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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have much experience on Radian Convertible Car seats fitting our trucks? I've been looking at Britax Pavillion and Recaro ProRide (or ProPerformance, whatever its called) but they all appear to be limited in height before weight (son is 90th+ in height, weight and his chrome dome), so thinking I need something that will last longer than anotehr 1-2 years (he's 10mths). It appears Radian gets great raves at Carseat.org.
 

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My experience

My advice: skip the super thick padding and the adjustable pedestal thing. The Xterra has a tight back seat, and the giant thrones you get nowadays will be a pinch. Get one that's as slimline as possible, so that the back of the car seat is as close as possible to the xterra's rear seat-back.

Also remember: Car seats are primarily coupling devices: they keep the kid attached to the car, so that the car can absorb impact. However, the marketing people found that adding big chunks of foam and polystyrene means that they can charge 250+ bucks for the same thing. The polystyrene and foam do nothing in a crash, the plastic structure and the belt hold the child in place.

And one final thing: 99% of people reviewing car seats have never actually had a crash with them, they're just reviewing them for cupholders and big chunks of polystyrene. Think critically.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cosco-High-Back-Booster-Car-Seat-Canteen/16932755

I have two of these in the back of my Xterra. They attach with the LATCH system plus a strap over the backseat. I clamp them down so hard they don't move at all. That works against me when i have to take them out to clean up the inevitable chicken nugget/urine mix that ends up inside every carseat :)

I have them forward facing, never actually used them rear facing - since yours is only 10 months these might not work for you, depending on your state law.
 

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We used the Britax Chaperone (infant through one year) and currently the Advocate for our little girl ... dunno about fitment for your guy, though. But, both fit fine in the back of the X ... the Advocate is rear facing, even.
 

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IMO, screw the reviews online & find a seat that is recommended on the Nissan site. They do extensive testing for fitment & crash test results and post the models that are compatible in the actual vehicle. True, the test data may not be updated with every year & model of seat, but it's the best place to start.

A lot of people tend to forget about side curtain airbags (if equipped) & OEM crumple zones (side impact) and buy the largest seat available based on looks & online reviews not based on crash data as thgeary mentions above. The installation of a larger car seat in the event of the side curtain airbag deployment or side impact leads to additional injuries in most cases.

On top of that, the back seats in the X are not the easiest to install a car seat into to begin with. Given the seat backs are not adjustable, it is challenging to find one that fits well! I've not cross referenced your selections against the list below, I'm merely pointing out there is more info available to help you "narrow down" your selection.

Xterra child seat specs/info
 

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Have the same one. Once my boy outgrew the infant seat he uses this. Why pay big money when they all meet the same standards?


My advice: skip the super thick padding and the adjustable pedestal thing. The Xterra has a tight back seat, and the giant thrones you get nowadays will be a pinch. Get one that's as slimline as possible, so that the back of the car seat is as close as possible to the xterra's rear seat-back.

Also remember: Car seats are primarily coupling devices: they keep the kid attached to the car, so that the car can absorb impact. However, the marketing people found that adding big chunks of foam and polystyrene means that they can charge 250+ bucks for the same thing. The polystyrene and foam do nothing in a crash, the plastic structure and the belt hold the child in place.

And one final thing: 99% of people reviewing car seats have never actually had a crash with them, they're just reviewing them for cupholders and big chunks of polystyrene. Think critically.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cosco-High-Back-Booster-Car-Seat-Canteen/16932755

I have two of these in the back of my Xterra. They attach with the LATCH system plus a strap over the backseat. I clamp them down so hard they don't move at all. That works against me when i have to take them out to clean up the inevitable chicken nugget/urine mix that ends up inside every carseat :)

I have them forward facing, never actually used them rear facing - since yours is only 10 months these might not work for you, depending on your state law.
 

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My advice: skip the super thick padding and the adjustable pedestal thing. The Xterra has a tight back seat, and the giant thrones you get nowadays will be a pinch. Get one that's as slimline as possible, so that the back of the car seat is as close as possible to the xterra's rear seat-back.

Also remember: Car seats are primarily coupling devices: they keep the kid attached to the car, so that the car can absorb impact. However, the marketing people found that adding big chunks of foam and polystyrene means that they can charge 250+ bucks for the same thing. The polystyrene and foam do nothing in a crash, the plastic structure and the belt hold the child in place.
^FTW^

We've had five kids go through car seats, and I completely concur with this!

We started out with the fancy seats with removable bases that looked like ejection seats from a MiG-29. Once you start the mechanics of getting the kids in and out of the vehicle (especially when the weather is crappy) room and speed are everything.

Yes, you are stuck with the bucket when they are less than a year old, but get one with a good feeling handle that you can lift from the side easily. Buckle the darn thing to the seat directly-quick and easy. If you or your wife can't reach over the seat easily, Nissan sells seat-helt extenders for the more portly drivers and they will give you some added slack.

Good luck, the journey has just begun....!

Oh and you'll need this --> :drink:
 

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^FTW^

We've had five kids go through car seats, and I completely concur with this!

We started out with the fancy seats with removable bases that looked like ejection seats from a MiG-29. Once you start the mechanics of getting the kids in and out of the vehicle (especially when the weather is crappy) room and speed are everything.

Yes, you are stuck with the bucket when they are less than a year old, but get one with a good feeling handle that you can lift from the side easily. Buckle the darn thing to the seat directly-quick and easy. If you or your wife can't reach over the seat easily, Nissan sells seat-helt extenders for the more portly drivers and they will give you some added slack.

Good luck, the journey has just begun....!

Oh and you'll need this --> :drink:
Sage advice! I gotta admit that for that first year, the removable base was nice. The kid got belted up inside and then you just heave that baby up and into the base. It was a little harder for my little wife to do with the X but she could manage pretty well with her Honda. Our Britax B-Safe was too big to put behind the drivers side, but it worked in the middle. Made for easier loading of the bigger kids, no guessing which side. We had a base in both of our vehicles, but that did not stop my wife from going to work with the only car seat (after he was too big to carry in the seat) and stranding us there once. That was the point we decided to get 2 seats as soon as he was big enough to face forward.

I simply cannot stress the accuracy of "Oh and you'll need this --> :drink:
 

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Soaking this up.... please keep the tips coming.
 

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more tips

Soaking this up.... please keep the tips coming.
Put a sheet of plastic under the carseats. Or towels, or whatever you have. Unspeakable mess comes from kids.

When you reach inside to buckle your child, your pants will get an imprint of the crap on the wheel arch right around crotch area.

you have to fight hard to stop kids sticking stickers all over the inside of the rear windows. its a noble fight, keep it up

if you drive with kids but not a passenger, remove the passenger side front seat headrest. They can see more, and they'll make (slightly) less noise.

one day, your child will learn to unbuckle himself, and will climb into the front passenger seat and say hi. You won't be afraid for his safety, you'll be afraid of the ticket you'll get if a cop sees you.

if you want some peace and quiet from your kids while you wash your car or change the oil, let them play in the car. that keeps them occupied for 20 minutes (pull the handbrake up as far as your adult strength will allow first though).

A decent sized kid can reach the power window control, beware.
 

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P
one day, your child will learn to unbuckle himself, and will climb into the front passenger seat and say hi. You won't be afraid for his safety, you'll be afraid of the ticket you'll get if a cop sees you.
Happened yesterday to my wife with #5 after she dropped the rest off at school. Roads were nasty... Genetically built in mother-daughter angst.... My wife was still in a bad mood when I got home!

I'll second the under-seat protection for car seats. They will not contain spills and after 3 months of crappy weather you will clean the inside of the truck to find the seat belts coated in dried up beverage and a U-shaped imprint of ground in cereal and crumbs where the seat was.

I'll add: Always keep baby wipes everywhere. Anyone who has been a parent quickly finds other uses for these as well.

Keep 2-3 diapers in the console. Even if the kids are just toilet trained, there will be one time on a long trip where they 'forget' and you are stuck between exits. If there is to be an accident, just sit on the diaper. They can also be used for spills, just press them into the seat and hold.

Cheddar goldfish are great and easily cleaned. Food and sleep are the two big reasons kids get surly. I personally loathe soy milk, but if your kids like it it is a great alternative to cows milk for trips - more easily cleaned, less smell.

Enough with the problems. There will be some brief moments on a long trip where your wife and kids are asleep, and you will think how lucky you are. Enjoy. In 30 seconds you will hit a pothole for your daydreaming and one of the kids will wake and start crying for the next 40 minutes....
 

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We've had our daughter (now 23 months) in the Britex Advocate for about a year now. We migrated her out of the Chicco infant convertible seat and she's been very comfortable and happy with it. Just turned her facing forward a few days ago and she's thrilled with the new point of view.

I did have to shim in a rolled up towel where the base of the Britex meets the X's seat to get it level. And I also put a blanket underneath, to protect them. With the latch system and the strap that connects the top of the seat to the back of the trucks rear seat, this thing is absolutely solid.

We paid a fair amount for it, but it's very safe and highly rated. I think it's a great product, and she seems happy enough to stay put in it. At least for now.

There are some great tips and tricks in this thread, I'll be checking in regularly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys, totally been out of the loop for a few days. He was in the Chicco Infant seat with base which was awesome. I decided to get the Radian for now for the wife's car and its worked out well. It is a convertible + booster and is FAA approved so can take it on flight (folds up pretty nicely). The fit is going to be really tight in the Xterra though, so not sure what I'm going to do. The Chicco is in the middle for now, and I'll have to see if the Radian will fit in the middle nicely as I think it might be a little too tall for the passenger side even with the foam level adjuster thingy.
 

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Bump, tall drivers + car seat

Short question:
What's a recommended forward facing car seat that can fit behind a tall-ish (6' 1'') driver?

The longer question:
Figured I'd bump this thread rather than starting a new one. Currently have a second kiddo arriving shortly - and the small backseat of the Xterra has become painfully obvious with the monster convertible car seat (an Evenflo Syphony 65 DLX) that we are using for #1. In rear facing config there was no way it could fit behind me driving - even in its forward facing mode it still can't fit behind my driver seating position.

My wife is short(er) and that giant car seat will stay on the passenger side and go back to rear facing for the coming baby.

But my toddler needs a seat that can fit forward facing behind me. Any suggestions? I was thinking a Diono radian rxt since its supposed to be pretty slim.
 

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How big is your toddler? @iamamused

You gotta get away from the combo ones to get a good fit. I haven't purchased a good fit yet. I have the graco somethingorother65 and an evenflo symphony and they barely fit in there. I sit pretty close to the steering wheel even though I am 5'11" because I prefer a pretty upright driving position close to the pedals.
 

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Its been a while, but I had two of the giant britax seats in the X - one in the middle, one on the passenger side. I am fairly short, but there would have been no issue as their was then nothing behind the driver seat.
 

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Lay the seats flat and flank them on all sides in Raingler nets.

Just kidding. Good luck. I have a 20 month old and numero dos on the way this December. So I will be keeping close tabs on this thread!
 

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Can you put it in the middle? That's where the most room is.
Would be pretty tough, unless I ditch the existing throne that takes up the passenger side and part of the middle. But I'd hate to eat the $250 that thing cost AND then buy another fighter pilot seat.

How big is your toddler? @iamamused

You gotta get away from the combo ones to get a good fit. I haven't purchased a good fit yet. I have the graco somethingorother65 and an evenflo symphony and they barely fit in there. I sit pretty close to the steering wheel even though I am 5'11" because I prefer a pretty upright driving position close to the pedals.
My toddler is just under 3 feet. But he's at that weird stage where his knees don't meet the end of the Evenflo Symphony 65 booster (in Stage 2 setting) - so his legs stick straight out. Combine that with the fact that the Evenflo doesn't sit flush in the seat, but rather at an angle - and he takes up almost as much room as he did rear facing.

I'm going to try the Diono radian rxt and see if that fits behind me. Evidentially those are pretty slim.

If I didn't already have an expensive car seat and had the forethought that we would have two - I probably would have started with a seat like the radian or something that's slim enough to fit two seats (one behind the pass and one in the middle). That way I wouldn't have to put anything behind the driver.
 

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My toddler is almost 3 years old, 3'+ tall and nearly 40 lbs. We got her the Britax Highway seat (from Costco, one of a series) when she outgrew her carrier and it fits quite nicely in our Xterra. It's not nearly as big and bulky as some of the other car seats we looked at, especially the convertibles (which, IMO, are not worth it), and fits in the back seat with either LATCH or the seatbelt no problem. We've had it in the side and center positions, and made the switch to front-facing about a year ago. Yes, she can stretch out and kick the back of the seat if it is far back, but we have heard no complaints from her. She loves the commanding view and the seat is nice and snug. We've done a few trips with 2 adults in the backseat as well, and other than a decreased shoulder room, it was very doable. Probably not much worse than with 3 adults in the back.
 
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