News Archive

Breaking News – New Safety 1st “Grow and Go” 3-in-1 Carseat from Dorel

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Greetings from the Lifesavers Conference in Chicago! We’re very excited to share some news and our first glimpse of several new and updated products from Dorel being showcased here at the conference!

One very welcome announcement is that by the end of 2015 all Dorel convertible carseats (Cosco, Safety 1st & Eddie Bauer), will have a 2 year age minimum for forward-facing! Also, all the boosters will now have a 40 lbs. minimum weight rating! 

Grow and Go: the new Safety 1st 3-in-1 (Rear-facing, forward-facing, booster) carseat

This new 3-in-1 model will eventually replace the Alpha Omega  platform which has been around since the late 1990’s! (Can I get an “Amen”!)

20150315_090903 20150315_090910 20150315_090949 20150315_091214 20150315_091221 20150315_122519 20150315_091911

Rear-Facing limits: 5-40 lbs., 40″ tall or less

Forward-facing limits: 22-65 lbs., up to 52″ tall

Booster limits: 40 – 100 lbs.

Bottom harness slot measurement: 6″

Top harness slot measurement: 17″

Features: No rethread harness, buckle holders, easy remove cover

ETA: Summer 2015

MSRP: $169

 

Updated Safety 1st Advance 65 EX Air +

Now with a rear-facing weight limit of 5-50 lbs.! Shipping will begin in April. MSRP $189. The “EX” model is the new one with the expanded limits.

  • Specs: Rear-facing 5-50 lbs., 19-49″; Forward-facing 20-65 lbs., 34-49″
  • Features: No-rethread harness with 10 height positions, 4 position base, Air Protect + technology

20150315_121118 20150315_121141

Updated Dreamride Car Bed 

Now with lower anchor attachments!

20150315_121237

First Look – New Hauck ProSafe 35 Infant Carseat!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

It’s a busy morning here at the Lifesavers Conference and we’re happy to see that Hauck/iCoo is here showing off their new infant carseats for the US and Canadian markets! We first saw the prototype of this new infant carseat at the ABC Expo last fall and we’re excited that it’s almost ready to ship to retailers.

Hauck is a German company that has been in existence for nearly a century and already has carseats in the European market. The ProSafe 35 has already passed US and Canadian testing, and will be rated from 4-35 lbs. and up to about 33″ tall. (Currently they only have the height as 85 cm, but it will be conferred for US manuals.) The iCoo version of this infant seat hasn’t been named yet (only the Hauck model will be called ProSafe 35) but we will update when we have more info.

Hauck ProSafe 35 infant carseat Hauck ProSafe 35 infant carseat Hauck ProSafe 35 infant carseat

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. At ABC, they only had a thin prototype of the insert, but they now have a nicely padded one that will be used in production models.

MSRP on the Hauck version is $199 as a stand-alone seat. A travel system will be available in the future.

Icoo stroller

The iCoo version will be available as a travel system for $799 or $899, depending on model of stroller.

Available May 2015 in the USA, and August in Canada.

Clek’s New “Baby” – Infant Thingy Insert for Newborns!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

ClekLogolargeWe’re reporting from the Lifesavers Conference in beautiful Chicago! Clek is proudly showing off their much-anticipated “Infant Thingy” insert for use with all current and previous Clek Fllo and Clek Foonf convertible models. The Infant Thingy allows parents to use their Clek convertible seats with newborns and younger babies – something that wasn’t possible until now.

Our beloved Baby Jack doll was happy to model so you can get an idea of how it works and how it will look.

20150315_094653 20150315_094716 20150315_094736 20150315_095005

Infant Thingy

  • Rated from 5-22 lbs.; 19-33″
  • Remove Headrest when using Insert Head Support
  • Body support cushion is required until 11 lbs.
  • Body support cushion is required if the Head Rest (part of shell that came with Foonf/Fllo) is attached
  • Use either Headrest that came with Foonf or Fllo or use Head Support from Infant Thingy
  • Will allow bottom harness slots to be used even if baby’s shoulders are below them as per Infant Thingy manual which supersedes all Foonf and Fllo instruction manuals
  • Can be used with all Clek Foonf & Fllo models (current and previous models)
  • EPP foam in head support
  • MSRP $69.99
  • Available April 2015

See our full review of the Clek Fllo here.

See our full review of the Clek Foonf here.

Both Clek Foonf and Fllo are on our list of 2015 Recommended Carseats.

CarseatBlog’s Recommended Carseats List – 2015 Update

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

The-Best-RibbonIt’s been a little over 7 months since we last updated our list of recommended child restraints. In that time some models have been updated, some discontinued and new products have been introduced. A few weeks ago we started the process of revising and updating the entire list and after much thought and discussion we arrived at a consensus. Behold our Updated 2015 List of Recommended Carseats!

We acknowledge that many certified child passenger safety technicians have had it ingrained upon them that they are supposed to act completely neutral toward child restraints. All current seats pass the same FMVSS 213 testing, they are all safe when used correctly, etc., etc. In the course to become certified, most techs were told never to tell a parent that one child seat or brand is better than any other. Instead, technicians are instructed to tell parents that the best seat is the one that fits their child, installs well in their vehicle and is easiest for them to use correctly. Nothing wrong with that.

However, the reality is that once you’ve installed even a dozen different seats, you quickly learn that there are real differences. Some child restraints do tend to install better in general, while some really are easier to use in general. Features like lockoffs for seatbelt installations and premium push-on lower LATCH connectors do make a difference in the vast majority of installations but that doesn’t necessarily mean that every seat that lacks those features is a bust or not worthy of your consideration.

Many years ago, the mighty NHTSA started recommending seats. They didn’t make these recommendations based upon crash testing. No, they were made upon a subjective determination of factors relating to ease-of-use. Ironically, these factors were no more likely to apply to someone’s child and vehicle than the recommendations of an experienced technician! Enter another respected institution, the IIHS. A few years back they began rating booster seats based on fit to a standardized 6 year old dummy. Again, no crash testing whatsoever. Again, no guarantees that the results would apply to your child in your vehicle.

So, who is CarseatBlog to go recommending specific child seats? Well, Heather and Kecia are very experienced Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructors. Darren has been a certified technician for 14 years now and has like a zillion websites on the topic. Our newest blog writers, Jennie (an experienced CPS Technician), Alicia (nurse and former tech), and Andrea (long-time CPS Tech and Tech Proxy) are moms with younger kids who can actually use many of the seats that our own kids have long outgrown. We also like to think that we’ve earned a respectable reputation in the child passenger safety community of manufacturers, agencies and advocates.

Most importantly, though, we’re just parents who have used a lot of different car seats. Collectively, we have 15 kids ranging in age from 1 to 17. We’ve been through every stage, survived every transition, and personally used an astonishing number of different carseats and boosters. So, about 6 years ago, CarseatBlog broke the unspoken rule and began providing expert recommendations for carseats to parents. Like many other products we use daily, we know which ones we tend to like in general, which ones we’d use without reservation for our own kids and which ones we are comfortable recommending to CarseatBlog readers and visitors. And like parents, we know all carseats aren’t created equal!

With all that said, please take our recommendations with a grain of salt. They are merely opinions, after all. And while we did thoughtfully consider the pros and cons of each seat and combine that with our personal experiences with the product – there’s no crash testing involved. Some seats were omitted because we opted to include a similar model from the same manufacturer. For others, we simply didn’t have enough experience with the product yet to form an opinion. There are a number of products that we don’t mention just because a list of every seat we like would be too inclusive. Carseats and boosters not on this list may still be worthy of your consideration! Conversely, some seats we do list may just not work well for you, your child or your vehicle. We’re not saying these are the best or safest choices in child car seats, we’re just saying they’re models we think you should consider. If nothing else, it’s a good place to start when you are carseat or booster shopping!