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2014 ABC Expo Update: Clek

ClekLogolargeThe big news from clek this year is the introduction of their infant insert for the foonf and fllo. The insert—currently and likely permanently called the “infant thingy,” will allow the seats to be used from 5 lbs.

The insert consists of two pieces: a head pillow and a body pillow. The head pillow has tabs that slip into a set of harness slots to keep it in place. The body insert is separate and helps boost the child up a bit in addition to filling space between the baby and the sides of the seat, offering a more snug fit. The headrest of the insert is less padded than the body portion, allowing baby’s head to rest back naturally instead of being pushed forward. The head pillow can continue to be used once the body insert is no longer needed.

Clek infant insert

clek is also introducing a lower set of harness slots to help accommodate smaller babies. This change will be added to seats going forward, but here’s an important note: If you have an existing seat without the lower set of slots, you can use the infant insert EVEN IF THE LOWEST SLOTS ARE ABOVE THE CHILD’S SHOULDERS. This information will be provided in writing in the instructions that come with the insert. Although a bit unconventional, the seat has been tested and has passed in that configuration.

The insert will be available only in black, and it sounds like they do not plan to add other colors or patterns.

But speaking of colors and patterns, clek has a new denim-ish fabric, and Julius might be coming back!

clek fllo oobr more clek fllo oobr clek foonf fllo clek julius oobr clek leather olli clek tokidoki olli

In other news, clek is coming out with a cleaning kit for car seats. The kit will include a brush and two bottles of cleaning product, one for protein-based messes, and one for dye-based messes. The kit will likely retail for $29.99.

clek stain remover kit

Happy Child Passenger Safety Week!

RibbonSeptember 14-20 is National Child Passenger Safety Week. We at CarseatBlog would like to thank technicians, car seat manufacturers, safety advocates, and parents for everything they do to keep kids safe in the car.

If you need your car seat checked, many organizations are holding events on Seat Check Saturday (September 20) or throughout the week. This is also a good time to share safety information with friends and family.

  • Keep children rear-facing until at least 2 years old.
  • Keep children in a harnessed seat until they fit properly in a booster seat and are mature enough to sit properly in the belt (usually a minimum of 5 years old).
  • Keep children in booster seats until they fit properly in an adult seatbelt. The seatbelt should sit low on the hips, touching the thighs. The shoulder belt should cross the middle of the shoulder, and the child’s knees should bend at the edge of the seat when s/he is sitting all the way back.
  • Children should ride in the back seat until at least 13 years old.
  • Wear your seatbelt, and put down the phone while driving. Kids learn from the adults around them.

Resources to find a local event or fitting station:

Safe Kids USA

NHTSA

2014 ABC Expo: *NEW* Hauck/i’coo Infant Carseat

hauckicoologoAs we were wandering around the ABC Expo, we stumbled upon a new seat we didn’t even know was in the works. It’s an infant seat from Hauck, a German company that has been in existence for nearly a century and already has seats in the European market. The seat, which has yet to be named, has already passed US and Canadian testing, and will be rated from 5-35 lbs.

The seat has an extremely tall shell, with a seatback height of about 20 inches, meaning it could potentially fit a 2-year-old child. There is also a well contoured infant insert for use with newborns and small babies. One really nice thing about the infant insert is that it is reversible between a “summer” and “winter” side, with slick and fleecy-feeling fabric, respectively.

Hauck icoo rear-facing only  Hauck icoo measurement  Hauck icoo rear-facing only seat  Hauck icoo winter summer insert

There are four harness heights that get progressively wider as they get higher, to fit larger children better. Possibly the neatest feature of the seat is in the base: The angle adjuster is built into the belt lockoff. That means that you can adjust it to exactly where you need it while it’s sitting where it will be when installed. Here’s a demonstration:

As you saw if you watched the video, the seat is also extremely easy to insert into the base. No wiggling or rattling is necessary: Just drop it in, and the base guides the seat into place. Other nice features are pictograms on the handle showing proper positioning for in and out of the car. In the car, the handle is to be moved forward into an anti-rebound position. (Keep in mind this is a prototype. On the actual seat, the pictures will be more noticeable.) The prototype had two sets of loops on the harness for different-sized children. Pictures on the loops themselves make it clear which is which—a great idea for eliminating confusion. European belt routing is likely for baseless installs. The seat will also be available under the higher-end i’coo brand. The i’coo versions will have a larger, ventilated canopy and different fashions. The Hauck and i’coo infant seats will all be compatible with the companies’ strollers without the need to an additional car seat adaptor. Production on these seats is set to begin toward the end of the year, with seats hitting the US AND Canadian markets as early as January. Price-points for the US seats will be around $200 for the Hauck version and $229 for the i’coo.

Hauck icoo base  Hauck icoo handle labeling  Hauck icoo RFO Hauck icoo harness loop labeling

2014 ABC Expo Update: What’s New from Cybex

We have a few updates from Cybex, including a look at their new infant seat, the Cloud Q, which was the Best in Show winner at last night’s JPMA Awards–the third year in a row Cybex has won.

Cybex Cloud Q  Cloud Q color selections  Cloud Q JPMA Award

What at makes the Cloud Q unique in the American market is that it reclines, much like the Kiddy infant seat we previewed at last year’s ABC Show, but has yet to materialize.

Basically, as an infant seat it looks nearly identical to the Aton Q. But pop the seat out of the base, pull a handle at the back, and push down…and the seat reclines fully flat. You can do this with the baby in the seat, and can recline/un-recline it while it’s in a compatible stroller. (It can install in the stroller frame facing toward or away from the parent.)

Cloud Q True Blue  Cloud Q Hawaii

Not to worry: safeguards make it impossible to use the seat in the car while fully reclined. There’s no way to snap it into the base that way, and the beltpath on the seat (for baseless installs) closes while it’s reclined, making it so the seatbelt can’t be inserted.

Cybex Cloud on Priam Cloud Air Q on Priam

Here’s a demonstration:

Other changes that make the Cloud Q different from the Aton Q are a 11 positions on the harness height adjustment (vs 8 on the Aton Q), 5 panels on the canopy (vs 4), and a handle that’s a bit sleeker. We also measured the chest clip at about .5 inch smaller.

The prototype weighs 12.6 lbs, which is heavier than many other seats, but keep in mind that the recline feature is bound to add some weight.

There are also some new fashions, including for the Aton 2.

Aton 2 new colors

Attention, Canada! Canadian certification is in the works for Cybex infant seats and will be of “highest priority” as soon as the ABC Show is over.

Next up is the Cybex Solution M-Fix booster. This is similar to the existing Q-Fix, but includes three main changes.

First, the headrest recline on the M-Fix adjusts with a lever. On the Q-Fix, you had to pull up on the headrest and kind of wiggle it into place. Second, the height adjustment is different. On the Q-Fix, the head and torso support move up and down together. On the M-Fix, the torso portion stays in place while the head support moves up and down. Third, the LSP side-impact protection on the M-Fix consists of bolsters that pop out at the touch of a button, verses the fixed outer pillows on the Q-Fix.

Here are some comparison photos of M-Fix and Q-Fix:

Q-Fix vs. M-Fix front view  Cybex M-Fix vs Q-Fix side view  Cybex M-Fix vs Q-Fix side head  Cybex M-Fix vs Q-Fix

The Q-Fix is also getting a slight change. The new model will be called the Solution Q2-Fix and will have bolsters constructed of a different material.

In strollers, Cybex is introducing the Agis M-Air 3 and 4 (depending on how many wheels it has). The stroller has an adjustable-height handle and adjustable-height canopy (so taller and smaller kids can be equally protected). There’s a large basket, one-foot brake, and a one-handed pull-up fold. It will accommodate kids to 50 or 55 lbs.

 

Cybex Agis M-Air 3

Not car-seat-related, but there is a new line of baby gates by Regal-Lager-owned Qdos. The Crystal series is clear, while the Spectrum series comes in several colors to better match specific decor.

Qdos clear   Qdos colored