Our second day at the ABC Kids Expo was mostly a foray into the world of rear facing only seats, with some combination seats and boosters thrown in for good measure. We also started increasing the sizes of the coffee drinks we’re consuming to combat our fatigue. At this point, it only makes sense that we’ve started testing cupholders with our coffee cups.
We started our day with a golf cart ride through the convention center, which dropped us off at Good Baby for a closer look at the updated GB Asana 35 AP. The biggest change to the seat since our review is the separation of the headrest adjuster from the harness adjuster. They’re now two separate pieces — this should reduce confusion for caregivers, so we’re excited about this change. The infant insert is now more formed than before; we anticipate that the fit will be even better with this insert.
Next, we got a sneak peek at the upcoming Idan rear facing only seat. With sleek styling and a wide, accessible slot for Euro routing, the Idan, and coordinating stroller, will be sure to make their mark.
Our next stop (we had to walk this time; no more golf cart rides today) was at Hauck/iCoo. We’ve got a review of the iGuard 35 coming soon — our meeting with the design team gave us a chance to ask some more in-depth questions about the V-Smart harness. The harness has two sets of loops. One set is for the tiniest of babies, 4-11 pounds and the other set is for larger babies, 8 pounds and up. Each loop has a label on it but the overlapping weights could be confusing to some caregivers.
Our favorite feature of the iGuard35’s base is the lockoff/recline adjuster. They’re integrated into one handy component for ease of use.
This year, phil&teds is offering some pretty exciting new toys and travel accessories but there aren’t any updates to the phil&teds Alpha itself or the Mountain Buggy Protect. It was definitely nice to say hi though!
While still on foot, our wandering ways took us past the Go Kiz booth, where we stumbled onto an unexpected treat: the Go Kiz Buckle Up & Go wearable car seat vest. As a longtime user and fan of the similar (yet not similar!) Ride Safer Travel Vest, I kind of couldn’t stop touching the Go Kiz Buckle Up & Go.
Key points of the Go Kiz:
- Not FAA Approved (possible for future versions of the vest)
- No top tether
- Available in 3 sizes: Small (30-60 lbs), Medium (40-70 lbs), and Large (50-80 lbs)
- Leg straps wrap behind each of the child’s thighs
- Includes a neck pillow that has passed crash testing
The Go Kiz is not on the market yet, but should be shipping within the next few months. We’re pretty excited to have a chance to review this product as soon as it’s available!
We donned our hiking shoes and headed back to the front of the Expo Hall for our visit with Chicco. The big news there is the zip series of covers for all three models of seats — the KeyFit, NextFit, and now the KidFit. The KidFit Zip comes with a fun kid-console that can be used in one of the dual cupholders. The cover is also reversible and offers customization options for those ever changing likes of our older Littles.
Since meeting Lil Fan at last year’s show, we’ve had a chance to spend some time with the Club Seat Booster Seat and it’s definitely a winner!
The biggest news from Lil Fan is the lowering of their price point on the Club Seat from $199 to $149. The backless booster price is lowered to $39, making both seats more affordable for all fans.
Additional teams will be added to the cover selection as Lil Fan expands into the NHL.
We made another unplanned stop, this time at the Kids Embrace booth. They’re adding dedicated belt positioning boosters to the lineup — they will be sold both as a high back model and a backless model. From what we could see, this booster appears to offer a better belt fit than the previous version so we’re anxious to get a closer look when the booster is released.
Upcoming new characters for their combination seat include Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, and Paw Patrol. Release dates on those seats will be determined at a future date. We also chatted about the top slots — for a time, some models were released that only had two slots. From what we understand, that was due to a mishap with a distributor that’s since been corrected. According to Kids Embrace, all combination seats should now have the 17″ top shoulder position.
Baby Trend (again)
We had a longer visit with Baby Trend, where we learned more about the PROtect Convertible. It will come in three models: Sport, which doesn’t have lockoffs and will be available at Wal-Mart; Elite, which doesn’t have lockoffs and has the adjustable recline base; and the Premiere, which features a movable internal headrest, the lockoffs that I used to love on the True Fit, and the recline base. The internal headrest is a smaller headrest than the top piece of the seat.
The biggest change in this seat is the 40 lb rear facing weight limit. They’ve also improved the structural integrity of the seat to allow rear facing up to 40 lbs without the headrest being attached. Previous versions of this seat required that the headrest be attached for children over 22 lbs. This change allows the seat to be much more compact when installed rear facing — without the headrest it’s only 29 inches front to back!
The Yumi booster will retail for $69.99 at Wal-Mart. It features a front-adjust headrest, padding that stretches with the headrest (meaning that there’s always padding behind even the tallest of booster riders!) and folds into a handy, portable seat. This version does not convert into a backless booster, but there’s another version of the Yumi that does.
Our final stop of the day involved tasty snacks and drinks with Doona! We saw a demo of the seat and had a chance to chat at length with their CPST about some of the issues we’ve had while reviewing the seat (spoiler: Doona review coming soon!). We’re pleased to say that all the issues we’ve encountered are being addressed and we’re thrilled to have had a chance to share our experiences with so many manufacturers.
As we traverse the Expo Hall, the thing that continues to amaze us is the tangible ways that our readers have influenced the car seat market. From seats with a two year minimum to forward face, updated inserts, upgraded lockoffs, manual updates, and increased rear facing weight limits on some seats, we’re seeing so many important changes that are all thanks to the experiences you share with us.
In case we don’t say it enough — thanks for being part of the CSFTL family. Together, we’re making the roads safer for our Littles.