When I first caught wind of the Noggle, the seasoned technician in me thought, “great – another product I’m going to have to tell parents to not buy because it isn’t safe.” We see plenty of “innovative” products hit the online market every year, each one trying to fill a niche from a frustrated parent who tinkered around until they jiggered something together to put to market. Most of the time we cringe and slap our hands over our eyes in an attempt to shield ourselves from the dangers these well-meaning folks present. Where does the Noggle fall on the scale of “would I use this for my kid?” products? Well, I don’t think I’ll let my kid use it because I’ll be keeping it for myself, lol!
What the Heck Is the Noggle?
It’s a tube that connects to your air vent to essentially elongate the vent and provide air to wherever you need it in your vehicle. It’s ideal for rear-facing children who don’t have access to air vents or 3rd rows where air vents are lacking. For instance, the 3rd row in my 2011 Acura MDX doesn’t have air vents, so when I have passengers back there, we have to crank up either the air or the heat, depending on the season, so they can be comfortable. With the Noggle, all I have to do is attach it to an air vent that a front passenger gives up and stretch the Noggle to the 3rd row. When the Noggle arrives at your doorstep, you get the Noggle itself (in either 6 or 8 foot lengths), a rectangular vent adapter, a circular vent adapter, 2 reusable zip ties, and instructions.
It’s ideal for people who travel with pets in crates in the cargo area, like we do. What we’ve done in the past for our pup is put our (now out of production) Cold Seat in the freezer before our trip for Bailey to lay on during the trip. Now with the Noggle, she can have her own air vent (I’ll willingly give up my front air vent since I’m always too chilly on trips).
Here’s a video of the Noggle in action:
The biggest advantage is that you can place warm or cold air wherever you need it in your vehicle. As long as you have a working vent and a long enough zip tie, you can move the attachment piece to your heart’s desire. It’s easy to install and the amount of time required for installation is however long it takes you to thread the zip tie through your vent.
Another advantage is that you can leave the adapter installed on the vent, but remove the Noggle when you’re not using it. Today I had a full car of passengers, so I disconnected the Noggle so my son could sit in the passenger seat without 8 feet of Noggle in his lap.
As with all items that aren’t screwed on or installed with a seat belt or LATCH, the Noggle does have the capability of coming free in a crash. I’d like to see less hard plastic at the end where it’s attached to the air vent. In a full-on frontal crash, theoretically, that plastic piece will be heading straight forward and not toward anyone, but in a side impact, it will pop off the holder on the vent and pop someone in the side of the head. Ouch! It’s something to consider as you’re staying nice and cool (or warm, depending on the season). Also, because the attachment piece isn’t fully sealed to the dash, there’s air escaping from the sides instead of going straight into the Noggle tube. A simple rubber gasket around the edge would probably fix that problem for future iterations of the Noggle.
Overall the Noggle is a great comfort product and may aid in keeping kids rear-facing for longer during the hot summer months. Gone are the days of sweaty, grumpy rear-facing kids and the long hot summer vacation drives with choruses of, “Mommy! Daddy! I’m hot!” coming from the way back. The Noggle comes in a variety of colors and sells for around $55.99.
Thank you to the Noggle folks for providing us with our sample for review!