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  1. #1
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    Infant seat suggestions + a Q about Designer 22

    I'm due in a few weeks with our second child. Just for the winter, we want to have a bucket seat to minimize our daughter's exposure to the rather frosty winters when she is a very small baby.

    The primary vehicle I'll be using is a 2002 Chevy Tracker (we have DS's old Scenera RF in our Neon for the baby, but I pretty much never use that car so it is just a backup) It does not have UAS, so whatever seat we get needs to be comfortable to install with the shoulder belt.

    I would use DS's old Designer 22, but am very uncomfortable using that seat considering the advisory that I encountered about it potentially separating from the base in a collision. Does anyone have further info on that? I called DJG about it and they said that it wasn't a recall because it was above and beyond the required testing. Beyond that, I *hated* the Designer 22. That stupid buckle drove me nuts constantly.

    Budget is pretty limited - in the vicinity of $100, up to $120/$130. My parents are buying the seat for us. I saw the Evenflo Embrace for sale on BRU's website, but now reading through this site I am not seeing a lot of positives about it.

    Frankly, we can't afford to turn down their offer and buy a very expensive seat. So what is the best of the Infant seats out there in that price range?

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician amyd's Avatar
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    Re: Infant seat suggestions + a Q about Designer 22

    I would not go with the Embrace with your vehicle. Correct me if I'm mistaken but I believe the Tracker doesn't have a lot of room front to back in the backseat. The Embrace requires the handle to be down and there to be 1.5" between the handle and the seat in front and sometimes that causes space issues in the front. Also I would steer clear of the Baby Trend seat for the same reason. In that price range I'd think you could get a basic Graco Snugride 22. Graco allows the handle to be left up in the vehicle. Or you could also purchase a new Designer 22. The issue that led to the advisory has been remedied as of March 2009 so a seat made since then is of no concern.
    Amy~ Canadian tech instructor (CRST-I), Mama to Peter (4.20.08), riding in a Diono Monterey and a Clek Ozzi; Jasper (4.25.11), riding in a Britax Frontier CT and a Graco Nautilus; and Ruby, riding in a Clek Foonf; wife to my CRST hubby, Chris

  4. #3
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Infant seat suggestions + a Q about Designer 22

    I just want to mention that the BabyTrend doesn't take up anywhere near the kind of room that the Evenflo Embrace does. It doesn't have a 1.5" clearance rule like the Evenflo, and the handle is close to the shell and not inches out from the shell.

    I'm not familiar with how it would fit in the tracker though - the Baby Trend seat can be a more difficult install with the seatbelt.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


  5. #4
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    Re: Infant seat suggestions + a Q about Designer 22

    Quote Originally Posted by snowbird25ca View Post
    I just want to mention that the BabyTrend doesn't take up anywhere near the kind of room that the Evenflo Embrace does. It doesn't have a 1.5" clearance rule like the Evenflo, and the handle is close to the shell and not inches out from the shell.

    I'm not familiar with how it would fit in the tracker though - the Baby Trend seat can be a more difficult install with the seatbelt.
    We actually tried to buy the Baby Trend Flex-Loc today. They wouldn't sell it because all their stock is under recall for a minor issue (I believe something to do with a sticker misprint.) Kind of crappy that they still had it on the shelves if they wouldn't sell it, but not much one can do about that. I may just check back soon to see if they have new stock soon.

    I'll think about the Graco. In person, it really seems very... cheaply built, but at the same time, I know it has passed all required safety tests. How is the SR for seatbelt-only install with the base?

    Decisions, decisions.

    Thank you guys for your input.

  6. #5
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Infant seat suggestions + a Q about Designer 22

    Snugride and seatbelt? Very easy. Going to be compatible in almost every vehicle with the seatbelt. You sometimes need a locking clip if the base is tilting from a locked seatbelt, but that's no different than any other seat without a lock-off.

    The Snugride could be called a tried and true seat - it's been around for years and years and is one of the more popular brands in terms of average Jane and Joe new parent. That doesn't speak specifically for it's safety, but that does mean that if there was a problem with it it's likely been in use in enough collisions that any problem would've shown itself. It has a good history in terms of recalls, and Graco as a company seems to be good about being proactive with recalls.

    So my personal opinion? I certainly wouldn't consider it a flimsy seat. Yes, all seats meet the same standards, but I wouldn't put the snugride in to the flimsy feeling seat category at all.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


  7. #6
    CPS Technician amyd's Avatar
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    Re: Infant seat suggestions + a Q about Designer 22

    Quote Originally Posted by snowbird25ca View Post
    I just want to mention that the BabyTrend doesn't take up anywhere near the kind of room that the Evenflo Embrace does. It doesn't have a 1.5" clearance rule like the Evenflo, and the handle is close to the shell and not inches out from the shell.

    I'm not familiar with how it would fit in the tracker though - the Baby Trend seat can be a more difficult install with the seatbelt.
    No, not near the amount of room as the Embrace, but I had parents the other night with a mid-size SUV & they needed to move the front seat up more than they wanted to to accomodate it.

    OP, I agree with Trudy that I don't get a flimsy feel from the Snugride at all. We used one for our son & were very happy with it. We had UAS in our car, but I have installed it with the seat belt & it is quite simple.
    Amy~ Canadian tech instructor (CRST-I), Mama to Peter (4.20.08), riding in a Diono Monterey and a Clek Ozzi; Jasper (4.25.11), riding in a Britax Frontier CT and a Graco Nautilus; and Ruby, riding in a Clek Foonf; wife to my CRST hubby, Chris

  8. #7
    CPS Fanatic Keeanh's Avatar
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    Re: Infant seat suggestions + a Q about Designer 22

    Another angle: If it's just for the winter, you could put up with the old seat, install it without the base, and save some money.
    17yrs, 15yrs, 13yrs, 11yrs , 9yrs (58", 75lbs, Incognito), 7yrs (46", 50lbs, Dreamtime), 5yrs (41", 35lbs, RN), 3yrs (30lbs, RF Marathon), NB (Peg 4-35)
    '14 Mazda5, '06 Chevy Express, '08 Toyota Tundra

  9. #8
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    Re: Infant seat suggestions + a Q about Designer 22

    Quote Originally Posted by Keeanh View Post
    Another angle: If it's just for the winter, you could put up with the old seat, install it without the base, and save some money.
    We want an infant seat for the winter specifically for the fact that we can bring the seat inside quickly and easily. Doing a without-base installation would mean installing and uninstalling it every time we use it.

    After some consideration, looks like we'll probably be going with the Snugride 22.

    Thank you everyone. Your input has been very appreciated.

  10. #9
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Infant seat suggestions + a Q about Designer 22

    Just a note that a baseless install really isn't as hard as it sounds. I've met parents who've chosen to do it for one reason or another. (3 across, incompatible base, just prefer baseless install.)

    But in the end it's all about what you're most comfortable with
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


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