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  1. #1
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    Restraint for 1998 Buick Regal and travel

    We have two cars. We have a Graco Argos 80 Elite car seat in the 2007 Honda CRV that our son travels in most frequently. Twice a week or so, he travels in our second car which is a 1998 Buick Regal. Usually one of those trips is just on city streets and the other includes freeways. The Buick Regal has two shoulder belts in the backseat positions closest to each of the doors. The center position only has a lap belt and there is no top tether anchor. Our son is 6 years old and he is currently 48 inches tall and weighs 51 pounds. We would like to purchase something that will work until he no longer requires augmented restraint. We are not restricted by budget. We want something safe and easy to use. We considered buying another full blown car seat but we would prefer to have something a bit more portable than that. However, that is only if does not mean that we are jeopardizing his safety . Our desire to have something portable because we would like to be able to quickly move it to friends' cars and also take it with us on vacations that require plane travel and use of a rental car. Our Graco Argos 80 Elite car seat seems a little too heavy to be carried through airports to be checked in for transport in the baggage compartment. Bonus points if the restraint can be used on the plane. However, we do have a CARES harness for use on a plane. We have considered the Ride Safer Travel Vest but have read that people are concerned about the lack of side impact protection and therefore recommend only using it in the center position. However, we have also read that when used with a lap belt as opposed to a shoulder belt it is not federally approved. We live in Washington state and want to be sure that we are complying with all state laws. We have also considered a high back booster seat because it may offer side impact protection. Are we simply deluding ourselves when thinking about considering anything other than another full blown car seat? One way or the other, any suggested restraints would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crankypants carseatcoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    7,732

    Re: Restraint for 1998 Buick Regal and travel

    Most physically and developmentally typical 6yos are fine in a belt-positioning booster seat. As the parent, you know best if he is ready. If he can use the seat properly, it is a very safe choice at his age. A booster is easier to travel with than a big heavy harnessed seat, but it cannot be used on an airplane.
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

    Posted from my toaster using a PopTart

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    739
    I would go with a high back booster seat for a child that age and size. A high back booster requires a lap and shoulder belt, so you would need to use it in an outboard position in your car and it could not be used on a plane. Also, it is not recommended to check a car seat as baggage on a plane because you can not guarantee it is handled properly.
    C: 12/06, maui PW
    M: 02/08, carbon vivo
    C: 12/10, RF sporty blue TF

  5. #4
    CPS Fanatic
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    2,272

    Re: Restraint for 1998 Buick Regal and travel

    A 6 year old shouldn't need a car seat (or Cares harness) on a plane at all.

    I would get a high back booster for around town. For travel, consider your options:

    1) Stick to public transit on the other end. No car seat needed.
    2) Use a high back around town for comfort; just take the backless portion on the plane as a carry on. (Depends on having a HBB that converts to backless.)
    3) Get a small, dedicated backless for travel. Many are quite affordable.
    4) If you're doing a lot of driving on the other end and he's much more comfortable in a HBB, or still falls asleep in the car, use a HBB that can separate. Pack the back in a checked bag, and take the lower portion on the plane as a carry on.

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy Cnidaria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    762
    In any case, he's done with the CARES because it tops out at 44 lb and 40". It is not safe to use beyond that.
    Mom to tall guy, 6, in a Frontier 90 and Graco Affix
    - - - and small guy (not so small any more!), 3, RFing in a Clek Fllo and Cosco Scenera NEXT

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