Making kids safer, one question at a time.  Welcome to the Car-Seat.Org community!   Motor Vehicle Crashes are the #1 cause of fatal injury for children and adults, age groups 1 to 34.   Selecting a safe car, minivan or SUV, plus correctly using child restraints and seatbelts may be the most important things you can do to protect your family.   Need help installing an infant, convertible or booster seat?   Looking for carseat reviews or compatibility advice? Need help buying the best and safest car seats for your baby, toddler or older kid?   No question is a bad one, so please click here to ask our experts a question and then join our friendly community of moms, dads, caregivers and advocates in the USA and Canada.   Thank you for visiting; buckle-up and drive safely!


 

Sponsored Ads

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    222

    Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    I'm looking for input and suggestions for a back up seat for my DS for when he outgrows the current seat. Hope this is the correct forum.

    Basic info: He rides in FN85 in my car, but I don't want to spend $200 for another in my DH's car unless you all really think that's the best option. He rides in a CA50 in DH's car and the headwings are up to the highest setting. It goes to 17" harnessed, and he measures 15" bottom to shoulders. But since the harness is supposed to be at/above his shoulders, they may be closer in reality and maybe outgrown in the coming months, especially if he hits a growth spurt.
    He is 42#, 43" standing, and 23.5" sitting (bottom to top of head).

    I'm looking for a combination seat (or conv) that has a harness that goes above the 40# range. Even though he's in the accepted age range, I'm not interested in a booster only seat in DH's car at this point. Also, it would be more useful if it went to 18 or 19" on the top harness.

    I have a seat in mind, the SureRide dlx 65, because I read that has a harness that goes to 19 or 19.5". But was a bit concerned that some users have problems with the harness coming loose.

    Do you know of any others that fit those criteria? Please share!

  2. # ADS
    Sponsored Ads
    Join Date
    April, 2001
    Posts
    Many
     
     

  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    222

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Looking for feedback on these seats in particular:

    evenflo maestro
    evenflo secure kid 300/400
    graco argos
    graco nautilus and nautilus elite
    harmony defender 360
    evenflo sureride
    britax pioneer 70


    *Easy to install in civic or corolla
    *Child friendly buckles
    *Good padding for legs and head
    *Nice if they puzzle well with other seats

  4. #3
    CPS Fanatic MommyShannon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,727
    Those are the seats I'd recommend. Any would be a good choice. The Maestro only goes to 50lbs and won't last as a booster as long as the other combo seats but costs a lot less so you could buy a booster later. If by "child friendly buckles" you mean ones they can do themselves, I'd avoid the Gracos and Evenflos. The Harmony Defender has a short crotch strap though they will send you a slightly longer one if you call. I'd probably put up with the buckles and get one of the Evenflo seats.
    ~Shannon
    DD (11.5) Seatbelt; DS (9) Incognito; DD2 (7) Britax Parkway; DD3 (4.5) Graco Nautilus

  5. Thank You from:


  6. #4
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    222

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Quote Originally Posted by MommyShannon View Post
    If by "child friendly buckles" you mean ones they can do themselves, I'd avoid the Gracos and Evenflos.
    Yes, he can buckle his britax crotch buckle, but sometimes not the complete air buckle. But he doesn't ride in it as much, so maybe it's just his level of familiarity. He doesn't unbuckle anything at this point.

  7. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    99

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Quote Originally Posted by AZmamaof2 View Post
    Yes, he can buckle his britax crotch buckle, but sometimes not the complete air buckle. But he doesn't ride in it as much, so maybe it's just his level of familiarity. He doesn't unbuckle anything at this point.
    FWIW, we have the Nautilus in our main vehicle and DD1 has been able to buckle herself in (I have to check/tighten) by herself ever since (and a little before) she turned 4. I don't know how old your DS is, but she hasn't had any trouble with ours, though I have read others have had issues with the buckles being difficult. They did get better over time, too, compared to how stiff they started out. She can undo the top one, but not the bottom. HTH!

  8. #6
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    222

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Thanks Kadora!

    He will be turning 5 in a few months. Maybe I'll take him with me to Target and see which he can buckle there. So the Graco seats get easier with time? Because when I try to unbuckle them in stores, it is hard for me to get it undone sometimes.

  9. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    99

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Quote Originally Posted by AZmamaof2 View Post
    Thanks Kadora!

    He will be turning 5 in a few months. Maybe I'll take him with me to Target and see which he can buckle there. So the Graco seats get easier with time? Because when I try to unbuckle them in stores, it is hard for me to get it undone sometimes.
    That's about how old mine is now--and she fits really well in her Nautilus and loves it (especially the "hidden" cupholder on the side--it's where she stashes everything "important")...though I wish I could tell you more about where she fits in the harness, etc., but I can't off the top of my head. She's 45" tall and 41 lbs. The only thing I'd change is I don't like how her head slumps if she does nod off, but I don't know what would help that--because she hates to be reclined at all anymore!

    That being said, I can't speak for all Graco seats, and I know a lot of people hate the buckles. She rode in the MyRide 65 before the Nautilus and could do it all herself, too, so maybe we just got lucky both times? I do remember the Nautilus being really tough for her at first, though.

    We need something for her in DH's car, and honestly, I'd buy another Nauti in a heartbeat if I could fit it 3 across in our tiny Civic. But that's just been our experience with the one we had! My sister tried to pass off her Maestro to us for a while but I truly do hate the Evenflo chest buckles, myself.

  10. #8
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    222

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    We may have hashed this over before, but I also drive a civic (02). What kind of seats are you trying to get 3 across? I may want to get 3x in the future.

    Does the safety 1st brand have the same buckles as evenflo? We don't have a problem with those. But the cosco apt has an annoying crotch buckle.

  11. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    99

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Quote Originally Posted by AZmamaof2 View Post
    We may have hashed this over before, but I also drive a civic (02). What kind of seats are you trying to get 3 across? I may want to get 3x in the future.

    Does the safety 1st brand have the same buckles as evenflo? We don't have a problem with those. But the cosco apt has an annoying crotch buckle.
    Our Civic is a '99...it's DH's car and we weren't all that concerned about fitting 3 across until our van doors both broke! So right now we're able to just close the doors on a Chicco Keyfit30 (seat only, no base), Radian RF (installed in the center), and an Evenflo Big Kid Sport booster seat we bought in a pinch. I'm not liking her in the booster seat, so I'd like to find a narrow harnessed seat, but not sure what yet. Once we take the Keyfit out of the equation I'm not sure anything will work! I just went to Target this morning and bought the Graco Headwize to try out, installed it outboard and love the fit--I'm 6'0" and installed behind the passenger seat I could still fit in front! I was looking at that one because my younger two girls are 13 mo apart and aren't always in the car together, so I wanted something easy to switch.

  12. Thank You from:


  13. #10
    CPS Fanatic SavsMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    SoFL
    Posts
    1,241
    I would get an Evenflo SureRide - its lightweight, I find the buckle to be easier than the Gracos, tons of harness height, easy to install and under $90.

    DD - 12/07 - Backless Turbo
    DS - 9/13 - Boulevard

  14. Thank You from:


  15. #11
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    222

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Quote Originally Posted by kadora View Post
    I'm not liking her in the booster seat, so I'd like to find a narrow harnessed seat, but not sure what yet.
    Maybe the harmony defender would fit? It's the narrowest I've found of combo seats in my data search @ 17"

    Quote Originally Posted by kadora View Post
    Once we take the Keyfit out of the equation I'm not sure anything will work! I just went to Target this morning and bought the Graco Headwize to try out, installed it outboard and love the fit--I'm 6'0" and installed behind the passenger seat I could still fit in front!
    I like the headwise in purple for my DD, is that what you bought? So that fits nice behind passenger at an infant recline or toddler recline? I currently have a RF Blvd, and it fits but makes the front squished up a bit.

  16. #12
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    222

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Quote Originally Posted by SavsMom View Post
    I would get an Evenflo SureRide - its lightweight, I find the buckle to be easier than the Gracos, tons of harness height, easy to install and under $90.
    I do like that sureride harness height.

    Your siggy says you have the maestro and sureride. Which do you/DD like better? Which did you get more use out of? Is she booster training in one?

    I like the idea of a combo seat, so that he can use it for booster when the harness is outgrown (unlike the complete air). But I also like the sureride because he has a younger sister who could use the seat as well. Though, doesn't the sureride have to be uninstalled to adjust the harness? I guess it would just be after he outgrows it.

  17. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    99

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Quote Originally Posted by AZmamaof2 View Post
    Maybe the harmony defender would fit? It's the narrowest I've found of combo seats in my data search @ 17"

    I like the headwise in purple for my DD, is that what you bought? So that fits nice behind passenger at an infant recline or toddler recline? I currently have a RF Blvd, and it fits but makes the front squished up a bit.
    I might just go buy the Harmony Defender and try it tomorrow...I had posted a question about narrowest seat elsewhere and someone else named that seat as well. I think the booster we have now measures in at 15.75", though, and it doesn't fit at all. Which probably means it won't be possible unless it's 3 Radians.

    I bought the red/tan Headwize, which I don't like the look of, though DH loved it! I really would rather have the purple. And yeah, on the passenger side I was surprised at far back I could get the seat and still leave a finger width between the headrest and the car seat. It's not something I'd want to ride over an hour in, but after I get my long legs in, honestly it's not bad. Haven't asked 6'4" DH to try sitting in it yet, though!

  18. #14
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    222

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Kadora

    I hear you on the 3 across radian idea, and I know a friend who it worked for great in a Versa. However, I tested one at a BRU and the front to back room it requires was horrendous. Granted, we didn't have the adjuster to make it sit upright. I read that infants who do not have head control cannot use the adjuster yet. But since your littles are not that little, are you going to try it with 2 adjusted radians RF? My friend's issue with 3 in a row came post-3 radians. Nothing else would fit in the space but possibly a bubble bum.

  19. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    99

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Quote Originally Posted by AZmamaof2 View Post
    Kadora

    I hear you on the 3 across radian idea, and I know a friend who it worked for great in a Versa. However, I tested one at a BRU and the front to back room it requires was horrendous. Granted, we didn't have the adjuster to make it sit upright. I read that infants who do not have head control cannot use the adjuster yet. But since your littles are not that little, are you going to try it with 2 adjusted radians RF? My friend's issue with 3 in a row came post-3 radians. Nothing else would fit in the space but possibly a bubble bum.
    I had heard about the angle adjuster but never looked into it...so I did just now and maybe we will try it out. It might actually make it do-able if it works the way it does in the pics on Amazon, lol! I hate spending another $12 on something for a seat I did everything I could to SAVE $12, though! But otherwise there's no way DH could drive with two RF-ing Radians in there right now. The more I play (and I really need to play with a child in it!) with the Headwize the more I like it....but I'm not sure I can justify it over a open-box Radian on NBD for $140.

  20. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    10

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Jumping in to say that the angle adjuster really does make a difference. We have a RFing Radian installed with it in my DH's 2004 Civic.

  21. #17
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    222

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Quote Originally Posted by js14 View Post
    Jumping in to say that the angle adjuster really does make a difference. We have a RFing Radian installed with it in my DH's 2004 Civic.
    Do you have any other seats installed next to the radian in the civic? I have an '02, and am wondering if 3 across would actually be possible. With the adjuster, can you use it behind the driver and still have enough leg room?

  22. #18
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    222

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    I think I have narrowed it down to the:

    Argos 70
    Pioneer 70
    Securekid 300

    I want a seat that has upfront harness adjustment with no uninstalling, do all these allow for that? The securekid looks like it has slots, but I think I read it has an adjustable headrest.

    Do they convert to usable boosters, or are there guide placement issues, etc?

    Do the argos and sk have the same buckle (read: release issues)?

    Anything else that would sway my decision?

  23. #19
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    222

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    Hoping for someone to throw in 2 cents about argos vs securekid...buckles, straps, head slump..

  24. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    99

    Re: Backup combo seat w/ high harness

    I'm still no help with those two seats, but I can say the head slump is pretty bad in the Nautilus (again, not sure what would be better, though). I may have said that already. We did buy a Harmony Defender the other day and have played with it in the car a little---but I don't know how high the harness slots go...but actually, I kinda like it. I like that it's cheap, it does have the no-thread harness, and the buckles aren't bad at all. I've only tried my 4-yr old in it once, I can again and see about height left at the top if you want me to.

    What I don't like is the way they positioned the harness adjust...it's fine, it just feels backwards to me, I have to twist my hand around to do it. Not a big deal, but a little annoying. I hate the black fabric--DD2 was sweating like a pig and that was just trying it out in the driveway. The release lever is a little weird but would just take some getting used to, I think, because it's a push down and we only have lift up in our current seats. I was surprised, once we adjusted the crotch strap forward it's not too bad. Definitely shorter than what we're used to, but not bad. DD1 is really skinny, though. DD2 isn't, but she's still only 2, so she's just smaller. She fit fine in a cloth diaper, though.

    I know none of that's probably helpful to you, but I know you were considering it at one point, and I *can* fit it, the Radian (RF), and the Keyfit in the Civic. I think, I haven't had that checked by a Tech, though. And it's cheaper than other options. Just thought I'd let you know, since you aren't getting much response yet on the others!

  25. Thank You from:


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •