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  1. #1
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    Apr 2014
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    What's next? It's time for a convertible.

    Hello,

    It's time to move kid #2 into a convertible, and I'd love some advice!

    At 10 months, he's reached the height limit of his Chicco KeyFit 30 (he's nowhere near the weight limit). We love the Chicco! With kid #1 (now age 7), we moved from the Chicco into a Roundabout, and we were happy with it (perhaps because we didn't have anything to compare it to). But, it looks like the new Roundabout now only goes to 46 inches instead of 49---and I've got tall kids. My complaint about the Roundabout when my daughter used it was that her legs really didn't have any room when she was rear-facing, and we ended up turning her around sooner than we liked because we were having problems tightening her in properly because of the way her legs were bent (they'd be bent one way when we tightened the straps, but then she'd move them later on in the drive and the straps would be slack). I'm not looking for a convertible car seat to be everything to me---we'll switch into a forward-facing combo-booster at some point (DD is still using her Frontier). Recaros were too new when DD was little for me to feel comfortable being a guinea pig with them, so I don't know much about them, but I like the look and specs of the ProRide. Does the Recaro have more leg room when rear-facing? Marathons have a higher height limit, but since I do plan to move to a Frontier (or the like) at some point again, is it worth it versus a Roundabout? I can't find anything about height for the Dionos, only weight, so I don't know how to weigh them.

    Speaking of weight, we will be in Europe for 4 months this fall, so I'd like a car seat that isn't too terribly heavy (the Diono RXT is 26.5 lbs versus 17.6 lbs for the Roundabout) and that I can easily install in a European car and lug through airports and train stations. It looks like you can fold the Diono to carry it around more easily, but its still heavy.

    Thanks for reading my ramble!

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    28,995

    Re: What's next? It's time for a convertible.

    Hi there.

    The Recaros have the least amount of leg room of just about any convertible. They also have a 22.5" seated height limit rear facing, so they're shorter than most.

    The Marathons have a 23.5" seated height limit rear facing, so about a year longer, but not enough leg room or height for you.

    The Radian would be nice to fold up, and a breeze forward facing on planes, but rear facing in Europe you'd likely want the angle adjuster, you need to have the rear facing foot, and you'll use a locking clip (or ISOFIX). A lot of extra bits you can't easily replace.

    The Chicco NextFit, though, is taller than the Radian, compact front to back, doesn't have bits that are removable, and have built in lockoffs so if you're using the seatbelt you don't need to worry about a locking clip. Plus, I think if you like your Keyfit you'll like the NextFit.

    What is your seven year old in?

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  4. #3
    Moderator - CPS Technician safeinthecar's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
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    Bay Area California
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    6,605

    Re: What's next? It's time for a convertible.

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    Hi there.

    The Recaros ... also have a 22.5" seated height limit rear facing

    The Marathons have a 23.5" seated height limit rear facing,
    She means SEATED height to top of head BTW.
    Kimberly
    Proud mommy of Becky 18! Danny 15 Hope 12~Auntie to William-14, David-10, and Logan 2~

  5. #4
    Registered User
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    Apr 2014
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    5

    Re: What's next? It's time for a convertible.

    Thanks!

    My 7-year old is in a Frontier, but we would be taking a Graco Highback Turbobooster to Europe with us.

    DH and I were talking more about this last night. He wonders if we should just buy seats when we get there, rather than taking them with us (i.e., we will leave our American convertible here). We could use the seat in the US too, then, right? We aren't going to have a car there most of the time (will take public transportation), but sometimes we will rent a car as the train won't always take us where we need to go.

    If I weren't worried about taking the seat to Europe, would the Radian be the best option for my tall kid? Or would the Chicco still be a good choice? As I said, I am a big fan of Chicco, as I used KeyFits with both kids. I like the features of the NextFit too.

  6. #5
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: What's next? It's time for a convertible.

    Well, you need a carseat for the plane. So I'd bring an American one. You can't use a European seat in the US legally (nor can you use an American one in Europe legally, but in my experience they really don't care). Given the two options of which to buy, I'd get an American seat unless you're going to Sweden. But even then, you need a carseat for the plane. Otherwise what will your baby sit in? He's too little for the seatbelt alone, and he needs some sort of restraint. A seatbelt won't protect him. So I'd bring the American seat, use it on board, and use it when you're there.

    If you're going to be on trains, the Radian is heavy but it folds so if you need a car at the other end of the train you have something.

    Another option for the plane and Europe would be the Combi Coccoro. It's a little seat, but it would last him through your visit. But since it's so tiny it fits in European cars, it has a lockoff to use, you can see about finding a Combi Flash frame for it and that turns it into a stroller. That would be great for trains then walking then hopping into a cab (a Ride Safer Travel Vest for the seven year old would also be nice to have in your bag so if you decide to hop in a cab some day you have a restraint for him).

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    260

    Re: What's next? It's time for a convertible.

    After going through a variety of convertibles, we've settled on two Nextfits for home and a Coccoro for travel :-) It's really an awesome combo! If I were you I'd look for the CCO and buy when you see it ~$150. It can be a backup seat for you at home as well. We brought ours to Italy last year, so we took it on planes, trains, boats and cars... never a problem! It even sort of has carry handles on the back, or a small bungee cord attaches it nicely to the stroller canopy. Just make sure you don't lose the little blue lock-off (hint: the storage pocket is NOT secure), in case you end up needing it. We installed with LATCH so we never had to use it. You can also do Euro routing with a seatbelt and supposedly it doesn't require a lock-off.

    The Nextfits are great seats! Super easy to install with seatbelt or LATCH RF and it seems to fit well in many different cars. Just make sure you get post-October 2013, as the new shoulder pads are really much better.

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