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Discussion Starter #1
We are expecting out first baby next March :D , and I have been looking into carseats and what to buy. Since the "X" has LATCH restraints, I wanted to be able to purchase a LATCH-compatible seat.

However, the LATCH anchors are positioned for what appears to be the two outboard seats only :confused: . My question is: Can the LATCH straps of a car-seat be used such that the carseat can be in the middle position, and still utilize the anchors (the inner-one from each outboard seat). According to quick and dirty measurements, it appears that most LATCH seats have straps that will physically reach the two anchors...but is this 1) safe 2) acceptable 3) possible?

Also - anyone with an opinion on the best carseat?

Rgds,

JohnW
 

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Good Question. I will do some research on this later. I am now using a NON-LATCH seat for my baby. But I also have Cosco Alpha Omega that I will be using once baby grow bigger and could seat forward, instead of backward.
 

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Car seat recommendation

LATCH is merely a more standardized way to attach car seats...

I contend that with effort and a "top tether" you can attach most car seats to most vehicles just as securely by proper use of the seat belts. LATCH is a good thing, but the selection of the car seat itself is more important.

While there are some other good convertible car seats (goes from newborn/infant rear facing to older child forward facing to 40 lbs or more) from a few manufacturers, the small number of models from Britax all are very well made. From the design of the retention straps, to the harness, to the padding everything is designed to make the seats extremely survivable. Their newest seats, Wizard and Marathon, have harness attachments that infinitely adjust WITH THE CHILD IN THE SEAT over a wide range. This makes the possibility of keeping the child rear facing until 30 lbs.(safest based on studies) much more achievable, and the seats can be used forward facing to an impressive 65 lbs. This makes the seats' lifetime cost very justifiable! My daughter is still in an older Britax Advantage (pre-LATCH), but I find this very encouraging. I know some folks have said it is behaviorally a challenge to keep kids rear facing, but the parents that I know who have been able to do so explain that if they never see the car seat any other way it is achievable.

I know some folks find the removable basket-carry car seat idea handy, but I think they are just not as secure as regular car seats. It really is not that hard to get an infant into/out of most seats. If you feel you need a kiddie carrier for shopping trips and such, you can buy a low-end car seat and just use that when you are in the supermarket/mall (although many have such seats attached to shopping carts...)

Good luck!
 

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Yes, you can use the innermost LATCH anchors for the center seat.

Good points by renov8r re: LATCH -- my understanding is that it's really a simpler way to attach the seats rather than belts -- to solve the "80%+ people install seats incorrectly" problem.
 

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I've used my Britax non-LATCH carseat with the special LATCH accessory (EvenFlo) belt. Basically it is just a mini-seatbelt that goes through the carseat openings and clips on the LATCH hooks. Very easy to use and attach.

My only concern with using the outer LATCH hooks for the middle seat would be that it may increase the lateral movement of the carseat. However, I don't know the measurement between those two points so it may not be an issue.

Good Luck.
 

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On the Pilot site they had this discussion and someone quoted an article were a Honda exec stated that you could use the inner latch hooks to put a seat in the middle. You might want to do a search over there and see if it applies to the 'X.
 

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Babyseats

JohnW-

We've just had our first child back in January 9th, 2002. I spent a lot of time on researching information on the MDX and also baby seats.

What I find is the best seat for the MDX is the Costco Omega baby seat when your baby is at least six months. For your infants when you take him/her home from the hospital...buy the Greco with the removable base. The Graco has a slot where you can run the lap belt portion through with the clip adapter to adjust tension.

So go to BABY 'R' US or Costco or any retail stores that will have the Graco infant seat and the Costco Omega baby seat/
 

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Please check epinions

I think you really should check out the top reviewers at epinions. Unlike a regular parent, some of the reviewers of baby seats are very involved in car seat safety classes and some work as child car providers so they are exposed to many more car seats than any parent.

This is one of the "best of the best" http://www.epinions.com/user-ali78

I would also like to reiterate the value, presented to me from several parents some of whom learned it the hard way (i.e. with screaming toddlers) of a SINGLE car seat as long as possible. It makes it much more likely that the child will sit facing the rear as long as is practical. Research has shown that it is safest.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all for the replies. Ms. MDX, thanks for the H-P.org tip. That thread had a quote from a Honda rep that stated a LATCH'ed car-seat may be used in the middle seat if the anchor-straps reach the inner outboard-seat anchors.


Rgds,

JohnW
 

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I did a TON of research on Child and Infant car seats and the three that are most highly recommended are:

Infant: Graco with removeable base (snaps into a very nice Graco Stroller as well, and can be bought as a complete package including the Stroller)

Small Child: Britax (highest quality of any seat I've seen and rated best in crash tests)

Large Child: Britax now makes a "booster seat" that looks very nice, but at the time it wasn't available so we bought a "Cosco Alpha Omega" (Eddie Bauer Edition) and it's very nice as well. It's very easy to adjust, but the overall quality while being better than most is not up to the Britax. Of course it costs alot less too. It's a nice seat to lend to Grandma because it fits a variety of weights for different aged children.
 

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Some thoughts ...

LATCH vs. non-LATCH

A well-installed, belted seat is every bit as secure and safe as a properly-installed LATCH seat. The main difference is that the LATCH seat can be easier to install, and harder to improperly install. Which is why LATCH exists.

LATCH in the middle

Yes, Honda does claim you can use the inner parts of the outboard anchors to put a LATCH seat in the middle.

Please note that whether the LATCH attachments can span the distance is up to the seat manufacturer. E.g. a woman on Edmunds called Britax and they told her that the LATCH for her seat was okay on the inner anchors so long as the distance between the anchors was not more than 20 inches. Please check with your car seat manufacturer if you're not sure.

If you use the inner LATCH anchors of the outboard seats, you will of course not be able to access the third row, but that's probably not a big deal for most.

Car seat vendors

Britax makes the best seats (with the exception of their infant seat). They are not perfect, having botched a huge batch of Roundabouts and having addressed it poorly, then botching a smaller batch of Advantages. Still, it seems all car seat makers suffer problems, sadly, and Britax is still the best.

Convenient infant seats vs. non-convenient infant seats

It is true that snap-in infant seats are not as secure as an infant seat belted directly. Heck, one of the major manufacturers had a huge problem with defective bases where the seat could come flying off in an accident! And this defect covered more than two years of certain seats. And this is Graco, who arguably makes the best infant seat in the market!!!

But, I think sometimes there are tradeoffs to be made, and no one is going to belt an infant seat in each time. And, frankly, waking up a baby is not going to help the parents get any more sleep.

Britax has announced an infant seat that looks very promising. Just like the new Wizard/Marathon seats, mentioned here previously, also look very promising. Big problem I have with Britax is how long it takes them to get a market on U.S. shelves, and in quantity.

Here is the Graco recall notice if you any of you have Snugrides:

NHTSA, Graco announce car seat recall

In cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Graco Children’s Products announces a recall of 918,930 SnugRide™ infant car seats equipped with a base manufactured in the USA between August 31, 1999 and February 28, 2002.

If you purchased a base through Graco Customer Service, your model number may not appear on the following list. You must review the instructions (see below) to make sure your unit is not affected.

The models are: 7493G9, 7493RS, 7497HL, 7497SY, 7499LK, 7499N2, 841101, 841102, 841103, 841203, 8412T02, 8457D5, 8457DBV, 8457F3, 8457GP, 8457IND, 8457MA, 8457MV, 8457RG, 8457TMJ, 8457TMP, 8457YL, 8458A5, 8458AE, 8458B7, 8458D8, 8458FKB, 8458HE, 8458HH, 8458KY, 8458N5, 8459VL, 8460LV, 8462HAV, 8462JAM, 8471UVB, 8472BLW, 8472BRN, 8472CYP, 8472GMP, 8472MAD, 8472YL, 8474HAB, 8474MEL, 8476VIN, 8477HAV, 8477JAM, 8477NGS and 8478SAR.

A number of SnugRide Infant Car Seats may have missing components on the base or seat. The components are metal hooks and "U" bars that are used to attach the carrier to the base. If the hardware is missing, the carrier may not be securely attached to the base. In the event of a sudden stop or crash, the carrier may detach from the base possibly resulting in serious injury or death.

Consumers with Graco infant car seats manufactured in the USA between August 31, 1999 and February 28, 2002 should download the instruction sheet (at www.gracobaby.com---go to recalls) to determine if their unit is affected or contact Graco at 1-800-664-5246.

Please continue to use your car seat, without the base.

Consumers should have the model name, model number and date of manufacture of the car seat when making the call to the company. The information is located on the label adhered to the car seat or base.

Consumers with questions about this recall campaign should call NHTSA’s toll-free Auto Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 or visit NHTSA’s web site: www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
 

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Re: Car seat recommendation

renov8r said:
... models from Britax ... Their newest seats, Wizard and Marathon, have harness attachments that infinitely adjust WITH THE CHILD IN THE SEAT over a wide range. This makes the possibility of keeping the child rear facing until 30 lbs.(safest based on studies) much more achievable, and the seats can be used forward facing to an impressive 65 lbs. This makes the seats' lifetime cost very justifiable!
Well, unfortunately, I looked over a Britax Marathon yesterday at Babies'R'Us and was somewhat disappointed. It was right next to a Roundabout so I was able to compare them side-by-side.

The vaunted capability of going up to 65 lbs. comes with a big asterisk, as it does with a many seats and their published weight limits. The highest shoulder harness slot is only an inch to an inch and a half above the highest harness slot of a 40-lb limit Roundabout! It means that if you have a child who is relatively tall, he/she will outgrow it well before he/she reaches 65 lbs. And there's not a big jump in height limit from the Roundabout to the Marathon.

Of course, in forward-facing mode, the shoulder harness should originate from a slot above or exactly at the top of the child's shoulders; anything higher, and the child has officially outgrown the seat in terms of retaining its safety characteristics.

The top harness slot of a Roundabout is 15.5", a Marathon 17", and a Super Elite/Husky is 19". Obviously Britax couldn't make the Marathon support a taller child because that would make it less practical for rear-facing positions in more vehicles.

I neglected to check if the Marathony comes with multiple slots for the crotch strap. I know the Britax Super Elite/Husky has two positions, which is important if you have a bigger kid -- especially a boy (ouch!). I'll check it the next time I'm by Babies'R'Us.

I wonder now if buying a Marathon is worth it if you already have a convertible seat like the Roundabout. Seems to make more sense to go right to the (forward-facing only) Super Elite/Husky with significantly higher shoulder slots and an 80 lb weight limit. Of course, a Super Elite/Husky is a big, bulky seat that is quite wide, and you can't take it on aircraft.

By the way, you cannot infinitely adjust the straps on a Marathon; that's what the Wizard will be for (Marathon = bigger Roundabout, Wizard = bigger Advantage).
 

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Child safety seat installation

We just got our X(!!!), and LOVE it! We haven't found a way, however, to get our child safety seats as tight as we are used to (less than 1" tolerance/movement). We have several different seats and are having the same difficulties with all (even with use of the tether). Any help or thoughts appreciated! Thanks!
 

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Can the LATCH system be used with a rear facing Britax Marathon?

Or is LATCH only for forward facing seats? Thanks.:confused:
 

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Casique said:
Can the LATCH system be used with a rear facing Britax Marathon?

Or is LATCH only for forward facing seats? Thanks.:confused:
The quick answer is yes, the Marathon supports LATCH rear-facing.

Britax's U.S. site (www.childseat.org) has the manuals on-line.

Here is a link to the Marathon's (requires Adobe Acrobat to read):

http://www.childseat.org/documents/MAR_R02.pdf

Please note that one possible challenge to installing the Marathon rear-facing will be its size. E.g. when we had our Roundabout rear-facing, it could interfere with the front seatbacks if it was installed in the outboard position -- it required that the front seatbacks be forward a bit, and not in their rear-most position. However, I had it installed in the center position so it wasn't any big deal (though you may not be able to use the outboard-only anchors in the MDX). Since the Marathon's seatback is longer, it might make more of a squeeze but only a Marathon owner can tell us that (I haven't tried it myself).

Like other Britax seats, the tether is used when rear-facing. It helps stabilize the seat and ensures a tight fit. The tether can be anchored to the bar running under the second row seat, or, better yet, under the front of the seat, and up the back to the anchor (credit TheWorm for this clever install).
 

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Re: Child safety seat installation

sstclairs said:
We just got our X(!!!), and LOVE it! We haven't found a way, however, to get our child safety seats as tight as we are used to (less than 1" tolerance/movement). We have several different seats and are having the same difficulties with all (even with use of the tether). Any help or thoughts appreciated! Thanks!
Hi, what kind of seats (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster, etc.) are you trying to secure? I have been able to get a Britax Roundabout (rear and forward-facing), and a Centura Advanta (infant seat) installed "rock-solid". Requires some definite sweat, basically jamming my knee into the seat, putting my weight behind it, and really stretching the belts. I actually secure the belt beforehand, unbuckle it, let the ratcheting mechanism pull it back a bit, jam in my knee, and then buckle it again.

Probably does wonders for the foam in the seats, but oh well.

Using the top tether very tight also helps.
 
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