London Car Seat Safety was sent a KidEmbrace Deluxe Combination Seat in Batman from Trillium Distribution, the Canadian Distributor for the Kids Embrace brand in Canada.
The seat comes in awesome character prints which kids love and parents love too. Currently the seat is available in Spiderman, Batman, Cinderella and TMNT characters.
- Forward facing weight range: 22-65 lbs.
- Forward facing height range: 29-49″
- Forward facing additional requirements: sitting unassisted and 1 year of age
- High back booster weight range: 40-100 lbs.
- High back booster height range: 38-57″
- High back booster age requirement: 3 years+
- Highest harness position: 17″
- Highest booster guide position: 19″
- Expiration: 7 years
- Lower anchor weight limit: 45 lbs (though much of the documentation as well as the stickers on the seat indicate 40lbs).
Out of Box
I was actually surprised how small the box was when it arrived. Right away you will notice that some assembly is required. Thankfully, it can be done without tools. When assembling make sure not to catch the top tether (or your fingers) when popping the headrest on.
All KidsEmbrace seats in Canada have 3 harness slots as of this post. The slot heights are 13″, 16″ and 17″ approximately.
There are three positions on which the headrest can be set at. The highest belt guide is ~19″
There are 2 crotch buckle positions on the seat at 5.5″ and 7″. The inner most crotch buckle position requires the buckle to be double backed to the forward most position when using it.
The manual states that says that you must use crotch buckle position closest to, but not under the child.
I installed this seat with UAS in a 2010 Honda Fit. My model is a 18mo, 32″ tall and 25lbs. She is using the lowest slots. She normally rides rear facing but this does give a good example of how this seat will work with young toddlers.
When removing the UAS connectors from their storage area, I did find the belt path to be too narrow for me to easily fit my hand it. I found I had to tip the seat on it’s side and feed the UAS through the belt path.
The UAS connectors on this seat are a bit different then those you may be used to. Rather then the standard push button style or hook style they actually have a leaver to release the connection.
The manual for the Kids Embrace is inconsistent regarding when a child is to discontinue using UAS for seat installation. Depending on what page you read, it says 40 or 45lbs. I have contacted the manufacture who has stated that the UAS limit for this seat is 45lbs child weight and that they were going to work towards making it consistent both in the manual and on the seat.
Seat Belt Installation
The model in this picture is 5 years old, 44lbs and 44″ tall. For this test I installed the car seat in a 2011 Ford Fusion with a seat belt in the rear centre position. Again, I was unable to fit my hand in the narrow belt path, so I tipped the seat on it’s side. Even still, it was a fairly difficult install as the vehicle belt was getting caught up inside of the belt path.
This particular car has a fairly short tether run and I was delighted to see that the Kids Embrace seat was able to get tight without too much effort.
The booster functionality on this seat is pretty good. Our model is 8 years old, 50lbs and 48″ tall. She is still able to use this seat harnessed, but is on the top harness slot and is 1″ from outgrowing the standing height limit. She is using the second headrest position.
The belt fit is good on her. A portion of lap belt is indeed resting partially on the top of her thighs (which is difficult to see in the picture due to her clothing choice), though it would be better if the seat did direct the lap belt a bit lower. The shoulder portion of the belt fit was good as it is centered on her shoulder neither coming off the shoulder or making contact with her neck.
The upper threshold on the booster guide is 19″. All three headrest positions can be use when the seat is in booster mode. On a huge positive note, this seat as a booster also appears to be compatible in the third row of the current generation of Dodge Grand Caravans which has been problematic with a number of boosters due to retraction issues.
Washing the Cover
The main seat pad is machine washable, and drip dry – while the headrest cover is spot clean only. There are 6 elastic loops and 2 pairs of the plastic push style fasteners. I did require a flat blade screw driver to pop of a set of the push style fasteners as they were very snug. Make sure to secure the hook and loop sections together to prevent pulls on the seat cover as well.
Between removing all the harness and then removing the various attachments the seat has to the cover I would consider this fairly difficult to launder.
Other Things to Note
- Strap covers are large and optional. They can be removed without removing the harness.
- The cape can double as a blanket, and can also be removed as well without uninstalling the seat.
- The headrest can be used in all positions while harnessed as well which is useful for larger harnessed children approaching or on the top harness slots.
- There are a number of manual inconsistencies. You may need to contact the manufacture for specifics. Areas where I noticed inconsistencies or errors include the UAS limits, how the cover is removed for cleaning as well as how to store the UAS when it is not being used.
- The recline feature which existed on earlier US seats has been removed on this Canadian model.
Firstly, Thank you Kids Embrace for making a car seat that kids want to use. If your seats keeps one child safer longer you have been successful. London Car Seat Safety brought this seat to our earlier Touch a Truck event. Kids who had been riding prematurely in low back boosters were buckling up a harnessed seat and loved it. Parents wanted to buy it.
Overall the seat offers average use with above-average styling. For typical sized children it will provide years of use. My one caution to parents would be to test the seat in their vehicle beforehand due to the narrow and set back belt path on the seat.