Reviews Archive

Evenflo SafeMax Infant Carseat with Anti-Rebound Bar Review

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Rollover Tested Infant Carseat with ARB

In recent years, Evenflo has been pushing the boundaries of carseat safety. They were an early adopter of side-impact testing and they were the first in the industry to implement rollover testing of their carseats. Their new SafeMax Infant Carseat with anti-rebound bar has passed all their arduous crash testing and features advanced safety and convenience features that will surely endear it to new parents all over the country.

Evenflo SafeMax Infant Specs & Features:

  • Rear-facing only
  • 4-35 lbs.
  • 17-32 inches, at least 1” shell above head
  • 4 harness height positions
  • 3 crotch buckle positions
  • 3 hip width positions
  • Anti-rebound bar on base
  • Lockoff for easy seatbelt installs
  • Thick energy-absorbing EPS foam
  • Cover and soft goods (strap and buckle covers) are machine washable
  • Dual zone weight recline indicator
  • FAA-approved for use in an airplane
  • 6 year lifespan before expiration
  • Made in China
  • MSRP $179.99

 

SafeMax Infant Measurements:

  • Harness slot heights: 5”, 7”, 9”, 11” without the insert
  • Lowest harness slot height with body insert: approximately 4” (the curved nature of the insert makes it a little tough to measure)
  • Crotch strap/buckle positions (without insert): 4”, 5.5”*
  • Hip width positions: 5”, 8”**
  • Internal shell height: 19”
  • Length of seat with base with handle in car position: 30”
  • Length of carrier without base: 28.5”
  • Width of base at widest point: 15”
  • Width of carrier at widest point: 17.5”(outside of handles)
  • Carrier weight: 7 pounds (on my home scale)

* There are 3 crotch buckle positions, but only 2 spots in the cover for it to emerge. So while you can make the buckle a little bit shorter for a newborn, it will still be emerging 4 inches from the back of the seat.

**There are 3 hip widths, but again, only 2 slots in the fabric. So once again, you can get the harness a little shorter by routing through the inner most hip slot, but they will still emerge 5” apart.

Fashions:

Shiloh (Black/Grey), Nico (Black/Seafoam Green), Noelle (Black/Pink)

   

Fit-to-Vehicle:

2017 Graco Contender 65 Convertible Carseat Review: Contend with This

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Graco Contender 65 Convertible Review

Updated May 2017

Contender PiedmontThe Graco Contender has been on the market now for a while and has proved to be a solid, easy-to-use convertible worthy of a look by parents considering that next-step carseat. It has great rear-facing capabilities, turns into a forward-facing carseat that will take most kids to booster age, easily installs, and has that ubiquitous cup holder. The Contender’s lower price point than its cousins, the Size4Me/My Size/Head Wise (aka “Clones”) puts it in that desirable position of being nice enough to be a main carseat yet inexpensive enough to be a backup seat.

Weight and Height Limits:

  • Rear-facing: 5-40 lbs. AND child’s head is 1” below red adjustment handle
  • Forward-facing: 22-65 lbs., 49″ or less, at least 1 year old*

*We recommend following the American Academy of Pediatrics minimum guidelines of rear-facing to at least age 2 before turning your child forward-facing. It’s safest to rear-face past the minimum of age 2.

Contender Overview:

  • 8-position headrest with no re-thread harness
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
  • Color-coded recline flip-foot takes guesswork out of reclining carseat
  • FAA approved for use on aircraft
  • 7 yr lifespan before seat expires

2017 Graco MySize 65 / Size4Me 65 / Fit4Me 65 Convertible Carseat Review

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The Graco MySize 65, Graco Size4Me 65 & Graco Fit4Me 65 are convertibles seats that all share the same platform. For this reason they are often referred to as the “Graco Clones”. The various models are available at different retailers but they are all very similar. The covers and inserts vary from model to model but the structure and features are the same.

Graco MySize 65 Specs:

  • Rear-facing 4-40 lbs.
  • Forward Facing 22-65 lbs., less than 49” tall

 

Graco MySize 65 Features:

  • No re-thread harness with 8 height positions
  • 2 buckle positions
  • 3-position base (1 for RF, 2 for FF)
  • Premium push-on LATCH connectors (LATCH weight limit is 45 lbs.)
  • EPS foam
  • Infant insert
  • Integrated cup holder
  • Some models have “Rapid Remove Cover” for easy cleaning
  • 7 year expiration

2017 Fashions:

  

   

  • Fit4Me Drexel (Walmart)
  • Fit4Me Plus (Walmart)
  • Fit4Me Matrix (Amazon)
  • Fit4Me Finch (Walmart, Amazon)
  • Fit4Me Lacey (Walmart)
  • Fit4Me Flip (Walmart)

 

Measurements: 

  • Lowest harness height (with infant insert): approximately 7″
  • Lowest harness height (without insert): 8″
  • Highest harness height: 17.5″
  • Crotch buckle positions: 4.5″, 6″
  • Internal rear-facing height: 27.5” (1” below the headrest adjustment lever of 28.5” )
  • Widest point: 19″ across
  • Weight: 19 lbs.

 

Fit-to-Child Comments:

  • Rear-Facing: The MySize/Size4Me/Fit4Me will fit many average-sized newborns, so you have the option to skip the infant seat if you want to go that route. However, these models don’t always provide an ideal fit on preemies or small newborns even though they are rated down to 4 lbs.  They are an excellent option for extended rear-facing for kids under 40 lbs. – these models are so tall that it’s impossible to outgrow them by height before reaching the 40 lbs. weight limit.

  

  • Forward-Facing: Tall top harness slots and generous weight limits mean most kids will be able to fit in this seat until 6-7 years old when they are old enough and large enough to safely transition to a booster seat. Almost all kids will outgrow these convertibles by height before reaching the 65 lbs. weight limit.

 

Advantages:

  • Good for extended rear-facing; won’t be outgrown by height before child reaches 40 pounds
  • Better than average rear-facing legroom
  • Tall max harness height for forward-facing
  • Enough shoulder room for older kids to fit comfortably
  • 8-postion no-rethread harness is easy to use
  • Easy-to-read ball indicator for recline level
  • EPS foam-lined head wings
  • Integrated cupholder
  • 7 year lifespan before expiration
  • Good value for the price

Disadvantages:

  • Lacks a built-in lockoff for seatbelt installations
  • Padding is minimal once infant insert is removed
  • Only 1 recline position on base for rear-facing. Recline angle may be increased, if necessary, by using a pool noodle or tightly rolled towel under base
  • Made in China

Summary:

These convertible seats are easy to install in most vehicles but discontinue installation with lower LATCH connectors and use seatbelt plus tether to install if child weighs more than 45 lbs. Since these seats lack a lockoff for seatbelt installations you must read your vehicle owner’s manual to determine how your seatbelts lock in order to properly install these car seats with a seatbelt. All of these models should fit average-sized full term newborns well but may not be a good fit for smaller newborns or preemies. Excellent choice for extended rear-facing; almost all kids will be able to rear-face in the MySize / Size4Me / Fit4Me until they reach 40 lbs. because the seats are so tall. The 7 year lifespan before expiration will get the average child from birth to booster-ready age. The MySize, Size4Me, and Fit4Me are all FAA approved for air travel. There is a sticker label on the back of the seat with the FAA certification language printed in red letters.

IMMI Go Combination Carseat Review – Safe & Portable

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The IMMI Go is a unique seat that provides a solution to some of the most common carseat difficulties. It is portable, easy-to-install and works well in some tight spaces. The same features that make it so great, however, also come with some limitations that make it not the best seat for every child or every vehicle. We hope that this review provides you with all the details you need to determine whether this fantastic seat will be the right seat for you!

The IMMI Go is a combination seat, which means that it combines the features of a forward-facing harnessed seat with the features of a booster. It is important to note that, while most combination seats convert from a forward-facing harnessed seat to a highback booster and then, in some cases, to a backless booster, the IMMI Go converts straight from a harnessed seat to a backless booster, with no available highback booster mode. It is generally recommended that children who are first learning to ride in a booster use a highback booster before switching to a backless booster. A highback booster often provides a better fit for a younger child and helps remind the child to stay in position better than a backless booster. Therefore, while the IMMI Go combines two stages very nicely, those two stages are not necessarily consecutive and so the seat might not be used in the same way as other combination seats. For example, instead of converting the outgrown harnessed seat to a booster and continuing to use it for the same child, a parent might choose to transition the child to a different highback booster and pass the Go down to a younger sibiling.

I bought the seat to use when my daughter turned four and began forward-facing in my in-laws’ car. I wanted something convenient to install and remove, while also being easy to use. I am very happy to say that the Go is fulfilling all those needs for my in-laws and we are even considering buying a second Go for our own car.

Without further ado, let’s get this review started!

IMMI Go Specs:

Forward-Facing with Harness: For use with children between 22-65 lbs (no more than 55 lbs when installed with LATCH) in weight and 31-52″ in height. Harness adjusters must be at or above the child’s shoulders and the top of the child’s ears must be below the vehicle’s seat back or headrest. (Note that while the IMMI Go has an adjustable headrest of its own in harnessed mode, this seat requires vehicular head support in the form of the seat back or headrest.) 

An additional requirement is that the child must also be at least one year old, however it is not the most appropriate seat for a one year-old. The American Academy of Pediatrics, National Highway Transportation Safety Association and other organizations strongly recommended that all children under two years old continue to ride rear-facing until they have outgrown the rear-facing height or weight limitations of their convertible carseat. For more information on why rear-facing is safest for young children, see Why Rear-Facing is Better: Your RF Link Guide.

Backless Booster: For use with children at least four years old and between 40-100 lbs in weight and 43-57″ in height. The top of the child’s ears must be below the vehicle’s seat back or head restraint.

IMMI Go Features:

  • Five-point harness system is attached to a flexible back which can fold up — this means that the use of the top tether is required in order to install the seat in harnessed mode
  • No-rethread harness
  • Energy-absorbing foam in the adjustable headrest
  • 3 crotch buckle positions
  • Premium push-on lower anchor connectors which can also be used in backless booster mode
  • Lightweight and compact — can fit in the overhead bin of an airline
  • 55 lb child weight limit for using the lower anchors in harnessed seat mode
  • 6-year lifespan before expiration
  • Integrated carrying case with padded handle
  • NOT FAA certified for use on an aircraft (because it requires the use of a tether anchor for the harness and a lap-shoulder belt for the booster and airplane seats do not have either of these features)
  • MSRP $199

The IMMI Go folds into its own attached carrying case, complete with a padded carrying handle.

The headrest is lined with energy-absorbing foam measuring about 1 inch in thickness.

Comfort foam lines the seating area to provide supportive cushioning for the tush and thighs.

 

IMMI Go Measurements: