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The Wrong Belt Path!

Have you ever had your carseat installed by a well-intentioned family member or friend and it just seemed off somehow? When you went to put your child in the seat, it tipped really easily?

Duhn Duhn Duhn! It was installed using the wrong belt path!

wrong-belt-path-RF

Use the wrong belt path and the carseat won’t protect as it should. In a crash, it will rotate around the belt path and if that belt path is several inches away from the seat belt/LATCH anchors, the results could be disastrous.

Using the wrong belt path isn’t limited to rear-facers. It can be even more damaging to forward-facing kids if the tether strap isn’t attached. In these situations the child’s head can be slammed into the vehicle seat or front center console that’s in front of them, or even the side pillar structure of the vehicle.

Rear-facing or forward-facing – it’s vital to make sure that you are installing the carseat using the correct belt path!

wrong-belt-path-FF

Watch this video from the Child Passenger Safety Board demonstrating using the wrong belt path. The carseat on the left has the seat belt threaded through the rear-facing belt path (incorrect). The carseat on the right has the seat belt threaded through the forward-facing belt path and the top tether attached (correct).

What can you do? Look for labels marking the correct belt path. They’re there. Read the manual that came with the carseat. If you can’t find it, look online or call the manufacturer and they’ll send you a new one. Give your kid a fighting chance if the time comes that the carseat is needed as a safety device.

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Ultra Safe and Affordable Too? 2015 Subaru Legacy Review: Kids, Carseats and Safety

2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R LimitedSubaru has really hit the target for the 2015 Legacy sedan.  When shopping for a midsize family vehicle, what do moms and dads need?  Subaru checks all the boxes.  At a bargain price around $25K, the AWD 2.5i Premium version with optional Eyesight package is among the safest sedans on the market, both in terms of avoiding a crash and in crashworthiness as well.  It’s bigger and wider than before, meaning more space for drivers, kids in back and cargo.  Fuel economy has improved as well, up to 26 mpg city and 36 highway for the 2.5L engine. Safety, value, space and fuel economy, a pretty solid combination!  Subaru checks some “wants”, too. Interior and exterior styling have been improved considerably, as have the controls, touchscreen and electronics.   While it’s not going to get looks like a Tesla sedan, it’s definitely sharper than the current Accord and Camry; on par with Fusion and Sonata for appearance.   Standard AWD is great for rain and snow.  Performance can be had in the 3.6R Limited trim that has decent power.

Safety:

As for  Eyesight, it’s arguably the best frontal crash prevention system on the market.  It earned a “Superior” rating from the IIHS and avoided a crash altogether on both the low-speed and high-speed autobrake tests.  A very impressive feat matched only by other Subaru models with EyeSight and a couple luxury models that cost nearly twice as much or more.   Eyesight now includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning.  For the 2015 Legacy, it is also bundled with Blind Spot detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert as well.  The updated system on the new Legacy gets smaller, color cameras with a 40% increased detection range and wider angle of view.  It now operates up to a 30mph differential from the vehicle in front, up from 19mph in the previous system, and adds brake light recognition as well.

That all sounds impressive enough.  But we’ve seen many other manufacturers force you to the most expensive trim level and then add a pricey options package to get an inferior system, adding $10,000 or more to the cost.  So what does Subaru charge to get this top performing safety system?  $1,195.  Yup.  That’s it.  But wait, you have to get a loaded 3.6R Limited edition to add that package, right?  Nope.  The 2.5i Limited and even the affordable 2.5i Premium trims can add Eyesight as a single option!  Now that IS impressive.  Other auto makers should really wake up and start being competitive with their safety features, especially on vehicles marketed to families.  Kudos to Subaru for making this technology available to more families to protect their precious cargo.

2015 Subaru Legacy airbagNow standard on all 2015 Legacy trim levels are great safety-related features like a backup camera, bluetooth hands-free cellphone connection and a new rollover sensor to deploy the side curtain airbags.  A new driver seat-cushion mounted airbag helps keep the occupant in position to reduce the risk of abdominal seatbelt injuries and leg injuries.  Active Torque Vectoring is now standard on the Legacy and helps control that power in curves, too.  Eyesight equipped models also get steering responsive foglights to enhance illumination in turns.  Like all Subarus, AWD is standard.

Last, but not least, the ’15 Legacy aced the IIHS crash testing, earning a Top Safety Pick for all trim levels.  Models with optional Eyesight earn a Top Safety Pick+ award.  The Legacy not only earned the top overall rating, but also earned the top “Good” result in each and every test and sub-category measure.  Impressive.  In the equally important NHTSA government safety ratings, the Legacy and Outback also earned 5-stars in all five crash test evaluations and a 5-star rollover rating (4-stars for Outback), resulting in a 5-star overall rating.  Only one or two other vehicles achieved the top rating in every single evaluation from both agencies, and you have to spend over $46,000 on a 2015 Hyundai Genesis with the Tech Package to match these essentially perfect crash avoidance and crash protection ratings.  Impressive Indeed!

The Back Seat:

Have two or three kids?  No problem.  The back seat is now a bit wider and with careful selection, will fit adjacent or three-across carseats a little easier than before.  The configuration is similar to the 2015 Subaru Outback as well.  The main possible concern is that the seat cushions and seat backs are contoured.  This is typical of 2015SubaruLegacybucklesmany midsize sedans that have shifted away from flatter bench seating that made installing carseats easier.  While more comfortable for adults, these contours may cause some issues with certain carseats, especially taller and wider front-facing models.  Overall, nothing particularly problematic for a midsize sedan, though the LATCH anchors are more recessed than average.  The fused driver-side and center buckle stalks could present difficulties in certain situations with adjacent carseats/passengers in those positions.  The rear seat does offer a split folding feature and the trunk is a very reasonable 15 cubic feet.

 

The Drive:

The 3.6R Limited is a pretty nice package.  My tester came equipped with Moonroof/Navigation package for a total MSRP of $33,380 including $795 destination charge.  Fuel economy is 20 city, 29  highway on regular gas.  I achieved a hair under 20 mpg in suburban driving.  What about performance?

Britax B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Seat Preview

Happy Birthday B-Safe 35Greetings from the Britax launch event in NYC! Today Britax USA officially introduced the newest member of their carseat family to the world. Welcome, Britax B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Elite rear-facing infant seats!

Check out yesterday’s Sneak Peek blog for all the official specs and features. Today I will focus on pictures and first impressions.

Britax B-Safe 35 Top View Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Fit

What I love:

  • Unique, center-pull lower LATCH anchor installation with premium push-on lower anchor connectors
  • SafeCell impact-absorbing technology in the base
  • Dimensions small enough to fit preemies well
  • Wide beltpath guides on carrier for easier installation without base
  • Spring-loaded adjustable base with 3 positions
  • New cinching lockoffs for seatbelt installations
  • New smaller chest clip design
  • Extra large canopy
  • Easy-to-remove cover on Elite model
  • Designed to take up less space in the vehicle
  • Made in USA, a rarity for infant seats!

Seats will be shipping in early December and should be available in stores by mid December.  Price point for B-Safe 35 is $209. Elite is $249. “Shower Collection” fashions (bright colors) will be available in early March. Oh Canada – you will be getting your new B-Safe 35 (and yes it will be rated to 35 pounds!) sometime in January!

Britax B-Safe 35/Elite Base Britax B-Safe 35/Elite Base Bottom View

Britax B-Safe 35 Base Seatbelt Lockoff Britax B-Safe 35 Lockoff Closeup

Britax B-Safe 35 Recline Angle Indicator Brtiax B-Safe 35 Elite in B-Agile Stroller

Britax B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Elite – Sneak Peek at New Infant Careats from Britax!

This week Britax USA will officially unveil the newest members of their carseat family – the B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite rear-facing child safety seats.  We will have more coverage tomorrow for the official launch.  Britax will have official product pages, a press release and more information at that time as well, so if you have questions for Britax please wait to contact them until Wednesday (Nov 12)!

B-SAFE 35: Coming Soon to Amazon.com

B-SAFE 35 Elite:  Coming Soon to Amazon.com

The B-Safe 35 currently retails for $209.99 at The Right Start, the B-Safe 35 Elite retails for $249.99 at The Right Start and an extra B-Safe 35/Elite base retails for $99.99 at The Right Start.

 

B-Safe 35 Elite

Providing advanced levels of safety, comfort and convenience, the B-Safe 35 Elite is the ideal infant car seat to keep your baby safe and secure on the journey ahead. SafeCell Impact Protection surrounds your baby in safety features that work together to protect beyond the established standards. The Impact Absorbing Base absorbs crash energy and our Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame gives strength where you want it most. Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS offers an advanced layer of protection with an energy-absorbing headrest designed to keep your baby’s head and neck extra secure in the event of a crash.

To ensure the best fit, the Quick-Adjust Harness grows taller with your baby at the push of a button and our SafeCenter LATCH Installation features convenient center-pull straps that make correct installation painless. The B-Safe Elite also features an Easy-Remove Cover that pulls right off for convenient cleaning and Premium Fabrics with Plush Foam Padding for superior comfort.

The B-Safe Elite Infant Car Seat is rear-facing only (for babies 4 to 35 lbs) and has been designed to surround your baby in comfort and best-in-class safety, giving you the peace of mind to travel with confidence.

Bulleted List – Features & Benefits

Safe and Secure

  • SafeCell Impact Protection is an integrated system of safety components that work together to protect your child beyond the established standards.  Including our Impact Absorbing Base, Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame, and Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS, SafeCell means your child is surrounded in best-in-class safety.
  • SafeCell Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS gives your child an advanced layer of protection with an energy-absorbing head restraint designed to keep your baby’s head and neck extra secure.
  • SafeCell Impact Absorbing Base reduces the potential for injury by compressing to absorb crash energy
  • SafeCell Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame gives you peace of mind knowing there is strength where you want it most, at the connection point to the vehicle.
  • Made in the USA with global components

Fit & Comfort

  • Premium Fabrics with Plush Foam Padding surround your child in comfort.
  • Ergonomic Handle makes carrying comfortable for the hand or forearm.
  • Removable Infant Body Pillow ensures newborns are properly positioned and cozy.
  • Extra-Large Canopy provides sun and rain protection.

Smart & Simple

    • Streamlined Design takes up less space in your vehicle while providing best in class comfort and protection.
    • Quick-Adjust Harness grows taller with your child at the push of a button ensuring a proper fit without needing to re-thread the harness straps.
    • Easy-Remove Cover pulls free of the car seat for convenient cleaning without having to remove the harness.
    • SafeCenter LATCH Installation provides simple, convenient LATCH installation through the use of easy center-pull straps that cinch down quickly.
    • Easy-On / Easy-Off LATCH Connectors lock into place with an audible click and are easily released with the push of a button.
    • Built-in Lock-Offs ensures a snug vehicle seat belt installation with minimal effort.
    • Spring-Assisted Recline and Dual Level Indicators make setting the proper installation angle simple and easy.
    • Click & Go System featuring a quick-release handle makes for an easy and secure attachment to the any Britax stroller.
    • Easy-Release Button makes it simple to loosen harness straps.

 

B-Safe 35 Specs & Features:

  • 4-35 lbs., 32″ or less
  • 4 Sets of harness slots: 5″, 7″, 9″, 11″
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions: 4″. 6″
  • New lockoffs for installation with seatbelt
  • Deep, protective shell for enhanced SIP
  • Impact-absorbing base with SafeCell Technology
  • Center-pull lower LATCH strap installation
  • Premium push-on lower anchor connectors
  • Easy-to-read level indicators (one on each side of base)
  • Extra large canopy
  • Compact design takes up less space in vehicle
  • Wide beltpath guides for easier install without base
  • Carrier weight: 10 lbs.
  • 3 fashions: Black, Red & Sandstone

Britax B-Safe 35 - Stock red Britax B-Safe 35 - Stock red 2 Britax B-Safe 35 - base 2 Britax B-Safe 35 - base

B-Safe 35 Elite Specs & Features:

  • 4-35 lbs., 32″ or less
  • No rethread harness: 5.5″ – 11″
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions: 4″. 6″
  • New lockoffs for installation with seatbelt
  • Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS
  • Impact-absorbing base with SafeCell Technology
  • Center-pull lower LATCH strap installation
  • Premium push-on lower anchor connectors
  • Easy-to-read level indicators (one on each side of base)
  • Extra large canopy
  • Compact design takes up less space in vehicle
  • Wide beltpath guides for easier install without base
  • Carrier weight: 11.5 lbs.
  • 5 fashions: Cowmooflage, Red Pepper, Vibe, Domino, Cactus Green

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - stock cowmoo Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - stock cow 2Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - cactus green Britax B-Safe Elite B-Agile together Britax B-Safe Elite TS

 

Stay tuned for more info from the official launch event tomorrow!