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”!)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’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.
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)
Darren and I just got back from a fun-filled day at the Chicago Auto Show. Top on our list of things to see was the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot, which you can read about here.
There were a lot of other vehicles to examine, though.
Redesigned Kia Sedona: This is the vehicle I was most impressed with. Darren will have a review of the 7-passenger Sedona shortly, but neither of us had seen the 8-passenger model, and there was a lot to drool over.
The styling is sleek, and the interior (at least on the higher trim models we saw) was gorgeous, with two-toned leather. It looked and felt luxurious.
The middle seat in the second row appeared to be a decent width, although the contoured bolsters of the two outboard seats mean that it doesn’t provide for a typical flat “bench,” which could potentially cause issues when installing a child restraint that doesn’t fit within the footprint of that center position.
The 8-passenger Sedona has three LATCH positions (both captains chairs, plus the third-row passenger) plus a fourth tether anchor in the center of the third row.
The absolute coolest thing about the 8-passenger Sedona, though, was the effortless system for accessing the third row. Simply turn a lever, and the seat practically moves itself out of the way. Another turn and the seat moves back into position. It is by far the easiest method I’ve ever encountered. Watch how easy!
This popular plug-in Hybrid gets a big redesign for 2016. For starters, they removed a couple hundred pounds of weight to make the car lighter, and they increased both the electrical range and the fuel milage. All good stuff.
They also added a fifth seating position to make the car more appealing to families!
Now, Chevy admits the rear center seating position has “no legroom,” and that’s not an exaggeration. The battery runs right through the center of the car, so there’s no way around that. A small boostered or forward-facing child might be okay sitting there, but a rear-facing seat is probably going to be the best option for that position.
Chevy Double-Cab Trucks
Chevrolet’s trucks come in Single Cab, Double Cab, or Crew Cab body styles. The Double Cabs are the ones with the very small, fold-down back seats. As many people know, those can be notoriously difficult to install car seats on due to the shallowness of that fold-down seat. Chevy has come up with a solution, though: a removable headrest that can be inserted into the seat bottom, parallel to the ground, to extend the depth and make it more car-seat friendly. They didn’t have any available for us to see, but we’re intrigued by the possibility.
People asked us to take a look at the Mazda5, mainly to see if it still existed, as there were rumors it was being discontinued. It was there, so fans don’t need to fret. The 5 took some hits recently when it performed abysmally in the small overlap frontal crash test. The model at the show didn’t have crash test data listed, leading us to believe that something has changed. That could be good news for people who had been considering the 5 but were scared off by the previous crash-test results.
A few people asked us to take a look at this new crossover from Honda. We weren’t able to get too close to it since it was on a turntable, but it looked nice from what we could see—sort of a CR-V/Accord mashup.
This is another one people asked us to look at. This 5-seater hatchback had a generous amount of cargo room, although the back seat (at least in the leather version we saw) had funky seat bights with LATCH anchors located well above the bottom seat cushion.
Hyundai Santa Cruz
This is Hyundai’s foray into the truck-crossover market, a market that typically has not had much success. We couldn’t get a good look at the interior as the truck(ish) was up high on a turntable, but it does appear to have half-doors that presumably lead to some sort of back seat. All in all, it wasn’t the most attractive vehicle we saw all day. It reminded Darren of a Subaru Brat.
Random Fun Stuff
Toyota had a Sienna all decked out for the SpongeBob movie. The bright yellow van included a ship-like steering wheel, seats colored like SpongeBob characters, a bubble wand on the roof, and a flatscreen TV in the cargo area. Sorry, you can’t purchase it.
And in case you didn’t see it on our Facebook page, Darren and I got to dance with some Kia hamsters: