I'm a sucker for car seats. I love the peace of mind they give me that even if the babies and I fall asleep while we're traveling home, none of them will fly out the window should a sudden stop occur. And I love the extra cup holders they have, for the inevitable McDonald's Drive Thru meals we always have on trips to my in-laws.
So when I joined the Aprica media launch with blogger moms Martine, Tina, and Michelle, it was the car seats I took a really good look at. Here's a quick list of what I found:
- Special newborn cushions come with the car seat to keep even newborn babies snugly and safely held cocoonlike in the seat. Simply remove the newborn cushions when you baby grows out of them.
- Fully reclineable back for newborns keep airways open and breathing unobstructed. Unique feature. I've never seen this in other car seats before.
- Easy swivel to standard upright position, both rear-facing (3 to 9 months) and front-facing (9 mos. to 4 years old), like conventional car seats.
- Extra-high sides and thick, firm padding provide optimum protection from side crashes. Aprica car seats have the highest sides I've seen too.
- Easy-to-adjust five-point harness. All you have to do is press a lever at the front of the seat to loosen the harness, pull the adjustment strap until the proper tightness is achieved, then release the lever to lock.
- Very sturdy and long lasting. Mommy blogger Martine, whose baby uses an Aprica car seat, says in her blog that they received it from an aunt, and though the baby who had used it previously is now 12 years old, the car seat is still in perfect condition: no tears, no damages, still perfectly safe and comfortable for Martine's baby.
Man, we've only had ours for four years and the foam is almost completely gone! (Fine, maybe the fact that I machine washed it had something to do with it. I don't recall anything in the manual that said "Handwash only," and I'm an avid manual reader!)
- Doesn't seem to have a LATCH system that allows you to install it easily in the car without the need for seatbelts. Not much of an issue in the Philippines since our cars are not equipped with the LATCH system in the first place anyway.
- No cup holders. There is one in the model for babies 9 months to 11 years old (yes, they will be babies to me even when they're 40 years old), but there is none in the fully reclineable model. And I want two cup holders, not one.
- The price. From what I've seen, their cheapest car seat comes at Php20,000. Some go up to Php50,000. There is a credit card six-month-installment 0%-interest option, though. And if you trade in your old, functioning car seat or stroller before the end of March 2011, you'll get a Php4,000 discount.
Disclosure: The Nanay Notebook received no financial compensation for this post. We did have a good meal at the media launch, and a bag of free samples from the event sponsors.