Load Legs 101: What Is a Load Leg?

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Load Legs—Foot Props—Stability Legs

Load legs were first introduced to Americans in 2004 by Britax on the Baby Safe, a short-lived rear-facing only seat popular in Europe, but we weren’t quite ready for it. It had an anti-rebound bar, rigid LATCH, and a load leg: things American consumers simply didn’t understand, or want to pay the hefty price tag for at the time. Today’s shoppers are more sophisticated and researching such features is second-nature now.

Let’s address why load legs—aka foot props or stability legs—exist. Here on this side of the Atlantic, we find them on rear-facing only infant seats, but in Europe, you will find them also on forward-facing carseats. Load legs limit downward rotation toward the front of the vehicle. Statistically, frontal crashes account for the majority of crashes so we design carseats to protect children in them. Carseats move toward the point of impact, so rear-facing carseats rotate down and toward the front of the vehicle in a frontal impact.

According to FMVSS 213, the safety standard to which all U.S. carseats are tested, rear-facing carseats may rotate downward up to 70° and still pass testing. During this downward rotation, the child will also ramp up (slide up) the carseat. As the child slides up the seat, crash forces are felt in the neck and shoulders as they make contact with the harness.

Harnesses, seat belts, and LATCH belt webbing are designed to stretch for energy management. This stretching of the webbing—plus any removal of slack in the harness—and vehicle seat cushion compression causing downward rotation, is called “payout.” Payout happens before ride down, which is when the carseat and vehicle come to a stop. The more movement a child has during a crash, the more chance for injury, which is why child passenger safety technicians emphasize snug harnesses and installations. Eliminating the downward rotation by using a load leg means the child stays down in the seat and payout is reduced. This is a good thing because the less time that’s spent on payout, the more time that’s spent on ride down, which is when the carseat itself starts absorbing energy. The carseat stays more upright allowing the back of the carseat to absorb energy instead of the harness; the crash forces are distributed along the child’s back instead of concentrated on the neck and shoulders.

Another benefit from load legs, especially in smaller vehicles, is that by allowing the carseat to stay more upright in a crash, there’s less of a chance a child will ramp up and out of the carseat and strike the vehicle interior with their head. Head injuries lead the list of injuries to rear-facing children in vehicle crashes.

The video below compares a Cybex Aton 2 without its load leg to an Aton 2 with its load leg. You can see how a load leg affects downward rotation. Be sure to notice the position of the dummy’s head on each side of the video.

Another thing to point out with load legs involves FMVSS 213 and testing with load legs. The test sled for 213 doesn’t have a floor, so load legs can’t officially be included in federal testing. When manufacturers test their carseats with load legs, they add a floor piece onto the sled so the load leg has a place to rest. This is why load legs aren’t required to be used and bases with this accessory have a storage area for them to be tucked away.

What about Rebound?
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January 2019 Carseat, Stroller and Baby Gear Deals, Sales & Coupon Codes

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DEALS TRACKER: We find the lowest prices for January 2019 on car seats, strollers and baby gear. Bookmark this deals page and check back frequently for the latest bargains and promo code offers, so you find them here first before they sell out!

We’re the baby gear deal experts so we know where the really good deals are, on the stuff consumers actually want to buy. We scour Amazon and other retailers daily to find the best bargains. We don’t just rely on automated tools and other deals pages, so we find the best deals for you first. This is the resource other deal pages use to find deals!

What you need to know about Amazon pricing: it’s FICKLE. When a product’s price is reduced we rarely know how long it will remain at that price. Sometimes it’s a few days, sometimes it’s a few hours. The best advice we can offer you is to ACT QUICKLY if you see a great deal on something you really need or just seriously want. Just adding something to your cart does not guarantee you that item at that price – you must complete the checkout process to seal the deal. Most items on our list offer FREE SHIPPING & FREE RETURNS to Prime members but always double check this before you put the item in your cart and checkout. Not a Prime member? There’s a 30-day FREE trial. It’s a no-brainer! Try it out and score some great deals. You can always cancel before the 30 days is up if you’re not sold on the many benefits of an Amazon Prime membership.

Looking for more info on a certain carseat or booster? Check out our REVIEWS page. We have in-depth reviews of over 100 carseats and boosters. Prefer to shop at other stores? If you received great advice from us or discovered a good deal here and share it with friends, please mention us and share* our links to AmazonAlbee Baby, Diapers.comTarget.com, Walmart.com, Kohl’s, and BuyBuyBaby.

Select Editors’ Picks:

These carseats are among our Editor’s Picks and are reader favorites, too!

This list will be updated any time we see a great deal or promotion code below recent average prices, so you don’t have to wade through dozens of normally priced models to find the bargains. You can help us (and your fellow shoppers) by leaving us a comment if you find a deal on a carseat, booster or popular stroller that isn’t posted yet. We recommend that you bookmark this post, as we will update it regularly throughout the holiday season! If we see a bargain price on a popular model from our Recommended Carseats List, we’ll update as soon as possible!  This post and others at CarseatBlog contain affiliate links.  Please read About CarseatBlog for our affiliate policy and see our Marketing Disclosure.

Chicco KeyFit30  

Infant (Rear-Facing Only) Car Seat Deals:

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat 

Britax B-Safe 35 in “Slate” for $156.18

Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip in “Eclipse” for $179.99 Check on Amazon 

Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler in “Fleur” or “Legato” (2017) for $169.99 No Free Returns

Graco SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35 in “Lucas” or “Haven” for $174.00

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite in “Spencer” for $153.99 

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30 in “Gotham” for $130.99

Graco SnugRide Click Connect LX *Extra Base* (with lockoff) for $33.00 

Graco SnugRide SnugLock *Extra Base* (with lockoff) for $44.79 

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Nido with Load Leg in “Atmosphere” for $290.96 

Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT in “Monument” for Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT in "Monument"

 

Britax Boulevard CT - splash Graco 4Ever -azalea

Convertible & All-in-One Deals:

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat

Britax Allegiance in “Prism” or “Azul” for $169.99

Britax Boulevard ClickTight in most fashions for $299.99 ☆  

Britax Marathon ClickTight in select fashions for $279.99 ☆ 

Britax ClickTight Anti-Rebound Bar Accessory for $34.99 

Chicco NextFit iX Zip in “Dolce” for $219.99  (40% Off) No Free Returns

Clek Fllo 2018 in “Noire” for $299.99  

Cosco Scenera NEXT from $34.88 ☆ 

Cybex Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 in “Pepper Black” for $262.98

Diono Angle Adjuster for $9.99 ADD-ON ITEM

Graco 4Ever All-in-One in “Basin” for $199.00 ☆ 

Graco 4Ever All-in-One in “Azalea” for $199.00 ☆ 

Graco 4Ever DLX in “Joslyn” for $242.92 

Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit in “Clove”, “Jodie” or “Hyde” for $279.99 ☆ 

Graco Extend2Fit in “Gotham” for $147.99  

Graco Milestone 3-in-1 in “Gotham” for $168.96  

Graco Sequel 65 in “Caden” for $114

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 in “Darcie” for $179.99  

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 in “Black Toffee for $199.99 ☆ 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 in “Black Crystal” for $199.99 ☆ 

Nuna Rava for $349.95 ☆ DEAL ENDED

Safety 1st Guide 65 in “Seaport” for $70.08

Britax Frontier CT - kaleidoscope Evenflo Maestro - Keller

Combination Seat Deals:

(Forward-Facing with Harness + Booster) 

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat

Britax Frontier ClickTight in select fashions for $279.99  

Britax Pinnacle ClickTight in “Venti” or “Mosaic” for $287.99  

Chicco MyFit in “Canyon” from $199.99 ☆ 

Cosco Finale in “Realtree Camo” and “Spring Bloom” for $39.00

Evenflo SafeMax Combination in “Crimson” for $135.98

Graco Atlas in “Glacier” for $95.99

Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX in “North” for $135.99 ☆ ($40 discount IN CART) 

Graco Affix Evenflo Amp - blue flames

Booster Deals:

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat

Britax Skyline (with LATCH) for $99.99  

Clek Oobr in “Drift” (with Rigid LATCH) for $199.99  

Graco Affix (with LATCH) in “Atomic” for $52.99  PRIME ONLY

Graco Turbo TakeAlong Backless Booster in “Jodie” for Check on Amazon

Evenflo Big Kid AMP in select fashions from $32.99 

Evenflo Spectrum in various fashions from $51.29  

Safety 1st Incognito (for kids 60+ pounds) for $17.00 

 

 Britax travel system  Graco travel system - soho

Travel System Deals:

(Infant Carseat + Stroller)

Britax B-Agile w/ B-Safe 35 in Black for $399.99 DEAL ENDED

Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System with SafeMax Infant Car Seat in Navy for $299.99 

Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System with SafeMax Infant Car Seat in Grey for $279.99 

Graco Fastaction Fold Click Connect Travel System Stroller in Finley for $113.30

 

Baby Jogger Vue BOB Duallie

Stroller Deals:

Single strollers

Baby Jogger City Tour in “Violet” for $129.99 

Baby Jogger 2016 City Mini 3W in Black for $179.99 

Baby Jogger City Mini GT in “Crimson” for $219.99 

Baby Jogger 2018 City Select in Red for $370.00 

BOB Revolution Flex Jogger in 4 fashions for $349.99 

BOB Revolution Pro Jogger in Black $499.99 DEAL ENDED

Chicco Liteway Stroller in Sunset for $73.99 

gb Pockit Stroller in “Monument Black” for $175.98 DEAL ENDED

Graco Snugrider Elite Stroller Frame $59.99 

Maxi-Cosi Maxi-Taxi Stroller Frame for $129.99 

Summer Infant 3D Lite in Black for $79.96

Double Strollers  

* accepts one infant carseat; ** accepts two infant carseats; @ requires adapter sold separately

Baby Trend Universal Double Stroller Frame for Out of stock ** 

BOB Revolution Flex Duallie Jogging Stroller in “Canyon” for $543.99 DEAL ENDED

Britax 2017 B-Agile Double Stroller in “Red” for $249.99 

Graco Modes Duo Stroller in “Balancing Act” for $239.00 **  

Graco Modes Duo Stroller in “Basin” for $219.00 ** 

Graco Roomfor2 Stand and Ride Stroller in “Gotham” for $99.00 * 

Graco Ready2Grow Click Connect LX Stroller in “Glacier” for $108.99 ** 

Graco Ready2grow Click Connect LX Stroller in “Gotham” for $144.99 ** 

Joovy Twin Roo+ Stroller Frame for $97.65 @**  

UPPAbaby G-Link Double Stroller “Pascal/Grey” for $399.99 

 

Other Baby Gear Deals:

Graco Pack and Play  Fisher Price high chair

Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with full-size bassinet in Stratus or Pasadena $45.99

Graco Simple Switch Portable High Chair and Booster $43.99 

Graco Blossom 6-in-1 High Chair Check on Amazon

Graco Slim Snacker High Chair $49.00

Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing in Abbington $81.92 

Fisher-Price SpaceSaver High Chair $39.99 

Fisher-Price Sweet Snugapuppy Dreams Cradle ‘n Swing $116.24

Winco Unassembled Wooden High Chair in Mahogany $49.83

 

More deals will be posted as they become available. Find a deal that isn’t listed here? Leave us a comment and let us know what you found! If you found a great deal here and share it with friends and social media, please be courteous and mention us and please consider using and sharing our links to AmazonAlbee Baby, Diapers.comTarget.com, Walmart.com, Kohl’s, and BuyBuyBaby.

This post and others at CarseatBlog contain affiliate links.  Please read About CarseatBlog for our affiliate policy and see our Marketing Disclosure.

Last updated 1/15/2019

*If you monitor our page and share, please consider mentioning us. We spend a lot of time searching out deals and compiling the best ones. We’re happy if you spread the word, but please be courteous and use our links and credit our website when you do. Thank you! 

2019 IIHS Booster Seat Ratings: Best Bet and Beyond

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Does your booster rate as a Good or Best Bet?

Every year, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) releases their annual fit ratings of belt-positioning booster seats. Because proper seat belt fit on children is so important to their safety in a crash, having a booster seat that adjusts the seat belt easily for both parent and child is paramount. Fortunately, since the IIHS has released their ratings for years and given access to their testing protocol to manufacturers, we have many more excellent choices than ever before. This year IIHS evaluated 13 booster models as Best Bets.

Beginning last year, IIHS used a new dummy designed specifically for these tests called Jasper (Juvenile Anthropomorphic Seat-belt Position Evaluation Rig). IIHS worked with Humanetics, the dummy’s manufacturer to design Jasper, which represents a 45 pound 6 yr old.

What makes a “Best Bet” booster seat? The booster should correctly position the seat belt on a typical 4-8 year old child in most vehicles. A correctly positioned seat belt will fit low on the lap, touching the thighs, and cross the shoulders about half-way over the collarbone. The shoulder belt should move freely through the belt guide if you have a highback booster.

But remember, your vehicle may not be “most” vehicles and may have a different belt geometry. Always try before you buy, if you can, and hold onto the box and receipt in case you need to return the booster.

“Good Bet” means that the belt fit will be acceptable in most vehicles and these boosters shouldn’t be automatically shunned because they aren’t “top tier.”

“Check Fit” means just that: it may fit a larger child better than a smaller child in some vehicles or vice versa. I’ve used “Check Fit” boosters quite successfully before with my kids in my cars—it definitely doesn’t mean you should chuck the seat out with the bathwater.

What Does Good Belt Fit Look Like?

Most kids need boosters until ages 10-12, news that can be shocking to many first-time parents. Seat belts are designed to fit adult bodies and until children reach adult size, they need a restraint that helps the seat belt fit them or they are at risk of severe injury or death in a crash. The 5-Step Test was designed to help parents determine when their kids fit safely in a seat belt without needing a booster seat.

Sometimes it can be confusing and not at all clear as to whether the seat belt is sitting on the child correctly or not. When evaluating belt fit, it’s always best to dress the child in tight-fitting clothes that don’t bunch; the worst outfit to choose is jeans and a sweatshirt.

Highback boosters with headwings generally have the shoulder belt guides attached and adjust in height. Please check your instruction manual on how to raise the headwings to adjust the shoulder belt position on your child’s shoulder. It’s not comfortable for your child to have the headwings pressing down on your child’s shoulders, or even behind their shoulders like we frequently see because parents don’t know to lift the wings up.

New Best Bet Boosters Tested for 2019

This is not an all-inclusive list – many boosters were rated in previous years. You can search all the booster ratings, current and previous years, by manufacturer HERE.

Manufacturer and Model Can Use LATCH CarseatBlog Review CarseatBlog Recommended Seat
Britax Highpoint (highback)YesReviewYes
Britax Midpoint (highback)Yes
Britax Skyline (highback)YesReview
Chicco MyFit (highback)Yes
Diono 3R (highback)Yes
Diono 3RX (highback)Yes
Diono 3RXT (highback)Review
Evenflo EveryStage DLX (highback)Yes
Evenflo Maestro Sport (highback)Yes
Graco Nautilus SnugLock DLX (backless)ReviewYes
Graco Recline N' Ride 3-in-1 (highback)Yes
Graco Turbo GO (backless)
Graco TurboBooster TakeAlongReviewYes

Check Fit Boosters
Manufacturer and Model Can Use LATCH CarseatBlog Review CarseatBlog Recommended Seat
Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX (backless)Review
Urbini Asenti All-in-One (highback)

Not Recommended Boosters

For the second time in as many years, there are no new boosters on the “Not Recommended” lists; however, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still Not Recommended boosters from past years still being used or for sale as leftover stock. One seat, the Safety 1st Summit 65, is still being manufactured. It is worth looking at the list to make sure a booster you’re using or considering isn’t on this list. These boosters demonstrate consistently poor belt fit.

What about the Incognito and Mifold?

The Safety 1st Incognito and Mifold are belt positioners, but not boosters; they don’t raise children up to position the seat belt on their bodies. As such, IIHS doesn’t rate them.

For the complete 2019 IIHS Status Report with listing of all previously ranked boosters, visit the IIHS website: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/child-boosters

Given the number of Best Bet boosters available, chances are high that your booster kid is using one. However, if you’re using a booster that doesn’t garner that coveted Best Bet label, remember to do a fit check yourself in every vehicle you use the booster in since seat belt geometry varies so much. If you have a booster on the Not Recommended list, we do suggest that you find a dedicated belt-positioning booster from the Best Bet list and it need not break the bank.

If you’d like more guidance on which booster to choose, we have our own list of Recommended Carseats with a section on booster seats.

 

 

Sneak Peek: Chicco NextFit Zip *MAX* Extended-Use Convertible!

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2019 Chicco NextFit Zip Max Preview

We’ve been sitting on a little secret and we’re excited to finally share the news! Chicco is launching their NextFit Zip Max Extended-Use Convertible in January 2019! This new model takes everything that we love about the original NextFit to the next level. With some structural and non-structural changes, the NextFit Zip Max has a lower rear-facing weight minimum (4 lbs.) and a higher rear-facing weight maximum (50 lbs.). Max also has more leg room (both RF & FF) thanks to an integrated extension panel. Additionally, this new model has an enhanced infant insert, smooth harness adjuster, zip-off cover plus all the original features that we know and love like SuperCinch LATCH connectors, 9-position no-rethread harness, lockoffs for RF & FF, liquid bubble level indicators, and more. Check out the video for all the details!

NextFit Max Specs & Features:

  • Rear-facing 4-50 lbs., 49″ or less
  • Forward-facing 22-65 lbs., 49″ or less
  • Integrated leg extension
  • EZ zip & wash cover
  • Breathable 3D Air Mesh backrest
  • Enhanced newborn positioner for babies 4-11 lbs.
  • Harness strap covers, buckle cover & hip strap covers
  • 9-position, no-rethread harness
  • 9-position base
  • SuperCinch LATCH attachments
  • Lockoffs for RF & FF seatbelt install
  • Bubble level recline indicators
  • 2 folding cupholders (“cup-folders”)
  • MSRP $369.99

 

 

  

Stay tuned for a full review coming soon!