Home Blog

Graco 4Ever Vs Extend2Fit: Which One Wins?

baby in a car seat

With new research proving the need to keep children in child safety seats for longer, and new laws requiring the seats, buying a car seat for a child is no longer as simple as just buying the first one you see at the store. Parents expect more from their car seats now. They often prefer seats that will last for years, growing and adjusting with their child, so that they don’t have to go back and buy a whole new seat every six months when their child’s needs change. The Graco 4Ever and Extend2Fit child safety seats are two popular models, but which one is best? In this article, we will help you decide the Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit debate for yourself.

Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit — What Are They?

The Graco 4Ever is a car seat that works as a rear-facing seat, forward-facing seat, high-back booster seat, and backless booster seat. The Extend2Fit, on the other hand, works as a rear-facing seat, forward-facing seat, and high-back booster, but does not become a backless booster seat. While the Extend2Fit’s lack of backless booster seat capabilities is one difference, there are other features of the seats that should be compared.

Product Specs

baby on car seat

Image from Flickr

First, we’d like to look at the technical specifications of the Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit.

Rear Facing

The Graco4Ever can remain rear-facing for children up to 40 pounds. Children in Canada must be 43 inches tall or less for the rear-facing setting, while children in the USA need only be one inch below the adjuster button on the headrest when it is fully extended. Children can use the rear-facing setting of the Extend2Fit seat if they weigh 50 pounds or less. The height requirements are the same as the Graco4Ever requirements. When comparing the Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit, the Extend2Fit wins this round because of the higher weight limit for the rear-facing position.

Forward Facing

In both the Graco4Ever and the Extend2Fit, children can use the forward facing setting if they are between 22 and 65 pounds, and less than 49 inches tall.

High-Back Booster

Children can use the high-back booster setting of the Graco 4Ever seat if they are at least 30 pounds in the USA, 40 pounds in Canada, and less than 100 pounds in both countries. They must be between 38 and 57 inches tall in the USA, and between 40 and 57 inches tall in Canada. The specifications are the same for the Extend2Fit.

Backless Booster

Children can use Graco4Ever’s backless booster if they are between 40 and 120 pounds, and if they are between 40 and 57 inches tall. The Extend2Fit does not have a backless booster feature.

Harness Positions

The Graco4Ever’s lowest harness position is six inches, with an infant insert. Its highest harness position is 18 inches. The Extend2Fit’s lowest harness position is seven inches with an infant insert, while its highest harness position is 17.5 inches. When comparing the Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit, the Graco 4Ever gets a point here for the wider range of harness positions.

Seat Measurements

The Graco4Ever seat is 20 inches wide with the cup holders or 19 inches wide without. It is 28 inches tall and weighs 22.8 pounds.

The Extend2Fit seat is 20 inches wide, including the cup holders. It is 30 inches tall and weighs 18.5 pounds.

Safety Features

The comparison of safety features on the Graco 4ever vs Extend2Fit seats is equal. They both have Safety Surround Side Impact Protection, which means that the child’s head is protected from all angles. They both have EPS — energy-absorbing foam that protects the child by absorbing the impact in a crash as much as possible. They both have steel frames for durability and strength. Graco puts their car seats through testing procedures that include frontal, rear and side impact testing, roll testing, and extreme interior temperature testing.

Pricing

Both seats are very similar in price. The price also varies depending on color pattern.

Graco 4Ever

Sale
Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit 4 in 1 Car Seat | Ride Rear Facing Longer with...
  • 4-in-1 seat grows with your child, so you can enjoy 10 years of use, from 4 - 120 lb Extend2Fit 4-position extension...
  • Up to 50 lb rear-facing allowing your child to safely ride rear-facing longer plush inserts keep your child comfortable...
  • Simply Safe Adjust Harness System headrest and Harness adjust together one-hand, 10-position adjustable headrest easily...

The Graco 4Ever car seat is a seat that is designed to grow with a child from the time they are a newborn until the time that they no longer need a car seat at all. It includes two removable cup holders so that when a child is old enough to have snacks and drinks in the car, they have a nice place to set them. Safety features include a steel-reinforced frame, side impact technology, and energy-absorbing foam.

  • Ease of Use
  • Versatility
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

Most users agree that the Graco4Ever seat is easy to install, with clearly labeled and color-coded belt paths to take away the guesswork. It has only one set of LATCH straps, which have to be used in both the front-facing and rear-facing positions. When switching positions you’ll have to move them, which is not very difficult to do. The LATCH system is easy to install, and you’ll hear an audible click when it is installed correctly. The rear-facing position makes use of a bubble indicator so you can be sure that it is level when you install it. Users said that the hardest part of this seat’s installation process was tightening the seatbelt in the rear-facing position.

Converting the seat from one position to another is also simple, but needs to be done outside of the car for best results. Transitioning from rear-facing to forward-facing involves moving the LATCH connectors to the forward-facing position. Converting it to a booster position won’t require removing the harness, but simply tucking it into a special compartment on the seat. Eventually, when a child is ready for a backless booster, you remove the back of the seat.

While this car seat is durable and has lots of great features, it may not be the most comfortable seat. Some parents pointed out that the rear-facing position doesn’t recline as much as a regular infant seat. If the seat is installed in a sedan, there may be even less room to recline in. Infants who like to be in the reclining position, or who need to recline while sleeping because of issues such as GERD, might not be comfortable. The back of the seat is also hard, so once children outgrow the infant insert they might be uncomfortable, especially on longer drives. Some parents complained that their children sweated a lot while riding in this car seat. As far as being aesthetically pleasing, this car seat comes in a variety of patterns, so parents can choose the one that they or their child like best.

This unit comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Converts to four positions
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to convert
  • Wide range of harness positions
  • Many color patterns available

Cons

  • Infant position reclines less than regular infant seats
  • Difficult to rec
  • Uncomfortable back
  • Child may sweat a lot while riding

Extend2Fit

Graco Extend2Fit 3 in 1 Car Seat | Ride Rear Facing Longer with...
  • 3 car seats in 1 – Rear-facing for infants 4-50 pounds | Front-facing for toddlers 22-65 pounds and for big kids...
  • Made of Steel reinforced | Product dimensions – 20.75” D x 19” W x 24.5” H | Product weight – 19.25 lbs.
  • 4-position extension panel adjusts to provide 5 inches of additional legroom, allowing your child to ride safely rear...

The Extend 2Fit car seat is similar to the Graco 4Ever in many ways. It is a convertible car seat that grows with a child, though it does not have the Graco 4Ever’s backless booster seat feature. It also has two removable cup holders. Like the Graco 4Ever, its safety features include a steel-reinforced frame, side impact technology, and energy-absorbing foam.

  • Ease of Use
  • Versatility
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

Users found that installing this car seat using the LATCH system is fairly easy as it just snaps into the vehicle’s LATCH anchors. The seatbelt method is more difficult, especially in the rear-facing position. When comparing the Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit, it seems that the Extend2Fit’s seatbelt path is smaller and a little harder to weave a belt through. Transitioning the seat to a booster is just as easy as the Graco 4Ever’s transition, involving tucking the harness into a special compartment.

In the comparison between Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit, the Graco 4Ever has an edge in one area because it includes a backless booster seat option. This means that children can continue riding in the seat after they’ve outgrown a high-back booster seat. However, the Extend2Fit has a different edge because of its leg extender for the rear-facing mode. Because children are now expected to ride rear-facing when they are older and taller than previous generations, they need a little more leg room. Newborns and small babies won’t need the leg extender. Once children’s feet begin to hang over the edge of the seat, they can make use of the leg extender’s three positions. By the time they outgrow the leg extender, they’ll be ready to sit facing forward.

When it comes to the Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit discussion, many parents’ favorite aspect of the Extend2Fit seat is the extra ten pounds allowance for sitting in the rear-facing position. Parents also love the six reclining position options for the rear-facing seat, offering extra comfort for children. Many parents pointed out the no-rethread harness design that allows you to adjust the height of the harness and headrest without having to rethread it. One thing that parents complained about was the removable seat cover. It can be difficult to remove, and just as difficult to reattach. The fact that it can be removed at all, and then machine washed, is still a plus. The Extend2Fit has more padding than the Graco 4Ever, which is a plus for a child’s comfort but can also make them hot. Many parents also wished that this seat was less bulky.

This unit comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Easy to install using LATCH system
  • Six different reclining positions for rear-facing children
  • Leg extender with four positions
  • Children up to 50 pounds can ride rear-facing
  • No-rethread harness
  • Easy to transition to booster seat

Cons

  • Seat cover is difficult to remove and reattach
  • Bulky
  • No backless booster seat option
  • Installation using seatbelt can be difficult

Conclusion

It is difficult to compare the Graco 4Ever vs Extend2fit, when they are similar in so many ways. They are both convertible car seats with easy-to-install LATCH systems, six reclining options in the rear-facing position, no-rethread harnesses, and adjustable headrests. While the Graco 4Ever car seat converts to a backless booster seat for after a child has outgrown the high-back booster, the Extend2Fit offers leg extension and is good for an extra ten pounds in the rear-facing position. Price-wise, the two seats are very similar. It may come down to a parent’s personal preferences. If parents really want their child to ride in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible, the Extend2Fit is the obvious choice. Keep in mind that there is also a height limit for the car seat’s rear-facing position, so if your child is tall he may very likely outgrow the rear-facing position before he hits fifty pounds, anyway.

Parents should also take into consideration the fact that car seats have expiration dates. In the case of both the Graco 4Ever car seat and the Extend2Fit car seat, the expiration date is ten years after the seat is manufactured. This means if you have a newborn, by the time she is tall enough and heavy enough for a backless booster seat, your convertible seat may be close to expiring — or newer and even safer versions of backless booster seats may be on the market to replace your convertible seat. If this is the case, going with the Extend2Fit and forgoing Graco 4Ever’s backless booster seat option may be a good choice. On the other hand, if your child is three or four years old and is very close to outgrowing the height requirement for the Extend2Fit’s rear-facing option, going with the Graco 4Ever may be the more sensible choice.

There is definitely a lot to think about when it comes to choosing between the Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit. Take your time, do your research, and choose the seat that will be the perfect fit for your family. Your child’s safety is always the top priority.

When Do Car Seats Expire-Know Car Seats And Their Laws

baby sleeping in car seat

​A car seat is one of a few products you will invest in that is designed to save the life of your child. An expired car seat may not be able to adequately protect your child in the event of a collision. This article discusses car seat expiration dates and why they should be taken seriously.

Car Seats and Expiration Dates

Consider some statistics gathered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS): Since the mid-1970s, the number of children under three years old who die in car crashes has lowered by 66 percent. Similarly, the number of infants who die in crashes has dropped by 80 percent. The fatalities have decreased even though the number of children riding in vehicles has concurrently increased by 5%. 

What has changed in the past 40 years? Most significantly, it is the use of car seats and booster seats. A report by the National Institute of Health (NIH) concluded that a properly used restraint system can lower fatal injuries to a child by 70 to 80 percent.

Do Car Seats Really Expire?

child sleeping in car

Image via Flickr

Your existing car seat worked perfectly well for your older child. Why should you invest in a new one for your newborn? Aren’t car seat expiration dates just a ploy by manufacturers to scare you into spending money on a newer model you don’t actually need? Would you give your sick child medicine that expired five years ago? Of course you wouldn’t, because that medicine is no longer effective.

Your current model may still look great, but the damage done to an old car seat is not necessarily visible to the naked eye. Think about the conditions you put a car seat through. Day after day, it sits in the back seat of your car, pelted by the sun’s damaging rays. If you live in a cold climate, it is subjected to extreme weather as your car is stationed in your driveway or a parking lot. Car seats are primarily made out of plastic. Have you ever mistakenly left a toy outside for an extended period of time until it was damaged beyond use? Have you noticed that your lawn furniture begins to deteriorate after a few years of consistent outdoor wear and tear? As durable as they are, plastics do break down over time. They crack and tear, and parts become loose. When subjected to the stress of a car crash, brittle plastic is not dependable. 

The car seat is one of very few products that is specifically designed to save your child’s life. New design features are being created every day in order to increase its effectiveness in doing just that. Today’s professional football players don’t use the same helmets as their 1960s counterparts. Over the years, helmets have been tweaked and improved to keep the players as safe as possible. Apply that same logic to car seats. It is important to take advantage of the latest in technology to keep your children as safe as possible. If you wouldn’t send your child onto the field in a 1960s football helmet, why would you place him or her in an outdated car seat? Take a look at a car seat that was designed five to 10 years ago and compare it to a brand-new model. You’ll notice differences in design and materials.

If your vehicle is a 2003 model or later, it is equipped with the LATCH system. LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. The system allows you to attach your child’s car seat to the car using secure metal anchors. Car seats must be tightly secured in the car so that even pushing or pulling on them cannot move them more than an inch. The LATCH system is designed to increase that security and keep your child as safe as possible in the case of an accident. All car seats manufactured after September of 2002 are designed to be compatible with LATCH.

child sitting in car seat

Image via Flickr

Many car seat manufacturers fit their products with safety features that exceed the current federal standards for safety. These features that are considered extras today will likely become federally mandated in the future. Thanks to industry research, crash tests, and advancing technologies, car seats will continue to feature new innovations year after year.

Consider the SafeCell Impact Protection technology from Britax. It is a combination of parts that work together to keep your child secure. It is designed to absorb energy and limit movement in a collision. Side impact protection shields your child from flying debris and absorbs crash forces. It provides extra protection for your child’s head and neck. An impact-absorbing base counteracts forward movement so that your child does not collide with the front seat upon impact. An impact-stabilizing steel frame provides extra strength. 

Britax’s ClickTight system is designed to provide even easier and more secure installation than LATCH. The system has no weight restrictions and uses only the car’s existing seat belt path for secure attachment. Unlike LATCH, it can also be used in the car’s center and third row.  

How Do I Know if My Car Seat Has Expired?

Generally, most car seats expire around six years after their initial release, though some can be used for up to ten years. To find out if your specific seat has expired, check the manufacturer label on the unit. This is usually located on the bottom or on the side of the car seat. If you can’t find a label, check the instruction manual that came with the seat. If you still can’t find the information, call the manufacturer directly. With certain models, some parts can expire before others. Make sure you have the complete expiration information about your model before trusting it with your child’s safety. 

It is also possible for an older model car seat to be recalled due to faulty parts or operation without you being aware of it. Therefore, it is imperative to stay on top of any news about your specific model. You can check for any recall information on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website at safercar.gov. You can also register your car seat with the site and sign up for updates and recall notices. Some organizations, like hospitals or local police departments, offer free car seat inspections. Their technicians can examine your car seat, show you how to use it properly, and help you choose a new one if necessary. Your local American Automobile Association (AAA) can help you locate an inspection station near you.

child laughing in car seat

Image via Flickr

What Are the Federal Standards for Car Seat Manufacturers?

Car seat manufacturers must design their products to meet specific NHTSA mandated performance standards, also known as the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. Most importantly, each child restraint system must pass a test that simulates a collision at 30 miles per hour. Additionally, the system must meet flammability requirements, have adequate buckle release pressure, and meet certain requirements for padding around the head area of the seat.

LATCH systems on car seats must have two distinct sets of features. The first set is lower anchor connectors that replace seat belt installation. The second set is tether connectors designed to reduce forward motion upon impact. This second feature is not a requirement for rear-facing car seats. 

Finally, each car seat must also have a visible label that lists instructions for installation and use, verification that it has passed required safety tests, the name and address of the manufacturer, and the date the product was manufactured.

What Are the Car Seat Laws?

Each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have car seat laws on their books. These laws require that children under a certain age must be placed in an appropriate child restraint system when traveling in a vehicle. However, the specifics of the laws vary from state to state. You can find the exact laws of your state by visiting the IIHS website at iihs.org.

It is a parent or driver’s responsibility to ensure that a child is properly fastened when riding in a vehicle. Depending on the state, failure to adhere to the law can result in monetary fines. Some states penalize noncompliance by giving drivers points on their licenses. 

Minister of Transport placing child

Image via Flickr

Generally, children aged two or younger should be placed in a rear-facing car seat. This is a recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In fact, the NHTSA recommends that you keep your child in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible. Once your child physically outgrows a rear-facing seat, it is time to switch to a forward-facing seat with a tether and a harness. A child typically outgrows a forward-facing seat between 4 and 7 years old, depending on his or her weight and height. At this point, it is time to use a booster seat. A booster seat should be used until the child is big enough to safely use a regular seat belt.

When driving, your child is your most precious cargo. Expiration dates on car seats must be taken seriously; they are meant to help keep your child as safe as possible while out on the road. Even the most safety-conscious drivers are not immune to vehicle collisions. Your choice of car seat is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a parent to a young child. Don’t make the mistake of trying to stretch the life of your current model. If your car seat has expired or is about to expire, it is time to invest in a new one. Not only will your child be safer, but you’ll enjoy peace of mind that you’re doing everything in your control to keep him or her secure.

Featured Image: Flickr

Britax Marathon Expiration: Know Car Seat And Their Laws

britax marathon car seat and expiration

If you are a new parent or grandparent, you may not know that car seats, like many other products, have expiration dates. This article will help you understand more about Britax Marathon expiration dates and the laws regarding their use.

Britax Marathon Car Seats

Sale
Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat | 1 Layer Impact...
  • Easy installation: patented click tight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
  • No rethreading, ever: 14 position harness, 2 position buckle for a comfortable Fit as your child grows. Child seated...
  • Relax and recline: 7 recline positions ensure comfort and the best vehicle installation angle

Britax creates several different styles of car seats including infant, convertible and booster to accommodate different sizes of children. An infant car seat is only rear-facing and can fit children up to 35 pounds or 32 inches. The Marathon style has been on the market for many years and is strictly a convertible car seat, which means that it can change from rear-facing to front-facing as your child grows.

However, the car seat only accommodates children up to 65 pounds in weight or 49 inches in height. Beyond this, you will want to move your child into a booster seat. Britax has two newer convertible designs called Emblem and Allegiance that have similar functions but a new design and some more enhanced safety.

Britax Car Seat Model Expiration Dates

All Britax car seats come with expiration dates displayed on the seat back or side. Different seats have slightly different life expectancy dates. For instance, their infant car seats and belt-positioning booster seats have an expiration date of six years. Their convertible car seats expire approximately seven years after creation. The Harness-2-Booster and Click-Tight convertible seats have expiration dates of nine and 10 years, respectively.

Why Have Expiration Dates on Car Seats?

There are several situations in which people may decide to give you a car seat. You are having your first baby, and some friends want to gift you with their old car seat to save you some money. You had a baby many years ago and are now having a second or third, and you have saved all of your baby gear for the next child. Your parents will be driving your child around, and they need a dedicated car seat so that you are not constantly shifting the car seat between cars. These situations may be perfect opportunities to save money on a used or older car seat, but you will want to make sure that the car seat is not expired.

While many people think that car seat expiration dates are a ploy by manufacturers to create an artificially small life span for these big plastic buckets with cushions, there are several very important and lifesaving reasons for car seats to expire routinely.

Upgraded Safety Features

As mentioned earlier, the Marathon car seat has been in production for many years. While it has received upgrades over these years, the model itself has not changed much. Companies continually learn more about how to keep children safe during accidents. They then apply this knowledge to newer car seat models. The newer seats may have slightly different padding or harness mechanisms that keep children even safer than the previous models. In fact, Britax has just released two new convertible car seat models with the latest technology available. They boast similar but upgraded technology:

Safety Cell – this transfers energy away from the child in case of an impact.

Stabilizing Steel Frame – provides more seat stability and the ability to absorb crash energy.

Impact-Absorbing Base – designed to compress in the event of an accident and redirect crash energy away from the child.

V-Shaped Tether – intended to reduce the rotation of the seat in the event of an impact and also slows any forward movement of the seat.

Recalls

Due to the constant influx of data through crash testing in both real-life situations and during crash tests, the company continually monitors the safety of models that are currently on the market. They will recall any seat or part that is deemed unsafe within the expiration date of the model. Even the best seats occasionally have recalls. In 2007, Marathon seats had a recall for the safety clip on the harness. The company provided new clips to anyone who needed them. However, companies cannot be responsible for recalls on their products indefinitely, especially considering how much safety technology changes over time. The seats of the 1990s and early 2000s are much less safe than the ones today but were deemed to be suitable for their time.

Replacement Parts

Similar to recalls, companies cannot continually produce parts for seat models that they no longer build. By having an expiration date approximately six to 10 years after manufacture, companies can mitigate the number of replacement parts that they must always have on hand for older models.

Unknown History

While used car seats may seem like a great deal, unless you know the history of the seat you may be gambling with safety. Car seats that have been in accidents may find their way back to the marketplace. Any seat that has been in an accident should be immediately discarded since there could be unseen damage.

Unseen Damage

As was discussed earlier, car seats that have unknown histories can have unseen damage. You often do not know how these seats were used or stored. For instance, after the other person’s child became too big for the seat, it could have sat in a garage or carport for an extended period. While not directly exposed to the weather, it could have been exposed to extremes in temperature.

In addition, car seats undergo extreme temperature shifts by remaining in a vehicle for extended periods of time, up to years. Consider the fact that during the summer, temperatures in vehicles can reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is enough to kill a person or animal. It is also enough to cause plastic fatigue since the car seat will then cool off once the driver gets in and turns on the air conditioning. In the winter, there are similar dips in temperature. These constant hot and cold temperature shifts can cause unseen damage to the plastic base. While car seat manufacturers admit that they normally do not see this kind of material fatigue for at least a decade after manufacture, the point is still an important one to consider.

The Law

There are no laws that state that you cannot use an expired car seat. Laws are written in much more general terms than that. These laws allow police officers to interpret and apply the law as necessary. While a police officer will most likely not stop your car to check the expiration date on a car seat, he or she may check the seat if your car is involved in an accident. The laws in many areas say that all car equipment must be used within the safety regulations set forth in the owner’s manual. A car seat owner’s manual will have the expiration date listed; therefore, if you have an expired car seat in your car, you are using the equipment in an unsafe manner and can be cited for its use.

Car Seat Disposal

Similar to using the car seat correctly, the seat must also be decommissioned properly as well. Once the car seat is beyond the expiration date, it cannot be sold or used. One way to properly dispose of the seat is to take it to a retailer during one of their baby equipment buyback events. This will prevent you from having to disassemble the seat, and you will get some discount on new equipment. The other way to dispose of the seat is to disassemble it completely. You should remove the harness straps and seat cover.

Unless you have a non-car-seat use for them, you can cut them so no one else may use them and place them in the trash. Next, you should remove any metal hardware using a screwdriver. These pieces can be recycled in metal recycling. Finally, you should check with your local plastic recycler to see if the seat can be placed in the recycle bin. If not, write the word “expired” in large print with a permanent marker and place the entire seat in the trash can. By taking these extra steps, you can ensure the safety of other people’s children so they are not inadvertently using an expired car seat.

Conclusion

Car seats are an important safety barrier between children and car collisions. The Britax Marathon expiration date is an important part of this safety feature. The company does not want consumers using outdated or unsafe seats. While we don’t often want to think about the worst-case scenario, we can feel more confident about safety if children are buckled up correctly in a non-expired car seat.

Unlike food expiration dates where we can assess the freshness and quality of the item, car seats cannot be visually assessed for material fatigue and unseen damage. Also, the law requires that children be seated in car seats that match their height and weight and that the car seat is used within the guidelines of the user manual. For all these reasons, be sure to check the expiration date of any car seat that you obtain or purchase.

Eddie Bauer Car Seat Expiration Dates: Know Car Seats And Their Laws

Eddie Bauer Car Seat and Expiration Dates

Placing your child in a vehicle already presents inherent risk despite how safely you might drive. In a sense, you are putting your child’s life in the hands of complete strangers. To bring you the most ease in this kind of situation, the best choice you can make is to ensure that you are familiar with the current car seat laws and standards. It’s also important to make sure that your chosen car seat is up to par and certainly not past its expiration date.

Depending on the model of car seat, expiration dates can range from six to 10 years. For example, Eddie Bauer car seat expiration dates can vary depending on the date of manufacture. If the car seat was created before December 2013, your warranty might only be valid for six years, while newer models made after January 2014 likely range from eight to 10 years. To be absolutely certain, you can refer to the sticker that you can find on the seat itself, the owner’s manual, or you can give the manufacturer a call and ask them.Purchase Date Vs. Manufacture Date

Purchasing a product that has the ability to expire presents a risk in and of itself. It seems logical to assume that the product will expire from the date you purchase it; however, the real expiration date is based on when the product was produced. This can be an especially tricky situation if you plan on buying a model from the previous year. However, if your child is going to outgrow the car seat before it expires, this doesn’t pose as much of a possible liability, but if your family’s expanding, or you intend on your child using the car seat for years to come, you will likely benefit most from purchasing a newer model.

5 Reasons To Replace a Car Seat When It Expires

It can be a common thought process that some manufacturers develop warranties and expiration dates as a tactic to guarantee that they will consistently be making money, particularly when it comes to putting out new models of their products. Though this can be true in some cases, when it comes to car seats (like car parts), newer models are a matter of restoring security and safety as much as possible when facing unpredictable situations on the road.

Some people might argue that years ago, children didn’t have car seats and seemed to manage just fine. What most people probably don’t realize is that since 1975, it’s been noted that the number of kids killed in car accidents has dropped 80 percent, even though there’s been a five percent boost in the total number of kids riding in cars.

1) Overall Weathering of Materials

As with most plastic-based objects, exposure to extreme temperatures degrades the integrity of both the function and the appearance of the object. When this object is primarily responsible for the protection of a human life, it should be of great importance to guarantee that the materials are able to operate to their full capacity. The belts for the car seat can also become less taut over time, which can be especially detrimental in the unfortunate case of a car accident.

2) Potential of Recalls

Unless you register your car seat (either with your car seat’s manufacturer or the registration card that comes with your car seat), you will not be notified if the car seat gets recalled for any reason. As with car parts, this isn’t typically something that a person thinks to look at on their own. The best way to prevent any mishaps with the state of your car seat is to register your car seat as soon as you buy it and to refrain from purchasing used car seats regardless of how tempting and cost-effective it might seem.

3) Technological Advances and Higher Standards

When it comes to the development of new automobiles, companies consider data gathered from crash tests as well as the general progress of the materials used to make the car seat. The design and creation of the end product are not to be taken for granted either. Unfortunately, the convenience of purchasing a used car seat can outweigh this fact for some people, or perhaps they aren’t aware of why car seats expire. Though understandable, it can be risky considering that, if the car seat is older, it might not contain crucial elements of car seats today.

4) Limited Safety Guarantee

Like most products, car seats have a set amount of time that they’re promised to deliver their intended outcomes (otherwise known as a warranty). The issue with keeping a car seat that’s expired is not only that you’re putting your child’s well-being in jeopardy but also that you aren’t able to hold the company accountable for any potential mishaps. To eliminate this possibility altogether, make sure that the car seat you’re using is in line with the current standards and isn’t expired.

5) Inability To Replace Parts

As car seats improve both in the materials used and various advances in functionality, it’s likely that manufacturers will rid their inventory of older parts. If you decide to hold onto a car seat that’s expired and one of the parts ends up needing to be replaced, it’s possible that the likelihood of you tracking down a place to purchase that part will be reduced. In fact, as time passes, it’s more than likely that you’ll need to buy a new car seat anyway.

Different Types of Car Seats and Their Laws

Though car seat laws tend to differ by state, and can often be inadequate, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) frequently updates their standards based on updated information and research. To choose the best car seat for your child, you will have to consider both their age and size.

1) Rear-Facing Car Seats

Your infant or toddler is required to remain in a rear-facing car seat until they are two years old or reach the weight and height limits located on the car seat. There are two choices of rear-facing car seats: infant-only and convertible. Convertible car seats offer a higher weight and height limit, but there are infant-only car seats that have weight limits up to 35 pounds.

2) Forward-Facing Car Seats

The transition to a forward-facing car seat will typically happen when your child turns two years old or outgrows their rear-facing car seat. They will, however, need to wear harness straps until they meet the height and weight requirements on their new car seat. These requirements typically fall between 65 to 80 pounds.

3) Booster Seat

Once your child reaches the limits of the forward-facing car seat with the harness straps, they are able to shift to a belt-positioning booster seat. All that’s left before moving to a seat belt is meeting the final height and weight requirements.

4) Seat Belt

Kids are able to move to a seat belt when they are old enough and meet the requirements of the seat belt. These requirements often involve being at least 4’9” (or 57 inches tall) and being between the ages of eight and 12 years old. The reasoning for the specificity of these requirements is that it’s important that the lap belt rests on the child’s upper legs and the shoulder belt fits snugly against the chest.

Determining Readiness For a Seatbelt

One of the most important things you can do is making sure that you are familiar with the standards of graduating from a booster seat to a seat belt. Your child won’t be ready to use only a seat belt until their knees remain bent when they sit at the seat’s edge. Their back must be against the seat without slouching. When it comes to the shoulder and lap belt, it’s especially important that these lay in the appropriate positions. The lap belt should rest across your child’s upper thighs, not their stomach, and the shoulder belt should fit snugly against their chest, not their neck.

Proper Tightness Is Optimal

To minimize the potential for injury if an accident were to occur, making sure your child’s car seat or booster seat is secure and connected correctly is crucial. If you are able to move the seat from the bottom more than an inch, it’s not installed tight enough.

Be Aware of Frequent Oversights

It’s not abnormal for a parent to assume they know what’s best for their children in most situations. This isn’t a bad thing or inaccurate by any means, but there are some standards that come from the manufacturing side of things that are important for parents to follow and be aware of. Common mistakes include: harness straps being too loose, the wrong seat being chosen for the child’s size and age, failing to keep rear-facing car seats at a 45-degree angle, and not using a latch when it’s present.

Do Your Research and Guarantee Satisfaction

Be relieved by your child’s first or next car seat by doing a sufficient amount of research and comparing products accordingly. A higher priced car seat won’t make much of a difference when it comes to an expiration date, so it’s wise to choose your child’s car seat based on the usage you intend on getting out of it.

Britax Marathon 70 Expiration: Know Car Seats and Their Laws

britax marathon 70 expiration

If you are like most parents, you know how dangerous the road can be. Still, you have places you simply must go. When you leave the house, you often take your children with you. If they aren’t old enough or large enough to use your vehicle’s seat belts, you must invest in a car seat to keep them safe until you reach your destination.

Britax Marathon 70 car seats have been popular with parents for years. These seats provide a safe, comfortable way to transport your precious cargo. Did you know Britax Marathon 70 car seats expire, though? In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about the expiration date of your Britax Marathon 70 car seat.Continue reading to learn how to calculate your car seat’s expiration date and what to do when Marathon 70 expires.

What Is a Britax Marathon 70 Car Seat?

Britax Marathon 70 Car Seat

The Britax Marathon 70 car seat is a convertible car seat. That is, you may install the seat in either a forward-facing or rear-facing application. For children weighing between five and 40 pounds, installing the seat in its rear-facing configuration is appropriate. Children between 41 and 70 pounds may ride in a forward-facing Britax Marathon 70 car seat. The seat is generally not appropriate for children who weigh more than 70 pounds. Also, the Marathon 70 is only suitable for kids who are under 49 inches tall, regardless of weight.

Protecting children during automobile collisions is a top priority for all parents. The Britax Marathon 70 does a good job at safeguarding the wellbeing of young passengers. The seat features innovative head, shoulder and back protection. This includes patent-pending SafeCell technology, reinforcing steel bars and revolutionary restraints to hold small riders in place during front-facing accidents.

The Marathon 70 also has side-impact protection.

Parents love the Britax Marathon 70 car seat for many reasons. In addition to its safety features, the seat offers a comfortable place for children to rest when they are on the road. It also comes in some elegant and fun designs. As such, the seat doesn’t take away from the overall styling of your vehicle.

When Does a Britax Marathon 70 Car Seat Expire?

Every Britax car seat has a manufacturer’s label on it. This label tells you when the car seat was made. On the Britax Marathon 70, the label is either on the back of the seat or on one of the harnesses. You must remember that calculating the Marathon 70’s expiration date depends on counting forward from the seat’s manufacturing date, not the date you purchased the car seat. There may be a significant discrepancy between the two dates, so be sure you find the label and determine when the seat was manufactured.

As a convertible car seat, the Britax Marathon 70 has a lifespan of seven years. This is different than other Britax car seats. For example, infant seats have a useful life of six years and booster seats last for nine years.

Even though seven years is a long time, your Britax Marathon 70 car seat may expire before your child outgrows it. Also, Britax Marathon 70 car seats effectively expire when they are in moderate or serious collisions. Even if a post-wreck car seat looks fine, it may have sustained damage during an accident. Often, tiny cracks and other imperfections occur that are difficult to see. Continuing to use the seat after a wreck can be dangerous to your child.

Why Do Britax Marathon 70 Car Seats Expire?

When you shop for groceries, you likely pay close attention to the expiration dates on perishable items. This makes sense, as feeding your family expired produce or other foods can make your loved ones sick. Expiration dates on car seats work in much the same way. Seat manufacturers use them to keep your children safe on the road.

Unlike food, which tends to rot after its expiration date passes, expired car seats often look perfectly fine. Nonetheless, car seats can degrade over time. Since child restraints often live in parked cars, they experience extreme temperature swings. Hot and cold temperatures break down plastics and other materials found throughout your Marathon 70 car seat. While you may not notice any degradation, the seat may no longer be safe after its expiration date.

Safeguarding against degradation isn’t the only purpose of car seat expiration dates. As you likely know, safety standards change all the time. As technologies advance, older car seats may not be as safe as newer models. By assigning an expiration date to its Marathon 70 car seat, Britax ensures parents upgrade to modern seats periodically. This allows parents and children to benefit from new safety features.

Also, expiration dates help to take pre-owned car seats out of circulation. While this is nothing inherently wrong with strapping your child into a secondhand car seat, doing so could be a big mistake. Because you don’t know the history of pre-owned seats, you can’t be certain they have not survived moderate or severe collisions. Remember, car seat damage during automobile accidents is often imperceptible. Just because you can’t see cracks or stress fractures does not mean the car seat is safe to use. Unless you know the usage history of a car seat, it is best not to place your child in it. Because car seats have expiration dates, parents are less likely to rely on a hand-me-down seat.

What Should You Do With Your Expired Britax Marathon 70 Car Seat?

When your child’s Britax Marathon 70 car seat expires, you have a decision to make. The seat’s manufacturer suggests you discontinue using the seat. Of course, doing so is up to you. You may determine that the seat continues to be effective. Using an expired seat is likely to be better than not using a child restraint at all.If you can, however, you should consider replacing your child’s Britax Marathon 70 car seat before it expires. When you are ready to purchase a replacement seat, you must think about your child’s weight and size. You may want to upgrade to a different convertible seat or booster if your child has grown considerably. If not, you may decide your Britax Marathon 70 expiration is a good time to buy a new Marathon 70 seat.

As a diligent parent, you want to be certain your expired car seat does not end up in another family’s vehicle. Often, expired car seats find their ways to secondhand stores. You can help retire your outdated car seat, though. We recommend taking the following five steps.

Destroy the webbing and cover. Other parents are unlikely to use a car seat that looks like it is in rough shape. When you are decommissioning your expired Britax Marathon 70 car seat, cut out the webbing, padding and cover. Not only does this make the seat look bad, it makes it uncomfortable to sit in.

Cut through the harnesses. A car seat that is missing its restraints is unusable. When you are ready to retire your Britax Marathon 70 car seat, try to cut through the harnesses.

Black out the serial number. Car seats cannot pass inspection if they don’t have a readable serial number. Likewise, secondhand stores often refuse to sell seats that don’t have clear manufacturing information. By blacking out or removing the seat’s serial number, you decrease the likelihood that a thrift store will try to sell your expired Britax Marathon 70 car seat.

Write “expired, do not use” on the seat. The best way to tell other parents that a car seat is expired is to write “expired, do not use” on the seat. Grab a black permanent marker and make the message as large and clear as you can.Throw the seat in the garbage or take it to a recycling center. Finally, you can ensure your expired Britax Marathon 70 car seat doesn’t find new life with another family by throwing it away or taking it to a recycling center. It can be tempting to drop old items off at a secondhand store. If a car seat has reached the end of its useful life, though, donating it is irresponsible.

Why Should You Not Ignore a Britax Marathon 70 Car Seat Expiration Date?

For all parents, child safety is a top concern. Because expired Britax Marathon 70 car seats may have defects or outdated technology, you may put your young passengers at risk by ignoring expiration dates. Further, failing to properly dispose of an expired car seat may put other children at risk. Both are unacceptable.Parents are busier than ever and keeping track of car seat expiration dates can be challenging. Fortunately, the task isn’t tough. Once you locate the date of manufacturing, you can likely set a digital reminder to encourage you to purchase a replacement seat. Remember, for peace of mind, you must be sure your child is properly strapped into a good car seat. You also must be certain the seat isn’t expired. With a bit of effort, you can likely accomplish both goals.