Ok now for something a bit different. I’m not normally in the business if reviewing baby products but I wanted to write this up in case it helps anyone else. I have spent a while researching new convertible car seats recently, as we are almost outgrown our infant bucket (we have the MaxiCosi Prezi and our 7.5month old is just about 29″, the max height).
I was interested in the new Snugli All-in-One convertible car seat but found little info online, especially anything NOT from professional mommy-bloggers who are getting paid somehow to review the seat; so here it is, my unbiased public service to the mommy community of the internets. Enjoy.
What Made me look at the Snugli in the first place?
So I’ll admit it – a SALE was what originally made me take notice of the Snugli All-in-One. If you haven’t heard of Shop.ca, it’s sort of like a mini-version of Amazon, in that it sells a lot of different types of products. I’m a fan of the site because it has free shipping and returns, has pretty great prices/sales, and it’s connected to Ebates.ca, which means you can multiply your savings. You’re catching onto a theme – I don’t like to pay retail.
I noticed one day that Shop.ca had a sale on some specific car seats – one being this Snugli All-in-One at 30% off. It was listed for $299 (it’s MSRP is actually $329 in the US), but at 30% off it was priced at $209. We’ve been looking to buy our “secondary/back-up” carseat first, while I’m on mat leave and money is tighter, and once cash flows were better, I had my heart set on the Clek Foonf. But after playing with this Snugli in real life, I may be rethinking that move.
After the price hooked me in, next was it’s appearance. It LOOKED pretty…it wasn’t one of those hideous Laz-y-Boy recliner seats that looked like it would consume the entire back of our cars. But finally, it HAD to be safe…and I’m not talking “just passed the government tests” safe, but have superior safety characteristics. I wasn’t going to settle for just any average seat. And so I was curious. TO GOOGLE!
Who exactly is behind the Snugli Brand?
After some intense searching, I discovered that the Snugli brand is owned by Evenflo, a reputable and well-established baby-product company. I also discovered that the Snugli All-in-One was essentially an Evenflo Symphony DLX in a “pretty dress”, so to speak. It had the same proven, crash-tested frame, and many of the premium features of the Symphony, plus a few extras. The specific features that caught my eye were:
- SureLATCH self-ratcheting LATCH installation system (this is the HOOK that sold us on the Snugli)
- E3 Side Impact Protection (meets standards that are 2x that of the US Gov’t regulations, plus it’ll withstand 25g’s of force, and has 3 layers of shock reducing foam)
- No-rethread “Infinite Slide” 5-point harness
- TruTether Adjuster (for forward-facing/booster) has an indicator which turns green to show if the tether strap is secured tightly enough
- PLUS, exclusive to the Snugli:
What about the Specs?
So next, I looked into the specs. Both for the child’s size, and the seat itself. We have a Nissan LEAF (yes, one of those electric cars – it’s about the same size as a Versa hatchback), and an Infiniti Q50 sedan – neither of which are LARGE vehicles, so I needed to make sure it would fit.
First of all, the ‘kid specs':
- Rear Facing 5-40 lbs., height of 19-37″, head must be 1″ below the top of the child restraint headrest in either of its two lowest positions
- Forward Facing 22-65 lbs., height of 28-50″, the tops of their ears are below the top of the child restraint headrest
- Booster Mode 40-110 lbs, 43.3-57″, the tops of their ears are below the top of the child restraint headrest
I plan to rear-face our little guy until at LEAST 2 years old, so I was initially worried about the 37″ height cut-off. Then I pulled out his CDC Growth Charts, and figured that if he stays on the 90% curve he’s on now, he won’t hit 37″ until he’s about 27 months, which is great. I looked at the girl’s chart, and someone in the 95th percentile would hit 37″ around 27 months. 50th percentile and below ladies will reach that height at 3yrs or later. For boys, the 95th percentile will hit 37″ around 25 months and 50th and below at 33months or later. Keep in mind, it’ll all depend on where your child carries their height – if most of it is in their legs, you’ll get a bit more rear-facing use out of it vs. a long-torsoe’d (is that a word?) toddler.
That said, if you’re looking to rear face until 4 years, this isn’t the seat for you.
Next was IMPOSSIBLE for me to find – the actual DIMENSIONS of the seat itself. To this day, I still can’t find anything official online, so I just took a leap of faith based on the dimensions of the Evenflo Symphony DLX and went ahead and bought the Snugli. Now that it’s arrived, I’ve taken some measurements in case these are helpful for anyone else:
- Length in Rear-Facing mode (i.e. seat must be in the fully reclined position): 27.5″
- Height in Rear-Facing mode (this is with the head support in the LOWEST position): 22″ total, 19.5″ inside the seat from bum-to-top (head support in LOWEST position)
- Width (specifically taken across the hip/thigh area and across the head protection): 19″, which is NARROWER than the Evenflo Symphony DLX
- Weight of the seat: 22lbs. (according to our pretty accurate luggage weigh-scale)
So how does it fit?
As I mentioned, we have a hatchback and a sedan in our family, so nothing large or SUV-like, so I was a bit worried about the installation. That said, we test fitted the seat in both this evening and it fits very well, and it gives us MORE room for the front passenger than our infant bucket did. SCORE!
Here are some pictures with the car seat installed in our Infiniti Q50 sedan. Comparing it to the Maxi Cosi Prezi:
- Front seat legroom (space from front of seat to dash). Maxi Cosi Prezi infant seat: 11″, Snugli All-in-One: 15″. GAIN of 4″ of legroom for the front passenger
- Rear seat (space from back of sedan seat to the back of the FRONT seat). Maxi Cosi Prezi infant seat: 32″, Snugli All-in-One: 28″
- Side to side space – this is essentially unchanged. The middle rear seat is still usable, but it’s SNUG. I wouldn’t sit there for a long trip.
More about the SureLATCH System
Since we have TWO cars, and only planned to buy ONE seat for the time being until I’m off maternity leave, we specifically looked for a car seat that would be SIMPLE and FAST to move from one car to the other. When I read about SureLATCH, I knew that if it worked as advertised, it would be just what my husband and I were looking for. It basically works like a normal LATCH system, except that it has a built in ractheing system such that after you clip in the LATCH connectors, you push down on the seat itself and the ratchets take up the slack*. BRILLIANT.
*OK, so there are specifications in the owner’s manual about EXACTLY how the system works and what you can and cannot do with it, so please READ the owner’s manual!
Here’s the funky video Evenflo put together to demonstrate:
So how’s the Carseat working out?
Well, so far, we really love this seat. As soon as I put our son in it, he smiled at me and started scratching at the fabric (he’s in a must-scratch-everything phase right now). He’s never been a car-seat-crier really, so it’s hard to say if this will solve your woes but I do know that he’s never overheated in the seat like he has in his infant bucket (even in sub zero temps, surprisingly). The memory foam and the Outlast fabric seem SO comfy and he’s well positioned in the seat – nothing tugging, pulling or squashing him in the wrong way.
The SURELatch system has been working REALLY well for us – it makes it so easy to transfer the seat quickly and easily. I could never install our infant seat base myself, it would take my husband and father both reefing on it to get it tight enough. I was able to install the Snugli myself quickly, and I’m sure I’ll get faster at it with practise.
I love that the seat is SAFE, COMFY, EASY TO INSTALL and also gives us MORE legroom up front then before.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this seat to anyone.