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on October 26, 2012
I am really happy with my purchase for both of my new convertible car seats. We bought two convertible car seats for my 6 month old son since he had outgrown his Chicco KeyFit car seat since he's a very big boy (FYI...we loved our Chicco KeyFit and I would highly recommend this for an infant car seat, we will be reusing that car seat with our second child since we bought a neutral fabric). He's 23lbs and very broad (12-18 month clothes, to give you an idea how big he is). So we bought both the Britax Pavillion 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat in Onyx and the Safety 1st Complete Air Protect 65 Convertible Car Seat in the fabric Great Lakes. So far we like both of the car seats. It's only been about a month that we've had them but so far we've been pleased. Between the two car seats my husband likes the Safety 1st. I like both of them and I think my husband only likes the Safety 1st one better because it's in our Nissan which sits down lower and the Britax is in our Ford Edge and it sits up higher so it is harder to put him in without trying to bonk his head on the car because of the headrest/side impact protection.

First I will mention, I spent countless hours researching car seats via websites, reviews, discussion with other parents, etc, as I knew my son would need a new car seat by the time he was 6 to 7 months at the rate he was growing so I started my research when he was about 4 months old. Everyone told me to buy a Britax regardless of what model. I love my Britax but I also really like my Safety 1st. I will explain both of the positives and negatives to each of my car seats since I would recommend both at this point. (Also note...we've only used these in the reverse position since he's too young to have them in the front facing position).

Britax:
* True Side Impact--This was a must in both of my car seats! Since side impact is one of the number one causes for infant deaths in a car wreck, this was a must for my prescious cargo. As I mentioned above, this does make it harder to put him in and out the car but it keeps his neck/head safe and also serves as a great pillow in the long car rides. (We took an 8 hour trip to Arkansas through windy roads last weekend and he slept great and was very content in his car seat). You could tell he was much more comfortable in this compared to his infant car seat that he was clearly outgrowing.
* Easy to install--I did not install either of these (my husband did) but he had no issue installing either of the car seats.
* Click Safe Feature--My friend has the older version of the Boulevard and had mentioned this feature in my Pavillion. She told me it wasn't that great of a feature but I have to disagree...I really like it especially when you have family members who are hook your baby in for the first time. His grandmother didn't realize he wasn't in tight enough until I showed her the click safe feature which clicks when you have your baby in tight enough. Yes you can keep tightening and adjusting and it will click more but it really does help for those who are weary about strapping your little one in too tight.
* EZ-Buckle system--I love this feature so I don't have to dig for the buckle like I did with his infant car seat and his Safety 1st seat.
* Color--we bought the onyx since it was neutral and matched better to my black interior of my edge however, I wish the Pavillion offered the same patterns as the Boulevard as I love the Zebra print but I got a deal with Amazon on the Pavillion so I went with that versus the Boulevard since there really isn't a lot of difference between those two models.
* Complaint--the biggest complaint my husband not I had on this car seat was the fact that it was harder to figure out how to use. There was an insert I think to use if you had an infant and since technically we have an infant my husband thought we had to use it but we quickly realized we had to remove that since it made it hard to release the straps to buckle him in.
* Price--more expensive than the Safety 1st but you pay more for the great features and I got my Britax at a super great price off Amazon
* Size--too large to fit in our Nissan but fits great in our Edge with room to spare

Safety 1st
* Easy Install--apparently was easier than the Britax to install. Britax wasn't hard but husband said this took 5 minutes and the Britax took about 10 based on the instructions. (My husband's good at putting thing together so I am sure this is different for everyone).
* Safety- again like the Britax I love the air pillow that keeps my baby's head/neck safe. He falls asleep often in the car and uses it as a rest for his head as well.
* Color--I wanted a more neutral color which they offered but my deal was for the Great Lakes color so I went with that. They offer a good selection of colors and neutral colors and the fabric seemed nice but not as soft as my Britax. I have no idea about washing as I haven't needed to wash either yet.
* Buckle--the buckle is very easy to figure out (much easier than the Britax)...my only complaint would be that I have to dig for that darn buckle like I did with that infant car seat (I am spoiled with the Britax on this feature)
* Size--Since the Britax is rather large, it didn't fit in our Nissan hence why we bought a different car seat. This fits snug but great in our Nissan. I think all convertible car seats are large in nature so you just have to test them out. We went to one of our local boxed stores in our area and tried them out before purchasing them on Amazon.
* Comfortable--he seems to like it and use this car seat mainly to and from daycare. We haven't done any long trips in this car yet but I wouldn't think any issue with it. He seems very comfortable and happy.

Overall, I am very happy with both car seats. The Britax has more features but it's also bulkier and more expensive than the Safety 1st. I think for the price and the safety features in the Safety 1st it's a great deal. I guess it depends on the size of the car and price point that you are looking for. I like both car seats so I am happy with both based on each of their purposes. Hope that helps!
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on April 1, 2013
I was skeptical of this thing when I first saw it considering it was priced far lower than most of the other car seats. My wife urged me to order one so we could save a few bucks so to make her happy I did so. I was impressed with the head restraint when I saw it in person. I don't doubt it would do a great job in the event of a side collision. I was not impressed with the overall size of the thing though. Once installed it rendered the front passenger seat of both our cars useless (I tried it in each one). It was difficult to position properly on leather seats and I had to use a rolled up towel and pool noodle to get it to sit right. Tightening the LATCH connectors was difficult because the tension buckle made it difficult to pull the straps tight.

Things went fine with it for about a week. Then the strap that you pull to tighten the shoulder straps started getting difficult to pull and kept getting worse. Eventually we found ourselves putting way to much effort into tightening the shoulder straps and didn't want to see how much worse it got in the 2 years we planned on owning this. So I returned the one I got, marked as "Defective" and got another.

2 weeks later, same exact thing happened. The tension strap started off fine and kept getting progressively more and more difficult to pull. So I returned it and got another, thinking 3rd time is the charm.

1 week after getting the 3rd one the same thing happened and I knew I was done with it. In all three cases the problem seemed to revolve around the buckle as I didn't see anything wrong with the straps and made sure they weren't rubbing against the noodle or towel that I had to use to position it correctly.

Bottom line, if you pay $150 for something that other companies are charging way more for, you're going to get what you pay for. Look at the bright side, the thing will never loosen up in the event of an accident!

I ended up getting a Britax Marathon 70-G3 and am very happy with it as it's MUCH easier to install, has an adjustable base, and doesn't take up as much space in our cars which means that our front seat is usable again.
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on February 19, 2011
We installed this car seat rear-facing in my Hyundai Sonata for my son when he was 6 months old (he is now 9 months). There is a line on the car seat that should be parallel to the ground for the rear-facing position; however, the line was not parallel to the ground and the seat was far too upright. The manufacturer suggests placing a rolled-up towel beneath the front of the base if the seat is not reclined enough. We tried this, and it was still far too upright. When my son falls asleep, his head always falls forward. When I reach back and lift his head back up, it falls right back down as soon as I start to let go. We've tried pillows, blankets, etc. to try to prop his head up, but nothing works. We really wanted to like this car seat, and have tried to make it work for 3 months, but we are disappointed.

That being said, this is a good-quality product for a fantastic price, and it was almost exactly what we expected. It was quite easy to install rear-facing (I and my husband both installed it - it was a cinch for him, but I had some difficulty getting the seatbelt tightened properly); we did not try the forward-facing install, but it looks easy as well and the instruction manual is easy to follow with clear illustrations for each step.

*** UPDATE ***

After all but giving up on this car seat, we went to a car seat installation check sponsored by our county Safe Kids organization. 3 pool noodles were required to adjust the seat to *nearly* the proper recline -- the "parallel to ground" line is still shy of parallel. However, on the way home, our son took a glorious, comfortable 1.5 hour nap in the car (I think he would've slept longer if we'd let him), and his head never slumped forward! I've read mixed conclusions about the safety of placing anything beneath a car seat (even a flat towel to protect the upholstery), so I'm a little uncomfortable with the 3 pool noodles, but the Safe Kids technician assured us that it's fine. We are now much happier with the car seat, but we still wished we had bought the Complete Air 65 LX -- it's identical to this model, but it has a 3-position adjustable recline designed to resolve this problem.
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on January 15, 2013
Buying the seat:
Our Eddie Bauer seat was recalled. And, to be honest, I was somewhat glad to be able to trade that dreaded EB seat in for a different model. Our EB seat took forever to install, was difficult if not impossible to adjust once it was in, and didn't wear well. In any case, when I was picking out a replacement, this one looked great in the store and when I looked up the reviews, I decided to give it a try. When I say 'give it a try', I mean that I was 100% ready to return it to the store if it didn't live up to my expectations. Well, we are definitely NOT returning it. In fact, I've just ordered a 2nd one for my daughter. This car seat is GREAT!

Initial Impressions:
Installation took only 5-10 minutes. Adjusting it was a breeze and took about 30 seconds. The minimalist black/turquoise design looks great in my car. The seat is super-comfy for my son. When he fell asleep in his old car seat, his head would flop over to one side, which always made me cringe... it looked terribly uncomfortable. He actually looks super comfortable sleeping in this car seat. We frequently drive from Santa Fe to Albuquerque and it's about an hour-long drive. My son used to wake up after about 30 minutes and seem fussy/grumpy for the last 30 minutes of the drive. Now, he sleeps the whole hour and wakes up as if he's had a nice nap.

Quality:
This seat is made so much better than our other car seats were that it makes me wonder if my children were even safe in the EB seats! This car seat just 'feels' better. The fabric is of a higher quality. The cushioning feels more comfy. The plastics are rigid and heavier. The belts are just like a seat belt found in a car, wide and thick. The buckles are solid and made of a durable, thick plastic/metal combination that exceeds other seats I've looked at. The clips that actually anchor the seat into your car seem MUCH better than the older style.

I wouldn't change a thing. Great design! Great price! Great quality!
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on June 30, 2014
I purchased this carseat in 2012 when I was pregnant with my son. I purchased it from Sears. There was an error in the advertisement distributed with the paper. It was "on sale" for $59. That was really the price of the carseat next to it in the ad, but Sears since made an "oopsie", they honored the price adjustment in apologies for the error. What a great deal!

When my son was born we used the carseat from the Graco Reverse Travel System. When he turned approximately one year old.... we switched to this seat. He is now 2 years and 1 month and loves his seat. He is still rear-facing and will remain that way until he exceeds the 40 pound rear-facing limit that the seat has(because it's safer for him).

Pros:
- I am very confident in the protection offered with the carseat. I do not worry about my son's safety.
- It is very durable. Anytime he has dropped food or snacks it has been easy to clean.
- Rear facing until 40 pounds!!! So exciting!! Rear facing as long as possible is important.
- The black and blue make a beautiful combination. I love the color of the blue.
- Friends who have had this seat who have been in crashes have been amazed at the quality of the seat and how their child stay safe.

Cons:
- With any carseat.... sometimes the stupid belt twists and you have to waste time untwisting it back because it's unsafe to leave it twisted. Annoying but I doubt it's avoidable.
- The other reviews were correct when they said that when the seat is rear-facing and in the proper position(I used a cut pool noodle and a rolled up towel for the proper angle), it takes up a lot of space. I have a 2009 Pontiac G6 GT.... a very roomie car in my opinion. I have my son in the center of the car since that is the safest spot. I am 5'6 and I can only move my seat backwards 1 inch or so before I'm touching his carseat. Forget reclining either seat in my vehicle. I wanted to purchase the new Honda Civic next but I know his seat won't fit. So I'm hoping the Honda Accord is at least the same size backseat or larger than my current one.
- It took a long time to get the seat to sit still. No matter how tight I pulled it.. his seat still moved. I had to have another person kneel with partial weight into the seat to get it tight enough. Definitely a man's job. lol. I wasn't strong enough.

I am not someone who takes the carseat in and out... once it is in, it is in. I have only taken it out maybe twice just because it's a pain to reinstall in the car with the proper angle, noodle, and towel.

I have also yet to use the courtesy cup holder that was included. I tried before but it doesn't stay on the carseat. I haven't been desperate enough to look for the instructions to see if there should be a screw or something holding it there. My son wouldn't use it anyway. He prefers to throw his sippy cup up front and try to hit me in the head while I'm driving.

All in all... I love this seat. It has my star of recommendation.
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on February 17, 2013
I recently purchased two of these carseats for my two-year-old twins. I chose this one because of the safety features, but I was concerned that their view might be obstructed. That has not been the case though, and the kids seem to love these seats and to be very comfortable riding in them. I would definitely recommend them!
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on December 22, 2011
I do not understand why a lot of reviews out there claim that this seat is too upright, too big, to difficult to install. It is none of these things! If you have a small car, I'm sorry, but any convertible carseat you buy you will have issues with having to move your seats up. I have actually found that this is one of the "smaller" convertible carseats out there - I have seen some HUGE ones! I have a 2011 Toyota Tacoma and this carseat fits in there with room to spare. We do not have to move seats up at all.

There is a debate whether or not the carseat should be touching any portion of the front seats because of the continuation of impact affect it will have on the carseat and your child. This information is from a trusted site: [...]

Q48: My rear-facing carseat is touching the back of the seat in front of it? Is that OK?

Please consult the owner's manual of your carseat. For most carseats, this is not a problem and may actually improve safety. You should also check your vehicle manual to confirm that it allows a rear-facing car seat to touch the back of the seat in front of it; this may interfere with the "smart" air bag sensors in some newer vehicles. Best practice from the NHTSA training manual states, "A rear-facing seat can be installed so it rests against the back of the vehicle seat ahead if not counter to manufacturers instructions....If the gap is small or the child is on the heavy side, it is much better to be already touching any forward structure prior to a crash than to hit it during the crash. Resting against a forward seat back is only one way to achieve these benefits."

Another negative review I've seen is the concern about the angle. I really don't like when my little guy's head falls on his chest when he falls asleep in the car either but we have no issues with that. We put it at more of an angle with a tightly rolled towel. A friend has an entirely different brand and model and she still has this issue but it is so big that she can't even put a rolled up towel under it! A lot of moms are saying that they don't feel like they should have to rig up something like this but to me it is a very simple fix. You can always go with the LX model if you still don't feel comfortable because it does have a reclining option. Again, information from the same website:

Q47: Is it OK to put a towel under my carseat to adjust the angle?

You may put a tightly rolled towel or foam pool "noodle" under the front of a rear-facing carseat (near the crack of the vehicle seat) to get the necessary recline. You must not put a noodle, thick towels, or any compressible material under a forward-facing carseat.

This carseat is very comfortable for my baby boy too! Very easy to install with the LATCH system or regular seatbelt. I like the LATCH system because it feels more secure and safe.

There are also reviews that comment on how hard this was to install or couldn't get it installed correctly. We just did not really understand that because it is actually very easy! The incline issue and touching the front seats issue which I addressed should help for those who thought those were negative aspects of the carseat. You do have to put some muscle into it to get it tight like we like it. I usually just press my knee down on the seat while my husband uses his strength to click it in place.

Overall, this carseat is EXCELLENT and I am very picky about products! Extremely nice quality, fabric comes off easily for washing. I know the AIR system is definitely meant to protect their head from a collision but it also doubles as an EXCELLENT head rest when they fall asleep.
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on May 9, 2013
This is the third car seat that we've gotten for my son and I wish we'd had this one from the start. It's much softer and cushioned that his two previous seats (Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 LX Infant Car Seat, Metropolis and Safety 1st All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Scribbles) and seems much safer. I don't like how other reviewers are saying that you "get what you pay for" and complaining that this seat doesn't fit their car. This seat is expensive for a lot of people, not everyone can afford to buy a $300 or more car seat. And if the seat doesn't fit in your car, that doesn't make it a bad seat, so that shouldn't affect the review. We have a 4-door Pontiac G6, and this seat does fit rear-facing in the center of the back seat, and it also fits behind the passenger seat. Yes, the passenger seat had to be pushed forward, but in my opinion it wasn't so far forward that it was unusable. We're having baby #2 in a few months and we plan on getting another Safety 1st Complete Air Protect seat. My son will have to be scooted over from the middle to the side, and so will the new baby, so the "wings" next to their heads and the over-all safety rating of the seat make me feel much better about them being right next to the car door. This seat is lightweight, safe, soft, and allows baby/toddler to remain rear-facing longer than a lot of other seats. I have no complaints and I'm pretty picky! I'm so relieved to feel like we've finally found a great car seat.

My only suggestion, not really a complaint, but something you may want to purchase with the seat, is strap covers (We had Brica Cushies Button Up Strap Covers, Gray/Blue/Green that we purchased with his first seat) because this seat doesn't come with any. And an insert, like Kiddopotamus Snuzzler Complete Head and Body Support, Ivory Terry, if you're going to have a newborn in the seat, or else you'll have to roll up receiving blankets around the baby.
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on January 27, 2014
I love the car seat but it's a major pain to install. Fed ex must have dropped it or something. The box had been re taped. It was missing the owners manual and belt clip. It had also been raining that day. I was able to download the manual from online and use an old belt clip. The next day I find in the middle of my driveway the soaking wet manual. I do feel like my son is safe in the car seat so I'm giving it 5 stars but if there's a way to rate the delivery it would not be so lucky.
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on February 7, 2013
So far the car seat seems fine. Quality-wise, it feels lightweight but strong. It seems easy to install. It seems much like other car seats. The air protect was what sold it to me.

There was no manual included, although the seat was shipped in what looked like the manufacturer's box. The company sent me the manual by email and I then printed out all 30 pages. I was told by the company it was supposed to be in the recline stand in the back of the car seat, but it was not there, or anywhere in the package. That is a bit disturbing, as it makes us wonder if 1) quality control was lacking or 2) the seat was actually a return item sold as new. The seat does appear to be in new shape. I would, however, hesitate to buy this seat again from here, because of the weirdness of the manual not being included and the inconvenience of having to retrieve product numbers and email the company about three times to get the right manual (you can get it from the website, but to be sure it's the right manual you also have to go through some hoops and guessing games, as more than one search result comes up when you search for the manual by the product IDs they request).
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