Previews Archive

Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Preview


tranzitionsPutting the unpopular and confusing name spelling aside for a moment, the new Tranzitions seat from Graco is a very welcome addition to the current combination seat (aka harness/booster) market. Why? Because the current offerings for combination seats under $100 are slim and all fall short in some major way. Up until now there hasn’t been one easy-to-install, easy-to-use combination seat that functioned well in all modes and has good longevity both as a forward-facing 5-point harness and also as a booster – all for less than $100. Fortunately, I think that’s about to change!

Tranzitions is a forward-facing only combination seat (Graco refers to it as a “Harness Booster”) that can be used with the 5-point harness and also as a belt-positioning booster. In booster mode you have the option to use the seat with the back (highback booster) or without the back (backless booster). I like to think of combination seats as “Stage 3″ seats that are most appropriate for kids over age 2 who have outgrown their convertible seats. Despite being labeled as a 3-in-1 carseat, the Tranzitions cannot be used rear-facing which is confusing for many parents who have come to associate the term “3-in-1″ with a product that can be used rear-facing, forward-facing and as a booster. If you’re looking for a rear-facing/forward-facing/booster seat, see our reviews of the Graco 4Ever All-in-One and Graco Milestone All-in-One.

Graco Tranzitions Spec & Features:

  • Forward-facing with 5-pt harness: 22-65 lbs.
  • Highback Booster: 30 – 100 lbs.
  • Backless Booster: 40 – 100 lbs.
  • No rethread harness with 8 height positions
  • Dual cup holders (outer plastic portion can be dismantled if space is more important than a functioning cupholder)
  • Machine washable cover
  • Open loop shoulder belt guide for highback booster mode
  • Babies R Us exclusive (for now)
  • Available October
  • Lifespan is 7 years from date of manufacture
  • MSRP $99

Graco Tranzitions Graco Tranzitions Graco Tranzitions

Graco Tranzitions Measurements:

  • Top harness slot: 18″
  • Top shoulder belt guide height for highback mode: 19.5″ to belt guide opening
  • Width across armrests: 18″
  • Seating area depth: 13″
  • Crotch strap/buckle positions: 6″, 7.5″
  • Widest area (across cupholders): 19″
  • Width at bottom of base (widest part):  17″

Graco Tranzitions Graco Tranzitions Graco Tranzitions Graco TranzitionsGraco Tranzitions Graco Tranzitions

Graco TranzitionsA note about the energy-absorbing properties of a blow molded shell:
Blow molding is a manufacturing process by which hollow plastic parts are formed. The blow molded headrest on Tranzitions has an interior and exterior wall with a void (air) between them. This design absorbs energy in a controlled manner very similar to having an EPS/EPP foam liner. Graco uses a drop test procedure that measures G forces to validate the effectiveness of this design.

We tested both with an EPS head rest and also the blow molded head rest, both at the back most surface and the side wings. The results on repeated testing shows that this wall of the blow molded seat represents very similar G values as we see on the existing head rests with an EPS liner.

Some final thoughts on the name “Tranzitions”. Considering that Evenflo already has a combination seat on the market called “Transitions”, I can’t say that I’m pleased with the name choice. Carseats are confusing enough already without making things worse for consumers with these much-too-similar names. Imagine if another manufacturer came out with a combination seat and called it Nautiluz! Now, in Graco’s defense, they’ve had this idea for a name for years – but it was never a good idea as far as many were concerned. I know a lot of us cringed at the spelling when we first saw it attached to a completely different Graco seat at the ABC show a few years ago. Personally, I’m just going to refer to this seat as the Graco “Z”. That’s easy, not confusing and won’t hurt my brain to look at. On the bright side, at least they didn’t call it the SnugRide 65. 😉

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Evenflo Embrace DLX Infant Carseat with “SensorSafe” Preview


sensorsafe embrace, transmitter signalEvenflo recently announced that they are about to launch their new SensorSafe Embrace DLX infant carseat. This is the first carseat on the market to feature technology integrated into the chest clip. This particular Embrace infant seat model will launch in August and will be available for purchase at Walmart. MSRP is $149.99.

“SensorSafe” was designed to help prevent children from being accidentally left behind in cars. Before you rush to judgement on this issue, please take a moment to read this article.

What kind of person forgets a baby?

The wealthy do, it turns out. And the poor, and the middle class. Parents of all ages and ethnicities do it. Mothers are just as likely to do it as fathers. It happens to the chronically absent-minded and to the fanatically organized, to the college-educated and to the marginally literate. In the last 10 years, it has happened to a dentist. A postal clerk. A social worker. A police officer. An accountant. A soldier. A paralegal. An electrician. A Protestant clergyman. A rabbinical student. A nurse. A construction worker. An assistant principal. It happened to a mental health counselor, a college professor and a pizza chef. It happened to a pediatrician. It happened to a rocket scientist.

The frightening reality is that everyone is capable of such an unimaginable act. I know what you’re thinking – everyone but you. *You* don’t need to be reminded that your baby is in the vehicle because *you* would never forget. It’s so easy to make yourself believe that because think of the alternative! What kind of parent believes that they could actually forget their child in the car??? But it happens. Over and over. Year after year. And there is no doubt that technology like this can – and will, save lives.

Moving beyond the debates and the horrors of reality – let’s talk briefly about how SensorSafe technology works. Keep in mind that we will have a complete review of this updated Embrace 35 model and the SensorSafe Technology in the very near future. In the mean time, if you’re looking for more info on the carseat itself – you can check out our existing review of the Evenflo Embrace 35.

How SensorSafe Technology Works:

  • Two components – a transmitter inside the chest clip and a receiver plug
  • Insert receiver plug into your vehicle’s OBDII port (receiver plug works with model year 2008 or newer vehicles with gas or diesel engine; if you have a hybrid or start/stop vehicle you will need a different receiver plug which you can get by calling Evenflo customer service)
  • Receiver plug communicates with transmitter in chest clip once vehicle starts moving
  • If chest clip is unbuckled while vehicle is moving, a series of tones will sound within 30 seconds
  • When vehicle is turned off, a series of tones will immediately remind driver the driver that there is a child buckled in the carseat

Evenflo SensorSafe - chest clip Evenflo SensorSafe - receiver

For more specific information on SensorSafe please see Evenflo’s FAQ page:

Evenflo Sensorsafe Embrace - peridot Evenflo Sensorsafe Embrace - boot and canopy Evenflo Embrace DLX with SensorSafe - Kona

And stay tuned for a full review of the Evenflo SensorSafe Embrace DLX infant carseat coming soon!

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


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”!)

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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

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Updated Dreamride Car Bed 

Now with lower anchor attachments!


First Look – New Hauck ProSafe 35 Infant Carseat!


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 ProSafe35 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 will be called iGuard35 and we will update when we have more info on the differences.

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. An iCoo travel system will be available soon.

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.