Previews Archive

Mifold Grab and Go Booster Preview – Wow!

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See the full Mifold Grab and Go Booster Review now posted HERE.

mifold at ABCWe had an opportunity to meet with the inventor of mifold booster, Jon Sumroy, at the 2015 ABC Kids Expo. There has been a lot of buzz about this innovative new product and we were excited to get our first look at it. Thankfully we can report that we were not disappointed and even though this is still in prototype stage, we are very excited and optimistic about the final product!

Based on feedback received on our forums at Car-Seat.org, they did slightly redesign the original Mifold model for the American market in order to increase the likelihood of earning a Best Bet fit rating from the IIHS.

Mifold - width comparisons Mifold - seat with belt adjuster Mifold - metal in belt guides Mifold - covers

Mifold Specs & Features

  • 40-120 lbs.
  • Recommended 4-12 yrs old
  • 3-position width-adjustable lap belt guides (S-M-L)
  • Mandatory shoulder belt adjuster strap (completely original design—see video below)
  • Weighs about 1.5 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions: about the size of a woman’s clutch purse

The complete Mifold review is now posted here: http://carseatblog.com/38680/mifold-grab-and-go-booster-review-honey-they-shrunk-the-booster/

ABC Kids Expo 2015 – Graco Extend2Fit Convertible (Shut Up and Take My Money) Preview

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Extend-to-Fit front

Update: Please read our Graco Extend2Fit REVIEW

One of the most eagerly anticipated seats at the ABC Kids Expo this year is Graco’s Extend2Fit convertible. What sets this seat apart is an innovative leg rest/seat extender that gives rear-facing children more legroom. Although we know that bent legs don’t pose a safety hazard, and we know that kids tend to be little contortionists, lots of parents worry that their kids look uncomfortable rear-facing and use squished legs as a reason to turn kids forward-facing, often before they should. Graco hopes to combat that worry with the Extend2Fit.

The seat we saw was a prototype so the soft goods and some other aspects might change a bit, but we liked what we saw.

The details:

  • 4-50 lbs. rear-facing
  • 22-65 lbs. and 49″ or less forward-facing
  • Infant insert
  • 10-position harness height, maxing out at 18 inches
  • 6-position recline (3 positions for forward-facing; 3 for rear-facing)
  • 17″ seat depth with panel extended
  • Steel reinforced shell
  • 10-year expiration

We were concerned that the Extend2Fit’s expandable seating area might cause the seat to take up an excessive amount of room in the car, but I don’t think that will be a problem. When we put the seat in the most upright rear-facing position and extended the panel, the seat took up only about 28″. Graco said they’ve done extensive fit-to-vehicle testing and found that in most cases, an average-sized man should be able to sit comfortably in the front seat.

Extend-to-fit smallest size Extend-to-Fit largest size

With a tall shell and a 50-lb rear-facing weight limit, this looks like it will be a great fit for larger rear-facing kids, yet it should still fit newborns well, too. Here’s Romeo modeling:

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The seat will be available in three colors, plus there will be retailer-specific fashions. The Extend2Fit should be shipping in November and should hit stores in January. Retail price is expected to be $199.

New Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Preview – Extended Rear-Facing with Extended Legroom!

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Update: Please read our Graco Extend2Fit REVIEW

Are you tired of convertible seats that don’t last forever in the rear-facing position?  Sick of products that lack decent legroom for your leggy rear-facing 3-year-old? Frustrated by expensive carseats that don’t even have dual integrated cup holders? Well, your troubles are soon to be over! 

Okay, being serious for a moment – we won’t even lay eyes on this seat for another 2 weeks when it’s unveiled at the ABC Kids Expo but I’m going to go out on a limb (or maybe I should say “on an extension”) and predict that this seat is going to be a walk-off homerun for Graco and for the legions of parents who are passionate about extended rear-facing!

Graco Extend2Fit - stock

Competition? What Competition! You have to see it to believe it!  

This is Graco’s first carseat to be rated to 50 pounds in the rear-facing position. And while 50 lbs. RF might be overkill for a lot of kids, if you are the parent of a mega-sized toddler – this has got to be music to your ears! Plus, we already know how tall the other height-adjustable Graco convertible seats are (Size4me and clones, 4Ever, Milestone, etc.) so if Extend2Fit is a similar height – wow! That is going to be one very long-lasting convertible seat.

But wait, there’s more!

They could have stopped right there and that would have been enough to sway a lot of consumers but they took it to the next level by doing something that no other CR manufacturer has ever done with a convertible seat before. They added a 4-position extension panel that provides up to 5 inches of additional legroom in the rear-facing position! Honestly, if that doesn’t silence the rear-facing critics who can’t seem to get over the horrible injustice of having a RF child sit with his legs bent, or crossed, or propped up – I guess nothing will.

So, how much would you pay for this awesome new carseat?  $1500?  $464.72?  $29?

MSRP will be $199! Which is really good news if you were willing to spend $1500 or $464.72 and kinda bad news if you were only willing to spend $29.

Act now and you get 2 free cupholders!

Well, actually you can’t act now because the seat won’t be available until January 2016. And technically the dual cupholders are integrated into the shell and come with the seat but it sounded good so I had to throw that in there. 😉

Graco Extend2Fit Specs & Features:

  • Rear-facing 4-50 lbs., up to 45″ tall
  • Forward-facing 22-65 lbs., up to 49″
  • 10-position adjustable headrest
  • 6 recline positions (4 for RF; 3 for FF; 1 of the RF reclines can be used FF)
  • 4-position extension panel provides up to 5” of extra legroom
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Fuss Free harness storage holds the buckles out of the way during loading and unloading
  • Premium push-on LATCH connectors
  • Machine washable cover
  • Dual integrated cup holders
  • 10 year lifespan before expiration

I guess the only thing left to say is…

Shut-up-and-take-my-money

 

Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Preview

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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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