Hauck is a German company with about a century of experience making baby gear. We first met Hauck at ABC Kids Expo in 2014, and have enjoyed visiting with them at conferences and trade shows ever since. After selling strollers in the US for a short while, Hauck released a rear facing only seat here in the United States.
The iCoo Baby Acrobat travel system includes the new iGuard35 rear facing only car seat. Hauck also produces a similar seat with minor trim changes as the ProSafe35. The ProSafe35 is available for purchase as a travel system and a standalone car seat.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Weight range: 4-35 pounds
- Height range: up to 32 inches
- Shell height: 20.75 inches
- Lowest harness position: 5.5 inches
- Crotch buckle positions: 3.5, 5.5 inches with newborn routing
- Weight (carrier only): 10 pounds
- Expiration: 7 years from date of manufacture
- Handle position: Rebound position recommended for the vehicle
- Reversible infant insert with removable low birth weight foam
- Belt lockoff on base
- EPP foam lining inside of shell
- Easy to remove, breathable cover fabric
- V-Smart harness alignment system
Infant insert with removable foam pad – The foam pad and insert are required until baby is 11 pounds, at which time the pad can be removed. After that point, the insert can be used alone until baby weighs 22 pounds. The insert is reversible after the foam is removed.
Belt lockoff on base – This lockoff is also the base’s recline adjustment mechanism. Lifting the handle upwards releases the base’s recline foot, which has three adjustment levels. Both the lap and shoulder portion of the belt go into the lockoff, and the top part closes over the belt to lock it into place.
Easy to remove fabric cover – the iCoo Baby iGuard35 has a breathable mesh-like cover. It is padded and soft but still seems to keep baby cool, even in hotter climates. The tabs on the cover slide into spaces between the shell and foam to provide a snug fit.
EPP foam – Seen above, this is the black foam lining the inside of the iGuard35, from top to bottom. The EPP foam even wraps around the sides of the carrier as seen in the last photo.
V-Smart harness alignment system – Aligned in a “V” shape, the harness slots are designed to provide a better fit for even a smaller baby and continue to do so as baby grows.
Installation With the Base
The base is about 15 inches wide by 22 inches long, but it sits up pretty high on the vehicle seat compared to bases for many other rear facing only car seats. Installing the base is simple; the lockoff locks the seat belt into place without issue. Since part of the lockoff also acts as the recline adjustment lever, the base is easy to adjust in the vehicle.
Since there are only three adjustment settings on the base, a rolled towel or pool noodle may be necessary to achieve the proper recline. The recline indicator has two settings — one for babies under 22 pounds and one for babies over 22 pounds. Since the real baby we have testing the seat weighs less than 22 pounds, the base had to be installed in the more reclined range.
To achieve the proper recline in my vehicle I needed a pool noodle pyramid, taped together. Some vehicles would require a more substantial pool noodle setup, or perhaps a tightly rolled towel.
iCoo/Hauck is currently planning to produce a new and improved base with an updated recline indicator. Unfortunately, we have not had the opportunity to see or use this new base yet. Our hope is that the updated base would offer a greater recline adjustment range as well as a more user friendly recline indicator. The current indicator is a level indicator with two recline zones. The orange part will move into the desired range when the seat is reclined properly.
The iCoo iGuard35 base is also equipped with premium push-button lower anchor connectors. When the iGuard35 is installed with the vehicle belt, the lower anchors must be stowed right in the base itself. There is cover for this area on the base, and the lower anchor connector strap is meant to be tucked behind the “wings” on the lockoff. I had a bit of difficulty making this happen, but eventually got it to work.
Installation Without the Base
Installation without the base is fairly straightforward; the vehicle belt goes through the belt guides on the carrier itself. The belt guides themselves are narrow, but I did not find that to be an issue.
It was easier for me to move the handle into rebound position after I installed the seat fully, since rebound position angles the handle toward the belt path. Remember to lock the vehicle seat belt when installing without the base.
There is a very visible recline level line on the side of the base. It is easy to see and helps to make a baseless installation that much easier. Parents often use baseless installations when traveling, and installing the carrier with a lap only seat belt, similar to those on airplanes, is fast and simple. The carrier weighs a substantial 10 pounds so this seat may not be the first choice for travel.
Hauck has chosen a designer look for the Acrobat travel system. The cover is a breathable fabric which is easy to remove and clean. It has a flap to cover the plastic over the harness adjustment lever, plastic tabs for ease of use and re-assembly, and an added mesh panel on the canopy. The harness pads are long but not wide, and don’t interfere with harness placement on the shoulders; they can be a bit too long for smaller babies. There is also padding on the crotch buckle. The padding and covers are and easily spot cleaned and can be removed easily for more thorough cleaning.
Taking a page from their extensive history making car seats and other baby gear in Europe, Hauck/iCoo is using what they call the V-Smart harness alignment system. It has four positions, each progressively wider than the last. This helps to provide proper harness placement for tiny babies and still offer a comfortable and safe fit as baby grows.
There is a newborn crotch buckle routing for babies under 8 pounds. The seat includes harness adjustments for babies who weigh between 4-8 pounds and babies over 8 pounds. I found that these tags on the harness and crotch buckle are very clear and helpful. There are two crotch buckle settings, the inner is for newborn routing and then for babies who weigh less than 22 pounds; the outer setting is for babies who weigh over 22 pounds.
Fit to Child
Our preemie Huggable Images doll weighs 4 pounds and is 17 inches long. She gets a decent fit with the insert and lower birth weight padding. The harness has adjustments for smaller babies and the crotch buckle has a newborn setting, both of which are necessary for a small baby like this doll.
Because the harness pads are so long, they may need to be removed for smaller babies. I left them on for this model — I could still easily place the chest clip at the proper level, right around her armpits. The bottom of the insert seemed to bunch around her legs and hips, though this didn’t seem to interfere with the fit of the harness.
Our newborn Huggable Images doll weighs 7 pounds and is 17 inches long. She also needed the infant insert with foam padding. She had a good fit with the harness below her shoulders. The harness pads were enough to offer comfort but didn’t seem like they’d get in the way or be too bulky for a baby the size of an average newborn.
Important Information: Where to Find
Expiration: The iGuard 35 has a 7 year expiration. The date of manufacture is found in several locations. The English language version is located on the left inside panel, with the Spanish language version on the right, on the bottom of the carrier itself. Contact information is also located here on this panel.
A second date of manufacture sticker is located on the bottom of the base.
FAA Approval Label: Also located on the inside panels on the bottom of the carrier.
A large label offering helpful installation advice is located on the back of the seat.
Handle placement information is located on the handle, however the iGuard35 provided had handle labels which were already rubbing off.
The iCoo iGuard35 has some nice features but seems to be lacking some finishing touches that we would expect of a premium car seat at this price point. The labels and graphics seemed like they could use some improvement, and some base changes would be welcome.
The seat belt lockoff is quite nice, but the base needs a greater recline range. A different recline indicator might be easier to read. The rounded shell over the harness adjuster lever is a nice touch because the lever is more accessible but not in the way. However, while I appreciate the fabric covering, I found myself wishing that the cover fit a little better in this spot.
The iGuard35 is a heavy carrier, but is easy to install without a base. It seems very comfortable for baby, and I think the insert is just enough to provide very small infants the support and boost they usually need. The tags on the harness make the seat easier to use, which is greatly appreciated. iCoo showed off some additional fashions at ABC Kids Expo 2015, and though I like the sleek two-tone version provided, I’m betting that the new fashions will prove to be very popular!
Hauck generously supplied an iCoo Acrobat travel system with an iGuard 35 rear facing only seat for this review.
Originally written by Laurel, updates maintained by CSFTL.