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Reviews Archive

New Phone, but not an iPhone! (Nokia N82 Review)

Carseatblog.com, it’s not just for carseats any more!  I didn’t really need a new phone, but for a couple years I’ve been trying to find something that would work as a cell phone and also replace a camera, iPod and a GPS unit.  Three less things to carry in my pockets!  And it really does replace a camera- this photo was taken in a garage that was almost completely dark!

I was really psyched about the iPhone 3G, but it had a few big drawbacks for me. 

Clek Olli Review – the groovy little booster with the quirky name

Before I even began this blog post, I was intrigued by the name Olli so I had to Google it.  What I learned is that the origin of the name is Finnish and it’s a short form of Olaf.  Olaf is of Old Norse origin, and its meaning is “what remains of the ancestors”.  Not sure what, if anything, that has to do with this product but I like the name Olli.  It’s cute, memorable and easy to spell – which eliminates the need for yet another child restraint acronym.  Plus, the Paul Frank Julius the Monkey designs are soooo cooool!

For those who may be unfamiliar with the Olli backless booster, check out the Clek Website.

Basically, a backless booster is for older kids who rarely sleep in the vehicle and have outgrown a harnessed (5-point) child safety seat but don’t yet fit safely in the vehicle’s adult seatbelt.  The only proper way to assess whether or not an older child still needs to use a booster is to have the child sit directly on the vehicle seat, buckle them up and then determine whether or not the child passes the 5-Step Test.  If the child doesn’t pass all 5 steps (including the all-important 5th step) then the child still needs a booster to help the adult seatbelt fit properly.  The “boost” is crucial because if the seatbelt doesn’t fit the child the way it’s designed to fit us adults then the child could actually be injured by the belts in a crash.

But the Clek Olli is way more than just a basic, backless booster with a quirky  name. 

Kia Sedona Mini Review

Kia SedonaJust a short recap on our Kia Sedona rental I mentioned previously.

Our 2008 Sedona proved to be an excellent minivan overall, really on par with the offerings from Toyota and Honda.  While there are some advantages and disadvantages as I mentioned previously, I think it will appeal to many families.  I’ll add to my earlier post that braking was very good throughout our trip, especially in the mountains.  Unlike the steering and accelerator pedal, I had no complaints at all about the brakes in terms of performance or feel.  Traction was solid on dry pavement, rain and even a couple hail storms on the Trail Ridge road in Rocky Mountain National Park. I drove it for a week and couldn’t come up with any major complaints at all.

The interior was really up to par, too. There were no rattles or squeaks of any kind. The controls all worked well and had a good feel to them, even though they were sometimes awkward in placement and function compared to our current vehicles. While this was an LX model without power sliders, the manual ones operated easily enough that our 7 and 9 year olds could open and close them.

The price is right too, as the LX sells for under $25k and even less when the big rebates are in effect. I wouldn’t trade in my Odyssey EX-L for one, but if I was shopping for a new vehicles at this price and had safety as a top priority, the Sedona Base would be a finalist.

Britax Frontier Review

Introduction

This review is for the Britax Frontier (now replaced by the Britax Frontier 85, please see our new review here). This is a “Harness-2Booster” or combination (combo) forward-facing child restraint and belt-positioning booster seat. Using the harness forward-facing, it is for children over 2 years, weight from 25 to 80 pounds and from 30 to 53 inches tall. As a booster, it is rated for children starting at a minimum of 40 pounds and 42 to 60 inches tall. In booster mode, there is no official maximum weight limit. If a child can otherwise meet the height limits and be properly positioned, it is possible to exceed 100 pounds for booster use.