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Monthly Archive:: October 2011

ABC Expo 2011: What’s new from Harmony!

Many of our readers are already fans of Harmony boosters. They have five different models that all have “Best Bet” designation from the IIHS for providing good belt fit.  The popular Harmony Youth Booster Seat (aka LiteRider backless booster) is widely available at Wal-Mart.  The Cruz backless booster is also available at select Wal-Marts and online too.  Nice fabrics and cute fashions that really appeal to both parents and kids, combined with budget-friendly prices and good belt fit on a wide range of kids are the keys to Harmony’s success!  We all have our favorite Harmony pattern - what’s yours?  I’m partial to the new Hot Rod! 

  • Youth Booster (aka LiteRider) available at Wal-Mart:  Pink Leopard print is being replaced by Pink Zebra, current Camo fabric is being replaced by Hot Rod.  New “Hunter Camo” is coming soon (pic below).    
  • Amazon & BuyBuyBaby will be selling Harmony V6 HBB soon (this is the Cruz with a back). 
  • Olympian backless booster (aka Secure Comfort Deluxe) & Armor Adjustable Highback are already available at Amazon. The Olympian/Secure Comfort Deluxe continues to be a great option for kids who need a wider than average booster.  We have a review here.   
  • Sometime in the next year (hopefully) we’ll be able to buy Harmony seats directly from their website! This means we won’t at the mercy of buyers anymore and we’ll be able to order whatever we want as long as it’s available. Cow lovers rejoice! lol   

I’m in love with the new Lion Dreamtime HBB pictured below.  So cute!!!  Unfortunately, no retailer has picked it up yet (gah! what’s wrong with these buyers?).  I’m told there’s also a Rabbit and a Cow model (yes, cow! I must try to get my hands on a pic to torture the moo lovers!) but they weren’t displayed at ABC.  FYI – we have a review of the Harmony Dreamtime model here.

             

ABC Expo 2011: What’s new from The First Years/Lamaze

This one will be brief since we don’t have much to report that hasn’t already been covered in previous blogs or on our facebook page.

  • Aquired by Tomy several months ago
  • B830 combination seat coming middle of next year (hopefully)
  • New Via infant seat (5-35 lbs) available now
  • No plans that rep was aware of to increase True Fit rear-facing weight limits
  • Cute new “Minnie Mouse” fashions for True Fit Premier with anti-rebound bar and Via 35 infant seat. Matching strollers too!
  • Cool new “Wave” stroller 

                 

ABC Expo 2011: What’s New from Peg Perego – Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible & Viaggio HBB!

After a decade of having only an infant carseat available in North America to go with their popular strollers – Peg Perego is ready to launch a convertible carseat and a dedicated highback booster!  These will be called Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible and Viaggio HBB!  Hopefully they didn’t spend a lot of money on focus groups to come up with those names, lol.  However, they clearly dropped many Euros on the design and development of the seats themselves.  With one glaring exception (which we were very verbal about), we were pleasantly surprised and impressed by what we saw.  I’m going to break up the offerings by country since the Canadian seats will have different features and in some cases, different weight ranges.

Let’s start with Canada since those Peg models will have some unique features that their American cousins will not, at least not initially.

Canadian Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible:  5-45 RF, 22-65 FF  (didn’t check RF/FF height limits for this model – sorry!), other specs and measurements listed below.  Not sure when it will be arriving in Canada or the price point.  Clearly we’re failing our friends North of the Border.  Sorry guys!  We’ll follow up when we receive additional info from Peg Perego.

New Canadian Primo Viaggio SIP 30-30 infant seat with anti-rebound handle position. It will be mandatory to use this position in vehicle.  Rear-facing to 30 lbs or 30″ tall.  This will be one of the few infant seat options rated to 30 lbs in Canada!  Made in Italy, not China like every other infant seat on the market in North America.  Of course, that’s always reflected in the pricetag!

Not sure if the booster is going to Canada too but we’ll confirm and follow up.

New American Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible (no ARB).

  • 5-45 lbs RF 
  • 22-70 lbs FF (49″  ht limit)
  • FF lockoffs for seatbelt installs but no RF lockoffs
  • 10 harness height settings
  • 17.5″ top harness height
  • single LATCH strap has dual adjusters
  • V-shaped top tether strap
  • S.A.F.E energy management system (shock absorbing foam element)
  • Available soon (Nov/Dec) $299 ($349 for Leather)

Excerpts from the Primo Viaggio Convertible instruction manual:

*Please note, we incorrectly state the FF wt limits for the Canadian convertible seat in the above video. The limits are what you see posted on the display sign; 5-45 RF, 22-65 FF.

Viaggio High Back Booster: 40-120 lbs with flexible lower LATCH Attachments!  20″ height to belt guide. Base reclines.  $179 ($199 for Leather)

We ran out of time before we had a chance to take a closer look at any of the strollers or the US model of the Primo Viaggio 30-30 infant seat. However, we did confirm that the US infant seat models would continue NOT to offer the anti-rebound handle position.  We wish they would reconsider their stance on that since we love anti-rebound features here in the US too, even if our federal standards don’t require it (yet).

Last but not least, we pleaded with them to reconsider what we thought was an artificially low 35″ stated height limit for their convertibles in the rear-facing position.  The very generous 45 lbs RF weight limit is practically meaningless if they’re going to mandate a standing height limit of 35″ in the rear-facing position.  According to the CDC Growth Charts for boys up to 36 months, 35″ tall is somewhere between the 50-75%ile for boys at 24 months.  Considering that our goal is to get all kids to at least 2 years old in the rear-facing position, we believe there is room for improvement here.  Fingers crossed that they can find a way to either raise the stated height limit or do away with it altogether in favor of a more realistic 1″ rule [on a designated max RF height setting].  If they can manage to do that – the Primo Viaggio convertible has real potential to compete in the current market!

*UPDATE!  Check out our blog article below: 

Peg Perego retracts stated 35″ rear-facing height limit on Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible

 

ABC Expo 2011: clek foonf, oobr & olli

Truthfully, we were so focused on the prototype foonf that I didn’t notice much else.  But I did snap a few pics of their displays before we left.  Not sure what, if anything, displayed was new.  I’ll leave it up to you guys to fill me in!  I do know the Paul Frank “Scurvy” oobr was discontinued and therefore not present.  I’m bummed about that because it was my favorite Paul Frank print.  On the bright side, you now have the option of a Special Limited Edition “Saddle” oobr in top-grain leather.  Not my thing personally but I understand that there is, and always has been, a demand for high-end leather carseats.  The Saddle oobr was actually really nice!  If you just have to have one, better hurry since they’re only making 250 of them.  No idea what they’re going to sell for but I suspect that if you have to ask, it’s not the seat for you.  

See our most recent review of the clek oobr here.  Oobr and Olli are both on our Recommended Seats List!    

Basically, everything we know about foonf was covered in Darren’s wtf?! blog, the morning we saw it.  I don’t have much else to add except my initial impression of what the seat looks like.  To me, it has the sleek, clean lines of a Coccoro [on a base] but the head support, steel reinforced frame and fabrics of the Oobr.  I’m not sure what I was expecting but I wasn’t expecting a seat with real 3-across potential, which foonf has.  That was a surprise but in retrospect – a very pleasant surprise.  Judging by how many 3-across threads we see on the forum, I think there’s a huge market for slim, higher-weight RF/FF harnessed seats.  Really, even if you had to buy 2 or 3 foonfs (does the plural somehow seem funnier than the singular?), that’s still going to be a lot cheaper than buying a new vehicle.  And with a 9 year expiration, if you can pass it down to subsequent children and actually get 9 yrs of use out of it – it breaks down to only $50 per year (slightly more for the Paul Frank fashions). 

If you think about it that way, it’s a little easier to digest the pricetag.  Still, I understand that foonf is going to be out of reach for many budgets.  Maybe clek can offer us a layaway plan?  Or better yet, how about a “sponsor a foonf” program where they email you a picture every month of a sad, lonely little pre-production foonf with no one to love it (in your fashion of choice, of course). Once your “sponsorship donations” reach the $450-$500 level and the seat is ready to ship, they send you your precious foonf that you’ve already bonded with over pictures and letters!   

All joking aside, I bet most of us thrify mamas could manage to save up enough for a foonf if we had enough time to do it.  Step 1: confirm your eggo is preggo.  Step 2: start a foonf fund!  By the time baby is 6-9 mos old and ready for foonf, I bet you’ll have enough saved for it.  Do the math – it’s less than $33/month if you break it up over 14 months.  Even if you started saving today, you have 7-8 months before it’s even available.  So don’t delay – start today!  Yes, I’m totally being an enabler but only because I think this seat is going to ROCK!!  And hey, if you really don’t like it or it doesn’t work for your situation, at least you’ll have enough money saved to buy anything else you want, right?  ;) 

Have a foonf fund already?  Send us a picture of it and we’ll post it on this blog!  Pics can be sent to carseatblog “at” gmail “dot” com (put foonf fund in the subject line)

     

ABC clek photos below. In case we haven’t mentioned it already, foonf will be available in all the same fabrics and fashions as big brother, oobr!