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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy Mel281's Avatar
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    Leather seats vs cloth

    does this make a significant difference in car seat safety? Would it be a deal breaker in a new to you vehicle?
    DS1 8/5/07, 48", 45 lbs, harnessed in Maestro/Nautilus
    DD 11/30/07 alternates FF in EFTA(FF). 31 lbs, 39.25" tall
    DS2 6/3/13 15.5 lbs, RF in EFTA/Nextfit
    Riding in 2006 7 pass Sienna and 2012 F-150

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  3. #2
    CPS Fanatic Mags462's Avatar
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    Re: Leather seats vs cloth

    Car safety issue? No.... it makes no difference what the seat is made of.

    Deal breaker? Nope.... i actually really really really hate leather for comfort reasons so it'd "break" the other way for me personally (eg a vehicle having leather would have to be an amazing deal that i couldn't pass up ) ...... leather is overrate IMO
    Maggie - Rollin' hard in my Swagger Wagon with my 3 lil' men all properly restrained

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy Mel281's Avatar
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    I should clarify... I feel like my carseat installs might be harder to get tight in the cars I've used with leather.... Too slippery. I wondered if having the leather seats truly is less safe, or if i get a false sense of security with cloth seats. I don't love leather either, but I want a back up camera and some of the other bells and whistles that come with the higher end packages, and leather happens to be the only choice. I'm looking at minivans, 2nd generation Ody or Sienna if that matters for anything.
    DS1 8/5/07, 48", 45 lbs, harnessed in Maestro/Nautilus
    DD 11/30/07 alternates FF in EFTA(FF). 31 lbs, 39.25" tall
    DS2 6/3/13 15.5 lbs, RF in EFTA/Nextfit
    Riding in 2006 7 pass Sienna and 2012 F-150

  5. #4
    CPST/Firefighter Judi's Avatar
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    Re: Leather seats vs cloth

    It is easier to install in fabric. I would not get leather unless I really had to.

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy Christie's Avatar
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    And I just bought an oddy and HAD to get leather. Our three car seats have rock solid installs and I'm totally not worried about them.

    I was glad I got leather when, five days after getting my new van home, DS vomited all over his seat and the van seat. Clean up (and smell issues) were nothing compared to having to clean cloth seats like I have in my Chevy Express.

    Sent from my iPhone using Car-Seat.Org
    Mom to 11....#9: DD 6 FR85 Harnessed #10: DS 4 ERF (32 lbs) Radian RXT in Rugby #11: DD 9/11 RF Radian RXT Flora

  7. #6
    CPS Fanatic Keeanh's Avatar
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    Re: Leather seats vs cloth

    I HATE leather. If someone gave me a car with leather, I wouldn't complain. But if I was buying, I would only consider it for, like, $5000 off. I seriously HATE installing on leather.
    17yrs, 15yrs, 13yrs, 11yrs , 9yrs (58", 75lbs, Incognito), 7yrs (46", 50lbs, Dreamtime), 5yrs (41", 35lbs, RN), 3yrs (30lbs, RF Marathon), NB (Peg 4-35)
    '14 Mazda5, '06 Chevy Express, '08 Toyota Tundra

  8. #7
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    Re: Leather seats vs cloth

    There is some more slip but it does not preclude getting a good install. We got an ody with leather so no one could ever pee deeply into the seats again. I have to try a little hard it seems but I can get the car seats installed well.

    If you absolutely find it isn't working - find a site that sells parts for your make/model an buy a fabric seat cover. I might down the line end up recovering all our seats just for comfort, but who knows. I have looked into it and it is possible. You would zip off the leather and replace with fabric. Alternatively you could find a junker and pull the seat. Just do it for the seat you have issues with. But odds are you will get a car seat installed just fine.

  9. #8
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    Re: Leather seats vs cloth

    The bigger issue is the softness of the seat cushion material. I do not care leather or fabric for vehicle seat upholstery . I do not want the car seat so tight it can not move or it could be more dangerous in a crash than a loose feeling seat. Techs will remember, no more than one inch movement along the belt path only of a CRS with 12 to 14 pounds of applied force. The energy or force you use to open a car door or the refrigerator applied at the belt path to pull the CRS toward you and then away from the seat bite toward the front of the vehicle. If the CRS can not move, more energy transferred to a child in a crash. It is a Goldy Locks thing and just right is not easy to find when seat cushions have different softness and upholstery has different slipperiness. Stay away from 'Firefighter tight' and remember that giving a little is a good thing. -Bill

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  11. #9
    Carseat Crazy Mel281's Avatar
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    Thank you!
    DS1 8/5/07, 48", 45 lbs, harnessed in Maestro/Nautilus
    DD 11/30/07 alternates FF in EFTA(FF). 31 lbs, 39.25" tall
    DS2 6/3/13 15.5 lbs, RF in EFTA/Nextfit
    Riding in 2006 7 pass Sienna and 2012 F-150

  12. #10
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Leather seats vs cloth

    Quote Originally Posted by carseatguy View Post
    The bigger issue is the softness of the seat cushion material. I do not care leather or fabric for vehicle seat upholstery . I do not want the car seat so tight it can not move or it could be more dangerous in a crash than a loose feeling seat. Techs will remember, no more than one inch movement along the belt path only of a CRS with 12 to 14 pounds of applied force. The energy or force you use to open a car door or the refrigerator applied at the belt path to pull the CRS toward you and then away from the seat bite toward the front of the vehicle. If the CRS can not move, more energy transferred to a child in a crash. It is a Goldy Locks thing and just right is not easy to find when seat cushions have different softness and upholstery has different slipperiness. Stay away from 'Firefighter tight' and remember that giving a little is a good thing. -Bill
    I had never heard of this. Ours are super solid/tight with no movement and I thought that was a good thing? Confused... They always says a maximum for movement, but no one ever mentions a minimum.

  13. #11
    Senior Community Member o_mom's Avatar
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    Re: Leather seats vs cloth

    Quote Originally Posted by carseatguy View Post
    The bigger issue is the softness of the seat cushion material. I do not care leather or fabric for vehicle seat upholstery . I do not want the car seat so tight it can not move or it could be more dangerous in a crash than a loose feeling seat. Techs will remember, no more than one inch movement along the belt path only of a CRS with 12 to 14 pounds of applied force. The energy or force you use to open a car door or the refrigerator applied at the belt path to pull the CRS toward you and then away from the seat bite toward the front of the vehicle. If the CRS can not move, more energy transferred to a child in a crash. It is a Goldy Locks thing and just right is not easy to find when seat cushions have different softness and upholstery has different slipperiness. Stay away from 'Firefighter tight' and remember that giving a little is a good thing. -Bill
    Do you have a reference for this?

  14. #12
    Senior Community Member
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    Re: Leather seats vs cloth

    We have rock solid installs in both cars; one all leather, one vinyl in the backseat only. The leather does get damaged by car seats, but so would cloth. And I can't say enough for how much easier it is to clean "kid messes" on leather seats instead of cloth! Even stuff like melted crayon came off pretty easily. It makes life so much easier that way.

  15. #13
    Carseat Crazy danivdp's Avatar
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    Re: Leather seats vs cloth

    Quote Originally Posted by o_mom View Post
    Originally Posted by carseatguy
    The bigger issue is the softness of the seat cushion material. I do not care leather or fabric for vehicle seat upholstery . I do not want the car seat so tight it can not move or it could be more dangerous in a crash than a loose feeling seat. Techs will remember, no more than one inch movement along the belt path only of a CRS with 12 to 14 pounds of applied force. The energy or force you use to open a car door or the refrigerator applied at the belt path to pull the CRS toward you and then away from the seat bite toward the front of the vehicle. If the CRS can not move, more energy transferred to a child in a crash. It is a Goldy Locks thing and just right is not easy to find when seat cushions have different softness and upholstery has different slipperiness. Stay away from 'Firefighter tight' and remember that giving a little is a good thing. -Bill

    Do you have a reference for this?
    I am very interested in this logic as well.....
    Mama to 6 awesome kiddos

  16. #14
    CPS Technician MotoMommaNH's Avatar
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    The bases on the new generation Britax are non slip and so I've had no problem with leather install. Matter of fact I wouldn't buy another car that isn't leather after experiencing the ease of mess clean up with it!!
    Michelle




  17. #15
    Senior Community Member
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    Re: Leather seats vs cloth

    I am not a huge leather fan but my new Pilot has leather seats and I kinda love them. I haven't had any problems with installing any seats because of the leather.

    Anyway, I am probably not much help.
    Former CPST and Mom to
    C-13 years old, B-11 years old
    A-8 years old riding in a Harmony Youth Booster or Graco TurboBooster

  18. #16
    Carseat Crazy Mercuria's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    Northern Virginia
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    Re: Leather seats vs cloth

    I think it depends on the particular seats. The hardest installation in our three vehicles is actually the only cloth upholstered vehicle we have. It's because, in that car, there's no "give" in the seat, and you can't push the CR into it. Consequently, the only way to get an acceptable install with a seat belt is to use a locking clip and brute force. Switching the retractor leaves too much slack because the CR can't be pushed down/in to push back on the seat belt.

    The leather option on the same car was actually coushier, IIRC, so it would probably be easier to install on that.

  19. #17
    CPS Technician ceruti82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by o_mom View Post

    Do you have a reference for this?
    I learned this in my tech class as well. Thru said its good for the seat to not be ROCK SOLID.. Some seats with the safe cell technology, need a little give in order for that feature to work properly. And you want the carseat to "ride down" the crash, not just the child "ride down" the crash.
    Gina, mommy to Bella Rae 10/25/07 ~ 30 lbs, 36 inches
    Riding in a Flora Radian XTSL
    and a Pink Sky Frontier 85

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