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PetalThe Urbini Petal is a budget-priced rear-facing only carseat with features that rival pricier infant seat models. The sleek-looking seat is packed with energy-absorbing foam, a built-in lockoff on the base, has a preemie insert, and is still one of the lightest carriers on the market. We know that when carrying your baby, every ounce counts! The Urbini Petal and the phil & teds Alpha are sibling seats; we have a review of the Alpha here: phil & teds Alpha Infant Carseat Review: Kia Ora! Setup for a preemie or very small full-term newborn can be daunting, but for average newborns, the Petal is a solid contender at a great price.

Weight and Height Limits:

  • Rear-facing: 4-35 lbs. AND less than 32”. Child’s head must be 1” from top of seat shell.

Urbini Petal Overview:

  • Fantastically thick EPS foam lining the seat
  • 4 harness slot positions
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
  • Removable infant insert
  • Preemie insert for infants under 6 lbs.
  • 2 recline angles on base: one for 4-20 lbs., one for 20-35 lbs.
  • Built-in lockoff on base
  • Clip-on style lower LATCH connectors
  • Carrier can be installed Euro-style without base
  • FAA approved for use on aircraft
  • 6 yr lifespan before seat expires

Urbini Petal Urbini Petal side view

Petal Measurements

Harness slots: 6”, 7 ¾”, 9 ½”, 11 ¼”
External widest point (at handle): 16 ¾”
Width of base at belt path: 13 ½”
Width of base at widest point: 14 ¼”
Internal shell height: 20”
Crotch strap depth: 4”, 6”
Seat depth: 12”
Carrier weight: 7.5 lbs.

Installation

Installation of the Petal is relatively easy. The built-in lockoff is used whether you’re installing the base using LATCH or the vehicle’s seat belt. The Petal has 2 recline angles: one for 4-20 lbs., one for 20-35 lbs.

Urbini Petal seatbelt install Urbini Petal recline indicator

The proximity of the lockoff to where the carrier latches to the base may be troublesome if you don’t fully engage the lockoff. We’ve heard some discussion about the carrier becoming stuck on the base, so be sure that the lockoff is snapped into closed position.

One big feature the Petal has that many other infant seats don’t is the ability to install the carrier Euro-style when not using the base. This is when the shoulder belt is wrapped around the back of the carrier and it limits downward rotation in a crash, much like a load leg does on a base.

Urbini Petal Euro belt path Urbini Petal Euro clip

Center LATCH installations with Non-Standard Spacing:

The Petal allows LATCH installation in the center seating position if the spacing is greater than 11” when the vehicle manufacturer specifically allows it.

Inflatable Seat Belts

Urbini/Aria Child has determined that the Petal cannot be installed with inflatable seat belts found in some Ford, Lincoln, and Mercedes vehicles, and in some airplane seat belts.

Fit to Child

The Urbini Petal is designed to fit children from 4-35 lbs. and to accomplish that, the seat ships with a regular infant insert and a preemie insert. The regular infant insert adds a splash of color to the black and gray seat and is used in the bottom 2 slots only while the preemie insert is a wedge that fits into the infant insert. The preemie insert is required for babies under 6 lbs. There is no weight requirement on the regular infant insert and it can be removed after the preemie insert is used, if needed.

Urbini Petal inserts

My preemie doll did not need the preemie insert to fit in the Petal because of the low harness slots, but adding the insert bumped its chest out, which in turn caused its head to sit back, opening its airway even more. I was much more pleased with the positioning, especially for a preemie, so it’s a good thing the insert is required.

Urbini Petal preemie with insert Urbini Petal preemie with insert closeup

There’s a variety of configurations for the harness to fit kids of different sizes. There are 2 sets of loops—inner and outer—on the ends of the harnesses; we typically call the inner loops the “newborn loops” because on other infant seats, the inner loops shorten the harness to fit newborns or small babies. The Petal arrives out of the box with the harness set on the inner loops. There is Velcro sewn onto the harness ends so that when using it on the newborn/shortest length, the extra length can be folded up and attached so that it’s not left dangling. While this is a nice feature for OCD parents like me, you have to be careful when tightening the harness on its longest length that the Velcro doesn’t get caught on the back of the seat, making you think that the harness is snug enough when it isn’t.

Urbini harness velcro

Parents can also set the hip straps (the manual refers to them as “waist straps”) to a narrower setting by rethreading the entire harness. Doing this for a preemie requires careful reading of the manual and about 15-20 minutes for the inexperienced; in fact, this isn’t for the faint of heart. My Romeo doll, who is equivalent to about a 9 lbs. baby, did not need the hip straps changed.

Urbini Petal Romeo infant Urbini Petal Romeo infant without insert

Cover/Maintenance/Ease of Use

The cover is easy to remove. The instruction manual says to refer to the tag for cleaning instructions. My tag says to wipe clean with a damp cloth. Yeah, that’ll smell great after the first diaper explosion. To clean the harness, wipe with a damp washcloth.

The release handle for the carrier is located on the back of the base, which takes weight off the carrier. Another advantage to the location of this release handle is that the carseat can be placed close to a front seat and it’s still easy to slip your hand in to release the carrier from the base. With infant seats that have the release handle on the back of the carrier itself, you need room between the carrier and the vehicle seat to slip your hand behind to grab the handle.

Urbini Petal carrier release

FAA-Approval/Lifespan/Crash Guidelines

The Petal is FAA-approved. Follow the lap-only belt instructions found on the sticker on the side of the carrier.

The Petal has a lifespan of 6 years and Urbini/Aria Child wants you to replace it after any crash.

AdvantagesUrbini Petal without cover

  • Fantastically thick EPS foam lining the seat
  • 4 harness slot positions
  • 2 crotch strap positions
  • FAA-approved
  • Easy installation with LATCH or seat belt
  • 2 recline angles on base: one for 4-20 lbs., one for 20-35 lbs.
  • Built-in lockoff on base
  • Carrier can be installed Euro-style without base
  • Inexpensive
  • Weighs just 7.5 lbs.!

Disadvantages

  • Velcro on harness can get caught on back of seat
  • Complicated harness routing for “waist straps”
  • “Wipe clean” cover
  • Made in China

 

The Urbini Petal is available for $99.99 at wal-mart.com. All opinions expressed are those of CarseatBlog.