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  1. #1
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    Booster question and flying question

    I have 2 questions. First, I'm looking to get a booster for my 6 yr old to start booster training. I really like the First Years Compass booster, but there are so many different ones and I'm not sure what the differences in the seats are. I like the b540 (?) mostly because it has the flower cover The seats look comfortable, and I love that you can flip up the arm rests to buckle the seat. We don't have any stores here that carry anything other than Evenflo Big kids and HBTB so I can't try anything else before I buy. Oh and B is 6, 42 lbs and not sure on height.

    Next question is about flying. We are thinking of taking a trip and I've never done the car seat on a plane. I've only ever flown with my kids twice and my youngest was a lap baby. She is 6 now, and I'm not sure what I should do about a car seat for her. We have a GN and a RN XT. We need to have a harnessed seat when we get there for her because the car we have down there has a lap belt in the middle and we need the outboard shoulder belts for our older dds. I was thinking of buying a Maestro to take and use on the plane, but idk if she really needs it on the plane. Or how easy/hard it is to install on the plane. My other thought was to order it and have it shipped to our family there and then just have B sit in the reg seat belt on the plane. I think she'd be more comfy in a car seat, but idk if I really want to deal with the extra hassle if I don't have to. Any idea if she'd fit in the Maestro? I just moved her to the top slots in the GN.
    Thanks so much

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  3. #2
    CPST Instructor EmmaCPST's Avatar
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    I flew with a Nautilus and it wasn't bad at all. I kinda held it sideways with the bight of the car seat across my hip and it was easy to carry that way. It installed no problem on our Southwest flight.

    And the Nautilus and Maestro top slots are the same height, so if she has room in the Nauti, she should be ok in the Maestro. I have both seats and the Maestro is significantly lighter!
    Emma
    CPST-I & Colorado Mama to 5 year old Sam & 1 year old Grace, riding in a Frontier and a Coccoro.

  4. #3
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    Quote Originally Posted by emma41256 View Post
    I flew with a Nautilus and it wasn't bad at all. I kinda held it sideways with the bight of the car seat across my hip and it was easy to carry that way. It installed no problem on our Southwest flight.

    And the Nautilus and Maestro top slots are the same height, so if she has room in the Nauti, she should be ok in the Maestro. I have both seats and the Maestro is significantly lighter!
    That's why I was thinking the Maestro. I don't really need another harnessed seat but I'd probably donate/sell it. Do you think a 6 yr old needs one on a plane?

  5. #4
    CPST Instructor EmmaCPST's Avatar
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    Quote Originally Posted by Momof3girls View Post
    Do you think a 6 yr old needs one on a plane?
    Not necessarily - but since you need a seat at your destination, I'd take it on the plane. If someone at your destination could provide a seat for her I'd probably consider a CARES harness.. but checking the seat isn't a good idea so it'll be much safer for the seat to just travel with you, if not a bit inconvenient.
    Emma
    CPST-I & Colorado Mama to 5 year old Sam & 1 year old Grace, riding in a Frontier and a Coccoro.

  6. #5
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    Quote Originally Posted by emma41256 View Post
    Not necessarily - but since you need a seat at your destination, I'd take it on the plane. If someone at your destination could provide a seat for her I'd probably consider a CARES harness.. but checking the seat isn't a good idea so it'll be much safer for the seat to just travel with you, if not a bit inconvenient.
    I'll check into the CARES harness. Yeah, I'll never check a seat again. Last time (before I knew better) they lost the boot/recline/foot thing of my Snugride base.

  7. #6
    CPS Technician Qarin's Avatar
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    CARES has a 44lb weight limit and a 40" height limit. I don't think I would even consider using it for a typically developing 6 year old at or above those size limits.
    Homeschooling mama to safely transported kids-
    DD1- 11/2001 - 61.5", Seat Belt (5-steps)
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  8. #7
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    The Radian fits really well on the plane in the forward-facing position. It's low enough that your child can still use the tray table. My DH installed it on the plane without any problems when we traveled with ours several years ago.

    If you don't mind carrying the car seat (actually, I had DH carry the car seat), I would just use the Radian. I don't see spending money on another car seat that you don't need since you already have two that will work well.

    Melanie

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy Traquy's Avatar
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    I personally would never put a 6 yr old in a car seat on a plane. I won't put my 4 yr old in a carseat, she enjoys using the tray table for coloring and looking at books and sits just fine in her seatbelt. It seems to me like it would be huge and bulky and would leave them no legroom at all (so much more likely to be kicking seat in front of them). I would either have it shipped to your destination, if someone is picking you up, or gate-check it. I have gate checked my seats several times and never had any issue with damage.

    As for the Compass 540 booster, I have one and really like it. I plan to take it with me on my trip to visit my Mom and just carry it on the plane. It fits in an overhead bag. I ordered mine though Wal Mart site-to-store so if it didn't fit DD or my car right I could just take it back in and return it without hassling with shipping. Luckily, it fits DD really well and works very nicely in my back seat (no tipping, nice snug fit against the seat back). I've happy with it.

  10. #9
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    I don't see the need to use a car seat on the plane for a 6 year old, however if you decide to take one with you I would definitely just take the Radian. You can order a 2nd carry strap and put it on your back like a backpack, if that would be more comfortable for you. It's heavy enough I wouldn't want to sling it over my shoulder with just one strap.

    The other option would be to have a Maestro shipped directly to the family you'll be visiting. Maybe they'll know of someone in need to donate it to when you're done with it, or maybe they'll hold on to it for other visiting family members.

    Personally, those are the only two options I'd seriously consider: Take the Radian on the plane, or use the seat belt on the plane and have the family bring you a new Maestro at the airport.

  11. #10
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    Quote Originally Posted by Qarin View Post
    CARES has a 44lb weight limit and a 40" height limit. I don't think I would even consider using it for a typically developing 6 year old at or above those size limits.
    I didn't know that, thanks

  12. #11
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    Quote Originally Posted by Traquy View Post

    As for the Compass 540 booster, I have one and really like it. I plan to take it with me on my trip to visit my Mom and just carry it on the plane. It fits in an overhead bag. I ordered mine though Wal Mart site-to-store so if it didn't fit DD or my car right I could just take it back in and return it without hassling with shipping. Luckily, it fits DD really well and works very nicely in my back seat (no tipping, nice snug fit against the seat back). I've happy with it.
    That's a great idea and I will definitely do it this way.

  13. #12
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    Quote Originally Posted by Brigala View Post
    I don't see the need to use a car seat on the plane for a 6 year old, however if you decide to take one with you I would definitely just take the Radian. You can order a 2nd carry strap and put it on your back like a backpack, if that would be more comfortable for you. It's heavy enough I wouldn't want to sling it over my shoulder with just one strap.

    The other option would be to have a Maestro shipped directly to the family you'll be visiting. Maybe they'll know of someone in need to donate it to when you're done with it, or maybe they'll hold on to it for other visiting family members.

    Personally, those are the only two options I'd seriously consider: Take the Radian on the plane, or use the seat belt on the plane and have the family bring you a new Maestro at the airport.
    I think I'll just order on to be delivered there. Seems like the easiest way and we have tons of family down there, so maybe someone can use it.

  14. #13
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    Unless there is some special needs issue, a 6 year old does not need a carseat on a plane to be comfortable. It would be a huge pain to carry it on. I know that there are folks who are adamant about not checking carseats, but I've done that for years on more flights than I can count. As for what to use when you get there, I need to answer that question myself.

  15. #14
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    Quote Originally Posted by ear1989 View Post
    Unless there is some special needs issue, a 6 year old does not need a carseat on a plane to be comfortable. It would be a huge pain to carry it on. I know that there are folks who are adamant about not checking carseats, but I've done that for years on more flights than I can count. As for what to use when you get there, I need to answer that question myself.

    I have to disagree. We flew without harness car seats for the first time this summer with our 6yo twins. Our children were fine on the way out when we were flying during the day and they were awake. We flew back in the evening and my children had a difficult time getting comfortable in the plane seat for sleeping. I really missed the support the car seat provided for sleeping when it was 10pm our body clock time and my kids really needed to sleep.

    I also don't trust the airlines not to lose or damage our car seats. I've heard too many stories of both of these happening. I don't think it is worth the risk.

    It sounds like the OP has a solution that will work for her that will also make sure that she has a safe car seat to use at her destination.

    Melanie

  16. #15
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    Re: Booster question and flying question

    I have seen numerous seats damaged by airline handling. That doesn't include seats (that I probably have seen, but wouldn't know) that were damaged, but not visibly so.

    Saying "I've always checked car seats and never had a problem" is a lot like saying "I didn't use car seats as a kid and came out just fine." Stuff gets damaged by airlines quite often.

    That said, I don't believe that a 6-year-old needs a car seat on a plane. However, the kid does need a seat at the destination. Ordinarily, I'd be fine with a 6-year-old carrying on a backless booster, but that's not an option in this case because of the lap-belt in the car.

    In this particular situation, I'm not a bit concerned about the child's safety or comfort on the plane, but I'm still concerned about the safety of a checked seat.

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