Previews Archive

Preview of Clek’s Newest Addition: the Liing

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Clek officially unveiled their new rear-facing only infant seat, the Liing, at the 2018 ABC Kids Show after teasing us for a loong time and it was worth it.

Overview
  • 4-35 lbs.
  • under 32″
  • 17″ wide at handle
  • preordering at end of October for shipping in early 2019
  • $399 US/$499 Canada

The Liing installs with rigid LATCH or seat belt and has a load leg for crash force reduction. Both the rigid LATCH connectors and load leg have red/green indicators to show you when you have achieved proper installation.

If you can’t install with the rigid LATCH or want to use the seat belt instead (you won’t be able to use both at the same time, as you are with the Foonf), the lockoff is a true lockoff so you don’t have to worry about locking the shoulder belt retractor at all.

 

After you’ve installed the base securely, you adjust the angle of recline to one of 7 positions. It has a 15° range so it will fit in a variety of vehicles and allow newborns to keep their airways open easily.

Euro belt path anyone? The Clek blue pod-shaped lap belt guides on the outside of the carrier give easy access as does the blue shoulder belt clip on the back of the carrier.

The humongous canopy is customizable and starts off as a typical canopy going just past the handle. Unzip that baby and it clamshells to a bit more than ¾ closed. There’s a peek-a-boo mesh window up by the baby’s head too.

The padding is luxurious. The seat is lined with EPP foam while the cover has other energy-absorbing foams incorporated into it.

To help keep weight down on the carrier, the release mechanism is on the base and is an easy 2-step button-pushing process accomplished with one hand. Since Clek isn’t a stroller company, they’ve made the carrier compatible with Maxi-Cosi adapters to fit most stroller brands. Bonus is that it’s a one-handed release pull from the stroller!

We have more information straight from Clek in our video:

UPPAbaby Knox Convertible and Alta Booster Preview

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2019 UPPAbaby Knox Convertible Carseat and Alta Booster Preview

We knew UPPAbaby was unveiling new seats at this year’s ABC Kids Expo, so we made sure to get to their booth bright and early on the first day so we could bring you all the details. The company is expanding their lineup with a convertible (called Knox) and a booster seat (Alta).

Knox

The Knox (named that because it keeps your child secure, like Fort Knox) has a lot of great features, including an innovative solution for reducing the downward rotation that happens when a rear-facing seat moves down and toward the front of the vehicle in a crash. Being able to reduce downward rotation helps immensely to reduce potential injuries to a rear-facing child. Until now, the only ways to significantly reduce downward rotation have been with load legs or Australian tethering, in which the top tether goes around the shell of a rear-facing seat and connects to the car’s top tether anchor.

Because of various regulatory issues, it’s unlikely we’ll see a convertible seat with a load leg in the U.S. anytime soon (though I’d be happy if someone proves me wrong). Australian tethering is a lightweight solution, but it also means there are straps running between the back of the child restraint and the car’s tether anchor, making it harder to load children in and out of their seats.

UPPAbaby’s solution is to use what they call a “Universal Tether.” This looks like the normal, single-strap tether parents are used to (typically for forward-facing), but when the seat is rear-facing, the tether can be routed around the back of the seat and attached to the car’s regular top tether anchor. Because it only routes around one side of the seat, it leaves the other side clear for easy loading of the child.

 

The Knox also features the company’s SMARTSecure system for installing both rear- and forward-facing. That consists of a channel for the lap belt, with an indicator that changes from green to red when it senses the seat is tight enough. Once the belt is tight, the shoulder portion slides under the lock-off closest to the retractor that keeps it secure. (When installing with lower anchors, the LATCH belt goes through the same channel as the lap belt, so the tension indicator will work for that mode as well.)

The Knox is rated from 14-40 pounds rear-facing and 25-65 forward-facing. You’ll notice that 14-lb minimum is much higher than most convertibles on the market. Because most parents start off with infant seats and don’t tend to put their children in convertibles until later anyway, the company feels it was able to create a better seat by focusing on a narrower range of child sizes. The higher weight minimum also means the seat installs more upright than it would have to for a newborn, which means it will take up less room in the car.

Parents who want to use the Knox from birth will have the option of purchasing a separate newborn insert. The insert is very substantial, raising the baby up so the lowest harness position will be at or below their shoulders. The insert is angled to add the additional recline a newborn would need (without requiring the seat itself to be reclined more). The design also allows an infant’s head to tilt back farther, helping to keep the airway open. If parents choose to purchase the newborn insert, that can be used from 5 pounds until the child has good head control and their shoulders reach the lowest harness position. (More exact requirements might come as the company finalizes the product.)

  

The Knox features side-impact pods on both sides and EPP foam throughout the seat. Plus there’s a removable cup holder!

The Knox should be available in the summer of 2019. Regular fashions will retail for around $399, and the Bryce fashion (gray wool with no flame retardants) will retail for around $449.

You can see the Facebook Live video we did from the show, highlighting Knox’s features (please note that in the video, the UPPAbaby rep shows to route the shoulder belt through both lockoffs, but it’s really only supposed to be routed through the one closest to the seat belt retractor):

  

Alta

UPPAbaby’s new highback booster is the Alta, which will be rated for 40-100 pounds and up to 57″. (It sounds like the company will recommend that children be at least 5 years old to use the seat, but we don’t know yet whether that will be a requirement or just a recommendation.) We measured the top belt guide position at about 20″.

   

Safety features include a lap-belt positioner that is required to be used at all times to help ensure proper belt fit and to reduce the possibility of a child submarining under the belt. The Alta also has rigid LATCH to help keep the seat secure when unoccupied and positioned properly when in use. The LATCH mechanism is very easy to access and store, as you can see in this quick video:

Like the Knox, the Alta has side-impact pods, EPP foam, and a removable cup holder.

The Alta should also be available in the summer of 2019, and will likely retail for somewhere around $179. (Pricing is not finalized yet.)

We’ll bring you reviews of both seats as soon as they’re available!

New from Evenflo – Maestro Sport Combination Seat, EveryStage All-in-One & Pivot Xpand Stroller

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News and Updates from the 2018 JPMA Baby Show

Overall the trend in carseats for 2018-2019 is ease-of-use and technology. We saw that in abundance at the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) Baby Show this year. From mobile apps that tell you if your child has unbuckled their chest clip to QR codes that help you register your carseat and get installation help, to new seats with anti-rebound features, there were plenty of new and updated products on the show floor this year.

2018 Evenflo Updates:

New Evenflo Maestro Sport combination seat is now available at Walmart.com. This a completely new product and not just an updated version of the original Evenflo Maestro. However, the specs and features of Maestro Sport are very similar to those of the original Maestro model. The harness slots on Maestro Sport are a little higher than the harness slots on the original Maestro.

   

Maestro Sport Specs & Features:

  • Forward-facing only 22-50 lbs., 28-50 inches, and at least 2 years old
  • Booster mode 40-110 lbs., 44-57 inches, and at least 4 years old
  • 4 sets of harness slots: approximately 13″, 15″, 17″, 19″
  • New red tether housing will hopefully draw attention to the tether so parents notice it and figure out how to use it!
  • Dual cup holders
  • MSRP $79.99
Evenflo EveryStage DLX All-in-One

Available this Summer! Check out our complete EveryStage All-in-One Preview with lots of pictures and videos.

EveryStage Specs & Features:

  • 4-50 lbs. rear-facing
  • 22-65 lbs. forward-facing
  • 40-120 lbs. highback booster
  • Unique internal recline feature for optimal infant positioning
  • 10-position no-rethread harness
  • ~17.5″ top harness slots
  • 5-position base
  • Recline angle indicators for both RF & FF
  • EasyClick LATCH installation technology (DLX model)
  • Dual cupholders
  • MSRP $229
Evenflo Infant Seat Handle Update

Evenflo now allows the handle on SafeMax Infant and the similar LiteMax infant seat model to be left up when in the vehicle. This change is retroactive.

Evenflo Pivot Xpand Single-to-Double Stroller

Available this summer, the Pivot Xpand is a modular stroller system which can be a single or a double. Pivot Xpand can be easily configured in 22 different ways without needing extra parts or tools! The height-adjustable handle makes it comfortable to push whether you’re short or tall. Ride-on board will be available separately. This will be an amazing, reasonably-priced option for families with twins or siblings close in age. Even if you only use it as a single, it’s nice to know that you have the option to make it a double, if needed.

  

New from Chicco – NextFit Zip + (plus) Convertible & Shuttle Frame Stroller

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News and Updates from the 2018 JPMA Baby Show

Overall the trend in carseats for 2018-2019 is ease-of-use and technology. We saw that in abundance at the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) Baby Show this year. From mobile apps that tell you if your child has unbuckled their chest clip to QR codes that help you register your carseat and get installation help, to new seats with anti-rebound features, there were plenty of new and updated products on the show floor this year.

2018 Chicco Updates:

NextFit iX Zip + (plus) Convertible

Chicco has designed an updated infant insert for this new NextFit iX Zip + (plus) model which lowers the minimum weight rating, on this model only, down to 4 pounds! This model also sports the 2-position chest clip that was featured on the original NextFit models. The 2-position chest clip really helps to achieve proper harness fit on small babies who generally have very narrow shoulders. Designed for parents who wish to use a convertible from birth, this updated insert (for babies 4-11 lbs.) allows the NextFit iX + to fit preemies and small newborns as well as the KeyFit infant seat!

  • Rear-facing 4-40 lbs.
  • Forward-facing 22-65 lbs.
  • SuperCinch LATCH tightener
  • Lock-offs for easy seatbelt installations
  • Zip-off cover for cleaning
  • Breathable “Air” fabrics

Currently, the NextFit iX Zip Air + is a BuyBuyBaby exclusive. MSRP $389.99

    

Chicco Shuttle Stroller Frame

This convenient new stroller frame accommodates a Chicco KeyFit 30 or Chicco Fit2 infant seat with easy click-in attachment and has a large basket for all your stuff. It was engineered to have the infant seat sitting on top of the folding mechanism so it can’t accidentally collapse. Compact and self-standing fold with a convenient carry-handle design. Parent tray features two cup holders and zippered storage compartment. MSRP $119.99