Monthly Archive:: January 2011

Graco Smartseat Followup


This is a followup to my preview of the Graco Smartseat.  The preview actually turned out to be pretty comprehensive.  The main things missing were photos, videos and discussion.  You can find all of these on my Q&A thread at our Car-Seat.Org forums. You can preorder the SmartSeat now at Babies R Us:

Graco SmartSeat – Larkin

Graco SmartSeat – Jessica

Graco SmartSeat – Base

In this blog, I’m just going to add a few of my own photos showing some measurements.  Kecia will then post a full review later this month, with plenty of photos and comparisons to other models, especially in booster mode!   So, please checkout my preview and the Q&A thread for tons of information, impressions, video demonstrations and photos, too!  Below, you can browse some additional shots:

The Family Minivan Gets Disrespected


Minivans get no respect.  They’re the Rodney Dangerfield of the vehicle world: plucky vehicles that can haul loads of people or stuff, drag boats or campers behind, and still get no respect.  It can be overt or subtle.  You’re probably guilty of disrespecting a minivan at one time or another—I know I am and I drive one!  Think about it—you’re pulling up to an intersection with a red light, you have a choice of lanes and there’s a minivan stopped in the center lane, a Honda sedan in the inside lane, and a Cadillac in the outside lane.  Who do you get behind?  Of course!  The Honda!  You don’t want to be behind the minivan because the driver will likely be driving too cautiously or singing songs to the rearview mirror, right?  Ugh, so frustrating!  And the Caddy likely holds some elderly people and will go 10 mph under the speed limit, so the Honda is the correct choice.  Bueno!

the newest, awesomest *clek oobr* booster review!


The tree has been put out for composting, the empty wine bottles stashed in the recycling bin, the lights on the house… well, they’ll probably stay up until April but that’s fine with me.  The holidays are over, the kids are back in school and it’s time to get back to business here at!  For me, that means completing the review of the clek oobr that has been hanging out in my dining room for longer than I care to admit.

So, what exactly is an Oobr?  It’s a dual mode (highback or backless) belt-positioning booster from Clek.  It’s also currently a “Best Bet” pick according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

oobr specs:

  • Child Weight & Height Ratings:  33-100 lbs, 38″-57″ tall , at least 4 years old with back; 40-100 lbs, 40″-57″ tall, at least 4 years old when used backless
  • Product Weight (according to my digital bathroom scale) is 20.4 lbs with the back and 10.0 lbs without the back.  By comparison, the clek olli backless booster is only 5.4 lbs according to the same scale which makes the backless oobr almost twice the weight of the olli.
  • Lowest Height Setting:  14″ to the opening for the shoulder belt guide (measured with back in the fully upright position)
  • Tallest Height Setting:  20 1/2″ to the opening for the shoulder belt guide (measured the same way)
  • Width:  11 1/2″ at narrowest point in the rear
  • Depth:  with back 13″, backless 15″ (you gain 2″ of depth when the back portion is removed)
  • 7 year lifespan from date of manufacture
  • Detachable “drink-thingy” (aka, the cupholder) can be placed on either side of the booster and is dishwasher-safe 

Santa Came Late This Year!



You can find more information on the Graco Smartseat in my Preview.  I will post some photos and comments within a week or so and expect a full review sometime later this month!