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Rear-Facing Space Comparison: Britax G4 Convertibles vs. New Britax ClickTight Convertibles

Today we wrapped up the 10th annual Kidz in Motion (KIM) Conference in beautiful, sunny, New Mexico. It was another great conference and a good time was had by all. While I was here I had the opportunity to do some comparison testing of the current G4 Britax convertible models and the brand new Britax ClickTight convertibles that now available for pre-order. I was particularly interested in seeing how the seats compared side-by-side when installed rear-facing.

The vehicle used for this comparison was a 2014 Dodge Charger. Both the driver seat and the front passenger seat were set in the same positions at the same recline angle in order to accurately compare how much room each seat took up while rear-facing. On one side we installed the Britax Boulevard G4, on the other side we installed the new Britax Boulevard ClickTight. Both seats were installed with seatbelt.

Britax Blvd G4 and Blvd CT

Since the new ClickTight convertible models have 7 recline positions that can be used to achieve an appropriate recline, I took several different measurements so you can have an idea of how these new seats will fit rear-facing in backseats as compared with the Britax G4 convertible models which have a reputation for fitting exceptionally well in tight spaces.

Installed at a recline angle appropriate for a newborn or young baby with the headrest in a low height setting- the Boulevard ClickTight model took up approximately 3/4 of an inch (.75″) more room than the G4 model did. That’s still better (space wise) than most other convertibles currently on the market.

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KIM Conference 2014 Updates – Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible, Improved Cosco Apt 50 Convertible, Diono Cambria Booster, Ingenuity InTrust 35 Pro Infant Seat & New Chicco KidFit Booster

New Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible

  • Rear-facing 5-40 lbs., up to 40″ tall
  • Forward-facing 22-40 lbs., 29-43″ tall, AT LEAST 2 YEARS OLD
  • 5 sets of harness slots (5″, 7″, 9″, 11″, 13″)
  • Walmart exclusive
  • Price under $50
  • Available Jan 2015

Cosco Scenera NEXT Cosco Scenera NEXT

Cosco Scenera NEXT Cosco Scenera NEXT

 

Updated Apt 50 Convertible

  • Rear-facing 5-40 lbs., up to 40″ tall
  • Forward-facing 22-50 lbs., 29-43″ tall, AT LEAST 2 YEARS OLD
  • 5 sets of harness slots (5″, 7″, 9″, 11″, 13″, 16″)
  • Price $65
  • Available Jan 2015 at Target, Amazon, and other retailers

Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Apt 50 top harness slots

 

Improved onBoard 35 Infant Seat

  • Carrier is very similar
  • Redesigned base has 5 recline positions
  • New bases will be compatible with older onBoard carseats

New onBoard 35 base

 

Working on improving DreamRide Car Bed

  • Working on a LATCH installation for this product
  • Expected availability summer 2015
  • Will continue to be available through institutional channels

DreamRide Car Bed

 

New Diono Cambria Booster - on its way to retailers now and should start shipping to consumers in the next two weeks.

Diono Cambria Diono Cambria

 

Cambria Specs and Features:

  • Diono Cambria40-120 lbs.
  • 38-63″
  • Flexible lower LATCH anchor attachments (hook style)
  • Dual cup holders
  • Can be used as highback or backless
  • Requires head support from vehicle in either mode

Cambria Measurements:

  • 21″ to belt guide opening on highest height setting
  • 14″ deep (leg/thigh support)
  • 12″ wide at narrowest point near armest
  • 17″ wide in back

 

New Ingenuity InTrust 35 Pro Rear-Facing Only Carseat

  • 4-35 lbs., up to 32″ tall
  • SmartAdjust Headrest system adjusts harness height and harness tension simultaneously
  • AirInfuse helps air flow through mesh and ventilated panels
  • Push-on lower LATCH anchor connectors
  • 3 position base
  • Bubble level indicators on both sides of base
  • Handle can be in any locked position in vehicle
  • Available Oct 2014 at BRU (not BRU exclusive – will be available at other retailers by end of year)

Ingenuity Infant Seat Ingenuity Infant Seat base Ingenuity base

 

Chicco KidFit BoosterNew Chicco KidFit Booster

  • 30-100 lbs. with backrest
  • 40-110 lbs. without backrest
  • 38-57″
  • Flexible lower LATCH anchor connectors
  • Collapsible cup holders
  • Expected release date Jan 2015
  • MSRP – to be determined (no info available yet)

2014-2015 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid Video Review: Kids, Carseats and Safety

It’s got a new name and a new available powertrain, but remains one of the best family haulers for your kids.  We previously looked at the Infinity QX60 a couple years ago in our 2013 Infiniti JX35 Review.  Though it has a new moniker, the vehicle is essentially the same.  Our comments from the previous review mostly apply to the current version as well.  So, this quick review will focus on the new hybrid powertrain and briefly cover some carseat related features.  We also have a review of the very similar 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. It offers all the interior flexibility for kids, without many of the luxury-class frills. and without the luxury-class price tag!

Hybrid Fuel Economy:

Fuel economy of the QX60 and Pathfinder models are similar.  The hybrid models all get 26 mpg combined.  My AWD tester is rated at 25 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 26 mpg overall.  In comparison, the standard engine AWD model is rated at 19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 21 mpg overall.  After over 500 miles, I obtained just over 27 mpg in hybrid trim.  Right at 27 mpg around town and just under 28 mpg on a highway trip.

That shouldn’t be difficult to match with a few changes to your driving habits.  You can find some great articles online about maximizing hybrid fuel economy, or “hypermiling.”  Some of these may seem extreme for typical drivers, so I’ll simply give some key things to avoid in order to exceed those EPA estimates:

Ebay Madness

I quit using ebay regularly almost 4 years ago, when a scammer tried (and failed) to blackmail me into giving them a partial refund for an item they claimed arrived in a damaged box.  Ebay supports this sort of scam, by not allowing sellers to leave feedback for buyers and by not supporting the sellers who pay the fees in such disputes.  So, I closed my seller’s account and haven’t sold an item since then.  I’ve stuck to buying a few things here and there over the last 3+ years, but nothing in the last year. Until recently, when eBay claimed they missed me and lured me back with a 10% off one item coupon.

That’s a pretty good deal, and I knew what I wanted.  It was a near-commodity item, so pricing is well established by past sales and buying guides.  Yet, this particular seller seemed to think their particular coin merited 3 times the fair market value.  I assumed it was just an over-inflated Buy-It-Now, hoping someone who hadn’t looked up the values would be suckered in even though their last listing failed.  So, I took advantage of the “Best Offer” option, entering a reasonable starting number.   They quickly counter offered, cutting their BIN price in half.  It was still almost 50% above past comparables, though.  But close enough that I sent a message asking for better images of the item, since the included ones were not that great.

Apparently they took offense to that simple ask.  They retracted their counter offer and sent me a wall-of-awful-text in response.  It was all lower case with a mishmash of punctuation and poor grammar.   They refused to send images, saying I was wasting their time when I could have bought the item and returned it if I wasn’t satisfied(!).  How’s that for a red flag?  I was surprised to see it signed by someone with “Customer Support” in their signature.  I wondered how you could run a business without fundamental communication skills.  But apparently they do, with over 5000 feedbacks at 99.8% and only 1 negative in over 700 from the last 12 months.

In proper ebay fashion, I was compelled to reply to counter their ridiculous claims of  how they couldn’t find any record of a sale for near my offer.  So, I included a link to the most recent one, and a couple others as well.  The next wall-of-awful text claimed prices have mysteriously shot up since the previous sales, though no such trend has been noted by anyone in the industry.   What they said to impress me was that the upscale address of their office somehow made them more knowledgeable about current pricing than everyone else.   What was actually impressed upon me was that they were paying too much in rent and probably paid way too much for the item in the first place!

I ended up using my coupon on a similar item.  Not my first choice, but I paid less than fair market value with zero hassle.  Plus, it gave me motivation to write this boring blog!  My lesson today is that you can learn a lot by reading the feedback sellers leave for previous buyers.  Had I read some of those first, I wouldn’t have even made the offer!  Well, enough of my eBay saga.  Anyone out there bought or sold carseats or kids gear or anything on eBay recently?  Any horror stories or encounters with people that haven’t mastered customer service?