Top critical review
31 people found this helpful
Looks great but not made to fit a baby
on December 7, 2007
First let me say that I work with children, so I do know something about fitting car seats. We wanted to get our newborn a really nice car seat and, since I like Eddie Bauer stuff this seemed great. I also really like the idea that it can stay rear facing for so long and is the only car seat that one ever needs, or so I thought. I still really hope that it will work when he is older and can face forward.
Cons (fitting in car): (1) In the rear facing position it is huge. It just fit into my Subaru if the front seats were all the way forward (good thing I am short). Even in my parent's Envoy the front seats were uncomfortably far forward. It was tempting to put it behind the passenger seat but the center is safest. So only get this as a rear facing seat if you have a huge vehicle. (2) In theory it is not hard to install but had one major design problem: In order to tighten the seat belt or LATCH belt you have to pull back the seat cover and then once the car seat is in place it takes very small, dexterous fingers to get it back on again. This also makes the cover very hard to remove for washing. (3) In order for the rear facing seat to be at the recommended angle the base required a lot of padding. The instructions recommended towels but I ended up with four folded towels which made it difficult to tighten and I still don't think that the line is quite level with the ground (our other car seat needed one small towel). I suspect that many people will end up the seat at the wrong angle because of this.
Cons (fitting to baby): (1) The crotch strap is very short so the buckle is between his legs instead of in front of his pubic bone and pushes into his thighs. (2) The infant insert only has one set of holes for the shoulder straps. He actually fit it quite well when he came home from the hospital (5lb 2oz) but had out grown it by the time he was a normal newborn size even though he could still have used the support. There is no recommendation as to when to use the insert even though if you try to use it with a larger infant it makes it almost impossible to tighten the harness enough which could put children at risk. (3) The seat has a lot of padding which seems good but it is not in the right places. Imagine sitting with a big pillow behind your lower back and another behind your head but nothing behind your shoulders or upper back. I have tried every adjustment that I can find but if the shoulder straps are in the right place (level with the shoulders) and the harness tight enough (one finger fits underneath) that is how my baby looks. I even tried calling the 1-800 number for suggestions but was told that all babies are shaped differently and some just fit better in some car seats better than others (they did not have any suggestions as to what I could try that might help).
Pros: I still hope that the seat will work when my child is old enough to be front facing.