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  1. #1
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    harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Does anyone know if there is a seat that doesn't require a top tether. It is for when my sister is babysitting my 3 yo son and apparently her nissan pathfinder doesn't have top tethers. I'd like not to spend too terribly much she'll be watching him every other weekend. DS is 3, around 36 pounds, and on the short side. My current spare seat is a scerna that she's been using but I didn't realize she didn't have it tethered.

    thanks

    mama to Jackson 11/08
    radian in chevy traverse
    Grace nautilus in a chevy Tahoe

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  3. #2
    CPS Fanatic Brianna's Avatar
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    What year is the Pathfinder?

    The godkids are growing!
    J 9/09 and J&A 1/15

  4. #3
    CPS Technician glockchick's Avatar
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    If you're in the us, any seat installed with the seat belt does not require a tether unless the seat manufacturer requires it. The fr 85 after the child is 65 lbs is one that comes to mind as one required to be tethered.

    Of course using the tether is always recommended if possible, but sometimes it just isn't possible. My son's seat is not tethered in my suburban because I can't.
    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.

  5. #4
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    In the US there are very few seats that require the tether. So don't buy a Frontier 85 and use it after 65 pounds harnessed, no Safety 1st Go Hybrid, and I think that's it.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 100#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 53", 92#, Nuna Aaces, Chicco KidFit
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic


  6. #5
    CPS Technician soygurl's Avatar
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    All seats pass testing withOUT using the top tether. They also must pass a more strict test where they CAN use a top tether to help which is why using a top tether is always recommended. I can only think of a few seats that actually require using the top tether (Frontier85 after 65 lbs, Safeguard Go/Safety 1st Go Hybrid, and Ride Safer Travel Vest when using a lap only belt).

    That said, most car seat companies don't release crash test results, but Diono (formerly Sunshine Kids) does, and the Radian passes the more strict test without the tether. I've heard the Graco Nautilus does too, but I don't believe their crash test results have actually been released to the public for confirmation of that. It's quite possible other seats do as well, but we just don't have access to that information.

    Also, in echoing the PP, if the Pathfinder is a mid year 2001 or newer it DOES have tether anchors. If it's an early 2001 or older, tether anchors can be retrofit if your friend would be willing. The part kit should be relatively inexpensive (~$15).

    ETA: I'm really slow, lol!
    ~Kelsie, CPST. Full-time nanny to C (3.5y), RF in a MySize70, and R (born 6/11/14), riding in a Coccoro. Loving Auntie to many!
    "We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better" - Maya Angelou

  7. #6
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Quote Originally Posted by soygurl View Post
    All seats pass testing withOUT using the top tether. They also must pass a more strict test where they CAN use a top tether to help which is why using a top tether is always recommended. I can only think of a few seats that actually require using the top tether (Frontier85 after 65 lbs, Safeguard Go/Safety 1st Go Hybrid, and Ride Safer Travel Vest when using a lap only belt).

    That said, most car seat companies don't release crash test results, but Diono (formerly Sunshine Kids) does, and the Radian passes the more strict test without the tether. I've heard the Graco Nautilus does too, but I don't believe their crash test results have actually been released to the public for confirmation of that. It's quite possible other seats do as well, but we just don't have access to that information.

    Also, in echoing the PP, if the Pathfinder is a mid year 2001 or newer it DOES have tether anchors. If it's an early 2001 or older, tether anchors can be retrofit if your friend would be willing. The part kit should be relatively inexpensive (~$15).

    ETA: I'm really slow, lol!
    The info on the Nautilus comes directly from NHTSA's compliance testing results. The same testing results shows that the Radian passes the "tethered" standard without the tether sometimes but not always.

    The Scenera that grouprn already owns is allowed to be used without the tether for sure.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  8. #7
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    wow, I thought all FF seats had to be top tethered due to head excursion. Seems like I can pull the cosco scenera seat forward a ways when I'm messing with it. I would think in a collision it would go forward quite a bit.

    My sister's pathfinder is an older one but not sure on the year. She's the one that told me she couldn't find any top anchers. She knows I'm concerned about it and didn't offer to have some installed. She's already doing me a huge favor watching him so I don't know that I want to push it.

    If the radian did better w/o being tethered maybe I'll just take my seat out everytime and put it in her car. That's what I am currently doing when my step daughter watches him. But it sure is a pain taking the seat out and reinstalling it all the time.

    thanks so much for the help.

    mama to Jackson 11/08
    radian in chevy traverse
    Grace nautilus in a chevy Tahoe

  9. #8
    CPS Technician soygurl's Avatar
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixels View Post
    The info on the Nautilus comes directly from NHTSA's compliance testing results. The same testing results shows that the Radian passes the "tethered" standard without the tether sometimes but not always.

    The Scenera that grouprn already owns is allowed to be used without the tether for sure.
    Ah, thanks for correcting me!
    ~Kelsie, CPST. Full-time nanny to C (3.5y), RF in a MySize70, and R (born 6/11/14), riding in a Coccoro. Loving Auntie to many!
    "We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better" - Maya Angelou

  10. #9
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Seats do better with a tether. That's why tethers exist. They do help hold the top of the seat back, reducing head excursion. But they are also tested to make sure that when a tether is not use, the head excursion isn't crazy.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  11. #10
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Quote Originally Posted by grouprn View Post
    Does anyone know if there is a seat that doesn't require a top tether. It is for when my sister is babysitting my 3 yo son and apparently her nissan pathfinder doesn't have top tethers. I'd like not to spend too terribly much she'll be watching him every other weekend. DS is 3, around 36 pounds, and on the short side. My current spare seat is a scerna that she's been using but I didn't realize she didn't have it tethered.

    thanks
    Can you find out the information about getting a top tether for your sister's car? Maybe if you do the research and find out the costs, she would be willing to do it or maybe you could make arrangements to get it done. She might not know it's possible to add the top tether or she might think it would be too expensive.

    Do you know how close your DS is to outgrowing the Scenera? At 36lbs, his shoulders might be getting close to the top harness slots.

    Melanie

  12. #11
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan06twinmom View Post
    Can you find out the information about getting a top tether for your sister's car? Maybe if you do the research and find out the costs, she would be willing to do it or maybe you could make arrangements to get it done. She might not know it's possible to add the top tether or she might think it would be too expensive.

    Do you know how close your DS is to outgrowing the Scenera? At 36lbs, his shoulders might be getting close to the top harness slots.

    Melanie
    That's a good idea. I'll try calling a nissan dealership and see what they say.

    He still had some room in it last time I checked. Poor little guy is a shortie. Guess if I don't have to worry about the top tether issue I can hopefully find another harnessed seat as a spare that isn't too pricey.

    Thanks everyone! You all are so helpful

    mama to Jackson 11/08
    radian in chevy traverse
    Grace nautilus in a chevy Tahoe

  13. #12
    CPS Technician soygurl's Avatar
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Quote Originally Posted by grouprn View Post
    That's a good idea. I'll try calling a nissan dealership and see what they say.

    He still had some room in it last time I checked. Poor little guy is a shortie. Guess if I don't have to worry about the top tether issue I can hopefully find another harnessed seat as a spare that isn't too pricey.

    Thanks everyone! You all are so helpful
    According to the '11 LATCH manual, the Tether Anchor Kit part # is 88894-89900. It says "The bracket is in the kit, but the bolt is usually pre-installed in the TA point." and "If not, purchase the correct-size bolt separately from the dealer. There is no part number for the bolt, but the exact size is specified in the owner's manual."

    Also from the LATCH manual: If the Pathfinder is a '95 or older, it should have a TA point for each of the outboard seats, but not the center. If it's a '96-'00, there will be a TA point for all three back seats. If it's a '01 it will either have three actual Tether Anchors, or it'll have three TA points. Regardless of year, TA points will be pre-drilled holes, with "8 mm weld nuts under carpet in rear cargo floor."

    The TA Kit should cost about $15. No mention in the LATCH manual of how much they might charge for installation. It couldn't hurt to ask if they will install for free/cheap, but not, it would likely be quite easy to install yourself. You'd probably just need a utility knife to cut a hole in the carpet, and a torque wrench for tightening the bolt.

    Hope that helps!
    ~Kelsie, CPST. Full-time nanny to C (3.5y), RF in a MySize70, and R (born 6/11/14), riding in a Coccoro. Loving Auntie to many!
    "We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better" - Maya Angelou

  14. #13
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Quote Originally Posted by soygurl View Post
    According to the '11 LATCH manual, the Tether Anchor Kit part # is 88894-89900. It says "The bracket is in the kit, but the bolt is usually pre-installed in the TA point." and "If not, purchase the correct-size bolt separately from the dealer. There is no part number for the bolt, but the exact size is specified in the owner's manual."

    Also from the LATCH manual: If the Pathfinder is a '95 or older, it should have a TA point for each of the outboard seats, but not the center. If it's a '96-'00, there will be a TA point for all three back seats. If it's a '01 it will either have three actual Tether Anchors, or it'll have three TA points. Regardless of year, TA points will be pre-drilled holes, with "8 mm weld nuts under carpet in rear cargo floor."

    The TA Kit should cost about $15. No mention in the LATCH manual of how much they might charge for installation. It couldn't hurt to ask if they will install for free/cheap, but not, it would likely be quite easy to install yourself. You'd probably just need a utility knife to cut a hole in the carpet, and a torque wrench for tightening the bolt.

    Hope that helps!
    Her husband is actually a mechanic at a ford dealership so if it's that easy I'm sure he would be able to do it. When we were talking about it he didn't act like he knew anything about retro fitting tether anchors. Is that latch manual something that the dealership would have?

    mama to Jackson 11/08
    radian in chevy traverse
    Grace nautilus in a chevy Tahoe

  15. #14
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    I'd be shocked if they had a LATCH manual. Most honestly have no idea what LATCH or tethers are.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 100#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 53", 92#, Nuna Aaces, Chicco KidFit
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic


  16. #15
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    I'd be shocked if they had a LATCH manual. Most honestly have no idea what LATCH or tethers are.

    Wendy
    I called the nissan dealership today and they didn't know what I was talking about. Or if I could even order the part. I am waiting for them to call me back. I offered to give them the part number I had but they didn't seem to want that either.

    mama to Jackson 11/08
    radian in chevy traverse
    Grace nautilus in a chevy Tahoe

  17. #16
    CPS Technician soygurl's Avatar
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Quote Originally Posted by grouprn View Post
    Her husband is actually a mechanic at a ford dealership so if it's that easy I'm sure he would be able to do it. When we were talking about it he didn't act like he knew anything about retro fitting tether anchors. Is that latch manual something that the dealership would have?
    Retro-fitting tether anchors probably isn't something that gets done often, so I'm not surprised her husband didn't seem to know anything about it. But yeah, if there's a pre-drilled hole (which there should be in any pathfinder), it's usually very simple to do and essentially consists attaching a bracket, and tightening a bolt to a specific tightness (hence the torque wrench).

    The LATCH manual is not something the dealership would have, but it's also not something you should need to retrofit a tether anchor. I copied all the info that looked to be helpful for you, and the TA kit should come with instructions. If it doesn't, the vehicle owner's manual, (and maybe the dealership's service manual) should have all the info you need.

    The LATCH manual is a book used primarily by CPSTs. It's published by Safe Ride News. They surveys all the vehicle manufacturers for information on LATCH in their vehicles, and the answers they receive are compliled into the LATCH manual for easy reference.
    ~Kelsie, CPST. Full-time nanny to C (3.5y), RF in a MySize70, and R (born 6/11/14), riding in a Coccoro. Loving Auntie to many!
    "We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better" - Maya Angelou

  18. #17
    CPS Technician soygurl's Avatar
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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Quote Originally Posted by grouprn View Post
    I called the nissan dealership today and they didn't know what I was talking about. Or if I could even order the part. I am waiting for them to call me back. I offered to give them the part number I had but they didn't seem to want that either.
    LOL. Typical. I hope they call you back soon, and have figured out what they're doing!
    ~Kelsie, CPST. Full-time nanny to C (3.5y), RF in a MySize70, and R (born 6/11/14), riding in a Coccoro. Loving Auntie to many!
    "We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better" - Maya Angelou

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    Re: harness seat that doesn't require top tether

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixels View Post
    Seats do better with a tether. That's why tethers exist. They do help hold the top of the seat back, reducing head excursion. But they are also tested to make sure that when a tether is not use, the head excursion isn't crazy.
    I know this thread is ancient, but I could not let this apparent misunderstanding pass.
    From that quote and on, the participants of the thread seem to think a top tether is not necessary, period. Please reread the post up above which says top tethers are usually not required when the car seat is installed WITH THE SEAT BELT! That is because the shoulder part of the belt restrains the upper portion of the car seat. It does NOT mean the top tether is not required when using lower anchors!

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