First Years Via

Patriot201

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
The First Years Via is an infant carseat (rear-facing ONLY) intended for children from 4 to 22 pounds and 30" in height or less.


THE BASE

The Via uses a separate base into which the seat snaps for use in the car.
THE VIA MUST BE USED WITH A BASE. It cannot be used without the base.

The Via base can use installed using either LATCH (lower anchors only) or the vehicle's seatbelt (never at the same time).
  • The LATCH connectors on the Via are the IMMI-style (as used on Britax, Safeguard, and other brand seats). They are conveniently located in the front of the base and they store in the base for easy storage.
  • When installing the base using the vehicle's seatbelt, the seatbelt is threaded through a built-in lockoff on the front of the base. The lockoff is easy-to-use but also has a very tight hold on the belt.

The height of the Via base is easily adjustable. There is a yellow "knob" on the front of the base that allows the base to be adjusted so that the angle is correct.

There is a level indicator on the side of the base to indicate whether the angle of the seat is correct in the vehicle.

The seat is removed from the base by pulling on a read handle on the top of the seat.




THE SEAT


The Harness


The Via has a no-rethread-5-point harness that is easily adjustable.

There are two harness heights and the harness height is adjusted with a yellow knob on the back of the seat. The lower harness height is VERY low and would probably only fit preemies, newborns, and very small babies.

The tension of the harness is adjusted using the front harness adjuster.

The harness chest clip is easy to use and features a diagram showing the user that the clip should be at chest-level.

The harness comes with two covers to help reduce chafing. They velcro onto the harness, so they are easily removable.


The Canopy

The Via's canopy is fairly nice. It snaps onto the back of the seat, but can be unsnapped to be fully rotated to block the sun. It stays up well and provides good coverage.



The Handle

The Via's handle is the best I have used. It is an aluminum handle with a nice shape and great padding. There are two "windows" on the top of the handle into which a caregiver can snap emergency information, a family photo, or whatever he/she wants, I suppose.

The handle adjusts to five different positions. Position A (fully upright) can only be used for carrying the seat (NOT in the vehicle). Positions B, C, D, and E are acceptable for use in the car.



The Seat Pad/Head Bolster

The seat comes with a head bolster that is velcroed around the harness (so it is easy to remove). It is shaped like two mini pillows with a thin connection, and it does provide some support to babies' heads. Very small babies will probably still need rolled towels on the side of the head bolster, though, in order to have adequate support.

The seat pad is very well-padded. It snaps onto the seat itself, which keeps it on the seat with no slipping. The pad is easy to remove due to the "Easy Off pad flaps" on the seat.

The seat pad can be hand-washed.

The seat pad on my seat (Cappuccino) is slightly textured and not a plush or standard cotton cover. It is easy to clean and seems comfortable for little ones. :)



The "guts"

The entire seat is lined with EPS foam and then there is also a "comfort foam" insert down the center of the seat. In addition, there is padding in the seat pad.




OTHER INFORMATION:

Carrying Comfort-- The seat is lightweight and comfortable to carry. Of the infant seats I have used, this is the most comfortable one I have used.

Installation-- I installed this seat in three different vehicles, using LATCH in some vehicles and the vehicle seatbelt in other installations (use LATCH or the seatbelt, not both), and had no difficulty whatsoever.

"Extras"--
  • There are two yellow rubber strips on the bottom of the seat to help with traction.
  • There is a nice storage slot on the bottom of the seat for storage of the instruction manual.
  • The seat has a SEVEN-YEAR life, clearly marked with stickers on the seat.


















PICTURES are coming-- I am having technology issues. :eek:
 
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Patriot201

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
PICTURES:



The Via-- 4 to 22 pounds





No-rethread harness




Warning sticker about harness height




The base release



The canopy snaps onto the seat, but can be unsnapped for full rotation.



EPS foam lines the entire seat




Life of seven years




The base height adjustment




The LATCH storage area




The lock-off




The bottom of the base




The level indicator




The seat with the biggest doll I could find (probably about the size of a newborn. The doll is wearing (barely) a preemie-sized onesie.
 
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I like the look of this seat. I can't wait to read your review.

I just suggested this to a mom on my birth board who was getting to take one of her preemie twins home. I suggested it because the one going home wasn't 5lbs yet.
 

Patriot201

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
I really, really like it. The ONLY issue I have is that you can't use it without the base.

~~ The handle is truly the best one I have ever used. :) I have owned, or at least used, a lot of infant seats over the past 15 years, and this one is, by far, the most comfortable. I have owned or used: Century SmartFitPlus, Century Avanta, Cosco Turnabout, Cosco Opus, Evenflo On My Way, Graco Snugride (old handle), Graco Snugride (new handle), Graco Safeseat, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio (old handle), and maybe a few others that I can't think of right now. (I currently own this seat and the Snugride.) The Via's handle is, by far, the most comfortable one I have used.

~~ I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the canopy on this seat. It seems so substantial to me compared to the Snugride canopy.

~~ The head support is much better than the worthless POC Snugride one. It still isn't much of a support, but it is SO much better than the Snugride's.

~~ The base is SO much nicer than the Snugride's. I love it.

~~ I LOVE the nice IMMI LATCH connectors. My Snugride has the spring LATCH connectors that I hate.

~~ I LOVE how easy the harness is to adjust.

~~ I like the colors of the seat and the thick padding.



Did I mention how much I like the handle? :p
 
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Patriot201

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
Aw, no pictures of the handle, lol. Is it going to be easy for people to follow that annoying 'put it down in the car' rule?
I need to get a good picture of the handle. I was having MAJOR technology issues earlier. Sorry! I will get one for you. :)


The handle can't be in position A in the car (fully upright), but it can be in any other position. I leave it in position B in my car (most of the time). :)
 

Patriot201

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
The handle...




The underside of the handle...




Harness slot measurements:





Shell measurement:



I will have to get some pictures of my Snugride for comparison.

This is a Snugride, but it is hard to see much:
 

DaniannieB

Ambassador - CPS Technician
The model of the Via that First Years had at Lifesavers had a position on the handle where it could be placed forward (like Euro infant seats) and act as an antirebound bar. They had labels promoting the antirebound. We'll have to watch and see when they release that version, but it looks like it might be a nice feature.
 

Patriot201

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
The model of the Via that First Years had at Lifesavers had a position on the handle where it could be placed forward (like Euro infant seats) and act as an antirebound bar. They had labels promoting the antirebound. We'll have to watch and see when they release that version, but it looks like it might be a nice feature.
Cool! Mine doesn't have that. :(
 

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