Monthly Archive:: November 2010

2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite: The Ultimate Kids & Carseats Review! (with tons of pics & videos)

Truthfully, there are probably a hundred different reviews and blogs of the new 2011 Honda Odyssey all floating around the internet by now.  Two of them were written by our own fabulous Darren Qunell who had a chance to preview this 4th Generation Ody at a press event in La Jolla, CA this past September.  So, what sets this particular 2011 Odyssey Review apart from all the others?  Read on, my friends.  There are specific details here pertaining to kids, carseats and safety that you’re just not going to find anywhere else.  Guaranteed.  I mean seriously, only a nutcase would drag 20 different carseats & boosters home and then spend countless hours in the driveway (much to the amusement of her neighbors and random passersby) installing them in various seating positions just to give perspective consumers and our faithful blog readers as many specific details as possible on this vehicle. 
Now a little background info and some prerequisite homework for our readers.  First, a huge shout-out to Honda and to STI Fleet Services who so graciously delivered this vehicle and then picked it up a week later.  Additionally, since I have no desire to duplicate all of the numerous details in Darren’s original review – I’m going to urge you to read Part I and Part II of his review first if you haven’t already done so.  His impressive 2-part review covers the features, specs and options of this newest generation Odyssey.  Consider my review “4th Gen Ody 102″ as it will supplement and build-upon the things that Darren has already covered.

Thinking about a New 2011 Ford Explorer with Inflatable Seatbelts?

You may want to rethink that option package and buy the regular old-fashioned seatbelts.  While a great idea in theory with adults and with older kids in backless boosters, if you’re still installing carseats, these belts can cause problems for you depending on your carseat manufacturer.  Now sure, this technology is old news by now since Darren talked about it a year ago.  But carseat manufacturers are just now putting the warnings in their manuals about installing their carseats using these inflatable belts.  Britax is the first to put the warnings in their manuals and Combi is set to follow.  Ford has stated that they have tested carseats with the “airbag” seatbelts and the carseats have performed as expected. 

What do you do?  You follow the carseat manufacturer’s guidelines since they have the best knowledge of how their carseat will perform.  If the manufacturer says no inflatable seatbelts, try using LATCH instead to install the carseat or use a carseat from a different manufacturer that doesn’t have the inflatable seatbelt warning.  If you’re buying a 2011 Ford Explorer, check the options list on the window sticker carefully to see if the inflatable seatbelts are included.  Some dealers are automatically choosing this option when ordering the vehicles from Ford, so you may not have a choice if you’re choosing from a vehicle on the lot.  Inflatable seatbelts are also on some commercial airplanes in the bulkhead seats and on many private planes.  They are thicker than regular airplane seatbelts, so they should be easy to detect.  And there is another 2011 car with the inflatable belts: the Lexus LFA.  But I dare you to install a carseat in that car ;).

Giveaway Reminders

Our first ABC Bag o’ Stuff giveaway ends tomorrow!  You know you need more junk and clutter, so enter here!  We will have a few more of these over the next few months.  Also, don’t miss the Chicco Strada booster giveaway on our forums.  You need to enter before Monday for a chance to win!

If it aint broke, ask for a partial refund!

I’ve been a semi-active ebay member for over 11 years now, maintaining a 100% feedback record with little effort, just by being fair.  I’ve had a few minor issues, but all were eventually resolved.  One time I bought a coin that wasn’t what was shown.  The seller said it was the only one of its kind in his inventory so there was no other possibility.  It was a stalemate until the last few days that I could leave feedback.  I sent a message asking if the other coin had been found.  By some miracle, it appeared in the back of a drawer!  He let me keep the first coin, though it wasn’t worth anything over the 50 cents of the coin itself.  One other time I got an item that wasn’t as described.  The seller didn’t reply to a number of ebay messages or emails over a couple weeks.  Finally, I left him a “neutral”.  Within hours, they sent me an angry email.  Funny how stuff like that works.  Some time later, I noted that the member’s ebay account had been closed.  Go figure.

Well, here’s a new one for you.  I bought a computer game at retail and never had a chance to open it during the return period.  I just haven’t had time or interest for games lately.  It was new in a sealed box, so I put it up for sale on ebay.  It sold, for somewhat less than the retail amount I paid.  It was a limited edition that hadn’t been available at retail for some time and mine sold for one of the lowest recent prices on ebay.  I offered USPS Priority flat rate and UPS shipping.  The buyer opted for the cheaper one, of course, even though the auction clearly said USPS was, “at your own risk”.  I also stated “no returns” in the auction rules.  I shipped it next day and it arrived a couple days later.

The buyer claimed the outer product box was damaged (but not the contents).  He said that as a collector, “this detracts from the value of the item imo.”  He also said it was, “very imporperly packed.”  I politely replied that the item was packed exactly as stated, using the medium flat rate box specified in the auction and I even included extra cardboard lining the priority mail box for protection.  For a collector, I wondered why they hadn’t opted for the insured shipping option.

Guest Review: Britax B-READY Stroller, are you READY???

I met Jon, from Britax on the first day of the ABC Kids Expo.  What a wonderful man he was.  I promised I would write a review on my personal experience with the Britax B-Ready stroller.  This was a stroller I purchased on my own, so a VERY unbiased review.

Here we go!!

We JUST got our Britax B-Ready stroller

This is what you get:

(Boy not included!!  LOL!)