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  1. #1
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    High b. booster question, 3 across Ford Focus

    Hello... I need any advice you might have on getting the right high back booster for my situation. First of all, we have a 2004 Ford Focus sedan. Currently in the car are a Britax B-Safe (RF) on driver's side, Diono Radian 120 FF in center, Britax Marathon 70-G4 FF on passenger side. The baby in the B-Safe will probably need to upgrade after his birthday next month (we have tall babies) so we were planning on moving him in the Marathon (RF) soon, and moving the 3.5 year old to the Radian.

    I am looking to buy a NARROW booster (high back only because of no headrests in the backseat) for my 5 year old. He is very tall for his age - about 49" right now by my measurement. He is currently in the Radian in the 5 point harness but his shoulders will be even with the highest slots soon.

    My first question is if anybody has experience with the Diono Monterey? It seems narrow and at 63" height limit it seems a good choice for my tall kid. I think it would fit with the Marathon and the Radian (??). It also seems affordable compared to the other narrow-ish seats I've looked at.

    Second question is how the heck I can see the seat belt buckle for the booster with all those seats crammed in the back. My neighbor who also has a 3 across situation told me about seat belt extenders - are those safe and recommended?

    Thanks in advance to anybody who can help! You guys are the best.

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  3. #2
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    Re: High b. booster question, 3 across Ford Focus

    I just wrote a fairly long response that accidentally got deleted 😣. Anyway, the gist of it was I have no experience with your vehicle or the Diono Monterey but we've spent the better part of 2 weeks trying to figure out how to get 3 across in our vehicle- 2 high back boosters and 1 rf convertible and have had a tough time. Nothing available at our local Babies R us worked. I just ordered from diapers.com the crazy expensive Maxi Cosi Rodifix and got it today ( it's free to return if it doesn't work). It is really narrow and the design is great for fitting 3 across as it has an opening on the side wide enough for even my hand to slip through to buckle. I was able to get it to combine with the radian rf and a no back harmony tonight and am thinking it will definitely work well with another narrow booster next to it. The seat belt guide is awesome as it stays put and the seat reclines. It's crazy crazy expensive but I was pretty impressed with it but again just got it today.
    I believe I read on one of the sticky threads on here that seatbelt extenders are not safe for car seats.

  4. #3
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    Re: High b. booster question, 3 across Ford Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I just wrote a fairly long response that accidentally got deleted 😣. Anyway, the gist of it was I have no experience with your vehicle or the Diono Monterey but we've spent the better part of 2 weeks trying to figure out how to get 3 across in our vehicle- 2 high back boosters and 1 rf convertible and have had a tough time. Nothing available at our local Babies R us worked. I just ordered from diapers.com the crazy expensive Maxi Cosi Rodifix and got it today ( it's free to return if it doesn't work). It is really narrow and the design is great for fitting 3 across as it has an opening on the side wide enough for even my hand to slip through to buckle. I was able to get it to combine with the radian rf and a no back harmony tonight and am thinking it will definitely work well with another narrow booster next to it. The seat belt guide is awesome as it stays put and the seat reclines. It's crazy crazy expensive but I was pretty impressed with it but again just got it today.
    I believe I read on one of the sticky threads on here that seatbelt extenders are not safe for car seats.
    Thanks for the seat recommendation - I will check it out (gotta love Diapers.com!). And thanks, I did some digging in the forums on the extenders and it seems you're right; that what I suspected but I didn't want it to be true! What I really need is a visit from the Minivan Fairy to make my wishes come true... if only!

  5. #4
    CPS Fanatic 1mommy's Avatar
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    Re: High b. booster question, 3 across Ford Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Thanks for the seat recommendation - I will check it out (gotta love Diapers.com!). And thanks, I did some digging in the forums on the extenders and it seems you're right; that what I suspected but I didn't want it to be true! What I really need is a visit from the Minivan Fairy to make my wishes come true... if only!
    Glad you did some research! I'm sorry I have no advice on car seats, but if you are having troubles with the seat belt and buckling you can cut up a piece of a pool noodle to help the buckle stand up more as opposed to flopping over.

    Also with 3 across sometimes it works better if you can put the child in a harnessed seat (don't have to reach for those buckles!) Also with 3 across it can help if you "puzzle" together a rear facing seat next to a forward facing seat - it allows more room then if you put two seats facing the same way next to each other.
    Mommy to Jake, a.k.a Booger Breath #1- born March 2012 and Sawyer, my little "Soy Bean"- born May 2014

    Playing the Car Seat Shuffle between a True Fit Premier, Guide 65, Graco MySize, Graco Milestone and a Maxi Cosi Pria

  6. #5
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    Feb 2012
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    59

    Re: High b. booster question, 3 across Ford Focus

    Is there any chance you can post some pictures of the RodiFix in the 3 across? I am trying to figure out a 3 across with HBB in an Aspen for my triplets. The center seat only has like 12 inches to work with. The Dreamtime fits- but the shoulder belt fit is poor. The V6 fits, but the shoulder belt slides out of the guide. I'm up to trying the RodiFix. Or what I'd love to know is size difference with the Rodi AP?

  7. #6
    CPS Technician
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    The Monterey requires vehicle head support to the tops of the child's ears behind the top of the booster even in high back mode so it wouod not work in the Focus. The RodiFix does not require vehicle head support and is very slim/3 across friendly. It is very expensive though.
    DS1 (April '09) Britax Parkway SGL & Clek Olli, DD (March '12) Britax Frontier 90 & Evenflo Maestro, DS2 (April '15) RF Nuna Rava & RF Clek Foonf
    2011 Honda Pilot
    2009 Honda Ridgeline

  8. #7
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    Re: High b. booster question, 3 across Ford Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by aporthole View Post
    The Monterey requires vehicle head support to the tops of the child's ears behind the top of the booster even in high back mode so it wouod not work in the Focus. The RodiFix does not require vehicle head support and is very slim/3 across friendly. It is very expensive though.
    Thanks. Ugh, I was afraid of that. OK - does anybody know anything about the Harmony Defender 360? Would that buy us some time in a harness? It was recommended to me for our situation by Car Seats for the Littles. Will look into the RodiFix.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post

    Thanks. Ugh, I was afraid of that. OK - does anybody know anything about the Harmony Defender 360? Would that buy us some time in a harness? It was recommended to me for our situation by Car Seats for the Littles. Will look into the RodiFix.
    At 49", it is doubtful you'll get much time, if any, in the Defender unless the child is all legs.
    DS1 (April '09) Britax Parkway SGL & Clek Olli, DD (March '12) Britax Frontier 90 & Evenflo Maestro, DS2 (April '15) RF Nuna Rava & RF Clek Foonf
    2011 Honda Pilot
    2009 Honda Ridgeline

  10. #9
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    Re: High b. booster question, 3 across Ford Focus

    OP, we have a 2004 focus and are looking at carseats right now. Does the graco fit in the middle of the backseat without having the shove the front seats up? I'm concerned, because the backseat seems so small.

  11. #10
    CPS Technician munchkin's Avatar
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    Re: High b. booster question, 3 across Ford Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    OP, we have a 2004 focus and are looking at carseats right now. Does the graco fit in the middle of the backseat without having the shove the front seats up? I'm concerned, because the backseat seems so small.

    What graco are you looking at? How many children/car seats do you need to fit? Ages/weights/seats?
    Katie ~ expired CPST & aunt to
    M 12.5 years & E 9.5 years & A 5.5 years & J 2.5 years & L 11 months

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