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Old 04-06-2012, 04:18 PM   #51
snowskis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wango55 View Post
Subscribed to this thread. We are expecting our firstborn (a boy!) any day now, and just went through the exercise of installing the car seat in our new Outback over the weekend. We got the Chicco Keyfit 30 system, primarily because it was rated well, but also since my parents (who watch my two nieces from time to time) and my brother have the same seat system in their cars. As my parents will be watching my son a few days out of the week, it was convenient to have the same system since they have the bases in their car already.

We installed the seat in the rear passenger side seat, but I'm now rethinking putting it in the center seat based on posts in this thread. Will have to check to see if the latch system in the new outback will allow.
Congrats on the upcoming son! The Chicco Keyfit is the way to go for the infants. Having the bases in the car is quite convenient and the bases are easy to install with the latch and if needed the belt. The seatbelts are easy to work with and the material is easy to clean. When we had our first, we put him in the middle for safety, but it took a while to get the base secure on the middle subie seat hump. Looking back, probably would have just kept him on the side since our cars owner's manuals doesn't recommend placing them in the middle. Now we have two - our 2yr old is rear facing in a Recaro ProRide, and our 9 month old is getting close to outgrowing the Keyfit (length) and moving into her Recaro. We tend to have tall skinny kids, so we'll see how they continue to fit in the seats as they age. So far so good.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:45 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowskis

Congrats on the upcoming son! The Chicco Keyfit is the way to go for the infants. Having the bases in the car is quite convenient and the bases are easy to install with the latch and if needed the belt. The seatbelts are easy to work with and the material is easy to clean. When we had our first, we put him in the middle for safety, but it took a while to get the base secure on the middle subie seat hump. Looking back, probably would have just kept him on the side since our cars owner's manuals doesn't recommend placing them in the middle. Now we have two - our 2yr old is rear facing in a Recaro ProRide, and our 9 month old is getting close to outgrowing the Keyfit (length) and moving into her Recaro. We tend to have tall skinny kids, so we'll see how they continue to fit in the seats as they age. So far so good.
Thanks!! We are both really excited. I think I may keep the seat on the passenger side for now. We put one of those mirrors on the headrest do well be able to keep an eye on how he's doing. Also going to install the other base in my impreza. We have an appt with our local PD to make sure they are installed safely.
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:38 PM   #53
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Britax in the center rear. I won't name names, but I've seen lots of other brands that didn't impress me in a crash (firefighter for 10 years in metro atlanta). I have been through car seat training and all of the car seat safety professionals I've met say britax is the only brand they'll put their kids in.

Last edited by madkayaker; 04-08-2012 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:20 AM   #54
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I have a maxi-cosi mico in the rear center seat. Solid & no movement using the LATCH system in the sti. Maxi-cosi customer support is top notch too.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:59 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cenix
I have a maxi-cosi mico in the rear center seat. Solid & no movement using the LATCH system in the sti. Maxi-cosi customer support is top notch too.
Does the Sti have the ability to do that? In my owners manual it says the LATCH system can only be used on the side window seats...
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:13 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Syrius78 View Post
I did use graco travel system for my two kid and work great. Yes safety is a concern, but also practicability. You have to be able to remove your child from the seat.

Never got any accident, but still love the graco. Downside, I did scratch my seat, even with the protector.

Best advice, learn to install it. It's not that easy, 90 % of car seat in Quebec is not install properly. No idea in USA but should be the same. The seat is never attached hard enough. You have to use ALL your strength. I'm really not kidding. I was in the seat and pull as hard as possible. I'm a 5'8 220 pound muscular guy.

Congrat on your kid!
Agreed x 1000. Whenever we have to install/reinstall a car seat, my wife actually sits in the seat while I wrench it down.

We have a Recaro seat, my daughter loves it. Biggest gripe? No cupholders. I would recommend a baby seat with cupholders. The ones that you can buy and stick onto the side of the seat are still tough for the little ones to reach.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby207 View Post
Does the Sti have the ability to do that? In my owners manual it says the LATCH system can only be used on the side window seats...
You can use the Latch in the middle seat, just use one from each of the side seats. My daughter's Recaro is latched in so tight the whole car moves when you try to move the seat.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:06 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Bunny

Agreed x 1000. Whenever we have to install/reinstall a car seat, my wife actually sits in the seat while I wrench it down.

We have a Recaro seat, my daughter loves it. Biggest gripe? No cupholders. I would recommend a baby seat with cupholders. The ones that you can buy and stick onto the side of the seat are still tough for the little ones to reach.

You can use the Latch in the middle seat, just use one from each of the side seats. My daughter's Recaro is latched in so tight the whole car moves when you try to move the seat.
While you "can" get the middle position to work with LATCH, you are not supposed to use it like that.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:21 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Bunny View Post
You can use the Latch in the middle seat, just use one from each of the side seats. My daughter's Recaro is latched in so tight the whole car moves when you try to move the seat.
^ yes. this is what i did, and the seat base is tight and stable.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gar1013 View Post
While you "can" get the middle position to work with LATCH, you are not supposed to use it like that.
per the owner's instruction manual, you're correct. i think the biggest issue is because the center seating position is kind of propped up rather than ingressed in like the side seats, which will provide a more "stable" seating surface in which to set the child base/seat onto. really, it's not the LATCH anchor positions that's of concern (for the sti), it's the movement of the base/seat you're supposed to eliminate.

besides, i don't like the idea of having the baby on one side of the car. i feel safer knowing that the baby is in the center of the car.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:24 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madkayaker
I have been through car seat training and all of the car seat safety professionals I've met say britax is the only brand they'll put their kids in.
As a car seat technician I highly disagree with the last statement. So many other brands have met and exceeded Britax within the last five years. Britax in general except for the frontier 85 is pretty low on my top ten recommendations list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cenix
I have a maxi-cosi mico in the rear center seat. Solid & no movement using the LATCH system in the sti. Maxi-cosi customer support is top notch too.

NO. There are two sets of latch in all subarus. They are for the outboard positions only. Your lower anchors are set up like this: X___X X___X the middle two anchors are not supported by the vehicle. A seatbelt installation is the only proper method in the center seating position.

Also keep in mind that if you are only using the lower anchors the latch limit is 48lbs weight of child. If you are using the lower anchors plus the top tether then latch limits are 60lbs weight of child plus weight of seat.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:29 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cenix

per the owner's instruction manual, you're correct. i think the biggest issue is because the center seating position is kind of propped up rather than ingressed in like the side seats, which will provide a more "stable" seating surface in which to set the child base/seat onto. really, it's not the LATCH anchor positions that's of concern (for the sti), it's the movement of the base/seat you're supposed to eliminate.

This is incorrect. The center position does not allow the use of borrowing lower anchors because it has not been crash tested and/or failed crash testing. The center is not reinforced and exceeds the maximum spacing requirements for latch, another component that car seat companies need to test, majority will not allow non standard spacing because their seats do not test well with the extended spacing.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:46 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italianhunnybee View Post
As a car seat technician I highly disagree with the last statement. So many other brands have met and exceeded Britax within the last five years. Britax in general except for the frontier 85 is pretty low on my top ten recommendations list.
Interesting.... Maybe a lot has changed in the last few years, but when I went through the technician class, britax was all the rave among the instructors here in GA. Also, all it takes to be a technician is a four day class and passing a test. Almost every City of Atlanta firefighter is a technician, so it can't be too difficult of a class/test if they all passed it. We have some real knuckleheads that had no problems passing it, but like I said, maybe a lot has changed in the last few years.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:40 AM   #62
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If you don't mind me asking when was the last time you took a recertification course? (not trying to be snarky so hopefully it doesn't come off that way)

In the late 1990s and early 2000s I would have put my life on the line for Britax. They were very innovative in their early creations and well beyond their years. That being said they didn't change anything about the structure of their seats for over ten years. After viewing the transport canada (which Canada has much stricter car seat laws that the pathetic ones the us has) crash tests I could no longer hold any faith in using Britax convertible seats forward facing. There were far to many issues and the result was highly negative. Issues that Britax claim never existed yet they were right there on tape.
The new generation line has some great evolving technology but the overall shell height is lower which makes the 40lbs rear facing limit moot because they'd have to be a very below average child in height and weight to come anywhere close to 40lbs. The harness on the convertibles are 16-16.5 at their top positions thus haven't changed significantly from their previous models who's harness height maxed out at about 16 inches.
That being said the new generation models fit normal sized newborns exceptionally. I personally hate infant bucket carseats with a passion and prefer to use a rear facing convertible from birth. One primary reason people rave about Britax is because they are relatively easy to install. Of course the mis-use rate in the us is 80% right now so their aren't many seats coming through checks that are correctly installed and being used correctly.

Consumers talk about crash ratings however there is only ONE us carseat manufacture that actually releases that data to the public.

I personally work with car safe kids (the people that create the latch manual every two years and hound vehicle manufactures for information) and safe kids USA (the primary certification outlet for the us). I'm involved with webinars, hospital clinic checks (80-150 cars per day with other techs) and private checks (1-5 per week by myself). I have personally worked with local manufactures in brainstorming ideas to make their products more user friendly as well as meeting demand. I am currently working with state officials with a team of other well qualified technicians to help amend the current car seat law minimums as even though Washington state has some of the more stricter laws they are still significantly behind the times particularly in terms of safety.

Oh and for those saying you need to use your whole body and knee in the seat. This is also false information. I am barely 5 feet tall and not quite 140lbs and I can guarantee that I can get any seat on the US market installed properly with no movement at the belt path solely using the palm of my hand.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:14 AM   #63
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So what (infant) seats are at the top of your list?
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:55 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby207
So what (infant) seats are at the top of your list?
In terms of bucket rear facing only seat?

Chicco keyfit 30 is one of my favorites. It's super user friendly, easy to clean material, however the canopy isn't very large which can be an issue for some.

Safety first onboard air 35. This is one of the tallest infant seats on the market right now. Very user friendly, soft cushy material, however because it is larger it is a heavier seat to lug around.

Graco snugride 35. Also a tall shelled seat which should last quite a while. Pretty user friendly, amazing canopy however it is a heavy seat.

Graco snugride 30 this is the 'younger sibling' of the above. It is more compact for smaller vehicles yet still has a decently tall shell for longevity.

Britax b safe. This seat is nearly identical to the Chicco keyfit 30 however I've found it o be a little more difficult to install than the keyfit.

Those would probably be my top five. All in all however the best seat for you is the one you can install correctly every time, fits your car, your budget and your baby.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:15 AM   #65
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Good morning & Congrats to all those expecting & with new little ones.
I have been out of the carseat brand loop for 2yrs so I can't say much about this vs that. I do love my Sunshine Kids Radian65s. I was able at 1 point to fit 3in my 01RS. Amazing seats, 40lb rear face limit, tall shell & relatively high harness slots & 65lb front facing limit. The higher models do have more cushioning & side impact protection & all models have a sturdy metal framework. It's als the only other brand that allows for rear facing top tethering. It also folds for compact storage, say you forgot to take it out before picking friends up for a movie, take it out, fold & set in trunk.
Down falls are it's a b!tch to install, specially rear facing (&I used to be certified), the cover is hand wash only (it will fall apart on the washer, even on a delicate cycle), & the metal frame makes it very heavy.
My oldest used one til he was 7 & I got him a Britax Regent (no longer sold) as he needed the harness still, he is now 9 & in a backless booster, my middle is almost 7 & has room to grow height/weight wise but started complaining the crotch strap hurt so he just moved to a highback booster, my youngest is almost 6 & just turned front facing a few weeks ago due to height.
There is my product review, at the time I got my seats they scored high in crash tests. There was even 1 in an SUV when 3stories of a concrete parking garage fell on it, the only part of the Explorer not crushed was where the Radian was.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:36 AM   #66
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You simply cannot go wrong with Britax. Its a bit of an investment but hands down the best front facing seats i have found and was recommended by many people.


For starting out we used the Graco rear facing system. You only have to buy one car seat and then just buy bases. There other products for graco typically have the same thing where it just locks in like there child swing. I really liked it, and the investment was terrible if you have multiple cars for the little one.

Time flies by, my little booger is already 1, here he is after pillaging a cake.

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Old 04-08-2012, 12:18 PM   #67
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While reading I did see something's I wanted to comment on, I hope I can remember then all!

1. The Mighty Tight seatbelt tightened, is BAD. It uses teeth to grip the seatbelt & has shredded seatbelts. It weakens the seatbelt, so when the pressure of an accident pulls the child seat it can snap the seatbelt, giving the affect the seat was never buckled in.

2. Using center seat with lower anchors, the manufacturer says not to as this is dangerous no matter how tight you get it. This has either mot been tested for safety (and your child shouldn't be a test dummy) or when tested it failed.

3. The safest position is the one where the seat can be installed properly. That being said, when possible the center is safest.

4. Never use seat protectors, they interfere with the proper install of the seat.

5. When choosing seat positions for multiple children the least protected need to be in the center. (I'll go into protection down a little ways.)

6. The 3-in-1 or All-In-One seats only harness to between 40 & 60lbs & then boost til 100lbs & only properly boost about 50% of kids.

I know I'm forgetting one!

The most important thing about car seats is proper installation & use. Some things aren't as obvious as others. So I'm going to run down going usual suspect list of improper use.

1. Harness height, when rear facing they need to come out at or below the shoulders. For front facing at or above shoulders, but not at the ear level.

2. Straps need to lay flat, not twisted, & be 'snug as a hug'.

3. The chest clip needs to be at the chest or about nipple high.

4. Never soak the straps, it weakens them. Clean with a damp rag.

5. I know everyone here has aftermarket parts on their Subies, but on a car seat it's dangerous. If it didn't come with the seat it wasn't crash tested with the seat.

6. Coats should never be worn in a car seat. They compress in accidents & give enough toom between the straps & your child that they could slip out. If costs are needed put them on backwards after buckling the harness.

7. Every Step up in car seats is a step down in protection. Rear facing is safest to the limit of the seat. Next harness until at least 6, most children don't fit boosters younger & aren't mature enough to sit properly. Regular seatbelts are not made for children & generally don't fit until someone is 5', yes, 5' not 4' 9".

8. When using a booster or no seat the seatbelt needs to fall across the center of the chest, not riding high on the neck/face. The lap portion needs to lay across the thighs, not riding up on the soft belly. Also the knees need to bent comfortably over the edge of the seat & the child needs to sit straight up, no leaning, hunching or putting the shoulder belt behind them.

I think I hit the major points.

Most important thing about care seats is proper use. Start by finding the seat that fits your car (not all seats fit all cars) & that fits your child (some seats are better for chubby kids while others are not) & then use it properly & you will have the best seat for your child.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:21 PM   #68
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Also never use the lower anchors and seatbelt at one time, too much strain on the west can make it snap.
Seats expire, between 4 & 6yrs depending what brand.
After an accident, destroy seat & get a new one.

Now I think that's everything, hunnybee what do you think?
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:47 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by subiemommy

Now I think that's everything, hunnybee what do you think?
pretty darn close. I'll post more when I can get to a computer
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:54 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italianhunnybee View Post
If you don't mind me asking when was the last time you took a recertification course? (not trying to be snarky so hopefully it doesn't come off that way)

In the late 1990s and early 2000s I would have put my life on the line for Britax. They were very innovative in their early creations and well beyond their years. That being said they didn't change anything about the structure of their seats for over ten years. After viewing the transport canada (which Canada has much stricter car seat laws that the pathetic ones the us has) crash tests I could no longer hold any faith in using Britax convertible seats forward facing. There were far to many issues and the result was highly negative. Issues that Britax claim never existed yet they were right there on tape.
The new generation line has some great evolving technology but the overall shell height is lower which makes the 40lbs rear facing limit moot because they'd have to be a very below average child in height and weight to come anywhere close to 40lbs. The harness on the convertibles are 16-16.5 at their top positions thus haven't changed significantly from their previous models who's harness height maxed out at about 16 inches.
That being said the new generation models fit normal sized newborns exceptionally. I personally hate infant bucket carseats with a passion and prefer to use a rear facing convertible from birth. One primary reason people rave about Britax is because they are relatively easy to install. Of course the mis-use rate in the us is 80% right now so their aren't many seats coming through checks that are correctly installed and being used correctly.

Consumers talk about crash ratings however there is only ONE us carseat manufacture that actually releases that data to the public.

I personally work with car safe kids (the people that create the latch manual every two years and hound vehicle manufactures for information) and safe kids USA (the primary certification outlet for the us). I'm involved with webinars, hospital clinic checks (80-150 cars per day with other techs) and private checks (1-5 per week by myself). I have personally worked with local manufactures in brainstorming ideas to make their products more user friendly as well as meeting demand. I am currently working with state officials with a team of other well qualified technicians to help amend the current car seat law minimums as even though Washington state has some of the more stricter laws they are still significantly behind the times particularly in terms of safety.

Oh and for those saying you need to use your whole body and knee in the seat. This is also false information. I am barely 5 feet tall and not quite 140lbs and I can guarantee that I can get any seat on the US market installed properly with no movement at the belt path solely using the palm of my hand.
No worries man... not offended whatsoever. I know demeanor is hard to tell many times on forums and in writing in general. I was seriously just wanting to hear more about your reasoning and your experiences. It's been about 5 years since I've had any training. I'm a retired stay at home dad now. I just had my first baby (he's 3.5 months now). I am using a britax, because they were supposedly so amazing. Almost all of my old co-workers and firefighter buddies with children are still using britax seats for the same reasons I got one. If they aren't safe or good quality anymore, I want to know about it.

On the misuse subject, it is insane how many seats I have seen installed poorly. Sadly, I've seen baby seats with the baby in it ejected from a vehicle in an accident more that once. With a very large majority of the ones I see installed using the cars seat belt, the belt is just looped through and clipped in without being extended all of the way so it locks into place.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:04 PM   #71
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btw... I'm using the britax b safe currently.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:25 PM   #72
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another vote for britax here
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:30 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madkayaker
btw... I'm using the britax b safe currently.
Nothing wrong with the b safe or the Britax new generation line, there are just seats in the same or less price range that'll last longer in height, weight and time span.

I think the b safe is an exact copycat of the keyfit personally so I'd get the keyfit because it's less expensive for the exact same features. Just like the b agile is an exact same copycat of the baby jogger city mini stroller.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:40 PM   #74
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Seat back protectors, best investment ever!
I got these made by "Summer" on Amazon for $24.95 each. I saw my buddies MDX after 3 years with car seats, the leather was destroyed.



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Old 04-11-2012, 05:18 PM   #75
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Location: Bellevue, WA.
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2006 impreza 2.5I
OBP

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrysImpreza
Seat back protectors, best investment ever!
I got these made by "Summer" on Amazon for $24.95 each. I saw my buddies MDX after 3 years with car seats, the leather was destroyed.
Not ever recommended. They melt into your seat first of all. Secondly they provide a false install. Pop your keyfit base on with the seat protector then without unhooking the base take the seat protector out. You'll have significantly more than the maximum one inch of movement allowed.
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