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Monthly Archive:: November 2013

ABC Expo 2013: What’s new from Evenflo, Clek & Nuna

Evenflo:

All Evenflo seats with the difficult AmSafe buckles that everyone disliked are in the process of transitioning to different buckles. If consumers are having problems with the AmSafe buckles on seats they already own with harnesses that can be replaced (Maestro, Secure Kid, SureRide, Embrace) they should contact Parent Link for a replacement buckle. The Symphony is going back to an IMMI buckle (which it had originally). The other Evenflo seats will transition to a different buckle style.

New Symphony DLX & LX models with redesigned headrest. Will be shipping to U.S. retailers in December. Should be available in stores by mid-January. The new DLX model will be also be going to Canada. The Canadian version follows the same timing as the U.S. version. The Symphony DLX price point in the U.S. will remain at $229.99.

Redesigned Evenflo Symphony LX  Redesigned Evenflo Symphony LX

Current Symphony DLX (left); Redesigned Symphony DLX (right)

Current Symphony (left); Redesigned Symphony DLX (right)

Redesigned Triumph has built-in cup holders and sliding headrest. Also shipping in December. Will be available at Target in mid-January. Price point remains the same at $149.99. This model is also going to Canada. It will be sold at Sears Canada and should be on the shelves there by mid-January.

New Evenflo Triumph

 

SureRide is in the process of having the recline stand tweaked so it is less pointy. No details yet on when that updated model is going to be available.

 

Clek:

Foonf crotch strap now includes two different lengths (will come with 2014 seats, will be available to order within a few weeks for existing seats). Simplified anti-rebound bar (ARB). Updates to 2014 manuals. All colors available on black or white shells. Video manuals available on website with step-by-step instructions. Will eventually have a QR code on the seat. No chlorinated or brominated flame retardants used.

New Foonf crotch strap  New Foonf crotch strap

Foonf Tokidoki prints $549 – expected in stores by end of December

  

  

 

Tokidoki Oobr $349 & Olli $129

    

  

 

If Tokidoki isn’t your thing – there’s the Limited Edition leather Foonf & Oobr:

Clek Foonf - leather  Clek Oobr - Limited Edition Leather

 

Nuna:

Nuna Pipa infant seat with rigid latch attachments and load leg is currently available for sale at select specialty retailers. $299. Current fashions include Night & Scarlet. New 2014 fashions will add Sand, Navy & Blackberry (purple). Sand & Navy will be available 1st qtr 2014. Blackberry will come later in the year – probably 2nd qtr.

  

 

Graco Nautilus with Safety Surround Review: Tried and True

Nautilus with Safety SurroundThe Graco Nautilus with Safety Surround is the latest version in the Nautilus line of combination carseats. Since their debut, they’ve been highly popular carseats for preschoolers through grade-schoolers because of their versatility. Graco calls the Nautilus/Argos line “3-in-1” carseats because they perform three functions: forward-facing harness, high-back booster, and backless booster. Traditionally, 3-in-1 carseats have been rear-facing, forward-facing, then booster carseats, so it’s important to make the distinction that the Nautilus/Argos combination carseats do NOT rear-face.

Weight and Height Limits

  • 20-65 lbs., 27-52” with harness
  • 30-100 lbs., 38-57” without harness, used as a high-back booster
  • 40 to 100 lbs., 40-57” without harness, used as a backless booster

Graco Nautilus with Safety Surround Overview: 

  • Thick (3”!) EPS foam in headrest
  • 3-position front adjust recline
  • Meets Graco’s side impact testing and Europe’s Side Impact testing standard
  • One-hand 5-position adjustable headrest
  • Tall armrests with cup holder and storage cubbies
  • Integrated steel bars reinforce the shell
  • 9-year lifespan
  • MSRP $209.99
  • Fashions include Atlas, Berri, and Lucky
  • IIHS Best Bet when used as a booster in high-back mode

Nautilus 4 slots w pad  Nautilus 4 slots wo pad  Nautilus cubbies  Nautilus back  Nautilus backless  Nautilus wo cover  Nautilus shoulder belt guide

All About Chest Clips: Function, Purpose & Proper Positioning

Chest clips are one of the least understood and most misused features on a carseat. I’m going to attempt to set the record straight on how they function, what purpose they serve and how they’re meant to be positioned.

 

Proper Positioning:

Chest clips should be positioned anywhere in the mid to upper chest area. Aim for armpit level which is where most carseat instruction manuals tell you to place the chest clip. The truth is that even if it’s a little lower than armpit level – it will still do its job as a pre-crash positioner of the harness straps, as long as the harness straps are snug and routed correctly over the child’s shoulders. A snug and properly routed harness is essential!

 Chest Clip - too low Chest Clip - just right

 

Comparison of Current Infant Seat Chest Clip Designs:

Top to Bottom: Evenflo, Graco, Chicco, Safety 1st, Cybex

Comparison of chest clip designs

 

Federal Safety Standards and Chest Clips:

Believe it or not, chest clips are not required on U.S. carseats by FMVSS 213. That’s because they’re really not necessary for crash protection as long as the harness is snug and positioned over the child’s shoulders. Regardless, chest clips are included on all current harnessed seats sold in this country so it’s a component we’ve come to expect. Just keep in mind that it’s possible for a new seat to debut next week or next year that doesn’t come with a chest clip. I actually owned, used and loved an infant seat that didn’t have a chest clip back in 2004.

SIV closeup

My Beloved
Fisher-Price Stay-In-View
Infant Carseat
Oct 2004

 

Feel the Cybex Love: A Review of the Aton 2

After reading Heather’s full review of the Cybex Aton and Jennie’s follow-up review of the Cybex Aton, you may be left wondering if the seat could possibly get any cooler? Turns out it can. Cybex released the Aton 2 earlier this year and I immediately ordered one for the newest version of my spawn. Aton 2 for Shrimp 2…seems appropriate, no?

Declan before turning into a banshee in the car.

Declan before turning into a banshee in the car.

image-1

7lbs, 5oz of pure sleeping bliss.

 

So before I get into my thoughts on the seat, let me briefly review the differences in the Aton and Aton 2. The Aton 2 is essentially the same seat as the Aton, except there is a load leg attached to the base now, and the LSP (Linear Side-Impact Protection) system has been added to the handle on the Aton 2 carrier.  The load leg is popular in European seats, and reduces downward rotation in a collision, subsequently reducing rebound as well. The LSP system is a small plastic “wing” on the handle of the carrier that you flip out when you put the carrier in the vehicle in either outboard position and it significantly reduces side impact forces on the child.

cybex aton2 baseSpecs and Features for Cybex Aton & Cybex Aton 2:

  • Rated from 4-32 lbs; up to 30″ tall
  • Base with unique tensioning system
  • 3 sets of harness slots: 7″, 9″, and 10.5″
  • Integrated canopy
  • Carrier weight: 9lbs
  • European belt path installation when used without base