Mini Cooper Car Seat

NatNatsMom

New member
I need to get a second seat for DH. My DD is 24 pounds and 2 years. Our primary car has a Boulevard in it. I dont want to spend that kind of money again as the care will not be used much.

If I recall when we did have Boulevard in it once, FF, and the passenger seat had to be moved very far forward.

I am considering a Nautilus, Radian.... not sure what else right now.

I am also going on a plane trip in 7 weeks by myself with DD. I am thinking of taking my carseat but just can't see how to manage a car seat, 2 year old and carry on bag by myself, especially trying to make a connecting flight.

Are the CARES harness ok? My mom has access to a car seat at her end.

Just not sure that she would like siting down so low in the plane seat.

So I am also trying to think of what car seat might be ok in the plane (i know my Britax will) that isn't so costly in case it gets 'ruined' on the flight somehow, ie. I am forced to check it for some reason.
 
ADS

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
You'd want something that didn't sit up on a base. When I was checking out Mini Coopers I put Piper's Wizard (the old Boulevard) in it, and it sat very high and very forward. She was too big to rear face at that age, so I didn't try it out, but I did consider putting my newborn in one, so I have researched some rear facing seats. The True Fit should fit very well, the tiny new Coccoro should (but it's not out yet, nor is it exactly cheap), and the Safety 1st Uptown/Avenue and Cosco Scenera should all fit. Of those, the Safety 1st and Cosco will be the most cost effective for you guys. They're well under $100 (the Scenera is $45) and should install quite well rear facing in the car.

The Radian worked well forward facing, and I know someone who has Nautiluses in her Cooper Clubman for her twins, so I know those work well. But the Radian wouldn't fit rear facing and the Nautilus is forward facing only, so I wouldn't recommend it for a 24 pound 2 year old. Too small to forward face safely.

Wendy
 

safeinthecar

Moderator - CPS Technician
You'd want something that didn't sit up on a base. When I was checking out Mini Coopers I put Piper's Wizard (the old Boulevard) in it, and it sat very high and very forward. She was too big to rear face at that age, so I didn't try it out, but I did consider putting my newborn in one, so I have researched some rear facing seats. The True Fit should fit very well, the tiny new Coccoro should (but it's not out yet, nor is it exactly cheap), and the Safety 1st Uptown/Avenue and Cosco Scenera should all fit. Of those, the Safety 1st and Cosco will be the most cost effective for you guys. They're well under $100 (the Scenera is $45) and should install quite well rear facing in the car.

The Radian worked well forward facing, and I know someone who has Nautiluses in her Cooper Clubman for her twins, so I know those work well. But the Radian wouldn't fit rear facing and the Nautilus is forward facing only, so I wouldn't recommend it for a 24 pound 2 year old. Too small to forward face safely.

Wendy

The Truefit does fit a mini with loads of front seat room. I've never tried a Coccoro in it, but just want to point out that it IS out already. lullabylane.com has them in stock (I work a fitting station there). Something to keep in mind with the mini is that the LATCH anchors are placed pretty high above the seat cushion. I have better luck with seat belt installs because of this.
 

mimieliza

New member
We installed a FFing Roundabout in my dad's Mini in a pinch, and it was fine. Easy install, and plenty of room for the passenger. The real problem was fitting a stroller in the trunk - had to fold down one of the back seats just to fit a small umbrella stroller.
 

NatNatsMom

New member
What about the Alpha Omega Elite? It has pretty nice seat padding. Or a Titan?

Why do the weight requirements change when it is used without the harness? I don't get how without the harness it can be used for longer.

Which seat of the one's above can go the longest in weight with harness?
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
What about the Alpha Omega Elite? It has pretty nice seat padding. Or a Titan?

Why do the weight requirements change when it is used without the harness? I don't get how without the harness it can be used for longer.

Because the AOE turns into a booster. So you can use the harness to 40 pounds (50 on the new ones) or until the shoulders go over the top slot (14.5" on the old ones, 17.5" on the new ones) then they're usable as a booster. They're horrid, though, as boosters, and I wouldn't put my child in one unless I had no other option.

The Titan also has fairly low top slots so it'll be outgrown early. After either of these seats you'll probably need a new harnessed seat to get your child to a mature booster age.

Which seat of the one's above can go the longest in weight with harness?

True Fit, hands down. High top slots and 65 pound forward facing weight limit. 35 pounds rear facing so your child would have a ton of time to rear face in it as well. Plus a seven year lifespan. Even a small child like yours won't make it to nine in it, but probably to seven or eight years harnessed.

Wendy
 

NatNatsMom

New member
I didn't realize the AOE was also a booster. So anytime I see ratings that specify without the harness, this means it is also a booster?

How good is the harness in the True Fit? I love the padding of my Boulevard and how easily it installs, but frankly, the harness sucks. I can't tighten it enough and unless I remember to shove the black bar up high under DD's chin, she wiggles out of the straps and wears it as a seat belt. And the part of the strap between her legs is much too short and it's impossible to keep out of the way as I sit her in the seat so I am always having to dig under her butt for it.

Is the True Fit any better cause the boulevards is :thumbsdown:

So I know that it very much varies, but how old typically is a 40 and 65 pound child? I have no idea!

Where do you get the Scenera for $45? I am only seeing it for $54... though that is still cheap.
 
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wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
I didn't realize the AOE was also a booster. So anytime I see ratings that specify without the harness, this means it is also a booster?

Generally yes. Though the Evenflo Symphony and the AOE/Dorel 3 in 1s in all of their wonderful names are the only convertible and combination seats. They make good rear facing seats, the old ones made adequate forward facing seats, and none of them make good boosters. The new ones have a 50 pound weight limit and 17.5" top slots, so those are passable as forward facing seats now. They're still just a pain to install, IMO, and mostly they don't live up to the hype of "the only seat you'll ever need."

How good is the harness in the True Fit? I love the padding of my Boulevard and how easily it installs, but frankly, the harness sucks. I can't tighten it enough and unless I remember to shove the black bar up high under DD's chin, she wiggles out of the straps and wears it as a seat belt. And the part of the strap between her legs is much too short and it's impossible to keep out of the way as I sit her in the seat so I am always having to dig under her butt for it.

I dig the crotch strap out now, or Piper does it herself. That's never bothered us. As for tightening the Boulevard, it's a ratcheting motion, so you tug tug tug it. That's the way it's designed. Means you can't over tighten. :) It won't tug to the next locked position. Unfortunately, by putting the chest clip up under her chin she may be injured by it in a collision. It's designed to break or be pushed down in a collision and you want the strong sternum doing that, NOT her relatively delicate trachea. Try tightening the Boulevard with a tug tug tug and see if that helps.

I can't remember, though, how the True Fit is. I think it may be the same. I like that feature, though it is faster to not have it and to just give a tug. But with Piper's Wizard I never had a, "Mommy, too tight!!" like I do with her Nautilus. I could sit there and tug all day and it wouldn't get too tight on her.

So I know that it very much varies, but how old typically is a 40 and 65 pound child? I have no idea!

The average 40 pound child is about 4 years, and the 65 pound child is, according to my pediatrician, about 6.5 (70 at 7, 80 at 8, 90 at 9, etc.). From what I see here I'd say a 65 pound child is closer to 8, a 40 pound child is 4-5.

More important than those weights, though, is the torso height of the seat and the child. Because forward facing a seat is outgrown when the tips of the ears reach the top of the shell (rare on most seats nowadays), the shoulders go over the top slot (most common), or the weight limit is reached. For instance, Piper will outgrow a 65 pound Britax around 42 pounds and the 65 pound True Fit about 47 pounds. If she continues to grow as she has been. The True Fit has higher top slots so her torso will last longer in it. That's why you see us talking about slot height.

Where do you get the Scenera for $45? I am only seeing it for $54... though that is still cheap.

Last time I saw it at that price was at Walmart, but Sears is showing $39.99 online at the moment, Walmart is showing $49.50, Kmart was showing it $45 but now is showing $54.

Wendy
 

natysr

New member
As far as getting around at the airport, I use the Traveling Toddler which connects the carseat to the carry-on bag. Then I can roll it around as one unit with the child sitting in the carseat. I also carry a backpack for the things I need on the flight. I like to gate-check the carry-on bag when I can. Then I just carry the carseat down the aisle of the plane, and let my child run ahead of me. Once the leg of the flight is over, my carry-on is waiting for me as I get off the plane, then I just re-attach it there.

This video was from our last flight. My son is 4 years old and alternated walking himself, and jumping onto the seat for a ride.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rtLn9ix2bQ

When he was 2 years old, I traveled along with him and I buckled him into the seat and wheeled him around. He loved it! It was really easy, because my son is very active, and I could go to the bathroom and the food court without worrying about him running off, or me keeping up with our stuff.

Also, it is much easier to entertain a child on the plane when they are rearfacing. Here is a short example from our recent flight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wwg9w1Spf_c&feature=related
 

NatNatsMom

New member
As for tightening the Boulevard, it's a ratcheting motion, so you tug tug tug it. That's the way it's designed. Means you can't over tighten. :) It won't tug to the next locked position. Unfortunately, by putting the chest clip up under her chin she may be injured by it in a collision. It's designed to break or be pushed down in a collision and you want the strong sternum doing that, NOT her relatively delicate trachea. Try tightening the Boulevard with a tug tug tug and see if that helps.

It's weird because when I first started using it, I was able to get it just right, or so I thought. But now it seems it just gets stuck. I am going to see how much I can tighten it without her in it to see how tight it can get.

I am not sure the chest clip is that much under her chin, it' is still on her chest. But I do have to constantly adjust it as it seems to slip down with the fabric shoulder pad and rubber strips. Both just seem to push the clip down.

But I will see how much I can tighten it without her. Thanks for the tip.

As far as getting around at the airport, I use the Traveling Toddler which connects the carseat to the carry-on bag. Then I can roll it around as one unit with the child sitting in the carseat. I also carry a backpack for the things I need on the flight. I like to gate-check the carry-on bag when I can. Then I just carry the carseat down the aisle of the plane, and let my child run ahead of me. Once the leg of the flight is over, my carry-on is waiting for me as I get off the plane, then I just re-attach it there.


That's a great idea!

I couldn't figure out how I was going to stand in the aisle. hold on to my daughter, unclip the seat, install it, put the suitcase up and then repeat trying to deplane. I have a short layover in my flight and I can't wait until the plane totally deplanes before getting off and assembling everything. If I can do it on the ramp, then I will have more room and will have less to get down the aisle. I have an Ergo carrier that I can put her in while I do everything. She is very active and I know just won't stand there on her own.
 
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natysr

New member
I am not sure the chest clip is that much under her chin, it' is still on her chest. But I do have to constantly adjust it as it seems to slip down with the fabric shoulder pad and rubber strips. Both just seem to push the clip down.

But I will see how much I can tighten it without her. Thanks for the tip..

The chest clip should be at armpit level. I use the "tickle test" to make sure it is positioned correctly on Jordan. I slide it up to where I think it should be, then with my thumb on the chest clip, I reach over and tickle his armpit. He thinks its funny, and I know the chest clip is in the proper position.

When you check for harness tightness, you should be checking at shoulder level (between the harness pads and the tops of the rubber hugs. You should not be able to pinch the harness fabric between your fingers (while attempting to pinch with your index finger above your thumb...not pinching sideways if that makes sense).

Before doing the pinch test, be sure to pull up on the harness above the buckle to remove any slack from the leg area. Tighten the harness, then adjust the chest clip, then do the pinch test.


That's a great idea!

I couldn't figure out how I was going to stand in the aisle. hold on to my daughter, unclip the seat, install it, put the suitcase up and then repeat trying to deplane. I have a short layover in my flight and I can't wait until the plane totally deplanes before getting off and assembling everything. If I can do it on the ramp, then I will have more room and will have less to get down the aisle. I have an Ergo carrier that I can put her in while I do everything. She is very active and I know just won't stand there on her own.

Be sure the practice at home with connecting it and disconnecting it first. It will make things much easier. My son fell asleep on the plane when I was flying alone with him. I was able to uninstall the seat (with him still in it) carry it to the jetway and connect it to the carry-on without him waking up.

In fact, I was able to go to the restroom, get some food at the food court and make it to my next gate before he woke up.
 

NatNatsMom

New member
One more question... I read in another thread that only two car seat manufacturers use tethering for cars sold in the US.. Britax and another (Radian?). Is tethering specifically the strap anchoring the seat from either corner of the back of the seat? Like in the BLVD? Because I see straps with clips hanging off the back of other seats and that seems like tethering to me.

Also, the tether strap in the Blvd... how come it folds in the clip? Why do thy not keep the strap spread out flat?
 

natysr

New member
Britax and Sunshine Kids (Radian) are the only manufacturers that allow tethering when installed REARFACING. The tethers you see on other seats is designed to be used in forwardfacing mode.

Britx and Sunshine kids can (and should whenever possible) be used when forwardfacing. Tethering while the seat is rearfacing is optional. (I like my marathon to be tethered rearfacing).

As far as why the strap folds into the hook...I don't know. Perhaps it could be so that the clip can access the tether anchors in various cars forwardfacing. (I don't know. I don't have experience with installing forward facing seats in a variety of cars).
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Wendy, thanks for the tip on how to tighten my daughter's BLVD. I must have know it before as I remember when I first got it, I could tighten it. So it works great that way... tug, tug, tug. :)

I also flipped her back around. We had her RF for a while then on a very long car trip, we FF'd her as I could not sit in the back with her. We never turned it back. She seems fine with going backwards again though I sit in the back with her when I can.
 

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