Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Safety vs. Ease of Use
on February 4, 2012
So, the seat does seem as secure as advertised. It is by far the least "mobile" of the seats I've used, and I've had three kids. By that, I mean that once it's secured, it doesn't really go anywhere. It takes a few installations to get it that way, though, as there are a few quirks of design that make it difficult to get the hang of. We use this seat with a one-year old (rear-facing), so bear that in mind.
First, there is a single strap from the underside of the seat that tightens the chest straps against the baby's chest. The first two or three times you install the seat in the rear-facing position, I almost guarantee you will forget to pull this strap out from between the seats. The result? You'll get the seat completely installed and then have to completely remove it to access the strap -- and the strap is absolutely essential, so you have no choice. Huge pain.
Second, there are two clips -- one on either side of the seat -- that cinch the seatbelt securely to the seat, which is primarily what secures this seat so much better than any other seat out there. These clips are under the seat pad baby will sit on, so they're somewhat inconvenient to access and secure. In essence, they make removal and reinstallation a major chore. As I titled the review, safety vs. installation. Safety is very important for me, but since my wife and I have two vehicles (and I'm not buying another seat at this price), I often have to change this seat between vehicles, and it's not the easiest thing to do.
Third -- and my wife's biggest pet peeve -- is that the five-point harness straps which keep baby secure are constantly getting twisted up. They're not really easy to realign, and it happens about 75% of the time we use the seat. The design of the mechanism which allows for instant, easy adjustment of the straps (convenient only for multiple, different-sized children using the seat, it seems to me) contributes to this, and it drives my wife crazy. I think she regrets the purchase!
That aside, the seat (if installed correctly) is incredibly secure. I personally find the LATCH system less secure than just using the center lap belt, though the LATCH is infinitely more convenient, obviously. I default to the lap belt for this reason. Once you get the hang of the installation quirks (mentioned above), it's only moderately difficult to remove/reinstall. Overall: Not the easiest seat to use, but I value the safety... so I rate it a solid four stars for that reason. I suspect my wife would rate much lower!