So I never knew that there would need to be 2 sets of car seats. The first is an infant seat that is used until about the age of 1 and the other is a convertible seat from 1 to about 65 lbs. There are basically 3 stages of car seat use.
Stage 1: rear-facing
Infants and young children ride facing the rear in an infant seat with a detachable base or in a convertible seat. This helps protect their head, neck, and back throughout the journey, during sudden stops or in a crash. All child car seats have a recommended recline angle based on the weight of your child. For example, newborns and premature babies need to be tilted back more than older babies. This helps support the head and helps to keep their airway open. They say you should keep your child seated rear-facing until the baby reaches the child car seat’s weight or height limits.
Stage 2: forward-facing
Children who have outgrown their rear-facing seat and weigh at least 22 lb, may ride facing the front in a child car seat. These child car seats have a built-in harness designed to keep your child safe throughout the journey, during sudden stops or a crash. You should use a forward-facing seat until your child reaches the maximum weight or height limits for the child car seat. Some forward-facing seats are made for children who weigh up to 65 lb.
Stage 3: booster seats
And finally, the booster seats are designed for children who have outgrown their rear-facing seat and weigh at least 40 lb. A booster seat helps children sit comfortably by raising them up so they can sit up against the seat-back with their knees bent over the edge of the booster or vehicle seat. Even if a booster seat meets Canadian regulations, the booster seat you choose needs to fit your child and your vehicle.
So I looked at the stage 2 car seats – the convertible car seats. The first I looked at was the Diono radian rXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat. It had some great features, including: Fits rear-facing children from 5 – 45 lbs, Fits forward-facing children from 22 – 65 lbs, Converts to booster mode for children from 50 – 120 lbs, Full steel frame, Safe Stop energy absorbing harness system, Adjustable, reinforced head support, NCAP crash tested at twice the force of a standard crash test, 5 shoulder, 3 buckle positions for a comfortable ride, Fits 3 across in most mid-size vehicles, FAA certified, Folds flat for travel and storage. Although the price of the Diono was the cheapest, it is also made in China. I’m not too crazy about products made in China.
The next was the Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat. This product is made in the USA which is way better than China and had a slew of great features: A patented ClickTight installation system , an extra layer of side impact protection, impact-absorbing base and steel frame, world-class Safe Cell impact protection; a steel frame, energy-absorbing base, v-shaped tether to minimize seat rotation and staged-release stitches that slow and reduce forward movement during a crash, and a deep foam-lined shell and quick-adjust head protection shield. Although the price was mid way between the Diono and Clek, I didn’t really like the look of it. It’s kinda bulky looking and if I have to look at it for the next 8 years, I might never want to drive my car again.
The third one I looked at was the CLEK- Foonf, although not easy to pronounce, this baby is a beauty. Besides having a slick modern look, which I know shouldn’t matter but it does to me, it is made by car engineers. Its patented REACT (Rigid-LATCH Energy-Absorbing Crumple Technology) safety system revolutionizes forward-facing safety by significantly reducing the forces transmitted to the child in a collision. And people, it is made in Canada!!!! Canada has some of the strictest rules with what is approved especially for baby products. It ain’t cheap but it seemed so much more solid than the other car seats, the fabric can withstand anything. If you are a clean freak like me then you will love the Crypton Super Fabric that is Greenguard Select Certified and provides permanent protection against stains, moisture, and odor-causing bacteria. I can write about all the benefits of this car seat but you need too and see it for yourself. Stylish, safe and made in Canada, definitely can’t go wrong. Watch the video and have a look.