As a first time mom-to-be, I've spent a lot of my free time shopping for baby gear. I've comparison-shopped for diaper bags and changing tables, and loaded my cart with onesies and bow headbands. However, there is no purchase more important than an infant car seat. While cost, convenience, and style are important, safety is paramount. If you've got a baby on the way, you'll want to check out Clek's new infant car seat, The Liing.
The highlight of Clek's new Liing car seat is its super easy installation. If you've ever struggled to properly get a new car seat in your vehicle – or, in my case, watched your husband struggle, curse, and struggle some more – you know just how tricky the process can be. The Liing truthfully could not be easier to install, whether you're using the vehicle belt or the LATCH system. If you're not familiar with these two options (I wasn't myself until recently), the LATCH system stands for "Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children" system and it can be found in vehicles made after 2002, according to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia website. Unlike most LATCH systems that are made of fabric straps and hooks, the system on the Liing is rigid, which helps keep the seat stabilized and helps with streamlining installation.
The Liing has a provision for vehicles without the LATCH system, as well, and its unique seatbelt-tensioning system couldn't be easier to use. If you've tried to thread a seatbelt through any type of car seat before, you know how easily you can lose the buckle somewhere along the way. The benefit of having this seatbelt option also, even if your car does have lower anchors in place, is that you can fit three of these car seats across the backseat. Because so many car seats are installed incorrectly – 59 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – the Liing's straightforwardness of installation is a safety feature in itself.
Once installation is over and done, there are no shortage of other perks. It is suitable for babies from 4-35 pounds. It offers seven different recline positions on the base and a built-in lever, so you can adjust for your baby's needs regardless of the seat angle the car seat is installed on, and comes with an oversized SPF 100 sun canopy to protect baby's sensitive skin. The 9-pound car seat itself is lightweight compared to other models, and the quick, one-handed release means overloaded mamas won't have to stop everything to wrestle it out of the vehicle during every errand. It's also compatible with tons of strollers using a Maxi-Cosi car seat adapter, and you can find the full list of compatible strollers and adapters here.
But the most important aspect of the Liing? Its safety features. The seat features a metal load leg that, per Clek's website, "prevents rotation and absorbs energy in a collision, reducing crash forces by more than 40 [percent]." Additionally, the car seat's two-piece shell is lined with EPP (expanded polypropylene foam) that absorbs energy to protect the head and body and offer protection against side-impact. The Liing car seat meets all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and offers a full nine years until expiration – years longer than many other popular car seat brands.
Currently, the only drawback I can spot to Clek's new infant car seat is its price point. Starting at $399, the Liing is less affordable than many of the most well-known brands on the market. That said, it also offers many features (the metal load leg, easy installation features, and adjustable recline options) that lower-priced car seats do not. While the Liing may not be a feasible purchase for all parents, those with the budget may find the additional features worth the increased cost. The car seat is available for pre-order now and will start shipping April1 15.