OK, fine. It won’t change everything. But it’s going to have a huge impact on the infant car seat market. And it’s going to make the lives of countless parents much, much easier. So that counts for something, if not everything.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on the Cybex Aton since we first saw it more than two years ago. We loved the sleek design and the imaginative canopy design that vanishes when not in use.
But the big barrier for all European infant car seats trying to break into the United States is the base. In Europe, the safety standards do not require the use of an installed base in the car, so most European car seats are just buckled in using seatbelts. Here in the USA, those installed bases are a must-have. But they aren’t the easiest thing to design.
We knew the Aton car seat was beautiful and functional, but how would Cybex execute the base?
The answer is, they totally rocked it. Forget the seat, the base of the Cybex Aton alone should catapult this car seat to the top of everyone’s registry list. The installation of the base is simple, effortless and incredibly effective. It takes less than a minute to install it perfectly. The first time I saw it demonstrated, my jaw literally dropped.
The base-free installation is equally impressive. Most of the time, when parents need to use an infant car seat without a base (on vacation, in a taxi or friend’s car), the installation is trickier and not as secure. The Aton has a slot on the back of the seat that holds the shoulder belt, while the lap belt goes into the slots on the side of the seat. Once the seatbelt is tightened, the security is incredible.
The seat itself has plenty of other advantages. It’s lightweight – at only 8.8 pounds, it is one of the lightest on the market. It’s got a nice, wide weight range, from 4-32 pounds, and it fits a child up to 30″. It has a clever newborn inlay that reduces the depth of the seat for younger babies, positioning them for proper breathing, digestion and harness fit. It has an infant insert that adds extra stability for babies still developing head and neck support. It offers enhanced side impact protection. It comes in a rainbow of colors. And the car seat adaptation system was designed to make the Aton cross-compatible with almost all Maxi-Cosi car seat adapters.
Let me recap:
The Aton is gorgeous
The Aton is easy to install, no matter how or where
The Aton is compatible with virtually all of the best strollers on the market
The Aton costs less than $200.
What are you waiting for? Go buy one.