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Monthly Archive:: September 2011

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!

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.

Britax

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.

Diono

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

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

Graco

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!

Evenflo

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!