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Discussion Starter #1
We got our Ody yesterday and installed our carseats today. THANKS to this board my kids' seats are as tight or tighter than they have ever been in any car we have had (even when a big burly fireman did it and I did these myself).

Here's my question (okay -- so it turns out to be SEVERAL questions). Our kids are 9 months and 2.5 years. The 9 month old is (of course) still rear-facing and is somewhat small for her age. The 2.5 year old is of average size. We are currently using a Century infant seat with base for the baby and a Century Smart Move seat forward facing for the toddler (he's well over 30 pounds which is the rear-facing limit of that seat). We would like to take advantage of the EZ Latch system because the infant seat, even if she doesn't outgrow the weight is only recommended up to one year. With so few EZ latch choices, it took us a while to figure out what to do and I still am not sure our plan makes sense (that's the main question -- tell me if this sounds crazy):

We ordered a Britax Freeway Plus for the toddler b/c it is fitted with the EZ latch system and seems to be considered an excellent seat. We plan to switch the baby to the Century Smart Move rear facing until she's ready to turn around and then use the Freeway Plus. Once that happens (which will probably be a while -- she is less than 18 lbs now), we are hoping that the Britax Super Elite will be available and fitted with EZ latch and we will buy that for our toddler (for what will likely be his 4th and final carseat). Does that make sense? Also, I seem to recall that burly fireman having a tough time getting a good fit with the Smart Move rear facing in our Taurus b/c of the reclining feature. Is this something I should consider? Also, will the Century retrofit kit work with carseats in the rear facing position? And would that help the fit issue? Or should I just suck it up and get her a Britax Roundabout (and possibly even forget the Freeway Plus with EZ latch now)? Also, the straps on our Smart Move seem to be very prone to twist. Does anyone know whether Century will sell replacement straps? Do any of these carseats have particular fit issues with the Odyssey?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Carrie
2002 EXL-RES RRP
 

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Century's EZ Latch belt is designed for any Century seat built after a certain date in 1997 (sigh, caviller told us but I *still* can't remember). Call Century and see if your seats are in that category.

I checked with Century on our rear-facing infant seat--one with the separate base--and they said the Latch belt was OK with that.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">We ordered a Britax Freeway Plus for the toddler b/c it is fitted with the EZ latch system and seems to be considered an excellent seat. We plan to switch the baby to the Century Smart Move rear facing until she's ready to turn around and then use the Freeway Plus. Once that happens (which will probably be a while -- she is less than 18 lbs now), we are hoping that the Britax Super Elite will be available and fitted with EZ latch and we will buy that for our toddler (for what will likely be his 4th and final carseat). Does that make sense?</font>
It does to me! I like that plan. I, too, am counting on the Britax Super Elite becoming available next year just as my 3 year old turns 4 or 40 pounds or so (and outgrows the Britax Roundabout) and my soon-to-be daughter will be old enough to transition to the Roundabout.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Also, the straps on our Smart Move seem to be very prone to twist. Does anyone know whether Century will sell replacement straps?</font>
Check out Century's web site. They sell replacement everything. You can literally build a car seat from their replacement parts.

I hate the cheesy straps that go to junk in about 10 seconds. I love my Britax. Can't wait for the Super Elite with LATCH.

FWIW, I'm using a Century Latch belt to secure my Britax Roundabout. Now, LATCH may make it "easier to get the seat properly belted in," but. BUT. The Roundabout is designed to be used with only a lap belt, and that's really what the Century Latch belt is. So it works. BUT.

Here's what happened: when I belted it in, I pretended I was Joe or Jane Busyparent. I hooked the ends into the LATCH anchors on the seat and pulled on the belt to tighten it. Those are the instructions.

By the time I had it as tight as I could by just pulling on the belt, it was nowhere near tight enough. Nowhere near. If Joe and Jane Busyparent casually look at the instructions, they may think that LATCH solves every problem. It doesn't.

There was no question that LATCH doesn't eliminate or even reduce the need to get your knee on the seat and push hard (260 pounds, here!) to get the child seat attached correctly. I gave it all I had (LOTS!) and yanked on the Century belt, and that's what it needed.

It also needed the tether strap, without question. Another reason to buy Britax; the tether strap is included.

But now that it's in, I love it. It's as tight as I've ever seen or gotten a car seat. It's as tight as it was in the Previa. I like it that the child seat is one with the car seat without being tethered to the seat belts. I can now move the seat from middle to side as it's designed to do, all without removing or even altering the child seat configuration. It's all one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Adam -- I figured I would still have to give it my all even with the LATCH, but it's good to have that confirmation. My husband, I think, finds it amusing that I am so obessed with having the carseats tight (but he appreciates the results).

A side question for you: how do you post with the offset quote?


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Carrie
2002 EXL-RES RRP
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">A side question for you: how do you post with the offset quote?</font>
http://www.odyclub.com/ubb/ubbcode.html

I combine the quoting and the bold.

I set up a couple of QuicKeys--one for the beginning of the quote, the other for the end. I select the relevant text and copy it and then it's a fast cmd-1, cmd-v, cmd-2 and I'm done.

(QuicKeys--macro program for Macintosh. I'm sure there's something similar for Windows...)
 

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A couple more comments-

First, The Smartmove is a difficult fit in some cars. It's large size and loose recline mechansim can make it difficult to fit and difficult to get appropriate recline. The twisty straps are a nuisance, especially if you don't straighten them regularly. If it does fit the Odyssey well and you don't mind the "maintenance", it's a safe choice and no need to replace it.

Don't count on the Super Elite getting LATCH much before summer of 2002. There has been some speculation that the width and high weight limits may have compatibility issues with the LATCH anchors. If it does need a redesign to incorporate LATCH (again just speculation), then it may not appear until just before the time the new law goes into effect (9/2002). Given that it is a new model with little competition in its niche, one wonders why it didn't have LATCH to start. Also, while LATCH is convenient, it isn't necessarily safer than using the seatbelts. Our Roundabout is rock solid behind the driver's seat using the seatbelts and tether. I do have a Century Nextstep with EZ LATCH behind the passenger, which makes it easier to move/remove that captain's chair.

The Roundabout is not designed to be used with only a lap belt. In fact, it has built-in lockoffs which are meant for the shoulder belt, and the instructions fully specifiy lap and shoulder belt routing. Britax has also lobbied to have the standardized testing include the shoulder belt, since at present the standards only use lap-belts, which is one of their many shortcomings.

All new convertible carseats should include a tether, by law. This is not limited to Britax, though Britax has one of the best designs which can also be used rear-facing on some models.

See also: http://www.car-safety.org/odyssey.html

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 10-22-2001).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The Roundabout is not designed to be used with only a lap belt.</font>
Absolutely the Roundabout is designed to be used with only a lap belt.

I'm looking directly at the owner's manual right now. It's specified for either lap only or the appropriate style lap/shoulder belt.

Page 15: Securing Your Child Seat Rear Facing In Your Vehicle--Lap Belt Only Installation

Page 19: Securing Your Child Seat Forward Facing In Your Vehicle--Lap Belt Only Installation

Page 20 even gives a great graphic of the lap belt only install.

You can see online step by step instructions, or else download the manual if you want--all from here:

http://www.childseat.com/tips/install_convertible.cfm
 

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Ah. Semantics. I don't disagree. I intended to make it clear that the Roundabout (and most all carseats) can use either a lap belt or a lap/shoulder belt. When I read your original post, I thought some might be confused and believe that it was not designed for use with a lap/shoulder belt, but only for a lap belt alone.


All confusion aside, anyone reading this thread should be aware that the Roundabout and virtually every other convertible carseat can use both a lap-only belt and a lap/shoulder belt for installation. Both methods are very secure in many vehicles, and in fact I've not yet personally encountered an incompatibility problem in any of our vehicles or any I've done at carseat checkup events.
 
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