Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Safety 1st Advance EX 65 Air + Review

When our friends at Safety 1st asked us what our readers might think about the idea of a convertible car seat with a 50 pound rear facing weight limit, we were thrilled to pose the question on our Facebook page. The comments were clear —  such a seat would be a welcome addition to the marketplace.  Safety 1st responded with the release of the Advance EX 65 Air + and we couldn’t wait for our seat to arrive!

Safety 1st Advance EX Air +
Safety 1st Advance EX Air +
CSFTL Quick Stats
  • Rear facing weight range: 5-50 lbs.
  • Rear facing height range: 19-49″
  • Forward facing minimum age: 2 years
  • Forward facing weight range: 22-65 lbs.
  • Forward facing height range: 29-49″
  • Shell height: 28″
  • Lowest harness position: 7.5″
  • Highest harness position: 18″
  • Expiration: 8 years
  • Lower anchor weight limit: 40 lbs.
  • 3 crotch buckle positions
  • No re-thread harness
  • 3 recline positions
  • Integrated cup holder
  • Air Protect + GCell HX foam

For all intents and purposes, the Advance EX Air + is quite similar to the Safety 1st Advance SE  Air +, but there are a few key differences.
  1. The 50 pound rear facing weight limit
  2. 2 year minimum age for forward facing
  3. 18″ top harness slot instead of 17″
  4. 49″ rear facing height limit for rear and forward facing
Advance EX 65 Air + installed rear facing
Advance EX 65 Air + installed rear facing
Make no mistake, this is a very large car seat.  It’s not a good option for tight spaces where you’d need an upright seat (front-to-back, it measures 34 inches when installed at the most reclined level in my 2009 Mazda 5), nor is it likely to be any kind of option for a three across situation.

It’s also not particularly lightweight, though it does have a handle on the back that makes carrying it around pretty easy.
And this is a big but.
This is a reasonably priced, plush seat that is likely to fit most children until they’re ready for a booster.  The 50 pound rear facing weight limit means that following best practice of rear facing for as long as possible is truly an option for many families.  Children who would have maxed out the rear facing capabilities of most other convertible seats on the market could remain rear facing for much longer in the Advance EX Air + than almost any other seat on the market.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Professional Race Car Seat Manufacturers Announce Indianapolis Motor Speedway Edition Child Car Seat

(Indianapolis, IN) Bald Spot Sports, makers of customized professional race car seats, introduces an exclusive Indianapolis Motor Speedway line of child car seats.

Bald Spot Sports (“BSS”) is known nationwide within the professional racing industry for their patented race car seat technology. Custom made to order for IndyCar, NASCAR and NHRA drivers, these seats have been proven to keep drivers safe in even the most horrific crashes.

Because of their long-standing association with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (“IMS”) and their reputation for the safest race car seats in the industry, the IMS was proud to lend its logo and stamp of approval on this line of child car seats.

BSS has a partnership with Dorel Juvenile, a major manufacturer of child car seats, to imple-ment their patented technology into certain car seat models. “We are excited to be able to bring our technology to this industry,” says Cameron Cobb, Co-Founder of Bald Spot Sports. “The thought of playing a role in protecting children every day is a project we take very seriously.”

Shown here with the official IMS Wing, Wheel and Flag logo is the Dorel manufactured Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 & 85 seat, suitable for children weighing 9-40 pounds when used in the rear-facing position, and 22-70 pounds when used in the forward-facing position.

It’s FlexTech™ system allows for multi-directional energy management, and the seat includes revolutionary side impact protection. The Wing, Wheel and Flag logo may also be placed on the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85, suitable for children weighing 14-40 pounds when used in the rear-facing position, and 22-85 pounds when used in the forward-facing position. These highly rated seats, which retail for $299.95 & $349.95 may be pre-ordered by contacting BSS.

For more information, contact Bald Spot Sports at 1.877.BSS.SEAT. Also, visit and see “Chapter 2, Racing to a Better Seat” to learn more about the Dorel/BSS partnership.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Babble Blogger Favorites: The Best Car Seats of 2013!

Babble Blogger Favorites: The Best Car Seats of 2013!

By Katie |

I’ve made no secret of my passion for car seat safety in the past few months, but I wasn’t always as much of a fanatic as I am now. We chose Eli’s infant seat basically at random, without almost any research, because I liked that it had high height/weight limits and a good gender-neutral pattern, but that was it. Not even a Google search to speak of before making such an important decision.
When it came time to choose a convertible car seat, I did tons of research, but I still felt so confused about what seat was best for my child and for my car. So when I was asked to test as many car seats as I could get my hands on, I jumped at the chance. This was a dream project for us, and it was one that really opened my eyes to car seat safety and the incredible number of options available on the market today.

Over the past 2 months, we have tried 15 different convertible car seats. All but 2 of these were sent to us by the companies to test, and we tried each one of them for between 10 days and 2 weeks (the total number of hours in use was roughly the same for all the seats), in at least two different vehicles with both the seatbelt and the LATCH, the system of lower anchors and tethers for children. Virtually all cars made after  2002 have a LATCH system that consists of small metal hooks in the lower part of the back seat (usually identified with a tag or a button picturing a child in a car seat) and tether hooks on the top or back of the back seat, to allow car seats to be installed with a special belt with hooks (which comes with your car seat!) instead of a seatbelt. Both LATCH and the seat belt are equally safe when used correctly, but often LATCH is an easier way to install the seat.

We also installed each seat both rear- and forward-facing to check the fit. However, we only had Eli and my niece ride rear-facing, meaning his car seat faces the back of my car, which is in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation to keep children rear-facing until age 2 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommendation to continue rear-facing as close to age 4 as possible, within the height and weight limits of the car seat. After the experiment, we passed each seat along to my sister, who tried them out with my niece, who is about 5 months younger than Eli.

One quick note before we get into the list: All these seats, from the least to the most expensive, passed the same crash testing. There is no evidence that any brand or specific seat is “safer” than any other. The safest car seat is whichever seat you can install in your car, fits your child well, and that you can use correctly every single time.

Without further ado, here are the best car seats of 2013!
Babble Blogger Favorites: The Best Car Seats of 2013!


This seat was another one that caught me completely off guard in a great way. It was a breeze to install, fit beautifully in my small car, has an awesome air side-impact protection system, and, most of all, Eli was incredibly happy and comfortable in the seat. It doesn’t have a ton of frills like some of the other seats, but it nails the important stuff.

Pros: It has top-notch side-impact protection via GCell HX technology along the sides and headrest; it offers multiple recline options for both rear- and forward-facing, depending upon the child's weight; and it has a no-rethread harness.

Cons: It doesn't have strap covers, so you'll have to pull clothing up if your child has sensitive skin/is prone to red marks; its wide design means passengers likely won't be able to fit comfortably next to it; there's no anti-rebound bar or rear-facing tethering; and it has old-style latch hooks instead of the seatbelt-like hooks with easy-to-release buttons, meaning that they're easy enough to hook on but a pain to unhook.

Rear-facing limits: 5-40 pounds or 40 inches.
Forward-facing limits: 22-70 pounds or 52 inches.

Get it at Amazon for $189.99 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Safety 1st Advance 70 Air

Safety 1st Advance 70 Air

  • Convertible car seat
  • Rear-facing 5-40 pounds (preferably until age 2)
  • Forward-facing 22-70 pounds
  • $189.99
High-Tech Child Car Seats
The Safety 1st Advance 70 Air convertible car seat offers advanced side-impact protection using the company's G-Cell HX and Air Protect technologies. G-Cell HX is specialized rebounding foam with hexagonal shapes that lines the entire car seat shell. Safety 1st developed G-Cell HX with Bald Spot Sports, a company that uses solid G-Cell foam in customized cockpits for Indianapolis 500 professional racecar drivers.

"G-Cell HX absorbs energy as it makes contact with the occupant to mitigate crash forces much like a bumper does on cars," says David Amirault, director of product marketing, design and brand management for Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG), the Safety 1st manufacturer, in Columbus, Indiana. Air Protect is impact foam in the seat's headrest with an air chamber that dissipates the energy of a crash away from a child, Amirault says.

DJG has tested the Advance 70 Air with its own side-impact sled tests. "We've seen sizable improvement in the dissipated energy," Amirault says. DJG is also working with Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, to develop a side-impact test that it hopes NHTSA will adopt as a safety standard for all car seats sold in the U.S.

In addition to the Safety 1st Advanced 70 convertible car seat, DJG plans to use G-Cell HX and Air Protect in more of its car seats down the road. To spot these seats in stores, look for a tag with a big orange plus, which indicates the car seat features both Air Protect and G-Cell HX.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Child Safety Technology

Updated: Tuesday, 21 May 2013, 11:35 AM EDT Published : Tuesday, 21 May 2013, 11:35 AM EDT Greater Indianapolis car seat manufacturer Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG) has partnered with race car engineers at Bald Spot Sports and INDY Car Driver Scott Dixon to better understand the energy dynamics a high performance driver faces in the event of a crash-- and used this knowledge to build a car seat fit for the INDY 500. The Air Protect®+ G-Cell HX Technology combines an advanced air cushion system to protect your child’s head with a patented foam design to protect your child’s body—providing superior full body side impact protection. With Memorial Day and the kick-off of the summer travel session approaching, Safety 1st is hosting one nation’s largest car seat checks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 22nd. Are you interested in this new advanced technology in child restraint systems, and partnership with driver Scott Dixon and father of two young daughters? Please let me know if I can coordinate an interview with an engineer from Dorel, or Bald Spot Sports regarding this advanced technology. Scott Dixon all will also be available at the Safety 1st car seat check at the Speedway. More background on Air Protect®+ G-Cell HX Technology is below. We can provide B-roll of crash test footage or arrange for you to visit the R & D facility in Columbus, IN. Sarah Pariseau 617-585-5767

Monday, May 20, 2013


Fit for INDY Cars, Local Manufacturer Launches Air Protect®+ the Most Advanced Car Seat Technology on the Market Columbus, IN, May 21, 2013 -- Dorel Juvenile, a segment of Dorel Industries (TSX: DII.B, DII.A), and the world's largest juvenile products manufacturer announced today that Safety 1St is hosting the World’s Largest Car Seat Check on May 22nd as part of the 500 Festival Community Day. With Memorial Day right around the corner, as the unofficial kick-off to summer travel, more than 50 certified car seat technicians will be on hand ensuring families in the Greater Indianapolis Area are traveling safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 75 percent of car seats on the road are installed incorrectly. It is the mission of Safety 1st to educate parents and caregivers on the importance of correct installation and usage, and ultimately lower that percentage of misuse. “Safety is more than something we talk about. Making sure children on the road are as safe as possible is at the heart of everything we do,” said Julie Vallese, Consumer Safety Expert for Safety 1st. “As the world’s largest car seat manufacturer we’re committed to providing the best in safety from research and design to production and ultimately, to the family car’s back seat.” World’s Largest Car Seat Check Details: WHERE: Indianapolis Motor Speedway 21 Virginia Ave Entry at Gate #2 or Gate #10 WHEN: May 22, 2013 10:00 am - 2:00 pm At the World’s Largest Car Seat Check, Dorel Juvenile will also showcase its’ latest innovation Safety 1st Advance 70 Air + convertible car seat, the first Safety 1st car seat available with Air Protect and GCell HX™. GCell HX™ is patented foam designed for superior protection around the child's body. Developed in partnership with Bald Spot Sports, creators of safety technology used in Indy Car racing seats, GCell HX™ combined with Air Protect lessens the impact in a crash and provides superior head to toe protection for children. Those unable to attend the World’s Largest Car Seat Check can visit Dorel Juvenile’s permanent USA Car Seat Inspection Station at its campus in Columbus, Indiana. The Car Seat Inspection Station is open to the public Monday through Friday by appointment and is located at the Dorel Technical Center for Child Safety. On-site certified car seat technicians inspect and assist parents and caregivers in properly installing all car seats, regardless of the brand and model. About Dorel Industries Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) is a world class juvenile products and bicycle company. Dorel creates style and excitement in equal measure to safety, quality and value. The Company's lifestyle leadership position is pronounced in both its Juvenile and Bicycle categories with an array of trend-setting products. Dorel's powerfully branded products include Safety 1st, Quinny, Cosco, Maxi-Cosi and Bebe Confort in Juvenile, as well as Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, IronHorse and SUGOI in Recreational/Leisure. Dorel's Home Furnishings segment markets a wide assortment of both domestically produced and imported furniture products, principally within North America. Dorel has annual sales of US$2.5 billion and employs 5,400 people in facilities located in twenty-four countries worldwide. ###