Vehicle shopping from a car seat perspective - article

Pixelated

Moderator - CPST Instructor
With help from many of you (THANK YOU!) in the form of photos I've finished an article about features to consider in a vehicle from a car seat perspective.

I would appreciate feed back if you have the time to read it. It's long, but as you well know there are lots of features that can impede a good install! I'm ever so grateful that both of my own vehicles have very few of these issues, but when the time comes to go shopping I'll be well-armed :D Caveat: my grammar is decent but not exemplary. PLEASE point out any issues in that department. Also, I'm Canadian, so my spelling reflects that. Hopefully the repeated use of 'centre' doesn't make you twitchy.

http://vicarseattechs.com/2013/vehicle-shopping-with-car-seat-goggles/

My original post soliciting photos is here: http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=257542
 

aeormsby

New member
Great job!

We just test drove a new 2014 Mazda 3 yesterday. Since my youngest will be moving to a booster full time soon I didn't even check what the latch situation was. DH was shaking his head at me checking out those headrests though (3 in the backseat, all sitting forward but able to raise and easily remove! :dance: DS's Vivo fit under the headrest with it raised a couple of inches). I might be looking for some boosters with taller seats though as the windows were so high DS couldn't see out in his Vivo.
 

mom of six

Active member
I think the photo of the TrueFit and the tricky tether install could use some more explanation. I know what you are after but others might not be sure why you have a car seat teetering in a half put together car interior.

 

agave

New member
You gave me too much credit on the 4 passenger vehicle with an extra seatbelt quote. I'm not a tech. ;)
 

MotoMommaNH

New member
On the extended cab pickup pic; I get the compressible deal because you can't push a seat down while tightening the LATCH strap or seat belt, but not sure if everyone will understand what that means?
I'm not sure how you can expand on that point without confusing too much though....
 

Keeanh

Well-known member
Great article!

I have to think whoever came up with the LATCH idea didn't actually have much experience with car seats. It would have made so much more sense to simply come up with a range of allowed seating designs (eg. how far forward buckles can be, max buckle stalk length, min seat width, max centre hump, no exposed hinges, min & max distance to tether anchors, etc.). And then car seat manufacturers would be required to make their seats compatible with the entire allowed range. Imagine being guaranteed a compatible seatbelt install with any seat in any vehicle! I'll take that over the current mess any day.
 

Pixelated

Moderator - CPST Instructor
I think the photo of the TrueFit and the tricky tether install could use some more explanation. I know what you are after but others might not be sure why you have a car seat teetering in a half put together car interior.
You're right, I added some more to give context. That's my Dad's truck. I hate installing in it!

You gave me too much credit on the 4 passenger vehicle with an extra seatbelt quote. I'm not a tech. ;)
Ah, you're right of course! I can't think of how to re-word it without it sounding awkward so I think I'll just leave it if you don't mind?

On the extended cab pickup pic; I get the compressible deal because you can't push a seat down while tightening the LATCH strap or seat belt, but not sure if everyone will understand what that means?
I'm not sure how you can expand on that point without confusing too much though....
Fixed that too.

Great article!

I have to think whoever came up with the LATCH idea didn't actually have much experience with car seats. It would have made so much more sense to simply come up with a range of allowed seating designs (eg. how far forward buckles can be, max buckle stalk length, min seat width, max centre hump, no exposed hinges, min & max distance to tether anchors, etc.). And then car seat manufacturers would be required to make their seats compatible with the entire allowed range. Imagine being guaranteed a compatible seatbelt install with any seat in any vehicle! I'll take that over the current mess any day.
I wish! That would make life so much easier eh?
 

agave

New member
Ah, you're right of course! I can't think of how to re-word it without it sounding awkward so I think I'll just leave it if you don't mind?
I'm sure a tech somewhere has made the same observation. I'm pretty sure it doesn't really matter in that context.
 

trippsmom

CPST Instructor
The tf teetering makes me think of the Avalanche i was in earlier today. Lift seat bottom, fold seat back forward, attach tether strap, go-go-gadget spare arms to hold seat up in air, put seat back in place, drop seat bottom back in place, install car seat.
 

MotoMommaNH

New member
The tf teetering makes me think of the Avalanche i was in earlier today. Lift seat bottom, fold seat back forward, attach tether strap, go-go-gadget spare arms to hold seat up in air, put seat back in place, drop seat bottom back in place, install car seat.
Yep, my Dad's 06 Silverado is like that...although I have to admit I kind of like that vs the newer thread through a hoop and then hook it to the one next to it. I've not met a single parent who's done that right. Seems more secure for some reason too.

Pixelated, I also must commend you on a job well done! That's a great visual presentation.
 

Pixelated

Moderator - CPST Instructor
The tf teetering makes me think of the Avalanche i was in earlier today. Lift seat bottom, fold seat back forward, attach tether strap, go-go-gadget spare arms to hold seat up in air, put seat back in place, drop seat bottom back in place, install car seat.
It's exactly that. And good luck to you if you don't plan ahead and leave the passenger '40' side empty to reach through to tighten the tether with. I have long arms and can JUST reach from the driver's side, because the True Fit tether is of course at the hook end of things.

It's super fun when you're doing two FF seats side by side there, because you have to hold them both up in the air at the same time.
 

Pixelated

Moderator - CPST Instructor
Pixelated, I also must commend you on a job well done! That's a great visual presentation.
Thank you! It was labour intensive with all of the photo editing and organizing, and then I'm not the most tech-savvy person out there so the formatting on the page kept getting messed up so I ventured into html coding and it seems to have worked! As I was doing it I was kind of amazed that there wasn't already a gallery like it somewhere already. Now I can quickly reference it too when I'm asking someone about some feature of their vehicle that's maybe causing problems!
 

trippsmom

CPST Instructor
It's exactly that. And good luck to you if you don't plan ahead and leave the passenger '40' side empty to reach through to tighten the tether with. I have long arms and can JUST reach from the driver's side, because the True Fit tether is of course at the hook end of things.

It's super fun when you're doing two FF seats side by side there, because you have to hold them both up in the air at the same time.
It was at a check event today. The other SR checker asked me to pull some slack out real quick before we put the vehicle seat back into position. It was Maestro which has the tail at the hook end. I was about to pop the 40 up to tighten the tether when we suddenly realized that I had magically taken just enough out for it to be perfectly tight. We didn't make the mom redo the tether portion of the install.

I just sent a link to the other sr checker from today. She likes it.

Love love love the article.
 

Brigala

Well-known member
Awesome article! I'm bookmarking it to share with people. Do you mind if I post a link to it in the car-seat.org Facebook group?

Since you're asking for grammar feedback, as an English major I do have one minor correction... well, two, but they're the same error in both places. Really you did quite well overall. I would not dock you points for your grammar and wouldn't bring this up if you hadn't asked. :D

and how the belt itself locks can all influence how and if a car seat or booster seat can be installed in that location
Should be: "... can all influence how and whether a car seat or booster..."

Research before hand what would be suitable for the vehicle you’re considering, whether you’re willing to budget that into your purchase price, and if they will properly fit your child.
Again, replace "if" with "whether" - "and whether they will properly fit your child"

Everyone uses "if" incorrectly these days. Heck, I even do it, although it always makes me cringe when I hear myself say it. So hardly anybody would have noticed it, but if you want to avoid making any Language Arts teachers shake their heads at you, it's an easy fix. ;)
 

Pixelated

Moderator - CPST Instructor
Awesome article! I'm bookmarking it to share with people. Do you mind if I post a link to it in the car-seat.org Facebook group?
Please do, and thank you for the feedback, and grammar advice. Both instances have been corrected :)
 

Pixelated

Moderator - CPST Instructor
Thank you very much for the article and the referral to our vehicle safety forum!
Well I sure don't know what to tell people when they ask for vehicle suggestions, so best to just send them straight to the experts! You know how some people are car people? I'm not one of them. I can ID them reasonably well but as for keeping track of what is good for what? Nah, not moi!
 

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