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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    car seat testing


    I spent a day reading a lot of past posts about car seats. I have a DS who is almost 4 and about 40" tall and 32 lbs. My DD is 9 months 18lbs and 28 inches.

    Currently DD rides in a Britax Companion. I recently bought a Boulevard in anticipation of swaping her to a RF car seat. I read somewhere that every step "up" in car seats is truly a step down. (ie the obvious one is boosters vs 5- point harness) Is this true of the Companion to the Boulevard? She still fits within the limits of 22lbs, 30 inches and 1 year.

    Next came my son. He has been riding in a Britax Advantage, which was a Roundabout with a knob that adjusted the harness. When he was ready for his first upgrade out of the Snug ride, the Wizard and Marathon had not come out yet. I really debated about this one. I knew that I wanted a 5 point harness, SIP. I looked at the ones everyone looks at Recaro YS, Britax Regent and finally, thanks to this forum Safeguard. I bought a Recaro YS. (I'm aware that the Regent does not have SIP, but I checked it out anyway)

    He's been in it one day, and I do like it. He loves it. The buckles are not as easy as Britax, but it could also be that I've been so used to Britax for all my seats except for the Graco Snug-Ride that we started with. I'm thinking about duplicating these seats in my husband's car (I ordered one set to see what I thought) but I was wondering what actual testing is done on the seats. Safeguard references their testing lab, but not the results. They say they do the most intensive testing in the country. Recaro shows percentages above government standards. (I believe...I have to admit that all of this reading is becoming a blur.)

    But has anyone compared apples to apples? For example, if you take a 35lb kid and place him in all these different seats, and crash test them, does one come out a clear winner? Or are they just passing government standards? Has anyone done comparision testing between manufacturers? Some of the sites such as the National one (I can't remember the acronym) seemed to base the seat on how likely it is that it will be installed correctly. A biggie I know, but I want to know what happens when they are all installed correctly.

    Finally, I'm wondering how the Boulevard stands up against the Recaro YS, because I might just leave the DD in it for a long time......

    I realize that these are a lot of questions, and maybe they have been covered before, but if so, I missed it.

    The recap on my questions:
    1.) Campanion (infant) vs Boulevard (convertible) for safety.
    2.) Seat to seat safety tests.
    3.) Boulevard vs Recaro YS safety.

    Thanks so much.


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  3. #2
    CPS Technician
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    RF infant seat to RF convertible is NOT a step down, when you turn baby FF that IS the step down.

    I don't know about the last 2, but I've got a suggestion that may save you some money for awhile.

    Put baby the Advantage RF and DS in the BLVD FF in one car.

    Then in the other car use the Recaro and get a $40 Scenera to RF for baby.

    RF is the safest way for ALL to ride and both the BLVD and the Recaro have SIP for your older child in both cars. A RF seat will turn away from the point of impact.

    I think I would use the Recaro in the less used vehicle and then when the harness is outgrown in it---you could transfer to the booster for short trips to ensure that he is mature enough to handle it full time. By then--you could put baby back in the BLVD and big brother in the Recaro--and it's not as troublesome to switch in and out as a booster. Then the Scenera can be still be used in the secondary car.

    Ok I hope I didn't confuse you.

    Mommy to my angel, Ethan Daniel (8/5/07-8/6/07)
    Mommy to Nicholas (12-29-08) RF'ed to 2.75 yrs in Graco MyRide(crashed) and a True Fit Primier. FF in the TFP and a Graco Nautilus Elite. Nicholas is 2.75 yrs old, 32 lbs and 36" tall.
    Child Passenger Safety Tech

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Recaro, Safeguard, Radian

    I realize that my post was probably confusing and maybe impossible to answer. I am looking for SIP for everyone, as I drive a Suburban with captain's seats in the second row. So no middle seat. So while I appreciate your smart idea, I didn't really explain the whole situation.

    I'm pretty set on the blvd for my dd. It was my son that I was struggling with. He is FF as he is 32-33 lbs. I realize that this is about cutoff. I was exploring seats that would allow him to sit a bit lower and not have to climb up so high into his seat. So thus the Recaro. Then I looked at Safeguard, and yesterday the Radian. Where I get confused, along with the other post yesterday, is how all of these manufacturer's claim that they are the best. Given all the fuss (appropriate) about car seats, I'm surprised more apple to apple testing hasn't been done by some agency.

    Here are the drawbacks/pluses to the three as I can see them:

    Radian....seems like about half the people on this forum have had a hard time installing it correctly. And some of these people are pros. So yikes! Otherwise I like the fact that it travels well and that I could use it on a plane with a tray.

    Recaro Young Sport in Harness mode. I intend to use this until my son can no longer fit in the seat per the manual, not per the 40" criteria. After reading enough on this forum, it appears that what is critical is the fit, not his actual height. Right now he easily meets the criteria that they set in the middle position. What I don't like about this is that I can't use it on a plane, and that I'm not sure how long he can use it in harness mode. I know that he will outgrow it by height before weight.

    Safeguard. I don't know much about this seat. A few people on the forum who had them appear to have trouble with the belts twisting. It can be used on aircraft. I'm wondering how it fits a relatively skinny almost 4 year old.....which is why I went to the Recaro Young Sport. They claim it is so inventive, but other than a few quotes on their website, you don't see much written about them. Probably because it is so pricey. I would buy one though, because when you look at how much they are used, it's the best life insurance a person can buy for their kids.

    Anyone out there who has played with all of these seats?



  5. #4
    I don't have experience with all of these seats but I have a 3 year old 40" 34# son. I chose the regent because I wanted to keep my son harnessed as long as possible. While the regent does not say true side impact protection in its advertising, it does have side impact protection (according to the rep at Britax). The seat is made out of a massively solid shell that is lined with bicycle helmet stuff, foam, then a well padded cover. I was so impressed by it. The sides are larger then usually to offer more protection. Since it does not sit on a base, it is so much easier for my son to get in by himself. I really wanted true side impact but my son freaked out about the boulevard's wings, plus the seat was tight in the crotch for him and I thought he would outgrow it too soon. The folks at Britax recommended the Regent hands down to me and did not think that the wings made a significant difference (so they said on multiple calls). Several people recommended the recaro to me as well, but I thought the wings would bother him, he hates the turbo booster kind of wings too. Anyway, I don't think that you should discount this great seat! Good luck in your seat hunt (mine lasted 6 months!!!!).

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Thanks for your thought on the Radian! It's good to hear. Right now, I still have the baby in her Companion and my son is riding in a Recaro Young Sport in my car. He seems to really like it, but the truth will be told in a long car trip that we're taking next week. It will be interesting to see if he is still comfortable. He thinks the Recaro is really cool, big sidewings don't seem to bother him. I'm still finding the buckle is a bit harder than the Britax, but it's probably because I've used their product for so long. He's still in the Advantage in the DH's car, and I'm still deciding if it is another Recaro, or something different.


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