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Conference/ABC Expo Archive

ABC Expo 2013: What’s new from Dorel including a Maxi-Cosi RodiFix Booster Preview!

The Maxi-Cosi RodiFix booster was on display at ABC and I gravitated towards it immediately upon entering the Dorel booth. I’m really excited to see a booster without armrests available in the U.S. again! For those of us who once owned and loved a previous highback booster without armrests from a different manufacturer – I will tell you that this one reminded me a lot of that other product, except better. Rigid LATCH attachments, Air Protect Technology in the headwings, a super-cool shoulder belt guide and a real recline feature. Yeah, the Maxi-Cosi RodiFix is officially awesome! :)

Maxi-Cosi RodiFix has just started shipping to retailers and is available at Baby Specialty Stores and at Amazon.com. $249.

        

 

New Safety 1st “Store n’ Go” boosters coming soon – should be available by the end of this year.

  • Minimum 4 years and 40 lbs
  • HBB $59.99; Backless version $24.99
  • Measured 22.5″ to shoulder belt guide on highback model
  • Like all Dorel boosters, will require adequate head support from vehicle headrest

    

 

New Cosco “Light n’ Comfy” infant seat will replace Comfy Carry

  • Carrier will be very similar to current Comfy Carry
  • Base will be redesigned so carrier can’t be lifted off back of base when secured (to be clear – the Comfy Carry base attachment is totally safe but being able to lift it off the back of the base once it’s locked on freaks some people out so they’re redesigning the base not to do that)
  • Will be available at various price points, depending on features – just like Comfy Carry models (rear-adjust/front adjust/adjustable base, etc)
  • $59 for rear adjust model, $69 & $79 for “Elite & Elite Plus” models with more/better features
  • Production starts December

 

A POTENTIAL new fashion for Pria and Prezi. If you love them – call or email your local specialty retailers and insist that they order these! This one is called “Bohemian Blue”.

      

 

Cosco Apt 40 RF Convertible & Comfy Carry Infant Seat in “Mickey” & “Minnie” fashions. I believe these are definitely going to hit the market but I have no other details at the moment.

    Cosco Comfy Carry in Minnie Mouse fashion

 

ABC Expo 2013: What’s New From Recaro – Guardia Infant Seat & Urbanlife Stroller Preview

At last year’s ABC show, Recaro promised that we’d see an infant seat by the next ABC show – and they delivered on that promise! Plus, they had a really cool stroller to go with it. Both the infant seat and the stroller models we saw were prototypes and the final production models should be available here in the U.S. sometime in 2nd qtr 2014. They’re working on Canada too but didn’t have an ETA for availability there yet. We’ll keep you posted when we have more details on that to share.

Recaro Guardia Infant Seat (prototype pictured):

  • 4-35 lbs
  • No rethread harness
  • Unique macro & micro adjustment features on base
  • ETA 2nd qtr 2014
  • Expected MSRP $250

Recaro Guardia Infant Seat  Recaro Guardia Infant Seat & Urbanlife stroller

Recaro Guardia Infant Carseat & Stroller

 

Recaro Urbanlife Stroller

  • Adapter for Guardia infant seat built into tray
  • Flip-flop-friendly brake
  • ETA 2nd qtr 2014
  • Expected MSRP $250

Recaro Urbanlife stroller

 

Vivo booster has been discontinued so if you love the Vivo or anticipate needing one in the future – grab one now while they’re still available! Vivo will be replaced by Performance Booster XL which is a Performance Booster minus the LATCH attachments and possibly some other differences too.

New Performance BOOSTER (already available – see our Performance BOOSTER Review here)

Recaro Performance Booster

 

ABC Expo 2013: Kids Embrace Update

Turtle Kids Embrace

There we were, walking around the ABC Kids Expo, when we suddenly noticed a Kids Embrace car seat version of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle staring at us. I squealed a little. It’s not that I’m that enthralled with the Turtles, but my son likes them and it brought back some childhood memories… But I digress.

We snapped a photo and put it on Facebook, unsure of the kind of reaction it would get. In the past, Kids Embrace hasn’t gotten a lot of love from the car-seat-enthusiast community. When the seats first came out, the top harness height was lower than other combination seats on the market and that made people worry that little kids would be forced into booster seats prematurely.

Kids Embrace listened, though, and raised the top harness height to 17″. That’s a respectable measurement that will get most kids to a safe booster age. (Remember that 17″ on an upright combination seat tends to be a true 17″, whereas the same measurement in a convertible usually won’t hold a child with a 17″ torso. That’s due to the natural recline of even an upright convertible, and just one of those unexplained mysteries of the car seat world.)

We think it’s time Kids Embrace got more credit and more respect. Their characters are likely to appeal to children in the 3-6 age range, and anything that gets kids excited about car seats and keeps them in a 5-pt harness until a safe booster age (generally 5-6 years old) is a good thing. There are lots of parents who rush their kids into boosters at age 3. In that case, a kid begging for a Batman seat might make all the difference.

But back to the Ninja Turtle. Right now, Leonardo is the only one in the works (sorry, Donatello fans). They’re looking at a release date of December, so keep an eye out if you have a Ninja Turtle fan in your house. (As it turned out, the feedback on our Facebook photo was overwhelmingly positive—lots of people want a Ninja Turtle in their back seat!)

Batman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dora & SpongeBob are all currently available. Prices range from $129-$149. The Batman seat is also going to Canada soon!

  

Also coming from Kids Embrace is a line of backless booster seats. The ones they had on display were Batman and Super-Man, in “boy” and “girl” colors. Those are cool enough to appeal to the older booster-rider who might be getting hesitant about having to ride in one.

Kids Embrace booster

While we were talking with the Kids Embrace folks, we started brainstorming some other characters they could pursue. We suggested Minecraft (I’m sure my 9-year-old would do ANYTHING for a Creeper booster) and Lego. Obviously we have no idea if Kids Embrace will pursue either option, but I was so inspired that the first thing I did when I got home from Vegas was to raid my son’s Legos to create a “prototype” booster.

Lego seat

Don’t those Lego hands just scream “cup holder”? Tell us what you think.

 

ABC Expo 2013: What’s New from Cybex

Cybex Aton QAt last year’s ABC Show, Cybex introduced the Aton 2 with the load leg and it’s proven to be a very popular infant seat. The load leg on the base keeps the infant seat from rotating down toward the floor which improves stability and helps absorb crash forces. Cybex has done comparison crash tests against the competition to see how effective the load leg really is in dissipating crash energy, and they’ve found it to be eye-opening, not only in terms of reducing downward rotation of the infant seat, but also in reducing rebound as well (see chart below). When you reduce the downward rotation, it’s essentially reducing the bounce back from the vehicle seat cushion since it didn’t go as far into the cushion as it would have otherwise. The Aton 2 also introduced the Linear Side Impact Protection (LSP) flip-up device on the sides of the handle. These innovative features won the Aton 2 the JPMA Innovation Award for 2012.

Cybex Comp Chart   X-Force

This year, Cybex introduces the Aton Q infant seat. The Aton Q is a part of their Platinum line of products, the top echelon. The Q also won this year’s JPMA Innovation Award, so two years in a row for Cybex! Congrats! What makes the Aton Q different from the Aton and the Aton 2? Plenty. First, it has a larger canopy, but it’s still very Euro, very Aton in flavor. The Q has a no re-thread harness that, as the harness slots move down to fit a smaller baby, the seat pan moves up to boost the baby up to those slots. Innovation anyone? Pictured below is the Euro model with 3-pt harness and no chest clip. The model for the US will have a 5-pt harness and a chest clip. The belt path prongs on the carrier are colored in silver (platinum) plastic, with other silver accents. The Linear Side Impact Protection (LSP) is shifted off the handle and toward the top of the carrier, nearer to the baby’s head. On either side, the LSP telescopes out from the side of the carrier to the depth needed for maximum protection. Perhaps best of all, the Aton Q will fit any Aton base. Cybex is expecting a 1st quarter delivery and a price point of $349.

Cybex Aton Q  Cybex Aton Q