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Graco Signature Smart Seat All-In-One Preview

We broke the story for you a few weeks back at the ABC Kids Expo.  Graco is releasing their first All-In-One carseat, the Graco Smart Seat.  This week, Graco released some additional information at a product launch event.  Unfortunately, no photos or video were allowed, but they did provide some more stock photos.  We hope to have a full review for you within the next few months.  Until then, here are some talking points to tide you over until the Smart Seat appears on shelves at Babies R Us in early 2011.  Yes, I have some measurements and some information from the manual, too, some of which I already posted on the forums and FacebookThe manual was a final draft and the evaluation models were late prototypes.  While they should be representative of the final retail product, changes are still likely. So, please be aware that any information below is still preliminary!

Stay-In-Car Smart Base:  Similar to an infant carrier, there is a unique, wide base that installs with LATCH or seat belt.  Then, you can remove the seat and turn it around and put it back in the base.  You don’t have to uninstall anything from your vehicle to switch from rear-facing to front-facing or back.  The base is not used for booster mode.  Though the base is wide overall, the LATCH and seatbelt routing path inside the base is relatively narrow, making installations fairly easy in the various vehicles we had available.  The base also includes a seatbelt lockoff, like those Graco uses on some infant seat bases.

My Impending Arrival….

The Good News:  It’s arriving this Thursday. It’s sexy in a big, powerful but quiet way. I’m taking requests for photos of specific positions and restraints. ;)   

The Bad News:  It’s not a hot, young, mail-order groom. I only have it for a week. It will probably make me hate what I already have. 

Here’s your one and only hint:

Hint

Guest Blog: A Peg Perusal… The Long Awaited Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Preview from ABC Kids 2010

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

For updated info on the Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible – please see our more recent blog from the 2011 ABC Kids Expo: http://carseatblog.com/13395/abc-expo-2011-whats-new-from-peg-perego-primo-viaggio-sip-convertible-viaggio-hbb/

Perhaps one of the longest awaited convertible seat launches in carseat history is the Peg Perego (pause–any guesses here?) Primo Viaggio convertible seat. The market has been anticipating the arrival of a convertible seat from Peg for longer than I would hazard a guess at, and according to the aptly-named Nicolas Perego their newest seats should be hitting the market early next year. Although the convertible carseat market is fiercely competitive right now, it does seem that the PV Sr. should at least hold it’s own in the current marketplace.

I had this opportunity to meet with Mr. Nicolas Perego at the ABC Kids Show in Las Vegas to discuss the company’s newest seat. What became immediately clear was that the show displays were prototypes, and many of the details of the seat are not yet set in stone with the company. Many of the details Mr. Perego was able to provide on the seat are still tentative as the product is still in the development stage.

Primo Viaggio

Primo Viaggio

Here’s the skinny on the stats–skinny, indeed; The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Sr. is expected to have a 65lb forward-facing weight limit, with a current estimate of the rear-facing weight limit being 30lbs but “maybe 35-40lbs”. The occupant total height estimate is 49″, and because I was seriously lacking a tape measure at ABC (as if I didn’t already feel like a pack mule?) I didn’t get to measure the top harness height on the prototype. The overall height looked very similar to a Britax convertible, as would be expected with that 49″ number. Rear-facing tethering seems to be on Peg’s radar, but there’s no confirmation either way by the company. Nicolas did confirm a 22lb forward-facing starting weight, but that remains to be seen when Sr. hits the market… And when might that be?

Prototype - Lockoff

Prototype - Lockoff

According to Mr. Perego–initial production may begin in Italy, and then later be moved to their United States production facility. Initial production is expected this Winter (Dec-Jan) and there is some possibility that Sr. will hit the Canadian market shortly after hitting shelves in the United States.
As the Italians say…Non lo so! Peg really doesn’t seem to have much of anything set in stone, but we hope they will look to Carseatblog.com for a comprehensive review when the first production seats come off the line!

Pereghi?

Pereghi?

Aww, who couldn’t love the adorable folks at Peg Perego? They were wonderful hosts at ABC, and after looking at the Primo Viaggio Sr., I moved on to explore my other obsession… ;)

ABC Kids Update – What’s New & Improved from Harmony Juvenile Products

At ABC we finally had the opportunity to meet with Michael and the rest of the FIVE-IIHS-BEST-BET-RATED-BOOSTERS Harmony Juvenile Team to check out their newest offerings and eat their stash of complimentary chocolate.  Actually, I think I was the only blog team member to indulge in the free chocolate loot but it was exactly what I needed at that moment – and the next day too when I conveniently needed to stop by again for more pics and measurements.   ;-)

Many of our readers are already familiar with the fabulous little Harmony LiteRider booster (aka, Harmony Youth Booster Seat) that was rated a “Best Bet” by the IIHS and is currently available exclusively at Walmart.  New cover options are Pink Leopard & Camo.  This particular model was absent from the Harmony lineup at ABC because…. well, it’s a wally world exclusive. However, we did get a look at the other IIHS “Best Bet” Harmony boosters, as well as a brand new booster design. First up was the Olympian, a tweaked version of the Secure Comfort Deluxe booster that was originally available at  Toys R Us.  I reviewed the original Secure Comfort Deluxe model last year and found it to be very effective in positioning the seatbelts properly on both of my boys in our minivan’s captains chairs.  However, the IIHS had some issues with that original design in their previous 2009 round of booster fit testing, so to their credit, Harmony went back and tweaked it.  The result of that tweaking is an IIHS “Best Bet” rating for this model which has been renamed the “Olympian“.     

We also saw the Dreamtime highback booster that I reviewed previously on the blog and the please-stop-calling-it-Baby Armor multi-adjustable highback .  All were covered in the nice, padded fabrics that we’ve come to expect from this manufacturer.  Last but not least, a new dual highback design called the V6 along with its backless little sibling – the Carpooler!  They claim you can fit 3 backless Carpooler models across the back of many vehicles but that isn’t a guarantee, obviously.  Much will depend on how much room you have to work with and how your backseat is contoured.  You’re more likely to have 3-across success with the Carpooler if your vehicle backseat cushion is lower (i.e., scooped out) in the outboard positions but more elevated and flat in the center.