Disclosure: I was given a car seat from Dorel Juvenile Group in exchange for my honest review of their product. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.
I have a lot of car seats in my van. You would think after having five children I would be an expert on using and installing them but guess what? I'm not! I didn't even really start looking into car seat safety more until my second or third child - before that, I'd just went with what I assumed was right or what I saw other people doing. That changed though when I went to an event a couple years ago that had a car seat safety check. After learning things I was doing wrong, I've tried to be more diligent about using my car seats correctly and being safe. Because honestly, no one ever plans to have a wreck! I'd hate to have something happen and then have my children be hurt because I couldn't be bothered to figure something out.
One thing that has always frustrated me about car seats is figuring out which one to use and when to use it. First you've got your infant seat, then when they outgrow that you move on to a seat for your baby/toddler, then after that is a booster - and there's so many different varieties of each one that it can be hard to figure out what to get! Luckily the new Grow & Go seats from Safety 1st make figuring that out super easy.
The Safety 1st Grow & Go EX Air is amazing. Instead of buying multiple seats, this one seat can be used rear facing, forward facing, and as a booster. It is adaptable for use from 5 pounds up to 100 pounds: rear facing from 5 - 40 pounds, forward facing from 22 - 65 pounds, and in booster mode from 40 - 100 pounds. Although the seat is going to primarily be used with my 17 month old, I was able to use it with 4 out of my 5 children:
- 10 pound 3 month old
- 21 pound 17 month old
- 32 pound 3 and 1/2 year old
- 44 pound 7 year old
|(The three and seven year old do need the headrest moved up some, I didn't realize that when I was first snapping pictures. Chalk it up to me being excited about the seat, haha!)|
The seat expires 10 years from the manufacture date so you'll get a LOT of use out of it. It comes fully assembled out of the box which is also great - I'm not super handy at things like that! Two built in cup holders give you a place to stick a drink and snack, or some small toys. Our seat is Lithograph but there are also several other colors available: Silverberry Ash, Storm 2, Arctic Dream, and Onyx Dream. Another feature I LOVE is the washable cover that you can snap on and off. You don't have to undo all the straps and rethread everything, just snap and unsnap!
The seat features Air Protect® which is an advanced cushion system that provides extra protection and has a great deal of padding (3 pillows) to keep your baby comfy and to help keep their head from flopping. (You can remove the pillows as they grow.) It is incredibly easy to adjust and install, and the manual was very thorough. It offers two different recline positions, one for a newborn or child who can't sit upright independently and another for a child who can sit unassisted. The QuickFit Harness adjusts the harness and height of the headrest with one hand.
My only issues with this seat are very minor. It does take up a bit more space front-to-back than other seats I have used. I had to do some juggling around in our van to get everyone's seats adjusted and in the right place but it worked out fine. I imagine this would vary depending on your individual vehicle and what recline level you have it at. It is also a bit heavier than other seats I've used but that is not really an issue once you get it installed.
Overall, I am very pleased with this seat. I am thrilled that it grows with your child and that it eliminates the problem of buying multiple seats. I would recommend it to new parents or anyone who is looking to buy a new car seat for their child!