Recommendation for Convertible seat in a 4 door truck-

Evers

New member
My ds is 10 months old and 20 pounds. By the time he is a year he'll likely be the 22 pounds he needs to put him in the Nautilus that we were gifted with when he was born, but I don't feel right FF him so soon. He's a short little dude, 10th percentile for height, and I would like to keep him RF for a while yet.

I have a 2008 GMC Sierra 4 door for my daily driver. (I know, not exactly a mom-mobile, but I live in 4x4 country and my hubby enjoys knowing that we are not going to get high centered on a snow bank like many of the poor minivan driving mommies.) The back seat in a 4 door truck isn't really all that big, nor are the seats all that adjustable. I'm in Canada so we have that to take into account with the choice as well. I just want something that will be safe, comfy and fit without having to sacrifice all the passenger side leg room. I'm short, but I still like leg room.

I was looking at the Britax Diplomat and the Boulevard. I like the little head rest thingys they have, looks comfy and like it would make for less head-lolage.

Any insight would be most appreciated, I want to get this seat ordered soon, the little bugger is too heavy for me to lug around in his Maxi Cosi Mico and I only have 2 pounds left before it is no longer an option.
 

selinajean

New member
Good morning! I haven't finished my coffee yet so I'm not quite fully functional! LOL! I just wanted to say though that your gut feeling to keep him safer by RF longer is bang on. I would suggest selling the Nautilus to fund the purchase of a new seat. If you are wanting to RF to the suggested limits, he will be rear-facing at least another year which means a year of useful life lost on that seat.

I don't drive a truck myself but the general recommendation tends to be towards seats with anti-rebound features as there isn't a lot of space between the child and the back wall of the truck. There is also quite often a window right above that rear seat that I would want to keep the baby away from in the event of a crash.

For seats with that feature you would be looking at the Britax or Sunshine Kids seats which can be tethered rear-facing. The new True Fit ARB has an anti-rebound bar which provides the same sort of protection too.

With your son being close to a year you should be able to have the seat more upright than the 45* needed for infants. That will help keep the front seat passengers away from the dashboard. I'm not sure which one installs best in your truck. Hopefully a truck-driving parent will throw in their thoughts.

Do you have a store there that will let you try out installing the seats before you buy?
 

J-max

CPST Instructor
I am a truck driving mom, so I can help you some too :)

You do want to keep him rear facing longer - like a couple of years longer, it is lots safer (I am sure someone will be close behind me with the links :) )

First how much does your little guy weight and how tall is he? And what seat is he in right now? Then do you have the full crew cab or just an extended cab? And what year?
 

selinajean

New member
I am a truck driving mom, so I can help you some too :)

You do want to keep him rear facing longer - like a couple of years longer, it is lots safer (I am sure someone will be close behind me with the links :) )

First how much does your little guy weight and how tall is he? And what seat is he in right now? Then do you have the full crew cab or just an extended cab? And what year?
She posted that he is currently 20 pounds, 10th percentile (so height isn't a huge issue) and in a maxi cosi. And it's a 2008. :thumbsup:
 

J-max

CPST Instructor
She posted that he is currently 20 pounds, 10th percentile (so height isn't a huge issue) and in a maxi cosi. And it's a 2008. :thumbsup:
Apperently I need more coffee or less distractions LOL. I swear I read it a couple of times and missed those things HAHA

Sorry OP
 

mommycat

New member
Hello! Glad to hear that your mommy instinct is right on track with wanting to keep your DS RF for a while yet. :)

We have an '04 Silverado Extended cab, I am not sure how the seat spacing compares, exactly. I have never tried my Radian RF in in but it is a very tall seat, I would try it out and see how it works for you. Ideally, you would put DS in the center anyway, so you would have more room for the seat to stick out a bit between the two front seats. I don't think it would fit outboard but as I said, I have never tried.

I have tried out the TF in the truck (both RF and FF, but only outboard) and it seems to work quite well, so I would definitely look at the TF with the rebound bar. It only RF to 35lbs but has a very tall shell and harness so it would last you a looong time and fits quite well in smaller spaces despite the tall shell.

I have used an older style AOE and now have a Scenera (the Scenera is the most compact seat I have owned, I think, but is not my first choice for a primary seat because of the lack of padding. Also, it won't last very long FF.

I have never tried the MA RF in there either but I am not sure how much I personally like the seat sitting so high on a base. I have tried the MA FF outboard and didn't like the fit - the headrest was in the way and I can't seem to pull mine off, but it might fit differently in your truck. Plus you could always get a different seat for FF. The BV would make it even harder to get him in the seat because of it being high and having the wings, but it might be ok if you don't mind it. The main issue with the Britax seats in Canada is that they only RF to 30lbs and then don't last as long as some other seats by height, and also don't have much leg room RF for older kids (which isn't unsafe, but at some point may start to be a comfort issue).

Another seat I would try would be the Graco MyRide. It doesn't have as tall a shell but that doesn't sound like it would be an issue for you, and has a RF limit of 40 lbs. It seems to fit fairly well in compact spaces despite sitting higher on a base as well. It doesn't have any anti-rebound features but has a nice deep shell and the blocky front seems to feel like the seat woud not be as flippy as something like a Scenera - which of course is highly unscientific and just my personal impression. In our truck it doesn't seem to fit all that well FF but it would be along time before you would need to worry about it.

Here are some pics in our truck:


I am not really comfortable sitting this way. This is about as upright as the MR can be to stay green. It would be better on the pass side or maybe center.


You can see the Scenera in the back here:
 
Last edited:

Evers

New member
Thanks for the replies!

I have a full four door crew cab, so if your seats will fit in an extended cab they will surely fit in mine.

The nautilus was a gift so I'm not really worried about the money, though losing a year of useful life would have never crossed my mind. I'm so looking forward to getting him out of the Mico, it has been a fight from the beginning. We live in a pretty isolated community so there is no chance I get to test a new seat out before I buy it, everything is over the internet for me. If I could have I would have returned that POS.

For us to get anywhere it means long hours of driving. To give you an idea my nearest Tim Hortons is a 3.5 hour drive. A trip to "the city" is 8 hours. This means that my DS is in his seat for huge amounts of time when we travel. Any thoughts on which seats would keep him the comfy-est?

Thanks!
 

J-max

CPST Instructor
So, you live somewhere like me LOL. We say we are "centrally located in the middle of nowhere" - 2-3 hours from a town of any size LOL

I love this truck for Radian installs :). I currently have a radian installed in the outboard passenger seat and it goes in perfect and is not overly reclined (a problem with them sometimes) I have gotten an OK middle install with it, and a Boulevard/marathon goes in perfectly in seconds! (and when you get to it a Nautilus goes in great too) I have to head out shortly to do chores and will try to remember to grab a pictures if you would like). I prefer RF seats that tether because of the window glass that is right in front of them, which leaves you with the Radians, Britax Boulevard/Marathon, or the Tru Fit.
 

Evers

New member
I am looking at the Britax site now as well as the specs on the tru fit. I have say just looking at them, (and that's all I get to do from the comfort of my office chair :( I like how comfortable the Tru fit looks.

Just looking at them I'd either go with a Boulevard or a Tru fit. I did a quick google search and come up with nada for sites that sell the Tru Fit in Canada. Any recommendations?
 

selinajean

New member
I am looking at the Britax site now as well as the specs on the tru fit. I have say just looking at them, (and that's all I get to do from the comfort of my office chair :( I like how comfortable the Tru fit looks.

Just looking at them I'd either go with a Boulevard or a Tru fit. I did a quick google search and come up with nada for sites that sell the Tru Fit in Canada. Any recommendations?
Toys R Us/Babies R Us should have it.
 

Evers

New member
thanks, I found that toys r us has the truefit rebound. I'm not sure I like that rebound bar thingy it has, it looks like DS's feet will hit it soon. Any thoughts on this gadget?
 

ontariomama

New member
Hi :)
The rebound bar is actually a very good thing, especially in your truck. It helps to prevent the seat (and your son) from rebounding into the seatback, or glass in your vehicle when in an accident. If you read back in this thread, others have recommended this feature for just this reason. Hopefully a tech will be along to give a bit more of a technical reason as to why this is a good feature.

Also, you don't need to worry if his feet touch the rebound bar or the seat back while rear-facing. There are very few, if not no actual reports of leg injuries from rear-facing, while front-facing there are many incidents of leg injuries while in an accident. It's true! The TrueFit offers a lot of leg room while rear-facing, and it's important to remember that what looks comfortable to us and what is actually comfortable to little children are two very different things. I know that looking at my DS sitting on the floor sometimes makes me feel uncomfy, but he seems to be fine. They are flexible creatures.

I hope that helps to ease some of your anxiety.
 

selinajean

New member
thanks, I found that toys r us has the truefit rebound. I'm not sure I like that rebound bar thingy it has, it looks like DS's feet will hit it soon. Any thoughts on this gadget?
The rebound bar will lie flush against the vehicle seat back. His feet will contact it at the same time that they would contact the vehicle seat anyway. When a child's legs get too long to have them straight out in the car seat, the child just bends the knees. I'm sure that the bar won't bother him at all. The regular true-fit does not offer the anti-rebound feature or tethering for rear-facing.
 

dogmelissa

New member
After looking and reading and comparing we went ahead and ordered a Tru Fit Rebound.

Now just to wait for it to come it :)
I was also going to suggest a Radian - we have an '02 Silverado Extended Cab and it fits wonderfully in the centre (it has a 40/20/40 seat so with the centre folded down there's TONS of room for the seat to go 'over')... but you've already ordered a TFR, so I'll just tell you that I'm sure you'll be thrilled with your seat!

If you do experience head lol-age (LOL!), you could always try some Baby Hugz (I'm sure there's some knockoffs which work just as well for less $$). These are working wonders in our bucket seat and even though the Radian we have has infant inserts (we haven't tried DD in it yet), we will probably use them in it as well.

Please let us know how you like the TF once you get it - and hope you don't have any challenges with the install!
And in the meantime - remember that you don't *have* to lug the whole bucket around; you can use it like a convertible and leave the whole thing in the car. :)

Melissa
 

Evers

New member
Ok, got the truFit in, and man, what an easy install! The little latch thingys on the bottom made it such a breeze! DS is still small enough that we don't need the upper head rest part installed so there is tonnes of room too.

My one concern is how does a person tighten the harness straps in a rear facing position with this seat. The bottom of theseat is so tight to the seat back of the truck and the rebound bar that I cannot for the life of me make the pull strap take up any slack. I have been leaving it tight, ie not loosening it when taking DS out or putting him in, but man it make it hard to do up the straps properly on him, and he does not like going in due to this.

any suggestions?
 

Twinklefae

New member
Ok, got the truFit in, and man, what an easy install! The little latch thingys on the bottom made it such a breeze! DS is still small enough that we don't need the upper head rest part installed so there is tonnes of room too.

My one concern is how does a person tighten the harness straps in a rear facing position with this seat. The bottom of theseat is so tight to the seat back of the truck and the rebound bar that I cannot for the life of me make the pull strap take up any slack. I have been leaving it tight, ie not loosening it when taking DS out or putting him in, but man it make it hard to do up the straps properly on him, and he does not like going in due to this.

any suggestions?
It's fine to leave the straps tight and work around it - I do most of the time, and DS is used to it.

To make it easier to tighten, push on the splitter plate (metal piece that both straps attach to in the back) while you pull the tightening strap.
 

mommycat

New member
Great! Glad it worked well.

As PP said, you can reach around the back of the seat and push on the splitter plate (or pull down on the harness strap) to put slack in the adjuster strap. It's a lot easier to take out the slack you create than to pull against the harness without helping it along. You can also take advantage of the continuous loop harness when you leave it tightened properly between trips (this is what I usually did). The harness moves freely under the cum area of the seat, so you can pull on one hip strap and make that side longer, pass the arm through, pull on the other hip strap to make that side longer, put the other arm through, pull the harness even so it's the same length on both sides, then fasten as normal.

One other thing - you say that your DS is small enough to not need the headrest section. Please remember that the headrest will be needed when he has an inch of shell left over his head OR when he weighs 22lbs, whichever comes first. Since you said he was 20lbs already, you only have a couple of lbs left to go. You may feel more comfortable attaching it sooner rather than later so you don't need to remember to weigh him all the time as he gets close to the limit.
 

safeinthecar

Moderator - CPS Technician
My one concern is how does a person tighten the harness straps in a rear facing position with this seat. The bottom of theseat is so tight to the seat back of the truck and the rebound bar that I cannot for the life of me make the pull strap take up any slack. I have been leaving it tight, ie not loosening it when taking DS out or putting him in, but man it make it hard to do up the straps properly on him, and he does not like going in due to this.

any suggestions?
Can you try to install the seat a little *less* tightly? Up to an inch of movement side-to-side and front to back (using about as much strength as you would put into a firm handshake), at the belt path is allowed. I find that with the anti-rebound bar I can get the Truefit overly tight (a defensive linebacker couldn't budge it tight) without much effort.
 

Car-Seat.Org Facebook Group

Forum statistics

Threads
219,303
Messages
2,201,225
Members
13,314
Latest member
Amanda4uni

You must read your carseat and vehicle owner’s manual and understand any relevant state laws. These are the rules you must follow to restrain your children safely. All opinions at Car-Seat.Org are those of the individual author for informational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect any policy or position of Carseat Media LLC. Car-Seat.Org makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician. Before posting or using our website you must read and agree to our TERMS.

Maxi Cosi is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!Graco is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!

Please  Support Car-Seat.Org  with your purchases of infant, convertible, combination and boosters seats from our premier sponsors above.
Shop travel systems, strollers and baby gear from Britax, Chicco, Clek, Combi, Evenflo, First Years, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Safety 1st, Diono & more! ©2001-2020 Carseat Media LLC

Top