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Kathy Brady
Contributing Writer

Safety 1st Grow And Go Air 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat Review

Learn why this mom’s glad she abandoned another brand for this Safety 1st convertible car seat.

Pros
• Soft, comfortable fabric
• Narrow profile, even with two cup holders
• Incredibly easy to install and adjust

Cons
• The top harness clip can be awkward to secure
• Doesn’t come with a sunshade

Bottom Line
The Safety 1st Grow and Go Air 3-in-1 Car Seat is a great convertible option. The lean profile, easy installation and fuss-free adjustments go a long way in reducing frustration. We love this product—and our 18-month-old daughter does too.

Rating : 4.5 stars

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The arrival of a new baby invariably comes with a long, long checklist of must-have gear. Investing in items that continue to grow with your child—like a convertible car seat—is a great way to shorten that shopping list. And as far as convertible car seats go, the Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat is a great choice.

In our case, we initially bought a standard infant car seat because we live in the city and knew we’d have to tote the car seat around a lot (and attaching it to our stroller was key). As wonderful as a convertible car seat can be, it’s impossible to carry around. That said, when our son outgrew the infant car seat, we went with a convertible because it seemed to have all the features we wanted: It was well made and easy to install—a huge plus. But it wasn’t so simple to adjust. So when my younger daughter needed to graduate from the same infant car seat, we wanted to try a different brand. And I’m glad we did—we love the Safety 1st seat.

Features

It features an adaptable design that transforms from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing seat and finally to a booster seat, so your child can use it from infancy right through childhood (until he or she weighs 100 pounds).

It also offers three different recline options that you can adjust with one hand, as well as removable body pillows to make sure baby is seated snugly. We especially love the easy-to-adjust headrest and harness strap height, and the harness holder means you don’t have to root around for the straps every time baby goes into the seat.

Performance

Installing the car seat was so easy. If I have one complaint, it’s that while the bottom harness buckle is fine, the design of the top one isn’t as intuitive. It’s easy to accidentally grip it the wrong way and wind up fighting your own fingers to get it open. It’s not impossible to figure out, but as any parent who’s tried to extract a screaming toddler from the car knows, every second counts.

Since we live in the city, driving our car is more of a weekend-only activity. We’ve only gone out on five or six trips with our daughter in the car seat, but she seems happy—especially because she now has a better view of her brother and the road.

Design

While I love lusting after beautifully designed items featured in fashion and home magazines, I’m much more practical when it comes to baby gear. For me, the things that matter most are safety, comfort and ease of use. Safety 1st scores high on all of these criteria (and I happen to like the look of the car seat).

When it came time to choose a convertible car seat, we were sold on the Safety 1st seat’s narrow profile—at 19 inches wide, it gives you an extra two to four more inches of space in the car than most other convertible seats. And that’s even with two cup holders! The slim design is especially helpful in our four-door Nissan Altima, which is a moderate midsize sedan. One thing to note if you're using it in a rear-facing position: It’s worth measuring the seat to make sure it’ll fit in your car. We can’t fully recline the car seat and still have room for someone to sit in the front seat, but since our daughter is already old enough to be sitting upright, it’s not a problem for us.

While some of the plastic elements on the Safety 1st seat don’t feel as high quality as on some other products, it definitely feels secure, while also staying relatively light. At 20 pounds (about 5 to 10 pounds lighter than many other convertibles) it’s about as heavy as an average watermelon, so if you have to move it around, it’s pretty easy to do.

The color palette is modern and fun, and the fabric is very soft and easy to clean. If (when) your child makes a mess, you can just unsnap the seat pad and pop it into the washing machine and dryer.

Summary

Overall, we’re big fans of this car seat. The top buckle could be easier to release, but we like the slim profile and soft fabric. Most of all, we love that we were able to start our 15-month-old daughter in it knowing that we’d have a few years before we have to consider something else. If you’re looking for a safe buy that will keep your child happy and secure, the Safety 1st Grow and Go Air 3-in-1 is a great option.

PHOTO: Safety 1st