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Monthly Archive:: June 2009

Where Do You Put Your GPS?

If you’re a regular reader here, you know that I gave dh a Garmin Nuvi GPS navigator for Christmas.  To be honest, we really haven’t used it that much because really, we mostly know our way around our hometown of about 14 years.  What made me think of this in the big scope of things was an episode of Pitchmen (http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/pitchmen/pitchmen.html) on the Discovery Channel.  Anthony Sullivan was trying to sell a man’s GPS holder that sat in a vehicle’s cupholder.  More on that later.

Size Matters

This will come as no surprise to most of our readers.  Length isn’t everything; it’s the width that tends to be be an issue.  Take, for example, these two towering titans:

The one on the left measures an astounding 20 inches at its widest point, while the one on the right is even wider at 21 inches!  Every situation is different, of course, so depending where they are placed, being so wide may or may not be a problem.  Also, parts of them are narrower, so they may mesh differently with adjacent models.  The Graco My Ride 65 (left) and Britax Advocate CS (right) are competitive in many regards and also share a distinction of being among the widest convertible seats on the market.

Mia Moda Viva Supreme 5080 Review

All Vivas/Viva Supremes have been recalled.  Please see their website for more information.

The Viva Supreme is the latest infant seat from Mia Moda. It is rated for infants who weigh between 4 and 22 pounds and are less than 29 inches. It replaced the now discontinued Viva (model 5070). Changes to the Viva Supreme (model 5080) include an additional lower set of harness slots, a full body insert, a larger sun canopy, a smaller chest clip and a different buckle.

The Viva Supreme is relatively tall, narrow, and light for an infant carrier with a base. The back of the shell measures 19.5″ and has four harness slots at 6.75″, 8.5″, 10.25″ and 12″. The crotch buckle is 4″ from the back of the shell. The overall width is just under 17″ and the seatpan depth is 11″. The carrier weighs 7.2 lbs.

Britax Parkway Slide Guard

 

Britax is back on the market with a dedicated belt positioning booster, the Britax Parkway Slide Guard.  From the first pictures, it doesn’t look all that exciting, I hate to admit.   But I’ve bought one or two of their original ‘boring’ seats and have been happy with them, so I won’t judge a book (er…carseat) by it’s cover.

One thing that is unique about this seat is the “Slide Guard. ”  For lack of a better comparison, it’s like a crotch strap in the seating area that hooks to the lap belt and, as it says on the Amazon site, “works with the vehicle safety belt to prevent the child from sliding under the lap-belt portion of the safety belt during impact, thus minimizing the risk of abdominal injury.”   These are popular in Australian boosters (from what I gathered in a quick google search).  And some of us remember when the Starriser with Anti Submarine Clip was going to be released here, but never made to market.  So this is not an entirely new gadget, and I’m glad we are finally seeing it on a seat in the US.

The Parkway Slide Guard also has armrests, unlike the previous Parkway which was discontinued last year.

Now…hmmm… what seats do I need to purge to make room for one or two of these in my cars…?

Airbags for Carseats? The Britax Advocate 65 CS Review

Introduction

No, they are not actually airbags.  They don’t inflate or pose any type of risk whatsoever.  They are actually air-filled rubber cushions, and they may help protect the occupant and adjacent passengers in side impacts.  The Britax Advocate 65 CS  was replaced by the Britax Advocate 70 CS  last year. Please see our newest review of the Advocate 70 CS HERE.   

The following is a review of the original Advocate 65 model. It touts “True Side Impact Protection” along with Britax’s “Side Impact Cushion Technology” feature. This model can be used rear-facing for children 5 to 35 pounds, and front-facing for children above 1 year old and from 20 to 65 pounds. The maximum standing height limit is 49 inches. On their website, Britax lists seated shoulder height limits of 10.5″ to 16″ while rear-facing and 12″-16″ front-facing.  If you’ve read my review of the Boulevard CS, you will find it is nearly identical because the Advocate CS is basically a Boulevard CS with the addition of side impact cushion technology.

Features and Advantages

Side Impact Cushion Technology- These air filled rubber cushions should provide improved side impact protection, both for the child in the Advocate CS and for passengers sitting next to the child restraint.  Britax claims a 50% reduction in side impact crash energy.  The only real drawback is that it makes the seat a bit wider and heavier.  That may be a problem in narrow seating positions, next to other child restraints or in outboard seats in the third row where access to the outside may be cramped.