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Combi Archive

Combi Dakota Review

Friends of mine in the CPS world have sung the praises of the Combi Dakota backless booster for years now. I recommended it right along with them, usually for older, larger children, but never truly understood the magic of this seat. What could be so great about plastic and cloth that I should NEED to add it to my already-vast booster collection?

But finally I broke down and got one and my 9 year old sat right down in it and proclaimed it her all-time favorite booster.  I asked what she liked so much, and she declared, “It’s cushy for my tushy. And it’s so tall! And the cup holder is big and easy to use. And it’s really easy to buckle”

Of course I read the manual before we went out to the car to test the seat. It has broad weight and height limits: 3 years/33 pounds/33 inches, up to 100 pounds/57 inches. And the instructions are standard for a backless booster, such as requiring a head restraint and shoulderbelt. One interesting warning I found was: “NEVER allow child to buckle themselves in this Booster Car Seat”. I do applaud Combi for encouraging adult involvement in the buckling process, but I think for my own child I’ll just be sure to make a visual check that she’s secured properly.  

Combi Coccoro Review

The Coccoro \’kō-kə-rō\ is a new child restraint from Combi. It is a convertible seat that can be used rear or forward facing for children 5-40 lbs who are less than 40 inches tall. Rear facing, the seat is rated from 5-33 lbs with a stated height limit of 36 inches. Forward facing, it can be used for children over 1 year old who weigh between 20 and 40 lbs.

The Coccoro is compact at just over 15 inches wide and weighing only 11 lbs. The back of the shell measures ~21 inches tall with harness slots at 9, 11, 13 and 15 inches. The lack of a base makes it is a good candidate to fit in even the smallest of vehicles.

Combi Crash Tests – A Better Way?

We at CarseatBlog.com were intrigued to hear that Combi was doing additional above and beyond FMVSS 213 mandated car seat testing in Canada of their car seats.  Combi’s Director of Operations, Ed Whitaker, implemented the extra testing when he found out that the Combi Centre and Shuttle infant seats were detaching from their bases during NCAP testing of vehicles, but not during 213 testing.  Let’s recap that the 213 test car seats go through is tougher than 98% of all car crashes in the U.S.  It’s a very difficult test to pass and many experts in the field call it a “stiff” test.  Like Kecia mentioned in Monday’s blog, the extra testing done to the seats in the NCAP testing was just that: extra, above and beyond, let’s install them in the cars and see what happens kind of testing.  And some of them failed because they weren’t designed to pass that kind of test.

Responding to the Chicago Tribune Article “Car Seat Tests Reveal Flaws”

The big news story of the moment comes to us courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.  As you have probably seen by now, they ran a story on Saturday, February 28 titled Car Seat Tests Reveal “Flaws”.    

So, is this overblown, sensationalistic journalism meant to sell more newspapers or is this a real “Houston – we have a problem” issue?  Let’s take a look at what we do know at the moment: