Pickups: How Do Behind-the-Seat Tether Anchors Work?

Chevrolet Colorado

CARS.COM — In pickup trucks, tether anchors can be found behind the rear head restraints, on the sides of the rear seats and behind the rear seats. The last place is the most difficult setup, according to our certified child passenger safety technicians.

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Parents must use a forward-facing convertible car seat's tether strap because tether straps reduce a child's head movement in a crash by 6 to 8 inches.

We've had lot of hands-on experience using this car-seat tether setup. Here's how we install a forward-facing convertible in pickups with this system (and with minimal kvetching).

Trucks With Tethers Behind Rear Seatbacks

How to Install in Trucks With Tethers Behind Rear Seatbacks

In these pickups, the tether anchors are tough to find because they're hidden behind the rear seatbacks.

To use these anchors, parents need to fold the rear seatback down and connect the tether strap to the anchor before installing the car seat with the lower Latch anchors. However, this is easier said than done.

The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado crew cab has this setup; in the owner's manual, parents are instructed to fold the rear seatback to access the tether anchor. On the car seat, adjust the tether strap to its full length and attach the hook to the anchor. Put the seatback in place and make sure it's secure. Finally, install the car seat into the seat with the lower Latch anchors or a seat belt and then tighten the tether anchor.

We've had lots of experience using these tether setups. And in our Car Seat Checks, we've found it's easier to tighten the tether strap as much as possible while the seatback is folded down. We then lock the seatback in place and check to see if the tether is tight enough. It often takes several attempts to get the tether anchor tight enough.

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