Monday, July 16, 2007

Help!

I need your help. We (maybe just me) are mired in a big bog of indecision re: Wyatt's new carseat. I've pestered everyone in real life about this ad nauseum, but still....STILL can't make a decision and I just need to order something already!

If you like me at all, you'll weigh in on this topic. Here are the seats being debated:

1. Britax Roundabout. Yes, it's their "low-end" seat, but it's still a great seat! And its price tag doesn't make me stutter. Rear-facing to 35 lbs., forward-facing to 40 lbs. No extreme bells or whistles, just a solid seat with great safety ratings.

2. Britax Boulevard. Yes, we're skipping the in-between options because (1) the Marathon's safety ratings aren't as good as even the Roundabout and (2) I see no reason to buy the Decathlon for only a $15 savings over the Boulevard. I mean, if we're going whole-hog, shouldn't we just go whole-hog? Rear-facing to 35 lbs., forward-facing to 60 lbs. Full side impact protection in the form of extra padding, easier-to-adjust harness, etc.

3. Britax Diplomat. This one's new and available for pre-order. It's a little less expensive than the Boulevard ($40) and the only difference is its weight capacity (it goes to 40 lbs. instead of 65). The expected ship date is 8/24, so we'd be betting against Wyatt growing another inch between now and then.

Here are my sticking points:
1. Wyatt is a (well-documented) small guy. He'll be 65 pounds in what...maybe the 4th grade? And I'm not going to make him sit in a carseat until he's a 4th grader. Do I really need to pay more for the extra weight allowance?

2. To those of you with older children - you know, like my sister and my best friend, ahem - don't Andrew and Jack want "big boy" chairs instead of a baby carseat? Am I placing too much emphasis on helping my son feel like a big boy when I should only be worried about his safety?

3. Is it worth the extra $100 so that if we, God forbid, get in a bad accident we never have to worry that we didn't have Wyatt in the safest seat we could find?

How about this for some incentive: if you give me the most convincing argument for getting the best all-around seat, I'll send you a cool Japanese prize!

And if you haven't noticed, I'm grovelling, so please help me.

UPDATE: Crud! Perhaps the Decathlon is in the running after all? Elitecarseats.com suggests it's "better suited for long driving trips" because some kids don't like the "wings" of the side impact padding in the Boulevard. Hmmm....do they mean, like, driving from Florida to Virginia? Or from Virginia to Kansas? Now what?

Does anyone just have a crystal ball I can borrow?

6 comments:

Ade said...

Funny, Miles and I were just having this conversation the other night...thinking forward about 9 mos. when #2 needs out of the infant seat...I'll e-mail you my thoughts!

The Thomas Crew said...

My 2 cents: Steph, if y'all were to be in an accident, you would second guess yourself about the seat no matter which you choose! The most expensive one is not necessarily the best, but the company would be hoping you'd think that way. We're all driving around in tin cans over here, but I think the car you drive in the States will be the most important thing in that equation. Pick something with a good safety rating that you think Wyatt will ride in and just make sure it's installed correctly. You're right about the weight thing, though. To give you something to compare it to, Hannah weighs 48 lbs. and Ella (little like Wyatt) weighs 29. Do you think I'd have Ella still sit in a rear-facing car seat, or Hannah sit in the same kind of seat as Ella?

Mike and Jamie said...

Hmmmm....not really sure, as I don't yet have kiddos. I'm still enjoying the names of these carseats...the Decathlon, the Marathon? are these names based on how long the kid is willing to sit in the seat? Or, for instance, the "Diplomat". Does that mean, "this the first class seat of all carseats, sure to make your son feel like a true diplomat"? They're 1 year olds, for heaven's sake! If you can't already tell by now, I don't really have any helpful information to offer. I would say that I agree with Shannon. Don't pay the extra money just because the company wants you to think the expensive one is best. If Wyatt is little, you don't need the extra weight allowance. I think safety and comfort are most important. (and let me know what you decide for my reference in the future!)

Colette, Geoff, and Alex said...

Hi Stephanie,

This is Colette, I read your blog regularly, as I am one of Lisa and PCs friends in Colorado. It is seriously good stuff.

My son is 2 yrs old, not a large guy (30 lbs), and we have the Roundabout, and LOVE IT!!! It is not so huge that it takes up the entire back seat, has an awesome Latch system (making it easier to move between cars) and seems to fit a smaller child perfectly. We originally bought the one between the Roundabout and the Boulevard, and it honeslty was too tall to sit in the back seat of the car (we had a Subaru). Just some stranger from Colorado thoughts, but I think you will find that the Britax in general is worth the extra money.

C

PC said...

tag- you're it. And both you AND the Captain have to write one (I need to boost my #'s and Im interested to see what both of you have to say.) ;)

Lisa

Leslie said...

My only comment...make sure the straps are easy to adjust. I just walked into the BX and bought a "Safety 1st" Car Seat without duoing thorough research, and my only regret is that the straps are impossible to tighten. Which is something you do EVERY TIME you put kid in seat. I'm about ready to buy another car seat now just because these straps annoy me. My 2 cents.