LATCH and Seatbelt together?


New member
Can you use both the LATCH system and the seat belt when installing a car seat rear facing? I have a friend that wanted to know and I didnt know how to answer her.



New member
No. What I've heard is that it makes it "too tight" so that the seat can't cushion like it needs to or something.
Don't know if that's true or not, but it also hasn't been tested, and you never know how something might affect the performance unless they test it to make sure.


Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
No, you can't. One or the other.

The main reason is that they haven't been tested that way. You don't know what would happen, and that places any child in that seat in the position of crash test dummy. It could work great, it could have the seatbelt and LATCH both fail because they're not working like they should in a collision. You can't do it safely. One or the other.



Senior Community Member
We go with what we DO know - that is: carseats meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards by crash testing with only 1 method or the other (seatbelt or LATCH not both) ... what we are also able to hypothesize is that using both could cause possible fatal failure of the carseat :confused: :eek:

Basic rule of thumb, is always to read the vehicle & carseat manuals - as knowledge grows there may be a seat to hit the market that allows both ... but if yours doesn't specifically say to use both at the same time then don't (call the manufacturer for clarification if necessary).


New member
OK I have a question~ sorta theoretical

If the car has gen3 seatbelts and latch install is difficult/impossible to get tight could it possibly be prudent to install with seatbelts as normal and just hook up the latch leaving it loose? My idea is that this way *if* the seatbelt were to fail then at least something is holding the carseat from becoming a projectile and if the latch is loose it shouldn't interfere with the seatbelt action/strech. I'm sure the way some carseats have the latchbelt/seatbelt configuration would affect the answer too- lets assume that the seatbelt path would not be affected. Obviously there can't be a sure answer to this, but I would like to hear other's thoughts.


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