News Archive

Britax Raises the Safety Bar with New Boulevard and Advocate with Anti-Rebound Bar

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On the eve of baby safety month, one of the big names in car seats has one again raised the bar for child passenger safety.

Britax, who has long been known and trusted by parents for their high quality car seats, is releasing new Advocate and Boulevard Clicktight convertible seats, now with an Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB) for rear facing children. The Anti-Rebound Bar is a steel bar with external padding that attaches to the end of the seat nearest the child’s feet to help improve performance in a crash.

boulevard

When a rear facing car seat is in a crash, it will often first move backwards, that is, towards the front of the vehicle, and then rebound back toward the seat it is installed in. For years companies have been trying to find a way to manage that rebound motion and for a while, it seemed that rear facing tethering was the direction companies were moving. But as vehicle incompatibility has become an issue, companies have had to look in other directions. It seems that the ARB is the up and coming strategy to manage this rebound motion.

Britax released a statement this week reporting that during testing, using both US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS), the ARB was found to reduce the rebound rotation when rear facing in a crash by 40%, potentially providing a huge safety benefit to rear facing children. The ARB also improved stability to the car seat in frontal, rear-end and side-impact crashes. Since many parents express apprehensive about big kids rear facing in rear-end collisions, this news should also help allay some of those fears.

advocate

The Anti-Rebound Bar is currently being sold as an accessory for $39.99 for all ClickTight convertibles, but it will be available in select Advocate Clicktight ARB ($469.99) and Boulevard ClickTight ARB ($409.99) models starting in early September 2016. In store retailers will carry the Boulevard Clicktight ARB in the Solstice fashion (gray/black- the top picture), where online retailers will carry the ARB versions in the Circa fashion (black- the bottom picture). Look for a full review in the coming weeks, just as soon as we’ve had a chance to try out the Advocate and/or Boulevard ClickTight with Anti-Rebound Bar ourselves.

arb

For more information about Britax, visit us.britax.com and watch for a variety of activities during child passenger safety week, September 18-24.

Clek Foonf & Fllo Cover Flame-Retardant Notification

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fllo-flamingoClek has issued a notice regarding the covers of certain 2014* model year Foonf and Fllo car seats.  They were described as not containing chlorinated flame retardants, but may contain the chemicals. This is NOT a recall, it is a customer satisfaction campaign.  There is no safety issue involved and these products remain fully appropriate for their intended use in the vehicle.  Clek is alerting impacted consumers that their seats were described incorrectly, and the company will provide replacement covers that do not contain chlorinated chemicals.

This notification is for certain Clek Foonf and Clek Fllo seats. You can check to see if your seat is impacted by first identifying the style of your Clek Foonf or Fllo seat. Styles possibly impacted are:

  • 2014 model year Foonf seats with Flamingo, Snowberry, Tank, Dragonfly, Ink, Blue Moon, Shadow, or Tokidoki (Rebel, All-Over, Travel) colors, and 
  • Fllo model seats with the Flamingo color manufactured in 2014.

If you have one of these seats, remove the fabric from the cushion of the seat and look for the 10-digit code (e.g. 104576D-FMO). If the digit immediately following the dash is a C or D, your cover may have been incorrectly described and may contain chlorinated flame retardants. If the digit is E or F, your seat was properly described and is not impacted.  Please see Clek’s updated notice to see if your 2014 model year Foonf or Fllo is affected.

*Please note that some 2014 model year seats have a manufacturing date in late 2013 and these were most likely to be affected.

You can also visually check the padding sewn to the bottom of the seat pad. Impacted seats (like the one pictured below) have a foam material that is not sewn to the cover at the hole for the crotch buckle.

2013 clek cover

Seats that were properly described (and therefore aren’t impacted) contain a woven fibrous material that feels like cotton batten. This fabric might or might not be sewn to the holes around the crotch buckle holes, depending on when it was manufactured. Seats that are not impacted look like this.

2015 clek cover 2014 clek cover

If you have an impacted seat, you can call or email Clek’s customer service at 1-866-656-2462 or customerservice@clekinc. If you have registered your seat and it is one of the impacted models, Clek will automatically send a replacement cover.

Because this is NOT a safety recall, consumers can continue using their seats as usual.

Remember that all seats need to meet federal flammability standards, and currently that standard can’t be met without the use of flame-retardant chemicals. Some companies have moved away from (or never used) certain types of chemicals, like chlorinated or brominated flame retardants, instead opting for chemicals considered “safer.” Chlorinated flame retardants can be used in car seats, but the issue with these Clek seats is that they were described as not containing the chlorinated chemicals when they may actually contain them.

We have written before about flame-retardant chemicals and why they concern some consumers:

Flame Retardants Got You Hot?

Should You Toss Your Toxic Car Seat?

 

New from Nuna: RAVA Convertible and AACE Booster

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Iberry aacet’s been two years since the Nuna Pipa infant seat arrived, and now Nuna is adding to its family with a new convertible seat and a new booster seat.

While we haven’t seen them in person yet, both seats appear to be sleek and stylish, plus full of safety features, just like the popular Pipa. Here are the details on both.indigo rava

The Nuna Rava convertible car seat features a 50-lb rear-facing weight limit, making it one of a handful of seats with such a high capacity. It also features two “True Tension Doors” (one for rear-facing, one for forward-facing), which are panels that clamp down on top of the seatbelt, making for an easy and tight installation. A retractable Calf Support Panel adds extra legroom for rear-facing and provides extra support for forward-facing kids.

Rava Features:

  • Rear-facing from 5-50 lbs. and 49 inches or less
  • Forward-facing from 25-65 pounds, 49 inches or less, and suggested age of at least 2 years old
  • True Tension panels for easy installation
  • Retractable Calf Support Panel
  • Bubble-free recline—recline angle guides confirm the perfect riding angle
  • Energy-absorbing foam and side-impact protection pods
  • One-hand, no-rethread harness
  • Steel frame and reinforced belt path
  • Ten-position head support
  • Ten-position recline (five for forward-facing, five for rear-facing)
  • Two crotch buckle positions
  • Removable infant inserts (for babies 5-11 lbs)
  • Dual, flip-open cupholders that tuck away when not needed
  • Ventilation panels within the shell
  • Breathable, machine-washable fabric
  • Premium LATCH connectors
  • LATCH weight limits: 35 lbs rear-facing, 40 lbs forward-facing (Nuna prefers a seatbelt install)
  • Certified for airplane use
  • 10-year expiration

The Nuna Aace booster seat is a high-back booster that also converts to a backless booster. It features backless Aacerigid LATCH connectors to hold the seat in the car, which can help it from becoming a projectile in a crash. The seat’s shoulder wings adjust out as the headrest is raised, allowing for a more comfortable fit as kids grow. The Aace also features a three-position expandable seat depth to accommodate growing legs.nuna aace growth

Aace Features:

  • High-back limits: 40-110 lbs, 38-60 inches, minimum age of 4 years
  • Backless limits: 50-120 lbs, 38-60 inches, minimum age of 5 years
  • Rigid LATCH
  • One-hand, 9-position heigh adjustment
  • Shoulder system moves in/out in tandem with the height adjustment
  • Three seat depths
  • Eight recline positions (when used as high-back with rigid LATCH)
  • Energy-absorbing foam and side-impact protection pods
  • Removable, dishwasher-safe cupholder (additional cupholder available separately)
  • Ventilation panels and breathable, machine-washable cover
  • LATCH guides for easy lower anchor attachment
  • 10-year expiration

Both seats will be available in a range of solid colors: Slate, Indigo, Berry, and Caviar.

Rava lineup Aace lineup

The Aace booster seat is scheduled to start shipping to retailers Friday, July 15. Shipping for the Rava convertible is still to be determined, but we will update when we hear more.

The CPS Technician’s Guide to Understanding the New Consumer Reports Crash Test Ratings

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This week Consumer Reports created a huge buzz when they released their new ratings on convertible carseats. Some parents were elated with the results, others were clearly upset by some of the scores and revelations and, in general, there was a lot of confusion. We know many of our savvy readers and CPS Techs appreciate more in-depth information and analysis so we wanted to offer you that in this separate follow-up article.

Our original article, which includes a full listing of the crash protection scores for all 23 seats, is here:

The Safest Convertible Carseats? New 2015 Crash Protection Ratings and Methods from Consumer Reports

CR convertible crash test

Why did Consumer Reports decide to create their own, unique crash test for child restraints that already pass all the safety standards in FMVSS 213?