Quantcast

Uncategorized Archive

2014 ABC Expo Update: What’s New from Cybex

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

Another blast from the past. Epinions.

My first child was born in 1998.  We used our Century Smart Fit infant seat for about a year.  That’s when I began my journey as a child passenger safety advocate.  After having great difficulty finding a convertible that fit rear-facing into my Saturn SL2, I ended up with a Britax Roundabout.  Sometime later, I had similar difficulty in finding a combination seat and finally happened upon the Century Next Step.

So, here is a blast from the past, about a month after I started Car-Seat.Org and Car-Safety.Org in 2001.  It was my very first online carseat review at Epinions. at the same time as my original Britax Roundabout review.  We all have to start somewhere!  I was a top reviewer for the Kids & Family category for a while and made at least a few hundred bucks over the years.  I’m glad I deleted the vast majority of my reviews before Epinions shut down its community earlier this year and locked out authors from their accounts.  Yes, Epinions is now a throwback too!

epinions logo

PSA: Infant seats and tables don’t mix!

Please keep your baby buckled at all times in your infant carrier and be very careful if you must set it on a table or other high surface!

Ebay Madness

I quit using ebay regularly almost 4 years ago, when a scammer tried (and failed) to blackmail me into giving them a partial refund for an item they claimed arrived in a damaged box.  Ebay supports this sort of scam, by not allowing sellers to leave feedback for buyers and by not supporting the sellers who pay the fees in such disputes.  So, I closed my seller’s account and haven’t sold an item since then.  I’ve stuck to buying a few things here and there over the last 3+ years, but nothing in the last year. Until recently, when eBay claimed they missed me and lured me back with a 10% off one item coupon.

That’s a pretty good deal, and I knew what I wanted.  It was a near-commodity item, so pricing is well established by past sales and buying guides.  Yet, this particular seller seemed to think their particular coin merited 3 times the fair market value.  I assumed it was just an over-inflated Buy-It-Now, hoping someone who hadn’t looked up the values would be suckered in even though their last listing failed.  So, I took advantage of the “Best Offer” option, entering a reasonable starting number.   They quickly counter offered, cutting their BIN price in half.  It was still almost 50% above past comparables, though.  But close enough that I sent a message asking for better images of the item, since the included ones were not that great.

Apparently they took offense to that simple ask.  They retracted their counter offer and sent me a wall-of-awful-text in response.  It was all lower case with a mishmash of punctuation and poor grammar.   They refused to send images, saying I was wasting their time when I could have bought the item and returned it if I wasn’t satisfied(!).  How’s that for a red flag?  I was surprised to see it signed by someone with “Customer Support” in their signature.  I wondered how you could run a business without fundamental communication skills.  But apparently they do, with over 5000 feedbacks at 99.8% and only 1 negative in over 700 from the last 12 months.

In proper ebay fashion, I was compelled to reply to counter their ridiculous claims of  how they couldn’t find any record of a sale for near my offer.  So, I included a link to the most recent one, and a couple others as well.  The next wall-of-awful text claimed prices have mysteriously shot up since the previous sales, though no such trend has been noted by anyone in the industry.   What they said to impress me was that the upscale address of their office somehow made them more knowledgeable about current pricing than everyone else.   What was actually impressed upon me was that they were paying too much in rent and probably paid way too much for the item in the first place!

I ended up using my coupon on a similar item.  Not my first choice, but I paid less than fair market value with zero hassle.  Plus, it gave me motivation to write this boring blog!  My lesson today is that you can learn a lot by reading the feedback sellers leave for previous buyers.  Had I read some of those first, I wouldn’t have even made the offer!  Well, enough of my eBay saga.  Anyone out there bought or sold carseats or kids gear or anything on eBay recently?  Any horror stories or encounters with people that haven’t mastered customer service?