Fave seat so far! If you only want to read about Diano, skip to 3rd paragraph.
June 1, 2014
I started her with the Chicco Keyfit 30 as a tiny infant and then transitioned to the Britax Paviliion, after reading safety reviews and going into my local BBB store to ask the "seat specialists" their input. After owning the Britax for a year, here're my thoughts...
With a background in marketing I'm now convinced that Britax gives kickbacks and incentives to stores and consumer review sites for the stellar reviews they receive. Perhaps they are indeed as safe as purported; however, they are not made well for the high price point and they are a PAIN to operate on a daily basis. I don't think DD was ever comfortable in her Britax. Before there was an actual recall on the plastic "hugs", hers broke in 1/2 causing a dangerous, sharp edge jutting into her chest. We then had those replaced with the newly revised "safer material", and...in a few months those too broke in 1/2. The seat stays in one car, thus is not moved from car to car as some are, and it is not subjected to any unusual wear and tear. Additionally, the fabric began to pill and look worn quickly after we began using it. In short, I just wasn't impressed with this seat. After the 2nd "hug" split in 1/2, I called Britax (again) and they offered to send me yet another revision of the hug that was made of a more pliable material, and "should not break this time". Um, no thanks.
I returned the seat to Britax and purchase this Diano after A LOT of research. I would marry this seat if I could!! ; ) Seriously, it is perfection. Easy to get in and out of, steel sides, cozy fabric, super easy installation (I have a BMW X5) in the center seat, and she can remain rear facing longer. She's 2.5 now and has a lot more legroom in this than she did in the Britax, thus lots more room for comfortable growth while safely facing rear. I could go on and on about all the ways I'm on love with this seat, but for the same price point as the Britax Pavillion, it's just a much better product. They just don't do as much marketing...which I would love to get my hands on! I would market the heck out of these things based on Mom Feedback alone. And by the way, love Albee Baby. Always a best price point, quick mail out, and easy site to navigate without all the distractions on other sites.
Pros:Cozy seating for toddler with more legroom for longer rear-facing. Steel sides instead of plastic...you can feel that it's a sturdier barrier for her head. Can add lots of cup holders, comes with one. We only use one but if you somehow need to give your little a lot of beverage choices on a car ride, there ya go... ; )
Cons:None so far. It's heavy to lift but since that's a one time thing to get it into the car, I'll happily exchange the weight for the safety features. Not marketing well enough so too few people are aware of just how superior this brand is to others in its price point.
Best Uses:Cozy and safe long-term rear facing mid-seat car travel. Haven't folded and used on flights yet but it's a great option for when we do.