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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any experience with the LATCH system car seats. I understand that the only two on the market so far are the Cosco Triad and the Fisher Price Safe Embrace II . I really like the idea of the LATCH system but haven't seen any of these seats available in my area. With twins soon to outgrow their infant seats I'd like to be able to get more user opinions soon.

thanks,
Adobeman
01 gg ex
 

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Kmart carries the Cosco Triad. I think you can find either one if you search online, but get a good money back guarantee in case you have problems. The Britax Roundabout is an exceptional car seat, and they claim to be releasing a LATCH version very soon. Expect it to be $200 though.

Here's an edited repost of my review of the Cosco Triad:
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We had intended to wait another month or two before replacing our infant seat with a LATCH convertible seat. We really like our Britax Roundabout, as it has had an excellent fit in all cars we've used, and also has the top tether which can be used in front and rear-facing mode. Unfortunately, Britax has kept delaying their release date for the LATCH version, and it is now supposedly "Early Spring."

I found the Cosco Triad on sale at a local Kmart. Along wtih the Fisher Price Safe Embrace II, the Triad is (I think) the only other LATCH child seat available yet. I had dismissed the Cosco based on our Cosco high-back booster, which has straps that are difficult to adjust/fasten, and always end up tangled. It fits well, but is skimpy on features. The Triad was much more impressive when I saw it on the shelf. It includes a front adjustment to control harness tightness, and better mechanisms for fastening the straps. The fabric is also nicer, and the seat is a bit narrower which is great for when the kid falls asleep. Now his neck doesn't hang at a right angle... It also had reasonable padding all-around, a built in pillow and had a removable infant head pad as well. The LATCH straps were attached for front and rear facing modes, though I had to install the included top tether. The only major omission is that it does not have built-in seat-belt clamps. These are not necessary at all with LATCH installation, but they can make installation much easier if you need to use seat belts.

I bought the Triad for $54.39. That's less than half the price of the Safe Embrace II, and probably one-fourth the upcoming LATCH Roundabout. There was some confusion on pricing. I thought the tag on the shelf said the regular price was $79.99. When I got to the counter, it came up as $67.99, but they said all Cosco was 20% off which bumped it down to $54.

Installation was relatively easy for front-facing mode. The LATCH anchors were a snap. While kneeling on the seat, it was easy to tighten the strap to make a secure installation. The top-tether was the only minor issue. Much like our Cosco high-back booster, it can take some time to fiddle with getting the right length on the tether, as it does not have a simple mechanism. You have to fiddle with multiple windings of the strap around a buckle. Once made to the right length, the seat is extremely secure. Much like the Roundabout, if you try to wiggle the seat, the whole van moves with it.

Not having to mess with the seatbelts is great. The Triad is in the 2nd row passenger side, so now we can move the seat to the inboard or outboard location without readjusting the seatbelts. If you move the seat forward or backward, you may have to re-adjust the tether though depending on your seats. In the Odyssey second row, the anchor does not move with the seat adjustment, so you will need to tighten if you move forward, and might need to loosen it if you go back. On the plus side, you can easily adjust the harness with the seat moved forward, then pull it tight simply by moving the seat to the rear, avoiding the hassle with the tether buckles.

We have not yet tried the rear-facing mode, and probably won't since I intend to use the Roundabout for our infant and the Triad for our toddler. Overall, a very good seat, and an excellent bargain compared to other LATCH seats. I can recommend it for anyone else with a 2001 Honda Odyssey minivan that wants to put a seat in the second row. Similar results may apply to other LATCH-equipped vehicles. Again, a good return policy is important, especially if you install in a different location, different vehicle or in rear-facing mode. Consumer Reports did test this model, and said its crash protection was excellent when using the LATCH+tether or seatbelt+tether. I may have opted for the Fisher Price Safe Embrace II if had been in stock anywhere locally for inspection. I'd definitely have considered the upcoming LATCH Roundabout if I knew it would be released before our infant outgrows the infant seat. In any case, the Triad is a very good seat, and a bargain if you want LATCH.

http://www.consumerreports.org/Special/ConsumerInterest/Reports/0010chi0.htm
Take CR's testing with a grain of salt, though. It's worth reading, but they do have inconsistencies. Even with the Triad, it would have been nice to have the energy-absorbing foam inserts for the back and side of the head like our Roundabout has...
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An updated version of this review and more carseat information can be found at http://car-seat.org.

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 05-01-2001).]
 

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Caviller,

Where did you get the carseat saver? I could not find a way to purchase something on the princelionheart site and rightstart had something else. Great tip though, I want to get something before we pick up the new van this weekend.
 

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I got mine at the Right Start, but I had a coupon. I've seen them for less at Babies R Us, other smaller local baby stores, and online.
 

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The car seat saver can be found at Babies R Us for around $15, but it smells pretty bad. I guess the rubber material used to make the pad smells like new tires. Does anyone know how long it'll take to rid the smell?

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'01 Starlight Silver EX
Totally Newbie now, but learning quick.
 

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a few days? Ours don't seem to smell any longer...at least I haven't noticed it.

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Marvyn
2001 SS EX-NAVI
floor mats * mud flaps * cargo tray * leather steering wheel wrap * Blaupunkt 652 speakers * blue 'super bright' headlights * weathertech floor mats
 
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