Saturday, December 19, 2009

The new Evenflo Serenade

Evenflo has come out with a new infant seat, the Serenade. It is just now showing up in Babies R Us stores. I was fortunate enough to have them pull the first seat out of the box as a display for me at my local Babies R Us. Below you will find out what Evenflo says about their seat, and what I say about it :)

Here is what Evenflo says about their seat:

New! Serenade™ Infant Car Seat featuring SureLATCH® combines the latest technology to provide a safe and comfortable ride for your baby and peace of mind for you.

A Series of Innovations:

  • SureLATCH® technology – an exclusive Evenflo innovation consisting of two connectors for use with a vehicle’s LATCH system to ensure proper installation in a fraction of the time of a traditional seat. Safety so simple!
  • Infinite Slide™ Harness Adjust – an innovative harness system that simply slides for an accurate harness fit everytime!
  • Full Coverage Canopy With superior padding, and a full-coverage canopy to shade baby from every angle, baby will be comfortable everywhere you go.
  • Side Impact Tested! Like all Evenflo car seats, the Serenade™ Infant Car Seat is Side Impact Tested AND meets ALL Federal. safety standards.
  • Designed and tested for structural integrity at energy levels approximately 2X the federal crash test standard
  • Additional Features: 5-Point Harness for security, adjustable PositionRight™ base with dual level indicators and an ergonomically designed handle for a more comfortable carry.

Here are my thoughts on the seat:
-It is nice and lightweight, so it'll be easier to carry a heavier baby

-The seat shell has good height, to accommodate taller babies
-It has a high weight limit
-They have changed the red tabs on the harness shoulders. They are now narrower than the harness, and should not irritate the child's neck
-It has the infinite slide harness, so it's always at the proper height for your child
-It has a nice low harness position for newborns (I measure it at about 5 inches)

-The SureLatch sure didn't work well for me. I tried everything but standing on it, and I still couldn't get it tight enough. I'd rather have the regular LATCH.
-I tried my 11 month old, 24 pound child in the seat. I had to loosen the harness all the way, and when she was in with a thin fleece jacket, it was the perfect tightness for her to ride in. If she grew any, it would be too tight. She did have a few inches above her head to grow though. (And for comparison, she may have had a tad more room above her head than in her SnugRide 32, but int he SR32, we have a little more harness room).
-It is over priced. Really, for $159.99, I'd much rather buy a Snug Ride 32. It will install much easier with both LATCH and seatbelt
-Evenflo has NOT changed their handle rule. In the car, the handle must be behind the carseat, and there must be 1.5 inches between the carseat (handle included) and the vehicle seat in front of it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Review of the True Fit Premier

I did it. I bought another carseat. I have had a True Fit, but I bought a True Fit Premier. The TFP is now Sofi's primary carseat.

What's the difference between the True Fit and the True Fit Premier? The TFP has an anti rebound bar (arb). In a frontal crash, a rear facing carseat will rotate downward, towards the front of the car/ the floor. Next it will rebound back up, towards the back of the car. The ARB will reduce the amount of rebound.

With the original True Fit, it can be difficult to access the harness adjuster. It can be buried in the back of the vehicle seat. The TFP doesn't have the same problem because of the arb.

Like the original True Fit, the top of the carseat can be removed until the child is 22 pounds, or the head is within 1 inch of the top of the seat. After the top is put back on, the child can remain rear facing until 35 pounds, or the head is within 1 inch of the top of the seat. The True Fit and True Fit Premier have the same weight and height guidelines. I'd be surprised if a child outgrows this seat by height before reaching 35 pounds, because the seat shell is so high.

The Original True Fit has a line on the side, that says it should be level with the ground when rear facing. The True Fit Premier has a different level guide. On the front, above the harness adjuster it has a rolling ball and 3 sections. One is labeled with X, meaning it's over reclined. Next is labeled with 1 which is where is should be at 45* for a newborn. The last section is labeled 2 which is 35* for an older baby or toddler. The TFP also has a recline mechanism to help with achieving the correct recline angle, though sloped vehicle seats may still need a rolled towel or pool noodle.

The True Fit and True Fit Premier both have lockoffs for rear facing and forward facing. The lockoffs are helpful when using the seatbelt to install, but the also muct be used when using the LATCH to install. I don't find the rear facing lockoffs to be much trouble, unless I'm trying to get a 45* recline. Then the seatbelt or LATCH belt want to slide down, where the lockoff closes.

Both the True Fit and True Fit Premier have a no rethread harness. It has a yellow knob on each side of the seat. You pull them out a little, and slide the harness up or down, to the correct position. For both seats, the harness can be used in slots 1, 2, or 3 for rear facing and slots 3 and 4 for Forward facing.

Both seats also come with infant padding, that can be used until the child reaches 22 pounds. This infant padding helps the seat fit newborns well. Both seats also have a forward facing weight limit of 65 pounds. They have top harness slots of about 17 inches, which should get most children to a good booster age.

Overall, I really like the True Fit Premier. And I do like it more than the True Fit.