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Graco 4Ever All-In-1 Carseat Unboxing & *Giveaway* – The Blogiversary Celebration Begins!

Cake 6 yearsJuly 2014 marks 6 full years of CarseatBlog.com!  Can you believe it?!?  In some ways it seems like not so long ago that we began blogging about carseats, child passenger safety and vehicle safety. And in some other ways it feels like we’ve been doing this forever… Lol!

Along the way we’ve shared some laughs (R.I.P. Marvin), made some great friends, and oh, yes - reviewed a carseat or two;)

Whether you’re new to CarseatBlog.com or have been with us since the start in 2008 – we’d like to share our celebration with you. You are the reason we’re still here 6 years later, still blogging away, always looking for ways to improve our content and better serve our readers. (Technically we started in 2007 but didn’t begin blogging regularly until July 2008 when we moved to our own server).

The field of Child Passenger Safety is just starting to heat up and take off, and we have a lot of great things planned for the near future here at CarseatBlog. We can’t wait to see all the awesome advances in safety, technology and innovation that the next 6 years is going to bring us. We hope you stick around and enjoy the ride with us!

During the next 6 weeks we’re going to be celebrating by giving away some great carseats so stay tuned! Please spread the word about CarseatBlog and our giveaways to friends, family and share on your social networks! So a big “Thank You” for visiting, from Kecia, Heather, Jennie, Alicia, Darren and all of our guest bloggers at CarseatBlog!

To kickoff our Blogiversary Celebration we’ve partnered with our generous sponsor, Graco, to offer one brand new 4Ever All-in-1 (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster seat).

The Graco 4Ever All-in-One carseat is currently available at Babies R Us for $299.99.

This promotion is now closed. Thank you for participating – a winner will be announced soon.

Features

  • 4-in-1 seat grows with your child, so you can enjoy 10 years of use, from 4 – 120 lbs.
  • 6-position recline adjust to fit and keep your growing child comfortable; it’s comfy for them and convenient for you
  • Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System is safe & simple.
  • One-hand, 10-position head rest to give your growing child a proper fit
  • InRight™ LATCH system for an easy, one-second LATCH attachment
  • Side-impact tested* (*In addition to meeting or exceeding all applicable US safety standards, the Graco 4Ever car seat has been side impact tested for occupant retention solely with the built-in 5-point harness .)
  • Engineered & crash tested to meet or exceed US standard FMVSS 213
  • Washable seat cover is easy to remove without removing the harness
  • Steel-reinforced frame provides strength and durability
  • Integrated harness storage compartment holds unused harness straps while in the belt positioning booster mode
  • Features an easy-to-read level indicator for hassle-free installation
  • Plush inserts keep your child comfortable
  • EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management
  • 2 integrated cupholders keeps your child’s drinks close at hand
  • Hide Features

Product Description

Graco® 4Ever™ All-in-1 Car Seat gives you 10 years with one car seat. It’s comfortable for your child and convenient for you as it transitions from rear-facing infant car seat (4-40 lbs.) to forward-facing 5-point harness seat (20–65 lbs.) to high-back belt-positioning booster (30–100 lbs.) to backless belt-positioning booster (40-120 lbs.). For a proper fit, the Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System and 10-position headrest lets you adjust the harness and headrest together, with no rethreading. The 6-position recline keeps your child comfortable, while the InRight™ LATCH system with one-second attachment makes installation easy. It’s the only seat that truly goes from baby to booster!

Specifications

  • Height: 24″
  • Width: 20″
  • Depth: 21.5″
  • Weight: 23 lbs

Recommended Use

Recommended Weight/Height Range

      • Rear-facing 4-40 lbs; height less than 1″ below the top of the headrest
      • Forward facing 20-65 lbs with harness; 27″-52″ tall
      • As Highback booster 30-100 lbs; 38″-52″ tall
      • As backless booster 40-120 lbs; 40″-57″ tall

Giveaway:

Contest open to all residents of the USA, including those residing in Alaska and Hawaii. :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the fine print (these may be in addition to the rules listed in the Rafflecopter terms)

Winner must have a USA shipping address to claim the prize.  Only one prize will be awarded, choice of colors will be limited to those in stock at Graco Baby at the time the contest closes.

You are not eligible if you have previously won a carseat or any sponsored giveaway at CarseatBlog.com during 2013 or 2014 (our own giveaways of goody bags and such don’t count if no sponsor was mentioned). Blog writers and editors are also not eligible. Only one entry per household/family, please. If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count.

We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above. We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules for any reason.

The contest will close on July 17, 2014, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 7 days, a new winner will be selected.

Good luck!

Please note: If this is your first comment at CarseatBlog, or if you are using a different computer/device or a new email address, your comment may not appear immediately. It will not be lost; it may just take a few hours for it to be approved. Thank you for your understanding and patience as this is the only way we have to reduce comment spam.

You’ve Got a Dream Called Santa Fe: Review of the 2014-2015 Hyundai Santa Fe

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 11.27.46 AMWe’re currently a one-car family, so anytime CarseatBlog asks if I’d like to review a vehicle, my response is always an emphatic, “Well duh!” It’s nice having an extra car for a week, but it’s even nicer when I wind up really liking the car…although that also makes it hard to say good-bye when my time is up.

I recently had the pleasure of driving a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, and I have to say: I fell in love with it. And I really didn’t want to part with it, but I gave it back because I have a clean record and would like to keep it that way.  Hyundai confirms that there are no significant changes for the 2015 Santa Fe, other than some minor marketing changes to various options packages.

Now, I’ll admit that I might not be that hard to impress when it comes to cars. Like I said, we’re a one-car family, and the one car we have is pretty basic (a 2010 Honda Odyssey with no frills). I’m like a love-starved teenager who falls for any boy who gives her attention, only replace “love-starved teenager” with “harried mom,” replace “boy” with “car,” and replace “gives her attention” with “has a blind-spot detection system.” But it’s different with the Santa Fe. I really, really love it. We’re soul-mates, I swear.

Perhaps I’m being a bit hyperbolic, but there really is a lot to like.

The Santa Fe I drove was a six-passenger model with two seats each of three rows. There is also an available seven-passenger model with a bench seat instead of captain’s chairs in the second row. At first I thought I might have liked that more, but the six-passenger model turned out to be great for us. My oldest child could easily walk between the captain’s chairs to get to the third row, and he likes having his own space. You can also access the third row thusly:

The first thing I noticed about the Santa Fe was how sleek it looked on the outside. Like a lot of SUVs these days, it looks more aerodynamic than boxy. When the rep opened the door, I was a little startled to see a brown interior paired with the silver exterior. I actually thought it was an ugly combination, but I wasn’t about to complain.

When I got in to take it for a spin, I started it using the keyless ignition and it played me a little song. I’m sure after a while I’d stop noticing that (and it might even get annoying) but I got a kick out of it during my week with the Santa Fe. It made me kind of happy to have a musical greeting played. (It also plays a little good-bye tune when you turn it off.)

IMG_0128Pairing my phone via bluetooth took less than a minute, and then I was good to go. I couldn’t resist opening the panoramic sunroof. I’m not generally a sunroof kind of person, but opening that baby up made it feel almost like being in a convertible.

Maybe it’s because I drive a boring minivan, but the Santa Fe felt like a sporty, agile car in terms of drive and handling. It had good pep, lots of zip, and zoomed around turns effortlessly. There are actually three different drive modes you can choose from (Normal, Sport, and Comfort). Sport makes the steering a little stiffer, while Comfort requires the least effort. I didn’t notice much difference between Comfort and Normal, though Sport did take just a little more effort. After I played with all three modes, I left it in Normal. Given more time and more driving situations I might have played with those options more, but I’m not picky about such things.

The model I had came with a backup camera and parking sensors, which are hugely important to a person like me who isn’t very good at parking. It was especially handy when I drove it into Chicago and needed to parallel park.

The best feature, though, is the blind-spot detection system. At first I didn’t even realize it was equipped (I, uh, didn’t read the manual before I started driving), but on my way back from Chicago I noticed a little thingy lighting up in my sideview mirror. I realized it was an indicator letting me know as soon as a car on either side approached the back of the car, and it would stay lit until the other car had passed the front window. If I put on my turn signal (in the direction of the passing car) during that time, a beep will sound, letting me know it wasn’t yet safe to change lanes. Blind spots always make me nervous, so I absolutely adored that feature.  Also included with this feature are rear cross-traffic and lane departure alerts.  It is standard on Limited trim and a $3500 option in the Premium Package for GLS trim.IMG_0171

Other nice features on my model included heated front and second-row seats, heated mirror, navigation, dual climate-control zones, and a communication system that allows you to get directions, send text messages by voice, and request roadside assistance.

Although the Santa Fe didn’t provide as much storage space as my Odyssey does, it was sufficient for what I needed. I would have had a lot more room without the third row in use but even with it occupied, we were ok. It was a little tight, but I could fit my stroller (a Baby Jogger City Mini) and my daughter’s dance bag in behind the third row. With half of the third row folded down, I was able to transport a few extra car seats.

IMG_0126

The center console is spacious and well laid-out (unlike a certain minivan I might drive) and I loved that there was a space perfect for holding a cell phone right by the power outlet.

IMG_0198  IMG_0199

Gas milage is 20 mpg (18 city, 24 highway) which is about what I’d expect from a midsize SUV. The 2014 Santa Fe still hasn’t been crash-tested by NHTSA, but IIHS gives it its best rating of “good” in four categories: front-moderate overlap, side, roof strength, and head restraints & seats. It has not yet been tested in the small-overlap category. The fully-loaded Limited model I drove has a sticker price of just over $41,000, but the base model starts just under $30,000.  You can get a 7-passenger 2WD GLS trim with all the safety goodies, leather seats, power liftgate, dual zone climate control with CleanAir Ionizer, side window sunshades and a few other Premium Package options for about $34,000 MSRP, or a street price of about $31K.

Here is Darren’s quick video review to give you an overview. Continue down below to read about how car seats install in the Santa Fe.

Car Seats

If you’re reading this blog, you probably want to know how the Santa Fe does with car seats. Turns out: Very well.

Graco Expands Buckle Recall to Some Infant Carseats

Graco is expanding their buckle recall to include some infant carseats:

Models Affected by the Recall:

The harness buckles used on the following models of infant car seats are included in this recall:

  • Infant car seats: SnugRide, SnugRide Classic Connect, SnugRide 30, SnugRide Classic Connect 30, SnugRide 35, SnugRide Classic Connect 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40, and Aprica A30.

Buckle Replacement Details:

  • Graco has and will continue to offer replacement harness buckles to concerned consumers at no cost. While many harness buckles look alike, consumers can verify which buckle they have by entering the model name and date of manufacture on GracoBuckleRecall.com. This information can be found on the white label located on the bottom of the infant car seat carrier (see below).
  • Additionally, Graco will continue to offer a free replacement buckle to any consumer who has an infant car seat not included in this recall, but would like to update their buckle to Graco’s current buckle design.
  • For additional questions, consumers may contact the Graco customer service team at 877-766-7470 (Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm) or consumerservices@gracobaby.com
  • Those seeking replacement buckles will receive replacement kits in Summer 2014. While waiting for replacement buckles, Graco car seats equipped with affected buckles are safe to use. If your buckle becomes sticky, Graco recommends cleaning it by following the instructions available on GracoBuckleRecall.com as this will make it much easier to use.

Background on the New and Improved Buckle:

As early as January 2013, Graco began equipping our infant car seats with a new and improved buckle. While some of the buckles look the same, the updated buckle has been re-engineered and has an improved design, which makes it easier to use. This recall impacts only the older model of this buckle, used in car seats manufactured prior to May, 2013.

Graco’s Commitment to Safety

Graco has met or exceeded every safety standard set forth by the federal government through its 60-year commitment to rigorous engineering and demanding crash testing protocols. Each Graco car seat must withstand a critical crash test  — hundreds of times — simulating a vehicle hitting a brick wall at 35 mph,  which is double the force  required by the government. Graco has conducted side impact testing on our car seats for nearly a decade before NHTSA proposed such a standard. Graco is also the only manufacturer to crash test our car seats under extreme temperatures – from 0 to 140 degrees F – to ensure the materials maintain their integrity in even the most demanding conditions.  Importantly, Graco car seats undergo an additional battery of tests by independent safety experts at the same lab contracted by NHTSA to set the safety standards for the entire industry.

In designing each element of the car seat, the primary focus of our engineers is infant and toddler safety. The harness buckle — a critical part of the car seat — is opened and closed more than 15,000 times, the equivalent of 50 years of use, to ensure it meets our industry-leading safety qualifications.  We also pull the harness buckles to withstand a force of over one ton, which is three times more than what is applied during a typical high-speed crash test. While there continues to be no reported injuries or fatalities related to our harness buckles, we have continued to upgrade buckle design as part of our ongoing product evaluation and improvement process.

 

To see if your model is affected, look under or behind your car seat, locate the white label and note model NAME and Date of Manufacture:

infant-car-seat-mfg

Graco Infant Carseat Models Recalled:
Model Name Dates Produced
SnugRide
SnugRide Classic Connect
March 1, 2011 through May 31, 2013
Snugride 30
SnugRide Classic Connect 30
July 1, 2010 through January 31, 2013
Snugride 35
SnugRide Classic Connect 35
May 1, 2011 through January 31, 2013
SnugRide Click Connect 40 June 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012
Aprica A30 July 1, 2011 through April 30, 2012

You may also search to see if your infant carseat is affected at the Graco website:  https://secure.gracobucklerecall.com/recall2014/infant-car-seats-affected-models.html

Great Coupon Code Carseat Deals at Amazon

Some nice deals on some of our Recommended Carseats this week at Amazon.com:

Save $30 on select Britax convertible and combination carseats with coupon code BRITAX30.  The Britax Boulevard G4 as low as $226 and the Britax Frontier 90 as low as $234.

Save 20% on select carseats and baby gear with coupon code SUMMERGEAR.  The Evenflo Maestro in Wesley is only $64!  The Graco SnugRide 35 Click Connect is $104 in Tangerine.