Meet the Baby Trend Inertia Infant Car Seat!
Rear facing only, 5-32 lbs and up to 32 inches
8 harness height positions ranging from 8-11 inches
Base is 14 inches wide and 24 inches deep
6 year expiration from date of manufacture
*4 recline positions*
*Ergonomic "triangle" handle*
*Rigid LATCH connectors on the base*
*Removable foot muff*
*EPS energy absorbing foam in headrest*
*Adjustable crotch strap with puzzle buckle*
*"Brace" bar on base*
*"Inertia"controlled motion base*
Ergonomic "Triangle" Handle: The triangle shaped handle is unique to Baby Trend, and is designed to make it easier to carry.
that can make most parents feel overwhelmed.
Removable Foot Muff: Offers a little extra warmth for the baby. Instead of being able to be kicked off like blankets, the foot muff keeps baby's legs covered.
EPS Foam: Located in the headrest of the restraint, the EPS foam is intended to help absorb crash forces around the most delicate area of the child.
The length of the crotch strap can range from 3.5-6 inches long to accommodate a range of children. The buckle is referred to as a "puzzle buckle." Each side of the tongs must be placed together before inserting into the buckle, instead of being inserted individually.
Brace: Keeps more of the base in contact with the vehicle seat, for optimal performance of the "Inertia" motion control.
With this LATCH option, you just simply line up the base on the vehicle seat's lower anchors, and push on. That's it! No tightening needed! Just rotate the brace into position against the vehicle seat back, and the installation is complete and secure.
I found that the LATCH installation took a little extra work in vehicles that have anchors positioned deep in the seat bight. They're a little more difficult to get the LATCH connectors to reach in one quick movement, but with a little wiggling and angling, the base still connects, and then sits properly on the seat.
(My Chevy Trailblazer was a perfect example of a vehicle with deep anchors!)
When doing a seat belt installation of the base, there are a few more steps to follow. First, the seat belt adapter (long plastic cover) has to be on the rigid LATCH connectors.
(If you use the LATCH, make sure you don't misplace the cover!) If you're using a lap/shoulder belt to install, the lap portion gets threaded through the two belt guides on the base, and the shoulder belt gets placed flat against the vehicle seat back, between the seat and the brace. Then tighten and lock the seat belt, to keep it secure.
*While attempting a seat belt install in my Trailblazer, I discovered an incompatibility with this seat base and my vehicle. On each side of the vehicle seat, I have some plastic housing for the seat belt and recline mechanisms. With the seat belt adapter positioned properly on the LATCH bars, I can't position the seat between the plastic housing. The adapter is too wide, and I was unable to get a secure installation. If you have similar plastic housing on your vehicle seats and will need to do a seat belt installation of the base, test it out in your car first, to make sure it can fit in between the plastic!*
I was able to get a fabulous baseless install in the Trailblazer, though! You can set just the infant seat in the vehicle and thread the seat belt through the belt guides by the baby's legs. Tighten and lock the seat belt, and you're good to go! As with any infant seat, the inconvenience of not using the base is that you have to make sure your child restraint is at the proper recline level each and every time you install it.
The bottom harness height of the Inertia is 8 inches from the seating area. While some newborns will have a long enough torso to reach the bottom slot, it's not likely to fit all newborns, especially small ones, due to the safety issue of harness height. While rear-facing, the harness straps need to be coming out of the seat *at* or *below* the child's shoulders, never from above.
(An "average" newborn will have a torso length between 7 and 8 inches)
Since Baby Harrison won't be making his debut for several months, my trusty newborn doll, Indy, stepped in (er, crawled in?) to help me with the review. Indy's torso is about 7.5 inches long, and she would proportionately weight about 8 pounds. With a cloth diaper on, she just reached the bottom harness slot. The harness was able to fit snugly around her, and she would be well protected.
After raising the harness to it's highest position, you can see how much growing room Indy would have! If she grew on a proportionate growth curve, she would easily fit properly in the Inertia until her first birthday, if not longer.
I think the Inertia has some fabulous features. I'm a big fan of the rigid LATCH, even though it wasn't "super simple" in all vehicles I tested it in, it was still easier than other LATCH systems that I've used. The Controlled Motion base is innovative and a welcome addition to the car seat market. Having a no-rethread harness is becoming more important to parents, and makes adjustments quick and easy.
The puzzle buckle for the crotch strap has a little bit of a learning curve, and is not a fun feature for everyone. (Particularly, those with extra wiggly babies!) The slightly high bottom harness height has the potential to improperly fit a decent selection of newborns, though larger babies can expect a good fit.
Overall, I think the Inertia can be a great choice for many families.
Want one of your own? Check it out here at Amazon!