Monthly Archive:: January 2011

The Family Minivan Gets Disrespected

Minivans get no respect.  They’re the Rodney Dangerfield of the vehicle world: plucky vehicles that can haul loads of people or stuff, drag boats or campers behind, and still get no respect.  It can be overt or subtle.  You’re probably guilty of disrespecting a minivan at one time or another—I know I am and I drive one!  Think about it—you’re pulling up to an intersection with a red light, you have a choice of lanes and there’s a minivan stopped in the center lane, a Honda sedan in the inside lane, and a Cadillac in the outside lane.  Who do you get behind?  Of course!  The Honda!  You don’t want to be behind the minivan because the driver will likely be driving too cautiously or singing songs to the rearview mirror, right?  Ugh, so frustrating!  And the Caddy likely holds some elderly people and will go 10 mph under the speed limit, so the Honda is the correct choice.  Bueno!

the newest, awesomest *clek oobr* booster review!

The tree has been put out for composting, the empty wine bottles stashed in the recycling bin, the lights on the house… well, they’ll probably stay up until April but that’s fine with me.  The holidays are over, the kids are back in school and it’s time to get back to business here at carseatblog.com!  For me, that means completing the review of the clek oobr that has been hanging out in my dining room for longer than I care to admit.

So, what exactly is an Oobr?  It’s a dual mode (highback or backless) belt-positioning booster from Clek.  It’s also currently a “Best Bet” pick according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

oobr specs:

  • Child Weight & Height Ratings:  33-100 lbs, 38″-57″ tall , at least 4 years old with back; 40-100 lbs, 40″-57″ tall, at least 4 years old when used backless
  • Product Weight (according to my digital bathroom scale) is 20.4 lbs with the back and 10.0 lbs without the back.  By comparison, the clek olli backless booster is only 5.4 lbs according to the same scale which makes the backless oobr almost twice the weight of the olli.
  • Lowest Height Setting:  14″ to the opening for the shoulder belt guide (measured with back in the fully upright position)
  • Tallest Height Setting:  20 1/2″ to the opening for the shoulder belt guide (measured the same way)
  • Width:  11 1/2″ at narrowest point in the rear
  • Depth:  with back 13″, backless 15″ (you gain 2″ of depth when the back portion is removed)
  • 7 year lifespan from date of manufacture
  • Detachable “drink-thingy” (aka, the cupholder) can be placed on either side of the booster and is dishwasher-safe 

Santa Came Late This Year!


You can find more information on the Graco Smartseat in my Preview.  I will post some photos and comments within a week or so and expect a full review sometime later this month!

There’s an App For That!

Ever wanted to check some measurements on a carseat while shopping at the local baby store?

Trying to install a seat and need to search our database of nearly 1 million posts on carseats from an audience of thousands of parents, advocates and experts?

Maybe you need to ask a specific question and get answers quickly to give advice to another parent?

Perhaps you are a certified child passenger safety technician or instructor and would like access to a tech-only community of hundreds of other professionals?

Of course, you can do all this on our forums at www.car-seat.org, but now you can also do it from your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android phone!

You can find Car-Seat.Org’s new app on the iTunes Store and at Google Marketplace.  Just search for “carseat” at your device store and you should find it with the orange and blue carseat logo.  Install it and you have a handy portal to our community forums and to our new “Features and Data” section with quick information capsules on most current child safety seat models.  If you like it, please be sure to give it a good rating at iTunes and Google!