Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Car Seat Fail, Again.
My husband and I experienced a sequel to our previous episode of car seat failure a few days ago. We learned that the stroller that makes up part of our travel system will not fit into the trunk of my car.
To explain the situation a little: we only have one car, my little 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit, the 2-door model. I leased the car five years ago, when I wasn't thinking about putting a child in it. I love this car and I'm not ready to give it up, so somehow, we have to make this work. For reference, the items we're working with are the Chicco Cortina stroller and the Chicco KeyFit 22 infant car seat.
I tackled this problem today while my mom watched Paxton. The photo to the left is my little hatchback, parked in my parent's driveway, with the stroller crammed into the trunk. I discovered that, by folding down one of the rear seats, I could fit the stroller into the trunk. It takes up the entire space (no small feat, the Rabbit has a very large trunk).
The problem is, we've been putting the car seat in the middle of the rear bench seat. We've also been using the LATCH base. It barely fit the car, but we could put both front seats in a relatively reclined position. Honestly, not using the seat base would mean the car seat would fit better, but we are lazy people and strapping the bucket in with the belt is a lot of work, especially in a two-door car and especially with a baby in the seat.
Here's a photo of the bucket installed with the shoulder belt, behind the passenger seat. You can see how there is a lot of room left over. You can also see something that is vaguely infuriating for me--the stroller wheels only protrude into the backseat an inch or so. If the trunk was an inch deeper or wider, the stroller would fit and I wouldn't be having this problem at all (are you listening, VW?)
Here's another photo, of the car seat installed behind the passenger seat with the LATCH base. You can see how little room there is. The base takes up a surprising amount of space:
For reference, here's a photo of my legs, taken in the passenger seat. I am far enough from the airbag to be safe, but I am not very comfortable with my knees crammed almost against the dashboard. Putting the bucket on the LATCH base on one side of the car or the other is doable, but not very comfortable for whoever has to sit in front of the seat. Granted, I do have long legs, but they're not all that long!
The kicker is that my husband, myself, my parents, and Paxton will be attending a book convention in Madison, WI in a couple of months. The stroller is a giant inconvenience--it won't fit in the Rabbit without the loss of a rear seat and it takes up the entire trunk of my mom's 2008 Jetta. I am seriously considering renting a luggage rack and strapping the stroller to the roof of my car for the trip*.
*I have other options, too, including a Moby wrap and attempting to find a used Snap-N-Go car seat frame on Craigslist. It's not the end of the world if I can't get the thing into or on top of the car, I just really like my stroller and want to take it to Wisconsin.