Saturday, September 1, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things-- Road trip style

So way back when I wrote my post on extended rear facing and five point harness use, I said I was going to do a post on my favorite things that had to do with car travel with a baby and now a toddler.  (How has nearly 16 months already went by?)

So to start with, what is my favorite car seat?  Well after much research I had narrowed it down to a few different brands.  The deciding factor was what Essex ended up having the day I went.  I wanted a Britax Marathon or Boulevard and ended up getting a Britax Marathon 70 Convertible Car Seat.
This car seat can be used rear facing from 5-40 pounds and can be forward faced from 20-70 pounds.  Since I plan on extended rear facing (furthermore known as ERF because yes sirree I am lazy and that is only three letters to type) until at least age two going to at least 40 pounds was a necessity.

I like this car seat for many other reasons as well.  It gets great crash test ratings and user reviews.   It is easy to install in the vehicle.  The price was right as I got this car seat in the box brand new from Essex for 145.  I love that it has the push button harness height adjuster on the top so you don't have to re thread the straps to adjust the height.  I love the velcro on the two sides to hold the straps back when you are putting kiddo into the car seat.  This car seat also comes with an infant insert in case you use this from birth on.  The only real downfalls are it can be hard to get the child in this seat when it is rear facing because it has somewhat tall sides.  This didn't bother me until I got my other car seat with no sides.  This car seat has a six year expiration date.
First time in his big boy car seat
  Our other car seat is a Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat.
I love this car seat for the most part.  I prefer the Britax for no re threading harness adjustment and it is slightly easier to install in the car.  The other thing that while not a problem for me could be for others is that this car seat is very narrow on the seat, but rear facing the front seat has to be up quite a bit.  I would not recommend this car seat for anyone with a small car.    But overall the Diono would be my top pick. As you can see in the pic, it has no sides which is awesome when you are trying to pick up a 20 something pounder into your SUV

It is easy to put the straps under the edge of the seat to get the child in.  It comes with a removable infant headrest.  This car seat has true side impact protection and can even be used on a plane (it folds up for easy carrying.)  It fits children 5-45 pounds rear facing, 20-80 pounds forward facing in a five point harness, and then up to 120 pounds as a high back booster seat.  So basically this is the only car seat we will need for Destructo until he gets out of a booster.  Oh and this car seat also has a 8 year expiration date.  I also got this car seat at Essex brand new for 140.  (If you have never checked out an Essex and you have one near you, I highly recommend it.)  Destructo much prefers this seat to the Britax seat just for the record.

For those who are wondering, I would highly recommend the Graco Snug Ride 35 Infant Car Seat.
Snug as a bug in a rug in his Graco Snugride on the way home from the hospital

 I highly recommend paying the extra money to get the Snugride 35.  It goes up to 35 pounds and 32 inches as opposed to30 pounds and  28 inches for the regular Snugride.  For us that was super convenient since family keeps Destructo while we work and infant car seats are very easy to transfer from vehicle to vehicle.  Destructo was a tall little thing and actually grew out of this car seat by height well before weight.  (Heck he still has 12 pounds to go weight wise.) There really wasn't anything nbI didn't like about this car seat except its nearly 10 pounds when carrying it.

Still snug in his Snugride at 10 months
When Kai was an itty bitty, we had a car seat poncho like this one. This was awesome on the few super cold days and when we visited family up north in January.  If you live in a colder climate, I definitely recommend this.  It is much safer than the blankets that go in the car seat  because they can cause car seat failure in a wreck.  This blanket just goes around the outside of the car seat.  Kai hated when the flap was over his face though, so he always got cold little cheeks.

This monkey has been worth his weight in gold.  Kai has loved this thing since he was able to focus his little eyes.  For the longest time,  he has to touch the monkey when he gets in the car and when he gets out of the car.  He has entire conversations with his monkey pal as we drive.  I also love that I can glance back at him in my rear view mirror and see his face and whether he is awake or asleep.

A few final car seat toys I had for the infant car seat were:   

I was always slightly nervous to use the mirror just in case we got in a wreck because it is hard unlike the guitars.  But I used it occasionally when we were on long road trips and Destructo was super fussy to distract him.

And finally, here is a older post with two car seat safety links that I find informative.

Linked Up at:  Thursday Favorite Things 

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  1. Love all of those products! I love my son's car seat but I wish I would have found one like yours. I love the easy adjustment bar. :)

    And for the Graco Snug Ride.. Two thumbs up!!


    1. That is the one feature from the Britax I really wish the Diono had since we use it the most. It is so nice. I loved the Snugride and used it until I absolutely couldn't use it anymore. I hate now when he falls asleep because I almost always have to wake him up to get him out of the car seat.

  2. I had the Britax Marathon for my last child and loved it too :)

    Thanks for linking up with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party! Hope you have a great weekend :)


    1. Thanks for reading! Britax carseat are really awesome. I really wish I had been able to try the Advocate as it looks super swanky.

  3. Thank you for sharing on the Thursday hop my friend xo


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