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  1. #1
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    need a new lightweight car seat

    We're going to Japan and China for 6 months, starting next month. I wrote a post a few years ago asking about using car seats in China so I will be able to answer my question soon enough.

    I have a Combi Coccoro that I love and has served us well (and it even got to go to Italy!) but my daughter has almost outgrown it. She is 4 years old, ~27 pounds, and ~39" tall. She fits in it FF but just barely - her shoulders are getting close to the top harness slot. I think there is maybe a half inch of space. I'm pretty sure she will outgrow this seat within the next 6 months. Car seats in Asia are harder to come by and pricier.

    I'm looking at combo seats, something light. It will see the most use on the airplanes, but we will probably take the occasional car ride (or taxi, if they have seatbelts). I would like built-in lock-offs like the CC has, but all the light ones I've seen don't have them, so I can just locate my locking clip and practice with it.

    Our other car seats are a Radian and a NextFit (she still RF, but will have her FF on this trip.) Both are heavy and even though the Radian folds, I don't know that I want to lug it around. We'll have enough stuff as it is, but if you want to convince me go ahead!

    I'm looking at the EF Chase/Maestro and the SecureKid and the Harmony Defender. I saw in the Maestro specs that the seat is very upright, does it interfere with kids sleeping? (one of my favorite parts about a carseat on the airplane!)

    Eventually I'll let her use this seat in the car at home, and I can use it as a spare seat for my friend's kids.

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  3. #2
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    Re: need a new lightweight car seat

    harmony defender actually seems too heavy...and too $$. so nevermind that.

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member jwilliams's Avatar
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    I would look at the Evenflo Sureride. It's about 9lbs and has top slots as tall or taller than most combination seats, even though it's a convertible. (It does not have built-in lock-offs). It is also not quite as upright as most combination seats, which could help with sleeping a bit.
    5yo harnessed in a Britax Pioneer, one 3yo RF in a Fllo and another 3yo RF in a plum RXT, all in a 2014 Honda Accord.

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: need a new lightweight car seat

    I haven't come across anything truly lightweight with lockoffs.

    Britax Boulevard (regular version, not click tight) weighs 19.5 lbs, which is a few pounds lighter than the Radian, is narrow enough for aircraft use, tends to install easily and has built-in lockoffs. It's also a convertible but would still give your daughter quite a bit of room to grow. Might be worth consideration if the lockoffs are important to you -- they do come in handy for international travel.

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: need a new lightweight car seat

    The Britax Roundabout Classic 50 is even lighter than the Boulevard (15 pounds) with a taller shell than the G3/G4s. Amazon still has them. Won't last quite as long as the combo seats, though.

    ETA: I thought it also had built-in lockoffs but I guess I'm wrong--we don't use them on ours but for some reason I thought they were there! Ah, well.

  7. #6
    Moderator - CPS Technician safeinthecar's Avatar
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    Re: need a new lightweight car seat

    Honestly, I'd take the Radian. Although heavy, with the backpack straps the weight is very, very well distributed and easy to carry. I used a Radian for my then 5 yo when I didn't have a car for a year and a half and I was switching between bus and friends who were willing to give me a ride a few times a day.

    That being said, at age 4 my son was about an inch below the top slots of Classic Marathon. He didn't actually grow to above the slots until age 7. He spent a good year dead even with them...
    Kimberly
    Proud mommy of Becky 18! Danny 15 Hope 12~Auntie to William-14, David-10, and Logan 2~

  8. #7
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    Re: need a new lightweight car seat

    Maybe I'll install the CC in the car, and see how much room under the slots there is when she's all settled in (I had her sit in it inside). I'll try the Radian with the straps and see what it's like, too.

    It sure would be nice not to spend more money getting ready for this trip! If I buy one I'm leaning towards the Chase as it's the least expensive one that meets my needs.

    All I know is the very last one I'd ever take is the NextFit. It's nice in our car and my daughter likes it, but man I hate lugging that thing around!

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: need a new lightweight car seat

    The Radian is an option but be sure you try it out well first if you're considering it. I can only wear it as a backpack for a few miserable minutes. It may have to do with my being short (5'1"), but it hits me entirely wrong. My husband can wear it better. Also, if you buy straps for the Radian, buy 3 because the clips aren't extremely reliable. We've had one totally fail and it's unfortunately not an uncommon problem; given the length and location of your trip, you may need the spare. Also, it doesn't have built-in lockoffs so you'd want to practice with the locking clip first.

    That said, the Radian is excellent FF on aircraft -- your daughter could still use her tray table, and the passenger sitting next to her will have plenty of good shoulder room.

  10. #9
    CPS Fanatic bubbaray's Avatar
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    Re: need a new lightweight car seat

    I would only take a RN if you are renting cars -- IME it's far too heavy for use in taxis. I would take a Maestro if it were me
    Melissa

    DD#1, April 2004, FFg in a Pink Harmony Literider & Onyx Parkway SG
    DD#2, January 2007, FFg in a Pink Monterey & Purple with Pink Hearts HBTB

    Riding in my 2010 Toyota RAV4 and DH's 2011 Ford 150 Crew Cab

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