Clek Foonf vs. Clek Fllo: A Comparison

fllo foonf

Clek Foonf vs Clek Fllo

Considering a Clek convertible car seat, but you’re not sure which one is right for you? Have you read our review of the Foonf or our review of the Fllo but still can’t decide? The seats are very similar: both have anti-rebound bars (ARB).  Both rear face to 50 lbs. and forward face to 65 lbs.

How do you decide? Maybe this side-by-side comparison will help!

CSFTL Quick Stats: Clek Foonf Clek Fllo
Rear facing: 14-50 lbs., 25-43″ 14-50 lbs., 25-43″
Forward facing: 22-65 lbs., 30-49″ 22-65 lbs., 30-49″
MSRP: $449.99 $379.99
Lowest/Highest harness height: 10″/17″ 10″/17″
Lock offs: Yes, rear and forward Yes, rear and forward
Lower anchor weight limits: 25 lbs./30 lbs. 35 lbs./40 lbs.
Lower anchor connectors: Rigid anchors, can be used forward facing with seat belt Flexible anchors
ARB: Required when rear facing Optional when rear facing
Pool noodle/towel: Yes Towel only

The Clek Foonf and Clek Fllo have identical height and weight limits, so you have to dig a little deeper to see which seat will work best for you. I tried to compare the reclines of the seat, since that is the biggest difference, but of course, each vehicle is different so things may be slightly different in your vehicle. I’m using both a 2007 Chrysler Town & Country and a 2014 Toyota Camry.

Recline Mechanism

Clek Foonf Clek Fllo
The Foonf has a base that attaches to the bottom of the seat to aid in reclining the seat. It has three mechanical recline positions. In the US, the second and third recline position can be used rear facing. In Canada, the seat must be in position three. The Fllo has a recline foot that can flip forward and back under the seat. It should be positioned forward for rear facing and back for forward facing, and must be used at all times when rear facing. This tends to mean the Fllo may need extra recline help from a towel when the ARB is not in use.

Clek Foonf vs Clek Fllo: recline mechanism

 

 Anti Rebound Bar (ARB)

Clek Foonf Clek Fllo
The Foonf requires the ARB be used at all times when rear facing. Noodles, towels, or an empty space are permitted with the Foonf. The ARB is helpful in achieving the proper recline. Just move the ARB up the back of the vehicle seat to achieve proper recline and then tighten. The Fllo allows for removal of the ARB. This can help take up less space in smaller vehicles. When the ARB is removed though, if your seat needs further reclined, you must use a towel to do so. Noodles and empty spaces are not allowed under the seat. When using the ARB, the ARB is helpful in achieving the proper recline.

foonf fllo

Here is the Foonf in recline position two (only allowed in the US) and the Fllo at the most upright position without the ARB. I found these two positions to be very similar in the amount of space they took up.

mostuprightus

Most upright Fllo with ARB and Foonf on recline position 2

Lower Anchor Connectors

Clek Foonf Clek Fllo
The Foonf has two sets of lower anchor connectors. It uses the traditional flexible connector strap for rear facing and rigid lower anchor connectors for forward facing. The Foonf has independent adjusters on the rear facing lower anchor connector strap, meaning you can tighten independently on each side. For rear facing the Foonf has a 25 lbs. lower anchor weight limit. For forward facing it has a 30 lbs. lower anchor weight limit; however, the seat does allow for installation using both the rigid lower anchor connectors and seat belt as long as your vehicle does not prohibit it. The Fllo only has one strap and uses flexible webbing that must be moved from the rear facing belt path to forward facing belt path and back again as needed. The Fllo can be installed with lower anchor connectors until the child weighs 35 lbs. when rear facing. The Fllo doesn’t have rigid lower anchor connectors so it only allows for lower anchor OR seat belt installation. Once the child reaches 40 lbs. the seat belt must beach used instead of lower anchors.
Clek Foonf: Rigid lower anchor connectors for forward facing vs. Clek Fllo: flexible webbing

Clek Foonf: Rigid lower anchor connectors for forward facing vs. Clek Fllo: flexible webbing

 

 

Height in vehicle

Clek Foonf Clek Fllo
The Foonf has a base that must be added to the seat for rear facing, this raises the seat several inches higher. The Foonf then sits much higher in the vehicle and closer to the roof of the vehicle. The Fllo has the built-in recline foot so there is no need to add anything else to it. This make the Fllo sit much lower in the vehicle as compared to the Foonf.
foonfheight2

Clek Fllo vs. Clek Foonf in a Town and Country

Recline Positions

Clek Foonf Clek Fllo
There are a range of rear facing recline angles available for the Foonf. The angle guideline on the base has an available angle for those under age one and an angle for those over age one. Parental discretion is largely in play when deciding what angle to use. The Fllo has two lines as recline guides. One line is for children under 22 lbs. and one line for children over 22 lbs. However, Clek says that any recline between the two lines is acceptable at any weight limit and to use your best judgment for your child.

Fllo in most upright position with the ARB and Foonf in most upright position using recline two (only allowed in the US)

Deepest recline 2014 Camry allowed, Fllo could not get to under 22 lbs. line

uprightlevel3

Most upright with ARB on Fllo and Foonf on recline position three

While the Fllo and Foonf are very similar but have definite differences, they are both good choices for most. They are long-lasting seats, especially rear facing with their 50 lbs. weight limits. Both seats are narrow which often makes them good choices for three across situations. Either seat will probably work well in most vehicles, but hopefully this comparison will help you to make the perfect choice between the two seats.

Learn More about Clek

Cosco Light ‘n Comfy Review

One of the rear facing only seats on our recommended list has gotten a makeover!  Like most good makeovers, only a few things have changed.  Without further ado, we present to you, the Cosco Light n Comfy.

CSFTL Quick StatsLightNComfy_NewbornFit

  • Weight range: 4-22lbs
  • Height range: Up to 29 inches, or less than 1 inch of shell above the head
  • Shell height: 19 inch shell height
  • Lowest harness position: 5.5 inch lowest harness height
  • Weight (carrier only): 8.9lbs
  • Expiration: December of the 6th year.
  • Handle: any locked position

Features

  • Lower Anchor Storage hooks
  • Optional head support
  • 4 Harness slots
  • Front Adjust harness

Installation

LIghtnComfy_SBInstall

The installation of the Light ‘n Comfy is very straight forward, both with the base and without the base.  The only down side to the installation of the seat is that if you have vehicle seats that are sloped, you will need a tightly rolled towel, or a pool noodle to obtain the proper recline.

 

 

 

LIghtNComf_LAInstall

There are other versions of this seat, such as the luxe, that do come with a recline foot to assist with the correct recline.  There is a line on the side of the seat for obtaining the correct recline.  When the line is parallel with the ground, the seat is at the correct recline.

 

 

 

 

With the Base

LIghtnComfy_LAStorageWhen installing with the base, you can use either the lower anchors or the vehicle seat belt for installation.  If you choose to use the seat belt, there are hooks inside of the base for the storage of the lower anchors.  The belt path for installation is clearly marked.  The base and the way the carrier fits into the base are the two major changes from the Comfy Carry.

 

 

 

As you can see below, the shape of the base is updated, and rather than attaching to the base closer to the feet, the Light ‘n Comfy attaches further back.  This makes it easier to snap the seat into the base, as the lower anchor straps are less likely to get in the way of setting the carrier in the base.LIghtnComfy_Basedifferences

 Without the Base

LightNComfy_BaselessInstallation without the base is a convenient feature to save you money. This eliminates the need to purchase a base for different cars, or worry about uninstalling the base if baby spends the day with grandma or at a sitters. The belt path for the installation without the base is clearly market, with guides for the lap portion of the belt.  If you are using a lap and shoulder belt, only the lap portion of the belt goes through the guides.  Always make sure that you lock your belt whenever you are installing a seat.

 

 

 

LIghtNComfy_Redhooks

Using the Carrier

The carrier is very easy to use and at only 8.9lbs, the carrier is the lightest weight carrier on the market.  One important thing to note is that there are two red knobs on the side of the seat.  These knobs are what locks the seat into a stroller, so there is no need to panic if these don’t hook into the base.

 

Fit to Child

LightNComfy_PreemieFitNoHRPreemie – 4 lbs, 17″

The fit is the same on the Light ‘n Comfy as it was on the Comfy Carry. The Light ‘n Comfy offers an excellent fit for both newborns and preemies.  With the lowest harness slots being 5.5 inches, it is able to provide the correct fit for even the tiniest of newborns.  Remember, when a child is in a rear facing seat, the harness straps need to be AT or BELOW shoulder level. The seat also has a starting weight of 4lbs.

LightNComfy_SmallinfantRouting

 

The biggest feature of the seat is that it allows you to reroute the crotch buckle, so that there is no slack, removing the need for a crotch roll.  The seat does come with a head support, but similar to the head support that came with the Comfy Carry, it can be cumbersome to use.  I found that especially when using it on the lowest slot, the head support was prone to bunching up behind the baby.

 

LightNComfy_NewbornfitHR

 

 

Newborn – 7 lbs, 17″

The fit for the newborn is just as optimal as it is for the preemie. Once again, I found the head rest on the seat to be more in the way than helpful.  The ability to route the crotch buckle as noted above is beneficial to the newborn fit as well.  There is no weight limit on this special routing, however it can only be used in the inner most buckle slot. You want to use the buckle slot closest to your child, without them sitting on the buckle.

 

 

 

 

Features

The Light ‘n Comfy is a very budget friendly seat.  This seat can usually be found for less than $70, it’s a basic seat that does the job well. That doesn’t mean it’s lacking ease of use features for the caregivers. The lower anchor storage hooks on the base keep them out-of-the-way when not in use.  The seat is the lightest weight rear facing only carrier on the market.  The seat also boasts a nice sunshade that can be moved to adjust to babies needs and block out the sun.  With 4 harness slots, and 3 crotch strap positions, it’s easy to find a position to fit your baby correctly.   The seat and the base are also both FAA certified, with the sticker stating this on the right side of the seat. The cover on the seat is easy to wipe off  and easy to remove.  The manual does recommend hand washing the cover.  It’s also important to note to never submerge the straps of your car seat.

Important Information: Where to Find

The Light ‘n comfy is approved for use on airplanes. Cosco_LightncomfyFAADOM The FAA approval sticker is located on the sticker to the left of the babies head.  The date of manufacture is also located on this sticker.  Cosco_LightnComfyExpiry

 

The expiration for the seat is December of the 6th year.  The year the seat expires is stamped into the mold of the seat, on the back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall Thoughts

Since writing the review of the Comfy Carry, it is no secret that I’m quick to recommend the seat.  The same goes for the Light N Comfy, especially with the updated base. It’s a budget friendly, easy to use, and light rear facing only seat.  While it does have lower height and weight limits vs other rear facing only seats, it still provides a fantastic fit, especially for preemies.

Interested in a Light ‘n Comfy for your Little one?  You can find them at Amazon.com.

While Cosco provided the seat free of charge to the author, Cosco did not pay for or influence this review.   All opinions expressed, as always, are entirely our own.

 

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 Review

Graco has a long history of rear facing only seats. The SnugRide Click Connect 40 is the king of the bunch!. Travel often? Take taxis as a main mode of transportation? Just want a rear facing only seat that will fit many children until at least age two? With a maximum weight and height limit of 40 lbs. or 35 inches, this seat fits Littles big and small.

 

CSFTL Quick Stats:

base1

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40

 

  • Weight Range: 4-40 lbs (not available in Canada)
  • Height Range: up to 35″
  • Shell Height: 19.5″ head support fully extended
  • Lowest Harness Position: 5″ with infant insert
  • Weight (carrier only): 9.35 lbs
  • Expiration: 7 years
  • Handle position: Any locked position

 

Features:

  • Seat belt lock off
  • No rethread harness
  • 2 position adjustable crotch strap measuring 4.5″ and 6.5″ plus newborn setting
  • 8 recline positions
  • Infant insert for infants and preemie pillow insert for infants 12 lbs. and under

Installation

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 recline indicator

Installation With the Base

The Click Connect 40 has eight recline positions and a three color angle indicator light blue for 0-3 months, dark blue for 3+ months, and red, which should never show when installed properly. The base is large and protrudes quite a ways from the vehicle seat. For vehicles that are more compact front to back, you will have limited use of the recline positions. In the Town and Country, the seat could get to recline position eight comfortably. This vehicle has very sloped seats, which may help make more of the recline numbers usable. A colleague could only get to recline position three in the Dodge Journey though, which has much flatter vehicle seats.

 

button

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 lock off

The Click Connect 40 can be installed with either lower anchors or the seat belt, never both. When using the seat belt, use the lock off that is built into the base and you don’t have to lock the vehicle belts. In the van, the convenience button on the seat belt interfered with the seat belt installation so the seat had to be installed with the lower anchors. The lock off is required for all seat belt installations. The lock off is very easy to use, and is a great feature for vehicles without lower anchors in all seating positions. The seat belt is threaded over the open lock off, tighten belt, then snap lock off closed. No need to lock the belt, as the lock off does all the work for you! You will then check to make sure there is less than an inch of movement side to side at the belt path.

The Click Connect 40 has push-on lower anchor connectors which makes installation with lower anchors much easier. These lower anchors can only be used in vehicle positions with dedicated lower anchor positions. No lower anchor borrowing is allowed with this seat.

 

baseless graco click connect 40

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 installed without the base

Installation Without the Base

The Click Connect 40 can also be installed without the base. This is great for travel and emergencies when you may not have the base with you. You will always install with the seat belt when not using the base.

 

recline line click connect 40There is a red line on the side of the bottom of the seat that needs to be parallel with the ground to ensure proper recline when not using the base. Practice installing the car seat without the base before needed as there is a learning curve to installing it baseless.

 

 

Fit to Child

The Click Connect 40 has several features that help ensure proper fit of infants of all sizes. Between the lowest harness position being 5 inches, the added inserts for infants under 12 lbs., and the adjustable crotch positions, this seat will fit most sizes well. The Click Connect 40 comes with infant inserts that can be used for babies twelve pounds and under. The infant insert can be removed before that as long as the harness is even with or below the baby’s shoulders and baby fits properly. You always want to make sure the harness retainer clip is even with the armpits and the harness passes the pinch test. The Click Connect 40 also comes with harness pads that can be removed at any time.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40- Jo, 4 lbs., 17 inches

Preemie

Jo-Huggable Images Preemie- 4 lbs., 17 inches

Jo fits very well in the Click Connect 40. The harness is nicely below her shoulders and the harness passes the pinch test. She is under 12 lbs and is using both inserts.  You can see even without using the newborn crotch buckle setting, Jo fits well. However, the Click Connect 40 does have a special low birth weight crotch buckle option as well. The crotch buckle will be in the closest position to baby, but will then be threaded back up into the farther away crotch buckle position in order to make the crotch buckle shorter and fit better on a small baby.

Graco

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 special crotch buckle routing for low birth weight babies

 

 

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40- Fiona, 7 lbs., 17 inches

Newborn

Fiona- Huggable Images Newborn- 7 lbs., 17 inches

Fiona also fits well in the seat at 3 lbs heavier than Jo. She can use the infant insert or also fits well without it. She may benefit from the added support of the insert at this age though.

 

 

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40- Cal, 23 lbs., 28.5 inches

Older Infant

Cal- 9 months, 23 lbs, 28.5 inches

You can see even at a bigger infant, Cal still fits well with plenty of growing room. This is a great seat for an infant who is bigger than average. At almost 10 lbs. though, the seat plus child can be too heavy to carry for very long.

 

 

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40- Unity, 26. 5 lbs., 34 inches

Toddler

Unity- 2.5 years, 26 lbs., 34 inches

At an inch shy of the maximum height limit, Unity is just squeezing into the seat. You can see however that she still fits in the limits (under 35 inches and more than an inch above her head when the head rest is fully extended), it is very heavy to be carrying this around every day. She is comfortable though, and it could come in handy if you have multiple children.

 

 

 

 

KICKPLATE click connect 40

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 kick plate

Unique Features

Some of the features have already been covered above:

  • eight recline settings
  • push on lower anchor connectors
  • ability to use from 4 lbs
  • ability to install the seat without the base.

Another feature that hasn’t been talked about is the kick plate on the base. While it can be used at any time, it makes more sense for older, taller infants or toddlers who can reach the back seat. It can be helpful protecting your back seat from dirty shoes. The Click Connect 40 also has a very easy to use no-rethread harness system. Simply squeeze the red tabs together and move the harness and headrest to even with or just below the child’s shoulders.

adjuster click connect 40

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 no-rethread harness adjuster

 

Important Information: where to find

FAA Approval- The Click Connect 40 is FAA approved for use without the base. The FAA statement is found in red on the large sticker on the side of the seat towards the back. Find the biggest sticker and look for the red writing towards the middle. This may need to be shown if traveling with this seat via airplane so it’s important to know where it is located.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 is FAA approved for use without the base

 

 

Date of Manufacture- The Click Connect 40 has a 7 year expiration. You can find the Date of Manufacture (DOM) under the seat on a white sticker with the model number as well. On the base, it’s down in the well of the base on an identical white sticker. Add 7 years to this date and that is when the seat is no longer usable and should be disposed of.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 has a 7 year expiration

 

 

Overall Thoughts

This seat will definitely give you your money’s worth. It fits small babies, fits younger toddlers, can work in a three across, and if you have the space it gives plenty of leg room for those growing legs! Even though this seat can fit many kids until age two, the recommendation is to continue rear facing until closer to four years old so you will still want a convertible seat after this seat is outgrown (read our article, The Science Behind Rear Facing). The biggest downside is it does take up a lot of room, so trying before you buy is always encouraged. Graco did not provide this seat for review, and I was not compensated in any way from Graco. As always, thoughts are all my own. You can find the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 on Amazon.

Little Tikes High Back Booster Review

Diono_LittleTikesBuckledAt the 2014 ABC Kids Expo, Diono unveiled their plans to team up with Little Tikes and release a new line of high back boosters and backless boosters.  Without further ado, lets look at the Little Tikes High Back Booster.

CSFTL Quick Stats:

  • High back booster weight range: 40-120 lbs.
  • High back booster height range:38-63″
  • Backless booster weight range: 40-120 lbs.
  • Backless booster height range: 38-63″
  • Highest belt guide position: 21″
  • Expiration: 6 years from date of purchase
  • Requires head support from a vehicle head restraint behind it at all times

 

 

 

 

Unboxing

Diono_LittleTikes

 

Out of the box, the Little Tikes booster comes in two pieces. To assemble, simply line the pieces of the back of the booster up with the base and lift the back up to snap it into place.  The first impression right out of the box is the seat is very light, which can be beneficial for caregivers who need to swap out seats frequently.  Another thing to note, while not a safety concern, straight out of the box the seat has a pretty strong odor. This dissipated about a week after use though.  Once the seat was out of the box, it took me a few minutes to locate the shoulder belt adjuster and the seat manual.  Diono_LittleTikesManualBoth of them are tucked underneath the bottom of the seat.

 

 

This booster has a 6 year expiration from the date of purchase.  This is unique, generally Diono_LittleTikesExpirationexpiration dates go from the date of manufacture.  Because of this, it would be beneficial to note in your manual when you purchase the seat.  If you forget when you bought it, go off of the date of manufacture instead.  The date of manufacture can be found on a sticker on the bottom of the seat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fit to Car

Using the Little Tikes Booster is pretty straight forward.  The Little Tikes booster does not have lower anchor connectors. To keep the seat from becoming a projectile in an accident, the seat should be buckled in with the seat belt at all times.  The Little Tikes booster requires that the child have head support up to their ears from the vehicle head restraint.  This means that if you have a tall child, and a vehicle seat without adjustable head restraints, this seat may not be compatible. The belt guide on the seat is pretty straight forward and pretty wide open.  This is beneficial because it keeps the belt retracting freely, ensuring a correct fit at all times.  The booster is also required to have full contact with the vehicle seat back.

Fit to Child

Diono_LittleTikesEmmaModel number one is 8 years old, 50.5 inches tall, and 58 lbs. She’s a seasoned booster rider, and knows what she likes in a booster.  She made the comment that the booster was a little hard, but not uncomfortable. She liked that it had two cupholders for snacks and a drink.  She also tried Emma_LittleTikesBacklessthe seat in backless mode.  Both modes provided a fantastic belt fit for her. You can read about proper fit in our article on the topic. She will easily fit another 3-4 years until she passes the five step test.

 

You may have noticed that we didn’t note an IIHS Booster rating at the beginning of the review.  This is because the Little Tikes came out after IIHS had completed their ratings for 2014.  We look forward to seeing what rating this seat gets.

 

 

 

 

Diono_LIttleTikesOliviaModel number two is a new booster rider, having recently turned 5.  When should your child make the switch to a booster?  When they are a minimum of 5 years old, meet the limits of the seat, and have the maturity sit correctly.  You can read more about it in our when to make the switch article. Model two is 5 years old, 46 lbs, and 45 inches tall.  Getting any opinion about a seat for her is difficult, because in her mind, if it isn’t Spiderman, it isn’t good enough.  With some prying, and maybe a little bribing, I got her to tell me that she said it felt “tippy.”  This is a pretty common feeling with newer booster riders in boosters without lower anchor connectors.  They need to learn to move with the seat as the car makes turns.  That comes with practice.

 

 

 

 

 

Overall Impression

Overall, Little Tikes has made a good booster seat.  It is well priced, light weight, and provides an excellent belt fit.  Another thing to note, is that like Diono boosters, the policy is to follow the NHSTA recommendations for replacement after a crash.

little tikesWant to order one now for your not so Little?  Check it out on Amazon.com!
Otherwise enter below to win one for your not so Little.

**Giveaway is now over!  Congrats to our newest winner!**

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Diono/Little Tikes generously provided us with this seat to review.  The reviewer received no compensation and all opinions are that of the author.

 

 

Graco Headwise Review

Graco has several convertible seats often referred to as “the clones” because of their similarities and many names. This review covers the Headwise, which features Graco’s Safety Surround protection.

 

Graco HeadwiseCSFTL Quick Stats:

  • Rear facing weight range: 4-40 lbs
  • Rear facing height range: 1″ from the top of the red handle
  • Forward facing weight range: 20-65 lbs
  • Forward facing height range: 49″
  • Shell height: 28″ (headrest fully extended)
  • Lowest harness position: 7″ (with insert)
  • Highest harness position: 17.5″
  • Expiration: 7 years
  • Lower anchor weight limit: 42 lbs (seats made after 2/2014) or 45 lbs (seats made after 2/2015).

 

Features:

  • No re-thread harness
  • Infant insert
  • Push button lower anchor connectors
  • Separate lower anchor strap for rear & forward facing
  • Forward facing recline option (for children under 40 lbs)
  • Two crotch buckle positions
  • Integrated cupholder

Installation

Rear Facing

Headwise_RFAll of the labels on the Headwise with rear facing information are blue, which helps greatly in identifying which components can be used rear or forward facing. First, adjust the recline to the rear facing position by squeezing the red handle on the front of the seat and sliding the base until the arrow is pointing at the blue rear facing label. There are dedicated lower anchor connector straps that are pre-threaded in the rear and forward facing belt paths, if installing using lower anchors, simply detach the lower anchor connectors from their storage clips and attach them onto the vehicle lower anchors. The Headwise can only be installed in dedicated lower anchor positions with standard 11″ spacing, borrowing is not allowed. If installing using the seat belt, there is no need to move the lower anchor connector strap, just thread the seat belt into the rear facing belt path. There is not a lock-off device, so be sure to engage the seat belt’s locking function. The Headwise features a ball level indicator with two zones: one for babies 0-3 months, and another for children over 3 months. Verify that the seat is correctly reclined, and then tighten the lower anchor connector strap or seat belt. The Headwise has a nice slit in the cover above the belt path opening for easy access to the lower anchor connector strap or seat belt, which gives a great leverage point for tightening the seat. It is shown here in a 1998 Honda CRV, in which it fit nicely behind the passenger seat with room for an adult to sit comfortably in front of it.

Forward Facing

Headwise_FFTo contrast the blue rear facing labels, the Headwise offers forward facing information highlighted in orange. There are two recline positions that can be used when installing forward facing; the more reclined setting can be used for children 20-40 lbs, however the most upright setting must be used for children over 40 lbs. There is a separate lower anchor connector strap for forward facing, so there is no need to move the strap between belt paths when switching to forward facing. If your Headwise was manufactured after February 2014, it will have a label stating a 42 lb weight limit for lower anchor installation, and after February 2015, that limit increased to 45 lbs. If your Headwise was manufactured prior to this labeling requirement, you need to check with your vehicle manufacturer to determine the limit for using lower anchors. The Headwise weighs 20.3 lbs for purposes of calculating lower anchor weight limits, if necessary. Read more about lower anchor weight limits in our article here. Whether installing with lower anchors or seat belt, always use the tether when installing the Headwise forward facing.

 

 

Fit to Child

Rear Facing:

Rear facing weight range: 4-40 lbs

Rear facing height range: Head 1″ from the red adjuster handle when the headrest is adjusted to the highest position and straps must be at or below the shoulders.

Headwise_newbornNewborn

Fiona is 7 lbs and 17″ and fits nicely in the Headwise with the infant insert. The Headwise bottom harness position measures 7″ with the insert, so it is a good fit for the average size newborn but is not likely to fit small newborns or preemies, despite the 4 lb minimum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Headwise_RF_InfantInfant

Our infant is 7 months old, 15 lbs and 26″. She is using the inner crotch buckle position and the second harness position. It’s very easy to get her in and out of the seat, the only difficulty we have had with the Headwise is that she is about halfway between the second and third settings, so the second setting puts the harness a ways below her shoulders. This sometimes makes it a little bit awkward to get the harness around her when getting buckled.

 

 

 

 

 

Headwise_RF_15mToddler

At 15 months, 21 lbs and 29″, the Headwise is still a great fit. She appreciates stashing soft toys in the integrated cup holder, but frequently gets upset because she can’t reach the bottom of the cupholder to retrieve them. Toddler problems!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Headwise_RF_2yo

Our second toddler is a bit older, 2.5 years old, 26 lbs and 36″. She also has a great fit in the Headwise and will remain rear facing for a couple more years as she has lots of room to grow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Headwise_RF4yoBig Kid

Our big kid is 5 years old, 42 lbs and 43″ tall. He is over the rear facing weight limit so he would not ride in the Headwise, however he is sitting in the seat to demonstrate the fit for older children who may ride rear facing. He is still a long ways away from outgrowing the Headwise by height, with no stated height limit for rear facing and a 28″ tall shell, almost all children will reach the 40 lb weight limit before ever coming close to outgrowing it by weight. This is great news for parents of tall children! He was able to sit comfortably cross-legged, another great plus!

 

Forward Facing:

Forward facing weight range: 20-65 lbs

Forward facing height range: 49″ with 17.5″ top harness position. Straps must be at or above the shoulders and ears must be below the top of the head support.

Headwise_FF_5yoBig Kid

At 5 years old, 42 lbs and 43″, our big kid has outgrown the Headwise rear facing but still has plenty of room to ride forward facing. The 17.5″ top harness position and 65 lb weight limit will allow most children to use the Headwise until they are ready to move into a booster seat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Features

Headwise_safetysurroundSafety Surround

The Safety Surround is the main feature that differentiates the Headwise from its cousins, the MySize, Size4Me, and Fit4Me. The Safety Surround headrest is a little deeper and incorporates more padding to aid in side impact protection.

 

 

 

Headwise_insertInfant Insert

The Headwise has two supports: a body support and a head support. The body support must be used if the child’s shoulders are below the bottom harness position when rear facing. Otherwise, the supports may be used or removed as desired. The Headwise also includes strap covers that are optional and can be used or removed at any time.

 

 

 

Headwise_harnessNo Re-thread Harness

To adjust the harness height, squeeze the red handle at the top of the seat and pull up or down to the necessary position. This moves the headrest and the straps at the same time, so the proper position for the headrest is wherever it falls with the straps correctly positioned: at or below the child’s shoulders for rear facing; at or above the child’s shoulders for forward facing. Some parents have experienced difficulty tightening the harness straps, the Headwise does have Graco’s roller system on the back of the harness slots, which aids in smooth adjustment.

 

Headwise_LAstrapsPush Button Lower Anchor Connectors on Separate Straps

The Headwise has two lower anchor connector straps that are affixed to their proper belt paths. This helps eliminate the chance for misuse by removing the need to move the strap between belt paths or potential for use of the incorrect belt path. The push button lower anchor connectors make attachment and removal of the connectors onto the vehicle lower anchors simple.

 

 

 

Headwise_buckleTwo Crotch Buckle Positions

The Headwise has two crotch buckle positions, measuring 3.5″ and 55″ deep with a 3.5″ strap length. The only requirement is that the position that is closest but not under the child be used. This allows for flexibility for the caregiver to use the most comfortable position for the child whether the seat is rear or forward facing. To switch between positions, slide the retainer up through the slot and then insert it into the desired slot.

 

 

 

Headwise_reclineThree Recline Positions

The Headwise has three recline positions, position 1 must be used for rear facing, positions 2 and 3 are for forward facing, however children over 40 lbs must use position 3.

 

 

Headwise_labelingLabel Locations

The date of manufacture information and aircraft approval information can be found on the back side of the seat, with the date of manufacture on the right inner side and the FAA approval on the left inner side. There is also a spot for storage of the manual and a locking clip at the bottom of this area.

 

Overall Thoughts

HeadwiseThe Headwise fits a wide range of children and will last a long time before it is outgrown. At roughly $199 MSRP, the Target exclusive Headwise is an excellent value. It is easy to install, has a number of convenience features and for those reasons we can strongly recommend the Graco Headwise as a great option for many Littles.

Maxi – Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit Review

Looking for a convertible that is easy to use from birth and can fit in a small space?  The Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit is a great convertible seat that should fit your needs perfectly.  The Pria 70 comes in two different models, with and without the TinyFit infant insert.  This review will cover the model with the TinyFit.

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70  installed

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit

CSFTL Quick Stats

  • Rear facing weight range: TinyFit 4-22 lbs, without TinyFit 9-40 lbs
  • Rear facing height range: 40″ or less
  • Forward facing weight range: 22-70 lbs
  • Forward facing height range: 29-52″”
  • Shell height: 26.5″ (top of fully extended head support)
  • Lowest harness position: TinyFit 5″, without TinyFit 10″
  • Highest harness position:  17.5″
  • Expiration: 10 yrs
  • Lower anchor weight limit: 40 lbs

 

 

 

 

Features:

  • Three position adjustable crotch strap (5″, 6″, 7″)
  • Three adjustable recline settings
  • Push button lower anchor connectors
  • No re-thread harness
  • TinyFit infant insert
  • TinyFit body pillow
  • Two sets of harness comfort pads
  • Head pillow
  • Two sizes of chest clips

Unique Features

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit crotch buckle positions

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit crotch buckle positions

 

 

Three position adjustable crotch strap (5″, 6″, 7″) allows a wide variety of children to fit the Pria without being uncomfortable.  It must be in the smallest and middle position when rear facing without the Tiny Fit.  When using the Tiny Fit insert, the buckle must be in the furthest out position.  Forward facing it can be in any position.

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit recline positions

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit recline positions

 

 

Three adjustable recline settings allow you to be able to adjust the seat to the correct recline depending on your seat slope and child’s weight.  When rear facing the recline position must be at angle 2 or 3.  Forward facing for children from 22-40 it must be at angle 2 and forward facing children from 40-70 lbs must be at angle 1.

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit push on lower anchor connectors

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit push on lower anchor connectors

 

 

Push button lower anchor connectors help with those deeply buried vehicle lower anchors and makes for an easier install and uninstall.

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 no rethread

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit no rethread harness

 

 

 

 

The no re-thread harness is adjusted by just the squeeze of a button at the top of the head support.  It is a nice addition so you don’t have to move the harness straps manually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit

 

TinyFit infant insert –   This insert is like a seat within a seat.  It does take some extra effort to install into the seat due to this.  The TinyFit fits infants from 4-22 lbs and must be used until the infant’s shoulders reach the bottom harness position without the insert (10″).

TinyFit body pillow is a welcome addition for those little infants that need a bit of extra side to side support when using the TinyFit infant insert.

The Head pillow can be used to help support a newborn’s head.

 

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit harness comfort pads

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit harness comfort pads

 

 

Two sets of harness comfort pads are included.  The smaller set is used for any size child, whereas the larger pads MUST be used with a children over 65 AND if there is not a vehicle tether anchor available.

 

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit chest clips

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit chest clips

 

 

Two sizes of chest clips are included for smaller and larger children.  There is no stated weight or age limit on the use of the different chest clips.

 

 

 

 

TinyFit Insert Installation

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit furthest position

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit furthest position

The TinyFit Insert is a seat within a seat.  It is a plastic insert that is actually installed into the seat for small infants.  This takes the hassle out of using a rear facing only seat for a newborn and allows a parent/caregiver to use the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 from birth.
The installation can be a bit time consuming so here’s a quick run down of how it works.

 

1.  Make sure the crotch buckle is in the furthest out from the back position.

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit unthreaded

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit unthreaded

 

2. Unthread the harness from the back of the car seat and pull everything except the buckles off, if you will be replacing the large chest clip for the smaller one.  If not, it can all be left on, but can be a hassle to get through the holes in the insert.

 

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit rethreaded harness

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit rethreaded harness

 

3.  Set the insert on the seat and thread the harness and buckles through the holes at the bottom of the insert.  Thread the chest clip, harness comfort pads, and head pillow onto the harness, then thread the harness through the appropriate harness slot in the insert.

 

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit harness through insert and shell

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit harness through insert and shell

 

 

4.  Pull the harness all the way through the insert and into lower set of harness slots on the seat shell.

 

 

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit splitter plate

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit splitter plate

 

 

5.  Attach the harness to both sides of the splitter plate.

 

 

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit lowered head support

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit lowered head support

 

 

6.  Move the head support down so it secures the insert into the seat.

 

 

 

 

Installation

  • Expiration: 10 yrs
  • Lower anchor weight limit: 40 lbs
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit rear facing installation

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit rear facing installation

Rear Facing

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit lower anchor connector strap behind crotch strap with TinyFit installed

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit lower anchor connector strap behind crotch strap with TinyFit installed

When installing with the TinyFit insert, the crotch buckle needs to be in the furthest out from the back position and the lower anchor strap or seat belt is routed behind the buckle.  Make sure the head support is fully extended so you can push the insert up a bit in order to route the lower anchor strap or seatbelt under it.

 

 

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit lower anchor connector strap in front of crotch strap without TinyFit installed

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit lower anchor connector strap in front of crotch strap without TinyFit installed

When installing without the TinyFit the crotch buckle needs to be in either the smallest or middle crotch buckle position then the lower anchor strap or seat belt is threaded in front of the the buckle.

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit belt positioning guide

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit belt positioning guide

 

Like other Maxi-Cosi convertibles the Pria 70 also incorporates a belt positioning guide on either side of the rear facing belt path.  The lower anchor strap or lap portion of the seat belt needs to be threaded through this before tightening.

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit level to ground line

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit level to ground line

 

Maxi-Cosi also incorporates the use of a single level to ground line to judge what angle the seat needs to be at when rear facing.  This line is a raised portion of plastic at the top of the seat right above a green sticker.  When installing rear facing the angle can be adjusted to either position 2 or 3.  I noticed that it installs pretty upright with the level to ground line.  This is nice for both front to back space and for older children who would like to be more upright.  The TinyFit insert reclines smaller infants more so there isn’t head slump.

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 forward facing installation

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit forward facing installation

 

 

Forward Facing

The forward facing install is very typical.  The lower anchor strap or seat belt needs to be threaded through the forward facing belt path.  Make sure to lock the belt if installing with that method.  Then put yours weight into the seat and tighten.  Needs to be 1″ or less of movement at the belt path.  The only thing that is a bit different is that for children from 22-40 lbs and 29-43″ it needs to be in recline position 2 and for children 40-70 lbs and 43-52″ it needs to be in position 1.  As a forewarning, there will most likely be a decent gap between the seat bight and car seat.  This has been okayed by the manufacturer as long as you still have a tight (1″ or less of movement at the belt path) installation.  Also, the larger harness pads need to be used for children over 65 lbs if the seating position is without a vehicle tether anchor.

 

 

 

 

Child Fit

Rear Facing with TinyFit insert

  • Rear facing weight range: TinyFit 4-22 lbs
  • Rear facing height range: 40″ or less
  • Lowest harness position: TinyFit 5″
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Jo - Preemie, 4 lbs, 17"

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Jo – Preemie, 4 lbs, 17″

Jo – Preemie Huggable Images doll, 4 lbs, 17″
The TinyFit insert was a perfect fit for her!  I used the head pillow, body support, and small chest clip.  All helped with fit tremendously.  The TinyFit adjusts the lowest harness height down to 5″, one of the shortest harness positions on the market.  Her shoulders were actually quite a bit above the lowest harness position, almost up to the 2nd harness position, which is very rare for Jo.  The biggest downfall I had with using the TinyFit with her was tightening the harness straps.  Due to the extra routing through both the TinyFit insert and seat shell it adds quite a bit of friction making it harder to tighten.  It would be necessary to tighten from the back of the seat typically by pulling the harness straps from the back of the seat, then pulling on the tightening strap tail by the child’s feet.

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Fiona - newborn, 7 lbs, 17"

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Fiona – newborn, 7 lbs, 17″

Fiona – Newborn Huggable Images doll, 7 lbs, 17″

Fiona had an amazing fit as well.  I kept all the inserts and smaller chest clip on for her and she had a very similar fit to Jo.  With her being just a tad taller in the torso than Jo, she was a bit closer to the 2nd harness slot, but still not quite there.  I also had the same tightening issues as I did with Jo.

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Anders - 8 months, 20 lbs, 26"

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Anders – 8 months, 20 lbs, 26″

 

 

Anders – 8 months, 20 lbs, 26″
He fits, but was extremely uncomfortable and had very little excess harness length.  At his size and fit, I wouldn’t use the TinyFit insert for him normally since his shoulders come right above the bottom harness position without the TinyFit insert.  Even though the insert is approved for use up to 22 lbs, I think 15 lbs would probably be a better limit for it.

 

Rear facing without TinyFit insert

  • Rear facing weight range: without TinyFit 9-40 lbs
  • Rear facing height range: 40″ or less or top of the head at the top of the fully extended head support
  • Lowest harness position: without TinyFit 10″
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Anders - 12 months, 23 lbs, 29"

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Anders – 12 months, 23 lbs, 29″

Anders – 12 months, 23 lbs, 29″

Anders fits perfectly without the TinyFit insert now.  His shoulders are still just barely below the 2nd harness position, so he is still in the first.  Even without the TinyFit insert, the harness is still pretty difficult to tighten, so we just keep doing the tightening trick I mentioned with the TinyFit.

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Freya - 1 month shy of 3 yrs, 25 lbs, 33"

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Freya – 1 month shy of 3 yrs, 25 lbs, 33″

 

 

 

Freya – 1 month shy of 3 yrs, 25 lbs, 33″

Freya also fits perfectly in this seat with quite a bit of growing room still.  Like Anders, she loves how upright she sits in it.  It has decently low sides, so I don’t have to hoist her too much over the sides.  Although the base is rather high, so it sits quite a ways above the vehicle seat.

 

 

Forward Facing

  • Forward facing weight range: 22-70 lbs
  • Forward facing height range: 29-43″
  • Shell height: 26.5″ (top of fully extended head support)
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Freya - 1 month shy of 3 yrs, 25 lbs, 33"

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Freya – 1 month shy of 3 yrs, 25 lbs, 33″

Freya – 1 month shy of 3 yrs, 25 lbs, 33″

Freya doesn’t ride this way, but is within the limits of it forward facing.  We recommend rear facing until as close to 4 as possible.  This is just a model of how a smaller child would look forward facing in it.  Since she is between 22-40 lbs it is on recline position 2.  I like how reclined it is for her.  It would be a good choice for a smaller forward facing child due to this.  It was near impossible to tighten the harness forward facing.  I would most likely tighten it before installing, then not loosen it, unless necessary.

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Chloe - 6 yrs, 46 lbs, 48"

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit: Chloe – 6 yrs, 46 lbs, 48″

 

 

Chloe – 6 year Huggable Images doll, 46 lbs, 48″

Chloe is right at the limit of the Pria 70.  Her shoulders are right at the top harness position.  Her head seems a bit squished in between the air protect SIP.  She had very little harness length left as well.  I don’t foresee the Pria 70 fitting any 70 lb children.

 

 

 

 

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit important information

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit important information

Important Information: Where to find

FAA certification can be found on page 46 of the instruction manual and on a sticker on the side of the seat.

 

Date of manufacture can be found on the side of the seat along with the model number.

 

 

 

Expiration date is stamped into the plastic on the bottom of the seat.

 

 

Updates made on newer versions of the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with (and without) TinyFit

Since we received this seat to review Maxi-Cosi has released a newer version of the Pria 70 with a few updates.  These updates include a more breathable fabric cover, easily removable and washable cover (similar to the Pria 85 and Vello 65 covers), new color patterns, and slimmer Air Protect SIP (also similar but not the same as the Pria 85).  These are some nice additions!

Maxi-Cosi Convertible Comparison

Vello 65Pria 70 Pria 70 with Tiny FitPria 85
Specifications
Rear Facing Limit9-40 lbs.
Up to 40"
9-40 lbs.
Up to 40"
Tiny Fit 4-22 lbs.
Without Tiny Fit 9-40 lbs.
Up to 40"
14-40 lbs.
Up to 40"
Forward Facing Limit22-65 lbs.
29"-49"
22-70 lbs.
29"-52"
22-70 lbs.
29"-52"
22-85 lbs.
29"-52"
Lowest Harness10"10"Tiny Fit 5"
Without Tiny Fit 10"
10"
Highest Harness17.5"17.5"Tiny Fit 9"
Without Tiny Fit 17.5"
17.5"
Shell Height26.5"26.5"26.5"26.5"
Features
Accessories
  • Removable cupholder
  • Removable storage pocket
  • Tiny Fit includes:
  • body pillow
  • head pillow
  • small chest clip
  • Harness holders
  • Air Protect
    Body Pillow
    Easy Remove Cover
    Note:The 2015 Pria 70 has an easy to remove cover. The previous version do not.
    Buy OnlineAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazon

    Overall Impression

    Overall I’ve been very impressed with the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit.  The TinyFit fits newborns well thus taking away the need to buy and use a rear facing only seat to start with.  The 22 lbs limit on the TinyFit is a bit overinflated and I would foresee most children closer to at least 15 lbs being ready for the seat without the TinyFit insert.  The 70 lbs may be a bit overinflated as well as most children that size will have already outgrown the top harness slot and be uncomfortable with the tight head support.  The head support can also be a bit of a hassle to adjust fully down or up.  You typically have to push it from the back of the seat.  The last downfall is the difficulty in tightening the harness.  Maxi-Cosi has stated that they will be releasing new seats with an adjusted harness system to solve this issue.  The updates they’ve made to the newer models are also a very nice addition.  I love how small the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 is in my van and the cushy fabric is great.  Both my kids regularly sleep in this seat when we’re out and about.  Installation is a breeze and the cupholder is a nice bonus for storing all the little kid trinkets.

    Maxi-Cosi is giving one of our lucky readers a chance to win a Pria 70 with TinyFit for themselves (model shown in review).  To enter, follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget at the end of the review.

    Want one now?  The Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit can be found on Amazon.com

    While Maxi-Cosi provided the seat free of charge to the author, Maxi-Cosi did not pay for or influence this review.   All opinions expressed, as always, are entirely our own.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 Review

    We would like to introduce the newest model in Maxi-Cosi’s convertible lineup, the Maxi-Cosi Vello 65.  This is a simplified version of their popular Pria convertible seat and we’ve been very impressed with it.

    Maxi cosi Vello install

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65

    CSFTL Quick Stats

    • Rear facing weight range: 9-40 lbs
    • Rear facing height range: 40″ or less
    • Forward facing weight range: 22-65 lbs
    • Forward facing height range: 29″-49″
    • Shell height: 26.5″
    • Lowest harness position: 10″
    • Highest harness position: 17.5″
    • Expiration: 10 yrs
    • Lower anchor weight limit: 40 lbs (child weight)

     

     

     

     

    Features

    • 3 position adjustable crotch strap (5″, 6″, & 7″)
    • 3 recline positions
    • Push button lower anchor connectors
    • No re-thread harness
    • Removable body pillow
    • Removable storage pockets and cupholder
    • Easy remove cover

    Unique Features

    SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 adjustable crotch strap

     

     

    3 position adjustable crotch strap is easy to adjust by just pulling the metal plate through the slot on the bottom of the seat.  For rear facing, it must be use in the closest 2 slot positions.

     

     

     

    Maxi-Cosi Vello recline positions

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 recline positions

     

    3 recline positions help to get the correct recline for both rear and forward facing.  Recline 2 and 3 can be used rear facing and recline 1 and 2 can be used forward facing.  Recline 1 must be used for children 40-65 lbs forward facing and recline 2 must be used for children 22-40 lbs forward facing.

     

     

     

    Maxi-Cosi Vello lower anchor connectors

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 lower anchor connectors

     

     

    Push button lower anchor connectors help to attach to buried vehicle lower anchors.

     

     

     

    Maxi-Cosi Vello no rethread harness

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 no re-thread harness

     

    No re-thread harness allows the harness and head support to be adjusted when seat is still installed.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Maxi-Cosi Vello removable body pillow

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 body pillow

     

     

    Removable body pillow can be used at any weight or harness position.

     

     

     

     

    Maxi-Cosi Vello removable storage pockets and cupholder

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 removable storage pockets and cupholder

     

     

    Removable storage pockets and cupholder and are easily removed for tight spaces.  They can also be switched between sides for easy access for any child.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Maxi-Cosi Vello cover removes easily

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 easy remove cover

     

     

    Easy remove cover can be taken off and washed while the seat is still installed.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Installation

    • Expiration: 10 yrs
    • Lower anchor weight limit: 40 lbs (child weight)
    • Lower anchor borrowing is not allowed

    Rear facing

    Maxi Cosi Vello rear facing installed

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 rear facing installed

    Rear facing installation is pretty typical with the Vello 65.  Set the seat on the vehicle seat and check the recline.

    Maxi Cosi Vello rear facing level line

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65  level line

     

     

    At the top of the seat there is a line right above the green sticker.  This line needs to be level to ground.  The recline foot will need to be in position 2 or 3.  Once you’ve achieved the correct angle, thread either the lower anchor connector strap or seat belt through the rear facing belt path (under the child’s feet).

     

     

     

    Maxi-Cosi Vello crotch strap

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 lower anchor strap routing

     

     

    The crotch strap needs to be in one of the 2 closest positions to the child, whichever is closest to the child.  The lower anchor connector strap or seat belt then must be routed in front of the crotch strap (covering the furthest slot out).

    Maxi Cosi Vello rear facing belt positioning guides

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65  belt positioning guides

     

    If installing with lower anchors, the connector strap is required to be threaded through the belt positioning guide in the belt path on both sides, then tightened.

     

     

     

    If installing with seat belt, the lap belt is required to be threaded through the belt positioning guide. The shoulder belt lays over it, then just buckle and tighten.

     

    Forward Facing

    Maxi Cosi Vello Forward facing install

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 forward facing install

    The Vello also has a typical forward facing installation.  Recline position must be either 1 or 2.  Recline position 2 is for children weighing between 22-40 lbs and recline position 1 must be used for children 40-65 lbs.

    This caused a bit of a problem for me when installing in my Nissan Quest.  The Quest requires the vehicle seat to be fully upright when installing any car seat.  When installing the Vello in recline position 2, it caused a very large gap between the vehicle seat and car seat.  We are currently in contact with Maxi-Cosi to find if this is an incompatibility with the Vello.  We will update when more information is available.

     

    Child Fit

    Rear facing

    • Rear facing weight range: 9-40 lbs
    • Rear facing height range: 40″ or less, or top of the head even with the top of the fully extended head support

    The Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 is not meant for newborns. With a weight minimum of 9 lbs and bottom harness height of 10″ the Vello is meant to be the next step after a rear facing only car seat.

    Vello65

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65: Amelia – 6 weeks, 9 lbs, 22″

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65: Amelia – 6 weeks, 9 lbs, 22″

     

    Amelia – 6 weeks, 9 lbs, 22″

    Even though Amelia meets the minimums, is using the insert, and is in a cloth diaper, she still does not reach the bottom harness position.  This is a good example of why the Vello is a great next step after the rear facing only car seat, but not as a first seat.  This is why it is always suggested to a try a seat before you buy it.

     

    1 year oldmodel

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65: Anders – 1 yr, 23 lbs, 29″

     

    Anders – 1 year, 23 lbs, 29″

    Anders is a perfect fit in the Vello.  He is at the 2nd click up on the harness/head support position.  I took the body pillow out due to his wide thighs.  He has the perfect amount of room side to side.  The only downfall I’ve found with using this seat is tightening and loosening the harness.  Due to how it’s routed through both the head support and shell, it makes it very hard to tighten.  There is an easy fix for rear facing though.  Instead of just pulling on the adjuster strap by the child’s feet, you can tighten by pulling the harness straps tight from the back, then pulling on the adjuster strap.

     

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65: Freya - 2 months shy of 3 yrs, 25 lbs, 38"

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65: Freya – 2 months shy of 3 yrs, 25 lbs, 34″

    Freya – 2 months shy of 3 years, 25 lbs, 34″

    Freya is also a great fit in the Vello.  It’s shallow enough that I don’t have to heave her too far over the sides and she has plenty of foot room.  She likes playing with the cupholder and storage pockets and has no problems with falling asleep in it.  I have the same trouble tightening her as I do with Anders.  Since she is still rear facing though, I use the same easy fix for adjusting it.

     

    Forward Facing

    • Forward facing weight range: 22-65 lbs
    • Forward facing height range: 29″-49″
    • Lower anchor weight limit: 40 lbs (child weight)
    Maxi Cosi Vello Olivia

    Maxi-Cosi Vello 65: Olivia – 6 yrs, 51 lbs, 47″

     

     

    Olivia – 6 years, 51 lbs,  47″

    Olivia is right at the forward facing limit of the Vello.  Her shoulders are right at the top harness slot with no harness length left.  She liked how plush it was and how high she sits up in the seat which allows her to see out the window better.  It was very difficult to tighten the harness with her in it.  Since it’s forward facing, you can’t do the trick with tightening from the back, though, which is easy to do for rear facing children.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Important Information: Where to find

    Maxi Cosi Vello Important information

     

     

    FAA certification can be found on page 30 of the instruction manual and on a sticker on the side of the seat.

     

     

    Date of manufacture can be found on the side of the seat along with the model number.

     

     

     

     

    Expiration date is stamped into the plastic on the bottom of the seat.

     

     

    Maxi Cosi Convertible Comparison

    Vello 65Pria 70 Pria 70 with Tiny FitPria 85
    Specifications
    Rear Facing Limit9-40 lbs.
    Up to 40"
    9-40 lbs.
    Up to 40"
    Tiny Fit 4-22 lbs.
    Without Tiny Fit 9-40 lbs.
    Up to 40"
    14-40 lbs.
    Up to 40"
    Forward Facing Limit22-65 lbs.
    29"-49"
    22-70 lbs.
    29"-52"
    22-70 lbs.
    29"-52"
    22-85 lbs.
    29"-52"
    Lowest Harness10"10"Tiny Fit 5"
    Without Tiny Fit 10"
    10"
    Highest Harness17.5"17.5"Tiny Fit 9"
    Without Tiny Fit 17.5"
    17.5"
    Shell Height26.5"26.5"26.5"26.5"
    Features
    Accessories
  • Removable cupholder
  • Removable storage pocket
  • Tiny Fit includes:
  • body pillow
  • head pillow
  • small chest clip
  • Harness holders
  • Air Protect
    Body Pillow
    Easy Remove Cover
    Note:The 2015 Pria 70 has an easy to remove cover. The previous version do not.
    Buy OnlineAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazon

     

    Overall impression

    Overall I’ve been really impressed with the Maxi Cosi Vello 65.  The biggest downfalls I’ve found to the seat are how hard it is to tighten/loosen the harness and the difficulty in getting the head support to click into the lower most and upper most positions.  Since my kids are rear facing still, neither downfalls are a real problem for me, but I could definitely foresee them being issues when using it forward facing.  I love how plush it is, how easy the cover is to remove for washing, the removable cupholder and storage pocket, and how narrow it is front to back.  Plus installation and adjustment of everything is very easy.

    Maxi Cosi is giving one of our lucky readers a chance to win a Vello for themselves.  To enter, follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget at the end of the review.

    Want one now?  The Maxi Cosi Vello can be found on Amazon.com

    While Maxi Cosi provided the seat free of charge to the author, Maxi Cosi did not pay for or influence this review.   All opinions expressed, as always, are entirely our own.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Cybex Solution Q-Fix Review

    Cybex_FeaturedImageThe Solution Q-Fix is one of Cybex’s high back booster offerings.  The Q-Fix has been on the market for some time now;  offering both comfort and ease of use features.  Today, we’ll take a close look at this booster.

     

    CSFTL Quick Stats

    • High back booster weight range: 33-110lbs
    • High back booster height range: 38-60″
    • Highest booster guide position: 22″
    • Expiration: 6 years
    • High back booster only

    Features:

    • Three position reclining headrest
    • Rigid lower anchor connectors
    • Linear Side Impact Protection

    Unboxing

    Cybex_unboxing

    Cybex unboxing.

    Straight out of the box, the Q-Fix comes in two main separate pieces, the lower portion and the upper portion.  While it does come separate, it is important to note that the Q-Fix should not be used without the upper portion attached.  It is a high back booster only. There is a tag on the seat to indicate that it should not be used without the back and another warning label on the seat itself. The assembly of the top and bottom portions of the seat is very straight forward.  Line the pieces up and move the top portion up so that they snap into place.  Once together it’s a very solid seat that is not prone to the back falling off.  While the back falling off while carrying is not a safety concern, some parents find that it’s annoying and prefer to use a seat that stays intact during movement.

     

    Cybex_Warning

    Cybex Q-Fix Headrest Warning label

     

     

    Cybex_LSPWhen the seat arrives, the linear side impact protection bolsters are not attached to the seat either.  These need to be attached to the torso wings of the seat during assembly.Cybex_LSPAttach

    The linear side impact protection bolsters have three posts which connect them to the torso wings  To connect them to the torso wings, line them up with the holes on the torso wings and slide down to attach.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Manual Storage

    Manual Storage

     

    The manual is shipped loose within the packaging. There is a pocket on the back of the seat that can be used to store the manual when it’s not in use.  We always suggest keeping the manual with the seat so that it’s readily accessible should questions arise at any time.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Installation

    The rigid lower anchor connectors that come with this seat are a little bit different from most anchors we see in use today.  I’d never seen anything quite like them before!

    Cybex_LACollageInstead of being separate pieces, they are on a bar that rotates towards the seat when they’re not being used.  The rigid lower anchor connectors rotate towards the back of the seat when they’re in use.  Since they are fixed on the bar, it makes attaching the rigid lower anchors slightly more cumbersome than more typical lower anchors.

    The bar is free moving as well, so they have to be lined just right in order to attach them to the lower anchors.  Once they are attached to the lower anchors, grab the lower anchor adjustment handle, and push the seat into the seat back. You’ll know the seat is in correctly when the indicator on the lower anchor connectors are in the green.

    Good to go!

    Good to go!

    Cybex has a very specific set of rules about how the booster must sit on the vehicle seat.

    The vehicle head restraint must not interfere with the booster, the booster seat must not overhang the vehicle seat, and the backrest of booster must rest against the vehicle seat.

    These rules can account for an excellent fit when all of the conditions are met but it could make fitting the Q-Fix a challenge in vehicles that have fixed head restraints, seats with small footprints, or overly contoured vehicle seats.

    One of the unique features of the Cybex booster is the reclining headrest.  There are three positions on the headrest that can easily be moved by the child to adjust the headrest to minimize head slump.

    Cybex_BeltGuide2

    The belt guide on the Cybex is  unique as well. Once the seat belt is threaded into the belt guide, another red piece keeps it in place.

    With my vehicle and set up this was fantastic because it made it hard for the belt to come out of the guide.  The belt guide is also fairly open, meaning the belt didn’t get caught in the belt guide and not retract correctly.  That’s always a plus!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Fit to Child

    Two finger width measurement.

    Two finger width measurement.

    The Q-Fix requires that the headrest be positioned two finger widths above the child’s shoulder.  This makes it seem like it needs to be higher, but is the correct position for the shoulder belt for this seat.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Cybex_Emma

    Cybex Q-Fix fit: 7 year old model

     

    Now that both of my daughters are of booster age, I was able to get two opinions of the seat and see how two totally differently sized children fit in the seat.

    Both of my girls initially thought the seat was squishy and comfortable.  Bonus points from the little one because of the bold color!  I first used the seat with my oldest daughter, who is 7 years old, stands 50 inches  tall, and weighs 49lbs.

    The belt fit on her was optimal and she enjoyed the automatic adjustment of the torso wings. As the headrest is raised, the torso wings adjust outward to provide a comfortable fit.  She was not too terribly impressed with the reclining headrest.  As a seasoned booster rider, she knows how to properly sit and how to stay upright while sleeping so this wasn’t as important for her.

    Staying upright while sleeping and sitting properly are two of most important factors to consider when deciding when to put a child in a booster vs. a 5pt harness.  You can read more about when to make the transition in our article here.

     

    Cybex_Olivia

    Cybex Q-Fix Fit: 5 Year Old Model

    My other daughter is 5 years old, 44 inches tall, and 46lbs.  She is brand new to the booster world and was very excited to show me how she could sit still and buckle the seat all by herself.

    The Q-Fix provided an excellent belt fit for her.  She was more pleased with the reclining headrest than her sister was.  She said it reminded her of her pillow in bed.  This would be a great feature for kids who are just learning to use a booster.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Cybex Q-Fix Leg Overhang

    Cybex Q-Fix Leg Overhang

     

    The one complaint that both of these models had was that they said they felt like they were sliding forward.  The depth of the seat is 13.5 inches, which is rather shallow.  Both my girls’ knees bent far beyond the edge of the seat, which caused the feeling of sliding forward. While this was a downside for my vehicle and children, the depth of this seat would be beneficial for those with vehicle seats that are small front to back.  Remember, Cybex does not allow the seat to overhang the vehicle seat.

     

     

     

     

    Overall Impressions

    Q-FixThe Q-Fix cover is nice and plush, and the seat comes in a variety of colors.  The range of bold colors can be appealing to a child.  The Q-Fix would not be a good seat if you are trying to fit three seats across in a row.  While the base is quite narrow, the torso wings make it a quite bulky.  The armrests also do not fit well underneath other seats.

    Overall, the Cybex Q-Fix provide an excellent belt fit for a booster.  Because of the relatively shallow seat pan, the Q-Fix might be better suited for a child with shorter legs.  The Q-Fix would be a good booster to use with a child who is booster training because of the reclining headrest feature.

    Cybex did not provide a seat for this review and as always, opinions are that of the author.

    GB Asana 35 AP Review

    Ready for another rear facing only car seat review?  The GB Asana 35 AP is another new rear facing only seat that the new company GB has just released.  We have many good things to say about the GB Asana 35 AP!

    GB Asana 35 AP installed

    GB Asana 35 AP installed

    CSFTL Quick Stats

    • Weight range: 4-35 lbs
    • Height range: 32″ or less
    • Shell height: 20″
    • Lowest harness position: ~6″ with insert, 7.5″ without insert
    • Weight (carrier only): 9.2 lbs
    • Expiration: 6 years
    • Handle position: Any locked position

     

     

     

     

     

    Features

    • Adjustable recline foot
    • Push button lower anchor connectors
    • Infant insert for smaller infants (required 4-6 lbs, optional 6-10lbs)
    • FirmFit system includes FirmFit load leg, arm, and harness
    • Storage area for instruction manual
    • Multiple crotch and hip strap positions (crotch buckle positions measuring 3.5″, 5″, and 6.5′)

    Unique Features

    GB Asana 35 AP recline

    GB Asana 35 AP recline

     

     

    Adjustable recline foot – Push the red button to easily adjust the recline into one of the 3 positions.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    GB Asana 35 AP lower anchor connectors

    GB Asana 35 AP lower anchor connectors

     

     

    Push button lower anchor connectors are stored in bottom of the base.  Thread through the holes and slide into the hole in the base for storage.  To attach, unthread in the opposite order and click right onto the vehicle’s lower anchors.  Tighten using the tail on the lower anchor connector strap.

     

     

    GB Asana 35 AP infant insert

    GB Asana 35 AP infant insert

     

     

     

    The infant insert for smaller infants is required for infants weighing 4-6 lbs and optional from 6-10 lbs.  GB recommends removing when the insert presses the child’s thighs uncomfortably against the buckle.  It’s a very large insert and I could foresee it getting cumbersome quickly.  Due to the narrowness of the seat, it isn’t necessary for very long.

     

     

     

     

     

    GB Asana 35 AP FitFirm System

    GB Asana 35 AP FitFirm System

    FirmFit System

      • FirmFit load leg – many new rear facing only seats on the market are now incorporating a load leg into their base, which helps with downward rotation in a crash.  It can be adjusted to a wide variety of lengths to accommodate both deep and shallow foot wells.  GB even claims that it will work on middle floor humps, and it can be used on stow and go compartments if the vehicle manufacturer allows it.
      • FirmFit arm – This is essentially a large seat belt lock off.  When installing via seat belt, lift the arm up, thread the seat belt through the belt path, then push the FirmFit arm down until it latches.  You will need to slightly tighten the seat belt before pushing the arm down.  You don’t want to tighten the belt as much as possible though, otherwise the arm won’t latch.  Make sure it latches all the way when pushing down on it, which can take a bit of force.
      • FirmFit harness – This is one the most unique features of the Asana.  The harness and headrest adjust together each time you tighten or loosen the harness.  When tightening via the tightening strap by the child’s feet, it pulls the headrest and harness to the child’s shoulders thus eliminating the need to change the harness height as the child grows.  This takes all the guess work out of deciding when the harness straps need to be moved up or down.  When the harness release is depressed, the harness and headrest snap back up to the top of the seat.
    GB Asana 35 AP Manual Storage

    GB Asana 35 AP Manual Storage

     

     

     

    Storage area for instruction manual is a nice addition so the manual is always on hand, conveniently located on the top of the base.

     

     

     

     

    GB Asana 35 AP crotch and hip strap positions

    GB Asana 35 AP crotch and hip strap positions

     

     

     

    The multiple crotch and hip strap positions allow the Asana to be used with a wide variety of children.  There are no set weight limits for each position, so the harness can be adjusted whenever necessary for each individual child.

     

     

     

     

     

    Installation

    • Expiration: 6 years
    • Handle position: Any locked position
    • The Asana allows use of lower anchor borrowing if the vehicle manufacturer also permits installation in seating positions with non-standard lower anchor spacing.

    With base

    GB Asana 35 AP base installation

    GB Asana 35 AP base installation

     

    The GB Asana 35 AP has a very straight forward easy installation with either seat belt or lower anchors.  The FirmFit lockoff arm must be utilized with any installation.  The FirmFit arm eliminates the need to lock the seat belt and assists in achieving a tight installation.  The push button lower anchor connectors also make that installation method very simple.    Before installing with either method, check and adjust the recline angle by depressing the red button on the base near the seat bight.

    GB Asana 35 AP recline indicator

    GB Asana 35 AP recline indicator

     

     

    Two different recline angles are allowed, the most reclined for infants 4-20 lbs and a more upright position for 20-35lbs.  My vehicle seats are very flat and I routinely have issues getting seats installed at a more upright position.  This base installed perfectly with no problems. If you cannot achieve the correct recline using the foot on the base, the manual does allow for use of a rolled towel to increase the base’s recline angle.

     

    GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit load leg removed

    GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit load leg removed

     

    The FirmFit load leg is recommended for all installations, but can be removed if not being used or prohibited per your vehicle’s owners manual.  To remove, push the button in the instruction storage area and pull straight out on the leg.  It is no easy feat to remove it though and can still be used with the leg stored under the base.

    GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit load leg lengths

    GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit load leg lengths

     

    It has several adjustments to reach the necessary length.  For the initial adjustment, pull the bottom portion of the leg down until it touches the floor.  If it doesn’t rest flat on the floor, either push the lower portion back up, press the black button on the leg and extend the top portion only, or you can leave the bottom portion extended as well as extending the top portion.  Always make sure the load leg rests flat on the floor and it can not lift up on the base thus changing the recline of the base. Also be sure to check your vehicle owner’s manual if installing over a covered storage area.  Some vehicle manufacturers allow this, some do not.  Once the recline and load leg are set, you can install with either seat belt or lower anchors.

    GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit arm

    GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit arm

     

     

    Now that you’re ready to install via seat belt or lower anchor connector strap, flip the FirmFit arm up.  If installing via seat belt, thread it through the belt path under the FirmFit arm, buckle, and slightly tighten the belt before flipping the FirmFit arm down over the belt.  Flip the FirmFit arm over the belt and make sure it clicks into place.  A green window will show by the FirmFit arm release when it is filled latched into place.

     

    GB Asana lower anchor strap clipIf installing via lower anchors, the strap will need to be pulled out of the storage clip under the FirmFit arm.  Attach the push on lower anchor connectors to your vehicle, tighten it so that all slack is out of the strap, but not fully tightened.  Then push the Firm Fit arm down on the lower anchor connector strap and tail that tightens it.  Make sure you have a green window once it’s locked into place.

     

    Without base

    GB Asana 35 AP baseless installation

    GB Asana 35 AP baseless installation

     

     

     

    The Asana also has a very easy baseless installation.  The seat belt guides are easy to find and easy to thread.  Due to it’s compact size, it’s easy to get behind it to put your weight into it to tighten.  It doesn’t allow Euro belt routing, but the installation is still very easy and tight.

     

     

     

     

    Fit to Child

    • Weight range: 4-35 lbs
    • Height range: 32″ or less, at least 1″ of shell above the child’s head
    • Infant insert for smaller infants (required 4-6 lbs, optional 6-10lbs)
    • Multiple crotch and hip strap positions

    The GB Asana 35 AP fits a wide variety of children due to it’s multiple crotch and hip strap positions and versatile infant insert.  There are no set weight limits on the different harness positions so you can adjust according to your individual child.

    GB Asana hip strap positionsCrotch buckle strap needs to be at the closest slot to the child without them sitting on it.  To adjust, pull the metal retainer up through the shell and reinsert in the correct slot.  The 3 positions measure 3.5″, 5″, and 6.5″ deep.  The hip strap positions are a little more intricate to adjust and the metal connector needs to be flush on the inside of the seat in every position.

    Smallest position – insert the metal clip into the inner position, then slide through the outer position so it sits flush on the inside of the seat.

    Middle position – insert the metal clip into the middle position, then slide through the outer position so it sits flush on the inside of the seat.

    Largest position – insert the metal clip into the outer position, then slide through the middle position so it sits flush on the inside of the seat.

    GB Asana 35 AP Jo- Preemie, 4 lbs, 17"

    GB Asana 35 AP Jo – Preemie, 4 lbs, 17″

     

     

    Jo – Huggable Images Preemie - 4 lbs, 17″

    Since Jo is under 6 lbs, the infant insert is required.  She fit with her shoulders right at the bottom harness position.  The insert did a great job of bumping her up enough for a good fit.  The one thing that I found a fit disconcerting was the adjustable head support pushed her head back into the seat when it pulled down behind her.  I held her head forward a bit when I tightened to eliminate this issue.  The harness is quite a bit below where the sides of the head support are as well.  I could foresee an infant’s head easily falling to the side without that support there.  This isn’t a safety issue, more of a comfort issue, but a rolled receiving blanket on either side of the infant should solve this problem.

     

     

    GB Asana 35 AP Fiona - Newborn, 7 lbs, 17"

    GB Asana 35 AP Fiona – Newborn, 7 lbs, 17″

     

    Fiona – Huggable Images Newborn – 7 lbs, 17″

    I tried Fiona out both with and without the infant insert.  I actually preferred her fit in the seat without the insert because she didn’t seem quite so squished in the thigh area.  She fits right at the bottom harness position without the insert.  Her head did fit in between the head support a bit better with the insert, however.  I kept the harness in the smallest hip and crotch position with Fiona as well.

    GB Asana 35 AP Anders - 10 months, 22 lbs, 28"

    GB Asana 35 AP Anders – 10 months, 22 lbs, 28″

     

     

    Anders – 10 months, 22 lbs, 28″

    For Anders I removed the infant insert, moved the crotch strap to the farthest position and the hip straps  to the outer position.  He is right at the top harness/headrest position and seems a bit squished.  The narrowness is definitely nice for the smaller infants, but Anders is getting to the point where he’s about ready to be out of this seat.  He does still fit though and hasn’t complained about it at all.  I also have him in the more upright position in the car and he loves being about to sit up and look around better than some rear facing only seats.

     

    GB Asana 35 AP Anders - 13 months, 23 lbs, 30"

    GB Asana 35 AP Anders – 13 months, 23 lbs, 30″

     

     

    UPDATE – Anders – 13 months, 23 lbs, 30″

    Anders has almost hit the limit of the Asana by being about 1/2″ from reaching 1″ from the top of his head to the top of the shell of the seat.  He still fits well in the harness with a bit of excess harness for tightening and although a bit squished side to side, he still had no complaints.

     

     

     

    Important info: Where to find

    GB Asana 35 AP date of manufacture and expiration stickers

    GB Asana 35 AP date of manufacture and expiration stickers

     

     

    Date of manufacture and expiration date can be found on a sticker on the underside of the car seat and on the inside of the base.

    GB Asana 35 AP FAA certification label

    GB Asana 35 AP FAA certification labels

     

     

     

     

     

    FAA certification can be found on the side of the car seat as well as on page 12 of the instruction manual.  The manual does not discuss how to properly install it in an aircraft.  However, the airplane installation will be similar to a lap only belt installation in a  vehicle.

     

     

    Overall Thoughts

    Overall, the GB Asana 35 AP is an exciting new addition to the marketplace.  The 35 lb weight limit is a bit over inflated compared to it’s height and most children will likely outgrow it closer to 25-30 lbs.  The installation is a dream in my van, making me a bit sad that Anders will be outgrowing it soon.  The child fit is also great with no worries about when to move harness straps up or down.  As long as the harness passes the pinch test, it will be set at the correct height.  The narrowness of the seat is good for small back seat spaces, but can be a downfall for bigger infants.

    GB AsanaGB has given us the opportunity of sharing a GB Asana 35 AP with one of our lucky readers!  To enter, please follow the directions on the rafflecopter widget at the end of the review.  Contest is open to residents of the US only, ages 18 & up.

    ***Congrats to Cressie V. on winning the GB Asana 35 AP***

    Need one now and can’t wait until the giveaway is over?  The GB Asana 35 AP can be found at your local Toys R Us/Babies R Us or online at toysrus.com.
    While GB provided the seat free of charge to the author, GB did not pay for or influence this review.   All opinions expressed, as always, are entirely our own.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Graco Affix Review

    Graco_AffixBuckledGraco is a master at creating good boosters that are easy to use, well priced, long-lasting and provide an excellent belt fit.  We have previously reviewed the Graco TurboBooster here.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    CSFTL Quick Stats

    • High back booster weight range: 30-100 lbs.
    • High back booster height range: 38-57″
    • Backless booster weight range: 40-100 lbs.
    • Backless booster height range: 40-57”
    • Highest booster guide position : 20″
    • 10 year expiration
    • Lower Anchor connectors

    The Graco Affix comes in two varieties.  You can purchase it with the back and remove it once the back is outgrown, or you can purchase it as a backless booster.  Graco requires children to be 3 to use the highback booster, and 4 to use the backless version.  CSFTL recommends that you wait until a minimum of 5 to move a child to a booster.  Read more about when to make the switch from a 5 point harness to a booster here.

    The Affix is an easy to use seat that will fit children of a variety of sizes. The Affix is similar to the Graco Turbobooster in many ways, but also very different. The two main differences are that the Affix does not require you to add the screws into the armrests and the Affix comes with lower anchor connectors.Graco_AffixLowerAnchor  The benefit of having a booster with lower anchor connectors are it keeps the seat secured while the child is not in it.  This saves the kiddo, or you, from having to remember to buckle the booster in once they get out.  An unsecured booster becomes a heavy projectile in an accident if it’s not occupied.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The high back booster comes unassembled; the base, armrests, cupholder, and back are separate, and you are required to assemble it yourself.  The armrests are straightforward, and even labeled left and right.  The back snaps onto the bGraco_AffixAssemblyottom while laying down, and to lock it in, you adjust the back up. Unlike the Turbobooster, the Affix is not prone to “falling apart” when you lift it, making transferring from car to car easy.

    If you are purchasing the backless version, the cupholder is Graco_AffixCupholder copyhidden underneath the seat in a little compartment.  Unlike the TurboBooster, there are no screws to be added to the armrests.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Fit to Car

    The Affix fit nicely in both of our family vehicles. Tightening the lower anchors is done by pulling on the two straps at the front of the seat.  There is a single strap for each lower anchor connector strap.  The lower anchor connectors on this seat are standard, clip style connectors on flexible webbing straps.  Some boosters feature rigid lower anchor connectors, and as the name suggests, rigid lower anchor connectors are on a fixed bar rather than flexible webbing. In order to use the standard connectors, attach each connector to the vehicle’s lower anchor, then tighten.  As mentioned above, the lower anchor connectors are a convenience feature, they provide no additional protection to the child. Graco_AffixLatchadjustment Utilizing the lower anchor connectors on a booster prevents you or the child from having to remember to buckle the seat when not in use.Graco_Affix

    The Affix is not an overly wide seat.  At the widest point with, the Affix measures at 18 inches.  If you pull out the snack holder, it adds 2.5 inches to the width.  At the base at the back of the seat, the Affix measures a mere 16. inches.  The Affix does not require headrest support from the vehicle head restraint behind it.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Fit to Child.

    I now have two booster aged kiddos, so it’s nice to be able to see how each of them fits in the seat with their varied size and age.  The Graco_AffixBeltguidefirst thing I noticed about this seat is the easy to use belt guide.  Once the belt is threaded through, it curls up around to secure the belt in the guide, reducing the likelihood that the belt will come out of the guide.  The guide is also nice and wide, which makes running the belt through the guide easy. Having a wide belt guide also prevents the belt from getting hung up within the guide.

    The lowest belt guide position is 15 inches, and the highest position is 20 inches.  The internal width at the hip is 10 inches.  At the thigh area, the width is 15 inches, so it tapers out quite a bit to make it rather roomy.  The length from the front to the back of the seat is 15 inches.  This allows for a lot of leg support for the occupant, and reduces the probability that a child will slide forward in the seat.

     

     

     

     

    Graco_AffixBeltEmmaOur first tester is 7 years old, 50 inches tall, and 56lbs.  She’s a very picky booster rider.  It must be cushioned on the butt, easy to buckle, and lots of Graco_AffixEmmaBacklesssupport in her legs.  She has been the tester of many a variety of boosters, and says that the Affix is her favorite yet.  The lower anchor connectors keep the seat in place, and the wide open belt guide and roomy arm rests make it easy for her to buckle.  She says the padding is ample, and her legs feel “not funny.”  Not funny is 7 year old speak for supported, in case you were wondering. The belt fit provided by this seat is optimal.  The shoulder belt is flat across her shoulder, and the lap belt is low and snug on her hips, protecting her soft belly tissue.

     

     

     

     

    Graco_AffixOliviaOur next tester is 5 years old, 45 inches, and 46lbs.  She is a new booster rider and is unsure about the whole situation yet.  She doesn’t have set views of how she likes her booster seats. When I asked for her opinion of the seat, she said she liked the snack holders. The belt fit on her is optimal as well.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Other information

    The expiration of the Affix is 10 years from the date of manufacture.  The sticker with the model number and date of manufacture is on the bottom, right by the compartment that is used to be stored the cupholder. Graco_AffixEXpiration The expiration information is at the top of the bottom of the seat.  There is also a handy place to store the manual for the seat in the bottom.  As with all boosters, it is not allowed to be used on an airplane, or with any seating position that has a lap belt only.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    GracoAffixHBBFinal thoughts

    The Affix is a fantastic, easy to use booster.  It provides a fantastic belt fit on a variety of children.  At the time this was written ,it had been in use constantly for nearly two months.  This booster ticks off many of our boxes on the must have lists for my picky booster rider.  It has quickly become a favorite in our house. If the Affix is right for your big kid, you can find it at Amazon.com.

     

    As always, the thoughts and opinions in this review are that of the reviewer.  We were not compensated for this review.  Graco did not provide this seat for review.