Carseat recommendation for 1 year old and Mazda3 hatchback


New member

We have a 1 year old, 23 lbs, 29.5" boy in Canada. He is currently riding in a safeseat which we bought so he could make it to at least 1 year rear facing in our car (I'm not sure any of the non infant seats will fit rear facing in out car)

Now that he is old enough to forward face, we have been looking for car seats. We saw the Apex 65 that seemed to be like a seat that would last a long time. We also saw the Evenflo triumph advance at walmart that seemed comfy, but wouldn't last as long as the Apex 65.

Any recommendations would be great! Does anybody have a link to the car seat database so I can see what fits in the mazda3?




New member
If you can fit the SS1, you should have no trouble fitting a Britax Marathon RFg. Its my fave Canadian seat for RFg. You could also try the Blvd and Diplomat, but you don't need the infant padding those have. If your vehicle d/n have side curtain airbags, you might want the SIP that those 2 seats have.

Another seat to look at is the Radian. I've not used it RFg, but others have said that it takes up more room RFg than the MA. Best bet is to try them out IRL. If you are in the Vancouver BC area, TJs carries all 4 seats and will let you try floor models.

ETA: He's safest RFg for a lot longer than 1yr/20lbs.


Active member
Hi there,

If you've spent some time browsing around on this site you've probably noticed that rear-facing beyond one year of age (extended rear-facing or ERF) is strongly encouraged. More info here:

Since your son is well within the limits of the safeseat, you might want to consider leaving him in it until it is outgrown. You can change the angle so it is a little more upright and he might be a little happier in it that way. Even if you are sick of carrying around the heavy bucket, you can just leave it in the car from now on.

If you'd rather get rid of the bucket altogether, you should still consider keeping him rear-facing as long as possible. The Learning Curve True Fit convertible seat currently has the highest rear-facing weight limit in Canada (35 lbs). We have one, and our 15 month, 26 lb son has lots of room in it with it rear-facing. We also have a Britax Marathon and I'm really happy with it. I like it better than the True Fit (easier to use), but I really want to keep my son rear-facing as long as possible so that is why we got the True Fit for our other car.

What your best options are will depend on whether you will keep him rear-facing or are committed to turning him around. Give some thought to the ERF.

One last thing, here is a handy tutorial on how to tell if your infant seat is outgrown by height for rear-facing:

ETA: Our Marathon is in a 2006 Ford Focus. The True Fit is in a Ford Ranger regular cab truck. The True Fit fit in the Focus, but not as easily as the Marathon.
Last edited:


New member
Yup, the TrueFit and Evenflo Triumph Advance are also good seats. But, they are both bulkier width-wise, and the Mazda3 is on the smaller side, so if the OP wanted to get another child restraint or adult back there down the road, it might be nice to have the MA/Blvd/Dip or RN as a narrower choice.

But, really, any of these seats RFg are good options. The TF and EFTA are cheaper than the ones I've noted, if budget is an issue.

Another seat that isn't as padded is the Scenara. Its around $69/79 at Walmart Canada. Its a nice travel seat or secondary seat.


Senior Community Member
You have been given info on RF and it is a parental decision on if you want to continue RF or move to FF. If he still fits in the SS1 you might want to consider to keep using it until it is outgrown and then moving to a new seat. Here is a guide that can help you determine if and when the seat is outgrown.

A tech here has a Mazda 3 hatchback and I'm pretty sure she was able to do a Radian both RF and FF. The Radian will really last you the longest as harnessed seat.

The Apex isn't a bad seat but it is only a FF seat, it has a 65lb weight limit on the harness :)thumbsup:) but you must use the seat with a vehicle that has headrests which makes me not a huge fan of the seat.

Another member here (she has a Mazda 3) put together this: The five most popular Canadian seats from tallest to shortest...
1. Britax Frontier
2. Sunshine Kids Radian
3 & 4. Compass/First Years TruFit & Evenflo Triumph Advance
5. Britax Marathon

Here is also a list of higher weight harnessing seats available in Canada, the list also includes what the top harness slot is.

Post back if you have anymore questions.


New member
I *think* Jen is away right now (no action at the house from what I can see :D) so I'll post that I know with certainty she's successfully fit a rear facing Marathon and a rear facing Radian in the backseat of her Mazda 3 hatchback. :thumbsup:

Please, original poster, read carefully the above posted information on why rear facing is safest. :)

Once you decide on a seat, please come here for help with installation. Yes, most of the time a rear facing convertible seat looks like it won't fit, but with proper guidance most people do have success in even the most compact of vehicles.

Going back to the Apex, no, it's not an appropriate seat for your child IMO. Even if you decide to forward face your baby, the Apex is just too wide and not supportive enough (IMO) for such a young baby. But really, I'm hoping we can help you find an appropriate rear facing seat... so I won't go into appropriate forward facing seats just yet. ;)

Maybe post back once you've read through the above posted info...


New member
My dd just turned one, weights 24lbs, and is 29.5 inches, she is still in her safeseat and will be probably for another couple months or so.

Why not keep your ds in the safe seat until he outgrows the safe seat.

We are buying a Britax Blvd this week as we need naother seat for when i return to work and will be keeping dd rear facing until the limites of the Blvd.

once seh outgrows the Safeseat, depending on how long that takes, We will be probably buying a Marathon or Blvd for my truck.


CPST Instructor
My BFF has a Mazda3 Hatchback and I can easily get a RF Radian and RF Marathon in there, I will be trying a TF at Zellers in a few weeks (my sis is getting one, but I get to test it out in a few different cars).

I can also easily do 3 across with a RF Marathon (passanger side) FF Radian (center) and a passanger. Trick i find is to make sure the carseat is very close to the edge of the vehicle seat.

The Radian and Marathon also easily install FF in the Mazda3 Hatchback.


New member
Awesome responses everyone. We have decided to keep him in the safeseat forawhile, and in the meantime look at getting a radian or marathon to go rear face and then on to front facing when he outgrows the rear facing.




Moderator - CPST Instructor
My ex uses a Como for my daughter when she's with him, and I was loving that seat from 33-35lbs way back when :) She's 35 now though. Honestly, though--I'm not so sure that Canadians would fork out the money for Recaro seats, for what they are, even if we did have them.



New member
Here is a guide that can help you determine if and when the seat is outgrown.
Post back if you have anymore questions.


So we still have the safeseat. He is now 30.5" and the seat says up to 32". However, he is still on the middle shoulder harness position, and there is more then 2" of height when measured as described in your link. I guess he is all legs right now?

Is that 32" rule of the manufacturers a hard rule? Or can we go with the 1" from the top rule?




New member
You go by the 1" from the top of the shell rule because some kids are all legs, some are all torso and others are a combo so all children fit the seat differently.

BTW: Way to go keeping him rear facing.


New member
We tried a Radian out quickly at a store, but I can't see how it will fit without jamming the passenger seat way up.

The store was pretty useless, the sales person couldn't come outside to show us how to install it for "liability reasons".

Maybe we will look at the marathon? Any tips on how to install these car seats rear facing? He's pretty much at the limit of the safe seat now



Senior Community Member
We tried a Radian out quickly at a store, but I can't see how it will fit without jamming the passenger seat way up.

The store was pretty useless, the sales person couldn't come outside to show us how to install it for "liability reasons".

Maybe we will look at the marathon? Any tips on how to install these car seats rear facing? He's pretty much at the limit of the safe seat now


The Radian only fits in the center of the 3 when rear facing (it pushes the seat way forward when outboard).

For a Mazda3, I'd be getting a Marathon. It can be braced against the front seat, a little more upright for an older baby/toddler (up to 30 degrees) and still allows room for front seat passengers.

Marathon braced and tethered in an '07 Speed3...

From another angle...

Resulting leg space in the front (DH is 6'3"... excuse the dinner plate and huge boots, he graciously came out during dinner to take these pics)...

Close-up of the base of the Marathon. Installed with LATCH and pulled 1 - 2" away from the seat bight to get a more upright install...

D-ring location for the RFing tether...

Hope that helps. :)

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