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  1. #1

    ISO-FIX vs. seatbelt mount

    I just bought a 2001 Volvo Cross Country which has the new ISO-FIX carseat mounting system on the two rear outboard seat positions. We need to get a new car seat for our 20lb. 8 month old and I am torn between getting one of the few ISO (LATCH) style seats (like the Triad) of one of the regular style seats that has many more features. If we use the LATCH system, he needs to sit in an outboard position as opposed to sitting in the middle with a regular belt. Does anyone have any good suggestions and or experience with this situation? Thank you very much for your advice.

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  3. #2

    Tough choices

    These really are "Tough Choices" for which there may not be a best solution.

    The center position is safest, and is usually recommended if your carseat fits in that spot. On the other hand, the outboard spots are certainly not unsafe. In fact, if you can obtain a better fit in an outboard position, most child passenger safety technicians would recommend that position over the center.

    The Cosco Triad is a decent seat. I own one. I also own a Britax Roundabout. Both have advantages. In my vehicle, I find the Roundabout to be a better fit rear-facing, and the built-in lockoffs and versa-tether which can be used rear facing are nice features. The Triad does have LATCH, which makes an excellent fit in my vehicle front facing. It also has a 35 pound rear-facing weight limit, another minor advantage.

    Another very good solution for you is the new Volvo carseat using rigid LATCH attachments. It is rear-facing to 40 pounds, ideal for safety. I was able to try a prototype at a recent conference. The installation was a snap, and extremely secure. It promises to be an excellent alternative for owners of LATCH vehicles, Volvo or otherwise. Unfortunately, the rep at the conference said it may not be available until very late this year or first quarter 2002. It may also cost over $300.

    I can't give you specific advice as to which method is best. Any current carseat which fits your child and vehicle well is going to be safe. Keeping your child rear-facing up to the limits of the model you buy (30 pounds and up for most convertible seats) is going to improve safety far more than the choice of LATCH vs. seatbelt or inboard vs. outboard. Given that, I suggest you try the fit of the models you like in the positions where you install them. You may find some don't fit well, and that will help make your decision a bit easier. Make sure to try it at the store, or get a good return policy.

    Please let us know what you choose and how it works! Thanks.

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