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  1. #1
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    Canada Car seat tetris - Toyota Matrix

    We're expecting a baby in the fall, and are starting to do some car seat puzzle solving. We have a 2010 Toyota Matrix. I'm 5"6 and average size; my husband is 5"11 and larger so needs to have his seat fairly far back. Our 2.5 year old son is 30lbs and currently rear facing in a Clek Foonf in the middle seat, which allows both of us to put the front seats back to a comfortable setting (just barely). Son will be 3 when baby arrives and will still be well within the height and weight limits of a rear-facing Foonf at that time, but the only place he fits that way is in the middle. I think our choices are:

    1. Move older son front facing behind the driver, which would give my husband plenty of room and means a slightly larger car seat could go in the middle spot. We'd like to keep him rear facing as long as possible, though, which brings us to..

    2. Keep older kid in rear-facing center Foonf, and put baby behind the passenger. When baby is 1 and older kid is 4, older kid can then go front facing and 'new baby' (ie, age 1) can be rear facing in the center seat, or we can get a Diono with 'angle adjuster' or...something. My concern is that first year though: because you can't brace in a Matrix it will need to be a fairly small infant seat. We're set on an infant seat and not a convertible. So far the Peg Perego Primo Viaggo and the Graco Snugride seem to be the lead contenders in this department, but I'd welcome your thoughts.

    Also:We're in Canada, so some car seats are just not available here (for example, the Chicco NextFit Zip).


    Which option do you think is better, and, if it's #2, which infant seat would you recommend?
    Thanks in advance,

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  3. #2
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    Re: Car seat tetris - Toyota Matrix

    Do you have an infant seat already?

    What's a comfortable budget if you need any new seats?

  4. #3
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    Re: Car seat tetris - Toyota Matrix

    For our son, our situation was different. We had a Camry (which, sadly, has since died of old age), and our infant seat was a loaner B-safe from a trusted friend. That seat will be in use when we need it, so it's back to the drawing board.

    In terms of cost, we are fortunate to have a reasonably generous budget - any seat that works will be far less expensive than a new car!

  5. #4
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    Re: Car seat tetris - Toyota Matrix

    Sorry - one more follow up note. For us, 'generous budget' means up to about $300 CDN. I also forgot to mention that we have a City Mini GT stroller, so major bonus points if the seat is compatible with it (or can be made compatible with adaptors). Thank you!

  6. #5
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    Re: Car seat tetris - Toyota Matrix

    Is that CDN$300 per seat if you need 2, or total?

    I'm going to go with the assumption that you'll keep rear facing the older kid--it won't mean spending more in the long run, but it might mean spending it sooner. If you want to forward face when the baby comes, just ignore the stuff about the convertible for the older kid.

    There are 3 basic options:

    1) Get a convertible that is more compact front to back for the older kid to sit outboard, and an infant seat that is compact enough front to back that it can also be outboard. Width becomes unimportant. When baby outgrows infant seat, older kid FFs in Fllo, baby moves to compact RF convertible.

    2) Get seats that are compact front to back AND narrow, one convertible and one infant seat, allowing you to put the infant seat in the middle. (Infant seats tend to take up more space front to back than convertibles.)

    3) Just get a narrow, compact infant seat. Leave the Fllo where it is, and squeeze the infant seat in outboard. Optional: if there really isn't enough front to back space, push the passenger seat way forward, put whatever car seat you want behind it, and whenever you need to transport all 4 family members, you sit behind the driver.

    The benefit of option 2 is that your older kid can stay rear facing as long as you want, because the Fllo can replace the infant seat in the middle when the baby outgrows the infant seat. I'm also not certain that there is an infant seat compact enough that it can fit behind your seats where you want them adjusted.

    Only listing car seats with a price under $300.

    Compact infant seats: Chicco Keyfit 30; Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 (narrow, but not super compact front to back)

    Convertibles that are compact front to back: Graco Dimensions (but it has a 35 pound rear facing weight limit)

    Convertibles that are compact front to back and narrow: Diono Radian R100 with angle adjuster (slightly over $300, but you might be able to find a deal,) Safety 1st Guide 65 (only compact front to back if child is over 22 pounds,) Cosco Scenera NEXT.

  7. #6
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    Re: Car seat tetris - Toyota Matrix

    Thanks lgenne, that's all really helpful. It hadn't occurred to me to replace the Foonf (not Fllo, but I assume your advice would be the same?), so the $300 budget was just for a single infant car seat at this point, knowing that we'd need to get another seat about a year down the line (maybe a Clicktight, or Diono with Angle Adjuster).

    I see what you are saying about the benefits of option 2, but doesn't option 1 also allow for extended RF?

    Options 1 and 3 both require an infant seat compact enough to go outboard. Do you think that would be possible with a more generous budget? Based only on online reviews, it looks like the Nuna Pipa (on sale now for $309) and the Maxi Cosi Mico both push the limits of our budget but but *could* save us having to buy two car seats right now and both seem compatible with our City Mini GT stroller, which matters, and is not true of the Gracos. I suppose it's a question of just trying them, unless you know more specs about their ability to fit in a small car? Or, theoretically, do you know if ANY that would fit the bill?

    Thanks again - it's much appreciated.

  8. #7
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    Re: Car seat tetris - Toyota Matrix

    The specifics of what seats fit in which vehicles is so specific to the exact shape of the vehicle seats (front and back) and the car seat itself. And I don't have experience with your vehicle.

    I'm not super familiar with what's available in Canada, so I can't say if there are any infant seats that will definitely work outboard. Your best bet is to try them out.

  9. #8
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    Re: Car seat tetris - Toyota Matrix

    Great, thank you for all the help!

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