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StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Survival Kit Review

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Car Escape Tools: A Perfect Father’s Day Gift (That’s Really For You)

Ever get that special gift for your birthday or Mother’s Day?  You know, the one that you knew really wasn’t for you?  Maybe it was that chainsaw you always dreamed about?  Or something useful, but perhaps not all that thrilling, like a homeowner’s tool kit?  Maybe it was something like an iPad that you actually liked, but it was quickly claimed by that special someone who gave it to you?  Of course, I personally have always given thoughtful gifts, but I always keep an eye out for the perfect gift.  The one that will not only be appreciated, but also doesn’t seem like you actually had yourself or your kids in mind, even if you did!

We know that all of our savvy readers are concerned with auto safety.  Being trapped in a vehicle can be very scary, even if it is not on fire or sinking in the water!  If there isn’t a fire or water hazard, you may have time to dial 911, and then have some options to try different windows or a hatch for escape.  But if there is a hazard, you might not have the time to do anything but unbuckle yourself and escape, and any precious seconds wasted are fewer seconds you have if you also need to unbuckle your children!

amazonhammerThere are dozens of tools at Amazon and other stores to help you escape.  Most are of a “Hammer” design, requiring a good swing or flick of the wrist to crack the glass.  These may work well enough if you have the room, but getting a good swing if your car is filling with water may not be so easy.  These types of crashes are not very common, but may claim the lives of hundreds of occupants a year.  Plus, your husband doesn’t really want a bright yellow or pink plastic hammer!  That’s a clear sign that you might not have had him in mind when buying the gift;-)

There’s an easy solution, a spring-loaded punch.  Even one from a hardware store should do the job.  But good quality ones can be somewhat expensive, while cheap ones can jam or break easily.  Hardware store tools do make good gifts for Father’s Day, but why stop there when you can have something better shipped to your door?  We’ve found the ultimate Father’s Day or birthday gift for Dad, something that will also give YOU peace of mind in case of a vehicle entrapment crash!

Recommended-150pxEnter the StatGear T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool.  Even the name has Father’s Day written all over it. It’s the black steel equivalent of a Swiss Army knife for escaping an automobile.  You get not only a covered, spring-loaded center punch for breaking glass easily, but you also get a hardened stainless steel hook blade for cutting seatbelts and harness straps, a serrated high carbon 440C stainless steel knife blade and an LED light with replaceable batteries.  And best of all, you get something that LOOKS like a gift for Dad, even if you also had yourself and your kids in mind when you bought it!  

It’s frequently on sale for under $35 at Amazon, which is about the same as a high quality hardware store spring-loaded center punch that doesn’t give you any extra features.  It’s a great gift for any driver. Designed by a NYC Paramedic, it should be handy for first responders as well. This is definitely not a tool that should be easy for kids to reach, as with any sharp edged knife or tool. The closing mechanism on the knife is similar to some other knives and requires caution for adults as well.

 StatGearT3TacticalToolTest

Want to step it up a notch?  Go for the StatGear Auto Survival Kit for $59.99. In stock, and free delivery by Father’s Day if you order soon!  It includes the T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool.  Plus, you get other auto emergency and first aid essentials, including a re-usable glow stick, nitrile gloves, gauze, an assortment of bandages, instant ice packs, alcohol prep pads, tape, antibiotic ointment, tweezers and emergency drinking water.  It’s all packaged in a nice, padded black case with velcro to strap around a large sun visor or fits into a center console, door pocket or glove compartment.

And it works, too!  Smashes tempered auto glass more easily than a hammer style escape tool and cuts through harness material like butter.  I tested it out and took a look at the Survival Kit in this video:
 

 
Now maybe some would prefer that pink one for themselves or for their teen driver?  No worries, StatGear has you covered as well.  The SuperVisor XT is a compact model that attaches easily to any sun visor.  It’s not a spring-loaded design like the T3, but it does include a seatbelt/harness cutting tool.  And if pink isn’t your thing, it comes in black, green and orange, too.

Hopefully, you won’t need any tool to break a window if your car goes into the water. Wikihow has some additional tips for escaping from a sinking car. For those cases where you do need a tool because of water pressure, door damage or other factors, do keep in mind that hammer and center punch tools won’t always shatter the whole window enough for you fit. They should be able to break it enough to where you can use some other object like the knife blade of the T3 tool, a wrapped fist or a kick with your shoes to clear the rest of the window if necessary.
SuperVisorXT
Thank you to StatGear Tools for providing the kit used in this review.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinions are my own.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect Infant Car Seat Model Comparison 2016

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Graco SnugRide - model comparison graphic

Are you confused about the differences between the various Graco SnugRide models? You are definitely not alone! In 2016 there are currently EIGHT different Graco SnugRide Click Connect infant seat models and each one is different in some significant way. Below we list each SnugRide Click Connect model (from lowest to highest MSRP) and explain the features. If possible, you want to avoid the least expensive models because they have a rear harness adjuster system which makes it very difficult to tighten and loosen the straps properly.

Graco click_connect_logo“Click Connect” refers to stroller attachment and compatibility. It has nothing to do with how the infant car seat snaps into the base. Click Connect Graco infant car seats are compatible with Click Connect Graco strollers and just as the name implies – the car seat clicks securely into the stroller. If you already own an older “Classic” Graco stroller or an older model “Classic” Graco infant car seat, it is NOT compatible with a new Graco Click Connect car seat or stroller.

(only available with certain LiteRider Travel Systems) 4-22 lbs., height 30″ or less; 4 sets of harness slots; no recline adjustment feature on base; no lock-off on base; hook style lower LATCH connectors; rear harness adjuster

4-30 lbs., height 30″ or less; 4 sets of harness slots; no recline adjustment feature on base; no lock-off on base; hook style lower LATCH connectors; rear harness adjuster. MSRP $99.99

4-30 lbs., height 30″ or less; 4 sets of harness slots; removable flip platform for base adjustment; no lock-off on base; hook style lower LATCH connectors; front harness adjuster. MSRP $129.99. Review here.

4-30 lbs., height 30″ or less; 4 sets of harness slots; 6-position base with knob adjuster; no lock-off on base; hook style lower LATCH connectors; front harness adjuster. MSRP $129.99

4-35 lbs., height 32″ or less; 4 sets of harness slots; 6-position base with knob adjuster; no lock-off on base; some new models have premium push-on lower LATCH connectors that Graco calls “In Right™ LATCH”; most models have the hook style lower LATCH connectors; front harness adjuster. MSRP $149.99-$189.99

4-35 lbs., height 32″ or less; no-rethread harness with 15 height adjustments; 6-position base with knob adjuster & lock-off for simple seat belt installations; some new models have premium push-on lower LATCH connectors that Graco calls “In Right™ LATCH”; most models have the hook style lower LATCH connectors; front harness adjuster. MSRP $209.99. Review here.

4-35 lbs., height 32″ or less; no-rethread harness with 15 height adjustments; extra EPS foam in headrest; base with lock-off for simple seat belt installations; hook style lower LATCH connectors; front harness adjuster. Target exclusive. MSRP $199.99

4-40 lbs., height 35″ or less; no-rethread harness with 15 height adjustments; unique base has 8 recline positions, some new models have nicer push-on lower LATCH connectors that Graco calls “In Right™ LATCH”; most models have the hook style lower LATCH connectors; lock-off on base for simple seat belt installations; best-in-class legroom for older babies and toddlers. MSRP $219.99. Review here.

 

Note: Older “Classic Connect” Graco models are either discontinued or being phased out in favor of the newer “Click Connect” strollers and car seats. Classic Connect Graco strollers are only compatible with Classic Connect Graco car seats but you need to strap the car seat into the stroller if you are going to use it as a travel system. It doesn’t automatically snap in and lock.

Classic Connect SnugRide Models (pictured below) are the original Graco SnugRide, Graco SnugRide 30 Classic Connect & Graco SnugRide 35 Classic Connect.

Graco SnugRide - original Graco Snugride 30 - classic connect Graco SnugRide 35 Classic Connect - Rittenhouse

Beware of Illegal Chinese “Car Seats” for Sale Online

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Sale of Illegal “Portable Car Seats” are a Growing Cause for Concern

Illegal Chinese Car Seat - death by bunniesIf you see something for sale online that claims to be a “child safety seat” or “booster” or “car seat” but it comes from a manufacturer that you have never heard of and it doesn’t say that it meets federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) please be suspicious and do some research. It may be a legitimate product but it may also be an illegal death trap.

Amazon is FLOODED with products from China claiming to be car seats that are being sold by 3rd party sellers. Please don’t be mislead into thinking these are a safe alternative to a car seat or booster seat that meets FMVSS 213 standards. As much as the seller wants you to believe that this product is “Compact and reasonable design make it enjoy the safety of traditional child seat”, it is neither safe nor reasonable.

A few examples of the type of products available through 3rd party sellers on Amazon:

Seat Cover Car Portable Child Safety Seat Baby Car Seat to Baby Seat 1-6 Years Old

illegal 4 - seat cover car portable

CdyBox Portable Car Safety Seat Cover Travel Vest Harness Cushion for Baby Kids Infant Children (Blue)

illegal - cdybox illegal - cdybox

Adjustable Portable Babies Child Infant Car seat safety Belt Harness Blue

Illegal Chinese Car Seat - docooler

Amazon Black Friday Deals in Baby!

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Black Friday Carseat Deals: Evenflo, Graco, Diono, Cosco, Britax and More!

We’ve already been tracking the best Amazon holiday deals on our Deals Blog.  We’re updating it multiple times a day to alert you of any good deals that are below recent average prices.  Check back often for lightning deals, as many times the best deals sell out fast!


Some Black Friday deals at Amazon are already announced, but more are coming!  For timed deals, Amazon Prime and Amazon Mom members get 30-minute early access on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which can make the difference between getting the deal or finding it out-of-stock.  There’s a 30-day free trial, so be sure to subscribe to Amazon Prime now, and give a gift of Amazon Prime to a relative or friend before Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Without further ado, here are the Black Friday Deals in Baby:

20% Off Evenflo Car Seats (Ends 12/5)

Save 30% or More on Graco Car Seats & Strollers (Ends 11/27)

30% Off Diono Car Seats (Ends 12/5)

Up To 40% Off Select Britax and BOB Car Seats and Strollers (Starts 11/26)

25% or More Off Select Car Seats and Strollers from Britax and BOB (Ends Today!)

25% Off Chicco (Ends 12/5)

Save 20% on Select Disney Products from Cosco (Starts 11/25)

20% Off 4moms Baby Gear (Starts 11/27)

Spend $60, Save $20 on Select Fisher-Price Gear (Ends 11/27)

25% Off Baby-Proofing Products from Safety 1st (Starts 11/27)

Up to 30% Off Select Graco Pack ‘n Plays and Gear (Starts 11/28)

Up to 45% Off Philips Classic Plus Essentials Gift Set (Ends 11/27)

More:

30% OFF Select Clothing, Shoes and More with Promo Code 30BLACKFRI (Starts 11/26)

A complete list of deals in all categories can be found in Amazon’s Black Friday Deals Store