How Much Does the Car Seat Weigh?
WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH THE CAR SEAT WEIGHS?
With most vehicle manufacturers now giving a weight limit for the lower anchors of 65 pounds (combined weight of child + car seat) it is now important to know how much your child’s car seat weighs. For a complete explanation on the changes to LATCH and how this affects the installation of your child’s car seat, click here.
WHAT ARE THE CAR SEAT MANUFACTURERS DOING IN RESPONSE TO THIS 65 POUND LIMIT?
- It is important to remember that this change is NOT RETROACTIVE for car seats. Therefore, you must read and refer to the car seat instructions to see what the stated lower anchor weight limit is.
- Going forward, here is what some of the car seat manufacturers will be doing (you will see these changes reflected in the owner’s manuals and stickers on the sides of their new seats):
- Has already made the change with their G4 convertibles & their new 70 & 90 Harness-to-Booster seats – and they allow the use of the lower anchors until a child’s weight of 40 pounds
- The only exception is the Pinnacle 90 which allows the use of the lower anchors until a child’s weight of 38 pounds (as this seat weighs 27 pounds).
- The NextFit weighs 25 pounds and the lower anchor weight limit of 40 pounds for the child’s weight is directly in keeping with the 65 pound limit. Chicco does not currently have any other car seats that would approach the 65 pound limit.
- For the Foonf, which is their only seat with a harness, they are recommending the use of the lower anchors + seat belt + top tether for forward facing kids who weigh 33 pounds or more. If the seat belt is used in addition to the lower anchors, Clek says that you can then ignore the lower anchor weight limit issue as the seat belt will serve as the “back-up plan”.
- For the rear-facing Foonf you must stop using the lower anchors when the child weighs more than 29 pounds.
- All Diono seats, even with superLATCH, will be required to comply with the 65 pound combined limit.
- All Diono seats have SuperLATCH – which is a stronger lower anchor connector as it has 4 metal “teeth” instead of the typical single metal “tooth”. This picture here shows regular lower anchor connector on the left and a superLATCH connector on the right. SuperLATCH has nothing to do with the lower anchors in the vehicle – it is simply a stronger means of connecting the car seat to the lower anchor in the vehicle.
- If you believe that the lower anchors in the vehicle are strong enough to hold any weight of child + car seat, then you would side with Sunshine Kids / Diono on this issue and feel comfortable using their seats with the lower anchors + tether to the maximum weight allowed for the 5-point harness (65 or 80 pounds depending on which particular seat you have). If, however, you believe that the lower anchors in the vehicle may not be strong enough to hold any weight of child + car seat, then you would choose to ignore the issue of superLATCH and would stick to the 65 pound combined weight limit. The federal government, in passing the 65 pound amendment, ruled against Diono on this topic as they have had examples of the lower anchors breaking in the crash test lab.
- Note: SuperLATCH (Sunshine Kids/Diono’s permission to use the lower anchors beyond the vehicle’s stated lower anchor weight limit) ONLY applies to vehicles model year 2006 and newer. For vehicles 2005 and older, you must consult the vehicle manual for the lower anchor weight limit.
- Will be setting their weight limit at 40 pounds (child’s weight) for all of their seats in order to have consistency throughout the brand.
- Will be setting their weight limits in increments of 5 pounds (so if a car seat weighs 18 pounds, 65-18=47, they will give you a limit of 45 pounds for the child’s weight, as they aren’t going to be using non-round numbers)
- Will be setting their weight limit at 42 pounds (child’s weight) for all of their seats except for the Smart Seat which will have a limit of 30 pounds for the child’s weight (as the Smart Seat weighs 33 pounds…)
- For the toddler seat (Toddler, Toddler G2) the maximum weight limit for the lower anchors will be a child’s weight of 40 pounds when the seat is installed with the braces, and a child’s weight of 25 pounds when it is installed with the base (as the base is heavy).
- The lower anchor weight limit issue does not apply to their infant seat as the infant seat + base are not heavy enough to ever exceed the 65 pound limit.
- Peg Perego
- Will be setting their weight limit at 43 pounds (child’s weight) for their 5-70 convertible (the only seat for which this 65 pound limit is an issue)
THE VEHICLE & CAR SEAT INSTRUCTIONS GIVE DIFFERENT WEIGHT LIMITS – WHICH ONE DO I PICK?
- Err on the side of caution and choose the lowest number between the two instructions as your lower anchor weight limit.
- Rear-facing only seats (also called infant seats) were not included in this chart as they do not weigh enough (carrier + base) to exceed the 65 pound limit… even those that accommodate 40 pound kids.
- Boosters are NOT included in this list as the lower anchor weight limits do NOT apply when kids are using boosters (a booster is where the child uses the vehicle’s seat belt across them)
- Some manufacturers, instead of giving the weight of the car seat, have chosen to give the maximum child’s weight (so you don’t have to weigh the car seat or do any math).
- If you don’t see your seat listed and/or have further questions, please contact the car seat manufacturer directly for more information.
- Includes seats sold under the following manufacturers: Alpha, Cosco, Eddie Bauer, Maxi Cosi, and Safety 1st
- The following seats are not included in the chart as they are lightweight enough that the child will reach the limit for the 5 point harness before exceeding a 65 pound limit (child + car seat weight).
- Prospect / Adjustable High Back Booster
- Alpha Luxe Echelon / Alpha Elite
- Apt 40
- Avenue / Uptown
- High Back Booster with or without arm rests
- OnSide Air
- Scenera (all models)
- Vantage Point / Surveyor / Comfort High Back