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Old 12-28-2012, 12:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Car Seat Inventory

Hi, soon-to-be first-time mom here and I was wondering what car seats folks had installed in their 4th generation outbacks and specifically:

1) which car seats are installed and are they forward-facing (FF) or rear-facing (RF)?
2) where in the back row are they installed?
3) if installed in the outboard seats, how tall is the driver and/or front passenger?
4) is there any bracing against the seat back for RF seats?
5) are you using LATCH/super LATCH/seat belt?
6) how easy was it to install? did you have to get any special equipment, like extender straps, locking straps, or angle adjusters, to install it properly?

thanks, everyone! (i'll be sure to contribute once i get my car, which won't happen until mid-march... )
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Dad here with a 17 month old. We started with a Graco SnugRide 30 and used that until our daughter was about to grow out of it. That has to be rear facing and we liked having the ability to her out with the seat so she could continue sleeping post trip. It was installed in the center of the rear seat, which is the safest place to put it. Now we have Britax Marathon 70. You have to keep it rear facing until your child is at least 20 lbs and they say the longer the better. We have this one on the passenger's side so someone can sit comfortably behind the driver's seat.

Now the real trick. The Britax Marathon, as with all of the convertible seats, has a strap that comes off the seat back of the baby seat (see pic). When rear facing they say to connect this strap to something on the floor as in option A of the pic. For this I used the provided short adapter strap, took the plastic cap off the seat rail for the passenger's side front seat, and looped the adapter strap around where the seat rail bolts to the car. This ensures in a rear end collision that the seat will not rotate rearward and crush my daughter into the rear seat pad.

Car Seat Inventory-britax.jpg
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Dad here with a 17 month old. We started with a Graco SnugRide 30 and used that until our daughter was about to grow out of it. That has to be rear facing and we liked having the ability to her out with the seat so she could continue sleeping post trip. It was installed in the center of the rear seat, which is the safest place to put it. Now we have Britax Marathon 70. You have to keep it rear facing until your child is at least 20 lbs and they say the longer the better. We have this one on the passenger's side so someone can sit comfortably behind the driver's seat.

Now the real trick. The Britax Marathon, as with all of the convertible seats, has a strap that comes off the seat back of the baby seat (see pic). When rear facing they say to connect this strap to something on the floor as in option A of the pic. For this I used the provided short adapter strap, took the plastic cap off the seat rail for the passenger's side front seat, and looped the adapter strap around where the seat rail bolts to the car. This ensures in a rear end collision that the seat will not rotate rearward and crush my daughter into the rear seat pad.

Attachment 26587
Thanks! We have a Chicco Keyfit 30, which we obviously have not had a chance to put into the Outback yet, but we will be posting an update -- hopefully this thread won't get locked or anything by then -- once we do receive the car.

We also have a Diono Radian RXT, which we plan on using once the infant car seat is outgrown, but I am curious whether it will be bracing against the headrests and against the DVD screens. I've read that the Britaxes are a bit wider and sit taller (off the car seat) but that the shells can be a little short (in length) for rear facing for an extended period of time, which is why we opted for the Radian. How much space does the Britax take up behind the passenger's seat (i.e., how short would someone have to be to be able to sit comfortably without pushing their chair back into the child seat)?

I'm hoping this thread will be useful to those getting Outbacks with small children.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We're using a Britax B-SAFE rear facing infant seat.

It fits fine. I'm 6'1" and I could sit in the front seat in front of it and have plenty of room for an all day trip. (Not that we could manage one right now!)

I haven't decided on whether to move it to the middle. Subaru recommends putting car seats in the side seats but the police department, etc.. really recommend putting them in the middle.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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We're using a Britax B-SAFE rear facing infant seat.

It fits fine. I'm 6'1" and I could sit in the front seat in front of it and have plenty of room for an all day trip. (Not that we could manage one right now!)

I haven't decided on whether to move it to the middle. Subaru recommends putting car seats in the side seats but the police department, etc.. really recommend putting them in the middle.
I've heard that the Britax B-SAFE base is a little larger/longer than the Chicco base and assumed it wouldn't fit when we selected the Chicco, which does fit into our current vehicles (Accord and Camry), though it's sort of a tight fit in the middle w/o moving either of our seats up. We aren't terribly tall either (5'6" and 5'10"), so we must either be oddly proportioned or just prefer sitting more reclined, OG style. Either way, I was told that the B-SAFE would likely not comfortably fit in our current vehicles from someone who owns one.

Have you attempted a middle-seat install with the B-SAFE? (I'm assuming you're using the belt.) I've read that the middle seat is a bit lumpy, which can make it harder to get a tight install, but that is probably the position we will use with the Chicco.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by moomoo View Post
Thanks! We have a Chicco Keyfit 30, which we obviously have not had a chance to put into the Outback yet, but we will be posting an update -- hopefully this thread won't get locked or anything by then -- once we do receive the car.

We also have a Diono Radian RXT, which we plan on using once the infant car seat is outgrown, but I am curious whether it will be bracing against the headrests and against the DVD screens. I've read that the Britaxes are a bit wider and sit taller (off the car seat) but that the shells can be a little short (in length) for rear facing for an extended period of time, which is why we opted for the Radian. How much space does the Britax take up behind the passenger's seat (i.e., how short would someone have to be to be able to sit comfortably without pushing their chair back into the child seat)?

I'm hoping this thread will be useful to those getting Outbacks with small children.
It fits well but we do have the front passenger's set set back so it's just not touching the baby seat. I am 6'4" tall and can sit in the front passenger's seat with this setup if that's any indication. All baby seats are big and take up too much room but that's how things are now. We specifically got the Britax because it was a little shorter, ensuring I have more room in the front seat. No issues for the little one so far and she's around 25 lbs. We were just talking about switching it around yesterday.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It fits well but we do have the front passenger's set set back so it's just not touching the baby seat. I am 6'4" tall and can sit in the front passenger's seat with this setup if that's any indication. All baby seats are big and take up too much room but that's how things are now. We specifically got the Britax because it was a little shorter, ensuring I have more room in the front seat. No issues for the little one so far and she's around 25 lbs. We were just talking about switching it around yesterday.
Thanks! Was there a reason why you elected the outboard (passenger-side) seat versus the middle?
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I used the Chico Keyfit 30 when my son was an infant, it fit in the back and left enough room for me to sit comfortably in front of it on the passenger side. I don't think I would have been comfortable driving, but it was ok to sit. I'm 6'3. My wife had plenty of room.

We have since used a couple of rear facing convertible seats. I'm not sure what the first on was (sorry) but I now have a Safety First Alpha Omega and it fits well. For both of the rear facing convertibles, I have had to roll up a towel and place it under the rear of the seat to get it to fit at a proper angle, but I had to do the same in my Hyundai and my Forester. The manufacturer suggests this method, so I am comfortable with it.

The Safety 1st one doesn't take up as much room as the other while rear facing, but I don't think I could drive comfortabley with either one behind the driver's seat.

The recommendation is now to leave your child rear facing as long as they meet the seat's safety requirements. That's my plan. I don't plan to have another one until mine will be big enough to be forward facing... the rate he's growing it might be sooner than later lol.

As for using a tether while rear facing, both of my sears explicitly state NOT to use the tehter while rear facing, only while forward facing and to attach to the tether anchor on the car. The seat is designed to have some give and bounce up in a crash. The 5 point harness is there to hold them tight in the seat.

Here is a great article I read detailing the benefits and mis-understood facts about rear facing v forward facing.

How long should I keep my child in a rear-facing car seat? | BabyCenter
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moomoo View Post
I've heard that the Britax B-SAFE base is a little larger/longer than the Chicco base and assumed it wouldn't fit when we selected the Chicco, which does fit into our current vehicles (Accord and Camry), though it's sort of a tight fit in the middle w/o moving either of our seats up. We aren't terribly tall either (5'6" and 5'10"), so we must either be oddly proportioned or just prefer sitting more reclined, OG style. Either way, I was told that the B-SAFE would likely not comfortably fit in our current vehicles from someone who owns one.

Have you attempted a middle-seat install with the B-SAFE? (I'm assuming you're using the belt.) I've read that the middle seat is a bit lumpy, which can make it harder to get a tight install, but that is probably the position we will use with the Chicco.
We do sit fairly upright.. we are using the passenger side of the rear seat with the Latch system since that is recommended in the Outback/Legacy Owner's manual. The Subaru manual says the middle seat is not recommended due to the shape of the middle seat, but then goes on to give advice as to how to use it if you want to.

It kind of blows my mind LATCH wasn't properly designed to have middle anchors in all cars.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It kind of blows my mind LATCH wasn't properly designed to have middle anchors in all cars.
The problem is that LATCH uses uniform spacing, so unless you car is wide enough to fit 6 anchors, or be just wide enough so that the middle anchors fit specs, you'd have anchors overlapping anchors, which could be confusing to know which ones to use where. As it is now, it is completely apparent which anchor is to be used for the left and right seat.

All statistics and tests agree seatbelts are just as safe WHEN USED PROPERLY, it's just that not enough people use them properly, so LATCH was invented to make it easier. The rear tether is available for all 3 seating positions, so you don't lose anything there.
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