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Reviews Archive

Evenflo Express/Chase as Booster (Part I – Combo Seat Review Series)

I’ve decided to document how various combination (harness/booster) seats fit my 4 year old, 41 lb, 43″ tall son in booster mode.  He’s at the size where most parents would be switching from the 5-pt harness to  the vehicle’s lap/shoulder belt in booster mode if they had a combination seat with a 40 lb limit on the harness.  In each case I’ll use the same seating position in my van – driver’s side captain’s chair in a 2005 Ford Freestar.

The IIHS booster study compared the fit of various boosters using the 6-year-old Hybrid lll dummy who weighs 51.6 lbs (23.41 kg) and has a standing height of almost 45″.  I thought it would be even better to show belt fit on a child who was just over the 40 lb weight limit for the 5-pt harness.  I’ve decided to focus exclusively on combination seats because of their popularity with parents of children in the 2-5 age group.

First up - the Evenflo Chase/Express/Vision/Traditions combination seat. 

PetBuckle Seat Belt Harness

I have a smallish mutt at 21 lbs. and besides not wanting her to become a projectile should we be in a crash, she tends to fly around the van when I take my corners on two wheels.  I’ve always secured my dogs when I drive by using a normal harness on them and knotting their leash tightly to a head restraint post, but I know it’s not the safest.

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers: Thermos Intak and Foogo Review

A while back, Heather wrote about Thermos Funtainers.  Today I have a few quick comments about the Thermos Intak Water Bottles and the Thermos Foogo Sippy Cup.

Not much you can say about water bottles.  They hold water.  The Intak does that well, and in fun colors, too.  The Intak also has a nice, wide spout that not only is easy for drinking, but big enough to fill under a faucet.  The locking top is resistant to 3-year olds.  It goes into a dishwasher with no problems.  It has a rotating bezel if you want to keep track of how many refills you drink.  When closed, it doesn’t spill.  It has a flip up loop for carrying or to attach to a pack.  It’s also narrow enough to fit into most mesh backpack pockets.  Not much else to say- it’s a nice water bottle you can get at Target for under $10.  Just keep in mind that it’s not insulated, so it won’t keep beverages hot or cold.

The Foogo is a sippy cup.  It keeps milk and juice cold, so it never goes to waste.  It cleans up in the dishwasher, also.  Again, simple and well made.  Ideal for cold drinks, but not recommended for hot ones.  No issues with dripping as we have with some of our other sippys.  The top screws firmly into place every time.  Seems to be very durable, too.  I even let my son take this one around the house, even if it has milk or juice in it!

They are BPA free and I highly recommend them both!  For more information, please visit www.thermos.com .

The “Safest” Seat? Thoughts on the Britax Boulevard – Review of CS

Today’s guest blog is a review of the Britax Boulevard CS (now replaced by the Britax Boulevard 70 CS, please see our review of the similar Advocate 70 here).  Darren had a full review in a previous blog.

It is one of the most dreaded questions for Child Passenger Safety Technicians and advocates – “What is the best carseat? What carseat should I buy for my child?” The “correct” answer, of course, is that the best carseat is the one that fits your child, your vehicle and your budget and will be used correctly every time. Unfortunately, this is not the answer that most parents want to hear because in many cases, they are either (1) hoping that you will validate that the seat with the prettiest cover is “the best” or (2) looking to you to make the decision for them. (Technicians and regulatory organizations (including carseatblog.com) recently have started recommending seats for particular features).

SafeGuard Go Review: Hybrid Booster (Mark II)

This is a small update to my review of the original SafeGuard Go Anywhere Portable Child Restraint, now called the Safety 1st Hybrid Booster (the Safety 1st version has a few minor changes from the version in this review).  Since that review, IMMI/SafeGuard has made some improvements.  These include expanded weight ranges, improvements to the headrest pillow and a modified buckle system.  There is also some additional guidance on installing the Go in a captain’s chair or other vehicle seat with a recline feature.

Review Introduction

The SafeGuard Go Hybrid Booster is a portable child restraint system.  It combines the advantages of a 5-point harness with the portability of a booster. In some sense, it really is more similar to a travel harness system that converts into a backless booster. Using the harness front-facing, it is for children over 1 year, weight from 22 to 60 pounds and 31 to 52 inches tall. As a booster, it is rated for children over 3 years old, 40 to 100 pounds and 43 to 57 inches tall. To make it portable and light, the “Go” has no hard seatback shell. For that reason, the vehicle seat back or headrests must provide adequate head restraint for the child.  More information can be found at the SafeGuard website.