Friday, May 29, 2009

Roundabout 50

What is the Roundabout 50? It's Britax's newest convertible. It will RF up to 35 pounds, and FF up to 50 pounds. It will sell for about $199.99.

The seat shell is the same as the Marathon. The harness heights are the same as the Marathon. If it's so similar to the Marathon, why did they call it the Roundabout50? I have no idea. Because Britax is crazy I think (why else would they have 9 convertible seats, but discontinue their boosters?).

There are 4 harness slots. Lowest being about 10 inches, and highest being 16-17 inches. There are 3 crotch buckle positions. The Marathon has 1, that is in about the same spot as the center slot in the RA50.

Like the Roundabout40, it does not have HUGS (the rubbery things on the harness). Those are only required on the 65+ pounds seats. Also like the RA40 it does not have harness covers, but does have a belly pad (weird, to me the harness covers are more important than the belly pad).

The harness adjuster is thinner than that of the Marathon. The RA50 does not have the lockoffs like all the other Britax convertibles. It has a LATCH strap similar to the RA40 (not the Marathon with bars), but it only loosens and tightens on 1 side.

I know the seat is now on sale at Babies R Us. I went into my local store and it was still in a box on the top shelf above the RA40s. I asked them to get one down, and they did, and opened it for a display model.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A warning message from another Mom

I was contacted by a mother that has often read my blog. She has read it, but apparently didn't follow all the advice. Her 3 year old son was 40 pounds, and riding in a highback booster. He certainly met all the stated minimums for the seat. Except for age. Age can play a crutial role in booster readiness. Her son was riding with her older (college age) son. He unbuckled himself, and no one knew. The little boy fell asleep, and fell out of his booster! He fell out and right onto the floor of the van. In the fall, he hit his face and got a black eye. Mom is horrified. What if there had been a crash? He wouldn't have fallen on the floor, he would have flown out the window! No 3 year old is really mature enough to be in a booster. At my advice, Mom went out and bought a Graco Nautilus. He is now safe and secure in the van. Children under 4 years (often under 6) need to be in a seat with a harness.

Kids Rear Facing in the My Ride

Here are pictures and stats of children I've tried in the My Ride. None of them are my children, but I have permission to post their pictures.

N is 19 months old. She weighs about 18 pounds. She has a 12 inch torso, and a 17 inch seated height. She normally rides RF in a Comfortsport and is still on the bottom slots. In the My Ride she was on the 2nd from bottom slots.

X is 3.5 years old and weighs 40 pounds. His torso is 12.5-12.75 inches, and his seated height is 19.5 inches. He has now outgrown the seat RF by weight, but still has 3.5 inches above his head. He normally rides FF in a Graco Nautilus, on the 2nd from bottom slots.

This is G. He is 3 years, 8 months old and weighs 34 pounds. His torso height is 12.5 inches, seated height is 20 inches, and total height is 41 inches. His head was even with the stripe that goes across the My Ride, so he has 2.5 inches above his head. He could probobly RF in this seat for another year. However, G normally rides in a Graco Nautilus (harness on the 2nd from bottom slots).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

An update on my My Ride

So I've been using it. We keep the driver's side 2nd row seat flipped down so the older kids can get in the back. I think I really like it. The harness adjuster is smoother than the Marathon, and higher than the True Fit. It installs easily with LATCH. Sofi loves the "pockets" (cupholders). It also has more legroom than the Marathon. I think it has a deep, angled seat because Sofi has more trouble getting out of it than she did her other seats. I think I really like it :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

How do I like it so far?

How do I like the My Ride? Well, I'm not sure. I love that it can RF to 40 pounds. It will get those chunkier toddlers to RF longer. I think I'd like it better if it was installed in my van, not riding in my trunk :) It's too wide for where I wanted to use it right now. And that's saying alot since I can fit 3-across of almost any seats in my 2nd row Sienna! I think I will love it if/when BabyS reaches 35 pounds and needs to continue rear facing. I've thought about returning it since I won't need it for awhile. But... I still need more models. I plan to take it to church with me this weekend and try some kids in it. Hopefully their parents will allow me to post pics :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's here! My new Graco My Ride 65

I bought a Graco My Ride 65 today. It's 2 shades of brown, called "Spiral". It can rear face to 40 pounds (the first in the US!) and forward face up to 65 pounds. It comes with infant padding that can be used when the baby is on the bottom slots. The infant padding is not in these pictures.

There are 5 harness slots. All measurements are with me pushing on the padding.
9 inches (8 with infant padding)
11 inches
13 inches
14.5 inches
16.5-17 inches

The bottom slots can only be used rear facing. The next 3 slots up can be used rear facing or forward facing. And the top slot can only be used forward facing.

The seat shell measures 24 inches. My Marathon measures 25 inches. I put my daughter in both seats. In the Marathon she had at least 4 inches above her head. In the My Ride she had barely 4 inches above her head.

The widest part of the seat is at the cup holders, and it measures 20.5 inches. The widest at the head is 18.5- 19 inches. For comparison, the widest part of the True Fit is 19 inches.

The seat width at the knees is 9.5 inches. The width at the butt is 10 inches. The width of the base is 11 inches. The harness adjuster is 7 inches from the floor.

The harness adjuster is similar to the Graco Nautilus. The harness material is the same as the Nautiuls and the Safe Seat 1 and Snug Ride 32. The chest clip and crotch buckle are also the same as on the GN, SS1, SR32.

The seat is lined with EPS foam from the top of the head, down to below the bottom harness slots. It lines both the back and the sides of the seat. The seat cover is "Spiral" which is 2 shades of brown. It is nice and soft. There is no mesh on this seat (like on the GNs). I am having a hard time keeping 1 side of the cover on now, but it's not a big deal.

BabyS is 4 months old and 16 pounds. She is on the 2nd slots in the Safe Seat 1, with a few inches to grow above her head. She's still on the bottom slots of the My Ride, and the top of her head is even with the top slots.

Sofi is 2 years 7 months and 25 pounds. She is on the 2nd slots of the Marathon and True Fit. She's also on the 2nd slots of the My Ride. I didn't try her in the seat installed in my car (but I did on the test bench at BRU) but she has a little more legroom in the My Ride than in the Marathon, but less than in the True Fit.

J is 6 years old and 50 pounds. He is on the top slots of the Nautilus. He is over the top slots of the My Ride by about 1 inch. A few weeks ago he was dead even, or a hair above the top slots on the Marathon.

To switch from forward facing to rear facing, you need to flip 2 feet on the bottom of the base. You can see me flipping the foot on the left. You need to do the same to both feet. You simply flip the feet under/in the base for rear facing (which is what I'm doing in the picture). Or flip the feet out and on the sides for forward facing.

The Harness has 3 length adjustments. The picture I show it on the middle adjustment. Both Sofi and BabyS could use the harness there. As the child gets bigger and harness gets tighter, you can adjust it in the back to give you more length. Similar to the Safe Seat 1/ Snug Ride 32.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Can my child use a booster seat?

My son is 3 years old and weighs 32 pounds. I found a booster seat that says it can be used at 30 pounds. Is this a good choice for an extra seat in Grandma's car? His main seat is an Evenflo Chase in my car.

No. Your son is way too young and too light to use a booster seat. The minimum for booster use should be 4 years and 40 pounds. A child less than 40 pounds doesn't fill out the seatbelt well and can submarine (slip under the seatbelt) in a crash.

My daughter is 3 1/2 and weighs 38 pounds. She needs a new seat as her only goes to 40 pounds. Is the Highback Graco Turbobooster a good seat?

Yes, that is a nice booster, but not for your daughter. At only 3 years old, she too young for a booster and should remain in a harness. The minimum for booster use is 4 years and 40 pounds. However, many children aren't mature enough to sit properly the entire ride until 5-7 years old. I would suggest the Graco Nautilus, Safety First Apex 65 (If your vehicle has headrests), or the Britax Frontier. They will all keep your daughter in a harness longer (up to 65, or 80 pounds). They can also convert to a booster once she's old enough.

Here are some videos on children that were too small for the booster seats they used.
Another for Isabelle
Kyle's family on Good Morning America

Those videos are not saying booster seats are bad, or that your child needs to be in a harness forever. They're simplying showing you what can happen if a child is too young/small for a booster; even if they meet the minimum requirements on the seat.

If you want to support a group that donates high weight harness seats to families that can't afford them, please visit the Kyle David Miller Foundation

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More Q and A

My child's carseat says it can be used to 40 pounds. He only weighs 34. Someone told me he can't use it anymore because his shoulders are at the top slots. Do I really need a new seat even though he still fits in the weight limits?

If his shoulders are at the top slots, he still fits. However, tomorrow his shoulders could be over the slots, or it could be next week or next month. It's hard to tell when most children will have their next growth spurt. For my own child, I'd prefer to buy a new carseat now. A Forward Facing carseat can be used if 1-Child is withing the weight limits 2- The harness slots are at or above the child's shoulders 3-The top of child's ears are not above the top of the carseat. You must meet all 3 of those to continue using a carseat.

These pictures are of children properly using a carseat forward facing. They are within the weight limits, the harness slots are above their shoulders, and the tops of their ears are well below the top of the seat.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The pics are here

Bryan of Kids N Cribs has given me permission to use his photos of the My Ride 65. He has them and info from Graco on his website here It is sold there for $149.99, and shipping to me is estimated at $10.95.

So, here are the pictures. I must say, I like the gray and black that was previously "leaked" more than these. But, it is nice to see that Graco is releasing a new seat in options other than gray (The GN was available in 4 colors, all shades of gray).
The First 2 pictures are from Kids N Cribs. The 3rd is from Graco's website.