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Reviews Archive

Chicco NextFit Convertible Updates – October 2013

All Chicco NextFit convertible carseats made during or after October 2013 have some minor updates. The harness strap covers are now entirely optional and remove easily thanks to Velcro on the sides. These new strap covers lack the grippy material that lined the back of the original strap covers. The new strap covers are also slightly shorter as you can see in the comparison picture.

 

 

The 2-position chest clip can now be used in either the more narrow or wider setting with no restrictions – use your best judgement. Newborns and younger babies with narrow shoulders will benefit from the more narrow setting which will draw the harness straps closer together and keep them positioned properly over the baby’s small shoulders. Older babies and bigger kids can use the wider setting. When you switch is entirely up to you.

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The crotch strap has also been lengthened just a little bit. The new crotch strap is almost (but not quite) 1″ longer. Replacement [longer] crotch straps will be available after March 1.

  photo (64)

 

You can order NEW style harness pads directly from Chicco here.

Chicco NextFit -new harness strap covers

If you own a Chicco NextFit made prior to October 2013 – you may remove the harness strap covers that came with your seat, if desired. Please carefully follow the removal directions provided by Chicco here:  http://www.chiccousa.com/nextfit/pdf/NextFit_Pad_Installation.PDF

The replacement directions in the link above were written prior to the update so you can ignore the language that says “Never use your NextFit car seat without shoulder pads”. Just follow the directions on how to remove them, put the chest clip and buckle tongues back on properly and reattach the harness safely. *At the end of the process, once the harness pin has been fully re-inserted, check to make sure that the plastic tab is back in its original position preventing the pin from moving forward again.

There is also a video detailing the process here: http://www.chiccousa.com/nextfit/installation.aspx  (the link to the video can be found in two places: on the left side of your screen under “Shoulder Pad Replacement Kit” or under the Rear-Facing Videos “Installing Shoulder Pad Replacement Kit”) Again, this is an existing video meant to detail the process of swapping out the original harness strap covers with identical replacement strap covers so you can ignore the language that warns you to never use this product without the harness pads.

 

2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid Video Review: Kids, Carseats & Safety

2013 & 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid Video Review:  Kids, Carseats & Safety

Don’t want a big minivan or midsize SUV that is lucky to get 20 mpg around town under ideal conditions?  Looking for something less expensive with great fuel economy that can still fit three kids in back?  Also want this vehicle to have good crash test results and the latest advanced safety features available?  It’s the 2013-2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid!  A fuel efficient, safe family sedan that also gives you the warm, “green” fuzzies.

 

 

As a midsize sedan, the second row seat is comparable in legroom and width to a typical midsize SUV.    A few minor compatibility issues: non-removable head restraints, very short and rigid buckle stalks, recessed LATCH anchors and some seatbelt crossover for the middle seat.  All relatively minor, so most carseats should install well.

 

Graco SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect Review – Long Live the Queen!

We recently published our complete review of the SnugRide 40 Click Connect, which I proclaimed “King” of all the SnugRide models in the Graco Kingdom. And while it’s good to be King, sometimes being Queen is just as good, or even better. I like to think of the SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect as the Queen of the SnugRide Kingdom.

You might be wondering how many SnugRides there are in Graco Land? By my last count there are now seven (Yes, SEVEN) different SnugRide models. For the sake of clarity, I’m going to list them all here just because I think it’s important for parents to understand what the differences are.

 

Graco CLASSIC_CONNECT_LOGO

 

“Classic Connect” Graco SnugRide Models (compatible with older Graco strollers & with new Graco “Classic Connect” strollers)

 

 

Graco click_connect_logo

 

“Click Connect” Graco SnugRide Models (compatible only with new Graco “Click Connect” strollers)

 

The Graco SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect model is available at Amazon, Kohls, BuyBuyBaby & select specialty retailers. The model I have for this review is the “Coco” fashion. This particular model comes with an optional newborn body support insert (only for babies less than 12 lbs.) and optional harness strap covers. The SnugRide 35 LX is also available in “Rittenhouse” and “Cascade” fashions.

Graco SnugRide 40 Click Connect Infant Carseat Review – It’s Good To Be King

The Graco SnugRide 40 Click Connect infant carseat is the King of all the current SnugRide models in the Graco Kingdom. You might be wondering how many SnugRides there are in Graco Land? By my last count there are now seven (Yes, SEVEN) different SnugRide models. For the sake of clarity, I’m going to list them all here just because I think it’s important for parents to understand what the differences are.

Graco CLASSIC_CONNECT_LOGO

 

“Classic Connect” Graco SnugRide Models (compatible with older Graco strollers & with new Graco “Classic Connect” strollers)

 

 

Graco click_connect_logo

 

“Click Connect” Graco SnugRide Models (compatible only with new Graco “Click Connect” strollers)

 

  • SnugRide 30 Click Connect: 4-30 lbs, height 30″ or less; 4 sets of harness slots; no lock-off on base; front harness adjuster
  • SnugRide 35 Click Connect: 4-35 lbs, height 32″ or less; 4 sets of harness slots; no lock-off on base; front harness adjuster
  • SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect: 4-35 lbs, height 32″ or less; no-rethread harness with 15 height adjustments; base with lock-off for simple seatbelt installations; front harness adjuster. See our complete SR35 LX review here.
  • SnugRide 40 Click Connect: 4-40 lbs, height 35″ or less; no-rethread harness with 15 height adjustments; unique SR40 exclusive base has 8 recline positions, lock-off for simple seatbelt installations and best-in-class legroom for older babies and toddlers

The Graco SnugRide 40 Click Connect is currently a Babies R Us exclusive so it’s only available at BRU stores and their online store. The model I have for this review is the “Moonstruck” fashion. This particular model comes with an optional newborn body support insert (only for babies less than 12 lbs.), an optional head-hugger insert and optional harness strap covers. The SnugRide 40 is currently available in “Echo” and “Emma” fashions.

Graco-snugride-40-echo  Graco-snugride-40-emma

 

Extra SR40 bases are available for $79.99. For the record, this is no ordinary base. It has innovative features that you won’t find on any other infant carseat. I’m not easily impressed but I think the SnugRide 40 base is very cool. It has 8 recline positions that should allow you to achieve a proper recline position in any vehicle regardless of how sloped or how flat the seating position is. Also, as you move up in base recline positions (position #1 is the most reclined; position #8 is the most upright), the carrier moves away from the vehicle seat bight and creates more leg room for the older baby or toddler. It’s quite ingenious! The kick-plate/vehicle seat protector is purely optional and slides down to store in the base when you don’t want it or need it.

   

Graco Nautilus with Safety Surround Review: Tried and True

Nautilus with Safety SurroundThe Graco Nautilus with Safety Surround is the latest version in the Nautilus line of combination carseats. Since their debut, they’ve been highly popular carseats for preschoolers through grade-schoolers because of their versatility. Graco calls the Nautilus/Argos line “3-in-1” carseats because they perform three functions: forward-facing harness, high-back booster, and backless booster. Traditionally, 3-in-1 carseats have been rear-facing, forward-facing, then booster carseats, so it’s important to make the distinction that the Nautilus/Argos combination carseats do NOT rear-face.

Weight and Height Limits

  • 20-65 lbs., 27-52” with harness
  • 30-100 lbs., 38-57” without harness, used as a high-back booster
  • 40 to 100 lbs., 40-57” without harness, used as a backless booster

Graco Nautilus with Safety Surround Overview: 

  • Thick (3”!) EPS foam in headrest
  • 3-position front adjust recline
  • Meets Graco’s side impact testing and Europe’s Side Impact testing standard
  • One-hand 5-position adjustable headrest
  • Tall armrests with cup holder and storage cubbies
  • Integrated steel bars reinforce the shell
  • 9-year lifespan
  • MSRP $209.99
  • Fashions include Atlas, Berri, and Lucky
  • IIHS Best Bet when used as a booster in high-back mode

Nautilus 4 slots w pad  Nautilus 4 slots wo pad  Nautilus cubbies  Nautilus back  Nautilus backless  Nautilus wo cover  Nautilus shoulder belt guide