how do you feel about "cheap" seats?

todzwife

New member
I bought a minnie mouse apt in hopes that it would be a decent "extra" for us. DD is almost 4 and is right at the top slots so she has no growing room forward facing. She doesn't want to face backward but she wants to use this seat on our road trip this week. (7 hours each way) I'd prefer she was in her frontier or the nextfit simply because they seem so much more comfortable for her boney rear end, but she's insisting she's fine.

And there is always the question of the lack of EPS foam on cheap seats. Obviously I want her as safe as possible in case of a crash.

I'm curious what other "car seat crazy" people think of cheap seats as a full-time option. I'm taking the scenera, APT, etc. Because even the $60 tribute has eps foam.

Darn you Minnie mouse seat. I wish you were just a little softer.
 
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TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
My opinion is likely clouded by the fact that a Scenera or a Tribute cost $100 here...but if I had other higher quality seats to use, I wouldn't use the "cheap" ones. Some of it for comfort, but also for ease of install and feature set. And I prefer to have energy absorbing foam.
 

YinzerMama

New member
Generally speaking I have no issues with them in terms of safety but the lack of comfort and user friendly features make me a sad panda. They are often hard with such awful twisty straps.
 

tiggercat

New member
If the kid fits and it is used properly, I don't care how cheap the seat is. Sam has been riding in a Titan 65 instead of his frontier, and I don't think he is less safe. I wouldn't push the limits on any seat.
 

1mommy

New member
If she still fits in the seat (with straps just at her shoulders she technically still does) and insists that she's is comfortable I'd be fine with it, as long as 2 hours into the car trip she isn't going to start whining that her rear end hurts. Also if she's going to whine the whole way that she wants her minnie mouse seat I'd say it's worth it. All seats pass the same federal standards, and beyond that we are just guessing what is safer. Just keep in mind as soon as her shoulders go above the straps you will have to put your foot down that she can't ride it in anymore so you might have the same battle down the road, is it better to have it now, or have it later?
 

Phineasmama

New member
Safety wise it doesn't bother me, but convenience and features make me want to use higher end seats. I don't want to be mentally cursing at the stupid thing every time I take my child in and out of it!!

If your DD is really attached to the idea of a Minnie Mouse seat they do make a Minnie Mouse True Fit.
 

todzwife

New member
If she still fits in the seat (with straps just at her shoulders she technically still does) and insists that she's is comfortable I'd be fine with it, as long as 2 hours into the car trip she isn't going to start whining that her rear end hurts. Also if she's going to whine the whole way that she wants her minnie mouse seat I'd say it's worth it. All seats pass the same federal standards, and beyond that we are just guessing what is safer. Just keep in mind as soon as her shoulders go above the straps you will have to put your foot down that she can't ride it in anymore so you might have the same battle down the road, is it better to have it now, or have it later?


This is the exact dilemma...I think she'd be more comfortable in either of the other 2 seats and she really only has this trip before she outgrows it. I wish I hadn't purchased it because it's just going to be in the garage taunting her.(and DH didn't throw the box in recycling LOL! oops!)
 

seb3244

New member
I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for. A cheap seat is better than no seat but not better than a more expensive seat in my opinion. Also I like the energy absorbing foam.

I think this way about meat & foods
Organic grass fed animal meat is more expensive & better for you than animal meat that is grain fed & pumped full of antibiotics.
If i have both meats I would feed my family the better of the 2 any day.
But if I was super tight on $ I would go with the cheaper meat Because it still does the job like the cheap car seat.
 

SuzaBanana

New member
I :love: my Avenue for travel. I don't have concerns about it's safety & never had a kid complain about it's lack of cushiness.
 

teekadog

Active member
When my kids are loathe to stop using a seat I am loathe to keep using, it becomes a tv seat or toy or... We used an ancient Evenflo (can't even remember the name) for a long while as an in-house "Regent" for AG dolls. And bigger seats are used as seating in the kids' reading nook. And let me tell you loose car seats in the house are SO popular for play!
 

carseatcoach

Carseat Crankypants
I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for. A cheap seat is better than no seat but not better than a more expensive seat in my opinion. Also I like the energy absorbing foam.

I think this way about meat & foods
Organic grass fed animal meat is more expensive & better for you than animal meat that is grain fed & pumped full of antibiotics.
If i have both meats I would feed my family the better of the 2 any day.
But if I was super tight on $ I would go with the cheaper meat Because it still does the job like the cheap car seat.

I agree in terms of user friendliness and features, but we have no reason to believe an expensive seat is actually safer (which is usually what people mean when they say a carseat is "better").
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
I don't really have hesitations as long as they fit. The apt and tribute are too short to fit my kids, but the SureRide, is our spare and I, LOVE IT. (it does also have epp all the way up the side panels.) It's tall, and easy to use, and the T65 is $60 right now... It's kind of great.
 

Phineasmama

New member
I don't really have hesitations as long as they fit. The apt and tribute are too short to fit my kids, but the SureRide, is our spare and I, LOVE IT. (it does also have epp all the way up the side panels.) It's tall, and easy to use, and the T65 is $60 right now... It's kind of great.

I also loved the SureRide but that darn buckle really ruined it for me! I wish I could just swap it with an IMMI buckle and then it would be awesome lol.
 

YinzerMama

New member
I also loved the SureRide but that darn buckle really ruined it for me! I wish I could just swap it with an IMMI buckle and then it would be awesome lol.

I wished they would have upgraded with an immi buckle, too. The red half circle is better than the horrible tiny amsafe buckle but I really like the nice red squares myself.
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
I agree in terms of user friendliness and features, but we have no reason to believe an expensive seat is actually safer (which is usually what people mean when they say a carseat is "better").

True. The big expensive seats and the 'flimsy' cheap seats both do the job of attaching the child to the car and giving a good amount of ride down time, they just do it different ways. Seats with steel beams have to add extra safe cell material or foam to counteract being TOO firm, while a flexible shell doesn't need extra foam or rip out tethers or mega strap covers to slow down a child's movement and reduce g-forces.
I prefer a big cushy seat with non-twist straps and an easy install, but if someone can and will use a cheap seat properly every time, it's just as good, IMO.
 

todzwife

New member
Well that makes your decision easier (but good luck dealing with her). :)

thankfully I had the foresight to buy a pink cover for our frontier when I bought the pink pria so I just swapped covers (and holy cow that seat was SO NASTY, it was overdue for a good vacuum and wipe down yuck!!) so now my van looks like a bottle of pepto barfed all over with 3 pink seats but that's ok because everyone is happy and I can swap out for the nextfit if needed.
 

Mom2Connor

New member
I personally do not use, buy, or recommend the cheap seats unless someone absolutely can not afford a nicer one.

Passing the minimum standards is not the same as all created equal. I understand people like to debate this, so I will note that is - my - opinion. I do believe some seats are safer than others. Add into that things like user friendly and comfort, and you do get what you pay for.
 

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