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  1. #1
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    Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    We're traveling to Eastern Europe this summer from the US and will be renting a car. My son is about 41 inches and 34 pounds, any suggestions on a good seat to get for him? I can't get a European approved car seat shipped here, I don't trust the rental company for a rental seat, and I'm going back and forth about getting him in a high back booster because of his weight. Any suggestions?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    We're traveling to Eastern Europe this summer from the US and will be renting a car. My son is about 41 inches and 34 pounds, any suggestions on a good seat to get for him? I can't get a European approved car seat shipped here, I don't trust the rental company for a rental seat, and I'm going back and forth about getting him in a high back booster because of his weight. Any suggestions?
    How old will he be?

    What seat(s) does he ride in now?

  4. #3
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    He will be a month away from 5 when we're there. He's currently in a Recaro ProRide, which I am not lugging through an airport! We also have an Evenflo Tribute that we use for travel within the US.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  5. #4
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    Re: Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    He'll be a month away from turning 5, he's currently in a Recaro ProRide. We also have an Evenflo Tribute for travel.
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alana View Post
    He'll be a month away from turning 5, he's currently in a Recaro ProRide. We also have an Evenflo Tribute for travel. Posted via Mobile Device
    I'm assuming you'll be flying there in which case why not just bring your Tribute (assuming he still fits) to use on the plane and at your destination?

  7. #6
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    Re: Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    Do you think we'll have any problems with install? Can we use latch or will we have to do a seatbelt install?
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  8. #7
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Nedra's Avatar
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    Re: Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alana View Post
    Do you think we'll have any problems with install? Can we use latch or will we have to do a seatbelt install?
    Posted via Mobile Device

    I'd bring a locking clip just in case (European seat belts are less likely to have a built-in locking mechanism for car seats), but most cars will likely have Isofix (the European equivalent of LATCH).

    If he has already outgrown the Tribute, you might look at buying a SureRide. It is lightweight and lasts a very long time FF because it has high top harness slots.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Mama to G. (born March of 2013, riding FF in a Chicco MyFit, an IMMI Go, and a Britax Marathon)... and L. (born June of 2015, riding RF in a Graco Milestone, a Graco Extend-2-Fit 3-in-1 and a Graco SlimFit)

  9. #8
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    They may have ISOFIX but even most rental cars won't have a top tether anchor, and in most cases it is misuse to use the lower anchors without the tether forward facing. I'd make sure you can use a locking clip and have one.

    Check that the tribute is not outgrown by shoulders over the top slot. If it is you might want an Evenflo Maestro instead.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy biddyk8's Avatar
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    Re: Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    We are just home from Europe and had 4 different rentals during our trip each had isofix and a top tether anchor. The seatbelts all locked also. Dds seat was also in a few family members cars and they all also had all anchors and locking seatbelts.
    T - Mar/2012- 45lbs 42" FFing in a Pioneer
    A Dec/2015 Keyfit 30

  11. #10
    Senior Community Member jwilliams's Avatar
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    Re: Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by biddyk8 View Post
    We are just home from Europe and had 4 different rentals during our trip each had isofix and a top tether anchor. The seatbelts all locked also. Dds seat was also in a few family members cars and they all also had all anchors and locking seatbelts.
    I'm thinking that the tether situation might be different in Eastern Europe, at least from what I've heard on here.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    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.

  12. #11
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwilliams View Post
    I'm thinking that the tether situation might be different in Eastern Europe, at least from what I've heard on here.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    Yep. Rental cars are often a bit older.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  13. #12
    Carseat Crazy biddyk8's Avatar
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    Re: Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    When our friends go home to Slovakia and the Ukraine they usually get the same rentals as we get when we are in western Europe, so I don't think it's as different anymore Esp if using one of the main companies like budget
    T - Mar/2012- 45lbs 42" FFing in a Pioneer
    A Dec/2015 Keyfit 30

  14. #13
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    Re: Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    Thank you all! I will try to go with a bigger rental company so we have a better chance at a newer car. He's already close to outgrowing the Tribute, so I will likely buy a lighter forward facing seat and some locking clips and make myself very familiar with how to install with the belt.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  15. #14
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by biddyk8 View Post
    When our friends go home to Slovakia and the Ukraine they usually get the same rentals as we get when we are in western Europe, so I don't think it's as different anymore Esp if using one of the main companies like budget
    That's good to know. My friend in Romania hasn't had that experience but he's traveling for work and usually has to use the cheapest company.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  16. #15
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    Okay, excuse me for being so long winded, but I have a decent bit of experience with this. If you're flying Lufthansa, you COULD spend the small fortune to buy one of the VERY few European seats that Lufthansa. The ONLY American seats that Lufthansa allows for use on the flight are as follows:
    Britax Chaperone
    Chicco KeyFit 30
    Evenflo Embrace LX
    Maxi Cosi Mico
    Cosco Starter
    Safety 1st Starter
    Safety 1st Designer 22
    If you're not well versed on the current American car seat market offerings, this list is comprised completely of infant car seats AND the list is very out of date as the only models listed that are still available are the Chicco KeyFit 30, Maxi Cosi Mico, and the Evenflo Embrace LX.
    If you're taking British Airlines, the ONE AND ONLY toddler car seat they allow to be used in flight is the Britax Eclipse.
    We had my aunt-in-law bring a Maxi Cosi Pebble over on her flight from Germany just two weeks before our youngest arrived as we would be accompanying her back and as it was my first time flying (yikes that was a looooong first flight!), on top of being a former tech, I was adamant about having a car seat for her to ride in both on the flight and during our 3 month stay with family in Germany. Anyways, we found out the hard way that it would have been cheaper to have ordered the darn thing ourselves and had it shipped directly to us! Oops! Because yes, you CAN legally purchase and import a European car seat (to virtually anywhere in the world actually, with the only exceptions being Canada and Australia as they both specifically outlaw this), there are plenty of sites that will ship them here, albeit difficult to locate them through search engines like Google. Bummer though, the cost of purchasing a European seat is VERY expensive regardless of how you get it here, so unless you plan on being there a few months, you plan on making several trips over there while your child will be able to use the seat, and/or you plan on making trips over there with future children who would use the seat, it's not worth the small fortune. It cost almost $500 to get our Pebble here thanks to the extra €200 baggage charge that the aunt got slapped with for the big (over the size limit but extremely carefully packed and protected) box. Also, so far I have only found ONE SINGLE SEAT in Europe that has an extended limit IN the harness, so if your child is near the limit of the small 40lb/40in Evenflo Tribute (the limit of virtually all European convertible, toddler, or combination seats [aka group 0+/1 seats, group 1 seats, group 1/2 seats, or group 1/2/3 seats]) then the ONLY harnessed Euro seat your kiddo would be guaranteed to fit into is the Britax Römer Advansafix II SICT. But if you were to wind up with a rental without ISOFIX you couldn't use it (with the harness) as it achieves the extended weight capacity of 25kg by requiring BOTH the seat belt and ISOFIX for installation. (This is because the combined child and seat weight for ISOFIX is 33kg and selt belt installation for car seats is being phased out completely over the next few years thanks to UN-R129, aka the new iSize standard.) So, my suggestion for your particular situation would be to find somewhere before leaving, that is as close as possible to the car rental place that sells booster seats. Both high back and backless boosters can be found over there for about as cheap as you can find them here. A booster seat couldn't be used in flight regardless of what approval sticker it bears, and even a small backless booster would take up a good chunk of real estate in your luggage, so it would likely be the easiest, safest, and cheapest option for your family.
    Wait, I almost forgot!
    Kiddy makes an interesting line of, erm, "combination" seats, or group 1/2/3 seats.
    Comfort Pro
    Guardian Pro
    Guardian Pro 2 (this model has BOTH TÜV Rheinland AND FAA approval [yup, the FAA actually approves foreign seats too!])
    The above models are approved for use on Lufthansa when used as a toddler seat, but not when used as a booster. Don't worry, these German designed seats are NOTHING like the horrifying American shield boosters of yesteryear! They are also MUCH cheaper than any harnessed European seat, at least in terms of ordering from and shipping to the US.
    If you're flying with other airlines, then check their approved list of seats before making ANY sort of purchase. If you intend to look for a different harnessed European seat for the kiddo to use in-flight, be sure to check for TÜV Rheinland approval.
    One final warning, if you purchase a foreign car seat for travel YOU CANNOT USE IT HERE! IT IS ILLEGAL TO USE A FOREIGN CAR SEAT IN A VEHICLE IN THE US!
    And if you do buy one, you'll be cursing the law makers that make it illegal because you'll get to see first hand how US seats look like some sort of scary, sad joke by comparison!
    Slightly off topic but, nifty bit of info. Not sure if anyone else has noticed, but this new Baby Trend Hybrid combination seat is actually just the Nania Beline SP modified so that they could put that God-awful chest clip on the harness... Seriously, why has that dangerous overcomplication of design not been phased out of North American seats yet?! Even after being a tech for two years nearly a decade ago, over 20 nieces and nephews, and of course the tons of baby's you see in day to day life, I can literally count on my fingers the number of times I have EVER seen a child buckled in PROPERLY(!), all because the absolutely unnecessary chest clip can't be figured out by 99.9% of people!!! If anyone knows of a currently available convertible car seat model WITHOUT a chest clip, or at least ALLOWS the use of the seat without it let me know, I've been looking for one since the day I got my Pebble (Best. Infant. Seat. Ever. I'd like to chuck our SnugRide40 at the heads of whatever "geniuses" designed that piece of garbage and decided to discontinue the entire ClassicConnect line!!!) but have had zero luck!
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    Posted via Mobile Device

  17. #16
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: Which car seat for trip to Europe?

    I would suggest to bring along a low back booster from US as a backup and perhaps purchase a cheap high back booster from Europe since it sounds like you will be doing some longer driving.

    Your child will be (almost) five years old during the trip which means a HBB is just as safe or safer than a harnessed FF seat. A low back booster will also work nicely but it might not be ideal during longer drives due to sleeping. US research from guru Arbogast show that LBB provide as great safety as a HBB. A LBB is a good backup. Weigh nothing, cost nothing and you can throw it away on your way home to US.

    I think the best solution for you would be to purchase a HBB called Britax Adventure. Also called Highliner in some markets. The seat is cheap, light weight, comfortable and very safe. I have access to any seats desired for my kids and have been using the Adventure for both kids since age five-ish. Not sure how you are getting from the airport but the LBB might then be useful in your rental car. Ship an Adventure to your hotel or friends ahead of time.

    Using a car seat on an aircraft is irrelevant for safety. We have tons of data from FAA showing this very clearly. Using it for an almost five year old would be pure nonsense. Europe does not use harnessed FF seats for older kids since these are not any safer. You could of course bring a harnessed seat if you prefer but there would be no point.

    A bit OT but the previous poster had some opinions about importing seats. There is no problem to legally import a R129 or ECE R44 seat to any country in the world. Including Canada, US and Australia. It does not cost a fortune depending on the seat selected. Importing the seat is no problem, using it is technically illegal.

    Impact shield seats were also mentioned by the previous poster. These are indeed quite cheap and there is a reason for this. There are serious safety issues with rollover ejection, submarining, huge abdominal forces and chest deflation. Neck forces in a collision are also incredibly high. Don't ever place your child in a FF impact shield seat.

    Someone mentioned that your rental car may be good or not so good depending on where you are traveling in Europe. What's your general plan? Some places in Eastern Europe are very nice but standards can vary a lot.

    Poland, Croatia, Czech Republic, etc. are nice and popular Eastern European destinations. As you reach Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria and Romania the standard unfortunately goes far far lower and is basically third world.

    Have a nice trip!
    Annika: 8 • Britax Adventure
    Daniel: 11 • Britax Adventure
    I will only post ONE comment in each thread. If you have further questions send a PM or email
    Imported child seats may not conform to applicable safety standards, laws or customs regulations in some countries.

  18. #17
    Member jellopanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post

    Using a car seat on an aircraft is irrelevant for safety. We have tons of data from FAA showing this very clearly. Using it for an almost five year old would be pure nonsense. Europe does not use harnessed FF seats for older kids since these are not any safer. You could of course bring a harnessed seat if you prefer but there would be no point.

    A bit OT but the previous poster had some opinions about importing seats. There is no problem to legally import a R129 or ECE R44 seat to any country in the world. Including Canada, US and Australia. It does not cost a fortune depending on the seat selected. Importing the seat is no problem, using it is technically illegal.

    A) Haven't you been asked multiple times to provide the evidence backing your claims regarding aircraft safety, to no avail?

    B) it is most definitely illegal to import a non-Canadian carseat into Canada. Customs has, does, and will seize it.

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