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  1. #1
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    Is anybody else worried about going beyond the Complete Air's stated 40 inch limit?

    I know I have read on here a lot that the actual height limit isn't important because only torso height matters, but in the case of the Complete Air it seems like kind of a grey area.

    I've been looking at pics of 38" or 39" kids in the CA and they are still inside of the shell with more than an inch over their heads. I know the instructions say you can go to the top of the headrest, which would mean a lot more height, but I've been reading that people are wondering if that is really safe and I read that someone talked to Dorel and they said it was only tested to 40" which means unless the test dummy had no legs they didn't come close to testing it as high as they say it can be used.

    It seems to me that by repeatedly stating that it can only be used to 40" Dorel escapes any liability that might occur if people use this seat beyond that height limit, which in practice means if they use it to the top of the shell or to the top of the headrest.

    Everybody is saying what a lot of height for RF the CA has, but then I think about how they set their limit at 40" vs. the TF limit, which is 50" (only officially stated for FF) and that seems like a HUGE discrepancy between what is possible and what they have stated, much bigger than the usual. Does everyone still feel comfortable advising people to ignore the stated limit as seems standard practice?

    I don't own the seat, but I'm curious about this because I looked at a growth chart and on his current curve my son will hit 40" well before he hits 40 lbs.

    Sorry for rambling. I hope I made sense.
    Last edited by InternationalMama; 07-28-2009 at 01:18 PM. Reason: to add that the TF doesn't have an RF "inch" limit, per posts below
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    I posted this same question in another thread, and even thought about starting a new thread for it (thanks for doing that!!)

    I also have reservations. Probably due to the fact that it goes against common "standard practice", the fact that it admittedly wasn't tested that way, and the fact that it's dorel . I know all seats have a stated height max, but that one is really short. Are there any kids who would be 40" and anywhere near the top of that shell? Just seems a little sneaky or double handed, whether or not it was intended to be.

    That is what is holding me back from buying this seat. My DS is over 40" tall, is about 33 lbs wet and with clothes, and has only gained about 3lbs in the last 1.5 yrs. We probably could RF for a very very long time in a tall shelled seat like our radian, but I'm just not convinced about the CA.

    I don't know a lot about crash test forces or regs in countries where older/heavier kids RF all the time. I would love to hear from those who have more knowledge of these things.

    Maria, mommy to DS 5/10/06 49lbs, 49" FF in britax parkway/recaro signo/GN DD 5/14/08 38lbs 40" FF in Meghan BLVD/RN XTSL flora/recaro signo
    and now welcoming DD2 12/10/12 RF in a keyfit

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member Amaris's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    I was looking at the ca at bru yesterday and read the entire manual. The guy working in the area thought I was nuts, but oh well. Anyway, I did notice on page 17 that there is a box that clearly points out to use it until the head is even with the top of the headrest, but there isn't anything about 40 inches in that box. It is pointed out in several other places, though. I'm not sure what to think. In some places in the manual it made it seem as if 40in is the hard and fast rule, but in others that you could use it until the top of the head hits the top of the headrest. I really wish we had a definite answer because K is nearly 37in and she just turned 2. I really wanted this seat to work for us to keep her rf'ing until 4, but if I have to stick to the 40 inches it just isn't going to happen.



  5. #4
    CPS Technician Mommy0608's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    As a CPST, I will never advise someone to ignore any rule in the manual. However, I will show them what the manual says and also mention common CPS practices, offer pros/cons for both, and let the parent decide. With this type of situation it is always the parent's choice about how to proceed.

    There are a few threads already about this particular issue... if I had time right now I'd dig them up and link them, sorry.

    For what it's worth, I just bought two of these for my kids. My DD is 37 months and 39.5" tall but only 29lbs. She has TONS of room above her head, and I intend to keep her RF in this seat beyond 40". I may not go COMPLETELY to the top of the headrest, but I'm comfortable going pretty close. This is my decision as a parent and as a CPST for MY child. I would never tell anyone that they should do this. As I said above, this is a decision for each individual family to make for themselves when armed with the relevant information.
    Jenny
    CPST and mommy to
    Jessica 6.18.06 and Tyler 8.5.08
    Both riding in Frontier 85s

  6. #5
    Senior Community Member Amaris's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    I was thinking of getting one and going with the 1 inch rule. I think I'm comfortable using it to the standards of all the other seats out there if she's over 40in, but I'm not sure I would be comfortable using it until she's at the top of the seat/headrest. I would be nice to know how they came up with 40 inches, though.



  7. #6
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    Nope, it personally doesn't bother me. Neither does the 32 inch limit on the Safeseat, the 36 inch limit on the other Dorels, or the old 30 inch limit on the Roundabout. What matters is the weight and the head not exceeding the top of the seatback. If you don't go beyond those, you have the best chance of the seat performing well in a crash (not all crashes are survivable, so I won't make a blanket statement that your kid is safe). My 40.5 inch child is at considerably higher risk of all injuries in a crash if forward facing, I'm more likely to sue THEM for not allowing me to use their seat RF to the established limits (which the AAP set forth in 2002, 'till the weight limit is reached as long as the head is below the top of the seatback', to paraphrase it).
    Julie
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy kandamom's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    I posted a question about this as well when the seat was first announced. My 24-month-old is very tall. If he stays where he is on the growth chart, 40" won't even get him to three rf. I ended up going with the radian instead, but I still kind of want a ca. I would probably use it a couple inches past the stated limit, especially if he had >1" of shell above his head - just to get him rf to age three or so. I would not be comfortable using it until his head is even with the top of the headrest. I am disappointed that dorel would arbitrarily set the rf height limit so low, since it looks like such a perfect seat. The radian will also last my son longer ff, so I thought it was the better choice. I was planning to get the ca before the radian was approved to 40 lbs rf.

    I'm not a tech, but this is what I would chose to do as a parent if I had (or get) a complete air.

    Rebecca

  9. #8
    Senior Community Member Amaris's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    I'm between the radian and complete air right now. I do have a bit before I have to make a decision, so I'm going to wait and see how everyone likes the ca after using it for a while. K weighed 29.8lbs this morning after she was dressed. Up nearly a pound from 2 days ago.



  10. #9
    CPS Technician fyrfightermomma's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    Not worried and I won't follow it as a parent. I have to give parents the facts and let them choose for themselves though

    I'm not worried because almost all seats have stated height limits for RFing and FFing because they have to. Yes, 40" is low. But so is the 26-29" on the snug ride. Or 32" on the safeseat. And we've never pushed to follow those before. I DID follow the 26" on my snugride for DD1 who proceded to hit 26" at the ripe old age of 8 weeks....with 5 inches of shell above her head. I'm not worried. I follow what is taught to us. But I will teach parents both ways and let them choose.

    E 8y 43 lbs 58" Harmony NBB
    S 7y 52 lbs 54" Harmony NBB
    J-4y 38 lbs Graco Headwise 70 Britax Roundabout 50

  11. #10
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    Quote Originally Posted by Mommy0608
    As a CPST, I will never advise someone to ignore any rule in the manual. However, I will show them what the manual says and also mention common CPS practices, offer pros/cons for both, and let the parent decide. With this type of situation it is always the parent's choice about how to proceed.
    I see your point, but given this I would love to see people qualify statements (to those less-informed) that the CA has as much or more growing room as other seats like the True Fit, since it's only true if you ignore the manual's 13"? difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by joolsplus3 View Post
    What matters is the weight and the head not exceeding the top of the seatback.
    So, would you personally only use the seat to the top of the seatback or would you also feel comfortable continuing use to the top of the headrest? I'm just curious what different people have decided. As others have said (glad I'm not the only one!) this seems like an unusual seat situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by kandamom View Post
    I would probably use it a couple inches past the stated limit, especially if he had >1" of shell above his head - just to get him rf to age three or so. I would not be comfortable using it until his head is even with the top of the headrest. I am disappointed that dorel would arbitrarily set the rf height limit so low, since it looks like such a perfect seat. The radian will also last my son longer ff, so I thought it was the better choice. I was planning to get the ca before the radian was approved to 40 lbs rf.
    Sounds like we have a similar situation and I would probably make the same decision as you. The CA does look like a nice easy to use seat though. Nobody ever describes the Radian as "easy to use."

    Thanks everyone!
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  12. #11
    CPS Technician Mommy0608's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    The True Fit's height requirement is not 53". I have my TF manual right here, and for the RF height, the limit is when the child's head comes to within an inch of the top of the seat. It does not state a standing height limit for RF use.

    The FF limit is 50".
    Jenny
    CPST and mommy to
    Jessica 6.18.06 and Tyler 8.5.08
    Both riding in Frontier 85s

  13. #12
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    Quote Originally Posted by Mommy0608 View Post
    The True Fit's height requirement is not 53". I have my TF manual right here, and for the RF height, the limit is when the child's head comes to within an inch of the top of the seat. It does not state a standing height limit for RF use.

    The FF limit is 50".
    Thanks, I wasn't sure. So they don't post a limit for RF? I thought a height limit was required? Is the assumption (to meet that requirement) that the RF limit is also 50"? Now I'm curious what the CA's FF limit is.
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  14. #13
    Forum Ambassador TechnoGranola's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    Quote Originally Posted by InternationalMama View Post
    Everybody is saying what a lot of height for RF the CA has, but then I think about how they set their limit at 40" vs. the TF limit, which is 53" and that seems like a HUGE discrepancy between what is possible and what they have stated, much bigger than the usual.
    Just to clarify, the 50" (note 50", not 53") height limit on the TF is for FORWARD facing. The rear-facing height limit does NOT specify a number, rather the RF height limit is "Head is 1 inch below the top of the seat". The manual also has pictures that coincide with their wording for both RF and FF.
    Last edited by TechnoGranola; 07-28-2009 at 11:51 AM. Reason: cross-posted with Mommy0608, I just got distracted with something and hit submit later!

  15. #14
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoGranola View Post
    Just to clarify, the 50" (note 50", not 53") height limit on the TF is for FORWARD facing. The rear-facing height limit does NOT specify a number, rather the RF height limit is "Head is 1 inch below the top of the seat". The manual also has pictures that coincide with their wording for both RF and FF.
    Thanks. I edited the first post. But I'm still confused (as I said in my last post). I thought that manufacturers were -required- to give an "inch" limit for the seat's use? If Learning Curve can just say "head is 1 inch below the top of the seat" and have that be it (RF), why don't all manufacturers say that?
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  16. #15
    Forum Ambassador TechnoGranola's Avatar
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    Quote Originally Posted by InternationalMama View Post
    Thanks. I edited the first post. But I'm still confused (as I said in my last post). I thought that manufacturers were -required- to give an "inch" limit for the seat's use? If Learning Curve can just say "head is 1 inch below the top of the seat" and have that be it (RF), why don't all manufacturers say that?
    I can't speak for FMVSS, but for CMVSS they are required to state a height in any fashion they wish to state it. It does not have to be a number.

  17. #16
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    Re: The 40 Inch Limit RF on the Complete Air

    Ok, so the dummy had no legs that they tested it with (or someone said earlier in the thread). So, if your child has legs are you comfortable using it?

    Really, I will personally choose to ignore it. But, I probably will probably use the 1" below rule instead to allow a margin of safety.
    Mommy to two wild little boys and a little princess!
    DS1 (01/05, 46 1/2", 44 lbs), Boring Gray Turbobooster / Harmony Literider
    DS2 (07/07, 39 1/2", 40lbs), Harvest Complete Air / Booster Training in a Maui Blue PWSG / RSTV
    DD (07/09, 33", 23lbs), rfing Flair MyRide / rfing Scenera

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