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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dr. Fusco,
I remember there was a thread months ago about car seats and the Prius, and that you mentioned (if I'm remembering correctly) that you got 3 car seats in your Prius. I have a 2004 Prius and a 3 1/2 month old baby. I've been using the BabyTrend Latch-Loc infant seat on the passenger side of the back seat so I could use the rigid LATCH hook thingies. Well, now I'm super paranoid about a side impact (it's my first baby - new mommy syndrome) Should I move the car seat to the middle and use the seat belt? (Why, oh why don't they put the LATCH hooks in the middle position???) Can I even get a good fit in the center, due to the slight "hump" in the seat? I went and had the car seat installation checked by one of those pros before the baby was even born and they mentioned nothing about the middle being the safest location. (I now know that it is, indeed, the safest. )

Also, which Convertible car seat fits well in the Prius? I'm thinking of something in the Britax line. . . any opinions?

Any advice from you, Dr. Fusco, or anyone else for that matter, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Suzie :D
 

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Suzie,
By all means move her to the middle. But still you can use the LATCH...just use the inside anchors for each of the side seats...they reach easily and that's how they're designed to be used.

All 3 of the seats in my Prius are attached to the LATCH anchors.
 

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Wow! 3 carseats in a row. Can you post a picture? The back doesn't seem wide enough to fit 3 carseats at once. I only see 4 LATCH points in the car. Are you using some of the LATCH points by more than one car seat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow - thanks for the prompt response!! I tried a long time ago to get the seat to reach the two inside anchors, but couldn't seem to do it - I'll try again, though - maybe just knowing it can be done will give me the strength. . . literally. Or maybe I can convince my husband to give it a try. :roll:

And what kind of convertible seat do you use?

Thanks again!
Suzie
 

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I use Britax Roundabout in my car. The Marathon was too big in height. It will fit fine, but because it's taller, I felt it was blocking my view to the back window. Also, I removed the headrest for the seat that has the car seat so that I have better view through the back window. I also use a Century convertible seat using a LATCH retrofit kit because that car seat was bought before LATCH was standard on all car seats.
 

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I don't know the model names, but all 3 seats are Gracos. I suppose it's possible that your particular seat's straps aren't long enough, but that seems unlikely...just make sure it's fully extended.

And yes, the 3 seats are attached to the 4 anchor points.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I DID IT!!! Oh, my, it was a real struggle, though. I haven't worked that hard since the day my baby boy was born!! (I think I was swearing as much as that day too!) The metal bars on the base are angled outwards now, but I called the BabyTrend customer service people and they said it "shouldn't" affect the integrity of the base. The front (towards the rear) of the base is also really big, so smushing it into the seat while trying to bend the LATCH bars was a real challenge. I dread the day I have to remove the base from the car and re-install it. (We're going on a trip in May and are flying with the carseat. . .) But I feel better now that he will be riding in the middle. I wish I had tried out the carseat when I first got it; I probably would have returned it for one that was a better fit. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20, right?

Thanks, prius4us for the info! I'll probably end up with the Roundabout as well. The Britax seats have great ratings.

Suzie
 

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BIF said:
Are those game consoles or DVD players? Those kids are travelling in style, for sure!
Those are monitors for the DVD player...you can plug a game system into it as well, but at 5 my kids aren't much into video games....yet!

I don't leave those in there all the time, it's a easily transferable system. When I took that picture I was just testing it out and had taken the family on a 2.5 hour trip (each way) so it was a good excuse to test it out.

That was a dual monitor, 7" I think, system from Wal-mart costing about $300. Very slim and convenient player sits on the hump b/w the driver and passenger seat (I stuck a piece of velcro to the bottom of the player so it doesn't slide). The colorful things are 'junk holders' for the kids' toys and such.
 

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One more thing about the Britax Roundabout. The LATCH straps on mine (bought in 2003) are very short and I noticed that the LATCH connectors in my Prius are rather situated "deep" in the seat. I had to use the entire length of the strap to reach the LATCH connectors. On the Marathon, the LATCH straps are longer so it was easier to attach than the Roundabout, although the issue with the height of the Marathon was there. Refer to my earlier post. Best thing is to try out the car seat in your car before you buy.
 

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Britax Roundabout LATCH Wrestling

I tried to get a Roundabout in the Prius and nearly broke my knuckles. The straps are just too short. I finally settled on attaching using the seatbelt. Additionally, I used the strap at the back of the car seat which hooks onto the back of the Prius rear seat. This part was easy. Of course I removed the headrest too.

This created a strong attachment but I expect I would be constantly checking the seat belt part. If this were my primary kid car I'd be very disappointed. Any suggestions on how to use this carseat w/ LATCH?
 

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Re: Question for efusco, or others with babies and a Prius.

suziecue said:
Dr. Fusco,
I remember there was a thread months ago about car seats and the Prius, and that you mentioned (if I'm remembering correctly) that you got 3 car seats in your Prius. I have a 2004 Prius and a 3 1/2 month old baby. I've been using the BabyTrend Latch-Loc infant seat on the passenger side of the back seat so I could use the rigid LATCH hook thingies. Well, now I'm super paranoid about a side impact (it's my first baby - new mommy syndrome) Should I move the car seat to the middle and use the seat belt? (Why, oh why don't they put the LATCH hooks in the middle position???) Can I even get a good fit in the center, due to the slight "hump" in the seat? I went and had the car seat installation checked by one of those pros before the baby was even born and they mentioned nothing about the middle being the safest location. (I now know that it is, indeed, the safest. )

Also, which Convertible car seat fits well in the Prius? I'm thinking of something in the Britax line. . . any opinions?

Any advice from you, Dr. Fusco, or anyone else for that matter, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Suzie :D
Put it in the middle, that's where we have ours, via LATCH. So it definately works. The car seat inspection people laughed at me, that car seat is in their TIGHT. Supposed to move less than an inch, when I was done it moved less than a 1/4". ;-) It isn't moving. We have the Graco Snugridebaby (I think), was top rated at the time I bought it at Consumer Reports. The hump fits right into the concave bottom of the base. Haven't heard of Baby Trend before.
But yes, as someone has already said, that is how the LATCH is supposed to be used; 4 hooks allows for 3 positions.
Just bought the convertable, haven't installed it yet, so I can't remember the name, but it is the currently one of highest rated in Consumer Reports. It is fairly ugly, but top rated.

Spike
 

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Excellent thread bump timing, as I'm about to install a baby seat in my car. Didn't know about the center-seat position safety premium.

Anyone have any specific experience/tips with the Prius LATCH anchors and the Graco SnugRide base? I've had the travel system we received as a gift unboxed for a few months (SERIOUS new-plastic stink that needed airing out...), and it's getting close to B-Day, so it's getting about time to install.
 

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The LATCH system in the Prius is, technically, not set up for the center seat, only the outboard seats.

BUT, I've found that the majority of the time you can get the straps to reach the inboard most anchors with just a little effort.

I don't remember the 'Snug Ride' name exactly, but we've used Graco products on the 3 kids we've had in our Prius and if it's one of those bases that stays in the car so you can use the same carrier in 2 cars and move the kid around in the carrier then we've had that and it fit perfectly in the center position.
 

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Thomme said:
Excellent thread bump timing, as I'm about to install a baby seat in my car. Didn't know about the center-seat position safety premium.

Anyone have any specific experience/tips with the Prius LATCH anchors and the Graco SnugRide base? I've had the travel system we received as a gift unboxed for a few months (SERIOUS new-plastic stink that needed airing out...), and it's getting close to B-Day, so it's getting about time to install.
Yes, I currently have the Snugride installed in the rear center position of my Prius.

Spike
 

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efusco said:
The LATCH system in the Prius is, technically, not set up for the center seat, only the outboard seats.

BUT, I've found that the majority of the time you can get the straps to reach the inboard most anchors with just a little effort.

I don't remember the 'Snug Ride' name exactly, but we've used Graco products on the 3 kids we've had in our Prius and if it's one of those bases that stays in the car so you can use the same carrier in 2 cars and move the kid around in the carrier then we've had that and it fit perfectly in the center position.
I am at work so I can't check, but I am pretty sure the manual has the bit about using the center position is fine and what it is designed for.

Spike
 

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Spike said:
efusco said:
The LATCH system in the Prius is, technically, not set up for the center seat, only the outboard seats.

BUT, I've found that the majority of the time you can get the straps to reach the inboard most anchors with just a little effort.

I don't remember the 'Snug Ride' name exactly, but we've used Graco products on the 3 kids we've had in our Prius and if it's one of those bases that stays in the car so you can use the same carrier in 2 cars and move the kid around in the carrier then we've had that and it fit perfectly in the center position.
I am at work so I can't check, but I am pretty sure the manual has the bit about using the center position is fine and what it is designed for.

Spike
I don't think there's any contraindication to using the LATCH in the center position, but the spacing is far wider there than it is for the two outboard seating positions. Further, LATCH is not supposed to be used by more than one carseat per 2 anchors (although I violate that with my kids).

I don't know (or care) what the manual says, it works for the center position and I use it there, but I think that technically it is not designed for that use as some seats do not reach those anchors at all.
 

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efusco said:
Spike said:
efusco said:
The LATCH system in the Prius is, technically, not set up for the center seat, only the outboard seats.

BUT, I've found that the majority of the time you can get the straps to reach the inboard most anchors with just a little effort.

I don't remember the 'Snug Ride' name exactly, but we've used Graco products on the 3 kids we've had in our Prius and if it's one of those bases that stays in the car so you can use the same carrier in 2 cars and move the kid around in the carrier then we've had that and it fit perfectly in the center position.
I am at work so I can't check, but I am pretty sure the manual has the bit about using the center position is fine and what it is designed for.

Spike
I don't think there's any contraindication to using the LATCH in the center position, but the spacing is far wider there than it is for the two outboard seating positions. Further, LATCH is not supposed to be used by more than one carseat per 2 anchors (although I violate that with my kids).

I don't know (or care) what the manual says, it works for the center position and I use it there, but I think that technically it is not designed for that use as some seats do not reach those anchors at all.
I know in my last car, it specifically said to use the "two from the side." Forgot to look in the Prius one on my way home.
You might very well be right about the more than one per LATCH point. If I read anything about that, I forgot it, as we only have the one.
I think the spacing is good, it makes the seat more stable. Now in our old Altima, the spacing was such that it made it hard to use the two side seats.

I would be very surprised to see anything concrete saying don't use the two outer ones to put the seat in the middle. Everyone knows that the center position of the rear seat is the safest overall on most cars, so to not include the LATCH hooks, if they are needed for proper install would be a MAJOR issue. Unless there is supposed to be some reason not to use that spot in the Prius.

Spike
 
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