Greetings from the Lifesavers Conference in Chicago! We’re very excited to share some news and our first glimpse of several new and updated products from Dorel being showcased here at the conference!
One very welcome announcement is that by the end of 2015 all Dorel convertible carseats (Cosco, Safety 1st & Eddie Bauer), will have a 2 year age minimum for forward-facing! Also, all the boosters will now have a 40 lbs. minimum weight rating!
Grow and Go: the new Safety 1st 3-in-1 (Rear-facing, forward-facing, booster) carseat
This new 3-in-1 model will eventually replace the Alpha Omega platform which has been around since the late 1990’s! (Can I get an “Amen”!)
Rear-Facing limits: 5-40 lbs., 40″ tall or less
Forward-facing limits: 22-65 lbs., up to 52″ tall
Booster limits: 40 – 100 lbs.
Bottom harness slot measurement: 6″
Top harness slot measurement: 17″
Features: No rethread harness, buckle holders, easy remove cover
ETA: Summer 2015
Updated Safety 1st Advance 65 EX Air +
Now with a rear-facing weight limit of 5-50 lbs.! Shipping will begin in April. MSRP $189. The “EX” model is the new one with the expanded limits.
It’s a busy morning here at the Lifesavers Conference and we’re happy to see that Hauck/iCoo is here showing off their new infant carseats for the US and Canadian markets! We first saw the prototype of this new infant carseat at the ABC Expo last fall and we’re excited that it’s almost ready to ship to retailers.
Hauck is a German company that has been in existence for nearly a century and already has carseats in the European market. The ProSafe 35 has already passed US and Canadian testing, and will be rated from 4-35 lbs. and up to about 33″ tall. (Currently they only have the height as 85 cm, but it will be conferred for US manuals.) The iCoo version of this infant seat hasn’t been named yet (only the Hauck model will be called ProSafe 35) but we will update when we have more info.
The seat has an extremely tall shell, with a seatback height of about 20 inches, meaning it could potentially fit a 2-year-old child. There is also a well contoured infant insert for use with newborns and small babies. One really nice thing about the infant insert is that it is reversible between a “summer” and “winter” side, with slick and fleecy-feeling fabric, respectively. At ABC, they only had a thin prototype of the insert, but they now have a nicely padded one that will be used in production models.
MSRP on the Hauck version is $199 as a stand-alone seat. A travel system will be available in the future.
The iCoo version will be available as a travel system for $799 or $899, depending on model of stroller.
Available May 2015 in the USA, and August in Canada.
We’re reporting from the Lifesavers Conference in beautiful Chicago! Clek is proudly showing off their much-anticipated “Infant Thingy” insert for use with all current and previous Clek Fllo and Clek Foonf convertible models. The Infant Thingy allows parents to use their Clek convertible seats with newborns and younger babies – something that wasn’t possible until now.
Our beloved Baby Jack doll was happy to model so you can get an idea of how it works and how it will look.
Rated from 5-22 lbs.; 19-33″
Remove Headrest when using Insert Head Support
Body support cushion is required until 11 lbs.
Body support cushion is required if the Head Rest (part of shell that came with Foonf/Fllo) is attached
Use either Headrest that came with Foonf or Fllo or use Head Support from Infant Thingy
Will allow bottom harness slots to be used even if baby’s shoulders are below them as per Infant Thingy manual which supersedes all Foonf and Fllo instruction manuals
Can be used with all Clek Foonf & Fllo models (current and previous models)
The all-new Sedona is a big improvement for Kia’s new “Multi-Purpose Vehicle.” It’s arguably the sharpest looking minivan on the market with a tastefully upgraded interior and exterior. It is also more flexible for families than before. For example, all trim levels offer three full LATCH seating positions, two in the 2nd row captain’s chairs and a third on the passenger side of the back row. The third row center seat has a 4th top-tether location as well. The Slide-N-Stow feature in the 8-passenger trim offers the easiest 3rd row door access in any minivan. There’s a lot to like with the new Sedona, but does it stack up to the family favorite, Honda Odyssey?
Let’s start with some basic information and features. Please note that since this video was made, the NHTSA awarded the 2015 Sedona a 5-star overall safety rating. The IIHS updated its ratings methods for 2015, requiring an auto-brake front crash prevention system for its 2015 Top Safety Pick “Plus” award. The new Sedona did very well in all the IIHS crash tests but did not earn the “Plus” award, since it lacks such a front crash prevention system. Visibility is decent, with a standard rear-view camera on all but the lowest trim level. SX versions get the nicer Surround view monitor. Our Sedona also came with the accessory tablet holder is a handy feature, but it protrudes and is very hard so it seems like a potential risk to a child in a frontal crash.
In Part II of the video, we discuss some of the aspects of the second row in the 8-passenger trim as well as the third row that is common to both 7- and 8-passenger models. In the 8-passenger trim, the second row should fit various 3-across carseat configurations, as the middle seat is wide enough for some carseats. Since there is no LATCH or tether in the middle, that seat is best suited for a booster seat or a seatbelt installation of a narrow, rear-facing carseat. The seat cushion and seat back side bolsters may affect placement of wider carseats in the second row. In the third row, the middle seat is quite narrow and 3-across will be a challenge, but might be possible with a selection of very narrow carseats/boosters.
Usually I jump at the chance to do car reviews. I hesitated about the Suburban, though. For one thing, it’s so big. I’m already afraid of bumping into things with my minivan, and the Suburban is longer by almost two feet, not to mention generally more imposing. My real hesitation, though, was because of my husband. He wants a Suburban so badly, I worried that he’d fall in love with it and then sink into a depression once it was time to let it go.
But duty calls.
Our full review (including car seat compatibility!) follows, but if you want a quick video overview of some features, you can watch here:
The 2015 Chevy Suburban is a behemoth—tons of room for passengers and cargo, tons of power for towing. But it has been redesigned to feel more like a luxury car, with a sleeker exterior and plush interior. It’s also available with an astounding array of safety features, plus lots of convenience features, too.
The model I had was a fully loaded LTZ 4-wheel drive version. Mine was a 7-passenger model, with captain’s chairs in the first and second rows, and a three-seat 60/40 bench in the third row. Depending on trim level, the Suburban is also available in an 8-passenger (two benches) and 9-passenger (bench in all three rows) version. We’ll discuss what that means for car seats later.
For comfort and convenience, the LTZ comes standard with leather seats, power-adjustable front seats with two programmable memory settings, heated and cooled front-row seats, heated second-row seats, power-adjust pedals and steering wheel, automatic folding second- and third-row seats, a heated steering wheel, push-button ignition, keyless entry, and remote start. That was enough to make me want to kiss my current vehicles good-bye.
Additional options include automatic retractable running boards, sunroof, navigation, two rear-entertainment screens, and adaptive cruise control.
But it’s the safety features that really win out. There are side-impact and head curtain airbags for all three rows, plus frontal airbags for the front seat AND an inboard seat-mounted airbag for the driver. That means that an airbag deploys in the center of the front seat to better protect in side-impacts. Other safety features standard on the LTZ model are:
Forward Collision Alert
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Change Alert
Backup camera with distance indicators and Parking Assist (Parking Assist is also available for the front of the car)
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Mine also included Adaptive Cruise Control (more on this shortly), which meant it also had the Active Emergency Braking System and Automatic Collision Preparation System, meaning that the vehicle could brake automatically if it senses an imminent collision, to either avoid a crash or reduce the impact.
The IIHS has not crash tested the suburban but the 2015 model received average results in NHTSA crash testing. It earned a 4-star rating overall. While it earned 5-stars in the Driver and rear seat Passenger Side Barrier Ratings, it earned 4 out of 5 stars in both frontal brarrier crash ratings and also the Side Pole crash test rating. It received only a 3-star rollover rating. These safety ratings fall shy of minivan competition from the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona and Toyota Sienna.
Fuel economy isn’t going to be great on the Suburban. It averages 18 mpg (15 city, 22 highway), with the 2-wheel drive version getting one additional MPG.