FF/Booster Combos

rckelly

New member
Obviously I have to take DS to the store to try out the seats, but I'm wondering what you would recommend?
DS is 3.5 years old, 32lbs, 15inches in torso height (he's on the top slot of his current seat, but with lots of room to go - just switched). I would call him average height and slightly below average weight. He also has ASD - very mild- so I'd like to keep him harnessed longer (at least until age 6 if height and weight allow). I want as much information ahead of time so that I can keep our shopping trip to a very very very short time span. I am looking at car seats so that we can do the car seat shuffle (and move the baby to at least on of his current seats).
I looked at the nautilus, but it is expensive (possible - if there is no other choice that I deem adequate)
I looked at the maestro, but it has a lower harnessed weight.
I looked at the generation 65, but it has a reported lower torso height, and has also been reported to be a crummy booster.

So my questions are ....
a) Am I missing any good options?
b) Is any of the information that I've garnered online incorrect?
c) Should I instead keep him in a true-fit (or some other RF/FF combo seat) until he outgrows it and then just get a booster?
Thanks
 
ADS

Brigala

Well-known member
A Maestro will last a slender child almost as long as a Nautilus because both seats will be outgrown by height at approximately the same time. The Nautilus may be a touch taller, but not a lot. A slender child will probably outgrow both seats at somewhere around 50 lbs anyway.

The Evenflo Secure Kid is similar to the Maestro except that (A) It has a 65 lb weight limit on the harness and (B) the booster is more adjustable and won't be outgrown as quickly. It's a little more expensive than a Maestro but a little less expensive than a Nautilus. This might be the compromise you're looking for.

If you really want to harness "as long as possible" due to your son's ASD, the Britax Frontier 85 has no competition in that category. It will last on average about 2-3 years longer than any of the other harnessed seats on the market. But it's definitely not cheap. Expect to pay around $215 on a decent sale.
 

Nimommyof2

New member
Another option would be the Evenflo 400. If you have another child to hand it down to I think it would be worth it to spend either the 200-250 for the evenflo 400 or nautilas. How soon do you need it? Can you watch for sales
 

Brigala

Well-known member
Oops, I didn't realize this was in the Canadian forum. Do you have the Secure Kid up there?

I know the weight limit on the Maestro is lower in Canada, and the Frontier model is different also but I believe it's still the tallest. And prices are higher. :(
 

rckelly

New member
Another option would be the Evenflo 400. If you have another child to hand it down to I think it would be worth it to spend either the 200-250 for the evenflo 400 or nautilas. How soon do you need it? Can you watch for sales

I've got another month or two max, but it isn't like I need it this weekend. DH is leaning towards the nautilas. As for handing it down, I'm guessing we'll still be using the high-back booster on DS, when DD needs to move to one. So we might be passing it down, but maybe not.

Oops, I didn't realize this was in the Canadian forum. Do you have the Secure Kid up there?

I know the weight limit on the Maestro is lower in Canada, and the Frontier model is different also but I believe it's still the tallest. And prices are higher. :(

I haven't seen the secure kid online so I'll guess no until someone corrects me. The Frontier is definitely out of my price range especially on mat leave. $219 is the (not-sale) price of the Nautilus at our local wal.mart.
 

Chila88

New member
I haven't seen the secure kid online so I'll guess no until someone corrects me. The Frontier is definitely out of my price range especially on mat leave. $219 is the (not-sale) price of the Nautilus at our local wal.mart.

I haven't had my hand son one yet, so I can't speak to it, but wanted to let you know that the Secure Kid is available in Canada, it is the Evenflo 400 Nimommyof2 was talking about. You can read a Canadian thread about it here http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=213188 and it is for sale on both toysrus.ca and amazon.ca. (beware the product descriptions on both sites though....the are pretty bad. The Amazon.ca one even lists American weight limits :thumbsdown:)
 

Pixelated

Moderator - CPST Instructor
The True Fit is as tall as the Maestro/Nautilus, or is to within 1/4" anyway. If you have that seat, and you like it and he likes it, I'd just stick with that. Get a booster when you need one, or consider a Frontier in 2-3 years when and if you decide he still needs to be harnessed. What seats to you own? The Complete Air is also very tall. How old and heavy is the baby you'll move into another seat?
 

Nimommyof2

New member
My son is quite small so probably weighed about what yours does around that age, didn't hit 40lbs till over 6yrs. He still fit in the generations at that age height wise. Also he will just fit in the Nautilas now at age 8yrs. Also I run a dayhome and the 7yr old and other 8yr old all fit under the top harness height on the nautilas. So I'd say your pretty good with the maestro, nautilas, evenflo 400 for a long lasting seat.

The generations could even possibly get you to almost age 6 or 7 depending how he grows plus if you got that one now you could definitly pass it down and then decide if you still want a higher harnessed seat or a seperate booster seat.

Also the True fit might be a good bet as well, it has a high harness weight and I believe some zellers still have it for about 150.
 

tam_shops

New member
The generations could even possibly get you to almost age 6 or 7 depending how he grows plus if you got that one now you could definitly pass it down and then decide if you still want a higher harnessed seat or a seperate booster seat.

The Generations is on my list of suggested seats for short heavy children.

The Maestro for tall/thin children.

The Nautilus for those that are not sure and/or tall and heavy children.


I can not imagine many 6yos fitting in the Generations, my 6yo was on the top harness slots for that seat 2 years ago, but still fits in the Maestro and is still in a Nautilus. He is one of the shortest kids in his Kindergarten class, so be sure to try your guy in it (and the others) as torso height plays a roll in this (height from butt to shoulder) and extrapolate about 1" torso growth per year.

tam
 

rckelly

New member
The True Fit is as tall as the Maestro/Nautilus, or is to within 1/4" anyway. If you have that seat, and you like it and he likes it, I'd just stick with that. Get a booster when you need one, or consider a Frontier in 2-3 years when and if you decide he still needs to be harnessed. What seats to you own? The Complete Air is also very tall. How old and heavy is the baby you'll move into another seat?

The baby is 10 months and 20(ish) lbs. The issues is that we can't carry her in the bucket any more so it stays in the car. This means that we've forgotten to switch it and have had to drive back and forth to put it in the other car. Since that needs to not happen again, we're looking to get another seat to replace the base in the other car.
Our current car seats are:
Graco SafeSeat
True Fit
Sunshine Kids Radian
We also have a Scenera that we installed at DS's babysitter's and have used it as a backup seat. We can use it for DD temporarily, but it has always "felt" flimsy for me which makes me not want to use it as our main seat.

I am willing to put off the shopping trip for a little bit in order to look for sales, and to have a later expiry (in hopes of passing a seat down from DS to DD).
 

tam_shops

New member
As for handing it down, I'm guessing we'll still be using the high-back booster on DS, when DD needs to move to one. So we might be passing it down, but maybe not.

I forgot to comment on this last time. A Graco High Back Booster is only $68 and I've seen them on sale for $50, if timing works out for the best, it makes far more fiscal sense to get the older child a new dedicated booster, and give the younger child the expensive Graco Nautilus. Again, IF timing works out and you are using the Nautilus as a booster anyway.


We can use it for DD temporarily, but it has always "felt" flimsy for me which makes me not want to use it as our main seat.

I am willing to put off the shopping trip for a little bit in order to look for sales, and to have a later expiry (in hopes of passing a seat down from DS to DD).

Since the baby should still fit in the Safeseat for another ~6months, I'd leave that in one car and either put the Scenera in the other car, or get a Graco Nautilus for the 2nd car.

If money is tight and you are going back to work soon, you may prefer to put the spare Scenera in the spare car for now and then buy what you want when you go back to work. The Scenera is a very popular seat, especially in the US where it's only $40 and if there were failures w/ it, we'd have seen that. All seats have to pass the same safety standards and are *safe*. As for it feeling/looking flimsy, I agree and would add it's not very well padded either. I would also add that the Maestro is the same way. And, I suspect, but do not know, that the Securekid is the same (similar) but have yet to see one IRL.


You can then wait for a good sale for the 2nd Graco Nautilus and/or when/if you go back to work. I've seen them go on sale for more like $180, a few times a year. You could check out the Maestro and see if you are happy with the quality of the plastic and for the amount, time distance that you will be using it in that car.

I own two Maestros. I am happy with them. They are our d/c seats. They go to that d/c once a week and ride in it when it rains, so maybe a couple times a month...I asked about the quality of the plastic when I got them and was told they were tested, we'd seen no failures with them and that we simply don't know if a solid seat is safer IRL or if the lighter flexible (flimsy) plastic actually serves a purpose that is beneficial in an accident. So, really who knows!

Finally, I have a friend who's dh is an engineer, specifically in building failures, he owns a Maestro and Nautilus, they prefer the Maestro-especially the buckles. I asked him about the plastic failing in an accident and he said something like what appears stronger by looking/touching something doesn't necessarily hold up as well and/or the same in a stress situation. So yet again, we do not know. And while they prefer the Maestro, I have both and prefer the Nautilus. So personal preference is *huge* and trying/seeing/touching/buckling is important and trying one before you buy a 2nd is also a great idea! LOL

Best of luck!

tam
 

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