Bye bye infant seat, hello ???

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2005
Bye bye infant seat, hello ???
Wed, 08-18-2010 - 4:13pm

So I have 3 children, and my baby is about to graduate from his infant seat...but I had a few questions (I've bold faced the most important questions, as you may not get to all of them.. sorry!!!)....

First, here is the breakdown:

Baby Cole - 27.5" & 19# a few wks ago...currently in a RF infant seat, needs to move up to his older brothers Britax Marathon - but do these expire?? It was bought in the summer of 2004.

Justin - he's 3.5, 41" tall and approx. 40#.  Currently he's in the Britax Marathon. Although soon enough he can go in a booster I've read horror stories about kids being too young in boosters and having them safely in a 5-pt harness is the best choice.

Evan - he's 6.5, 50" and over 60#. He's in a Britax Regent.

We need to be able to transport all kids in each of our cars, although mostly they are in my mini-van (toyota sienna '08). Twice a week, and only locally, they are in DH's car (toyota camry '00).

In my mini-van (yes to latch), all can sit comfortably.... and size of seat is no concern. If I bump the baby into the Marathon, my 3.5 yr old to the Regent, do I buy another Regent for my 6.5 yr old or borrow the one from the camry and have him in a booster in the camry? AND.. does the Marathon expire, can I even use it for the baby?

In DH's camry (no latch), right now the infant seat, marathon & booster (graco turbo - just the seat, no back) fit perfectly in the back seat. However, when baby goes to Marathon, 3.5yr old goes to Regent, not sure of what can FIT along w/ those seats in the camry!!??? Maybe we just need to make sure that all 3 kids won't go in that car at once? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for any advice you have. Our budget is fairly tight but for car seats we'll spend whatever it takes in order to meet safety requirements...


The Boys Summer 2010
               grad2.gif image by jill-sigs  

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2003
Wed, 08-18-2010 - 10:55pm

Hi there I am thinking yes your Marathon is most likely expired. That seat expires 6 years from the manufacture date not date of purchase.So if it was bout in 04 then its 6 years old and needs to be replaced. Do you have 2 Regents?If so how well does it fit in the Camry with your current seats?Your oldest could go into a booster seat full time in your car. Though I recommend a high back booster as it does offer some side impact protection.Also if he ever sleeps the head wings on most booster seats will keep him in the seat belt properly.When was the Marathon bought for the Camry?If its the same age as the one in your car it will need to be replaced.

Maybe buy a Radian car seat for the baby.Its the most narrowest car seat on the Market. It comes in different models and can rear face 40 to 45 lbs as well as forward face 65 to 80 lbs depending on the model.

Actually if you use the seat belt you can usually fit more seats together then you can with latch. Also are you using latch or a seatbelt for the Regent in your van?I am pretty sure you need to switch at 48 lbs and use the seat belt to install the Regent.

I think if you buy a Radian for the Camry you should still be able to keep the no back booster and the Regent in there. Dawn

Lilypie 6th to 18th Ticker Lilypie 6th to 18th Ticker
Lilypie 6th to 18th Ticker Lilypie 6th to 18th Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-1999
Thu, 08-19-2010 - 9:26am

I agree with the pp, the Marathon is probably already expired.

Radians are nice narrow seats great choice for the Camry for the baby. If you have trouble finding Radians, maybe the First Years Complete Air which RF until 40# FF 50#(but has a nice tall shell). The Complete Air is 1-2" wider than the Radian. He may need a harnessed seat when he grows out of that but a combo seat (harness to booster would work). The Radian would fit best in the Camry, since space is not an issue in the van the Complete Air would work other seats such as Graco MyRide (RF40 FF65, but short shell), First Years True Fit (Only RF to 35#, FF 65), Evenflo Triumph 65 (RF 40# FF 65# nice tall shell, good choice if space in not a concern).

For the 3.5 yr old, the Regent is great as long as it hasn't reached it's expiration date for the van. For the car, a combo seat that goes from a harness to a booster would be good. Graco Nautilus is great has very high harness straps but is just a little narrower than the Regent, the Evenflo Generation 65 is another good choice straps aren't as high as the Nautilus but it is 1-2" narrow than the Regent and might work better in the Camry.

Regents have been discontinued by Britax. They have a new Frontier 85, which is a harness to 85# then booster.

Like the pp said, high back booster in the van for the oldest son.

Cathie mom to Audrey & Emily 12 yrs, Libby 2 yrs

Edited 8/19/2010 9:45 am ET by ctimber92
Cathie, mom to Audrey & Emily 12 yrs, Libby 2 yrs
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2005
Thu, 09-02-2010 - 11:47pm


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2004
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 12:31am

One main reason car seats expire is that the plastic degrades over time. The expiration date is as far out as the manufacturer can guarantee that the car seat can stand up to the forces in an accident. If you car seat is 6 years old and expired, it might not fail at 6 year and 1 day or 6 years and 2 months. But when?

Here are a couple of articles that explain it better than I can:

Two $250 car seats that fail in an accident could cost you thousands of dollars in hospital bills and medical treatment

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2005
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 9:26am

Thank you Melanie. Makes a lot of sense, I will show those articles to my hubby...

My baby is about 20 lbs (or slighlty under) but all my boys are BIG & TALL.... let me know if you have any other specific recommendations other than what you listed, knowing his size... he's 29 inches. THANKS!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2004
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 11:00am

Radian and the Triumph 65 will last longest both rf and ff. They both have a 40lb rf limit, 65lb ff limit. Some of the Radians have a 45lb rf limit and 80lb ff limit. I think the Radian has the tallest shell of these two. I love the Radian and I would put it at the top of the list.

Complete air also has a tall shell so it work well for tall kids. However, it only has a 50lb limit ff so it might be outgrown by heavy kids too early. That would have definitely been the case with my 97th percentile (height and weight) DS.

Graco MyRide has a shorter shell than the other seats, so it doesn't last as long. I found that my DS outgrew it sooner than he outgrew our Britax Convertible. I think it's a better option for heavier, shorter kids.

Compass True Fit has a super tall shell and possibly lasts longer than a Radian. However, the big drawback is that it only has a 35lb rf limit instead of a 40lb limit like the other seats. With the recommendations to keep children rear-facing as long as possible, I think that the extra 5lbs are important. My DS made it to 2.5 years rf in a 33lb seat, but he was only in the 50th percentile for weight at the time.


09-Melanie.jpg Isabelle and Marcus picture by MathMelanie

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2005
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 4:07pm

Thanks again!! I assume the Radian & Triumph are both rated very high? The Radian is actually pricey... pricier than a marathon??!!!

I'll take a look around, thanks SOOO much :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2004
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 9:21pm

The price on the Radian varies depending on the specific model. The Radian XTSL is the most expensive. I found it for about $300. Price wise, this one is more in line with the Britax Blvd in terms of cost.

I just found the Radian 65SL on Amazon for $184. It looks like $229 is regular price.

eta: I'm finding better prices by looking at

09-Melanie.jpg Isabelle and Marcus picture by MathMelanie

Edited 9/3/2010 9:28 pm ET by melanie91

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2005
Sat, 09-04-2010 - 3:13pm

what about the Evenflo Momentum 65? It seems new? I could not find the Triumph 65..?

I guess I'm leaning towards another Marathon (2 of them- both for baby)... I'm afraid the Radian might be too narrow - as my kids are big, not fat but solid.

Or maybe the Radian for the Camry & another Marathon for the Sienna. I wish I could have data in front of me to show that the Evenflo brand is just as good as the Britax (it's so much cheaper!!) but we've always had Britax seats and I feel like I'm leaning more towards them again..... guess I'm loyal?

Marathon or Decathlon or Boulevard?? The hunt continues...... (thanks again for your words of wisdom... let me know if you have any last thoughts!) :-)


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2004
Sat, 09-04-2010 - 3:57pm

The Momentum would be a good seat to consider too. I don't know as much about it, but I'm seeing that it is recommended on my other car seat board.

The Triumph 65 is currently at Target. My friend just called me from Babies R Us and it sounded like they have the 65 in stock.

The size of the Radian can be deceiving. I was actually concerned about the same thing as you are, but I've found it fits big kids extremely well. There is actually more inside side to side room than the Britax seat. My DS is about ready to outgrow this seat. He weighs about 60lbs and is 48in tall. He's at the 97th percentile for height and weight and definitely a solid kid. When he was 4 years old, he started to complain about the Britax Decathlon and preferred riding in the Radian. I think he was feeling too squished in the seat and maybe it was too tight in the crotch.

Some of the other reasons I like the Radian better than the Britax seats - they have more rear-facing and forward-facing leg room