This week at the Kidz In Motion (KIM) Conference, Dorel unveiled an exciting new product. It wasn’t anything flashy or high-tech but it did elicit a lot of praise. It’s the Safety 1st “Incognito” Kid-Positioning Seat which is appropriately named because it’s meant to blend in with the vehicle interior and be less conspicuous. I can attest to this claim because I walked right past it at the Dorel booth without even noticing it! Lol.
The Incognito is special because it’s meant to be “the seat after the booster”. It was specifically designed for older kids and Tweens who still need a little help getting the adult seatbelt to fit properly but who probably aren’t using a booster anymore. With its very low profile and covers designed to blend in with vehicle interiors, the Incognito should be more appealing to older kids who may be self-conscious about using a more traditional-looking booster. This is extremely important because one of the biggest challenges we face as CPS Technicians and advocates is getting the message out to parents and kids that they are NOT ready to ditch the booster and move directly to the adult seatbelt at age 7 or 8.
The Incognito will be rated from 60-120 lbs. and from 47-60″ tall. Currently, Dorel does not have the dummies they would need to crash test and rate the seat to weights higher than 120 lbs. So for now, we have to be happy with what it does offer – which is a lot. I’ve seen the questions and comments about older kids who weigh less than 60 lbs (27 kg) and honestly, I think kids who are considerably smaller than average for their age would probably be better served by a traditional booster. However, if I had a 10 yr old who was in the 10th percentile for weight and didn’t quite weigh 60 lbs yet, I know *I* would be comfortable making the parental decision to use this product if it was really important to my child. I get that being a 4th or 5th or 6th grader who is still using a traditional booster can be upsetting for some kids. I’ve had one of each type of kid so I know first-hand that some kids (like my 9 year old DS2) are perfectly happy in their boosters, while some other kids (like my DS1) are/were embarrassed about it.
Personally, I want to throw my arms around the Dorel people who decided to make the minimum weight 60 lbs. They absolutely did the right thing here and I really appreciate that. This product is targeted to kids in the 8-13 year range and the weight minimum reflects that. It really is meant to be “the seat after the booster”.
Incognito is made of dense foam so it’s extremely lightweight. It’s firm and supportive but not as hard as sitting on plastic.
Careful attention was paid to the belt guide design so it would be quick and easy for kids to thread the lap belt portion of the lap/shoulder belt through the guide correctly every time. If the seat is staying in the vehicle then the child can leave the seatbelt threaded through the guide on one side and only have to thread it into the guide on the buckle side each and every time.
Height: 2.5″ tall
Depth: 16.5″ from back to front
Width in back (narrowest point): 12″
Width at widest point: 16″
The Incognito does have the potential to be useful in some 3-across situations but it’s not a narrow booster so I predict that results will vary depending on the situation. It’s going to “play well” next to other seats because there are no armrests but you still need the space for it.
Since there were no real kids at the conference (only dolls and grown-ups acting like kids ;)), we had to improvise. Special thanks to Betsey Mowery, CPST-Instructor from University of Arkansas Medical Center, for being a good sport and modeling the Incognito in a 2013 Toyota Sienna! At 5’2″ tall, Betsey is technically above the 60″ height limit but you can see that she fits very nicely in this product anyway. FYI – there is no age limit on this product so if you are a small-in-stature adult and you don’t exceed the height or weight limits of this product – then you can use the Incognito too! Jockeys rejoice!
Incognito should be available on Amazon.com in a few weeks. There will be 4 cover choices. Price will be around $20. It will go to Canada eventually but there is no estimated ETA on that right now.
More info can be found on the Dorel website here: http://safety1st.djgusa.com/en/djgusa/safety1st/booster-car-seats/incognito-booster-seat–bc093blk
Stay tuned to CarseatBlog for a full Incognito review coming soon!