Lifesavers 2018: Manufacturer Update Roundup

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A team of CSFTL admins descended on San Antonio for the Lifesavers conference.  During our time at the conference, we saw many things, touched many things, talked to many of our favorite manufacturers, and enjoyed the local flavor.  We also earned a lot of Continuing Education Units and enjoyed a pretty thorough Manufacturer Update.

Because we know you like the details as much as we do, we’ve put together a summary of what we learned, in order of when they presented.  We’re a little short on pictures but long on words for this one!

Britax

Britax has a new rear facing only car seat coming out soon — the B-Safe Ultra.  This seat will be the third in their line of four rear facing only car seats. It includes Euro routing in baseless mode and the EZ Buckle Belly Pad that makes accessing the crotch buckle quite easy.

Britax Highpoint

Britax Highpoint

The new Highpoint booster fits children between 40-120 pounds, and who are 38-63 inches tall.  It has a 10 year expiration and the expiration date is now printed on the label!  This booster includes ISOflex lower anchor connectors.

The ClickTight convertible car seats — Marathon, Boulevard, and Advocate — are now shipping with the harness in the larger child setting instead of newborn setting.  We welcome this change because many of the families we work with are using these seats for older infants or toddlers instead of newborns.

Britax Skyline

Britax Skyline

The Essentials line includes the Skyline high back booster.  This is very similar to the Highpoint but doesn’t have the SecureGuard or extra padding in the wings.

They’ve updated their inflatable seat belt policy.  It does not include the Essentials car seats and the only rear facing only car seat allowed to be installed with an inflatable seat belt is the older B-Safe 30, which can be installed both baseless and with the base using an inflatable seat belt.  Britax has a pretty fabulous summary of their seats that allow inflatable seat belt installations.

NUNA

NUNA gave us a very nice overview of their line of seats — the Pipa, Pipa Lite, RAVA, and AACE.

Dorel

Maxi-Cosi Magellan

Maxi-Cosi Magellan

Our friends from Dorel shared a seat we’d met before, the Maxi-Cosi Magellan which is a  “5 in 1” multimode car seat.

Why 5 modes? The seat has 2 rear facing settings, 2 forward facing settings, plus a booster mode.  We spent a very long time with this very pretty seat and managed to take 0 pictures.  I am very sorry but will make it up to you in our review once the seat is released!

The picture you see here is courtesy of our friends at Maxi-Cosi.  Thank you!!!

Here are those modes:

1. 5-22 pounds rear facing
2. 15-40 pounds rear facing
3. 22-55 pounds forward facing
4. 40-65 pounds forward facing
5. Booster mode

The Magellan includes rear facing and forward facing lockoffs that I describe as “possibly amazing lockoffs.”  I only say possibly because we didn’t get to install the seat in a vehicle just yet.  But we will!  And we’ll tell you all about it.

There are two trim levels:  Magellan and Magellan Max, which includes a pretty cool set of seemingly spring-loaded harness covers that automatically move the harness out of the way when the child isn’t in the seat, a 4 pound minimum weight limit, plus that cool magnetic chest clip we’ve come to know and love from the Pria 85 Max.

Safe Traffic System

Ride Safer Travel Vest

The very 1st version of the Ride Safer Travel Vest didn’t “expire” so some parents are still using them. Our friends at Safe Traffic System encourage us to encourage caregivers to replace these oldest vests since newer technology is an improvement over older technology.

Ride Safer Travel Vest with backpack

There’s a running change to today’s vest: a mesh backpack that makes it easier to show TSA agents what’s inside.  We got a chance to see this backpack in person — it’s quite nice!!

STS is now offering an enhanced warranty program that works like this:

  • Unregistered vests: 90 days
  • Registered via sending in the registration card: 1 year
  • Registered online: 3 years

KidsEmbrace

Kids Embrace top tether and lower anchors

All KidsEmbrace combination car seats are now using ORANGE WEBBING on the top tether and lower anchors!  This small but critical change makes it easy to see that this webbing is important!  It’s the webbing equivalent of clearly written labels.

The KidsEmbrace combination car seats and booster cannot be installed with inflatable seat belts.

These seats have a 7 year expiration.

Chicco

We saw a summary of the entire Chicco car seat family: KeyFit 30, Fit2, NextFit iX, KidFit, and GoFit.

A recent website redesign includes a persistent link to the manuals on the footer so they’re always visible.  We love this kind of improvement!

They’re using the hashtag #TurnAfter2 to celebrate extended rear facing.

Baby Trend

Baby Trend has a new app that does many things: registers the product, provides installation help via manuals, how-to videos (these link to the BT YouTube channel), and has Connected Gear.

Connected Gear is the star of the show for the app. The chest clip connects to an app that monitors the proximity of the phone to the chest clip; if the caregiver wanders a certain distance from the car, an alert goes to their phone. It also contacts a 2nd and 3rd caregiver if the primary caregiver doesn’t respond after 30-40 seconds and provides the GPS location of the child with the option to call 911.

We also met the now-famous block of foam that ships with newer Baby Trend rear facing only car seats.  Families who have older seats can order one of these wedges for a new baby at a nominal charge — just call Baby Trend.

Since vehicular heatstroke is a topic near and dear to our hearts, we welcome this technology and anything that increases awareness.

At the Expo hall, we met the Ally rear facing only car seat.  We’re working on a review of this seat, stay tuned for more information!

Goodbaby

Goodbaby is the parent company of Evenflo, Urbini, gb, and Cybex.

Evenflo EveryStage

They introduced a few new seats, including the Evenflo EveryStage DLX.  It has a 4-50 pound rear facing weight limit.  This multimode car seat has a new in-seat recline for younger babies and EasyClick lower anchors that have a lot of promise.  We look forward to taking a closer look when this seat is released.

Evenflo Maestro Sport

Evenflo Maestro Sport

The updated Maestro Sport includes a seemingly giant belt path that we’re pretty excited about and an 18.5 inch top harness slot. We all put our hands into it in the Expo hall (not at the same time) — it’s really huge!

Evenflo’s tether anchor is now housed in a red, slimmer profile housing that helps highlight the importance of using the top tether.

GREAT NEWS!  All Evenflo car seats now have a 2 year minimum age to forward face!!!

The Cybex Sirona M is now in stores after many years of development.  This convertible car seat is full of premium features.  It’s on our list of seats to review so stay tuned for more information!!

The Cybex Aton M has an anti rebound bar and a true lockoff on the base, plus a 3 position load leg that can be used on the center seat.

UPPAbaby

The UPPAbaby Mesa now comes in an additional shade of gray.

Graco

All of their Customer Service reps are CPSTs now!!

They surprised us by showing three seats:

Graco SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit

Graco SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit

SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35 — has a unique base that extends to offer more leg room as the child grows.  Fully extended, it’s 3.5 inches longer than when it’s not extended.

Graco Recline n' Ride

Graco Recline n’ Ride

The Recline and Ride multimode car seat could be a great option for children with Special Needs.  It can be reclined when it’s installed.

Graco Nautilus SnugLock

Graco Nautilus SnugLock

My favorite part of Graco’s presentation is the Nautilus SnugLock combination car seat! It will be in stores in June and I cannot wait!

Graco Nautilus SnugLock belt path

Graco Nautilus SnugLock belt path

The harness stores ON THE SEAT in booster mode and yes it has the SnugLock installation that we know and love!  It also has an enhanced belt path that may no longer eat hands.

And that’s a wrap!