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Car Seats

Sheena H.
SHEENA H.
Parent Education Specialist
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Decoding the seating arrangement at your in-laws' holiday dinner can be tough. But, shopping for a new car seat doesn't have to be! Just ask Parent Education Specialist, Sheena Hill.

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SHEENA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Car Seat with Booster
PAULA, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD

Hi Sheena, we are looking to buy a car seat to keep at our parents house that will double as a booster when our child gets older. We already have a big convertible car seat that we use everyday in our car but we fly to my parents 2-3 times a year so bringing it is a hassle. She’s 3.5 so we were thinking that at this point a booster option was more practical. We also would like to keep the cost reasonable while keeping safety in mind. What are your thoughts on the Evenflo® Chase LX Booster Car Seat or something like that? It supports kids from 22-110lbs and is about $50. Please let me know your thoughts and or suggestions for other car/booster seats.

Sheena
SHEENA

Hi Paula, I'm so glad you asked! Those limits (as listed) as very misleading. The evenflo Chase only harnesses to 40 lbs (the same weight limit as most rear facing seats on the US market. the 110 lb limit is only in booster mode. this means the seat is outgrown very quickly. In fact, I just met with a family on Sunday who will need to move their 4 year old to a booster (we recommend waiting until 6) because the Chase was outgrown almost as soon as they purchased it! It is definitely not a seat that I recommend often for this reason. I do agree that you should purchase a seat for your parent's and that a combination seat (only that only installs forward facing and then converts to a booster) is the best option. However, there are a few choices under $100. The Harmony Defender and Graco Tranzitions (Target exclusive) and Wayz (Walmart exclusive) are all $100 and harness to 65 lbs. The Defender has the tallest height limit if 57 inches, top harness slots, and highest belt guide slot in booster mode. It also boosters to 110 lbs and becomes a high back and backless booster. If $50 is your ideal budget, the Cosco Finale is a much better choice than the Chase, since it harnesses to 65 lbs, 49 inches (like most convertibles) and can be used as a booster to 100 lbs, 52 inches. It is narrow and lightweight enough to even be a travel seat. If you are loyal to Evenflo, the Maestro harnesses to 50 lbs. I don't recommend it too often because Evenflo harnesses are very narrow set (and tend to "squeeze" kids and feel uncomfortable), but it does have higher limits than the Chase.

PAULA

Thank you so much Sheena! I would never have known. $50 is not a hard limit, especially if she should be in a harness until 6. I just didn’t want to spend another $300 on a car seat that she will be outgrowing soon and only using a few times a year. I will not be traveling with it so knowing that it sounds like the harmony is your first choice?

Sheena
SHEENA

My pleasure, Paula! I just re-read my response, I'm sorry for all the typos. I do find the Defender to be the most bang for your buck in terms of combo seats in the price range and it has a 10 year lifespan, so it should serve your well for many years. It can be a little tricky to install (similar to Diono, if you are familiar with that brand), so I would recommend finding a CPST near your parent's house to teach you about the seat (especially if they plan to uninstall it when you aren't in town).