HINGES 101Q: Why are hinges bad?
A: In order to install a car seat properly, you need to sink it down and back into the vehicle's seat cushion. Rigid structures - like metal hinges & the plastic covers for them - prevent the car seat from sinking into the seat cushion - leaving you with a loosely installed car seat (and an unsafe child).
2010 Toyota Venza
Check out how the seat belt for the center seat is several inches into the passenger seat - gotta love the overlapping!
2010 Toyota RAV-4
Close-up of the center seat
Are you kidding me? This is supposed to be a family car.
Let me tell you why this center seat is a recipe for disaster for car seat installation.
- You have 5 inches from the buckle for the center seat to the buckle for the driver side seat. Have you seen a car seat that is 5 inches wide? I didn't think so - as newborns are wider than 5 inches!
- You have not only 2 upper hinges, but also one lower hinge cover in this center seat - all to prevent you from getting the car seat tightly installed.
- The "lumbar bolster" (my name for it) - will further push the car seat away from the back of the vehicle seat.
HUMPS 101Q: The center seat in the back has a hump. Why are some humps bad?
A: Humps can pose a challenge for several reasons.
2010 Acura RL Tech - hump makes the center seat 4 inches higher than the side seats
- The foam under the center hump is often more rigid than the foam under the side seats' cushion - which means that when you try to install the seat you have to use more muscle to compress the hump so that the car seat gets tight.
- Some humps are off center from where the LATCH system's lower anchors or the vehicle's seat belt is located. In this picture below, the vehicle has a hump in the center. The lower anchors for the side seat are half on the side and half into the center seat (we'll explain later on this week why they spaced the lower anchors this way). With the car seat sitting half on the hump in the center and half off the hump, you end up with a car seat that looks drunk.
Lincoln MKS 2010 - Combi Coccoro using LATCH on the passenger side
- While most humps are on the bottom cushion of the vehicle seat - some are on the back cushion, which further pushes the car seat forward and prevents it from sinking into the vehicle's seat cushion.
2010 Nissan Maxima - with center hump protruding from the back cushion