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Monthly Archive:: October 2012

ABC Kids Expo 2012: What’s new from Graco!

We had so many new and exciting things to see on the first day of the show that we neglected to tell you about Graco! We can’t reiterate enough how big and overwhelming this show really is but as usual, Graco did not disappoint. So, what’s Graco got going on? Well, plenty. They are in the process of converting their SnugRide infant seat line to “Click Connect”, which is the stroller connection designation (you know, how it clicks into the stroller). When they said that, we all had a V-8 moment. Click Connect means it’s a one-step snap onto the stroller – it has nothing to do with how the carrier connects to the base or the base to the vehicle.

Coming in 2013 – the SnugRide “Classic Connect” which is the original 22 lb rated SnugRide. The term “Classic Connect” means the carrier attaches to the stroller via red handles on the stroller frame that flip over to secure the carrier. Also coming next year – SnugRide Click Connect 30, SnugRide Click Connect 35 & SnugRide Click Connect 35LX. And don’t forget the SnugRide Click Connect 40 which is already available at BRU.  Is your head spinning yet?

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 (no lockoff on base, manual rethread harness, modified harness slots – bottom slot now measures close to 6″ )

  • 4-30 lbs, up to 32″
  • same base as pictured below for SRCC 35

 

  

 

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 (no lockoff on base; manual rethread harness; very lightweight – only 7.5 lbs)

  • 4 – 35 lbs. up to 32” (rear-facing only)
  • MSRP $139.99

        

 

Graco Click Connect 35 LX (similar to Click Connect 40 but with 35 lb limit and modified base; lockoff for seatbelt installations; no rethread harness; higher price point; geared towards specialty stores)

  • 4 – 35 lbs. up to 32” (rear-facing only)
  • MSRP $179.99

 

 

 

AFFIX Highback Booster with lower LATCH attachments (integrated cup hold and hideaway storage compartment)

  • With back: 30-100 lbs; 38-57″ tall (3-10 years old)
  • Backless: 40-100 lbs; 40-57″ tall (4-10 years old)
  • MSRP: $79.99

AFFIX Backless Booster with lower LATCH attachments  (integrated cup hold and hideaway storage compartment) 

  • 40-100 lbs; 40-57″ tall (4-10 years old)
  • MSRP: $34.99

 

 

A few new fashions:

              

 

Cool urban jogger with really awesome fold feature:

  

 

ABC Show Day 3: A Little Baby Trend, Some Nuna, A Pinch of Clek, Throw in Combi and . . .

Baby Trend

Baby Trend, Baby Trend, what can we say? Hmmm, not much. They swore us to secrecy. BT doesn’t like to keep their customers waiting for their products, so we honestly can’t say much or they’ll peg us with really wet spitballs. They have some new fashions, for sure—very pretty. OK. Just be on the lookout for something new and old at the same time. But it’s revolutionary. There. That’s it. We really don’t want to be picking spitballs out of our hair.

      

Nuna

And then another little company came along and surprised us. Nuna is a Dutch company with lots of Euro styling. The PIPA (pronounced Pippa, like Pippa Middleton), was released in Europe last spring and they brought it to the show to make us drool. With rigid LATCH, a solid lockoff for seatbelt installs, and a load leg, the base installs easily and the infant seat is light (7.7 lbs.) with an aluminum handle that can be in any position in the vehicle. The release handle for the infant seat is on the base, which keeps that carrier nice and light. The canopy unzips to allow a thin SPF-rated “DreamDrape” cover to come all the way down to attach with magnets near the baby’s feet. Indicators on the base tell you when the seat is snapped onto the base. Keep in mind that the photos you see here are of the Euro carrier and the base is in early PROTOTYPE stage and will change. Expect to see PIPA by the end of next year. Let’s hope they keep the red—it’s simply to die for, dahling!

        

 

Combi

Combi is working on a Cocorro adapter for their new Catalyst stroller. It’s a pretty cool stroller. Oh, and we saw a red cover on the Cocorro!

They also had a Japanese seat there called the MGT. Sometimes they bring things like that over so maybe it’ll come, maybe not. But it went from 5-65 lbs. And it had the smallest egg crate foam under the bum area I’ve seen. Let’s call it parakeet egg crate foam and it was on top of EPS foam.

 

Clek

Seems we just can’t leave Clek alone. Sorry! They were able to get the Foonf rated to 50 FIFTY cinquante pounds REAR-FACING! Can’t seem to shout that any louder, lol. WOW! We know that just made your day. Another piece of news is that in some of the tweaks they made to the shell during finalizing the seat, they moved the crotch strap to keep it from interfering with the rf belt path. Here’s a picture showing measurements ’cause we know you also live for pictures.

 

SnoozeShade

Remember the SnoozeShade infant seat cover review I did back in June? They have a newer version coming out in March,  just in time for next summer. It has a large pull-down flap for easier access to baby and a zip across the top still allows you to check quietly to see if baby is snoozing or awake.

 

ABC Show Day 2: Chicco and Clek

We’re here after Day 2 at the 2012 ABC Show and it’s been another long, hard, tough day as you know if you’ve been following us on Facebook. We thank all the manufacturers who have given us their valuable time and lent us their ears to bend so far to show us great products!

Chicco NextFit 

5-40 lbs. rf
22-65 lbs. ff
Up to 50″ tall

This brand new convertible seat from Chicco has dropped the “65” from the name and will be the plain ol’ NextFit, though there’s nothing plain about it. Where do we start? OK, let’s start with the–count ‘em–9 recline positions for rear- or forward-facing. This will be an excellent seat for special needs kids who need recline! Since rear-facing kiddos will be allowed to rf to within 1″ of the top of the headrest (with an overall 50″ height limit to the

carseat), those 9 recline positions will come in handy for putting older rfers more upright. For the young baby, there is an infant cushion to fit newborns to 11 lbs. so they fit to the bottom slots. A 2 position crotch strap is available for the child’s comfort.

Top slots measure 17.5″ with 25-26″ to the top of the headrest. Nice lockoffs are available for seatbelt installations, but who wants to do that if you have LATCH available? Really, use the SuperCinch LATCH tightening system on this seat. We’ll show you in a video how it works. If I can do it with my poor phone-traumatized fingers, anyone can! It has a steel frame and EPS foam.

*In this video, I show installation by attaching one lower LATCH connector at a time. Both connectors should be attached before pulling slack from the first. Then, pulling the slack from the second will be like slicing a piece of ice cream cake with a hot knife ;).

 

  

Harness height adjusts from the front AND as the harness gets higher up, guess what gets wider? Should we hold a contest? Nah. Too easy. The harness gets wider to accommodate the bigger kid. Nice! Also, the 2 position chest clip expands for larger ff children.

  

Canadians, we do love you! It’s coming up your way, but you’ll have to wait awhile. No date given.

$279

    

Clek

There’s a funny story behind Clek and some duct tape. Really, trade shows bring out the worst in some people (Darren!).

What the Foonf! Well, the rf belt path has been moved back so it doesn’t interfere with the crotch strap. The crotch strap has also been moved back (sorry!). We didn’t get a measurement (see 1st sentence of blog), but we will go back and measure–promise. The hip straps also have been moved from the butt area to the very bottom back area so they truly will come over the hips, like a seatbelt fits. The top slots have also been straightened, instead of being angled, and the harness will now have what we like to call “newborn loops,” that extra length of strap looped at the end of the harness so you can lengthen it when a baby gets too big to fit in the smaller length.

      

If no top tether anchor is available, Clek mandates ff installation with a lap/shoulder belt because tethering helps the seat perform optimally. However, they don’t want to penalize consumers who may not have tether anchors in their vehicles or may not have them in the seating position they wish to place the carseat in. Due to Foonf’s open beltpath design and the built-in lockoff device for the vehicle’s shoulder belt that is mounted up high near the top of the shell – the seat still performs well in testing when installed with a (3-pt) lap/shoulder belt but no tether. They acknowledged that the seat must pass NHTSA’s injury criteria testing (and it does) using a lap-only seatbelt or using just the lower LATCH anchors (without tethering) but they are not comfortable allowing that type of installation and will consider it a misuse.

There’s no price on replacement covers yet–it’s a complicated issue, really. The headrest isn’t easy to deal with in replacement, so Clek is tossing around ideas with how to manage replacing the cover and the headrest cover. Keep in mind that the Crypton covers that are GREENGUARD Select certified are super easy to clean, so you may not need to replace it.

The New Diono StratoFIX

Check out our video on the new rigid offering front-facing only seat from Diono!

$349

This model is a European prototype right now.