Monthly Archive:: September 2011

ABC Show: How We Spent Our Friday

News from ABC! Because my technology is failing me, the accompanying photos for this blog will be posted on our FB page.


New fashions! Pretty and soft.

The First Years

Their new combo seat, the B830, is not expected out until the middle of next year.

The new Via 35 (or just plain Via) is out now.

To quash the rumors, the True Fit has not been tested to 40 lbs and there’s no plan on further testing.


The new Radians are very similar to the old Radians; however, the inside dimensions are about 2″ wider than the old seats and LATCH is recommended for use in booster mode (yay!). For a rf child, the height limit is 1.5″ from the top of the seat or 44″ overall height (but focus on the 1.5″!).


Chicco has a new Liteway stroller out around 3rd qtr of 2012 that converts to accept the KeyFit without an adapter bar. Nice!


Graco has some new offerings, some based on old platforms, some brand new.

The My Ride 65 featuring Safety Surround Side Impact Protection is a My Ride with their new Safety Surround Side Impact Protection in the head restraint in the seat. It attaches through the harness slots when the child is short and as the child is taller, the Safety Surround is built into the sides. It’s basically the My Ride weight limits EXCEPT that it starts at 4 lbs! So 4-40 lbs rf, 20-65 lbs ff. The Safety Surround Side Impact Protection is tested to Euro side impact standards and isdue out at Babies R Us in November of this year. Price point is $179.
The Turbo High Back is also redesigned with Safety Surround. It’s much more squarish in shape and offers more head protection in addition to more torso protection, and its tested to the Euro standard like the My Ride. $69 price point.
The Classic Ride 50 is–you guessed–the classic ComfortSport shell with a 4-40 lbs rf weight limit and 20-50 lbs ff. They were able to get down to 4 lbs with added infant padding. The ComfortSport will still be sold.
*New* is the My Size 65 convertible. 4-40 lbs rf, 20-65 lbs ff with an adjustable 8 position no-rethread harness. Crotch strap slots are at (approx since it’s still a prototype) 5.5″ and 7″. Top harness height is around 18-18.5″. Just like the My Ride, there’s a separate LATCH strap for each belt path. Price point is $179 and production begins in February.
The Argos and Argos Elite are upgrades to the Nautilus platform.  Argos 70 has no rethread harness,  70 lbs upper weight limit for the harness and 120 lbs for the no back booster. The Elite version has belt lock-offs and width adjustable head support.

And, as reported on our FB page, the SnugRide 35 has a new lower weight limit of 4 lbs accomplished by a nice infant insert with padding between the crotch and the buckle.

Canadian news on the My Ride: they’re in the final stages of testing. Soon!


Amp fashions are updated and cool. Lots of color!

*New* is the Securekid 300/400. It’s based on the Maestro shell with a movable headrest. Top slots are about 18-18.5″. The 300 is the basic seat and the 400 has E3 technology and SureLATCH on it. The 300 does have push-on LATCH connectors. Price point is $129 for the 300 and $149 for the 400. They’re starting production and are hoping to ship in December (who’s going to ask for one for Christmas? 😉 ). Sorry, Canadians, this one isn’t going to Canada as of right now.

There are new fashions on the Titan, Tribute, and Triumph.

Discovery infant seat: no changes. This is the one with the Z handle.

Embrace: now 4-35 lbs and is currently shipping. This is the one with the curvy handle.

Secure Ride: 4-35 lbs with the infinite slide harness, SureLATCH connectors, and E3 tech. Price point is $179 and should start shipping in December. This is the one with the straight handle.

So, there you go. That was our Friday.

wtf?! (What’s the Foonf – from Clek)

To satisfy our readers, I’m taking a short break from the expo to get you the Clek Foonf convertible seat information ASAP!  Unfortunately, no photos were allowed with the prototypes.  As they are not production samples, all these specifications are subject to change before launch next year. *UPDATE -stock pics of prototype foonf have been released and are posted below.

Clek’s goal is to make the safest convertible seat on the market.  They have a patented energy absorbing crumple system in the base to significantly reduce chest forces on the occupant.  The very impressive base is re-inforced with Magnesium, like the Oobr, and also offers rigid LATCH for forward facing use.  The frame is steel re-inforced throughout.

The Foonf will appear at Clek flagship retailers as early as June, 2012, possibly appearing in Canada slightly before or at the same time as USA retailers, depending on how the initial shipment is processed.  Other retail outlets will be later in the summer.  The price point for both countries is estimated to be around $449 for standard fabrics, $499 for premium fabrics.  You do get a lot for the price!

ROADTRIP!!! ABC, here we come!

We’re going to Kentucky,

We’re going to the Fair [Expo],

Who wants to see a picture

of Darren

with a flower in his hair?  😀

LOL!  So Darren picked me up at O’Hare this morning and we’re making the drive down to Louisville for the 2011 ABC Expo in a Mazda 5 Touring (review coming soon).  Heather is meeting us there this afternoon.  Can you guess where we had lunch?  

It’s going to be a busy few days and we are psyched!  The fun starts this evening with the New Product Showcase Reception. We’re not expecting to see anything really exciting (to us)  but you never know.  The major news /updates will start Friday morning.  We’ll be tweeting and posting on our facebook page frequently and then following up with blog posts and lots of pictures when we have a bit more time.   If you’re not following us on fb and/or twitter yet, now would be a good time to start! 



2011 and 2012 Buick Enclave: Kids, Carseats & Safety Review

The 2011 – 2012 Buick Enclave is similar to the 2011-2012 Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia.  All three vary in trim levels and features, but share many of the same general characteristics as found in this review.  Crash test results apply to all of them.  There are no major changes for 2012 on these popular models.  I received the very nicely equipped 2WD, 7-passenger CXL-2 version for review (An 8-passenger trim is optional, as is AWD).

This review is mostly going to focus on some safety related and carseat related issues with a few other comments.  Detailed technical specifications and comparisons can be found in mainstream auto reviews.  As for crash safety, it gets top overall results from the IIHS and NHTSA and is one of the safest vehicles as listed by InformedForLife.Org.  We generally concur with InformedForLife in many cases where a full set of crash test results is available, as is the case with the Enclave.

Taking to the water

A few times this summer I have written about my daughter’s journey into the world of swim lessons, spurred by my overall passion for water safety and, specifically, her falling into a pool.

As of my last update, the lessons hadn’t been going too well. Anna was still suffering from some separation anxiety, and although her screaming had diminished, she still didn’t enjoy swimming. At all.

Now, as summer winds to an end, I am happy to announce that her lessons are going much better, and she actually seems to enjoy them! No more screaming, no crying, no coaxing or forcing her into the pool, and she actually speaks fondly of the lessons afterwards.

The breakthrough actually occurred far from the pool where my kids take lessons. It happened at a campground on our way back from a trip to Sequoia. We had promised our son some time in the pool, so we got our daughter Anna suited up as well. At first she was apprehensive, no doubt because of her negative swimming lesson experience.

But once we got in the water she refused to get out, despite the fact that the water was cold enough to turn her lips blue. I think the difference is that she realized it was possible to be in the water with people other than her instructor. (Yes, we live in Southern California. Yes, we have numerous pools at our disposal. No, I’ve never taken her to one.) She realized that swimming can be fun! It also helped that she had a new bathing suit and kept saying that she wanted to tell her instructor, Robert, about it at her next lesson.

She happily splashed around with me, kicking and laughing and yelling at her dad to look at her. After about 10 minutes I finally had to force her out because the water was just really, really cold.

But at her next lesson, Anna was genuinely excited. She showed Robert her new bathing suit and told him how we went swimming at the campground. Since then, she has done great, even allowing Robert to take her under water a few times, and coming up smiling.

I am relieved that we have cleared a major hurdle. It will still be a long time until she’s able to swim on her own, but she’s learning new skills each week, and happily taking it all in.