Britax Emblem pins thighs in place

N

newcarseattime

Guest
Update on trying to find a convertible carseat that works for us (since we can't get a Combi Coccoro).

I bought a Britax Emblem.
  • The good news: it fits really well in our small car. We installed it in the rear passenger side seat and the front passenger seat can be much further back than with the Chicco Keyfit, even with the Emblem fully reclined. Yay! We were also able to squish two adults next to it in the back seat. Very happy with the fit.
  • The bad news: my kid's thighs are completely pinned by the harness. The Keyfit's lower harness securement is further back, and the kid's hips can move fairly freely, legs can rise up and kick at things, etc. The Emblem's lower straps cross the legs rather than the pelvis/torso and secure on the thighs, immobilizing the upper legs. Kid is 13 months and just under 20 lbs so this was with the infant pillow. It's a little better without the pillow, but definitely not good enough.
I took off work early yesterday and did a car seat fit appointment at the local hospital and the tech seemed flummoxed that the lower harness attachment location was not adjustable (maybe it is on the Boulevard?). Had no real suggestions other than getting a different car seat. So we're going to return this one (haven't driven with it installed) and try something else. I didn't think this would be so hard.

What I'm hoping to try next: Graco Contender, Graco Slimfit 3 LX. If those don't work, I guess we get a Cosco Scenera NEXT or Evenflo Sonus?
 
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ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
The harness moving more forward at the hips is a recent trend across many brands. It has to do with crash performance I believe.

Most kids quickly grow out of the awkward fit stage.
 
N

newcarseattime

Guest
I guess I'm surprised that the many glowing reviews from well-respected websites (this one, Lucie's List, etc.), don't mention this. I'd much prefer whatever option lets my kid be a little less pinned down for an approximately equal level of safety. I'm hoping we can find an option that has adjustable tether location, or the "older" (?) further back locations.
 

murphydog77

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
I guess I'm surprised that the many glowing reviews from well-respected websites (this one, Lucie's List, etc.), don't mention this. I'd much prefer whatever option lets my kid be a little less pinned down for an approximately equal level of safety. I'm hoping we can find an option that has adjustable tether location, or the "older" (?) further back locations.
May I offer a different perspective? I often find parents project their feelings onto their children's level of comfort (esp. with rear-facing: "their legs can't possibly be comfortable scrunched up like that!", ironically leading to their children being turned forward too early and having uncomfortable legs from dangling). Kids may find their new seat different and some with more sensitive natures may be distressed, but they usually adjust quickly and move on as long as the parents don't make a big deal out of it. There are always exceptions (and it also shows that not all children fit all carseats the same way or well at all).

The reason I say this is because of the language you use—"pinned down". Harness geometry, simply, is what it is. Some manufacturers have harnesses that have a higher hip geometry, but as ketchupqueen said, most have gone to a tighter fit.
 

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