Again, I forgot to take a picture of the show floor to give you an idea of the scale of how large this show is. I’m certain our words don’t adequately describe the size. I’ve been coming for many years since my good friends were able to get me in under their store’s badges and the show was contained to 1 floor of the convention center. Now it’s 2 floors and still growing. On to the show . . .
To finish up from this afternoon’s live blog, here’s a video showing the side impact testing:
Our first stop this morning was Graco. My eyes immediately went to the Disney group–it was cute. Knowing that the Disney folks are just as fanatical as we car seat groupies are, I suggested selling them at Disneyland. The SnugRide 22 is a front-adjust seat. Darren will be by with the pictures later. SnugRide 35 will be phased in beginning later this month through the end of the year, replacing the SnugRide 32. The insert for the MyRide will be getting another set of slots to be used with the 2nd harness slots. The Nautilus Elite has a width-adjustable headrest and built-in lockoffs. The lockoffs are the same as those found on the SR32 and SafeSeat bases. Check out our video soon showing those features! Look for the NE in specialty stores and BRU in the 4th qtr of this year at around $179-$199.
Mia Moda has just dropped the price on the Viva Supreme to $99. Their Piccolino insert for preemies will be available shortly and will accommodate babies from 3-22 lbs. It’s a 2-stage insert, one made of EPE foam that positions the harness straps below the shoulders at all times for optimum positioning, and has a ridge to keep baby’s head back so that the airway remains open. The 2nd insert is a padded insert that sits on top of the EPE insert.
At Combi, we saw the updated Shuttle due out in mid-October. The upper weight limit will be 33 lbs. with a caveat: it may be used without the base from birth to 22 lbs., but the base is required for use from 22-33 lbs. Or just use the base from birth-33 lbs. The base resembles the Chicco KeyFit base (with similar seat belt lockoffs), but the recline foot can be lowered for more recline with one hand by pushing a small lever on either side of the base. And there are 2 different recline levels, depending on the weight of the child. The Shuttle has 10 possible harness slot positions.
The Zeus 360 is an upgrade to the Zeus and rear-faces to 33 lbs. There’s one belt path for both the lap and shoulder belt, which cuts down on installation confusion. One installation trick their rep, a tech/instructor, Vera Fullaway, mentioned that’s different from the instruction manual is to install it in the forward-facing position, rather than the rear-facing position. When rear-facing, the edge of the seat blocks the belt lockoff from opening. Awesome tip, Vera! Here’s a video showing how it swivels around:
The Coccoro Flash is the stroller for the Coccoro, so the weight limits for it are 5-40 lbs. Look for it around mid-November at $70. It’ll be a great travel option! Speaking of the Coccoro, the min. weight limit will be 3 lbs. beginning with 2010 production models.
Oh, and shhhhhh! Combi is working on something new, but we were threatened with our lives (and computers) if we told. Uh, I didn’t say anything [looks around].
Learning Curve has a new booster set to arrive in the 1st qtr of 2010 called the Pathway. It addresses the lap belt pathway that IIHS had issues with in their testing of boosters last year–Learning Curve thinks they still have great boosters, but also wants to address any possible problems. They’ve redesigned the lap belt guides so that they are more guide-ish, rather than just a place for the belt to sit and the shoulder belt guide has 3 adjustment settings to accommodate different angles of belts. There will be lower connectors to hold the booster in position using the vehicle’s LATCH anchors, but they don’t want to call it LATCH since it’s not technically securing the booster in place in the event of a crash–it’s there to hold the booster when the child isn’t in it. It meets current and upcoming Australian side impact standards. Since it was very much a prototype, we didn’t touch it much and sorry, no pics. $119
To keep up with other manufacturers, they are upping the weight limit of the Via to 35 lbs. in the spring.
firstSEAT is the new forward-facing only seat from 22-60 lbs. initially. It’s very much in the beginning stages of marketing and testing and the show is a fact-finding mission for them. The top slots are 17.5″. It has rigid LATCH (yes! more rigid LATCH!), EPS and EPP foam throughout, and utilizes a crumple zone technology to absorb energy. The belt path is really unique: the lap belt is an inverse path and wraps forward around a metal bar, then back around the back of the seat. The shoulder belt, if present, goes through a metal lockoff that uses friction to hold tight. I’m sure there will be refinements since we saw a prototype, but it was interesting.