What Not to Wear: Seatbelt Adjusters

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Seatbelt Adjusters or Booster Seats? Which are safer?

Stacy London and Clinton Kelly from TLC’s What Not To Wear

We may not be as entertaining as TLC’s drama-filled show What Not To Wear is, but here at CarseatBlog.com we do our best to write product reviews that help you decide what to wear.  We try out carseats, boosters, and other children’s safety products, share expert advice and gather information regarding price, comfort, installation, added safety features etc. However, this review will be different because you need to understand that no matter your price range, your child’s comfort level, your user abilities, or preferences, this is a review of a product that you should not ever use.  I call this review, What Not To Wear.  

6-½ year old Sam wearing the Seatbelt Adjuster sold by Amazon.  

Serious injuries can occur as a result of using any product like this one!

Judging by the popularity of this unusual seatbelt adjuster, some may argue that this product is inexpensive and makes seatbelts more comfortable. But did Stacy London, host of TLC’s hit show, ever fish sweatpants out of the trash for someone who liked how cheap and comfortable they were? No! And those two excuses won’t sway us here either. We will address those two points but first, what even is this product?

Screenshot of the Amazon listing.  A 4-pack of Hontech Seatbelt Adjusters costs $15.98 plus free shipping!

Similar seatbelt adjusters can be found all over the internet too:

  Look! I can drive!

What Is This Product?

As you can see in the picture above, the Seatbelt Adjuster is a piece of mesh-covered-foam folded into a triangular tube and features a single plastic snap. To use, you would feed the vehicle seatbelt latch plate through the tube and fasten the snap to separate the lap belt portion from the shoulder belt portion. According to the Amazon listing, “Adjuster fits [vehicle seatbelt] correctly across shoulder and lap, absorb[s] shocks, keeps[s] seatbelt away from child’s neck area.” And is, “Recommended for older children who have outgrown their booster seat.”  

What Problem Does This Product Aim to Solve?

This product is being marketed to parents whose children are uncomfortable with the vehicle seatbelt. But an uncomfortable seatbelt is a sign that seatbelt doesn’t properly fit their child! Children who are slouching to get their knees to bend comfortably at the end of the vehicle seat have the lap belt high over their soft abdomens, and the shoulder belt cutting into their neck and face will not be safe in a collision or sudden stop and will certainly not be comfortable. No wonder parents are looking for a solution to their children’s seatbelt complaints! If only these children were still in a booster seat, then all their seatbelt discomforts would go away and they’d be riding safely!  As discussed in earlier posts a child does not outgrow their booster seat until they can pass the 5-step test at which time no other product is necessary for the seat belt to fit properly and feel comfortable.  

In case you aren’t sufficiently convinced that a booster seat will actually make your child’s ride more comfortable and much safer, even for your bigger kids, and you are still tempted to buy this product for your child, then allow me to get back to my original two points, price and comfort.   

Price: Cheap, Low-cost, Economical, Bargain…

This product is not just inexpensive, it’s downright cheap!  Do you know why a booster seat costs around $25 while you can purchase FOUR of these for only $16 dollars? I have four possible answers for you: materials, labeling, research, and customer service.

Carseats are made with a combination of new materials like steel, plastic, energy absorbing foam, flame retardant fabric, etc. The best I can tell, this product is made out of packing foam and fabric that may not even be fire resistant. I am left to guess on what materials are used because of the lack of labeling, which is the next possible reason for why it’s so cheap.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS 213) which outlines specific requirements for manufacturers of child restraints including proper labeling. Correct labeling is crucial to proper use of a product. Carseat manufacturers must pay strict attention to every last detail of the labeling such as font, size, wording, punctuation, language translation, etc. as they list important height and weight limitations, proper installation, warnings,  manufacture date, and registration information. 

Even as far back as the mid-1990s, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognized the poor belt fit these products offer and asked NHTSA regulate them. Unfortunately, because the test dummies didn’t have abdominal sensors like they do today, NHTSA couldn’t measure for injuries or create criteria by which the adjusters could be measured. There was also concern that any required labeling on the products would be seen by parents that they are safe to be used instead of booster seats.

This seatbelt adjuster does not have a single piece of labeling which leads me to the next item it is lacking: customer service.

Because there is no label on this product with manufacturer or product information there is no way to ask any questions, voice concerns, know when it will expire, or even be notified of a product recall. If this manufacturer discovered a problem with their product, they would have no way to reach out to its customers. Good customer service is crucial in making sure a product offers its promised level of safety.

Research is how manufacturers learn how safety features perform in real life situations. A manufacturer gathers key information about its product from feedback from its customers and from its own testing. Considering that this product’s manufacturer, Hontech, did not comply with any other NHTSA requirements for carseats, it is not likely they executed the mandatory 30 mile-per-hour frontal crash test either.

This product’s lack of research, customer service, labeling, and quality materials makes it actually a very expensive piece of foam.

These pictures from the Amazon listing make it look like this product will bring smiles, when really the only thing they’ll bring is the lap portion up way too high causing internal organ damage in a collision.

Comfort: Cozy, Enjoyable, Pleasant…

“Comfortable” was not actually a word any of my test subjects used when trying out the product, however, in the 126 comments on Amazon it was used quite a bit.  I actually don’t think any of the commenters intended to use the product in order to adjust the lap portion, rather they were all looking to adjust the shoulder portion. Ironically, in order to pull the shoulder portion down, away from the face and neck, the seatbelt adjuster pulls the lap portion up over the soft, vulnerable organs of the abdomen. You can see in this photo which was posted by a customer how poorly the lap portion fits now with the seat adjuster.

The seatbelt adjuster does momentarily keep the shoulder belt from this boy’s face but may not permanently fix the problem. Also, now the lap belt portion is not low on his thighs, rather it’s up on his belly. 

The Real Solution

The What Not to Wear Hosts get to throw out everything that doesn’t fit right and take them out shopping for a brand new wardrobe. I would love to take a page from their book and find an unsuspecting user of this product, throw it away, and give them a shopping spree for an effective, safe, tested and approved replacement: a booster seat!

This 8-year-old is safe and comfortable in his booster seat!

Advertisement

hiccapop UberBoost Preview

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We were skeptical when we first heard about the hiccapop UberBoost inflatable booster seat. We typically hear about new seats long before they’re released, and since we’d heard nothing about this one, we suspected it might not be legitimate. It’s not uncommon to go on Amazon and find similar but dangerous, imported “seats” that don’t meet federal safety standards, such as this inflatable booster seat we “reviewed” a couple years ago. To be honest, I ordered this seat fully expecting to write another one of those “reviews.” Imagine my surprise, then, when I opened up the box to find what appears to be a totally legitimate product.

There’s a registration card attached to the product.

There’s a manual.

There’s what appears to be complete federally required labeling.

Then there’s the seat itself. Unlike the knockoff seat linked up above, the UberBoost feels firm and sturdy, not like a beachball.

Some quick stats on the seat:

  • Weight range: 40-110 lbs
  • Height range: 38-62 inches
  • No minimum age listed
  • Seat width: approximately 14.5 inches
  • Depth: 14″
  • Height (of seating area): 4.5″
What we like

The air bladder is made of a very strong, heavy-duty vinyl. Fully inflated, the seat has barely any give when I push down on it. It feels more like a padded, conventional seat than something inflatable.

It’s a nice size–not too big that it’ll take up a lot of room, but large enough that it seems like it would be stable and supportive.

Grippy material on the bottom should help keep the seat from sliding around and should help keep it stable. I gave it a few nudges while it was sitting on the leather seat of my Odyssey, and I was impressed at how it didn’t move.

2019 Chicco NextFit Convertible Lineup: NextFit Sport, Zip & Zip Air

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I recently had the pleasure of being invited to Chicco HQ to check out what’s new and coming soon in the carseat department. Here’s what I can share at the moment – the NextFit lineup has been expanded and there are now several different NextFit “trim levels” with different features and options! They are also dropping the “iX” labeling on this new lineup although all of these seats are the updated models with the new style lock-offs and the 9-position headrest.

NextFit Sport

The Sport model does not include an infant insert cushion. Therefore, it is not suitable for newborns and the starting weight limit on this model is 12 lbs.

  • 12-40 lbs. Rear-facing
  • 22-65 lbs. Forward-facing
  • 9-position, no-rethread harness
  • 9-position base
  • SuperCinch LATCH attachments
  • Lock-offs for RF & FF seatbelt install
  • Bubble level recline indicators
  • Cupholder (can attach to either side)
  • Harness strap covers & buckle cover
  • Fashions: Black, Graphite, Shadow
  • MSRP $249.99

   

 

NextFit ZIP

  • 5-40 lbs. Rear-facing
  • 22-65 lbs. Forward-facing
  • EZ zip & wash cover
  • Infant insert for babies 5-11 lbs.
  • Harness strap covers & buckle cover
  • 9-position, no-rethread harness
  • 9-position base
  • SuperCinch LATCH attachments
  • Lock-offs for RF & FF seatbelt install
  • Bubble level recline indicators
  • Folding cupholder (“cup-folder”)
  • Fashions: Corvus, Geo, Vivaci, Juniper, Nebulous, Carbon
  • MSRP $299.99

       

 

NextFit Zip Air

  • 5-40 lbs. Rear-facing
  • 22-65 lbs. Forward-facing
  • EZ zip & wash cover
  • Breathable 3D Air Mesh backrest
  • Infant insert for babies 5-11 lbs.
  • Harness strap covers & buckle cover
  • ComfortFlex hip strap covers
  • 9-position, no-rethread harness
  • 9-position base
  • SuperCinch LATCH
  • Lock-offs for RF & FF seatbelt install
  • Bubble level recline indicators
  • Folding cupholder (“cup-folder”)
  • Fashions: Azzurro, Rozzo
  • MSRP $329.99

 

 

December 2018 Carseat, Strollers and Baby Gear Deals, Sales & Coupon Codes

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DEALS TRACKER: We find the lowest prices for December 2018 on car seats, strollers and baby gear. Bookmark this deals page and check back frequently for the latest bargains and promo code offers, so you find them here first before they sell out!

We’re the baby gear deal experts so we know where the really good deals are, on the stuff consumers actually want to buy. We scour Amazon and other retailers daily to find the best bargains. We don’t just rely on automated tools and other deals pages, so we find the best deals for you first. This is the resource other deal pages use to find deals!

What you need to know about Amazon pricing: it’s FICKLE. When a product’s price is reduced we rarely know how long it will remain at that price. Sometimes it’s a few days, sometimes it’s a few hours. The best advice we can offer you is to ACT QUICKLY if you see a great deal on something you really need or just seriously want. Just adding something to your cart does not guarantee you that item at that price – you must complete the checkout process to seal the deal. Most items on our list offer FREE SHIPPING & FREE RETURNS to Prime members but always double check this before you put the item in your cart and checkout. Not a Prime member? There’s a 30-day FREE trial. It’s a no-brainer! Try it out and score some great deals. You can always cancel before the 30 days is up if you’re not sold on the many benefits of an Amazon Prime membership.

Looking for more info on a certain carseat or booster? Check out our REVIEWS page. We have in-depth reviews of over 100 carseats and boosters. Prefer to shop at other stores? If you received great advice from us or discovered a good deal here and share it with friends, please mention us and share* our links to AmazonAlbee Baby, Diapers.comTarget.com, Walmart.com, Kohl’s, and BuyBuyBaby.

Select Editors’ Picks:

These carseats are among our Editor’s Picks and are reader favorites, too!

This list will be updated any time we see a great deal or promotion code below recent average prices, so you don’t have to wade through dozens of normally priced models to find the bargains. You can help us (and your fellow shoppers) by leaving us a comment if you find a deal on a carseat, booster or popular stroller that isn’t posted yet. We recommend that you bookmark this post, as we will update it regularly throughout the holiday season! If we see a bargain price on a popular model from our Recommended Carseats List, we’ll update as soon as possible!  This post and others at CarseatBlog contain affiliate links.  Please read About CarseatBlog for our affiliate policy and see our Marketing Disclosure.

Chicco KeyFit30  

Infant (Rear-Facing Only) Car Seat Deals:

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat 

Britax B-Safe 35 in Red for $152.98 LOW STOCK

Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler in “Fleur” or “Legato” (2017) for $169.99 No Free Returns

Chicco Keyfit 30 in “Lilla” with EXTRA BASE for $124.03 BACK ORDER

Chicco Keyfit 30 in “Regatta”for $139.99  

Doona Infant Seat Stroller System in “Fresh” for $469.90 SOLD OUT

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite in “Oakley” for  Extra 5% off instant coupon

Graco SnugRide Click Connect LX *Extra Base* (with lockoff) for $33.00 (45% Off)

Graco SnugRide SnugLock DLX *Extra Base* (with SnugLock lockoff) for Check on Amazon SOLD OUT

Britax Boulevard CT - splash Graco 4Ever -azalea

Convertible & All-in-One Deals:

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat

Britax Allegiance in “Prism” for  (17% Off) Extra 5% off instant coupon

Britax Boulevard ClickTight in most fashions for  ☆ (17% Off) 

Britax Marathon ClickTight in select fashions for  DEAL ENDED

Britax Marathon ClickTight in “Tempo” for $194.99 No Free Returns

Britax ClickTight Anti-Rebound Bar Accessory for  

Chicco NextFit iX Zip in “Dolce” for $219.99  (40% Off) No Free Returns

Clek Fllo 2018 in “Noire” for $299.99  

Cosco Scenera NEXT from $34.88 ☆ 

Cybex Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 in “Pepper Black” for $262.98 (20% Off) 

Diono Angle Adjuster for ADD-ON ITEM

Diono 3RXT in “Plum” for $299.99 (17% Off) Extra 5% off instant coupon

Graco 4Ever All-in-One in “Kylie” at Amazon for $239.99 Extra 5% off instant coupon

Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit 4-in-1 in “Clove” for $279.99 (40% Off) DEAL ENDED

Graco Extend2Fit in “Gotham” for $131.64  (34% Off) 

Graco Extend2Fit in “Campaign” for $127.99 ☆ 

Graco Milestone 3-in-1 in “Gotham” for   (30% Off)

Graco Sequel 65 in “Ara” and “Caden” for $114

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 in “Darcie” for $179.99  (30% Off) BACK ORDER

Maxi-Cosi Magellan in all fashions for $297.49 (15% Off) 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 in “Black Gravel” for  (40% Off) Extra 5% off instant coupon

Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 in select fashions for  ☆ (33% Off) LOW STOCK

Nuna Rava in all fashions for $349.95 ☆ (20% Off) DEAL ENDED

Safety 1st Grow N Go EX Air 3-in-1 for $108.99 SOLD OUT Saturday 12/8 ONLY

Safety 1st Guide 65 in “Seaport” for  (20% Off) 

Britax Frontier CT - kaleidoscope Evenflo Maestro - Keller

Combination Seat Deals:

(Forward-Facing with Harness + Booster) 

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat

Britax Frontier ClickTight in select fashions for $229.99 (18% Off) 

Britax Pinnacle ClickTight in “Venti” or “Mosaic” for   (25% Off)

Chicco MyFit in “Canyon” from Check on Amazon ☆ Extra 5% off instant coupon

Cosco Finale in “Realtree Camo” and “Spring Bloom” for $39.00

Evenflo SafeMax Combination in “Crimson” for $129.99 (35 % Off)

Graco Atlas in “Glacier” for $95.44 (27% Off) 

Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX in “North” for $140.99 ☆ ($35 discount IN CART) 

Graco Affix Evenflo Amp - blue flames

Booster Deals:

Indicates a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat

Britax Skyline (with LATCH) in “Teal” for   LOW STOCK

Clek Oobr in “Drift” (with Rigid LATCH) for $199.99  BACK ORDER

Graco Affix (with LATCH) in “Atomic” for $52.99 (34% Off)  PRIME ONLY

Graco TurboBooster LX (with LATCH) in “Matrix” for $46.11  (40% Off) Extra 5% off instant coupon

Graco Turbo TakeAlong Backless Booster in “Jodie” for $26.92 (23% Off) BACK ORDER

Evenflo Big Kid AMP in select fashions from $24.99 (23% Off)

Evenflo Spectrum in various fashions from $51.29  

Safety 1st Incognito (for kids 60+ pounds) for $17.00 

 

 Britax travel system  Graco travel system - soho

Travel System Deals:

(Infant Carseat + Stroller)

Britax B-Agile w/ B-Safe 35 in Black for $399.99 DEAL ENDED

Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System with SafeMax Infant Car Seat in Navy for $191.99 (31% Off)

Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System with SafeMax Infant Car Seat in Grey for $199.99 (29% Off)

Graco Fastaction Fold Click Connect Travel System Stroller in Finley for $113.30 (40% Off) BACK ORDER

 

Baby Jogger Vue BOB Duallie

Stroller Deals:

Single strollers

Baby Jogger City Tour in “Violet” for  (35% Off) 

Baby Jogger 2016 City Mini 3W in Black for $$179.99 (31% Off)

Baby Jogger City Mini GT in “Crimson” for  (39% Off) BACK ORDER

Baby Jogger 2018 City Select in Red for  (25% Off) 

BOB Revolution Flex Jogger in 4 fashions for $314.99 (30% Off) 

BOB Revolution Pro Jogger in Black  DEAL ENDED

Chicco Liteway Stroller in Sunset for $73.99 

gb Pockit Stroller in “Monument Black” for $151.54 DEAL ENDED

Graco Snugrider Elite Stroller Frame $59.99 (40% Off) 

Maxi-Cosi Maxi-Taxi Stroller Frame for $110.49 (15% Off) 

Summer Infant 3D Lite in Black for $77.96 (26% Off) 

Double Strollers  

* accepts one infant carseat; ** accepts two infant carseats; @ requires adapter sold separately

Baby Trend Universal Double Stroller Frame for  ** (34% Off) 

BOB Revolution Flex Duallie Jogging Stroller in “Canyon” for $543.99 DEAL ENDED

Britax 2017 B-Agile Double Stroller in “Red” for  (44% Off)

Graco Modes Duo Stroller in “Balancing Act” for $239.00 ** DEAL ENDED 

Graco Modes Duo Stroller in “Basin” for $219.00 ** (37% Off) 

Graco Roomfor2 Stand and Ride Stroller in “Gotham” for $99.00 * (34% Off) 

Graco Ready2Grow Click Connect LX Stroller in “Glacier” for $108.99 ** (50% Off)

Graco Ready2grow Click Connect LX Stroller in “Gotham” for $144.99 ** (34% Off)

Joovy Twin Roo+ Stroller Frame for $97.65 @** (25% Off) 

UPPAbaby G-Link Double Stroller “Pascal/Grey” for $399.99 (20% Off) LOW STOCK

 

Other Baby Gear Deals:

Graco Pack and Play  Fisher Price high chair

Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with full-size bassinet in Stratus or Pasadena $45.99

Graco Simple Switch Portable High Chair and Booster $43.99 (45% Off)

Graco Blossom 6-in-1 High Chair $131.05 (32% Off)

Graco Slim Snacker High Chair $49.00 SOLD OUT

Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing in Abbington $69.99 (31% Off)

Fisher-Price SpaceSaver High Chair $32.00 (20% Off)

Fisher-Price Sweet Snugapuppy Dreams Cradle ‘n Swing $119.00 (28% Off)

Winco Unassembled Wooden High Chair in Mahogany 

 

More deals will be posted as they become available. Find a deal that isn’t listed here? Leave us a comment and let us know what you found! If you found a great deal here and share it with friends and social media, please be courteous and mention us and please consider using and sharing our links to AmazonAlbee Baby, Diapers.comTarget.com, Walmart.com, Kohl’s, and BuyBuyBaby.

This post and others at CarseatBlog contain affiliate links.  Please read About CarseatBlog for our affiliate policy and see our Marketing Disclosure.

Last updated 12/8/2018

*If you monitor our page and share, please consider mentioning us. We spend a lot of time searching out deals and compiling the best ones. We’re happy if you spread the word, but please be courteous and use our links and credit our website when you do. Thank you!