The last carseat you’ll need

By Mir
August 19, 2009

I didn’t love my kids enough to buy them Britax carseats*, but I hear they’re the best of the best. And I particularly like how they’re larger than just about any other brand on the market, meaning they accommodate heavier/taller kids for longer times. I think the guideline is a booster seat all the way up to 4’9″ and 75 pounds, or something, in which case my middle schooler should still be in a booster, but I still don’t love her enough** to make her sit in one.

Anyway, Amazon currently has the Britax Regent Youth Seat on sale for $180 shipped, which is still a crazy amount of money, but also the cheapest I’ve seen that one in a while. It works from 22 to 80 pounds, and is made of kryptonite***. Impressive!

*Not entirely true. I love them bunches, I am just cheap. As we’ve established.
**I’m pretty sure forcing a 6th-grader to sit in a booster is considered child abuse in some states.
***It is not made of kryptonite. Though I think that would be cool, and also justify the cost a bit better.


  1. I think I might go mad if I was still buckling my 2nd grader into a 5-point harness. I do love him dearly, but I was still eager to get him out of his Britax and into a booster that uses the regular seat belt as soon as he was eligible for one.

    Thus it is that the least expensive car seat I’ve ever purchased (the Graco Turbo booster) is the one we’ve gotten the most use out of. He’s been in that thing for almost four years now, and I doubt we’ll retire it anytime soon. He loves it. I mean, it has ARMRESTS and CUPHOLDERS. I don’t have such luxury even in the front seat. I have to SHARE my armrest and cupholder.

  2. LOVE our all britax seats! this is a great deal.

  3. Umm, I just took my daughter out of the Regent in February of this year (age 7.5) she buckled herself in and out of the 5-point harness. She is currently in a sunshine kids monteray booster or an evenflo deluxe depending on which car she’s in. My question Mir is when do you let them out of a booster. I’m in MA and as of June 08 the law is 54″ and 8 years old (must meet both). She’ll be 8 this Sept but is only 40 lbs and 45″ so she could conceivably be in a booster by law until she starts driving…My husband is only 66″ and I’m only 61″ tall, she may never be legally tall enough…HELP!!!

  4. Sabrina, I can beat your use of Britax…my eight year old is in the most giant of Britax seats, can’t remember the name, and will be until he exceeds the weight or height requirements. My now 10 yo was in the same seat until about the time he turned 10. My daughter used a precursor of that giant Britax seat until she was probably almost 11.

    No problem with putting them in the seats, because they could do the buckles themselves. Our family is on an interstate at high speeds for eight hours every weekend in the summer and often throughout the year. Lots of travel. The seats were a great investment since they rotated through 3 kids and many years.

    When asked about their seats by friends, they simply told the kids that we spent a LOT of time on the highway and 5 point harnesses were what race car drivers used. We had few problems since it was non-negotiable what they sat in.

  5. Carseats are a subject near and dear to my heart, I’m a CPST.

    Kids should be in boosters until they pass the 5 step test (must pass all 5 steps, and check it in each seating position they use):
    1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
    2. Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
    3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
    4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
    5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

  6. Sabrina, I pretty much go by Amanda’s list, there. My 9-year-old still sits in a backless booster, because he’s too short for the shoulder belt to fit him properly, otherwise. My 11-year-old, though still under the weight limit, is tall enough for the belt to fit her properly without a booster.

  7. I just wanted to say I love your first sentence. I feel the same way. I have been told the same thing by some other moms, too.

  8. My daughter was under the weight requirement until age 12, so we went by the list as well. To help with fit, we bought a seat belt adjuster. I love the thing, and still use it to move the shoulder belt away from my neck and onto my shoulder.

    Here’s one.

  9. I found that springing for Britax is an act of self love. The straps are much easier to deal with and less tangle prone than other models we’ve used as loaners or cheap backups.
    However, next year I’ll be faced with the choice of buying smaller car seats or a bigger car. And that’s a question of a lot more money there, isn’t it?

  10. On the bright side, as long as they have car seats or boosters they cannot fight about who sits in which spot in the car. My brothers and I got a lot of mileage out of that argument as kids.

  11. I’m 5-foot-nothin’, and I don’t think I can pass any single one of the 5 steps. 😮

  12. I love my daughter’s Britax Boulevard that we have in my minivan. She is 11 months and 20 pounds and the Chicco Keyfit we have in our Chrysler Sebring only goes up to 22 lbs so we have been looking for a Britax to fit in the chrysler as a second seat. My only problem is knowing which one will fit. I would love to get another Boulevard but the passenger seat had to be too far forward for me to sit in it..I am 5’10. Any suggestions.

    Also….car seats, even Britax car seats do have an expiration date of 6 years…this is due to the plastic and other parts breaking down over time. So car seats should only be used for 6 years max before replaced.

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