Quantcast

2014 ABC Expo: *NEW* Hauck/i’coo Infant Carseat

hauckicoologoAs we were wandering around the ABC Expo, we stumbled upon a new seat we didn’t even know was in the works. It’s an infant seat from Hauck, a German company that has been in existence for nearly a century and already has seats in the European market. The seat, which has yet to be named, has already passed US and Canadian testing, and will be rated from 5-35 lbs.

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.

Hauck icoo rear-facing only  Hauck icoo measurement  Hauck icoo rear-facing only seat  Hauck icoo winter summer insert

There are four harness heights that get progressively wider as they get higher, to fit larger children better. Possibly the neatest feature of the seat is in the base: The angle adjuster is built into the belt lockoff. That means that you can adjust it to exactly where you need it while it’s sitting where it will be when installed. Here’s a demonstration:

As you saw if you watched the video, the seat is also extremely easy to insert into the base. No wiggling or rattling is necessary: Just drop it in, and the base guides the seat into place. Other nice features are pictograms on the handle showing proper positioning for in and out of the car. In the car, the handle is to be moved forward into an anti-rebound position. (Keep in mind this is a prototype. On the actual seat, the pictures will be more noticeable.) The prototype had two sets of loops on the harness for different-sized children. Pictures on the loops themselves make it clear which is which—a great idea for eliminating confusion. European belt routing is likely for baseless installs. The seat will also be available under the higher-end i’coo brand. The i’coo versions will have a larger, ventilated canopy and different fashions. The Hauck and i’coo infant seats will all be compatible with the companies’ strollers without the need to an additional car seat adaptor. Production on these seats is set to begin toward the end of the year, with seats hitting the US AND Canadian markets as early as January. Price-points for the US seats will be around $200 for the Hauck version and $229 for the i’coo.

Hauck icoo base  Hauck icoo handle labeling  Hauck icoo RFO Hauck icoo harness loop labeling

Advertisement

2014 ABC Expo Update: What’s New from Cybex

We have a few updates from Cybex, including a look at their new infant seat, the Cloud Q, which was the Best in Show winner at last night’s JPMA Awards–the third year in a row Cybex has won.

Cybex Cloud Q  Cloud Q color selections  Cloud Q JPMA Award

What at makes the Cloud Q unique in the American market is that it reclines, much like the Kiddy infant seat we previewed at last year’s ABC Show, but has yet to materialize.

Basically, as an infant seat it looks nearly identical to the Aton Q. But pop the seat out of the base, pull a handle at the back, and push down…and the seat reclines fully flat. You can do this with the baby in the seat, and can recline/un-recline it while it’s in a compatible stroller. (It can install in the stroller frame facing toward or away from the parent.)

Cloud Q True Blue  Cloud Q Hawaii

Not to worry: safeguards make it impossible to use the seat in the car while fully reclined. There’s no way to snap it into the base that way, and the beltpath on the seat (for baseless installs) closes while it’s reclined, making it so the seatbelt can’t be inserted.

Cybex Cloud on Priam Cloud Air Q on Priam

Here’s a demonstration:

Other changes that make the Cloud Q different from the Aton Q are a 11 positions on the harness height adjustment (vs 8 on the Aton Q), 5 panels on the canopy (vs 4), and a handle that’s a bit sleeker. We also measured the chest clip at about .5 inch smaller.

The prototype weighs 12.6 lbs, which is heavier than many other seats, but keep in mind that the recline feature is bound to add some weight.

There are also some new fashions, including for the Aton 2.

Aton 2 new colors

Attention, Canada! Canadian certification is in the works for Cybex infant seats and will be of “highest priority” as soon as the ABC Show is over.

Next up is the Cybex Solution M-Fix booster. This is similar to the existing Q-Fix, but includes three main changes.

First, the headrest recline on the M-Fix adjusts with a lever. On the Q-Fix, you had to pull up on the headrest and kind of wiggle it into place. Second, the height adjustment is different. On the Q-Fix, the head and torso support move up and down together. On the M-Fix, the torso portion stays in place while the head support moves up and down. Third, the LSP side-impact protection on the M-Fix consists of bolsters that pop out at the touch of a button, verses the fixed outer pillows on the Q-Fix.

Here are some comparison photos of M-Fix and Q-Fix:

Q-Fix vs. M-Fix front view  Cybex M-Fix vs Q-Fix side view  Cybex M-Fix vs Q-Fix side head  Cybex M-Fix vs Q-Fix

The Q-Fix is also getting a slight change. The new model will be called the Solution Q2-Fix and will have bolsters constructed of a different material.

In strollers, Cybex is introducing the Agis M-Air 3 and 4 (depending on how many wheels it has). The stroller has an adjustable-height handle and adjustable-height canopy (so taller and smaller kids can be equally protected). There’s a large basket, one-foot brake, and a one-handed pull-up fold. It will accommodate kids to 50 or 55 lbs.

 

Cybex Agis M-Air 3

Not car-seat-related, but there is a new line of baby gates by Regal-Lager-owned Qdos. The Crystal series is clear, while the Spectrum series comes in several colors to better match specific decor.

Qdos clear   Qdos colored

Graco 4EVER All-In-One Carseat Review: Your new BFF?

Like the Fountain of Youth or the Holy Grail, a true multi-function car seat has been eluding desperate searchers for years. Yes, there already are seats that rear-face, forward-face, and turn into a booster, but they are often lacking in at least one function, and when that happens, what’s the point?

So when Graco came out with the 4EVER, which rear-faces, forward-faces, and turns into both a high-back and backless booster, it was easy to get excited but also easy to have reservations. Will it really do what it claims, and do it well?

4EVER Specs and Features:

  • Rear-facing: 4-40 lbs.
  • Forward-facing (with harness): 20-65 lbs and 49″ or less
  • High-back booster: 30-100 lbs. and 38-57″
  • Backless booster: 40-120 lbs. and 40-57″
  • No-rethread harness with 10 position headrest
  • Adjustable base with 6 recline positions (3 for rear-facing, 3 for forward-facing)
  • Easy-to-read bubble level indicator
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Energy-absorbing EPS foam
  • Premium push-on lower LATCH anchor connectors (LATCH limit: Child weight of 42 lbs.)
  • Dual integrated cup holders (simple assembly required)

Measurements:

  • Lowest harness height (with infant insert): 7″
  • naked 4everHighest harness height: 18″
  • Tallest booster height: 18.75″
  • Internal rear-facing height: 27.5″ (that’s one inch below the headrest adjustment lever of 28.5″)
  • Crotch buckle positions: 5″ and 7″
  • Seating depth: 12″
  • Internal seat width: 13″
  • Widest external seat width: 19.5″ (at cup holders)
  • Widest point on base: 15″
  • Narrowest point on base: 11.5″ (at very front and very back)

Installation/Fit to Vehicle

In general, the 4EVER is an easy-to-install seat, which is always a good thing. It installed nicely in rear-facing and forward-facing modes in the vehicles I tried it in (2010 Honda Odyssey and 2014 Honda Civic) with the seatbelt and with LATCH. The belt paths are clearly labeled and color-coded both on the seat and in the manual (blue for rear-facing, orange for forward-facing, green for booster). The LATCH and tether straps are easy to loosen when you need to, but stay secure otherwise. My particular model has the premium push-on LATCH connectors, but the manual includes a drawing/description of the hook style, too, so it’s possible that other models will come with those.

For LATCH installations, it’s important to note that the lower anchors need to be discontinued once the child reaches 42 lbs., in accordance with the new LATCH regulations. For kids over 42 lbs., install the 4Ever with seatbelt and tether.

Unlike some of the other Graco convertibles (like the MySize/Size4Me/Headwise) that have separate LATCH straps for the rear-facing and forward-facing beltpaths, the 4EVER only has one, which means it needs to be manually switched between modes. The process isn’t as complicated as it is on some seats, but not as easy as on some others. It would have been nice to see the two separate LATCH straps on this model, too.

Here’s a video showing how to switch the LATCH straps from forward-facing to rear-facing modes, how to tighten the LATCH straps rear-facing, and how to put a rear-facing child into the seat:

Another blast from the past. Epinions.

My first child was born in 1998.  We used our Century Smart Fit infant seat for about a year.  That’s when I began my journey as a child passenger safety advocate.  After having great difficulty finding a convertible that fit rear-facing into my Saturn SL2, I ended up with a Britax Roundabout.  Sometime later, I had similar difficulty in finding a combination seat and finally happened upon the Century Next Step.

So, here is a blast from the past, about a month after I started Car-Seat.Org and Car-Safety.Org in 2001.  It was my very first online carseat review at Epinions. at the same time as my original Britax Roundabout review.  We all have to start somewhere!  I was a top reviewer for the Kids & Family category for a while and made at least a few hundred bucks over the years.  I’m glad I deleted the vast majority of my reviews before Epinions shut down its community earlier this year and locked out authors from their accounts.  Yes, Epinions is now a throwback too!

epinions logo