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Monthly Archive:: October 2013

ABC Expo 2013: What’s New From Recaro – Guardia Infant Seat & Urbanlife Stroller Preview

At last year’s ABC show, Recaro promised that we’d see an infant seat by the next ABC show – and they delivered on that promise! Plus, they had a really cool stroller to go with it. Both the infant seat and the stroller models we saw were prototypes and the final production models should be available here in the U.S. sometime in 2nd qtr 2014. They’re working on Canada too but didn’t have an ETA for availability there yet. We’ll keep you posted when we have more details on that to share.

Recaro Guardia Infant Seat (prototype pictured):

  • 4-35 lbs
  • No rethread harness
  • Unique macro & micro adjustment features on base
  • ETA 2nd qtr 2014
  • Expected MSRP $250

Recaro Guardia Infant Seat  Recaro Guardia Infant Seat & Urbanlife stroller

Recaro Guardia Infant Carseat & Stroller

 

Recaro Urbanlife Stroller

  • Adapter for Guardia infant seat built into tray
  • Flip-flop-friendly brake
  • ETA 2nd qtr 2014
  • Expected MSRP $250

Recaro Urbanlife stroller

 

Vivo booster has been discontinued so if you love the Vivo or anticipate needing one in the future – grab one now while they’re still available! Vivo will be replaced by Performance Booster XL which is a Performance Booster minus the LATCH attachments and possibly some other differences too.

New Performance BOOSTER (already available – see our Performance BOOSTER Review here)

Recaro Performance Booster

 

ABC Expo 2013: Kids Embrace Update

Turtle Kids Embrace

There we were, walking around the ABC Kids Expo, when we suddenly noticed a Kids Embrace car seat version of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle staring at us. I squealed a little. It’s not that I’m that enthralled with the Turtles, but my son likes them and it brought back some childhood memories… But I digress.

We snapped a photo and put it on Facebook, unsure of the kind of reaction it would get. In the past, Kids Embrace hasn’t gotten a lot of love from the car-seat-enthusiast community. When the seats first came out, the top harness height was lower than other combination seats on the market and that made people worry that little kids would be forced into booster seats prematurely.

Kids Embrace listened, though, and raised the top harness height to 17″. That’s a respectable measurement that will get most kids to a safe booster age. (Remember that 17″ on an upright combination seat tends to be a true 17″, whereas the same measurement in a convertible usually won’t hold a child with a 17″ torso. That’s due to the natural recline of even an upright convertible, and just one of those unexplained mysteries of the car seat world.)

We think it’s time Kids Embrace got more credit and more respect. Their characters are likely to appeal to children in the 3-6 age range, and anything that gets kids excited about car seats and keeps them in a 5-pt harness until a safe booster age (generally 5-6 years old) is a good thing. There are lots of parents who rush their kids into boosters at age 3. In that case, a kid begging for a Batman seat might make all the difference.

But back to the Ninja Turtle. Right now, Leonardo is the only one in the works (sorry, Donatello fans). They’re looking at a release date of December, so keep an eye out if you have a Ninja Turtle fan in your house. (As it turned out, the feedback on our Facebook photo was overwhelmingly positive—lots of people want a Ninja Turtle in their back seat!)

Batman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dora & SpongeBob are all currently available. Prices range from $129-$149. The Batman seat is also going to Canada soon!

  

Also coming from Kids Embrace is a line of backless booster seats. The ones they had on display were Batman and Super-Man, in “boy” and “girl” colors. Those are cool enough to appeal to the older booster-rider who might be getting hesitant about having to ride in one.

Kids Embrace booster

While we were talking with the Kids Embrace folks, we started brainstorming some other characters they could pursue. We suggested Minecraft (I’m sure my 9-year-old would do ANYTHING for a Creeper booster) and Lego. Obviously we have no idea if Kids Embrace will pursue either option, but I was so inspired that the first thing I did when I got home from Vegas was to raid my son’s Legos to create a “prototype” booster.

Lego seat

Don’t those Lego hands just scream “cup holder”? Tell us what you think.

 

Ellie’s Safety 1st Incognito Kid-Positioner Review

Meet our newest guest reviewer, Heather’s daughter, Ellie. Because the Safety 1st Incognito Kid-Positioner is made and marketed just for kids like her, we decided to let her give us her opinions of this brand new concept seat. Ellie read the manual, installed the Incognito herself, and wrote the review while mom took photos and a video. All opinions are Ellie’s and Ellie’s alone :). 

I like the Incognito because it is comfortable and easy to install. I like how it’s compatible with all types of cars but it is not compatible with airplanes because the seat belt there isn’t like any other belt. It doesn’t have a shoulder belt. All boosters need shoulder belts. The belt guides on the seat help with safety and keep the lap belt low.

The Incognito can handle 60-120 lbs. and 47-60”. For people who use the metric system, it can handle 27.2-54.4 kg and 119.4-142.4 cm. It is meant for older kids who don’t like sitting in a booster seat. It doesn’t look like a booster seat and I think it is embarrassing to sit in a booster at age 11 and a half.

 

Orbit Baby Recalls G2 Carseat Bases Made Between March 20, 2013 and July 20, 2013

Orbit Baby G2 BaseOrbit Baby has issued a voluntary recall of the Orbit Baby Car Seat Base G2. This is a voluntary recall and there have been no reports of injuries. Orbit Baby is taking action out of  an abundance of caution and to ensure the highest standards of safety. This recall affects the G2 carseat base only. It does NOT affect Orbit Baby carseats/carriers, strollers, bassinets or rockers. This issue also does not affect the performance of any Orbit Baby car seats if the Car Seat Base G2 is securely installed in accordance with the instruction manual.

Repair kits will be available soon for all G2 base owners with batches affected by this recall. Customers that have registered a product affected by this recall will automatically receive a notice regarding this issue, as well as any safety updates or product notices in the future. Consumers who have not yet registered their product should contact Orbit Baby Customer Service at 1-877-672-2229 or visit www.orbitbaby.com/support/register to register their product.

In some instances, the StrongArm knob on the Car Seat Base may detach or spin without tightening the base, preventing the installation of the Car Seat Base in accordance with the instruction manual. The StrongArm technology is an installation feature that facilitates the “60-second” installation of the Car Seat Base by tightening the Car Seat Base into the vehicle. The Car Seat Bases that are affected by this recall were manufactured from March 2013 to July 2013 with one of the following Batch Numbers: A0840, A0860 or A0880. No other models are affected by this recall and the actual Car Seat itself can continue to be used without the Car Seat Base in accordance with the instruction manual.

Orbit Baby DOM Label

All Orbit Baby car seats and car seat bases have consistently met and exceeded applicable government safety standards.  This issue does not affect the performance of the Infant Car Seat G2 when used without the Car Seat Base G2. This issue also does not affect the performance of the Car Seat Base G2 if it is securely installed in accordance with the instruction manual.

 

Orbit Baby Strong Arm Knob

You can find the most up-to-date information on the Orbit Baby website here: www.orbitbaby.com/safety-update

 

ABC Expo 2013: What’s New from Cybex

Cybex Aton QAt last year’s ABC Show, Cybex introduced the Aton 2 with the load leg and it’s proven to be a very popular infant seat. The load leg on the base keeps the infant seat from rotating down toward the floor which improves stability and helps absorb crash forces. Cybex has done comparison crash tests against the competition to see how effective the load leg really is in dissipating crash energy, and they’ve found it to be eye-opening, not only in terms of reducing downward rotation of the infant seat, but also in reducing rebound as well (see chart below). When you reduce the downward rotation, it’s essentially reducing the bounce back from the vehicle seat cushion since it didn’t go as far into the cushion as it would have otherwise. The Aton 2 also introduced the Linear Side Impact Protection (LSP) flip-up device on the sides of the handle. These innovative features won the Aton 2 the JPMA Innovation Award for 2012.

Cybex Comp Chart   X-Force

This year, Cybex introduces the Aton Q infant seat. The Aton Q is a part of their Platinum line of products, the top echelon. The Q also won this year’s JPMA Innovation Award, so two years in a row for Cybex! Congrats! What makes the Aton Q different from the Aton and the Aton 2? Plenty. First, it has a larger canopy, but it’s still very Euro, very Aton in flavor. The Q has a no re-thread harness that, as the harness slots move down to fit a smaller baby, the seat pan moves up to boost the baby up to those slots. Innovation anyone? Pictured below is the Euro model with 3-pt harness and no chest clip. The model for the US will have a 5-pt harness and a chest clip. The belt path prongs on the carrier are colored in silver (platinum) plastic, with other silver accents. The Linear Side Impact Protection (LSP) is shifted off the handle and toward the top of the carrier, nearer to the baby’s head. On either side, the LSP telescopes out from the side of the carrier to the depth needed for maximum protection. Perhaps best of all, the Aton Q will fit any Aton base. Cybex is expecting a 1st quarter delivery and a price point of $349.

Cybex Aton Q  Cybex Aton Q