Babies: 9 - 12 Months

Safety First Convertible Car Seats

Has anyone purchased a Safety First Convertible car seat?  They are on sale here for $98 from $178.  Budget is tight, but I don't want to purchase something that was a bad buy..any pros/cons to share?

 Edit:  I am also wondering if it would fit in the back of a small two door car?  I know it has to be rear facing for quite a while.  

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Re: Safety First Convertible Car Seats

  • We have a Britax Marathon as our main seat, but just bought a Safety 1st seat from Costco to use as a cheap one for my husband's car (it was $90).  We haven't installed it yet, but it looks nice enough.  The only thing I'll say is that just taking it out of the box and checking it out, it doesn't seem to be as installation user friendly as my Britax.  Here's hoping it's not a pain to install.  Looks like a nice enough seat though - good padding, etc...
  • I have no experience with that eat but you should try posting this on the Nurseries and Baby Gear board - there are ladies over there who are basically carseat experts who would be able to tell you more about it and whether it would be likely to last you awhile rear-facing. 

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  • So I wrote a novel... but only because I know I did ALOT of research on the carseat but still was hesitant by not hearing about it from anyone that I knew, and didn't get any answers when I had asked a while ago on TB about it.

    We have the Saftey 1st Alpha Omega Elite from Sam's club. It  was only $90, so we were able to afford two, and not have to switch between out one seat between our cars.

    Pros: -super affordable -don't need to rethread to adjust height of straps -It's also a  3-in-1, so we don't have to buy any more seats or boosters

    Cons: -its a pain to install rear facing at the proper recline -not as easy to adjust belts as other brands -arm rests seem chauncy (minor detail to me)

    Let me elaborate on the cons

    Installation: the manual says to put a rolled up towel or pool noodle under the carseat up against the back of your vehicles seat. I ended up using 3, and still couldn't get it as reclines as it would recommend for a newborn. Thankfully we had a infant carrier. It took me about 45 minutes of experimenting with it. Installing the 2nd one was a breeze once I got it figured out.

    Belt adjustment: the buckle that goes inbetween the legs can adjust to be closer or farther away. But it has to be threaded through. I realized once it was installed, that I needed to move it out one notch, which will required me to uninstall it all over again. Lesson learned. Next time, have baby around for belt set-up. 

    The height adjustable belts dont' have to be threaded, which is nice, but you HAVE to make sure it slides and locks into the notches in the back - which is different from the Evenflo we have. Had I not read every word of the manual, I would have never known.

    As far as fit in a 2door, any 3-in-one carseat is going to be a pain for space rear facing. I installed our Safety 1st and more expensive Evenflo rear facing to compare space-wise, and it's the same. It makes for a cramped ride for the front passenger in my 4dr honda civic. And for my FI's Lexus SUV, it's not so bad, thanks to lots of extra leg room. It still couldn't be installed behind the driver of his SUV. So in that regards, I doubt even if you paid 2x or 3x more, that you'd really solve the space problem. It may be more finding that one perfect seat.

    I know I wrote a novel here, but overall, I'm super happy with our Safety1st seat. It's not as fancy as our Evenflo with the adjustment options, but I'd say its way better than the Britax we have (I hate having to thread the straps through!).  Our Britax Marathon is also not a 3-in-one, so my FI spent $$ on a carseat that just needs to be replaced, and the installation for rear facing of that Marathon vs Safety 1st we have are exactly the same. 

    Another note, I usually go by the amazon.com ratings, and have had good luck (I knew upfront that there were installation pains about it, and that lots of people actually liked it). I found that the government ratings were out of date.

    GL, I hope I helped a little!!

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  • I love my Safety 1st Guide 65. It fits great RF in a Ford Focus 4-door and is pretty easy to install there. I got in from Walmart.com for ~$80.

    It is a PITA to install in the back of my MIL's Acura, though.

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  • We bought the Safety 1st Air 65.  A certified car-seat installer could not get it to install at the proper incline for a 9 month old in our Ford Fusion, Chevy Equinox, OR F-150.  We ended up having to return it.  Like a PP said, we tried 3 rolled up towels and it still wouldn't recline correctly.  If anyone did get this installed in a small vehicle, I'm sorry, but there is no way the incline is correct.  The seat is nearly laying down for a correct RF install. The youtube video from Dorel Juvenile Group shows it being installed in to a mini van with the front seat all the way up. 
  • image Aurora_Borealis:

    I love my Safety 1st Guide 65. It fits great RF in a Ford Focus 4-door and is pretty easy to install there. I got in from Walmart.com for ~$80.

    It is a PITA to install in the back of my MIL's Acura, though.

     We have the same one, and have no complaints.  Installation might be annoying, but once it's in it's in so I'll wrestle it down for an hour if that means saving $100 (each).  It didn't take us an hour BTW...When you pay more, really all your paying for is the extra features and the brand name.   

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  • image Mama2TwoBoys:

    So I wrote a novel... but only because I know I did ALOT of research on the carseat but still was hesitant by not hearing about it from anyone that I knew, and didn't get any answers when I had asked a while ago on TB about it.

    We have the Saftey 1st Alpha Omega Elite from Sam's club. It  was only $90, so we were able to afford two, and not have to switch between out one seat between our cars.

    Pros: -super affordable -don't need to rethread to adjust height of straps -It's also a  3-in-1, so we don't have to buy any more seats or boosters

    Cons: -its a pain to install rear facing at the proper recline -not as easy to adjust belts as other brands -arm rests seem chauncy (minor detail to me)

    I am not trying to be snarky, but this seat is known to be a DEADLY booster, it does not fit the majority of children properly. That being said, the instalation is a pia, but if it is done correctly, then it is a safe rear-facing and forward facing carseat.

    If you want a budget friendsly carseat by safety first, check out the Guide 65 as a pp mentioned. The Safety First Complete Air 65 is also a great choice, but a bit more expensive.

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  • We have a Safety 1st Complete Air 65 and love it.
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  • image Excited30:

    Has anyone purchased a Safety First Convertible car seat?  They are on sale here for $98 from $178.  Budget is tight, but I don't want to purchase something that was a bad buy..any pros/cons to share?

     Edit:  I am also wondering if it would fit in the back of a small two door car?  I know it has to be rear facing for quite a while.  

    If you're talking about the AOE, I can't give in enough thumbs down. Just to give you an idea, it took up more room rear facing than my Snugride 35 (and that's with a rolled towel for angle), and that's unusual for a convertible to take up more room than an infant seat. My list of cons is extremely long, but the highlights: the straps have a tendency to roll and twist and stay like that after about a year (this has been a common issue for over 10 years), the remedy is to order new straps, since washing or ironing them is verboten. It's a short shelled seat, and outgrown quickly. DD3 had it and was totally outgrown in height by 3. The base is also very wide, sometimes too wide to use the UAS/LATCH and get a tight install - and not much easier with a seatbelt. I would also never use it as a booster. Didn't matter for us, dd was too young and too light (less than 40lbs), and too tall. Oh, and while I can fit my Radian in my Mini, this would never fit.

    If you're set on Dorel, try the Air Protect or look at the Graco MyRide.

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  • image Mama2TwoBoys:

    So I wrote a novel... but only because I know I did ALOT of research on the carseat but still was hesitant by not hearing about it from anyone that I knew, and didn't get any answers when I had asked a while ago on TB about it.

    We have the Saftey 1st Alpha Omega Elite from Sam's club. It  was only $90, so we were able to afford two, and not have to switch between out one seat between our cars.

    Pros: -super affordable -don't need to rethread to adjust height of straps -It's also a  3-in-1, so we don't have to buy any more seats or boosters

    Cons: -its a pain to install rear facing at the proper recline -not as easy to adjust belts as other brands -arm rests seem chauncy (minor detail to me)

    Let me elaborate on the cons

    Installation: the manual says to put a rolled up towel or pool noodle under the carseat up against the back of your vehicles seat. I ended up using 3, and still couldn't get it as reclines as it would recommend for a newborn. Thankfully we had a infant carrier. It took me about 45 minutes of experimenting with it. Installing the 2nd one was a breeze once I got it figured out.

    Belt adjustment: the buckle that goes inbetween the legs can adjust to be closer or farther away. But it has to be threaded through. I realized once it was installed, that I needed to move it out one notch, which will required me to uninstall it all over again. Lesson learned. Next time, have baby around for belt set-up. 

    The height adjustable belts dont' have to be threaded, which is nice, but you HAVE to make sure it slides and locks into the notches in the back - which is different from the Evenflo we have. Had I not read every word of the manual, I would have never known.

    As far as fit in a 2door, any 3-in-one carseat is going to be a pain for space rear facing. I installed our Safety 1st and more expensive Evenflo rear facing to compare space-wise, and it's the same. It makes for a cramped ride for the front passenger in my 4dr honda civic. And for my FI's Lexus SUV, it's not so bad, thanks to lots of extra leg room. It still couldn't be installed behind the driver of his SUV. So in that regards, I doubt even if you paid 2x or 3x more, that you'd really solve the space problem. It may be more finding that one perfect seat.

    I know I wrote a novel here, but overall, I'm super happy with our Safety1st seat. It's not as fancy as our Evenflo with the adjustment options, but I'd say its way better than the Britax we have (I hate having to thread the straps through!).  Our Britax Marathon is also not a 3-in-one, so my FI spent $$ on a carseat that just needs to be replaced, and the installation for rear facing of that Marathon vs Safety 1st we have are exactly the same. 

    Another note, I usually go by the amazon.com ratings, and have had good luck (I knew upfront that there were installation pains about it, and that lots of people actually liked it). I found that the government ratings were out of date.

    GL, I hope I helped a little!!

    I hate to burst this bubble, but like a prior posted said, this seat is a deadly booster. It consistently makes the Top 10 Worst Booster list every single year. The lap belt is horrid. 

    Also, your child will likely outgrow the harness height before they are even booster ready. Especially if you bought the 40lb version. 

    Oh, and it has an 8 year expiration. Most 8 year olds don't pass the 5 step test, and they still need a booster. So, it is likely that you will still need a harnessed combination seat.

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  • image SuperCuteBenz:
    image Mama2TwoBoys:

    So I wrote a novel... but only because I know I did ALOT of research on the carseat but still was hesitant by not hearing about it from anyone that I knew, and didn't get any answers when I had asked a while ago on TB about it.

    We have the Saftey 1st Alpha Omega Elite from Sam's club. It  was only $90, so we were able to afford two, and not have to switch between out one seat between our cars.

    Pros: -super affordable -don't need to rethread to adjust height of straps -It's also a  3-in-1, so we don't have to buy any more seats or boosters

    Cons: -its a pain to install rear facing at the proper recline -not as easy to adjust belts as other brands -arm rests seem chauncy (minor detail to me)

    Let me elaborate on the cons

    Installation: the manual says to put a rolled up towel or pool noodle under the carseat up against the back of your vehicles seat. I ended up using 3, and still couldn't get it as reclines as it would recommend for a newborn. Thankfully we had a infant carrier. It took me about 45 minutes of experimenting with it. Installing the 2nd one was a breeze once I got it figured out.

    Belt adjustment: the buckle that goes inbetween the legs can adjust to be closer or farther away. But it has to be threaded through. I realized once it was installed, that I needed to move it out one notch, which will required me to uninstall it all over again. Lesson learned. Next time, have baby around for belt set-up. 

    The height adjustable belts dont' have to be threaded, which is nice, but you HAVE to make sure it slides and locks into the notches in the back - which is different from the Evenflo we have. Had I not read every word of the manual, I would have never known.

    As far as fit in a 2door, any 3-in-one carseat is going to be a pain for space rear facing. I installed our Safety 1st and more expensive Evenflo rear facing to compare space-wise, and it's the same. It makes for a cramped ride for the front passenger in my 4dr honda civic. And for my FI's Lexus SUV, it's not so bad, thanks to lots of extra leg room. It still couldn't be installed behind the driver of his SUV. So in that regards, I doubt even if you paid 2x or 3x more, that you'd really solve the space problem. It may be more finding that one perfect seat.

    I know I wrote a novel here, but overall, I'm super happy with our Safety1st seat. It's not as fancy as our Evenflo with the adjustment options, but I'd say its way better than the Britax we have (I hate having to thread the straps through!).  Our Britax Marathon is also not a 3-in-one, so my FI spent $$ on a carseat that just needs to be replaced, and the installation for rear facing of that Marathon vs Safety 1st we have are exactly the same. 

    Another note, I usually go by the amazon.com ratings, and have had good luck (I knew upfront that there were installation pains about it, and that lots of people actually liked it). I found that the government ratings were out of date.

    GL, I hope I helped a little!!

    I hate to burst this bubble, but like a prior posted said, this seat is a deadly booster. It consistently makes the Top 10 Worst Booster list every single year. The lap belt is horrid. 

    Also, your child will likely outgrow the harness height before they are even booster ready. Especially if you bought the 40lb version. 

    Oh, and it has an 8 year expiration. Most 8 year olds don't pass the 5 step test, and they still need a booster. So, it is likely that you will still need a harnessed combination seat.

    Interesting. Did not know that. 

    The IIHS report used models mfg in 2009. I will have to check make sure to check the belt fit on mine when it comes time for booster. Thanks for the heads up!

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