Previews Archive

2014 ABC Expo: *NEW* Hauck/i’coo Infant Carseat

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hauckicoologoAs we were wandering around the ABC Expo, we stumbled upon a new seat we didn’t even know was in the works. It’s an infant seat from Hauck, a German company that has been in existence for nearly a century and already has seats in the European market. The seat, named ProSafe 35, has already passed US and Canadian testing, and will be rated from 5-35 lbs.

ProSafe35 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.

Hauck icoo rear-facing only  Hauck icoo measurement  Hauck icoo rear-facing only seat  Hauck icoo winter summer insert

There are four harness heights that get progressively wider as they get higher, to fit larger children better. Possibly the neatest feature of the seat is in the base: The angle adjuster is built into the belt lockoff. That means that you can adjust it to exactly where you need it while it’s sitting where it will be when installed. Here’s a demonstration:

As you saw if you watched the video, the seat is also extremely easy to insert into the base. No wiggling or rattling is necessary: Just drop it in, and the base guides the seat into place. Other nice features are pictograms on the handle showing proper positioning for in and out of the car. In the car, the handle is to be moved forward into an anti-rebound position. (Keep in mind this is a prototype. On the actual seat, the pictures will be more noticeable.) The prototype had two sets of loops on the harness for different-sized children. Pictures on the loops themselves make it clear which is which—a great idea for eliminating confusion. The seat will also be available under the higher-end iCoo brand. The iCoo version, named iGuard35, will have a larger, ventilated canopy and different fashions. The Hauck and iCoo infant seats will all be compatible with the companies’ strollers without the need to an additional car seat adaptor. Production on these seats is set to begin toward the end of 2014, with seats hitting the US AND Canadian markets in 2015. Price-points for the US seats will be around $200 for the Hauck version and $229 for the iCoo.

Hauck icoo base  Hauck icoo handle labeling  Hauck icoo RFO Hauck icoo harness loop labeling

2014 ABC Expo Update: What’s New from Cybex

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We have a few updates from Cybex, including a look at their new infant seat, the Cloud Q, which was the Best in Show winner at last night’s JPMA Awards–the third year in a row Cybex has won.

Cybex Cloud Q  Cloud Q color selections  Cloud Q JPMA Award

What at makes the Cloud Q unique in the American market is that it reclines, much like the Kiddy infant seat we previewed at last year’s ABC Show, but has yet to materialize.

Basically, as an infant seat it looks nearly identical to the Aton Q. But pop the seat out of the base, pull a handle at the back, and push down…and the seat reclines fully flat. You can do this with the baby in the seat, and can recline/un-recline it while it’s in a compatible stroller. (It can install in the stroller frame facing toward or away from the parent.)

Cloud Q True Blue  Cloud Q Hawaii

Not to worry: safeguards make it impossible to use the seat in the car while fully reclined. There’s no way to snap it into the base that way, and the beltpath on the seat (for baseless installs) closes while it’s reclined, making it so the seatbelt can’t be inserted.

Cybex Cloud on Priam Cloud Air Q on Priam

Here’s a demonstration:

Other changes that make the Cloud Q different from the Aton Q are a 11 positions on the harness height adjustment (vs 8 on the Aton Q), 5 panels on the canopy (vs 4), and a handle that’s a bit sleeker. We also measured the chest clip at about .5 inch smaller.

The prototype weighs 12.6 lbs, which is heavier than many other seats, but keep in mind that the recline feature is bound to add some weight.

There are also some new fashions, including for the Aton 2.

Aton 2 new colors

Attention, Canada! Canadian certification is in the works for Cybex infant seats and will be of “highest priority” as soon as the ABC Show is over.

Next up is the Cybex Solution M-Fix booster. This is similar to the existing Q-Fix, but includes three main changes.

First, the headrest recline on the M-Fix adjusts with a lever. On the Q-Fix, you had to pull up on the headrest and kind of wiggle it into place. Second, the height adjustment is different. On the Q-Fix, the head and torso support move up and down together. On the M-Fix, the torso portion stays in place while the head support moves up and down. Third, the LSP side-impact protection on the M-Fix consists of bolsters that pop out at the touch of a button, verses the fixed outer pillows on the Q-Fix.

Here are some comparison photos of M-Fix and Q-Fix:

Q-Fix vs. M-Fix front view  Cybex M-Fix vs Q-Fix side view  Cybex M-Fix vs Q-Fix side head  Cybex M-Fix vs Q-Fix

The Q-Fix is also getting a slight change. The new model will be called the Solution Q2-Fix and will have bolsters constructed of a different material.

In strollers, Cybex is introducing the Agis M-Air 3 and 4 (depending on how many wheels it has). The stroller has an adjustable-height handle and adjustable-height canopy (so taller and smaller kids can be equally protected). There’s a large basket, one-foot brake, and a one-handed pull-up fold. It will accommodate kids to 50 or 55 lbs.

 

Cybex Agis M-Air 3

Not car-seat-related, but there is a new line of baby gates by Regal-Lager-owned Qdos. The Crystal series is clear, while the Spectrum series comes in several colors to better match specific decor.

Qdos clear   Qdos colored

The 2014 JPMA Innovation Award Nominees – including a sneak peek at the new CYBEX Cloud Q Infant Carseat!

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2014 Parents Pick Award

http://babysafetyzone.org/2014-parents-pick-award

Voting ends today at 5:00 p.m

Carseat Nominees:

Cybex Cloud Q - JPMA stockCYBEX Cloud Q Infant Carseat – The first infant car seat here in the U.S that can recline completely when used on its stroller, becoming a carry cot. A mechanism allows the backrest to recline completely, and the foot end of the seat flattens out and extends to support baby. Like the current Aton 2 and Aton Q models – the Cloud Q comes with the LSP system (Linear Side-Impact Protection) and a Load Leg on the base.

The Cybex Cloud Q Infant Carseat will officially debut at ABC Expo in a few days and we promise to get the full scoop for you as soon as possible!

Stay tuned because there will be ABC updates posted to the blog starting on Saturday evening. As you probably already know facebook is random and unreliable (you might not see our posts in your newsfeed) so make sure you check the blog regularly for updates if you don’t want to be the last to know about all the exciting new and improved products at the show!

Rear-Facing Space Comparison: Britax G4 Convertibles vs. New Britax ClickTight Convertibles

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Today we wrapped up the 10th annual Kidz in Motion (KIM) Conference in beautiful, sunny, New Mexico. It was another great conference and a good time was had by all. While I was here I had the opportunity to do some comparison testing of the current G4 Britax convertible models and the brand new Britax ClickTight convertibles that now available for pre-order. I was particularly interested in seeing how the seats compared side-by-side when installed rear-facing.

The vehicle used for this comparison was a 2014 Dodge Charger. Both the driver seat and the front passenger seat were set in the same positions at the same recline angle in order to accurately compare how much room each seat took up while rear-facing. On one side we installed the Britax Boulevard G4, on the other side we installed the new Britax Boulevard ClickTight. Both seats were installed with seatbelt.

Britax Blvd G4 and Blvd CT

Since the new ClickTight convertible models have 7 recline positions that can be used to achieve an appropriate recline, I took several different measurements so you can have an idea of how these new seats will fit rear-facing in backseats as compared with the Britax G4 convertible models which have a reputation for fitting exceptionally well in tight spaces.

Installed at a recline angle appropriate for a newborn or young baby with the headrest in a low height setting- the Boulevard ClickTight model took up approximately 3/4 of an inch (.75″) more room than the G4 model did. That’s still better (space wise) than most other convertibles currently on the market.

Britax Blvd CT and Blvd G4  Blvd ClickTight - recline angle closeup

Installed at a angle that was more upright (which would be consistent with the overall comfort of a toddler or older rear-facing child) with the headrest fully extended, the ClickTight model took up slightly less room than the G4 model did. And I do mean slightly – the difference was only 1/4 of an inch (.25″).

Britax Blvd CT - installed RF upright  Britax CT convertible - more upright install angle 

Installed at an angle that was bolt upright – suitable for older children who really don’t need any recline at all (basically it’s how they would be seated if they were forward-facing). The ClickTight model took up a whopping 3″ LESS space than the G4 model did! I was really shocked by that because as I stated earlier, the G4 convertible models are already known for being great seats for tight spaces. In reality, most parents probably won’t install the CT models this upright rear-facing because it is VERY upright. But I asked the Britax engineer how he felt about it and we both agreed that there is no such thing as “too upright” for older RF kids who don’t have any special healthcare needs. If your older kid is comfortable sitting at 20 degrees from vertical – Britax has no issue with that.

Britax Blvd CT - max upright position  Britax CT - angle indicator max upright

The new ClickTight models offer a wide range of recline angles and these options create more potential for finding a suitable recline angle and taking up less space in the vehicle. Children under 6 months old generally need more recline but as they grow and gain good head and neck control – the seat can be installed more upright. The recline angle indicator on these new models is excellent and pretty self-explanatory. For rear-facing, the angle indicator should be in the light blue zone for younger babies and in the dark blue zone for older babies, toddlers and preschool age kids who still ride rear-facing.

I took a few pictures of the Blvd ClickTight forward-facing as well. I just set the seat in the vehicle – I didn’t bother to install it because we were short on time but this will give everyone a general idea of what the Blvd CT looks like forward-facing.

Britax Blvd CT FF  Britax Blvd CT FF  Britax Blvd CT FF

Britax Blvd CT FF

Last but not least – here are a few measurement pics since the ones I took of the Advocate model at the launch event in NYC weren’t 100% accurate because those seats were still prototypes. The top harness slots on the Blvd CT and Advocate CT models measure about 19″ tall and the overall internal height with the headrest fully extended is about 29″. The Marathon CT is a little shorter both in terms of overall height and top harness slots.

Britax Blvd CT top harness height Britax Advocate overall internal shell height

 

For more info see our comprehensive review of the Britax Boulevard ClickTight posted here:

Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Review – Sometimes Things Just Click