Our friends at Evenflo and Go Go Babyz sent us some very nice products for review. I’m impressed by both of them, but will only do quick reviews today. They will be followed by full reviews in the near future, as they are being evaluated by parents with children who can more fully put them through their paces!
First up is the innovative Symphony, the new “All-in-One” offering from Evenflo. What’s the big deal? SureLATCH. Basically, these are lower attachments that have a built-in retractor. In many LATCH equipped vehicles, installation can be done in minutes, or even seconds! No pulling on straps is necessary; the idea is that you push down on the seat and it tightens itself with loud clicks to let you know it’s working! The Infinite Slide harness system is unique. It adjusts for height easily in the front and you can make the adjustment without un-installing the carseat. This model will take a baby rear-facing to 35 pounds (unless outgrown by height first), forward-facing to 40 pounds in a 5-point harness and then converts to a booster up to 100 pounds. The adjustable head restraint section adds nice side impact wings and energy absorbing foam is generous throughout.
The harness height should be sufficient for most kids to reach that 40 pounds limit, too. I estimate almost 16.5 inches for seated shoulder height. My son is tall for being 3 years and almost 5 months old- about 41″ high and nearly 37 pounds. He fits well in the harness and has just over a half inch of room to grow for shoulder height at the top setting. While it doesn’t join the wave of seats with harnesses that go beyond 40 pounds, it will appeal to parents who want something very easy to install and use. SecureLATCH and Infinte Slide really do make it very easy and that is the thing we all want to see. It’s also very well padded (with comfy infant pillows), stylish and has a nice recline adjustment as well. Retail price is $199, starting at Babies R Us stores. More to come soon from Ulrike, who will give a full review in a week or two!
Next is the Go-Go Babyz Infant Cruizer. We were impressed by the Travelmate for convertible seats and the Cruizer does the same for infant carriers. It’s an all-terrain platform for popular infant seats, in this case a Graco Snugride. What’s the big deal? Simple to fold, compact and relatively light weight. This makes it ideal if you live in the city or travel frequently. Even if you prefer a full featured stroller like their Urban Advantage for casual walks in the neighborhood, the Cruizer would be great for taxi rides or gate checking at the airport!
You can also buy a toddler seat adaptor to get some more use out of the Cruizer as your baby grows. It’s not necessarily a replacement for a full size stroller, but on-the-go parents may appreciate the convenience. Assembly is a snap; we put it together in a few minutes on a gravel parking lot. The only mishap was that yours truly skipped a step because he didn’t read the instructions(!). The infant seat clicked right in and the handlebar telescopes quickly and easily. I can’t really say how practical it is or how it handles, as I have neither a baby nor a Graco Snugride on hand;-) So, that’s for our guest mom to tell us in a full review that will appear soon! (I may have even sold her on an Evenflo Symphony, too, lol!).
Retail price is $149 at local and online stores, including elitecarseats.com.