru Outback and a 2001 Toyota Corolla. The kids are almost always in the Outback. DD is currently RF in the CA but will likely hit the 40 lb. limit soonish. We tried to get the Radian RF in the Outback so she can RF even longer but we couldn't get a good install. We have therefore mostly only used the Radian for airplane travel and love it for that. (Grrr. Love the Outback but hate it for carseats). I'm just hoping we can get DD RF until 3 in her CA. Then I plan to install the Radian FF and put her in that and use the TFP RF for DS when he outgrows the Keyfit.

    I'm wondering what I should do for the Toyota once we make these carseat moves in the next couple months, keeping in mind that we will be traveling several times/year by plane. (I always have and always will buy a seat on planes for my infants/toddlers, but I don't care much if they are able to RF or not on the plane). Our next flight is in September, so I need to have something figured in the next month or so.

    Okay, so given all of that, here are the options I was thinking of. What would you recommend I do for the Toyota and for future air travel?

    1. Buy another Radian, put it FF in the Toyota for DD and put DS in the CA RF. Then take two Radians on planes when we travel. If this is a good idea, which Radian should I buy?

    2. Buy a Combination seat for DD for the Toyota and then take that on the plane along with a Radian for DS. I know nothing about combination seats, so I have no idea if this is a good idea or not, nor how they are to travel with compared to a Radian. If this is a good idea, what combo seats should I consider?

    3. Buy a Scenera for DS to RF in the Toyota and use the CA FF for DD. Then when we travel take the Radian and the Scenera. I could also just travel with a Radian and the CA we already own but the CA seems so wide and I've been on tiny planes with the Radian and been very very glad to have something so narrow.

    Other ideas? My current inclination is to get another Radian since I know that seat and have loved traveling with it. But I want to check that there isn't a better option first.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Re: Secondary seat rec that is good for traveling

    Maybe I need to simplify my question! (Too much information given??) In short, what would be best for airplane travel for a big 3 year old who will be FF on the plane:

    A Radian or some sort of Combination seat?

    Like I said I don't know anything about combination seats and how they compare to Radians, in terms of value, ease of installation, ease for travel, etc. Which would you rather take on a plane?

  4. #3
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: Secondary seat rec that is good for traveling

    For a not-yet-3yo, I'd get a Radian 80SL or XTSL and rear face your DD in the Toyota, unless she's already outgrown that by height.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  5. #4
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    Re: Secondary seat rec that is good for traveling

    Melissa,
    I appreciate your response. I wish I could keep DD RF longer, and hopefully she will have passed her 3rd birthday by the time she hits that 40 lb. mark. However, we've tried a Radian RF in both the Corolla and the Outback and in the Outback it's an impossible install for us and in the Corolla it was the most uncomfortable 10 minute car ride for the passenger in front of the darn thing ever. We tried to make it as upright as we could. So, DD will be FF as soon as she outgrows her Complete Air, unfortunately. As I said, she will (crossing my fingers) be 3 by then.

    So given that info, would you still recommend a Radian for flying over a combination seat? And did you recommend the 80 or XT b/c of the higher weight limit or for some other reason? I was reading some other threads that said the 80 lb. limit was overkill and not worth it. But maybe DD is heavy enough to warrant it? Thanks!

  6. #5
    CPS Technician scoutingbear's Avatar
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    Re: Secondary seat rec that is good for traveling

    If you are planning on FF your daughter soon anyway, you might want to look at a combination seat. I have heard good things about the Maestro in terms of a travel seat. It is light weight, is FF only, and, while it does convert into a decent booster seat later, the headrest does not move up very far at all so you would need a booster in a few years. If you don't mind doing that, the price is quite nice. If you want something that will last through the booster years, you are looking at a Graco Nautilus or a Britax Frontier. Both are larger, bulkier seats than the Maestro and heavy! Similar in weight to the radian but much bulkier and don't have the convenience of folding! So, as a travel seat, I would recommend the Evenflo Maestro.
    Karen
    A: 11 C: 9 M1: 5 M2: 6 months
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