Choosing The Right Toddler Seat: The Twinpossible Twins Are Officially Forward-Facing In Britax Pavilion 70-G3 Car Seats
My (now sick 😥 ) forward-facing lil’ mamas are 30 months, 3 weeks, 2 days old
The last days of rear-facing.
After 2 and 1/2 years…30 months and 3 weeks to be exact, our little twinkies have gone from rear-facing to forward-facing in our new (but used) vehicle. Boy did we ever get our monies’ worth out of those Graco 35’s, hey? I’m proud we were able to do it for so long.
So, in the past day we have hit two milestones. Mama hit the minivan milestone. One she never thought she would ever reach before. And the twins can now see the world and a DVD in pure luxury, and FINALLY they don’t fight me to get into their seats anymore, which is a total godsend. (My back thanks you, Britax.)
I am, needless to say, very thankful they were able to rear-face for as long as they did for their own protection. It is the safest position to be in. 1 year is the absolute minimum, but the new recommendation, as I shared before in detailed article on the subject, (though seemingly impossible for some) is 24 months. Read all about rear-facing facts here.
The Britax 70-G3 Pavilions though, seem to be the safest seat you could buy for ‘less stressful’ forward-facing of still vulnerable tots. After seeing crash test videos and researching the whole topic, (again you can see that and more in my previous article), I knew we could not go with any run of the mill car seats. They are still on the petite side, and they are our babies after all. However, rich people we are not.
Originally, the plan was to buy only one seat, and for one of the twins use the Britax Marathon we had stored in case we had a girl from Mikayla. We paid just over $400 for it with tax included back in 2006 at Buy Buy Baby. We didn’t end up going that route and I’ll let you know a couple of reasons why. While her old Marathon is in great condition and perfectly usable, safe technology has only gotten better and better.
In my mind I thought to myself, ‘how do I choose who gets to go in the new, cushier, maybe even ‘safer seat’ with new safe cell technology? How would that be a fair choice to make?’ Beware chronic over-thinker here. (I’m not normal 😆 .) But alas, my pocketbook said otherwise. We had to do more thinking and more shopping..but quickly.
We went to Babies R Us. They were very limited in selection. Of course, I also wanted something a bit girlie looking. My little divas do enjoy their pink and purple colors. I was a bit flexible on the brand, but really (in my mind) was between Graco and Britax after my research. Most especially Britax because the other seat we were planning to use was one as well.
I saw a real fancy looking Graco, but to spend $299 I may as well go for the Britax at that point, right? It was pretty snazzy though, and lasts to 100 lbs.. We always choose a narrow, buckle-in booster like Sunshine Kids anyhow. The ones we went with should last us the duration.
The Jemma or Jessica Smart Seat by Graco was a close 2nd choice
20.5″W vs. 18.5” wide made a big difference
(Too wide for twins unless you drive a Suburban or something..in my opinion. Plus, at 33 lbs. it’s quite a heavy seat.)
The Graco Smart Seat was quite wide. We had to factor in the width as we didn’t want to block the aisle of the minivan that we are finally able to have and to walk down. That was huge. Evenflo and some other brands seemed very wide as well. They’d be too much for the bucket seats to handle without crowding up important space. Britax is more narrow, yet still quite spacious.
Evenflo vs. Britax
Evenflo= 20.5” wide. That extra 2 inches on both sides = 4 inches total would be too much for our minivan seats and would cause aisle overcrowding.
(Sorry I can’t show you a picture of the others for obvious reasons. These fit perfectly.)
You can tell by the photo here, exactly what I mean. If you have bucket seats stay away from anything wider than 18.5 inches wide!
Then we headed down the road to Buy Buy Baby. A posh store that has more of a selection of upscale seats, strollers, and other baby gear. Here you can actually try out the products a bit. I sat the girls in many seats. They seemed to really like the pink Pavilion Britax seat (naturally). They wanted to be seated in it over and over again and were smiling with glee.
Then mom again thought, ‘they both look happy in this one. It does have everything and more than we were looking for, or even knew about, but who would get this seat? Would they fight for it? Who knows..but more fighting is something we surely did not need.’
Then I looked at the price tag…OUCH! $349 + tax, so you are talking about nearly $400. No way we could afford two of those. (Almost $800 combined.) We got the van on the road and wanted to get them into the new seats quickly, so I didn’t want to wait two weeks by ordering online, but I made a discovery and got mega-savings in the end to boot.
I went to diapers.com. I am an affiliate but the payout is SO minimal I’m going to axe them off my site. It’s taking up too much advertising space. I will recommend them though for many things..this being one of them. They had these seats for $100 less than Buy Buy Baby and with FREE, lightning fast shipping which really was overnight shipping.
(Note about store coupons before buying ‘in store’- Don’t think you can use the 20% off Buy Buy Baby coupon, or the one from BBRUS on these seats. They won’t apply to Britax for whatever reason..I don’t know. This was a better deal anyway. Just FYI.)
The seats came next day like magic! I could not have been more impressed. I ordered them around 7 pm, they came at 4 pm the next afternoon. I did notice, thereafter, that Amazon had them at the same low price and I could have gotten some money back as being an affiliate there as well. However, I would not have gotten them quite as fast and we were SUPER eager.
At $254 and free shipping we decided jointly to buy two seats. My logic was that two of these were only a tad over $100 more than one such seat at Buy Buy Baby. It was too good of a deal to pass up. I guess we’ll keep Mikayla’s old one as a spare.
Now the girls are happily in their new Britax luxury seats for $500 and we could not be happier. If you used these from birth up..boy would you ever get your monies worth. Being that my 7 year old is 50 lbs now and this goes up to 70 lbs. and 49 inches which is about the height of a tall 7, or average 8 or 9 year old girl. I think we’ll get plenty of years out of these.
Also, I talked with the sales woman at Buy Buy Baby and these are new technology and safe as they come. It makes me feel a lot better about the fact that we really had no choice about turning them forward. I’ll be less stressed about their safety in case God forbid we ever have an accident. They technically can rear face in these until 40 lbs., but the twins have already gotten the taste of forward-facing, plus their length is likely still too much. In these seats I am much calmer now about the forward-facing choice.
I’ll do a thorough review of the Britax Pavilion 70-G3 seats once we use them a little bit more. I’ll do a video one on the old Graco 35’s as well. Here is a written Graco SnugRide 35 review I did. It’ll help out some of the new parents and parents-to-be out there.
So far, everybody is very pleased, and that makes mom happy! You really can’t put a price on safety, but saving money to boot? Heck, I’ll take that any day!
(Other prints available in this style. This happens to be girlie and also matches our grey interior. Win/win.)