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Monthly Archive:: December 2013

Please Have a Safe and Happy 2014! (and Pardon our Virtual Dust)

CarseatBlog wishes you a great New Year’s celebration and please, drive safely!

We are taking a few days off from blogging for the holidays, but will start the new year with a nice giveaway and some improvements.  For now, please excuse any slowdowns or glitches as we make some backups and updates for the new year.  Please tell us what you think of our new look!  If you notice any bugs, errors, missing features or other changes you think may not be intended, please alert us to those as well by leaving a comment.

Chicco NextFit Convertible Updates – October 2013

All Chicco NextFit convertible carseats made during or after October 2013 have some minor updates. The harness strap covers are now entirely optional and remove easily thanks to Velcro on the sides. These new strap covers lack the grippy material that lined the back of the original strap covers. The new strap covers are also slightly shorter as you can see in the comparison picture.

 

 

The 2-position chest clip can now be used in either the more narrow or wider setting with no restrictions – use your best judgement. Newborns and younger babies with narrow shoulders will benefit from the more narrow setting which will draw the harness straps closer together and keep them positioned properly over the baby’s small shoulders. Older babies and bigger kids can use the wider setting. When you switch is entirely up to you.

DSCN5376

 

The crotch strap has also been lengthened just a little bit. The new crotch strap is almost (but not quite) 1″ longer. Replacement [longer] crotch straps will be available after March 1.

  photo (64)

 

You can order NEW style harness pads directly from Chicco here.

Chicco NextFit -new harness strap covers

If you own a Chicco NextFit made prior to October 2013 – you may remove the harness strap covers that came with your seat, if desired. Please carefully follow the removal directions provided by Chicco here:  http://www.chiccousa.com/nextfit/pdf/NextFit_Pad_Installation.PDF

The replacement directions in the link above were written prior to the update so you can ignore the language that says “Never use your NextFit car seat without shoulder pads”. Just follow the directions on how to remove them, put the chest clip and buckle tongues back on properly and reattach the harness safely. *At the end of the process, once the harness pin has been fully re-inserted, check to make sure that the plastic tab is back in its original position preventing the pin from moving forward again.

There is also a video detailing the process here: http://www.chiccousa.com/nextfit/installation.aspx  (the link to the video can be found in two places: on the left side of your screen under “Shoulder Pad Replacement Kit” or under the Rear-Facing Videos “Installing Shoulder Pad Replacement Kit”) Again, this is an existing video meant to detail the process of swapping out the original harness strap covers with identical replacement strap covers so you can ignore the language that warns you to never use this product without the harness pads.

 

Merry Christmas!

tree 2013We hope Christmas bring you peace, love, and good food.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Carseats for Airplane Travel

airplane‘Tis the season for holiday travel and for many families with small children, that includes flying somewhere. Since so many carseats are heavy and bulky, it makes sense in some cases to invest in a lightweight carseat just for traveling. Plus, this spares you the hassle of re-installing your main carseat when you get back to your own car, weary from traveling.

Ideally, a spare travel carseat should be lightweight (under 15 lbs), easy to install with the lap-only belt on an airplane seat and narrow enough to fit in a typical coach seat. With that criteria in mind, here are several options to consider.

 

Infant carseats – no need to buy anything new as long as your current infant seat can be installed without the base. I guess it’s possible to drag the base with you on the plane but that’s just making life harder than it needs to be. As long as your infant seat allows installation without the base (most do but there are some exceptions so make sure you know for sure), it’s easy to install the carrier rear-facing with the lap-only belt on the plane.

KF-airplane  Toddler on plane

 

If you’re leaving the base at home – make sure you practice baseless installation a few times so when you arrive at your destination you know how to install the carseat properly in the car, using a typical lap/shoulder belt.  Here is a video that demonstrates my technique for quick and easy installations of an infant carseat without the base.

 

Stay clear of products like THIS and THIS. These products are NOT acceptable alternatives to using an actual carseat on the plane to restrain your child.

 

Convertible seats - if you intend to install the convertible seat rear-facing on the plane then you’ll be best served by a seat that is fairly compact which will increase your chances of the seat actually fitting rear-facing in the space you have to work with.

 Cherry Pie

Combi Coccoro: Rear-facing 3-33 lbs, or up to 36″ tall. Forward-facing 20-40 lbs., or up to 40″ tall

Cosco Scenera: Rear-facing 5-35 lbs, or up to 36″ tall. Forward-facing 22-40 lbs., or up to 40″ tall

Evenflo Tribute: Rear-facing 5-40 lbs, or up to 37″ tall. Forward-facing 22-40 lbs., or up to 40″ tall

r - stock

Safety 1st OnSide Air: Rear-facing 5-40 lbs, or up to 40″ tall. Forward-facing 22-40 lbs., or up to 43″ tall

Safety 1st Guide 65: Rear-facing 5-40 lbs, or up to 40″ tall. Forward-facing 22-65 lbs, or up to 43″ tall

 

For forward-facing kids, you’ll be best served by a seat that’s lightweight, fairly narrow, with tall top harness slots and a weight limit of 50 lbs. or more. Keep in mind that combination seats (harness/booster) can only be used on the plane in harnessed mode. Booster seats (or combination seats used without the 5-pt harness in booster mode) are not FAA certified and cannot be used on an airplane because all booster seats require a lap/shoulder belt, which airplanes don’t have.

 Keller

Evenflo Maestro: Forward-facing only. With 5-point harness from 22-50 lbs., or up to 50″ tall

 300 Loy

Evenflo Secure Kid 300/LX: Forward-facing only. With 5-point harness from 22-65 lbs., or up to 50″ tall

Evenflo SureRide: Rear-facing 5-40 lbs., or up to 40″ tall. Forward-facing 22-65 lbs., or up to 54″ tall

CARES Harness*: Harness for kids over 1 year old who weigh between 22-44 lbs., and are under 40″ tall. *CARES harness is certified for use on the plane ONLY. It’s very useful for situations where you don’t need a carseat to use on the ground when you arrive at your destination. We have a review of the CARES Harness here.

 

If you want to travel with your usual carseat, or just want to make it easier to travel with any carseat in general  - there are many products that can help you transport it through the airport and onto the plane. Some are just generic luggage carts – other products like the Brica Roll ‘n Go Carseat Transporter, the Go-Go Travelmate products and the Traveling Toddler Strap are made specifically for a carseat.  There are also carseat travel bags with wheels but obviously you can’t put your kid inside it too. Britax, Peg Perego, Clek & Diono all make travel accessories specifically for their carseats too.

 

For more info on flying with kids and carseats – check out our related blogs on the subject:

Carseat on airplane

 

 

Lap Babies on Airplane – A Warning All Parents Must See

Flying with a Car Seat? Know Your Rights!

Flying with Kids & Carseats – the checked carseat controversy

Airplanes, Carseats, and Kids—What You Need to Know Pt. 1

Airplanes, Carseats, and Kids—What You Need to Know Pt. 2

An Open Letter to the FAA

 

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