Once again, the CSFTL ABC Kids Expo contingent has descended upon the otherwise calm town of Las Vegas. Watch out, nickel slots, we’re coming for you! In addition to our high stakes gambling adventures, we’re headed back into the Convention Center for this year’s Expo. Here are a few highlights of our first day on the show floor.
We got an early start, meeting with Nuna as soon as the show opened for the day. The Pipa rear facing only car seat, RAVA convertible car seat (review in progress, stay tuned!) and fan favorite AACE booster seat were all on display. We learned a neat trick about the RAVA cupholders — they can be removed. Though it’s tough to take them off at first — it almost feels like you’re breaking them off– they get easier to remove over time. This is remarkably helpful when installing the seat next to a door, person, or another car seat. And to wash them, as they are washable in the dishwasher.
Our next stop was Maxi-Cosi, where we saw some new soft goods for their existing line of car seats, the Pria convertible, Mico Max rear facing only car seat, and Rodi Fix booster seat. They’re also showing a pretty exciting new chest clip. This clip allows the child to buckle themselves in but doesn’t allow them to unbuckle themselves. Seems too good to be true, but it’s for real! It’s also nice for caregivers who have trouble with traditional chest clips that require a squeezing motion.
At a visit to the Goodbaby booth we saw the updated Asana 35 DLX and some revamped Cybex rear facing only and booster seats that will be released at some point under the Goodbaby label. The updated European belt path routing on the GoodBaby Idan (very similar to the Aton 2 by Cybex) was amazing. It’s the first seat where uninstalling it is far more exciting than installing.
Before heading out for lunch, we visited the UppaBaby booth, where we saw the newest innovation in covers — a fire retardant cover made of wool, which is naturally fire retardant. It’s quite plush and will not be sold separately. It’s softer than a wool cover makes it sound like it should be, it was very comfortable for our hands. It will continue to be machine washable as their current covers are.
With only an hour for lunch, we stayed close to the Convention Center so we could be back in time to visit with our friends from Graco/Baby Jogger.
We got the full tour of Graco/Baby Jogger’s lineup, including the new SlimFit (stay tuned, a review is on the way!), the upcoming 4Ever Extend2Fit, the Walmart exclusive Sequel 65, as well as some existing favorites with the True Shield protection added. Graco continues to improve by adding some convenient features, like lockoffs, to their current and updated line.
The biggest hit at the Graco booth was the SnugLock rear facing only car seat bases. These fabulous new rear facing only car seat bases use an easy to close lockoff device that takes almost all of the heavy lifting out of installation. We installed it on the test bench, attempting to fool the base into submission by leaving the vehicle seat belt quite loose but this base? It make up for all kinds of errors and provided a snug installation without losing any fingernails in the process. These new bases will start shipping with SnugRide car seats soon and they’re compatible with all flavors of Click Connect SnugRides currently on the market.
I’ll just say that again because it’s kind of amazing. The SnugLock bases are compatible with all varieties of Click Connect SnugRide rear facing only car seats on the market RIGHT NOW.
We rounded out our day on the expo floor with a visit to our friends from Kiddy. We’re already big fans of the CruiserFix Pro so we were pretty excited to see an update to this booster and a revamped, higher end version Cruiser 3. The cover pattern contains dots that are actually Morse Code! It spells out, “Kiddy. We love our kids.”We can’t wait to get a chance to review these updated boosters! Kiddy has updated their rear facing only seat to include some fabulously bright colors on the seat shell — this sounds small but it makes for a very vibrant seat! In addition to the seat shell, they’ve revised the recline technology and made the recline feature easier to use and more challenging to misuse.
Adios, Day One!
Day One was a full day with lots of visits to manufacturers who have become old friends. We love these visits: they remind us that the CSFTL family is so much larger than just our team! When we wander into a booth, armed with questions from readers and suggestions from our team, we’re taking you, our fabulous readers, on this journey with us. Each of the manufacturers we met today shares a common goal: keeping your Littles safe on every ride.