In case you haven’t been following my little saga, here’s a quick summary: The week before Thanksgiving, we were rear-ended – thankfully, everyone was all right, but the car was pretty badly damaged. It’s been in the shop for repairs, and in the meantime, I spent some time trying to decide what new car seats to get. I eventually settled on the Sunshine Radian65, a convertible seat that looks a lot like a booster.
When we last left off, I had returned the Radians because they wouldn’t install correctly in our Nissan Altima, and purchased a Graco Nautilus.
The Graco Nautilus (pictured) is billed as a three-in-one car seat. It starts off as a forward-facing 5-point harness car seat for children between 20 and 65 pounds. Then it converts to a high-back belt positioning booster for children between 30 and 100 pounds. Finally, it becomes a backless booster for children between 40 and 100 pounds.
We’ve been using the Nautilus for over a week now and been quite satisfied with it. It was easy to install with LATCH, and I’m happy with how secure it is (no comparison with the Radian). There are little compartments in the armrests that can hold toys, and there’s also a cup holder, which all make the chair seem like it’s for an older child – so our 3.5-year-old loves it, of course. The buckles and belts are typical Graco, so they’re not as easy or comfortable to use as a Britax, but they are perfectly acceptable.
I was a little concerned about the recessed red handles on the bottom of the headrest (you can see one in the picture) – it seemed like they could cause injury in the event of an accident. But they really are recessed, and Marc convinced me that the seat wouldn’t be sold this way if they posed any kind of danger.
We’ve decided that we’re keeping the Nautilus for sure. I am still thinking of buying a Britax Regent for when we get the other car back, but we’ll probably just get another Nautilus. Then again, I’ve changed my mind so many times in the last few weeks that who knows what we’ll finally end up with?
Read an update to this post (1/30/09).
Image credit: Amazon.com,where you can get the Nautilus for $134.96 with free shipping.