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Convertible Car Seat review: Safety 1st Complete Air 65

BB Rating
What's This?


A EXCELLENT-our top pick!
B GOOD-above average quality, prices, and creativity.
C FAIR-could stand some improvement.
D POOR-yuck! Could stand some major improvement.

Price: $126 to $200

Type: Convertible seat.

Limits: 5 to 40 lbs. (19” to 40”) rear facing, 22 to 65 lbs. (and 34” to 45”) forward facing.

NHTSA ease of use rating: Rear facing: Three out of five stars. Forward facing: Three out of five stars.

Pros: 40 lbs. rear facing! Side impact protection.

Cons: Huge seat makes for a tough fit in small or mid-size cars.

Comments: “Revolutionary side impact technology” is how Safety 1st describes the Complete Air, a convertible seat that works to 40 lbs. rear facing, one of the first seats to reach that limit (others have since caught up). The side impact shields inflate during a crash, providing more protection for baby in case of a crash.

The Complete Air also features a “QuickFit” harness system that adjusts the harness height without rethreading.

Parent feedback on this seat has been mixed: more than one reader mentioned the seat’s large size makes it a tough fit even in mid-size sedans, especially in rear facing mode. Other parents complained they couldn’t get the seat to recline enough in their cars; some used rolled up towels or noodles.

That said, folks who are able to install this seat cite its overall quality—the no-rethread harness particularly wins praise for ease of use. No, this seat isn’t as polished as other premium brands like Britax and Recaro. Example: the base on the seat is unfinished plastic with rough edges. Upper-end seats have rubberized plastic bases, which better protect an auto’s seats. Of course, the Complete Air is $100 less than those seats, so there’s your trade-off.

Bottom line: kudos to Dorel for making a seat that works to 40 lbs. rear facing. But you better have a large vehicle to make it work. Rating: B

 Amazon Customer Reviews: Safety 1st Compete Air 65



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