Monthly Archive:: October 2010

Britax Chaperone Recall

Britax is recalling certain Chaperone infant seats due to chest clips that may break when in use.  Britax received complaints that the clips were breaking when being closed.  There is a risk of skin laceration and/or a choking hazard.  All Chaperone seats made between April 2009 and May 2010 are included in the recall campaign.  This includes Canadian models.  Model numbers include: E9L69N9 (Moonstone), E9L69P2 (Red Mill), E9L69P3 (Savannah), E9L69P5 (Cowmooflage).  Britax is prepared to  make replacement chest clips kits available to consumers and retailers soon.  For more information, see the Britax USA advisory notice.

Update 10/30/2010: Here is the NHTSA recall notice.  Replacement chest clip kits should be mailed beginning November 11th, 2010.   Britax will also notify Transport Canada as the Chaperone Infant Car Seat was also sold in Canada.

Recommended Child Safety Seats Redux

Our list of Recommended Carseats evolves over time.  Usually, we make a minor update, fix a link or replace an old model with a newer version and no one notices.  Every once in a while, though, we make a number of changes at once because too many seats have been discontinued, too many models have been released since the last update or just because we want to replace the old with the new.  Our list hadn’t changed since May, but Heather has just finished editing our updated list of models for your perusal.  As before, please remember that these are just our opinions.  We don’t list every seat we like.  We can’t guarantee these models will fit your child or your vehicle.  We can’t say they are the best or the safest for your situation.  We just know from personal experience that all of them offer something, from a rock bottom price to a unique safety feature.  Even Heather, Kecia and I have trouble agreeing on some of these seats, but we are confident that this is a pretty good starting place for anyone’s search for the perfect carseat!


Guest Review: Britax Frontier 85

This guest review is posted on behalf of Peggy G., winner of a contest on our forums earlier this year for a Britax Frontier 85.  You can read my review of the Frontier 85 here.

My grandson Kindon is 4 years 10 months old, is 45” tall and weighs 42 pounds. He rides in a Graco Nautilus in both of his parents’ vehicles after having outgrown his Sceneras by height shortly after his second birthday. He had recently been riding in a Turbo Booster in my vehicle after outgrowing the Marathon I had for him by height (he’s definitely all torso). While this worked okay for short rides, he clearly wasn’t ready to be boostered on longer trips since he would flop over out of the seat belt any time he fell asleep. Needless to say, I was thrilled to log in to Facebook on April 2 and discover my name listed as the lucky winner of the Britax Frontier 85 that was given away by Car-Seat.org and Kids ‘N’ Cribs. I was even more excited ten days later when it arrived on my doorstep so that I could reharness him in my van.

Guest Blog: The latest, the greatest, and the safest.

I’ve always had to have the latest and greatest when it came to my family’s vehicles.  The new Sienna came out, and I was there.  Then the Odyssey Touring finally had my beloved (and often behated) 8th seat–guess what?  I was there!  And when you think about what vehicle manufacturer is hands-down considered creator of the safest fleet on the road, you think Volvo right?  Guess what DH drives?  Yup, I’m a safety geek through and through.

BLI to OAK via SEA

BLI to OAK via SEA

Our teenaged son will be driving next year, and I’ve spent hours, days, and perhaps even weeks, going through various safety ratings and reading reviews on all of the potential new driveway jewelry on his list.  I’m agonizing over all of the options, all the while balancing safety, fuel economy and style.  Is there a perfect car?  One that looks great, sips at the tank, AND can propel into a brick wall at 80mph without so much as a scratch on my beloved offspring?

But what could top that Volvo XC90 and Odyssey Touring in the driveway?  In fact, what vehicle could have me giving up my much-loved XC90 for something new?  What could be safer than Tank Volvo, right?  And why did I just travel 900 miles to find said vehicle?  Better yet–will I ever allow my teens to drive it?



We’ve had to make a few compromises.  Life is full of compromises.  Not everyone can afford the 2011 Odyssey Touring–some of us are stuck babying that 1995 Plunko Calciomamma with 7 passenger seating and 4 top tether anchors…for just a few more years. (Fingers crossed.)  The new Quassmobile has air conditioning and power doorlocks and windows–heck, it even has power mirrors.  But, a few things are missing–like top tethers.  It has none.  Zero.  Ziltch.  It’s also shy a few airbags as compared to my Odyssey–but what vehicle isn’t, right?  Okay, I have to admit–the Quassmobile is completely absent of airbagage.  Again–zero, ziltch..Naaada.

Mason w/ Porsche (Photo: Malcolm Parry, Vancouver Sun)

Mason w/ Porsche (Photo: Malcolm Parry, Vancouver Sun)

My new car is fun to drive, will tow the kids’ boat, and can navigate well off the beaten track.  Every dollar we’re able to bank by “downgrading” our vehicle is another dollar we can put towards buying the latest and greatest once again–but for the next chapter in our lives.  I gained the Quassmobile, and sometime in the next 12 months our oldest son will be behind the wheel of his own new car–and I full well anticipate that one will be nicknamed the Airbagmobile.

A New Phone for Me: Nokia N8 Preview

Another timeout for a tech blog, as I finally have to get with the times.  I’ve never owned a smart phone.  Considering how many websites I operate, along with related social media, I really should have had one years ago.  Problem is, I hate carrying stuff in my pockets, even if I have cargo pants or shorts.  Wallet, keys, phone, camera, GPS, music player.  The last time I bought a phone, it had the best camera you could find, though its GPS turned out to be less useful than I hoped.  While it had internet, it wasn’t 3G.  The traditional number pad made it hard to send a text or even enter the URL for a website or search on Google.  You know: tap each numeric button multiple times to get a letter, like you used to do five years ago?  That’s my phone.  The camera was great, though, and that’s the main reason I bought it.  One less thing to carry, at least.

I’ve been waiting for 2 years for a phone that meets all my requirements.  I’d hoped Apple would address them, but the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 fell short.  So do all of the current Android phones.  Here’s what I wanted:

  • Decent reception, call quality and battery life (features most people seem to forget about!)
  • Good camera with real flash
  • Native GPS with voice guided turn-by-turn instructions
  • Ability to tether my notebook through the cellphone for 3G internet
  • HD 720p video capability
  • 3G
  • A real QWERTY keypad or touchscreen