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Celebrating the Brand New Cosco Scenera NEXT

Scenera NEXT FionaThis story begins back in August at the KIM Conference, when Dorel Senior Product Marketing Manager, Ryan Hawker, pulled Kecia and me aside and told us excitedly he had something to show us. That something was the Scenera NEXT and the official launch for this awesome little seat was on Saturday at the Dorel Technical Center in Columbus, IN, where they manufacture the NEXT and other Dorel carseats. Honored for the invitation to the launch, I had to battle Darren, Kecia, and Jennie for who would go to the event. Unfortunately for Darren and Kecia, they had already visited the Dorel Technical Center several years ago when it first opened; Jennie’s daughter, it turns out, had a recital that day. Win for Heather!

Technical center sign

The Dorel manufacturing facility is indeed enormous at 1.1 million square feet. They do everything here from designing carseats to 3D printing for testing to manufacturing to storage and shipping. We started our tour of the facility at the Technical Center. Everyone had done a great job of setting it up for fun! There were balloons anchored by locking clips everywhere. All employees were wearing Scenera NEXT t-shirts. The launch event wasn’t just a tour for the blog and two other invited dignitaries (That makes us sound important, doesn’t it? Ha!). No, it was for the families of those who work on the NEXT to come in and see what their family members do at work. This was the first time Dorel had done an event like this and also the FIRST time they’d gotten a carseat from idea to production in a YEAR. That’s unheard of in carseatland.

Scenera NEXT Fiona Scenera NEXT Minnie Scenera NEXT Realtree Pink Camo Scenera NEXT Bloom

We started in the foyer of the Technical Center where they had a few NEXT fashions shown, then we moved into a room with a big screen where they were showing a video of kids explaining the features of the NEXT. All 13 fashions of the NEXT were there—unfortunately it was very dark and there was no way I could get a good picture. Trust me, you’ll love them all. They had face painting for the kids off to the right in the open offices—you can tell this is a carseat company since there are carseats laying about everywhere. They weren’t just new carseats either. Ancient carseats in pristine condition lined one wall—oh wait, they’re still a few years younger than me.

1972 Cosco seat old seats 2 old seats 1

We next visited the 3D printing room where 2 printers work to make test pieces. When an engineer designs a part and wants to know if it will work a certain way, he or she sends a CAD file here and it’ll get printed up. Sometimes the part is sturdy enough to be installed on the test seat located in the room.

3D models

Just a few feet down the hall is the crash testing lab. They were running crash tests about every 5 minutes so everyone could get a chance to see one. The crash tests happen so fast you have to be standing and looking at just the right spot to see it happen. Even then, if you blink, you miss it. That’s truly how fast it happens. Fortunately, they had a slo-mo video at the other end of a different test that we all shuffled down to watch. Because they weren’t setting up a new seat after each test, I asked Ryan if they had ever done multiple crash tests on a seat before. He said they hadn’t and were using this as an opportunity to see how this carseat held up. I didn’t look carefully at the seat they were using, but I believe it was Safety 1st Complete Air.

On our way to see the NEXT actually being molded, we came across 2 carseat mold forms—about 4′ tall—sitting on the floor. Ryan explained that the mold comes in 2 halves, which are pressed together under great pressure. The plastic is injected into the mold, cooled, then removed from the mold by robots for more cooling, removing of sharp plastic bits, and label application. Next the seat shells are transported by conveyor belt to human hands for wicked fast assembly of the rubber plugs that help the NEXT grip the vehicle seat, harness adjuster strap, tether assembly, harness, LATCH strap, and cover. The final step in the process is a computerized camera and laser quality assurance check that makes sure *everything* on the carseat has been assembled perfectly. If it hasn’t, an alarm is sounded and it gets pulled and checked for errors. Each carseat is stored in a database so it can be tracked if a customer calls about it.

mold injection mold machine injection mold machine 2 injection mold machine 3 injection mold machine 4 injection mold machine piston assembly line

We ended our tour where most employees begin their day: at the Shining Star wall. When they clock in, employees pass a wall filled with stories where Dorel carseats have saved lives. Handwritten thank you letters with pictures of carseats and crashed vehicles are posted on the wall and a notebook is kept to the side to keep older letters as new ones arrive. It goes to show that when you share your story with the people who create the carseat your baby rides in, whether your baby is a few hours old or several years old, they know about it and appreciate it.

Dorel Shining Star wall

After going through the facility and meeting the people behind Dorel and Cosco, I came away with a powerful feeling of family and pride. We ran into many 2nd generation employees as we made our way through and they were so proud to share their jobs with us and their families, who had never been to the factory floor before. All the families were dressed up and it was clearly an important and fun day for everyone and all for the launch of a new little carseat destined to take the carseat world by storm.

We have a mini-review of the Cosco Scenera NEXT in our Comparison of Budget Priced Convertibles under $100 and will have a full review soon. Stay tuned for a giveaway! The NEXT is available for purchase for $49 from Walmart.com.

Of course, my trip to Indiana would not have been possible if not for the invitation from our Cosco friends and 360 Public Relations. Thank you for sharing the day with me and allowing me to see your processes and the pride behind the products.

ABC Expo 2014: Strollers! What’s New from Orbit Baby, Baby Jogger, UPPAbaby & Quinny

Orbit Baby O2

Orbit Baby:

Orbit doesn’t have anything new this year on the car-seat front, but they do have a very cool new stroller in the works: The O2 Hybrid is a combo jogging/regular stroller compatible with Orbit stroller seats, bassinets, and car seats using Orbit’s patented SmartHub system. 

The stroller uses a piston system to raise or lower the seat depending on the situation. In City Mode, the seat is higher up, giving the baby/child a better view of the world, and giving mom/dad a better view of the child. It provides for easy steering for malls or casual strolls.

In Performance Mode, the seat sinks down and back, lowering the center of balance for the stroller to make it safer and easier to steer when running with a locked front wheel.

You can see here how the seat rises and lowers:

The stroller features an adjustable handle; red- and green- coded pedicure-friendly brakes, and a design that allows it to stand when folded.

The O2 Hybrid should be available in Summer 2015 for $600 standalone or $900 as a travel system.

Orbit Baby O2 jogger stroller rf Orbit Baby O2 jogger stroller rf reclined

Baby Jogger:

Vue Double (Coming Spring 2015)

Baby Jogger Vue Double Baby Jogger Vue Double side

Baby Jogger Vue Double Baby Jogger Vue Double

Vue Single

Baby Jogger Vue Baby Jogger Vue with Nuna Pipa

Vue Lite (Coming Spring 2015)

Baby Jogger Vue Lite Baby Jogger Vue Lite Red Baby Jogger Vue Lite inside

City Mini

Baby Jogger City Mini Baby Jogger City Mini

City Select

Baby Jogger City Select

UPPAbaby:

2015 VISTA is updated and this model can comfortably hold 2 MESA infant carseats, or two bassinets or 2 toddler seats. Or any combination of those, facing in any direction. Truly an amazing engineering feat!

UPPAbaby Vista 2015 2015 Uppababy Vista

2015 Legacy (Coming Spring 2015)

2015 Uppababy Legacy

Quinny

Moodd

Quinny Moodd Stroller DSCN5537 DSCN5538

Quinny Yezz Stroller

Quinny Yezz stroller Quinny Yezz

Britax B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Seat Preview

Happy Birthday B-Safe 35Greetings from the Britax launch event in NYC! Today Britax USA officially introduced the newest member of their carseat family to the world. Welcome, Britax B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Elite rear-facing infant seats!

Check out yesterday’s Sneak Peek blog for all the official specs and features. Today I will focus on pictures and first impressions.

Britax B-Safe 35 Top View Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Fit

What I love:

  • Unique, center-pull lower LATCH anchor installation with premium push-on lower anchor connectors
  • SafeCell impact-absorbing technology in the base
  • Dimensions small enough to fit preemies well
  • Wide beltpath guides on carrier for easier installation without base
  • Spring-loaded adjustable base with 3 positions
  • New cinching lockoffs for seatbelt installations
  • New smaller chest clip design
  • Extra large canopy
  • Easy-to-remove cover on Elite model
  • Designed to take up less space in the vehicle
  • Made in USA, a rarity for infant seats!

Seats will be shipping in early December and should be available in stores by mid December.  Price point for B-Safe 35 is $209. Elite is $249. “Shower Collection” fashions (bright colors) will be available in early March. Oh Canada – you will be getting your new B-Safe 35 (and yes it will be rated to 35 pounds!) sometime in January!

Britax B-Safe 35/Elite Base Britax B-Safe 35/Elite Base Bottom View

Britax B-Safe 35 Base Seatbelt Lockoff Britax B-Safe 35 Lockoff Closeup

Britax B-Safe 35 Recline Angle Indicator Brtiax B-Safe 35 Elite in B-Agile Stroller

Britax B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Elite – Sneak Peek at New Infant Careats from Britax!

This week Britax USA will officially unveil the newest members of their carseat family – the B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite rear-facing child safety seats.  We will have more coverage tomorrow for the official launch.  Britax will have official product pages, a press release and more information at that time as well, so if you have questions for Britax please wait to contact them until Wednesday (Nov 12)!

B-SAFE 35: Coming Soon to Amazon.com

B-SAFE 35 Elite:  Coming Soon to Amazon.com

The B-Safe 35 currently retails for $209.99 at The Right Start, the B-Safe 35 Elite retails for $249.99 at The Right Start and an extra B-Safe 35/Elite base retails for $99.99 at The Right Start.

 

B-Safe 35 Elite

Providing advanced levels of safety, comfort and convenience, the B-Safe 35 Elite is the ideal infant car seat to keep your baby safe and secure on the journey ahead. SafeCell Impact Protection surrounds your baby in safety features that work together to protect beyond the established standards. The Impact Absorbing Base absorbs crash energy and our Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame gives strength where you want it most. Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS offers an advanced layer of protection with an energy-absorbing headrest designed to keep your baby’s head and neck extra secure in the event of a crash.

To ensure the best fit, the Quick-Adjust Harness grows taller with your baby at the push of a button and our SafeCenter LATCH Installation features convenient center-pull straps that make correct installation painless. The B-Safe Elite also features an Easy-Remove Cover that pulls right off for convenient cleaning and Premium Fabrics with Plush Foam Padding for superior comfort.

The B-Safe Elite Infant Car Seat is rear-facing only (for babies 4 to 35 lbs) and has been designed to surround your baby in comfort and best-in-class safety, giving you the peace of mind to travel with confidence.

Bulleted List – Features & Benefits

Safe and Secure

  • SafeCell Impact Protection is an integrated system of safety components that work together to protect your child beyond the established standards.  Including our Impact Absorbing Base, Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame, and Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS, SafeCell means your child is surrounded in best-in-class safety.
  • SafeCell Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS gives your child an advanced layer of protection with an energy-absorbing head restraint designed to keep your baby’s head and neck extra secure.
  • SafeCell Impact Absorbing Base reduces the potential for injury by compressing to absorb crash energy
  • SafeCell Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame gives you peace of mind knowing there is strength where you want it most, at the connection point to the vehicle.
  • Made in the USA with global components

Fit & Comfort

  • Premium Fabrics with Plush Foam Padding surround your child in comfort.
  • Ergonomic Handle makes carrying comfortable for the hand or forearm.
  • Removable Infant Body Pillow ensures newborns are properly positioned and cozy.
  • Extra-Large Canopy provides sun and rain protection.

Smart & Simple

    • Streamlined Design takes up less space in your vehicle while providing best in class comfort and protection.
    • Quick-Adjust Harness grows taller with your child at the push of a button ensuring a proper fit without needing to re-thread the harness straps.
    • Easy-Remove Cover pulls free of the car seat for convenient cleaning without having to remove the harness.
    • SafeCenter LATCH Installation provides simple, convenient LATCH installation through the use of easy center-pull straps that cinch down quickly.
    • Easy-On / Easy-Off LATCH Connectors lock into place with an audible click and are easily released with the push of a button.
    • Built-in Lock-Offs ensures a snug vehicle seat belt installation with minimal effort.
    • Spring-Assisted Recline and Dual Level Indicators make setting the proper installation angle simple and easy.
    • Click & Go System featuring a quick-release handle makes for an easy and secure attachment to the any Britax stroller.
    • Easy-Release Button makes it simple to loosen harness straps.

 

B-Safe 35 Specs & Features:

  • 4-35 lbs., 32″ or less
  • 4 Sets of harness slots: 5″, 7″, 9″, 11″
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions: 4″. 6″
  • New lockoffs for installation with seatbelt
  • Deep, protective shell for enhanced SIP
  • Impact-absorbing base with SafeCell Technology
  • Center-pull lower LATCH strap installation
  • Premium push-on lower anchor connectors
  • Easy-to-read level indicators (one on each side of base)
  • Extra large canopy
  • Compact design takes up less space in vehicle
  • Wide beltpath guides for easier install without base
  • Carrier weight: 10 lbs.
  • 3 fashions: Black, Red & Sandstone

Britax B-Safe 35 - Stock red Britax B-Safe 35 - Stock red 2 Britax B-Safe 35 - base 2 Britax B-Safe 35 - base

B-Safe 35 Elite Specs & Features:

  • 4-35 lbs., 32″ or less
  • No rethread harness: 5.5″ – 11″
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions: 4″. 6″
  • New lockoffs for installation with seatbelt
  • Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS
  • Impact-absorbing base with SafeCell Technology
  • Center-pull lower LATCH strap installation
  • Premium push-on lower anchor connectors
  • Easy-to-read level indicators (one on each side of base)
  • Extra large canopy
  • Compact design takes up less space in vehicle
  • Wide beltpath guides for easier install without base
  • Carrier weight: 11.5 lbs.
  • 5 fashions: Cowmooflage, Red Pepper, Vibe, Domino, Cactus Green

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - stock cowmoo Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - stock cow 2Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - cactus green Britax B-Safe Elite B-Agile together Britax B-Safe Elite TS

 

Stay tuned for more info from the official launch event tomorrow!