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Old 03-28-2013, 12:49 AM   #1
justhat
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Carseats in the Med

In 2007 we did a Med cruise and brought carseats for our kids for the private tours where we'd be in a regular vans, not buses. They were 11 months and 3yo at the time, but the problem I had was that the seatbelts didn't autolock, I didn't have a locking clip, and couldn't properly secure the seats.

We're doing 2 Med cruises this summer and for the private tours we're planning on bringing a backless booster for our 3yo, even though she sits in a harnessed seat at home, because of the issues I had last time with the seatbelts.

My friend is cruising with us, but spending over 2 weeks in Spain precruise and is concerned about how to restrain her 2yo in cars, both their rental for the 2+ weeks, and the private vans on the port excursions.

What have other people done for carseats in Europe? They have some kind of Evenflo carseat at home for her, not sure if there is any locking mechanism (I know my Britax seat has built in locking clips, but don't know her seat). She doesn't want her in a booster cause she's only 2.5yo, but I'm not sure what else to tell her. Clearly Europeans use carseats so there has to be an option, but I don't know what it is.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:27 AM   #2
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We have found that all rental cars in Europe have LATCH connectors just like in the US. However, taxis and shared vans (large vans, not personal-sized ones) rarely have LATCH and only occasionally have locking belts. In those cases the only option is a locking clip. We have two Evenflo seats and two Radians and all 4 have a locking clip attached to the seat itself. Looking at the back or sides of the seat, usually there is a built-in holder for a locking clip. It's easy to miss if you don't know what you're looking for. A locking clip installation is tricky and needs some practice, but if you practice a lot at home on many cars, you can get it down pretty quickly (practice practice practice!). I can do a locking clip install on a Radian in a waiting taxi in under 2 minutes. If the seat doesn't come with a locking clip, it's not hard to get one and carry it around in a purse or backpack. That would be my suggestion.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:52 PM   #3
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I haven't used car seats in the Med, but have extensively in the Caribbean. There are other car seats other than Britax who have built in lock offs, in Canada we have the TruFit but I know the US has others. (Forgive me, I'm a Canadian car seat tech so I don't know all the US seats!).
Locking clips are tricky to use, and usually require two people to install the seat. I know my car seat instructor trainer (one of the head people in Canada) can do it, but she's the only one I know with this talent . Your other option is to use the automatic locking retractor (ALR) which locks the seatbelt automatically, this is engaged when you pull the seatbelt all the way out and hear a ratcheting sound as the belt shortens.
Personally I travelled with a Britax Marathon, which had a built in locking clip. I'd strongly suggest travelling with a seat with a built in locking clip or using rental cars/car services that you know have UAS/LATCH or ALR.
If you need a new seat, Britax has a new product about to be released in the US that installs a seat with a seatbelt with literally one hand. Iirc it is to be released in the very near future on the Frontier and one other model. In Canada, we wait...
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #4
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Would the Ride Safer Travel Vest be an option? I haven't used one, but if I remember correctly I bought something similar for my son to use when we did an Alaskan cruise and had a few car/shuttle rides. We were already taking one Britax seat for my baby, so I wanted something smaller for my then-3-year-old.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:48 AM   #5
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I get the locking clip in on the Radian because you can pull the seat cushion forward and have full access to the belt path, but I do have DH hold the belt.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailingpartyof10 View Post
Would the Ride Safer Travel Vest be an option? I haven't used one, but if I remember correctly I bought something similar for my son to use when we did an Alaskan cruise and had a few car/shuttle rides. We were already taking one Britax seat for my baby, so I wanted something smaller for my then-3-year-old.
I would check into the vest... it seems a more flexible option.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:11 PM   #7
justhat
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Thanks for the suggestions, I'll pass them all along to my friend (and look into them for my 3yo).

The alr, that is an add-on device? Cause the cars we were in in 2007 didn't have that built into their seatbelts.
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