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Official Model S Child Seat Thread - reviews, pictures, and discussion

commasign

TeslaAdviceBlog.com
Aug 31, 2013
3,202
4,298
Davis, CA
Lets talk about car seats!

We bought a Radian RXT for our 4 year old a few months back based on online reviews describing it as one of the narrowest seats on the market. It fits quite well even on the NextGen rear seats which have thick bolsters. We just had our second child two months ago and have been using our old Graco infant travel system in the middle seat and it's been fine, but eventually our son will outgrow it so I went ahead an ordered a second Radian RXT.

Verdict: It fits. Definitely can fit 3 of these car seats across. However, at least in the NextGen rear seats, because the outer bolsters are so prominent, it sort of prevents the car seat bases from being placed outwardly enough to keep all the seats vertical. In other words, the two outer seats would be fanned out a little at the top, i.e. tilted a few degrees outwardly. I'm not sure if the outer bolsters are the same on the textile or standard leather seats.

Anyone know of any even narrower car seats that can definitely fit 3 across without issue?

IMG_5617.JPG
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,028
1,025
I use the same seat, it's the narrowest that I've found because of the adjustable bolsters on the car seat itself. I don't need to put 3 side-by-side, though - only one in the middle (and two of the four boys in the very back, third row seats).
 

JST

Active Member
May 23, 2013
1,560
228
I bought a Recaro Performance Booster seat hoping to use it in the Tesla, and it does not work--the footprint is too wide, and it obscures the seatbelt receivers.

Performance BOOSTER - RECARO Child Safety

We're using a different Recaro booster now (the ProBOOSTER), which it looks like they do not make anymore. The Probooster is nice because it has a very narrow base (in fact, I think they are a favorite with the Porsche 911 set for this very reason).

Recaro ProBOOSTER Car Seat - Blaze
 

davidc18

Active Member
Apr 25, 2015
1,842
1,288
Ft. Lauderdale
We have to standard rear seat and with two child seats in the back, there is not really any room for a 3rd person. We have tried all several different seats (including the radian) and nothing really made a difference. We have come to accept that the tesla, with two child seats, is only a 2+2 vehicle. When we have to travel with any of our older children, we have to use the Honda Odyssey. Part of the problem we have is the way Tesla has recessed the seat belt buckles into the seats. Its the same for the latch system. I'll post pictures of the tesla and the honda to show the differences.
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,028
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Oh yes - one other point... in the early manuals, Tesla said 2 child seats maximum in the rear seat connected to the LATCH system. I don't know if that changed since, but that might be an issue for someone who wants to place them 3-abreast.

- - - Updated - - -

I bought a Recaro Performance Booster seat hoping to use it in the Tesla, and it does not work--the footprint is too wide, and it obscures the seatbelt receivers.

I have seatbelt extenders permanently left in my car's seatbelt receivers so my son can buckle himself easily in his booster without having to navigate the LATCH strap and side of the booster.
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
Oh yes - one other point... in the early manuals, Tesla said 2 child seats maximum in the rear seat connected to the LATCH system. I don't know if that changed since, but that might be an issue for someone who wants to place them 3-abreast.

Hasn't changed. BUT you can LATCH 2 seats in, and use the seat belt for the third, IIRC from the manual.

I have seatbelt extenders permanently left in my car's seatbelt receivers so my son can buckle himself easily in his booster without having to navigate the LATCH strap and side of the booster.

That's clever.
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
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Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
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They're short (9" I think) and made of solid cable rather than floppy belt material, so they basically stand straight up; don't get in the way; and are easy for him to find.

- - - Updated - - -

Here's what I used:
Amazon.com: 8 wide metal tongue) - Buckles Right In!: Automotive

From the Amazon product page (non-Tesla picture):
View attachment 89695

Maybe I'm not picturing it correctly, but would this work with a booster seat that's wider than the seatbelt thingy-ma-bob (I have no idea what the technical term is, the black and red thing in your photo)?

Or does this only work for the narrow booster seats, just makes it easier for your kids to buckle in themselves? (my kids love to buckle their car-seats in, they're disappointing that it's harder to buckle up in the trunk seats, and my daughter doesn't like using a booster in my car because I have to buckle her in)
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,028
1,025
Maybe I'm not picturing it correctly, but would this work with a booster seat that's wider than the seatbelt thingy-ma-bob (I have no idea what the technical term is, the black and red thing in your photo)?

Or does this only work for the narrow booster seats, just makes it easier for your kids to buckle in themselves? (my kids love to buckle their car-seats in, they're disappointing that it's harder to buckle up in the trunk seats, and my daughter doesn't like using a booster in my car because I have to buckle her in)

The shaft of the extension (the black shrink-wrapped thing) flexes enough to work around a wider booster seat. If I had my car right now, I'd take photos for you, but it's at the body shop getting fixed from Bambi's stupidity. Our booster is the basic $20 Graco backless booster from Wal-Mart.
 
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JST

Active Member
May 23, 2013
1,560
228
I mean, I literally couldn't get it to buckle because the seat was in the way. EDIT: I've thought about the belt extenders, which do look great from a convenience standpoint, but I haven't been able to get comfortable with the idea that they are as safe as the OEM hardware.
 
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FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,028
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I mean, I literally couldn't get it to buckle because the seat was in the way. EDIT: I've thought about the belt extenders, which do look great from a convenience standpoint, but I haven't been able to get comfortable with the idea that they are as safe as the OEM hardware.

I had some similar concerns, but I put them through their paces - I looked at their construction, I plugged them in and gave them jerks and twists to see if they would come out or break. I don't believe they're as safe as the OEM hardware (after all, any time you add something to a system that isn't specifically boot-and-suspenders resiliency, it's not going to be), but then I'd have to deal with the fact the Tesla seat belt locations suck and I'd be buckling my children manually until they were 10 years old! I feel comfortable that they're safe enough.

Then again, when I was in high school, I rode to sports meets in the back of a van on the floor behind the rear seats, because the van didn't have enough room for the entire team and I was the most junior member. :)
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
I mean, I literally couldn't get it to buckle because the seat was in the way. EDIT: I've thought about the belt extenders, which do look great from a convenience standpoint, but I haven't been able to get comfortable with the idea that they are as safe as the OEM hardware.

With my daughters booster, I slide the booster (it's on some car padding to prevent damaging the leather) forward an inch or two, buckle her in and slide it back. The seatbelt is nearly parallel to the edge of the booster, so I assumed it's safe, heh. But I might try FlasherZ method if she can do it on her own.
 

JST

Active Member
May 23, 2013
1,560
228
I had some similar concerns, but I put them through their paces - I looked at their construction, I plugged them in and gave them jerks and twists to see if they would come out or break. I don't believe they're as safe as the OEM hardware (after all, any time you add something to a system that isn't specifically boot-and-suspenders resiliency, it's not going to be), but then I'd have to deal with the fact the Tesla seat belt locations suck and I'd be buckling my children manually until they were 10 years old! I feel comfortable that they're safe enough.

Then again, when I was in high school, I rode to sports meets in the back of a van on the floor behind the rear seats, because the van didn't have enough room for the entire team and I was the most junior member. :)

FlasherZ, I don't mean to criticize, because you're absolutely one of the best contributors to this forum and I've learned a lot from your posts.

That said, I have to wonder whether you'd be comfortable applying the same logic to an electrical system that doesn't meet code. I mean, just because the mechanism can survive some manual thrashing doesn't mean it will be able to withstand the heavy G loads in a collision, in the same way that a bodged together electrical connection might seem fine in most circumstances.

I honestly don't have any reason to think that the mechanisms in these devices are any less high quality than the OEM units. They may *be* the OEM units, or at least come from OEM suppliers. I just haven't been able to verify to my satisfaction that they are subject to the same standards, and if there's one thing I don't want to compromise, it's an occupant safety system.
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,028
1,025
FlasherZ, I don't mean to criticize, because you're absolutely one of the best contributors to this forum and I've learned a lot from your posts.

That said, I have to wonder whether you'd be comfortable applying the same logic to an electrical system that doesn't meet code. I mean, just because the mechanism can survive some manual thrashing doesn't mean it will be able to withstand the heavy G loads in a collision, in the same way that a bodged together electrical connection might seem fine in most circumstances.

I honestly don't have any reason to think that the mechanisms in these devices are any less high quality than the OEM units. They may *be* the OEM units, or at least come from OEM suppliers. I just haven't been able to verify to my satisfaction that they are subject to the same standards, and if there's one thing I don't want to compromise, it's an occupant safety system.

I figured you might ask that question when I wrote it. In the electrical world, it's about whether it's listed for the specific application. If it's listed for the purpose, then yes - I would use it all day long.

I didn't mean to say that my simple testing was all that was required - in fact, I relied upon the manufacturer's statements that theirs had been properly tested and certified appropriately.

Now, they come in many different sizes -- some as short as 3 inches, some as long as 12 inches. You don't want a very, very long one because it alters the geometry of the seat belt. However, in the Tesla, with the Graco booster, it doesn't alter the geometry for my 7 year old son (the head is where the seatbelt normally travelled under the armrest anyway).

It has passed child seat safety checks without concern. I'm comfortable with it.
 
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