As my search continues for just the right baby seat for my SC430 I figure I would log the details of what works and what does not.
I would ask everyone out there with baby/infant seats in their SC430 to share their thoughts along with pictures as a guide for everyone as proper fitment is paramount to the safety of our loved one(s).
For one I would not recommend a baby seat in a SC430 for long distances and for the fact that it must be installed on the sides vs the preferred center position which is not an option in this car. I only need to use it for approximately 4 miles every 2 weeks at the most but safety is still of utmost concern to us as I'm sure it is for all parents out there.
So far I have installed 3 seats in the SC430, all rear facing convertibles and the following pictures demonstrate the challenges one can face in this endeavor. The passenger seat is as far as it will go forward and up with the back locked as it should be.
My son was strapped into each car seat to check fitment such as headroom, shoulder room, legroom,etc…All were secured using the rear facing Latch mechanisms.
TIP: It is next to impossible to place your child in a rear facing seat in the SC430 with the top up. I put the top down halfway, strap him in, then close the top. He loves to watch the top in action.
The first one is a Britax Boulevard car seat. This is a premium car seat which list at over $300.00 but can be had for a tad less. This rates very high in safety and considered one of the better seats out there for good reason. This seat is actually installed in our GX but I removed it to check fitment in the SC. Unfortunately this seat does not fit safely in the SC as it is simply too large by a couple of inches. Notice the horizontal line on the bottom of the car seat base? This must be level with the car which it is not as you can see the top of the car seat is resting on the back of the passenger seat. As much as we love this seat in the GX where it fit very nicely, it is a no go in the SC430.
Next up is a compact car seat I noticed while shopping for something else. I figured what the heck and gave it a shot not really thinking I would be serious about keeping it as for one is was only $39.95 and for two the construction did not seem to be up to par next to the Britax and Evenflo. This model is the Cosco Scenera. Granted Cosco makes finer seats but this one is very compact as seen in the pictures. Is does offer plenty of room but….the crotch strap is poorly engineered in that the side clips that click into the crotch buckle are too close the body and DAMN if I did not pinch my poor boys bare leg in the unit and gave him a blood blister and myself a ton of guilt I felt for days.
Short of burning the unit it is going back and a nasty worded email sent off to Walmart and Cosco.
Not excusable even for $40 bucks. Ok, it was only $39.95. The real good units have a pad that goes between the buckle and the baby.
My final test for the evening is the Evenflo Titan Elite. With a name like that this seat should perform and overall I am pleased with it. It is missing the crotch pad but the buckle is designed where it will not pinch the skin. All of a sudden that is at the top of the things I look for. The unit is compact enough to fit in the SC430 with about 1.5” to the top of the front passenger seat. It also has decent side protection though not in the same league as Britax. It also comes with a butt pad and head rest which the cheapie unit above was lacking. I paid $99.99 at Target for this unit and at this time it is the unit that remains in the SC until our next car seat arrives which is the new Britax Diplomat compact car seat with true side impact protection. I will provide an update on this unit once it is in.
Please feel free to share your baby seat installations.
Evenflo Titan Elite
Here are all three lined up:
From left to right: Britax Blvd, Evenflo Titan Elite, and finally the POS Cosco Scenera which I promptly kicked after this shot as payback. Yes, I know it is trivia but it sure did feel good.