We know the Lil Fan High-Back Booster Seats will be a big hit with die-hard fans all across the country – moms, dads and kids alike. Both high-back and backless versions of the booster seats are available in fashions featuring about 75 college and Major League Baseball teams. So whether you’re a fan of the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, or some other team, you’re likely to find a seat for your little fan. (Fans of other leagues and teams should watch for new fashions to come out in the future.)
Personally, I’d have a hard time choosing between the Michigan State University (my alma mater) and University of Michigan (where I’ve worked for years) seats. But mostly I’m just glad that Kecia, Darren and Heather didn’t get funny and send me an Ohio State seat.
The Lil Fan Booster is a dual mode product. That means that it can be used as a highback booster until the back portion is outgrown, then you can continue to use the bottom portion as a backless booster until your child can pass the 5-Step Test and safely transition to using the adult seatbelt. The Lil Fan booster is available at Amazon, babiesrus.com, buybuybaby.com and other retailers.
Lil Fan High-Back Specs & Features
Highback: 30-110 lbs.; 38-57” tall; at least 4 years old*
Backless: 40-110 lbs.; 40-57″ tall; at least 4 years old*; with proper head support from the vehicle’s head restraint
7 height positions
Unique shoulder belt guide design helps keep belt from slipping out
6 year lifespan before expiration
*Age limit of at least 4 years old is listed on the box, but not in the owner’s manual or on labels on the booster.
Shoulder Belt Guide – The shoulder belt guide opens at the top and has a “lip” on the bottom to keep the shoulder belt from slipping out accidentally. Even though my five-year-old pulls the belt out most of the way when she buckles, she had no trouble keeping the belt from slipping out of the belt guide, as sometimes happens with other boosters.
The removable cupholder can be used on either side of the seat. This flexibility is nice when you want a cupholder (and what kid doesn’t?) but can’t use it on one particular side because it adds to the width of the seat. (For instance, if you’re using the seat “outboard” or next to another car seat, you’ll probably want the cupholder to be on the opposite side.)
Review of the Clek Fabric Cleaning + Stain Remover Kit
I’ve had some cool carseat assignments before, but this has to have been the best carseat job I’ve ever scored. I mean, how many people get to intentionally try to soil a carseat? I know it’s in the job description for most kids, but probably not for most adults, so I was pretty giddy. At first I did have second thoughts: my kids’ carseats were always the cleanest in the neighborhood and I once gave a ride home to another CPS tech who accused me of not really having kids because my van was so spotless. But Clek did ask if I would try out their Crypton for Clek Fabric Cleaning + Stain Remover Kit and how could I say no?
I assembled my tools:
Fllo dressed in Shadow Crypton fabric — check
ketchup — check
mustard — check
goldfish — check
grape jelly — check
jello — check
vomit — er, uncheck, ’cause, ew
lipstick — check
sunscreen — check
crayon — check
ice cream — check
Clek Cleaning Kit — check
I set up my testing laboratory and went to work. I used the seat pad and sides where little hands grab because when kids eat, it either drops down or gets rubbed on the arms by dirty hands. I was a little afraid to hurt Fllo at the beginning, but like all pros, once I got started, all hesitance was thrown out the window and I laughed like a mad scientist. I crushed goldfish in a bowl and added water to create a thick paste that any toddler would recognize, I scribbled on the seat pad with the crayon then scribbled some more, and I rubbed sunscreen into the fabric as if it were my thighs rubbing the cream into the fabric. And then I let it sit and congeal and harden.
I made a video to show you how the cleaning kit worked in action. You really should watch it. I think I say “gross” somewhere in there. It’s a new classic, but so is the Clek Fabric Cleaning + Stain Remover Kit.
The goldfish and mustard left particles behind, even after I went over them with a second cleaning. I think if I worked on them some more, I could get them completely clean. I’m pleased to report that the spots where I used the solutions smell like the cleaning solution as opposed to the stains—no more sunscreen smell (or worse!). The solutions should NOT be used on the harness, but the brush can be used in a gentle manner with a mild soap and water to get the ground in grungies.
Eco-friendly, no nasty chemicals
Very pleasant fragrance—barely noticeable
Easy to use
Works on fabrics washed with water
Wish it had a sprayer for each bottle
If you own a Clek seat, you probably should own the Clek Fabric Cleaning + Stain Remover Kit. Granted, the Crypton fabric is wipe-down friendly, but seats tend to get grimy over time and if you’re not the type to keep up with that wipe-down maintenance, a cleaner will come in handy for you (and it cleans the Drift fabric too). I had to search for a disadvantage, truly. And, it can be a wee bit confusing to determine which bottle to use as there is some overlap in what they clean; but, that works in your favor since you know one or the other will clean your stain. The price, $29.99, can be daunting but you don’t use much as you clean. Even the mustard and sunscreen, which proved to be my most stubborn stains, required very little of the solution. Like most things Clek, if you factor the price over time used, it’s well worth the money.
The Clek Fabric Cleaning + Stain Remover Kit is also available on Clek’s website.
Thank you to Clek for providing the Clek Fabric Cleaning + Stain Remover Kit to CarseatBlog.com. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are those of CarseatBlog.
We thought it would be great to bring this awesome kit to you to try, so be sure to sign up for our giveaway! We have one (1) available for the US and one (1) available for Canada. I know! How awesome is Clek?!
To enter, you MUST reply to this blog and leave a comment below (only 1 entry per household).
For extra entries, be sure follow the Rafflecopter instructions to visit our Facebook page, visit the Clek Facebook page, and tweet about the giveaway!
Now for the fine print (these may be in addition to the rules listed in the Rafflecopter terms) – Winner must have a U.S. shipping address to claim the prize. Only one prize will be awarded. You are not eligible if you have won a carseat or any sponsored giveaway at CarseatBlog.com during 2014 or 2015 (our own giveaways of goody bags and such don’t count if no sponsor was mentioned). Blog writers and editors are also not eligible. Only one entry per household/family, please. If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count. We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above. We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules for any reason. The contest will close on October 9, 2015, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 7 days, a new winner will be selected. Good luck! Winner must have a U.S. shipping address. Hawaii and Alaska are also included (though may incur extra shipping fees).
Now for the fine print (these may be in addition to the rules listed in the Rafflecopter terms) – Winner must have Canadian shipping address to claim the prize. Only one prize will be awarded. You are not eligible if you have won a carseat or any sponsored giveaway at CarseatBlog.com during 2014 or 2015 (our own giveaways of goody bags and such don’t count if no sponsor was mentioned). Blog writers and editors are also not eligible. Only one entry per household/family, please. If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count. We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above. We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules for any reason. The contest will close on October 9, 2015, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 7 days, a new winner will be selected. Good luck!
We were first introduced to Hauck’s rear-facing-only infant seat at the ABC Expo in Las Vegas, and we’ve been anxiously awaiting its release ever since. Now the wait is over, and the Hauck PROsafe35 (and the similar iCoo iGuard 35) are available in the United States. Hauck is a German company that has been in business for over 90 years. They are an established manufacturer of juvenile products in Europe where they offer carseats, strollers, high chairs and portable cribs. The PROsafe35 is Hauck’s first foray into the US carseat market. Let’s see how it measures up!
PROsafe35 / iGuard 35 Specifications
Weight range: 4-35 lbs
Height limit: 32″ and at least 1″ of shell over the head
Interior shell height: 21″ (1″ of clearance would allow a child’s bum-to-head height of 20″)
Interior seating width: 9″ at bum, 11″ in shoulder area
Interior seating depth: 10″
Exterior width at handles: 19″
Exterior width at widest part of base: 14.5″
Exterior width at back of base: 13″
Weight of carrier: 10 lbs.
Premium LATCH connectors
Two acceptable recline angles, one for babies under 22 lbs. and one for larger babies
Lots of EPP foam to help absorb energy and enhance side-impact protection in a crash
Innovative recline feature in the base
5-position aluminum handle that offers an anti-rebound position
Reversible (“warm” and “cool”) infant insert for use with babies 4-22 lbs. (With foam wedge 4-11 lbs)
Installation/Fit to Vehicle
The most unique feature of the Hauck PROsafe35 is the innovative recline lever that also serves as the seatbelt lock-off. It’s very important to have an infant seat reclined to the proper angle, and most infant seat bases have some form of built-in recline mechanism. With many seats, though, you need to do a lot of fiddling. You set the base on the seat, but if it’s not at the correct angle, you have to move the base out of position and guess at how reclined to make it, then put it back in position, hoping you guessed correctly. If not, you have to remove the base again and keep guessing until you get it right.
The Hauck recline lever allows you to adjust the angle while the base sits right on the seat. You simply put the base where you want it and open the red lock-off mechanism. Then you push the larger portion of the lock-off toward the back of the vehicle seat and gently raise the base to let the recline foot drop. If you need to reduce the recline, just push the lever again while letting the base drop to the correct angle.
Because the lever doubles as a seatbelt lock-off, if you’re installing with a seatbelt you can tighten the belt and close the lock-off/recline handle as soon as you find the right angle. A seatbelt lock-off is always nice, especially in infant seat bases that can be prone to tipping when the shoulder belt is locked at the retractor. It also helps to guarantee that the seatbelt actually gets locked!
The video below demonstrates how the recline mechanism works.
The PROsafe features premium, push-on style LATCH connectors, which make for an easy installation and uninstallation. I’m a big fan of efficient, visible LATCH storage, and this seat delivers. The LATCH connectors store in the base, in their own little compartments under a small lid that also holds the user manual. (Normally the manual would store in the cubby, but I took it out so you could see the LATCH connectors.)
It’s Bigger, it’s Better, and it’s no longer Boxy. For some, the more rugged appearance of the previous Pilot was a nice departure from most crossover SUVs on the road today. For most, the sleeker styling of the all-new 2016 Honda Pilot is a long-awaited improvement. And the changes only start there. Almost everything else is also improved in this re-design, borrowing various enhancements from the Acura MDX that was introduced for 2014.
Starting with the inside, it’s more spacious than before and is now among the leaders in the midsize class. Honda added 3.5 inches to the new Pilot, helping to increase both legroom and cargo space in back. That’s great for carseats and kids. Thankfully, Honda didn’t change one of the best things about the Pilot: Four of the 6 rear seats have the LATCH carseat attachment system, while all six have top-tether anchors. That makes it one of the most flexible SUVs for carseats in back. Most trim levels seat eight, with only benches available in back, but the Elite trim is only available in a 7-passenger version with an aisle between two second row captain’s chairs.
Other improvements include a cabin that is much more refined and competitive than before, with softer materials all around. The access to the third row is improved, so even adults can get back there more easily than before. Cargo space behind the third row is 1.3″ longer than before, and even more spacious when you flip the stowable lid covering the deep storage area below. If you have a lot of stuff to put behind the third row, the Pilot has more room than almost any midsize competitor. You’d have to go to a minivan or huge full size SUV to do much better. And there are lots more charging outlets for all those devices, too!
Update: The 2016 Pilot earned a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS, and a Top Safety Pick+ when equipped with the Honda Sensing Package. In addition, it earned the top “Good” rating in each individual crash test and a “Superior” front crash protection score. There are not yet any crash testing results from NHTSA. This section will be updated as they are released. Given the excellent results obtained by the similar Acura MDX, I expect the new Pilot do do very well overall.
As for features, there are a full array of airbags and standard safety features, like a multi-angle backup camera and hands-free bluetooth for taking calls on the road. Only the base LX trim lacks optional advanced safety features. On the EX and EX-L, the Honda Sensing package offers a great array of safety enhancements as an option.