We’re here after Day 2 at the 2012 ABC Show and it’s been another long, hard, tough day as you know if you’ve been following us on Facebook. We thank all the manufacturers who have given us their valuable time and lent us their ears to bend so far to show us great products!

Chicco NextFit 

5-40 lbs. rf
22-65 lbs. ff
Up to 50″ tall

This brand new convertible seat from Chicco has dropped the “65″ from the name and will be the plain ol’ NextFit, though there’s nothing plain about it. Where do we start? OK, let’s start with the–count ‘em–9 recline positions for rear- or forward-facing. This will be an excellent seat for special needs kids who need recline! Since rear-facing kiddos will be allowed to rf to within 1″ of the top of the headrest (with an overall 50″ height limit to the

carseat), those 9 recline positions will come in handy for putting older rfers more upright. For the young baby, there is an infant cushion to fit newborns to 11 lbs. so they fit to the bottom slots. A 2 position crotch strap is available for the child’s comfort.

Top slots measure 17.5″ with 25-26″ to the top of the headrest. Nice lockoffs are available for seatbelt installations, but who wants to do that if you have LATCH available? Really, use the SuperCinch LATCH tightening system on this seat. We’ll show you in a video how it works. If I can do it with my poor phone-traumatized fingers, anyone can! It has a steel frame and EPS foam.

*In this video, I show installation by attaching one lower LATCH connector at a time. Both connectors should be attached before pulling slack from the first. Then, pulling the slack from the second will be like slicing a piece of ice cream cake with a hot knife ;).

 

  

Harness height adjusts from the front AND as the harness gets higher up, guess what gets wider? Should we hold a contest? Nah. Too easy. The harness gets wider to accommodate the bigger kid. Nice! Also, the 2 position chest clip expands for larger ff children.

  

Canadians, we do love you! It’s coming up your way, but you’ll have to wait awhile. No date given.

$279

    

Clek

There’s a funny story behind Clek and some duct tape. Really, trade shows bring out the worst in some people (Darren!).

What the Foonf! Well, the rf belt path has been moved back so it doesn’t interfere with the crotch strap. The crotch strap has also been moved back (sorry!). We didn’t get a measurement (see 1st sentence of blog), but we will go back and measure–promise. The hip straps also have been moved from the butt area to the very bottom back area so they truly will come over the hips, like a seatbelt fits. The top slots have also been straightened, instead of being angled, and the harness will now have what we like to call “newborn loops,” that extra length of strap looped at the end of the harness so you can lengthen it when a baby gets too big to fit in the smaller length.

      

If no top tether anchor is available, Clek mandates ff installation with a lap/shoulder belt because tethering helps the seat perform optimally. However, they don’t want to penalize consumers who may not have tether anchors in their vehicles or may not have them in the seating position they wish to place the carseat in. Due to Foonf’s open beltpath design and the built-in lockoff device for the vehicle’s shoulder belt that is mounted up high near the top of the shell – the seat still performs well in testing when installed with a (3-pt) lap/shoulder belt but no tether. They acknowledged that the seat must pass NHTSA’s injury criteria testing (and it does) using a lap-only seatbelt or using just the lower LATCH anchors (without tethering) but they are not comfortable allowing that type of installation and will consider it a misuse.

There’s no price on replacement covers yet–it’s a complicated issue, really. The headrest isn’t easy to deal with in replacement, so Clek is tossing around ideas with how to manage replacing the cover and the headrest cover. Keep in mind that the Crypton covers that are GREENGUARD Select certified are super easy to clean, so you may not need to replace it.