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  1. #21
    CPS Technician
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    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Thanks everyone, for being so responsive! I've ordered a RSTV and will try it out on my son before we leave. If he likes it, it should be a good solution, as it will last us beyond 40 lbs and will be convenient for travel. If it doesn't fit, I'll buy a 40 lb. wt limit car seat. It sounds as though many kids his size are okay on the plane without a carseat, or I might try renting a CARES harness.

    Thanks again...
    I believe the CARES has a MAXIMUM height of 40", someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

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  3. #22
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northriver View Post
    I believe the CARES has a MAXIMUM height of 40", someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
    As with any height guideline it depends a lot on the torso length of the child, I'm sure. Even moreso for an item that doesn't have a hard shell and is nearly completely adjustable.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  4. #23
    CPS Technician
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    Iowa
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    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    As with any height guideline it depends a lot on the torso length of the child, I'm sure. Even moreso for an item that doesn't have a hard shell and is nearly completely adjustable.

    Wendy
    They must state a maximun height for a reason especially since the 40" max drastically reduces the market for their product. I sold mine when my DD hit 40" to adhere to the labeling of the product.



    ETA: At one point I emailed about this and the response I got from the company was that the 40" and under was a requirement, not a guideline.

  5. #24
    CPS Technician
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    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    I appologize to the original poster for the slight off topic discussion on CARES but here is the wording in an email I received from them on 8/25/08:

    "Hello,

    Thank you for contacting Cares - Kids Fly Safe.

    Here are the technical requirements for using CARES. The child must meet all
    three of these requirements:

    1) The child must be between 22 and 44 lbs.

    2) The child must be no taller than 40 inches.

    3) The child must be able to sit up by himself without support.

    The order comes with an installation DVD. The instructions are also on the website.

    I hope this helps!

    Regards,

    Tianna
    Customer Care Center
    Cares - Kids Fly Safe"

    "The child must be no taller than 40"" is pretty clear on the issue, imo.

    So many people seem to use CARES for taller kids, I guess I've never understood why people feel it is ok to use THIS product outside the stated requirements.

  6. #25
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Just like we do for all other seats. We constantly tell people to ignore the height guidelines. Of course the manufacturer will tell you it's a requirement. They take the average that kids outgrow the seat and put that. They can't tell if a child is all torso or legs. But if you came to me with a 25.5" child and a 26" infant seat I'd tell you to ignore the 26" and go when they have less than 1" above their head. If you say the Marathon has a 53" maximum (I honestly have no idea what the Marathon's stated height limit is) but your 53" child has two inches to go in the torso then keep using your Marathon. But if you call Britax they'll tell you the 53" is solid (they may have changed that, since now they're stating seated heights in addition to overall heights). The old Evenflo Triumph had a 40 pound 40" limit, the Roundabout may as well. That kicks some kids out of it before it's actually outgrown, others are in it too long. Same as CARES. Since CARES isn't a solid seat I would use it until either the weight limit is reached, or until the shoulders go over the top harness height that it can achieve. Without having played with one I'm not certain how tall it could go, but I would completely ignore the 40" depending on the torso of my child. I never look at height limits other than as maybe a guide for a new seat. A seat with a 40" overall height will be smaller than a seat with a 59" overall height, and we can take a guess on shell and slot heights due to that. Otherwise, they're ignored completely here. Always have been.

    We generally like the forward facing height minimums since they often encourage children to stay rear facing longer, so you'll see us using those, but they work for us and don't work against the manufacturer. The maximum heights don't work for us much, and the three rules of outgrowing a forward facing seat are based on physics, not what a customer service rep says.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  7. #26
    CPS Technician
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    Iowa
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    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    Just like we do for all other seats. We constantly tell people to ignore the height guidelines. Of course the manufacturer will tell you it's a requirement. They take the average that kids outgrow the seat and put that. They can't tell if a child is all torso or legs. But if you came to me with a 25.5" child and a 26" infant seat I'd tell you to ignore the 26" and go when they have less than 1" above their head. If you say the Marathon has a 53" maximum (I honestly have no idea what the Marathon's stated height limit is) but your 53" child has two inches to go in the torso then keep using your Marathon. But if you call Britax they'll tell you the 53" is solid (they may have changed that, since now they're stating seated heights in addition to overall heights). The old Evenflo Triumph had a 40 pound 40" limit, the Roundabout may as well. That kicks some kids out of it before it's actually outgrown, others are in it too long. Same as CARES. Since CARES isn't a solid seat I would use it until either the weight limit is reached, or until the shoulders go over the top harness height that it can achieve. Without having played with one I'm not certain how tall it could go, but I would completely ignore the 40" depending on the torso of my child. I never look at height limits other than as maybe a guide for a new seat. A seat with a 40" overall height will be smaller than a seat with a 59" overall height, and we can take a guess on shell and slot heights due to that. Otherwise, they're ignored completely here. Always have been.

    We generally like the forward facing height minimums since they often encourage children to stay rear facing longer, so you'll see us using those, but they work for us and don't work against the manufacturer. The maximum heights don't work for us much, and the three rules of outgrowing a forward facing seat are based on physics, not what a customer service rep says.

    Wendy
    Thank you for your thoughtful response, Wendy. I understand you points regarding height requirement on car seats. My personal take on CARES however was that because I personally have no knowledge of the physics of plane crashes, it was even more important for me to follow the CARES manual, especially since there is no other clear max height, such as the shell, to judge whether it really does still fit my child. Looked like it fit my child fine at 40" but once my child passed 40", I chose to use a car seat on the plane instead of using the CARES. And incidentally, after using our CARES for 2 kids, we recouped most of our investment reselling it on ebay.

  8. #27
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northriver View Post
    I'm not a tech but I'll chime in briefly on my latest travel experience as my child is roughly the same size as yours, she just turned 4 and is about 35# and 42" tall.

    In the past, I've traveled with either a Britax Roundabout or a Marathon.

    After much consideration, on our last trip I took both a Radian and an RSTV. My child is at the minimum weight of the RSTV and I played with it quite a bit before we left so that I was comfortable with the fit and installation. It was time well spent, I was not happy with my original efforts with the RSTV so I'm glad I figured it out at home, not after a long travel day.

    We used the Radian on the airplane and I was really delighted how well it went. I'm a single mom and purchased the carry straps to carry the Radian as a backpack. It is surprisingly comfortable for such a heavy seat. It really is easier to get on and off the plane and around in general because it folds. Again, I spent quite a bit of time playing with the folding mechanism and practising adding and removing the safe stop thing because I knew I'd have to do this in a tight space on the plane in short amount of time. It really installs on the plane like a dream. When I forget to use the recline, my childs head slumped when she slept, so I do recommend using the recline for added comfort for your child. I don't think I'll be flying without a car seat any time soon. My child is so comfortable on the plane in her own carseat, I don't think she'd sleep without it. On our way to Alaska, I actually read a entire novel while she slept on our 5hr45min flight.

    Anyway, on land I used both the Radian and the RSTV. I bought a backpack large enough to accomodate the RSTV and carried it with me all day every day just in case we decided to grab a cab or whatnot, and took the Radian when I knew I could use that. We were on a cruise and rode in a couple 18 passanger type vans but mostly small 24-40 seat busses, most had seat belt only. As I said, I'm not a 'pro' with the Radian, but I had no problem installing the Radian anywhere. The times I had to install it where there were strangers in the vehicle, everyone was helpful and understanding and I never felt rushed.

    We already had the Radian, but did purchase the RSTV for this trip knowing we'll get lots of use from it in the future. I use it for my niece and will use it for preschool field trips and future travel needs.

    All that said, I probably wouldn't hesitate just lugging a Frontier along on a trip. I'm a believer in using what you have. I've been traveling with carseats for 15 years and it is never as big of a hassle as I think it will be. If I can do it as a single parent, I think anyone can.

    HTH
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with both the Radian and the RSTV. Your mention of the Roundabout reminds me that I shouldn't have given our Roundabout away when we got the Frontier because I think he'd still fit into it! It was great to travel with.

    The RSTV should arrive tomorrow, so we'll see how it fits him.

    Thanks also for the information on the CARES harness. I had not realized that it had a 40" height limit--when I looked at the eBay rentals, they usually mentioned the weight ranges, but not the height. I think my son would probably be okay in it, since he's only 1/2" over the limit and not very long torsoed.

    And I agree that whatever I get, I should practice using it before we leave!

  9. #28
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    A brief update...
    We received the RSTV. The box was all banged up and crushed, but we took it out and tried it on our son. It seemed to fit him (he has skinny arms, legs, and butt--he can still fit into many of his 2T summer clothes-- so I guess most of his 35 lbs is upper torso and head!), perhaps a bit big. However, he didn't like sitting so low in the car and felt restricted in the vest (perhaps because it came up so high on him when he sat down). So, we are returning the vest (we didn't feel comfortable using it anyway because of the condition the box came in, and also we were surprised to see that the vest had an Oct 2003 manufacture date--I know they don't expire, but I wonder what the vest has been doing for the past 6 years?).

    So, after wavering back and forth between getting a 40 lb. seat and trying a Radian (can you tell we are indecisive people?) we decided to give the Radian a try. I got it for 15% off at hipmonkey.com. It should come next week, which should give us time to practice installing it in a few vehicles. If the Radian doesn't work, plan C would be to get an Uptown at Big Lots for $65. I hope it does work, though, as he can stay harnessed a lot longer for travel with the Radian, and we can also use it in the plane. We are trying to justify the cost with the fact that we only have one car and one child, so we should have to buy fewer carseats overall.

  10. #29
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Thanks again to everyone for your advice. We finally were able to order a Radian 65 (on sale from Target) and it worked wonderfully in our car, on the plane, and in two different vehicles (including a 2004 Nissan Quest) in Seattle. We are thinking of keeping it as his everyday seat and selling his Frontier (and getting a booster after he outgrows the Radian). He's a little below the 2nd to top slots on the Radian, so he has a bit of growing room.

    At one point, we thought we couldn't get the Radian in time for the trip and bought an Uptown at Big Lots, but even though he had 1-2 inches of growing room when the seat was uninstalled, he was even with the top slots when the seat was installed!

    Anyway, thanks again!

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