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Monthly Archive:: September 2011

And the Winners Are……

First, we’d like to publicly congratulate Bubble Bum for being a JPMA 2011 Innovation Awards Winner!  I <3 these ladies and I’m thrilled that they were recognized for their innovative product and all their hard work.  I know they were very busy at the Expo but I hope they took a moment or two to bask in the glory of their success!  We have a review of the award-winning Bubble Bum booster here.

Next up, we have a winner in our Chicco KeyFit Bokoo Cover giveaway!  The lovely Adriana Rendon of Bokoo Covers randomly chose the winner when we caught up with her at the Expo. Thank you Adriana for not killing me when I made you wait almost an hour!  I <3 you too!  :) 

For more info on Bokoo Covers for the Chicco KeyFit & KeyFit 30 – see our blog here.

ABC Expo 2011 Dorel Carseats: What’s New from Safety 1st, Maxi-Cosi, Cosco & Eddie Bauer

So much to look forward to from Dorel in the near future!  We were impressed by a lot of what we saw.  And the new, rear-facing recline range of 30-45 degrees, which is going to be allowed on at least some of their convertible models going forward, is much appreciated.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! 

To clarify, the new convertibles with the dual level lines will allow the seat to be installed at a more upright angle (up to approx 30 degrees from vertical) when rear-facing but only for kids who weigh more than 22 lbs and who are also able to sit upright unassisted.  

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70:   New fashions!  In addition to “Total Black” which is already available. There is now a taupe cover that Heather really liked (sorry, didn’t catch the name) and “Intense Red” which is coming soon.  The darker fabric on Intense Red is more maroon than eggplant. The fabric is actually called “Wine Tasting”.  I like it for that reason alone - lol!  The red definitely has orange undertones.  We put it next to the red Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR booster, which is more of a true red, to give you a better idea of how the colors looks in real life.  Check out our full review of the Pria 70 here!

       

Maxi-Cosi Prezi infant seat: 4-30 lbs, fits preemie doll very well, no-rethread harness, coming in April, anti-rebound bar, headrest extends up past seat, “EZ Out” System–harness pops up and out of the way when unbuckled due to foam pads inside harness strap covers, based on the European “Pebble” infant seat, base is about 23″, has KeyFit-like lockoffs.

 

Eddie Bauer Cozy Carry Elite Plus, Scenera 40 RF, & Guide 65:  Scenera has additional infant insert and quilted fabric. Still no EPS/EPP foam in Scenera but Dorel states that the seat tests so well without it (even meeting the strict Candian compression-deflection standard without it) that it’s hard to justify increasing the price point just to add it.  Guide 65 is XRS 65 model under EB brand name.  Has rf/ff/bpb weight limits on fabric tab sewn to front of cover, $99, shipping in Dec. In stores in Jan.

 

FYI – Some Walmarts are stocking the Safety 1st Cozy Carry Elite Plus.  We’re happy to hear that!  See our full review of this seat here.  New fashions for CCEP include “Celine” & “Odyssey”.

     

Safety 1st Chart 65 Air$139, headrest adjusts separately from harness and from back of seat, 16.5″ top slots, 1 harness strap, bottom slots around 7-7.5″ with padding, shipping at end of year, will be available at Target.

 

Safety 1st Comfort Zone Complete Air SE:
Battery powered airflow, fan system blows ambient room air.

Cosco Apt: Same price as Scenera 40 RF, dual level line indicator allows for seat to be more upright for kids over 22 lbs who can sit upright unassissted, hard plastic dual upholders, $54, will be available at Kmart, Target, Sears (deluxe model), 40 lbs max RF and FF.  Interesting new upright/recline positions.  Basically a new, improved Scenera.  Looks like a great seat but won’t be a good option for 3-across since the cupholders make it wider than the traditional Scenera.

             

Topside: backless booster, blow molded, 40-120 lbs, in the $13ish range

 

*all Dorel backless boosters, including the popular High Rise, will be switching to a 40 lb weight minimum

Misc Photos: Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR booster, Safety 1st Boost Air booster, Cosco Pronto booster, Safety 1st onBoard Air 35 infant seat, Complete Air 65 convertible & Essential Air harnessed booster (aka combination seat).

   

   

Last Chance to Win a Free Bubble Bum Booster!

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=185581

Contest ends September 30th!  (Do not comment here to enter, please visit the link above for details)

Don’t miss our review of the Bubble Bum, currently $39.99 on Amazon.com.

ABC Videos: Maxi Cosi Prezi, Summer Infant Prodigy, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible

First, the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible that is starting production this week and should arrive in stores by November.  It’s a very nice convertible with some nifty features.  We really like it, with the exception of a relatively low rear-facing standing height limit, presumably because the shell is relatively compact.  That may be a good thing for small vehicles and those who need more front seat legroom!

Next is the Summer Infant Prodigy base installation video.  The Prodigy is appearing on shelves now with some very innovative features.  It fits the 4-pound preemie doll, has an “automatic” harness height adjustment and a smart screen electronic sensor system to help with installations.  We covered it earlier this year at Lifesavers and last year at ABC Kids, but thought we’d do another video of a production model base since it is now available. Minor improvements include a label with a line reminding you that it is easier to do half rotations of the tightening handle for a couple clicks rather than trying to move it the full rotation each time.

Finally, the Maxi Cosi Prezi infant seat.  Also designed to fit the 4-pound infant doll, it features foam harness pad inserts to help keep straps from twisting and to help keep them out of the way for getting baby into and out of the seat.  This is a prototype but should resemble the version coming soon to the USA!

Thank You for Your Comments! More New Product News from ABC Kids Soon!

We love all your comments, in response to our blogs, our Facebook updates and at www.Car-Seat.Org forum threads too!  Most manufacturers read them as well, and they do  appreciate both praise and also realistic suggestions and constructive criticism, too;-) 

We do note that we seem to be developing a bit of a reputation among companies as having a lot of negative commentary on our product updates.  I would like to remind all of our readers that there are a lot of great people that work at the child safety seat manufacturers who have families and young kids that use their products as well.  Everything is a tradeoff in a new product.  You simply can’t have everything (or even most things) and even if you could, it would be priced at thousands of dollars.  I can’t imagine how depressing it is for people on a development team to bring a new product to a show and then read nasty comments about it even before it hits the shelves and people have tried it.

Heather, Kecia and I don’t like everything about every new product, either.  Believe me when I tell you that they get a LOT of feedback from us, far more than they probably want, and it gets repeated over and over by other groups here like Safe Kids, Safe Ride News, Carseat Lady and more.  On the other hand, we also realize that a lot of these products aren’t aimed at the technicians or advocates.  Most serve a niche.  Some are low priced, some fit where others don’t, some focus on safety features, while others focus on styling and fashion.  That’s a good thing, because more variety means that there is always going to be something that works pretty well for everyone, even if there is no absolutely perfect seat for anyone.

Another thing that is certain is that manufacturers do hear our complaints.  Just look at what was available on the market only 10 years ago.  I don’t think there was a single extended rear-facing seat like those we have today.  High weight harness basically meant one option, the Fisher Price Futura.  We were happy to see models that had front harness adjusters, let alone front harness height adjusters.  Side impact protection?  Not!  Consider that the manufacturers might come close to meeting everyone’s preferences if that was all they had to consider.  But they also have to consider federal standards that sometimes get in the way.  Cost is always an issue, as you don’t want to see them going out of business, either.  Having fewer options benefits no child.  Plus, meeting the requirements of big retailers isn’t always the same as the requirements of consumers.  It’s a tough fight to get shelf space and a lot of compromises are made to do so because those big box retail buyers don’t have even remotely the same concerns as parents do in many cases.

Anyway, we love to see more comments on our blogs and posts.  We love the great feedback about potential flaws and suggestions for improvements.  But before leaving a “OMG Who would buy this ugly junk!” or a “I can’t believe they didn’t include THIS and THIS and THIS and THIS and price it for $30!”, please consider that people just like you are working hard at their jobs  (many in the USA and Canada) to improve carseats and in general, they’ve done a tremendous job over the years at making vastly improved products in terms of safety, ease-of-use, style and really just about everything.  That product that doesn’t appeal to you might well appeal to someone else and it will almost certainly save the life of a child when used correctly (or even somewhat correctly!).

Stay tuned for today’s update with all the stuff we didn’t cover yet and meetings later with Harmony, Orbit, Baby Trend, Kiddy and more!