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Old 01-08-2011, 07:28 PM   #1
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Graco Smartseat Q&A

Ask away! I'll do my best to respond with answers over the next few days. I'll also post a summary at CarseatBlog, but so far, my preview was pretty much on the mark:

http://carseatblog.com/7984/graco-si...n-one-preview/

I encourage you to read the preview first:-)

Here are the product links at Babies R Us:

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/..._PARM1=4360518

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/..._PARM1=4360517

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/..._PARM1=4360516





To start of the Q&A, here are a few videos. Tomorrow I'll add a couple more about harness and booster use.



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Old 01-08-2011, 07:59 PM   #2
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

I can't see the last video.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:05 PM   #3
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Yep... can't see the last one?
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:09 PM   #4
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Me either
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:10 PM   #5
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

I am curious about the recline of the seat when RFing. Also, how is the belt fit in booster mode (in general)?
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:25 PM   #6
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

me either

I love the idea of the steel pegs though. Seems very innovative.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Can you answer the question of weight? Seat, base, and combined?
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:07 PM   #8
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

When is it coming to Canada? Or is it even coming to Canada?

And I also can't see the 3rd video.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:08 PM   #9
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Sorry, double post!
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

I cannot see the last video. Also, can you show the different RF recline angles if there are more than 1. Thanx
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:34 PM   #11
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Having seen it, felt it, placed it in it's base, and installed it, how much do YOU trust the seat?

I realize that it has passed all of the standard testing, but I've seen a lot of techs on here expressing distrust of such a big seat on a base. Do you have any qualms about the idea of using a seat with a base for such a heavy occupant? Would you let your 39-lber ride around RF in it daily? How about your 64-lb FFer?
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:41 PM   #12
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Thought of another after watching your first two videos (the third still says it's private)...

Are there going to be incompatibility issues with seatbelt installs in vehicles with long/stiff buckle stalks? That belt path in the center is so narrow, and even the relatively short buckle stalk in your demo vehicle appeared to be coming pretty far into the belt path. Could that interfere with the seat seating properly down into the base?
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:04 PM   #13
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by tl01 View Post
I can't see the last video.
Sorry about that! Youtube hadn't quite finished processing the video when I posted and apparently I got the settings wrong. Unfortunately I had a hot date and didn't want to keep the lady waiting! It should be fixed now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tl01 View Post
I am curious about the recline of the seat when RFing. Also, how is the belt fit in booster mode (in general)?
I have not yet tried it RF yet at all in my vehicles. I will try to fit that in tomorrow along with some booster photos/video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerisBoys View Post
Can you answer the question of weight? Seat, base, and combined?
23lbs, 10 lbs and 33lbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emi's Mommy View Post
When is it coming to Canada? Or is it even coming to Canada?

And I also can't see the 3rd video.
Not sure about Canada, I will try to find out about that!
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:12 PM   #14
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericarizo View Post
I cannot see the last video. Also, can you show the different RF recline angles if there are more than 1. Thanx
I'll try to work that into a video tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chimpmandee View Post
Having seen it, felt it, placed it in it's base, and installed it, how much do YOU trust the seat?

I realize that it has passed all of the standard testing, but I've seen a lot of techs on here expressing distrust of such a big seat on a base. Do you have any qualms about the idea of using a seat with a base for such a heavy occupant? Would you let your 39-lber ride around RF in it daily? How about your 64-lb FFer?
I would have no more reservation about using it than an infant carrier/base combo (which we used for all our kids). We've seen crash tests showing infant carriers (of various brands) separating from bases. We've seen recalls due to missing hardware for attachment of base to carrier. It is possible for a design to fail, but most products work fine.

This is the same thing on a bigger scale. Bigger seat, bigger kid, much bigger attachment mechanism to compensate. There are 4 good size steel bolts with fail-safes to engage them into steel re-inforced plates. I trust the engineers have done their job, just as I trust them with infant carriers. Of course, with a seat/base combo, whether infant or convertible, there is always a concern that you accept some slight increase in risk, however small, for the convenience of being able to remove the seat. My biggest concern is that some parent won't lock the seat, assuming it automatically locks when you drop it into place, like an infant seat. Then, despite the stick-up red plastic indicators that make the seat uncomfortable for the child, the child will ride in it anyway. Of course, there are infant seats with sticky mechanisms that don't always lock automatically unless you push an wiggle the carrier into the base, so there is always a risk of not using it correctly with any seat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chimpmandee View Post
Thought of another after watching your first two videos (the third still says it's private)...

Are there going to be incompatibility issues with seatbelt installs in vehicles with long/stiff buckle stalks? That belt path in the center is so narrow, and even the relatively short buckle stalk in your demo vehicle appeared to be coming pretty far into the belt path. Could that interfere with the seat seating properly down into the base?
That is certainly possible. On the plus side, the belt path has a gentle curve rather than a sharp angle, so that may help. Even so, the very longest stalks could well interfere with the lockoff.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:15 PM   #15
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Don't know if this has been asked, but wandering if this seat can be used with out the base, or does it need the base in all installations??
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:17 PM   #16
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by alake View Post
Don't know if this has been asked, but wandering if this seat can be used with out the base, or does it need the base in all installations??
It must be with base unless it's in booster mode then nope, the base comes off.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:23 PM   #17
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Thanks for the responses!

Next question: When are you going to get yourself a helmet-cam?
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:53 PM   #18
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

I recently realized I may need another 40 pound RF seat so I was excited to see another new option coming out, but I have some questions. Thank you for posting this, your review, videos, etc.

(1) You mentioned a 23" torso height limit rear facing. That 23" includes their head, right? So it's only .5" more than the new Britax seats that have a 23.5" internal seating height, right?

(2) You mentioned that only the bottom three harness slots can be used RF. Is the top one allowed reasonable for Rf to the limit or at the max RF height will their harness be a lot lower than their shoulders?

(3) How much front-back space does it take? I bought the RA55 because it took so little and I worry with the lack of an upright recline setting for toddlers that this will be more reclined and take a lot of space. Any idea what it's like compared to other seats, like the new Britax, old Britax, or my ride?

(4) I love that pink and brown print in your video and at first was thinking maybe this will be the one. but then i noticed some drawbacks and that price. In the end i am wondering, how does it really compare to the myride and is it worth all that additional money? Any thoughts?

Thank you so much!!!
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:33 PM   #19
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by chimpmandee View Post
Thanks for the responses!

Next question: When are you going to get yourself a helmet-cam?
I really could have used one today! All my normal assistants were unavailable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
I recently realized I may need another 40 pound RF seat so I was excited to see another new option coming out, but I have some questions. Thank you for posting this, your review, videos, etc.

(1) You mentioned a 23" torso height limit rear facing. That 23" includes their head, right? So it's only .5" more than the new Britax seats that have a 23.5" internal seating height, right?
I will need to measure again, but they do seem pretty similar. I certainly don't think the SmartSeat will compete with models like the True Fit or Radian for rear-facing height limits. On the other hand, it should get most all kids beyond 2 years old and many kids to 3 years and some to 4 years.

Quote:
(2) You mentioned that only the bottom three harness slots can be used RF. Is the top one allowed reasonable for Rf to the limit or at the max RF height will their harness be a lot lower than their shoulders?
I don't have a child that size to say for sure, sorry! You will be able to see the measurement of the harness slot and the top of the seat in a photo I have, though.

Quote:
(3) How much front-back space does it take? I bought the RA55 because it took so little and I worry with the lack of an upright recline setting for toddlers that this will be more reclined and take a lot of space. Any idea what it's like compared to other seats, like the new Britax, old Britax, or my ride?

(4) I love that pink and brown print in your video and at first was thinking maybe this will be the one. but then i noticed some drawbacks and that price. In the end i am wondering, how does it really compare to the myride and is it worth all that additional money? Any thoughts?

Thank you so much!!!
I think it will take up more than average space front-to-back, but haven't compared yet and may leave that to a future reviewer;-) The RA55 is very nice in the regard that it takes up less than average space in that regard and I suspect it will take up less than the SmartSeat but not with 100% certainty.

The MyRide is a very nice seat. I think the SmartSeat has the appeal of an all-in-one along with the easy to install base. If you're fine with installing seats rear and front facing and don't mind buying a dedicated booster, then the MyRide saves you some bucks!
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:49 AM   #20
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Re: Graco Smartseat Q&A

QUOTE=Terisboys]Can you answer the question of weight? Seat, base, and combined?[/QUOTE]

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
23lbs, 10 lbs and 33lbs.

So in booster mode, it's a 23# seat with no means of securing it to the vehicle? It cannot be tethered, and doesn't use the base where LATCH is housed. That isn't much less than the Nauti in booster mode.
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