Monthly Archive:: January 2012

The Dorel Technical Center for Child Safety – CPS Heaven in Indiana? Part II

In Part I, I discussed how we wound up visiting Dorel’s Technical Center for Child Safety in Columbus, Indiana and what they accomplish there.  It’s quite the impressive place and after thoroughly enjoying the little trip down carseat memory lane they have on display, it was time to move on to the next stop on the tour.

Getting an education on “Soft Goods”.  Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 pictured.



Next, the Model Shop where products and components are pulled and swung and twisted and hammered. And tested for Lead (using proper industry standard procedures).  That blue machine is pounding the chest clip… 15,857 times (and counting)!



Moving along to the lab…

Unboxing: Evenflo Secure Kid 300 & Symphony 65 e3 Preview

We know many of our readers have been looking forward to a thorough review of the new Evenflo Secure Kid 300/400 combination harness/booster seat and it’ll be coming soon! In the  mean time enjoy this preview unboxing video.  We’ll also have an updated review of the Symphony 65 with e3 side impact protection technology coming in the near future so stay tuned!



Going Postal

Like many organizations, CarseatBlog has a PO Box.  This box was located at the “old” post office in my town.  Conveniently located, I had the box there for 5 years or so and have been going to the quaint downtown location my whole life to use post office services.  The people that worked there were always friendly, the service was very good and the lines were never as long as in the main post office.  Earlier this year, the old building was sold.  We were told that the post office would lease part of the old location to retain some services there, including PO Boxes.  So, there would be no long term effect on box owners.  During the renovation, boxes would be moved temporarily to the newer main post office in town.  No big deal, right?  Sure, it’s quite a bit farther, but I don’t need to check it more than every week or two.  They gave me a key to a box at the main location where an existing box had a decal with my number placed upon it, as did all the others from the old location.

So, I made a bi-weekly trek to check my box last month.  Inside was a “greeting” note.  It informed me that my P.O. Box was affected by the move back to the renovated old location.  Due to the smaller area and configuration in the renovated facility, it would no longer be available.   You’ve probably seen recent news stories about the postal service debt crisis and the potential for future reductions in workforce and locations.  I’m apparently one of the first downsizing victims. 

Okay, so they had to know they were going to screw a number of box owners all along, but still, no big deal.  I’ll just keep the current arrangement at the new post office, right?  After all, in this economy, you want to keep your small business customers.  Not only do we buy PO Boxes, but we ship stuff (like carseats, contest prizes and such) when we come to check the box, as I often do.  Well, apparently, not only is my physical box disappearing, but my box number is being discontinued, too!  That’s right, it’s like I’m being forced to move: address change, new business cards, hassle of updating information everywhere, etc, etc.

Of course, I tried to reason with them.  But, this is the post office.  Much like the phone company, the post office doesn’t work quite like other businesses when it comes to customers.  The supervisor was sympathetic, but after a long discussion, there was absolutely no way they could let me keep my box number, at any location.  My only options were to select among the available box numbers at the old or new post office, or simply have my mail forwarded to another address.

Of course, I asked the first obvious question:

Review: The First Years Via 35 Infant Carseat – Big Things Come in Small Packages!

Are you sick of your kids outgrowing their infant seats by six months? Do you tend to grow big babies? Do you live in a place where it would be nice to have an infant seat to use through two full winters?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, the First Years Via 35 infant seat might be the seat for you! From its bright, colorful labels to its tall shell, the Via is larger than life, yet surprisingly compact given its capacity.

The Via 35 (more officially known as the Via I470 and also sold under the Lamaze brand) is a redesign of the previous incarnation of the Via, which had a 22-pound limit.

Will Skinny Be Back in 2012? A plea to manufacturers.

Skinny is back in demand – that is, if you’re a carseat or booster.  Unfortunately, skinny is also hard to come by these days and that’s a real problem.  In a time when Americans are downsizing their vehicles in droves –  increased laws and awareness are keeping more and more kids in CRs longer.  The combination of these two factors is creating a real space problem.  

We need more CRs that can fit in narrow seating positions and in those tricky 3-across situations.  Manufacturers need to work quickly to address this issue because if one more parent suggests removing the armrests on their Turbo booster to make it fit next to another CR – I’m going to lose my mind!

Here are some suggestions for all CR manufacturers.  Work on designing new, narrow seats and pay particular attention to how your various models fit/puzzle/mesh next to each other.  In the mean time, how about reviving some of those older designs that worked so well for us in the past?