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Jane Montecarlo R1 Booster Review – European Luxury Returns


Jane Montecarlo - with logoJané is by no means a new name in car seats – based in Barcelona, they have offered high-quality infant seats, convertibles, and booster seats in Europe for years. In fact, CarseatBlog named the Jané Indy Plus (manufactured 2006-2009) one of the best child restraints of the decade in 2010, noting that it was the first highback booster available on “this side of the pond” to offer rigid LATCH attachments. After exiting the US car seat market for several years, Jané is back with their luxurious Montecarlo R1 booster!

The Montecarlo R1 is a highback belt-positioning booster seat. It does not convert to a backless booster. MSRP is $190. Current fashions include “Klein” (Black/Gray), “Yale” (Blue/Gray) & “Flame” (Burgundy/Gray).

Montecarlo Specs & Features

  • For children 30-100 lbs.; up to 57” tall; at least 1.5 years old up to about 12 years old and “who are capable of sitting upright alone” (Our rep at Jané USA says these guideline will be updated with next year’s model.)
  • 5 height positions
  • Two-position reclining seatback
  • Rigid LATCH attachments
  • LATCH funnel guides for recessed lower anchor bars
  • Ventilation channels
  • Adjustable headrest/backrest “wings”
  • Three-position adjustable armrests
  • 7 year lifespan before expiration


  side tall with cover


Rigid LATCH attachments – The Montecarlo R1 has rigid lower anchor connectors which is a unique and highly desirable feature although it does add weight and cost to the product. Let’s face it, most kids getting out of the car do not remember to buckle in their unoccupied booster – with rigid lower anchor attachments, there’s no need to do that. Plus, the added stability of a metal-to-metal connection to the vehicle may provide additional benefits during certain types of crashes.

Lil Fan High-Back 2-in-1 Booster Review – Child Passenger Safety for the FANatical


Lil Fan - YankeesWe know the Lil Fan High-Back Booster Seats will be a big hit with die-hard fans all across the country – moms, dads and kids alike. Both high-back and backless versions of the booster seats are available in fashions featuring about 75 college and Major League Baseball teams. So whether you’re a fan of the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, or some other team, you’re likely to find a seat for your little fan. (Fans of other leagues and teams should watch for new fashions to come out in the future.)

Personally, I’d have a hard time choosing between the Michigan State University (my alma mater) and University of Michigan (where I’ve worked for years) seats. But mostly I’m just glad that Kecia, Darren and Heather didn’t get funny and send me an Ohio State seat.

The Lil Fan Booster is a dual mode product. That means that it can be used as a highback booster until the back portion is outgrown, then you can continue to use the bottom portion as a backless booster until your child can pass the 5-Step Test and safely transition to using the adult seatbelt. The Lil Fan booster is available at Amazon,, and other retailers.

Lil Fan Boosters

Lil Fan High-Back Specs & Features

  • Highback: 30-110 lbs.; 38-57” tall; at least 4 years old*
  • Backless: 40-110 lbs.; 40-57″ tall; at least 4 years old*; with proper head support from the vehicle’s head restraint
  • 7 height positions
  • Lightweight
  • Unique shoulder belt guide design helps keep belt from slipping out
  • 6 year lifespan before expiration

*Age limit of at least 4 years old is listed on the box, but not in the owner’s manual or on labels on the booster.

short with cover from front

tall with cover from frontshort from side









no cover - from front

no cover - from side









Shoulder Belt Guide – The shoulder belt guide opens at the top and has a “lip” on the bottom to keep the shoulder belt from slipping out accidentally. Even though my five-year-old pulls the belt out most of the way when she buckles, she had no trouble keeping the belt from slipping out of the belt guide, as sometimes happens with other boosters.

belt guide









The removable cupholder can be used on either side of the seat. This flexibility is nice when you want a cupholder (and what kid doesn’t?) but can’t use it on one particular side because it adds to the width of the seat. (For instance, if you’re using the seat “outboard” or next to another car seat, you’ll probably want the cupholder to be on the opposite side.)

Lil Fan Measurements

Graco Milestone All-In-One Carseat Review: Does it Live Up to the Name?

Graco Milestone Carseat Review

Graco MilestoneParents have been buying 3-in-1 car seats – rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster in one – since the dawn of time, tempted by claims of “the last seat you’ll ever need!”, but rarely (if ever) has a good 3-in-1 been available. I myself was sucked in by the claim when middle child was ready to move out of her infant seat – and it was so bad that I replaced it within months.

So when I was asked to review the CarseatBlog Recommended Graco Milestone All-in-1, which rear-faces, forward-faces, and turns into a high-back booster, I admit I was skeptical. Sure, Graco had nailed the combination seat with the introduction of the Nautilus about eight years ago, but could they do the same for the 3-in-1 with the Milestone?

Compared to the more expensive Graco 4Ever All-in-1, there are a few differences to note about the Milestone. The biggest change is that the Milestone does not convert to a backless booster like the 4Ever does. For the price, the 4Ever also adds two additional recline positions and an improved infant insert that should fit smaller newborns a bit better (4Ever is rated down to 4 lbs.) The 4Ever also includes a nicer bubble level indicator and two cup holders. For more info, please see our complete review of the Graco 4Ever All-in-One.

Graco Milestone - gothamMilestone Ayla
Available at Gotham and Ayla

Milestone BazilMilestone GretchenMilestone Domino
Available at Target: Bazil, Gretchen, Domino

Milestone Kline
Available at Wal-Mart: Kline

Milestone Specs and Features:

  • Milestone no coverRear-facing: 5-40 lbs. and top of head is 1″ below red adjuster handle
  • Forward-facing (with harness): 20-65 lbs and 49″ or less
  • High-back booster: 30-100 lbs. and 38-57″
  • No-rethread harness with 10 position headrest
  • Adjustable base with 4 recline positions (2 for rear-facing, 2 for forward-facing)
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Energy-absorbing EPS foam
  • Premium push-on lower LATCH connectors (LATCH limit: Child weight of 42 lbs.)
  • Single cup holder
  • IIHS Best Bet in belt-positioning booster mode
  • Ten-year expiration date


  • Lowest harness height (with infant insert): 7″
  • Highest 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″, 6.25″, 7.5″
  • Seating depth (interior): 13″
  • Deepest point on base: 15″
  • Internal seat width: 13″
  • Widest external seat width: 19″ (at wings and at armrests)
  • Widest point on base: 13.75” (at the middle)
  • Narrowest point on base: 13.25” at back and 13.25″ at front

Does it live up to the “All-in-One” name? Read on to find out.

Maxi-Cosi RodiFix Booster Review: European Style & Design for American Kids


Maxi-Cosi is not new to the world of booster seats as they are a very popular brand in Europe. Their previous boosters available in the U.S. include the Rodi (pronounced Rho-dee) and Rodi XR, but they’re better known here for their infant and convertible seats. The brand new Maxi-Cosi RodiFix booster, which entered the market just a few months ago, introduces several new features including a unique shoulder belt guide and side wings that widen as the headrest is raised. It’s also the first armless dedicated high-back booster available since Britax’s original-style Parkway went off the market several years ago.


  • The RodiFix is for children 30-120 lbs., 34-57” tall, and over three years old.
  • The seated shoulder height was not mentioned in the manual, but I measured it to be about 21” in the tallest height setting. The height adjustment is easy and one-handed.
  • The torso wings extend about 2” above where the shoulder belt guides are in the lowest position. The wings also adjust in and out about 2.5” as the headrest is moved up and down. 
  • Booster seat base is only 12” wide; combined with the lack of armrests may improve ease of buckling.
  • The seat weighs 14.5 lbs. which is significantly lighter than other boosters with rigid LATCH.
  • The torso wings are made entirely of energy-absorbing EPS foam. This foam is not supported by plastic shell. The torso wings felt fragile and I made a point of being very careful with them as I was installing the seat in tight situations because I was nervous about the possibility of cracking the foam.
  • The headrest is fully lined with thick EPS foam and features Dorel’s Air Protect® Technology for enhanced side impact protection, which they claim reduces the risk of head injury by 20%.



Fit to Vehicle

We used the RodiFix for my 8-year-old daughter, Allie. It fits beautifully in a captain’s chair in a 2005 Honda Odyssey, with the back of the booster seat flat against the vehicle seat back. It was easy to buckle compared to other boosters that might be wide enough to cover the buckle if not placed just so.