how do you feel about "cheap" seats?


New member
I use the "cheap" seats for travel. It is so much nicer to take a lighter weight seat on the plane and schlep it through airports. For every day use I prefer something with the ease of use and comfort features offered by more expensive seats.


CPST and ketchup snob
Staff 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.

Sure, I believe some are safer than others. I have no evidence that the more expensive ones are the safer ones, though.

In fact, I'd choose a SureRide over a Britax new gen convertible for my own kids, because it would last longer and fit better.

I'd choose almost anything over a classic Britax convertible for almost anyone's kid, at this point.


Ambassador - CPS Technician
Absolutely no problems whatsoever. I distribute inexpensive, basic seats on a daily basis and have no hesitation doing so. Sceneras & similar have saved countless lives. While some seats test better than others, we don't know WHICH test better... we can guess at which features are most important but until compliance testing results are released, it's all just guesswork. Remember that "features" are sometimes "fixes" to other problems - IIRC HUGS were to reduce too-high head excursion numbers, for example. I have had kids in Sceneras sitting next to kids in Radians in my car and not given it a moment's pause. Pick what works for your family, use it correctly, and don't overthink it :)


Moderator - CPS Technician
"Testing better" is a very subjective science anyway. Seats with greater head excursion tend to have lower HIC. If you are in a vehicle with loads of pitch, safer is going to be different than what it would be in a vehicle without enough pitch for even the standard head excursion.


New member
I pretty much bought the most expensive seats. EPS foam is something I want, along with additional reinforcement (metal not just plastic if I can find it). They are often heavy seats!

The Orbit Toddler was like $600 and that I got for its swivel feature, among other things. It saved my back; love it 100%! The Kiddyworld booster was over $200 and has a crumple zone feature; love that too. So, not cheap seats but wonderful.

I have some Sceneras we bought to take on a plane. They were easy to carry, too.


New member
I buy what works for me at any given time. My newborn was in a scenera in her grandparents car. The same kid was in a radian in another car. The seats I currently own range from least expensive for the type (harmony literider) to much more expensive (radians and Frontier85) with a bunch of things in-between. Ease of install is important to me and so are a few other features. For that reason I don't tend to own the least expensive seats but I have no problem using them.


Well-known member
now my van looks like a bottle of pepto barfed all over with 3 pink seats but that's ok because everyone is happy


That's awesome. :)

Maybe you can give DD a Minnie Mouse blanket or something to use in the car? Do you think that would pacify her?

FTR, I have zero issue using "cheap" seats. When used properly, car seats are like little miracles. I love my Radians and I like my FR85, but as long as it was installed properly I wouldn't hesitate to put my daughter in, say, a Maestro or Titan 65 (probably the cheapest seats she would fit in at this point). Or an Apt, if she were smaller.


New member
I like cheap seats. I'm so over hefting around gigantic heavy seats. That said, I would like some nice cushy covers and decent harnesses and buckles and I hate continuous harnesses.


New member
My least favorite booster is my most expensive. DH's car has a Probooster and a Maestro everyone is happy with the seats. Last time my nephew rode with me he was complaining that the backless turbo I had wasn't as cushy as his parkway and there was no place to rest his head but I think that was because he was tired, he'd never complained before. I think if I had to start over buying seats I'd look for something mid range, I'd love light weight and nice padding.

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