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2009-2010 Car seats compared – Safety 1st Complete car seat with Air Protect

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 02-02-2010

We’re doing a roundup of car seats unveiled at the 2009 ABC Kids show, the major annual convention for baby and kids products.

This year, the biggest story on car seats in general was in side impact head protection. While car seats have made major advances, this is still an area where more technology can save young lives. There were also at least 2 new seats developed to evolve with a child from 20 pounds to 100.

In this series, we will look at the following seats:

1. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 (previously reviewed)

2. Britax Parkway SG (previously reviewed)

3. Safety 1st Complete Air car seat with Air Protect

4. Evenflo Symphony 65

5. Clek Oobr

Today’s review is on the Safety 1st Complete Air car seat with Air Protect from Tom Green of San Francisco, California.


Let me start by saying that we’ve had our share of car seats, so for me, it’s tough to justify a pricier car seat, which the Air Protect is. However, I tend to prioritize safety & function, which the Air Protect offers in spades. And it appears that you can use the Air Protect through the baby, toddler and preschool years, so maybe it’s worth the investment. Here’s my quick pro/con list on the Air Protect:

Pros:

  • Side impact air cushions offer peace of mind with respect to your child’s safety if in a car accident. These cushions are also a nice head rest for your kids when they inevitably fall asleep in the car.
  • Easily adjustable harness that you do not need to re-thread
  • Great looking – ours is brown/orange
  • Easy push button LATCH hooks which are a cinch to install
  • Cup holder!

Cons:

  • My youngest child is not going to be interested in sitting rear-facing until 40 lbs, no matter how safe it is, so the rear-facing option is not a plus for me. Plus, rear-facing cramps their ability to extend their legs comfortably, or at all.
  • Pretty expensive ($250) considering there are other highly rated car seats out there.
  • I don’t have a newborn but it looks a little large and upright for the under 6 months crowd. I think most people would feel more comfortable with, and find more utility out of, an infant car seat for the first 4-6 months.

All in all, the Air Protect seems like a great car seat for parents who are very safety conscious and willing to shell out the extra $ for the added peace of mind, especially if you want to extend your kids’ ability to sit rear-facing. I’m not sure I’d pay $250 for a car seat, but having said that, functionally the seat is easy to install/use and I like that it transitions through the different phases of baby/toddler/preschool.

GreatDad.com Review Policy: The featured product for this review was provided to us, at no cost, by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. We do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. We only review products that we have personally tested and used in our own homes, and all opinions expressed are our own.