There is too much info to cover in one article so here is Part 1 of our complete 2015 ABC Expo tradeshow experience! Well… mostly complete. Some things really must stay in Vegas. 😉
Part 2 of our show coverage can be found HERE and includes updates on Graco/Baby Jogger, Hauck/iCoo, Lil Fan, Maxi-Cosi, Mifold, Mima, Nuna, Orbit, Peg Perego, Recaro & UPPAbaby!
Baby Trend has a purchased the molds for the popular TrueFit convertible seats (formerly manufactured by TOMY/First Years) and will revive them as the new PROtect convertible carseat, improved with a 40 pound rear-facing weight limit. They will also bring back the Folding Booster (also formerly by TOMY/First Years) as the Yumi Booster. See our blog with all the details here: http://carseatblog.com/35369/abc-kids-expo-2015-new-from-baby-trend-somewhat-new-to-us/
Britax didn’t have any new seats at the show, but they have some new accessories available for the B-Safe Infant Seat: the B-Warm and B-Covered. The B-Covered ($29.99) is a UPF-rated sun screen/bug screen, available only in gray. The B-Warm ($49.99) is a heavier, fuzzier cover for cold winter months. The B-Warm is currently available in two fashions, Polar Mist (black) and Arctic Splash (with a splash of color).
There are also a couple seats going away. The G4.1 Advocate will be phased out by the end of the year. (The Clicktight Advocate will continue to be available.) Also retiring is the Parkway SG. The more popular Parkway SGL (with lower LATCH attachments) will be sticking around.
Limited Edition Frontier CT fashions – Liberty Sapphire, Meadow, and Concord are selling out fast—and when they’re gone, they’re gone forever. If you’ve been planning to purchase a Frontier ClickTight in any of these fashions, don’t wait much longer.
New KidFit Zip booster is now available at various retailers including Amazon.
New “Pirvata” fashion for KeyFit, NextFit & KidFit will be available only at specialty retailers.
The Capri fashion is available on Foonf, Fllo, and Oobr. On Foonf, it’s available in both black and white shells. Also on all fashions, enhanced padding is added throughout. Harness pads are slightly longer and softer and now attach with snaps.
Big improvement: new lockoffs close ski boot-style. The end of the top lockoff clips over the edge of the bottom lockoff, then the long handle gives extra torque as you close it. Brilliant! Want these new lockoffs for your older seat that has problem lockoffs? Give Clek a call. They’ll put you on their list to get them to you when they’re available.
A new space-themed Tokidoki is available on all seats. Check it out!
Mat-Thingy: Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all mat. We’ve recommended against some of them in the past because they interfere with proper installation, especially the ones that feel like they’re made of a composite material. Manufacturers are starting to make their own vehicle seat protectors to go with their seats and Clek has one now, too: the Mat-Thingy. It’s a thin rubber tray with a drop in the front to cover the waterfall of the vehicle seat.
Combi has partnered with Team-Tex to offer “Ferrari” branded seats.
There are some slight design changes to the Aton Q. Gone is the feature that lifted the baby as the headrest is moved down. In its place is the styrofoam newborn inlay piece from the Aton and Aton 2.
Did not attend this year so no updates.
We saw a bit of the Doona at last year’s show but didn’t get a close look until this year. The Doona easily converts from an infant seat to a stroller, eliminating the need for a travel system, stroller frame, or separate stroller.
The Doona is rated for 4-35 lbs. and up to 32″. Available accessories include a rain cover and wheel covers (to keep water and dirt off your vehicle upholstery). Doona retails for $499.99
Dorel (Cosco & Safety 1st)
Dorel has launched a great new customer service feature: Skype and Facetime chatting to help parents with their installations. Not only can customer service reps see how parents have installed the seats, they also have child restraints and demo vehicle seats available to quickly and easily demonstrate installations/usage for parents. Right now the service is available by appointment during business hours. We hope more manufacturers will jump on board and make this a regular part of their customer service offerings.
Safety 1st has a new seat coming out in January. The Grow & Go Air is similar to the current Grow & Go, but will feature Air Protect technology, a one-handed (vs. the current two-hand) harness height adjustment, and easier access to the belt path. The seat will retail for $199 and will be available at stores like Target and Sears. It should be in Babies R Us in March.
Another new seat, the Continuum, will replace the existing Alpha Omega. The base and shell are the same as the Grow & Go, but with scaled down soft goods and one cup holder instead of two. The seat, which will harness to 50 lbs. forward-facing and will go to 80 lbs. as a booster, will be available at Sears, Target, and possibly Walmart for $129-$149.
Other Grow & Go “clones,” the MultiFit and EverFit, are seats available at the warehouse stores Sam’s Club and Costco. These seats have a 40-lb. forward-facing harness limit and a 100-lb. booster limit. They retail for $99.
Also coming is the Comfy Convertible, same as the Apt 50 but with cushier soft goods. It will retail for $99.
(See Part 2 of our ABC coverage for Maxi-Cosi updates, coming soon.)
The Entourage Stroller by Austlen Baby Co. won the Best In Show Award, and for good reason! Possibly the coolest stroller ever for active families with multiple children, the Entourage is expandable so you keep it smaller when you don’t need extra room, and you make it bigger when you do. Ingenious!
It can handle 1 or 2 kids in a ton of different configurations (it even accepts 2 infant carseats with the Maxi-Cosi adapters) plus haul your groceries/luggage/hockey bags for your older kids/cooler and camp chairs, etc., etc. And all the adjustments are quick, smooth and easy. It’s incredibly well-engineered. No, it isn’t lightweight and it doesn’t fold down into something the size of an umbrella stroller but if you’ve ever felt more like a sherpa than a mom – you NEED one of these babies! Heck, we need an Entourage stroller just to schlep all our stuff around the ABC Show.
The stroller will have a total capacity (children + cargo) of 150 lbs. It comes with the front seat, arm-bar, and an expandable market tote. Retail price will be $849.99 at specialty stores. Available early 2016.
Available accessories include a second seat, a jump seat, a dishwasher-safe tray, and carseat adapters (currently compatible with any infant carseat that accepts a Maxi-Cosi adapter; a Chicco adapter is in development).
The Advanced SensorSafe Embrace DLX infant seat won the JPMA Innovation Award which is always a big deal at the show. We got a great demo of the SensorSafe technology and we look forward to Evenflo expanding this technology to their convertible seats in the future.
How SensorSafe Technology Works:
- Two components – a transmitter inside the chest clip and a receiver plug
- Insert receiver plug into your vehicle’s OBDII port (receiver plug works with model year 2008 or newer vehicles with gas or diesel engine; if you have a hybrid or start/stop vehicle you will need a different receiver plug which you can get by calling Evenflo customer service)
- Receiver plug communicates with transmitter in chest clip once vehicle starts moving
- If chest clip is unbuckled while vehicle is moving, a series of tones will sound within 30 seconds
- When vehicle is turned off, a series of tones will immediately remind driver the driver that there is a child buckled in the carseat
Good Baby (GB)
GB has updated the Asana 35 by changing the headrest to move independently from the harness adjuster. This means that parents will be able to adjust the headrest to fit perfectly to their child, then adjust the harness to appropriate tightness each and every ride. We are very encouraged by this change, as the harness on our review sample was very difficult to adjust correctly on newborns and small babies. We’re glad to see that feedback from CarseatBlog and other advocates led to an important improvement so quickly! Once the updated Asana 35 and instruction manual are available, we hope to have a review of this innovative infant carseat soon after.
Pockit Stroller – holds the Guinness Book Record for the world’s most compact stroller when folded. This stroller is going to be a phenomenal hit! Weighing only 9 lbs., the Pockit is suited for kids over 6 months old and rated up to 55 lbs. ETA Spring 2016. No word yet on price.
Idan Plus Rear-Facing Only Infant Seat (pronounced “ee-dahn”)
The Idan Plus takes a Cybex Aton 2 and restyles it a bit to become a very interesting seat. It uses the Linear Side Impact Protection concept and an innovative slot for Euro belt routing for a baseless install. The base for the Idan has been tweaked slightly, with the belt guides moved back and made thicker. The Idan Plus will be able to share a base with the Aton as well. It should be available late spring/early summer at specialty retailers.
Part 2 is here with updates on Graco/Baby Jogger, Hauck/iCoo, Lil Fan, Maxi-Cosi, Mifold, Mima, Nuna, Orbit, Peg Perego, Recaro & UPPAbaby!