Instructional Archive

Rear-Facing Carseats With European Beltpath Routing


imageEuropean beltpath routing. If you’re not already familiar with the term – let me explain. It references a particular way to install a rear-facing convertible or infant carseat without using the base. European belt routing is only for installations using the vehicle’s lap/shoulder seatbelt. It does not apply to installations using the lower LATCH anchors or to installation of the infant seat base. Only a few seats sold here in the U.S. allow European belt routing but it has become a popular feature so we decided to make a list of which seats currently available allow it.

Benefits of European Belt Routing:

When the shoulder belt is routed behind the shell of a rear-facing child restraint it helps to maintain a semi-upright position during a frontal crash. Limiting the downward rotation that a rear-facing seat makes during a frontal crash has several potential benefits. Maintaining a more upright angle during a crash means the impact loads are distributed more to the back of the child – which is ideal. The more a rear-facing seat rotates downward in a crash the more the impact loads are applied to the child’s shoulders and neck – as it stretches, pulling away from the body. The other potential benefit of maintaining a more upright orientation during a crash is that it may reduce the likelihood of the carseat striking the back of the front seat or console directly in front of it.

Installation Issues & Incompatibilities:

The biggest potential issue with Euro beltpath routing is that some seatbelts aren’t long enough to accommodate this routing. If that winds up being the case in your vehicle – you can install the seat without the base using the traditional seatbelt installation method instead. None of the carseats that allow Euro bethpath routing actually require it. They may recommend it, but they don’t mandate it. That’s because the carseat manufacturers understand that it’s not possible in all vehicles due to seatbelt length which varies from vehicle to vehicle.


Rear-Facing Carseats that Allow Euro Beltpath Routing:

Infant (Rear-Facing Only) Seats

Model Rear-Facing Wt Limits Rear-Facing Ht Limits
Cybex Aton 4-32 lbs. up to 30"
Cybex Aton 2 4-35 lbs. up to 30"
Cybex Aton Q 4-35 lbs. up to 30"
Graco Classic Connect SnugRide 35* 4-35 lbs. 32" or less
Maxi-Cosi Mico AP 5-22 lbs. 19-29"
Maxi-Cosi Mico NXT 5-22 lbs. 19-29"
Nuna Pipa 4-35 lbs less than 32"
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 4-35 lbs up to 32"
UPPABaby Mesa 4-35 lbs 32" or less © 2014 All Rights Reserved

*Graco now officially allows European beltpath routing ONLY with the Classic Connect Graco SnugRide 35. This update is retroactive and applies to all Classic Connect SnugRide 32/35 models.


Convertible Seats

Model Rear-Facing Wt Limits Rear-Facing Ht Limits
Combi Coccoro 3-33 lbs up to 36" © 2014 All Rights Reserved

coccoro euro beltpath routing


CarseatBlog Quick Tip: Proper Harness Tightness


One of the top 3 mistakes we see at checkup events is a harness that’s too loose. Nearly *every* infant seat I see when I’m out and about has a loose harness. How do you know if your child’s harness is tight enough?

Also, see The Pinch Test.

CarseatBlog Quick Tip: Checking Install Tightness


Aren’t quite sure how to tell if your carseat is installed tightly enough? Here’s how you check.

Caps for Sale – converting your retail model Evenflo Maestro into an institutional model without cup holders


CapsForSaleCaps for Sale was one of my favorite books when I was a kid and it also makes an appropriate title for this blog! :)

As many of our readers know, retail models of the Evenflo Maestro come with cup holders that are permanent once they are attached to the shell. However, “institutional” versions of the same seats (sold to CPS programs) come without cup holders. In their place are little plastic caps that cover the holes in the shell where the cup holders attach. While most parents (and kids) are happy to have a carseat with dual integrated cup holders – those features take up a little extra room. For a parent or caregiver trying to fit two carseats side-by-side or 3-across the back of a small or mid-size vehicle – the lack of cup holders on the Maestro can make the difference between installation success and failure. 


I recently discovered that Evenflo will sell the little caps separately to consumers who own Maestro models. Now, if you’ve already attached the cup holders then this info won’t help you because you can’t detach the cup holders once they’re locked into place. If you try to pry them off, you’ll probably wind up damaging your seat and no one wants that to happen. However, if you have a new Maestro that hasn’t been “assembled” yet, you can call Evenflo Customer Service (aka Parent Link), give them your Maestro model # and order “Armrest Cap” (Item # 24101591). For a pair of caps, it should cost around $7.50 with shipping included.

FYI – It’s very important to cover the holes in the shell with either the caps or the cup holders otherwise your child can get a finger trapped in there.


Side-by-side difference: