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  1. #1
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    FF seat for BMW 1-series convertible--no tether option

    Hi, my husband and I are about to purchase a 2011 BMW 135i convertible. We have a three-year-old, 36-pound son and a five-month-old daughter. In our main car, a BMW X3, our son RFs in a Radian and our daughter RFs in a Chicco KeyFit 30.

    The 135 convertible is of course much smaller than the X3. We were able to safely install our daughter's KeyFit behind the passenger seat using the base and LATCH anchors. However, there is not room behind the driver's seat for an RF seat, so we will need to FF our son in that position, which is fine as he is big and old enough and will not be riding in the car all too frequently. However, even though the car has LATCH anchors and tether hooks, it is actually not possible to use the tether hooks because the car is a convertible. The roof shelf blocks access between the seat and the hooks in the trunk. The car's manual actually states that the tether hooks are not usable in the convertible and therefore the LATCH system can't be used with the tether.

    So, leaving aside the obvious questions about why the car is set up this way and if this even meets LATCH requirements, this means we need a FF seat that can be safely and securely installed in the 1-series using the seat belt. When we test drove, we brought along our Combi Coccoro that we normally just use for travel because it is compact and we thought it would be better in the smaller car. However, the Coccoro has a somewhat rounded base and even when it was installed such that it did not slide more than an inch from side to side, if we pulled on the lower front of the seat near the harness adjuster, the entire seat just slid kind of forward and down. Presumably this is due to the sporty angle of the rear seat combined with the rounded base of the Coccoro. I'm wondering if you guys know of another seat that will fit more securely with a seat belt install in this car--maybe a Britax, since many of them have the flat attached bases? Size of the seat is not a huge concern as with the FF install there is adequate space for nearly any seat.

    We are happy to buy any seat that will work with the car--we just need to figure out what seat that might be. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thank you!

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician MotoMommaNH's Avatar
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    Re: FF seat for BMW 1-series convertible--no tether option

    If you have no top tether, I would look for a FF seat that has a seatbelt install that can mimic the advantage of one...Recaro Performance Sport is one. The Frontier 85 also can with long belt path install (however that's been discontinued although I still find it for sale on some sites i.e. Kohl's).

    However, and please just take this as my two cents - I don't think I would buy a car that I couldn't put a rear facing convertible like the Radian (with angle adjuster at least) in. What happens when your smaller little outgrows both the Keyfit and the CCO? Will you be willing to FF at that point? And having top tethers and not being able to use them is really a poor design. Are you dead set on that particular vehicle?
    Michelle




  4. #3
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    Re: FF seat for BMW 1-series convertible--no tether option

    Michelle, thanks for the advice. We are pretty set on this car, but we will actually be able to continue to RF our daughter in it after she outgrows the bucket seat and smaller convertible seats, because she can stay behind the passenger seat, where there is more room. The driver's seat has to stay further back so it's only the car seat on that side that has to FF. Agreed that the unusable tethers are extremely aggravating, but the car is surprisingly family-friendly other than that, while still having everything else we're looking for, which is why it's our top choice. I will look into the Recaro and Frontier--really appreciate the recs! I may circle back with you for further suggestions if neither of those ends up working out.

  5. #4
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    Re: FF seat for BMW 1-series convertible--no tether option

    Michelle, just wanted to say thanks again for the seat recommendations. The Recaro Performance Sport arrived today and it fits beautifully in the car. With the seatbelt install it is totally solid and doesn't move at all in any direction, even without top tether. Thanks so much for your help!

  6. #5
    CPS Technician MotoMommaNH's Avatar
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    So happy it worked out!!
    Michelle




  7. #6
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    Re: FF seat for BMW 1-series convertible--no tether option

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know your post helped someone 5 years in the future with a similar problem in a 128i. Thank you for posting!

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