Quantcast

Monthly Archive:: August 2013

Safety 1st Incognito Kid-Positioning Seat Preview

Safety 1st Incognito - stockThis week at the Kidz In Motion (KIM) Conference, Dorel unveiled an exciting new product. It wasn’t anything flashy or high-tech but it did elicit a lot of praise. It’s the Safety 1st “Incognito” Kid-Positioning Seat which is appropriately named because it’s meant to blend in with the vehicle interior and be less conspicuous. I can attest to this claim because I walked right past it at the Dorel booth without even noticing it! Lol.

The Incognito is special because it’s meant to be “the seat after the booster”. It was specifically designed for older kids and Tweens who still need a little help getting the adult seatbelt to fit properly but who probably aren’t using a booster anymore. With its very low profile and covers designed to blend in with vehicle interiors, the Incognito should be more appealing to older kids who may be self-conscious about using a more traditional-looking booster. This is extremely important because one of the biggest challenges we face as CPS Technicians and advocates is getting the message out to parents and kids that they are NOT ready to ditch the booster and move directly to the adult seatbelt at age 7 or 8.

Safety 1st Incognito - stock

The Incognito will be rated from 60-120 lbs. and from 47-60″ tall. Currently, Dorel does not have the dummies they would need to crash test and rate the seat to weights higher than 120 lbs. So for now, we have to be happy with what it does offer – which is a lot. I’ve seen the questions and comments about older kids who weigh less than 60 lbs (27 kg) and honestly, I think kids who are considerably smaller than average for their age would probably be better served by a traditional booster. However, if I had a 10 yr old who was in the 10th percentile for weight and didn’t quite weigh 60 lbs yet, I know *I* would be comfortable making the parental decision to use this product if it was really important to my child. I get that being a 4th or 5th or 6th grader who is still using a traditional booster can be upsetting for some kids. I’ve had one of each type of kid so I know first-hand that some kids (like my 9 year old DS2) are perfectly happy in their boosters, while some other kids (like my DS1) are/were embarrassed about it.

Personally, I want to throw my arms around the Dorel people who decided to make the minimum weight 60 lbs. They absolutely did the right thing here and I really appreciate that. This product is targeted to kids in the 8-13 year range and the weight minimum reflects that. It really is meant to be “the seat after the booster”.

Incognito is made of dense foam so it’s extremely lightweight. It’s firm and supportive but not as hard as sitting on plastic.

Careful attention was paid to the belt guide design so it would be quick and easy for kids to thread the lap belt portion of the lap/shoulder belt through the guide correctly every time. If the seat is staying in the vehicle then the child can leave the seatbelt threaded through the guide on one side and only have to thread it into the guide on the buckle side each and every time.

image

 

Measurements:

Height: 2.5″ tall

Depth: 16.5″ from back to front

Width in back (narrowest point): 12″

Width at widest point: 16″

Incognito  Incognito  Incognito  Incognito

The Incognito does have the potential to be useful in some 3-across situations but it’s not a narrow booster so I predict that results will vary depending on the situation. It’s going to “play well” next to other seats because there are no armrests but you still need the space for it.

Since there were no real kids at the conference (only dolls and grown-ups acting like kids ;)), we had to improvise. Special thanks to Betsey Mowery, CPST-Instructor from University of Arkansas Medical Center, for being a good sport and modeling the Incognito in a 2013 Toyota Sienna! At 5’2″ tall, Betsey is technically above the 60″ height limit but you can see that she fits very nicely in this product anyway. FYI – there is no age limit on this product so if you are a small-in-stature adult and you don’t exceed the height or weight limits of this product – then you can use the Incognito too! Jockeys rejoice!

Betsey modeling the Incognito  Incognito in Sienna

Incognito should be available on Amazon.com in a few weeks. There will be 4 cover choices. Price will be around $20. It will go to Canada eventually but there is no estimated ETA on that right now.

image

More info can be found on the Dorel website here: http://safety1st.djgusa.com/en/djgusa/safety1st/booster-car-seats/incognito-booster-seat–bc093blk

Stay tuned to CarseatBlog for a full Incognito review coming soon!

 

CarseatBlog Quick Tip: Funky Label Wording

Have you ever been confused by the wording “Use only in a rear-facing position when using restraint with an infant weighing less than 22 pounds”? This text is found in a convertible carseat manual and on a label on the side of the carseat and is, without a doubt, one of the most confusing statements a parent will read when trying to figure out if that convertible is appropriate for their rear-facing child. What does it mean?

It doesn’t mean that the convertible only rear-faces to 22 lbs. What it does mean is that all children weighing less than 22 lbs. have to ride rear-facing in that restraint. So now you know!

use only in a rf position

Rear-Facing Convertible Seats: Measurements, Height Limits & Weight Limits

Convertible MeasrementRecently, we published our Rear-facing Convertible Space Comparison blog, but it wasn’t an all-inclusive list and the primary focus was on how much room different convertible seats take up when installed in the rear-facing position. As part of that review, we listed the rear-facing seated height measurements and stated height limits of various convertibles. In the breakdown section for each seat, we included additional information such as RF weight limits and FF height & weight limits.

Now, we’re expanding that database and making an all-inclusive list, specifically of rear-facing convertible measurements, height and weight limits. We have data on almost every convertible seat currently in production. I have measured each seat personally because measuring is a bit subjective but I have done my best to be consistent in the way I measure each seat. Even then, measuring isn’t an exact science since the contours of these seats aren’t in a straight line. But again, I have done my best to be consistent in my measuring techniques.

Here are the results:

 

Convertible

RF Shell Height Measurement

RF Child Height Limit

RF Weight Range

Britax “Classic”  Marathon 65

25.5” tall

1” rule from top of shell

5-35 lbs.

Britax “Classic” Roundabout 50

25.5” tall

1” rule from top of shell

5-35 lbs.

Britax Roundabout

24” tall

1” rule from top of shell

5-40 lbs.

Britax Marathon, Boulevard, Pavilion & Advocate

24” tall

1”rule from top of main shell, not from top of HR

5-40 lbs.

Chicco NextFit

26” with HR fully extended

1” rule with HR fully extended

5-40 lbs.

Clek Foonf

26.5″ tall with HR fully extended

Child height 43” max and 1” rule from top of HR when fully extended

14-50 lbs.

Combi Coccoro

21.5″

Child height 36” max

3-33 lbs.

Cosco Apt 40RF

23” tall

Child height 40” max

5-40 lbs.

Cosco Scenera

23” tall

Child height 36” max

5-35 lbs.

Diono Radian R100

25” tall

Child height 44” max and 1.5” from top shell

5-40 lbs.

Diono Radian R120 & RXT

25” tall

Child height 44” max and 1.5” from top shell

5-45 lbs.

Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3-in-1 /Comfort 65

26” with HR fully extended

Child height 40” max and top of head below top of HR

5-40 lbs.

Eddie Bauer Sport

23” tall

Child height 40” max

5-40 lbs.

Eddie Bauer XRS 65

24.5” with HR fully extended

Child height 40” max

5-40 lbs.

Evenflo SureRide

25” tall

Child height 40” and 1”rule from top of shell

5-40 lbs.

Evenflo Symphony/ Snugli All-In-One

23” tall

Child height 37″ and 1” rule with HR in 2nd lowest height setting

5-40 lbs.

Evenflo Tribute

22” tall

Child height 37” and 1” rule from top of shell

5-40 lbs.

Evenflo Triumph 65

23” tall

Child height 37″ and 1” from top of shell

5-40 lbs.

Graco ClassicRide

23” tall

1” rule from top of shell

4-40 lbs.

Graco ComfortSport

23” tall

1” rule from top of shell

5-30 lbs.

Graco Head Wise

27.5” tall

1” rule from red plastic actuator when HR fully extended

4-40 lbs.

Graco My Ride

24” tall

1” rule from top of shell

5-40 lbs.

Graco My Size

27.5” tall

1” rule from red plastic actuator when HR fully extended

4-40 lbs.

Graco Size4Me

27.5” tall

1” rule from red plastic actuator when HR fully extended

4-40 lbs.

Graco Smart Seat

24.5″ tall

1” rule with HR in third lowest height setting

5-40 lbs.

Maxi-Cosi Pria  (with TinyFit)

25” with HR fully extended

Child height 40” or less and head below top of HR

4-40 lbs.

Maxi-Cosi Pria (without TinyFit)

25” with HR fully extended

Child height 40” or less and head below top of HR

9-40 lbs.

Orbit Baby Toddler G2

25” tall

None stated

15-35 lbs.

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP

24” tall

1” rule with HR in max RF height position (7th notch)

5-45 lbs.

Recaro Performance Ride

23.5″ tall

Child seated height max 22.5”

5-40 lbs.

Safety 1st Advance 70 Air + (Plus)

29” tall

Child height 40” max and top of head below top of restraint HR

5-40 lbs.

Safety 1st All-In-One Sport

25” tall

Child height 36” max

5-35 lbs.

Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65

26” with HR fully extended

Child height 40” max and top of head below top of HR

5-40 lbs.

Safety 1st Chart Air

24.5” tall

Child height 40” max

5-40 lbs.

Safety 1st Complete Air

27.5” tall

Child height 40” max

5-40 lbs.

Safety 1st Elite Air 80

29” tall

Child height 43” max and top of head below top of restraint HR

5-40 lbs.

Safety 1st Guide 65

24.5” with HR fully extended

Child height 40” max

5-40 lbs.

Safety 1st onSide Air

23” tall

Child height 40” max

5-40 lbs.

The First Years True Fit Premier C670

27” tall

1” rule from top shell with upper headrest portion attached

5-35 lbs.

The First Years True Fit SI C680/I-Alert C685

27” tall

1” rule from top shell with upper headrest portion attached

5-35 lbs.

www.CarseatBlog.com

©2013 All Rights Reserved

 

For more detailed information please see our list of Carseat Reviews and our list of Recommended Carseats.  There is also a similar database of Carseat Measurements database at our Car-Seat.Org forum.  Unlike this chart above, the database measurements are mainly contributed by members, so some of the numbers may vary slightly from those I’ve measured.  The database is also easily viewed on the Car-Seat.org app for Apple and Android, on the iTunes and Google Play stores!

 

Car Slams into Pool

photo 2[1]CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill.—No one was injured when a vehicle crashed into a wading pool full of rollicking children in a quiet neighborhood Wednesday afternoon. Around 3:45 p.m., a red and yellow Cozy Coupe was seen traveling toward the pool at a high rate of speed. Unable to stop in time, the driver slammed into the side of the pool, causing ripples but no injuries. The sole occupant of the Coupe, identified only as Oliver, age 1, hit his head on the steering wheel but fled the scene giggling. He was later apprehended. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

The occupants of the pool continued to play as though nothing had happened. When questioned about the incident, they responded, “Huh?”

Authorities remind residents to practice pool and vehicle safety for the rest of the summer.

The Ultimate Rear-Facing Convertible Carseat Space Comparison – Size Matters!

size-mattersOh, the pun possibilities running through my mind right now are almost endless but I’m not going to go there, I promise! This will be a good, clean, safe-for-work, safe-for-kids-over-your-shoulder, comparative review by the time Darren and Heather have finished their editing and it’s finally published! 

With that out of the way let’s get down to the business of your back seat. Specifically, your vehicle’s back seat. Is your vehicle’s front-to-back space limited? Are you and/or your partner tall or just leggy? Or maybe you just want the ability to stretch out a little bit more on a long ride. Regardless of why you need more leg room up front, the reality is that you’re not alone. The rear-facing carseat/space issue comes up over and over again here at CarseatBlog, on our blog’s Facebook page and on the Car-Seat.org forums. Everyone, it seems, is looking for a good quality, higher-weight-harness convertible that will keep their child happy and comfortably seated in the rear-facing position while still allowing the front seat driver and/or passenger to be safe and comfortable too. Because let’s face it, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your comfort or safety just to accommodate junior who is optimally seated rear-facing in a convertible behind you!

Additionally, as a mom and a Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor, I know that space factors play an important role for many parents in their decision on when to make that “demotion” in safety from rear-facing to forward-facing.  Ideally that switch from RF to FF shouldn’t occur until the child has maxed out their convertible seat by either height or weight, but that’s rarely the reality. The reality is that the vast majority of parents in this country are still turning their toddlers forward-facing before the recommended minimum age of 2 and, in most cases, way before the RF weight or height limits of their convertible seat are actually reached. I know space issues play a role in many of those decisions. Hopefully this blog can help reduce some of those occurrences by giving parents some useful info on which popular convertible models take up the least amount of room when installed in the RF position.

Since there are too many variables from vehicle to vehicle and even from one seating position to the next (within the same vehicle), I can’t and won’t tell you that seat X or seat Y is going to be the best choice for your child in your vehicle. But I can tell you that seat X takes up 3″ less room when rear-facing than seat Y when installed properly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions in the same seating position. The rest of the factors (specs, features, price, etc.) are going to be up to you to take into account. Because even though size matters, it’s not the only thing that matters! 

With that in mind, I chose convertibles from my collection of demo/training seats that are either on our list of Recommended Seats or just popular higher-weight-harness convertibles. I did not include very compact seats like the Combi Coccoro or Cosco Scenera, because I know that most of our readers are looking for convertibles that last longer and can be used for extended rear-facing. For example, the Coccoro is a great little seat that doesn’t take up much room when rear-facing and is fairly narrow, too. That’s a huge bonus in compact cars. The trade-off is that it’s more quickly outgrown by height and weight in the RF position. Average size models, like the Britax convertibles and Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 5-70, have modest rear-facing height limits but can still accommodate many kids rear-facing past 2-years old AND fit easily in your small car!

rfprius

While this list does include 15 current convertible models, it is NOT an all-inclusive list and I was limited to what I had available or had access to during the project period.

grade-b-plusSeats have been given letter grades for simplicity. This grade relates only to the amount of room that the seat takes up when rear-facing as compared with the other seats on this list. Keep in mind that even seats with an “A” rating aren’t guaranteed to fit rear-facing or install properly in the back seat of your vehicle but they’re a good place to start if you’re on a quest to find a good rear-facing convertible that doesn’t take up a lot of room. By the same token, just because a seat has a “C” or “D” rating doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed not to fit well rear-facing in a smaller vehicle. There are just so many variables in each specific situation that it’s impossible to know for sure. You really never know for sure until you try it.   

For the record, my installation method for each seat was pretty basic. I didn’t use any tricks to try to get the seats more upright or anything like that. I also didn’t attach the rear-facing tether in cases where that was specifically an option (Britax, Diono). I used the lower LATCH anchors for each install just to be consistent, and because it was easier in most cases. Each seat was installed properly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. I did not use any pool noodles to increase the recline angle because it wasn’t necessary. The only exception was the Safety 1st Complete Air, which needed noodles to achieve even the most upright RF recline angle. Since I was installing just for the sake of measuring, I took the lazy way out and just wedged the edge of the CR into the vehicle seat cushion and it stayed tight. Normally, I like to get behind the rear-facing convertible and use my hips or mid-section to compress the seat down and into the vehicle seat cushion, leaving both hands free to tighten the seatbelt or latch strap. However, I couldn’t do that with these installs because that would have required moving the front seat forward to get my body back there, and that wasn’t an option. The front passenger seat stayed in its precise position throughout the project period.

I set the front passenger’s seat in a specific fixed position with the seatback angle neither too reclined nor too upright for an adult to sit comfortably. Then, in each case I measured the distance between the convertible and the point on the back of the front seat or head restraint that was likely to make first contact. That “contact point” varied depending on the height and contour of the CR. So, this means that these measurements and grades could vary somewhat in a different vehicle that has a different contour of vehicle seats, different geometry of head restraints or is simply installed somewhat differently.  For example…

NOT

YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY! (Don’t try this at home)

 

In cases where the convertible had a height-adjustable headrest (HR), I took separate measurements with the HR flush with the shell and also with the HR extended to the max RF height limit. If the convertible allowed more than one recline position to be used for RF then I installed the seat using the different recline positions as long as it installed within the acceptable recline angle range. There was one exception I made and that was for the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 installed in the semi-reclined position. I was just so blown away by the amount of room that I gained with that seat in the #2 recline position that I couldn’t throw it out just because the level line wasn’t level with the ground. More specific details on that installation and those results can be found in the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 notes below.

 

 

Okay, enough rambling… this is what you’re here for! Below is a table comparing the various convertibles and listing their grade, the amount of space gained in relation to the most space-consuming convertibles tested and the seat’s RF seated height limits. 

 

 

Note: CR Interior Height Measurement refers to the measurement of the Child Restraint (CR) from the bottom of the seated area to the top of the restraint in its maximum rear-facing height position (picture below).  This measurement may range from 23″ to 27.5″.  The overall “Child Height”, or standing height limit is also stated for seats that list one in their owner’s manual. The “1 Inch Rule” states that the child has outgrown the CR by height if there is only 1″ of shell or headwing structure (this varies from seat to seat so check the notes in the chart above) left above the child’s head. In other words, you always want more than 1″ of shell or structure above your child’s head. Once they get to the point where there is only 1″ left above their head – the seat is outgrown in the rear-facing position.

Interior Height Measurement

 

Here is a breakdown of each convertible tested with a few additional details and pics of the installation: