Checking in with Britax

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A few weeks ago I had my annual check-in with Britax's safety Guru, Dr. Jana. We talked recession, car seats and kids. I took particular interest in asking Dr. Jana about how the new economy impacts baby gear decisions.

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Since a new Britax seats can cost well over $100, I wanted to know if now is the right time to look on eBay or garage sales for a used car seat? Dr. Jana's opinion was to save in other places. Why? Maybe the family that you are buying the seat from didn'??t store the seat properly and the seat suffered from "structural integrity damage." Or maybe it was in an accident--you'll never know.

If you are going to buy a new car seat, it makes sense to do your research. I got the chance to test out Britax's new Parkway SG'??a belt-positioning booster that fits children from 40 lbs and 38" up to 120 lbs and 63".

While I am not a safety expert, I do know about fit, comfort and ease of use. This new design was an all around winner on these fronts. The Parkway SG ($119.99) is easy to assemble as a high-back seat. Positioning the head restraint to my daughter's height was easy--to adjust squeeze the handle and the seat back. My one fit-note--the SlideGuard in the crotch area seems a little short. One safety note I always look for is side impact protection and the SG has that covered. All in the seat weighs 9.7 pounds and is much easier to manipulate than other Britax's I have tested.

My daughter is too light (never use on a child weighing less than 40 lbs) to give this chair a road test, but I did slip the booster without the back into my car. It was easy to unhinge the top portion and transform the seat to the booster (booster alone weighs just over 5 lbs).

Areas for improvement would be to add some fun colors or prints. This is a pretty dull ride. And yes, this booster costs more than others on the market. When I asked Dr. Jana about the relative high price of Britax seats, she spoke about value, '??This purchase is about what you get over time." And it's true. This is a two-in-one system from a brand that takes research and technology seriously. Buy the Britax Parkway Slide Guard on Amazon.com

Britax did not pay for this post. Products were shipping for review purposes only.

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