Pickups: How Do Top Tether Anchor Loops Work?


CARS.COM — There’s a reason why people love pickup trucks. They can do just about everything, including hauling kids in car seats. Installing forward-facing convertible car seats into pickup trucks can difficult, however. The Latch installation system is not as straightforward to use as it is in cars and SUVs.

Related: Which Cars Fit Three Car Seats?

It’s important to use the top tether anchor on a forward-facing convertible or combination car seat. The tether strap helps to reduce a child’s head movement in a vehicle crash by 6 to 8 inches.

We crawled through pickup trucks and combed through their owner’s manuals to break down how to use the three types of tether anchors found in pickups with rear seats. We cover top tether loops in this article.

Trucks With Tether Loops Behind Rear Head Restraints:

How to Use Tether Loops

Tether loops are found behind or under the vehicle’s rear head restraints. To use them with a forward-facing child’s car seat, raise or remove the head restraints and route the seat’s tether strap through the loop right behind the car seat. Be sure to keep the tether loop of the strap positioned behind the head restraint, if they’re in place.

Next, attach the tether strap’s hook to the adjacent seat’s tether loop and then tighten the strap.

Two or three forward-facing convertibles can be installed with this tether system. In the 2017 Ram 1500 crew cab or Quad Cab, the owner’s manual recommends install the outboard car seats first. The tether straps are inserted through the loops behind each car seat and attached to the center position’s tether loop, but not tightened. The center car seat is then installed in the middle seat with the tether strap routed first through the center loop and then attached to an outboard seat’s loop; Ram doesn’t specify which loop to use, but some automakers do.

For safety, parents should then tighten the outboard child’s car seats’ tether straps first and then the center car seat’s tether.

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Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Newman is a journalist with more than 25 years of experience, including 15 years as an automotive journalist at Jennifer leads the Editorial team in its mission of helping car shoppers find the vehicle that best fits their life. A mom of two, she’s graduated from kids in car seats to teens behind the steering wheel. She’s also a certified car-seat technician with more than 12 years of experience, as well as member of the World Car Jury, Automotive Press Association and Midwest Automotive Media Association. LinkedIn: Instagram: @jennilnewman Email Jennifer Newman

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