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Zippy arrives amidst baseless concerns

We received our first shipment of 2006 Inglesina Zippy strollers today. Aside from color, there aren’t many changes to the 2006 version, but these strollers are the first to capitalize on the new partnership between Inglesina and Compass, a relatively new car seat manufacturer. The Compass infant car seat will come in fabrics that coordinate with some of the Zippy colors, and the seat will also attach securely (and without straps) to the stroller.On one hand, I’m cheering. I’ve always maintained that travel systems are inevitably disappointing, as a good stroller can not be designed around a car seat. It’s nice to see two specialized companies working together, with each focused on doing what they do best. Surely, the consumer will win. But as excited as I am, there’s a big caveat here. The Compass infant car seat can not be installed without the base.

As many people know, infant car seats come with a base unit. The base is “permanently” installed in the car, and the carrier part of the seat snaps in and out of the base. A properly installed base certainly makes life easier and cuts down enormously on the margin for error. But it’s incredibly useful to be able to install a car seat without that base. On an airplane, for instance, or in a taxi, rental car, or if you’re getting a lift from friends or family. A car seat that can’t be installed without the base is inconvenient.

The good news is, most car seat manufacturers acknowledge this, and there are very few seats on the market that lack this key feature. Peg Perego, who has maintained for several years that it is safer to force parents to use the base at all times, has finally relented, and the 2006 version of their highly-rated infant car seat will install without the base.

So I was really disappointed when I learned that the Zippy-compatible Compass seats would not install without the base. I’ve always maintained that coordinating fabrics are not an even trade for functionality, so I would be hard-pressed to recommend the Compass seats. But I do think that this collaboration is a step in the right direction, and I hope other great stroller manufacturers will try to develop similar partnerships. After all, shouldn’t we be able to have function and fashion?

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