Honoring All Who Served

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CarseatBlog would like to thank all veterans who have served our country as well as all active military personnel who are still serving all over the world. We appreciate the sacrifices they have made for us. We also tip our hat to the families of those who are serving and who have served. We know many of our readers are military families and we acknowledge the unique challenges that come with that territory. As far as we’re concerned, you deserve thanks and praise for all you do too!

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Guest Blog: Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 and Milestone All-in-1 Comparison

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Faceoff: How Do the Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 and Graco Milestone All-in-1 Compare in Terms of Features, Ease-of-Use, and Installation?

I recently purchased a Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 car seat. At 30 lbs, my 3.5 year old daughter hardly needs the 50 lb rear-facing weight limit, but she’s had a recent growth spurt in her legs and so I thought she might enjoy the option of the added legroom. Her current favorite seat is the Graco Milestone and so I was curious as to how these two 3-in-1 seats from Graco would compare.

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The Graco Milestone (left) and Extend2Fit 3-in-1 (right) side-by-side in store at Babies R Us.

First, let’s define 3-in-1 in this situation, since there is no industry-wide accepted meaning. Both the Milestone and the Extend2Fit 3-in-1 car seats are able to be used rear-facing, forward-facing, and as highback belt-positioning boosters. Unlike the Graco 4Ever car seat or the upcoming Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-in-One, neither of these seats becomes a backless booster.

Both the Milestone and the Extend2Fit 3-in-1 car seats are rated to accommodate children from infancy to 100 lbs; however, a major difference is their rear-facing weight limits. The Milestone can be used rear-facing from 5-40 lbs, which is typical amongst current seats. Provided that they meet any height requirements, a 40 lb rear-facing limit will allow most children to rear-face until they are well into the preschool years. The Extend2Fit 3-in-1 car seat offers a 4-50 lb rear-facing weight limit, which is the highest available in the United States. Neither the Milestone nor the Extend2Fit 3-in-1 seat has a rear-facing standing height limit and so the only height limitation specifically for rear-facing is that the child have 1” of clearance between the top of the head and the red or gray headrest handle — which can be moved into any of ten positions. As a result, even tall children will be able to rear-face in either of these seats for a very long time. For heavier children, the 50 lb rear-facing weight limit on the Extend2Fit 3-in-1 means that even a boy in the 97th percentile for weight can rear-face past his 4th birthday.

These two seats have many similar features such as push-on lower anchor connectors, no re-thread harness, infant padding, removable harness pads, a convenient storage compartment for stowing the harness when the seat is in high-back booster mode, machine-washable soft goods, and Graco’s “roller bar” harness system on the back of the seats which allows the caregiver to tighten the harness quite smoothly. However, there are also some notable differences, which are summarized in the table below:

Milestone Extend2Fit 3-in-1
Ball-style level indicator with one rear-facing recline age range Bubble-style level indicator with two rear-facing recline age ranges (0+ and 3+ months)
Four recline positions: Two recline positions only for rear-facing, one only for forward-facing, and one for either forward-facing or belt-positioning booster Six recline positions: Three recline positions only for rear-facing, one for rear-facing or forward-facing, one only for forward-facing, and one for either forward-facing or belt-positioning booster
12” legroom when rear-facing 12 – 17” legroom (depending on the setting of the 5-position extension panel) when rear-facing
No specific feature for holding the harness back when loading/unloading; however, the loops on the harness straps prevent the buckle tongues from sliding all the way down “Fuss Free” buckle pockets for holding the harness out of the way when loading/unloading
Covered back Exposed back allows access to the harness straps
No special weight-specific rules for forward-facing Harness covers must be used if the seat is used forward-facing for a child under 25 lbs. Recline 6 must be used for a forward-facing child over 40 lbs.
One cupholder that can be moved to either side or removed to save space Two required cupholders

Rear-Facing Fit to Vehicle

Extend2Fit 3-in-1 in a 2010 Subaru Impreza

The true test of a seat that claims to be both compact and spacious is how (or whether) it will fit in a small vehicle.

Carseat Roundup from the 2016 ABC Kids Expo

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New & Improved Carseats & Boosters for 2017

We’ve already brought you detailed posts highlighting many new products that debuted at the 2016 ABC Kids Expo. Here’s the roundup of what else is new and coming soon from Baby Trend, Britax, Cardiff, gb, Evenflo, Hauck, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna & UPPAbaby.

Baby Trend

A running change on Baby Trend infant seats includes a redesigned lower anchor system. A different webbing design will allow connectors to fit better in cars with more prominent anchors, and a baby-trend-secure-snapfit-signnew routing of the strap’s “tail” will allow users to pull upward, giving more leverage and making the strap easier to tighten.

Infant seats will also start shipping with a foam wedge to allow smaller babies to fit better in the harness. The insert goes under the cover and can be used until the baby fits well without it. Seats will start shipping with the insert at the beginning of the year, but existing owners who find they need one can call the company to order one.

Currently the Hybrid combination seat has dual splitter plates to hold the harness at the back of the seat. Soon that will be changing to a single splitter plate, which should eliminate some confusion. The Hybrid will also start shipping with a dual-length crotch strap to allow for more room for larger kids.

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Finally, the Yumi folding booster will also feature a backless mode.

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Britax

I’ve been in the car seat world for a long time now, and I knew the “Brit” in “Britax” had something to do with Britain, but I didn’t know what the “ax” was for…until now. Britax is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Back in 1966, the company launched as British Accessories: Brit-ax… (cue lightbulb-moment). We’re glad the company made its way across the pond and is now making amazing car seats for the U.S. market. Happy birthday, Britax!

In other news, Britax is reviewing its inflatable seatbelt policy. The company will likely add the B-Safe 35/35 Elite and the ClickTight convertibles to its list of seats that can be installed with Ford’s inflatable seatbelts. That would mean that all Britax seats could be used with those belts. Look for that change to occur in the next few weeks.

Britax will also be introducing some new fashions: Poole, Static, Mosaic, Venti, Confetti, Baxter, Oasis, Vue, Vector, and Kate.

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A few fashions will be going away, including the popular Kaleidoscope and Onyx. Cowmoo is here to stay, though, so don’t worry about that.

There are now ClickTight Boulevards and ClickTight Advocates shipping with the anti-rebound bar in the box, although consumers can still purchase them separately, too. Purchasing them together as a boxed set will save $10 off the MSRP vs. purchasing them separately.

Cardiff

Heather recently wrote a review of the Cardiff Travel Headrest, so there’s not too much new to report. They do have some new fashions, though: Camo, Polka Dot, and Melange.

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Cybex

See our full update on the new Cybex Sirona M convertible seat.

Diono

Halloween – The Most Dangerous Night of the Year

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The risk of a child pedestrian being killed by a driver is twice as high on Halloween night.

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If you are driving today (especially during the hours of 4-8 pm when most young pedestrian deaths occur) please exercise extreme caution and follow these tips:

1. Drive slowly and don’t pass stopped vehicles. The driver might be dropping off children.
2. Park your cell phone. Tonight is the worst possible night to be a distracted driver!
3. Watch for children darting into the street. Kids can cross the street anywhere and most young pedestrian deaths happen at spots other than intersections.
4. Always yield to young pedestrians. Children might not stop, either because they don’t see your vehicle approaching or don’t know how to safely cross the street.
5. Communicate with other drivers. Always use your turn signals and if you have to pull over to drop off or pick up your kids, turn on your hazard lights.

Have a Happy & Safe Halloween!