The Best Safety First Car Seat for Parents on the Budget (8 Top Picks)

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Are you still sleeping on Safety 1st car seats? If you want your kiddo to ride comfortably and safely, you need to check out this comprehensive guide.

I have selected 8 top models for everyone's budget and likings.

The Safety First car seats have been on the market for several years now, offering parents a sound mind. The functionality and budget-friendly prices are every parent's dream when it comes to child safety.

You will find the background info you need to know about the brand, safety ratings, and numerous benefits this brand offers.

What are you waiting for? Scroll down and find your top pick.

Top 3 Recommendations
Editor's Choices
Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Rear-facing 5-40 pounds, Forward-facing...*
Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat (Raven HX)*
Best Selling
Safety 1st Grand 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat, Forward-Facing with Harness, 30-65 pounds and...*
Price not available
Price not available
Best Feature
Best All-in-One Car Seat
Best Infant Car Seat
Ultimate Safety 1st Booster Seat
Customer's Rating
Editor's Choices
Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Rear-facing 5-40 pounds, Forward-facing...*
Price not available
Best Feature
Best All-in-One Car Seat
Customer's Rating
Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat (Raven HX)*
Price not available
Best Feature
Best Infant Car Seat
Customer's Rating
Best Selling
Safety 1st Grand 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat, Forward-Facing with Harness, 30-65 pounds and...*
Best Feature
Ultimate Safety 1st Booster Seat
Customer's Rating

Best Safety 1st Infant Car Seats & Travel System

Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 - Best Infant Car Seat

Not only is the OnBoard 35 Air 360 the best Safety First infant car seat, but it's also a fantastic choice for parents on a budget.

Some may question the seat's safety due to the affordable price, but let me assure you otherwise.

Let's see why this infant seat is highly appreciated in the parent world.

The Safety 1st car seat supports kiddos from 4 to 35 in rear-facing mode while offering five safety layers. This particular seat has been crash-tested for the rear, front, side, and rollover impacts.

With soft and plush padding, the car seat will protect your little one at all times.

Some did find hook-connectors to be quite troublesome. However, this depends on what kind of LATCH connectors you are used to. If you prefer push-on ones, expect the installation to be tricky.

The car seat includes a 5-point harness that adjusts quickly and contains four different harness heights and three buckle positions.

If you wish to separate the base from the car seat, you can easily do so. The stay-in-the-car base is completely adjusted to the customization of your car. When you want to separate the car seat, the process is made easy with the Carry Curve Handle that offers easy transport.

As for the fabric, I would advise you to be aware of overheating. This rear-facing car seat does not offer breathable material, so you should dress the child lightly.

  • Budget-friendly
  • Large canopy
  • 5-point harness
  • Non-breathable fabric

Safety 1st Onboard 35 LT Infant Car Seat - Most Versatile and Flexible

And, the 35 LT infant car seat can be yours if you like a secure and safe fit for your little one during the car trip.

Namely, the Safety 1st infant car seat contains LATCH attachments for kids between 4 and 35 pounds in a rear-facing manner.

Moreover, the infant car seat is an excellent option for you due to its construction.

As you can find, the car seat has an extremely lightweight frame and base, with next-generation and brand new engineering, so it's super-easy to carry and move around.

However, the seat is exceptional as it includes high-quality side-impact protection

Thus, you will encounter head and body inserts for more support, stability, and security for your kid. But, energy-absorbing foam along the frame will also keep your baby intact and stable inside the car seat in case of a car crash.

Of course, you can adjust the insert and support, harness, and height for your little one's better safety and comfort. The 5-point harness has five different height options, so it will be effortless to manage it with the pull.

The seat is highly versatile and flexible, suitable for strollers and even aircraft. So, it meets numerous rules and standards, making your trip more convenient.

Besides the FAA approval, the Safety 1st also meets and exceeds all JPMA, ASTM, and FMVSS and regulations.

Finally, the seat has removable content, is machine washable, and is a dry safe for effortless maintenance and cleaning.

  • Quick cleaning
  • Lightweight
  • Support
  • Durable
  • Installation issues

Safety 1st Travel System with OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat - Best Travel System

Quick! Think of one thing you would want from a traveling system. Convenience, right

Along with safety and comfort, convenience is vital for traveling parents. The Safety 1st presents one of the most helpful duos systems that every busy parent appreciates!

Firstly, let's start with the rear-facing car seat.

This duo comes with an OnBoard 35 LT rear-facing infant car seat, one of the brand's popular infant car seats. The base of the seat has two recline options, which is more than enough for comfy rides.

As for the installation, you will need to install the car seat with low connectors, but don't worry. The whole process is straightforward and quick. Since the connectors are a hook-on system, the installation will be done in no time.

Every infant car seat requires a maximum level of safety. The OnBoard 35 LT car seat includes side impact protection and added back and neck support.

Moreover, your little one will be safely secured in the rear-facing mode with a 5 point harness that supports children up to 35 pounds. There is a slightly bigger weight capacity for the stroller mode of 50 pounds.

The stroller is equipped with agile wheels that offer maximum maneuverability over bumpy roads and corners.

Plus, parking is made easy with the flip flop style brakes. For those extra accessories, you can safely store them in the storage basket.

  • Travel friendly
  • Easy-to-follow manual
  • Plush infant insert
  • Machine washable cover
  • There are no seat belt lock-off on the base

Best Safety 1st Convertible & All-in-One Car Seats

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat - Best Pick

Could this possibly be every parent's dream when they are searching for the best 3-in-1 system?

The highly versatile Grow and Go convertible car seat and booster will blow your mind; wait and see.

The Grow And Go car seat is the perfect example showing that not all expensive models are necessarily the best ones. The budget-friendly option has got you covered for a long time.

From infancy to toddlerhood, the 3 in 1 convertible car seat has your back.

The weight limitations are from 5 to 100 pounds, offering you years of service and ease of use.

Your baby can use this Grow and Go car seat from 5 to 40 pounds in the rear-facing mode. While in forward-facing mode, the car seat withstands from 22 to 65 pounds of weight. The car seat's last use is a belt-positioning booster that supports children from 40 to 100 pounds.

On the side, you can find two integrated cup holders, which are a great benefit to have during long travels. Since traveling with kids always turns out to be messy, the cupholders are easy to take out and wash, just like the seat pad.

One of the Grow and Go seat's best features is the shortened bottom that offers extra legroom.

The Grow and Go are a perfect 3 in 1 convertible car seat option for parents looking to cut down on the budget but not on the quality.

  • Convertible
  • Quick-Fit Harness
  • Comfortable
  • Large weight capacity
  • Bulky design

Safety 1st Continuum 3-in-1 Car Seat - Top Convertible Car Seat

The best safety first convertible car seat title goes out to the Continuum 3 in 1 model.

If you think that the Grow and Go car seat is a bit over your price range, but you still want a quality 3 in 1 convertible car seat, then this is your top pick.

This is a slightly less expensive version of the Safety 1st Grow and Go but with equally quality and ease of use.

This car seat and three different modes of use: rear-facing, forward-facing, and seat belt-positioning booster.

While the Grow and Go has a weight limit of 40 to 100 pounds, this one has a slightly smaller limit of 40 to 80 pounds in the booster seat.

The Continuum car seat offers three recline positions for little ones who can't sit upright just yet. The installation uses LATCH connectors that parents love! Within minutes, your new Safety 1st car seat will be installed and ready to be used.

Taking care of your car seat is extremely important!

This is why Safety 1st puts easy maintenance as a priority. The cover can be taken off whenever it needs a thorough clean, and it's suitable for both the washer and the dryer.

As child safety concerns every time you take the little ones for a ride, the Safety 1s uses side impact protection in this 3 in 1 car seat and ensures safe rides.

  • Affordable
  • 3 in 1 car seat
  • Easy to install
  • Cannot use LATCH in booster mode

Disney Baby Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat - Best for Side-impact Protection

Why should you opt for this Safety 1st convertible seat?

First of all, you will love the Disney design, full of maximum comfort and coziness for your little princess.

As you will find, the Disney car seat provides extra thick and soft padding, supporting your babies between 5 and 65 pounds. Thus, you can use it rear and forward-facing, according to your kid's needs.

Moreover, the Jive convertible car seat is an excellent model for you since the car seat also contains a removable body and head pillow for better support and more comfort. So, your kid will have all the stability and security they need for trouble-free rides.

Also, the car seat will grow with them, supporting their body postures, and they will love the comfort and softness the plus padding offers.

In addition, the car seat is perfect as it offers more stability and security for your little one.

Namely, the 5-point harness benefits three buckle locations and five different height options; therefore, the seat will keep your petite one secure and stable while riding and add more coziness with the flexible harness.

Regarding the cleaning and maintenance process, the seat offers two removable cup holders and detachable content.

So, you can wash them in the washing machine and dry them safely for more cleaning options. In addition, the holders are dishwasher safe.

Finally, the convertible car seat will wow you since it contains FAA approval for air travel. And, the design is compact for airport controls.

  • Comfort
  • Quick cleaning
  • Durable
  • Portable
  • Safety issues

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat - Suitable For Small Cars

Now here is a real treat for parents with small cars. We have all been there.

We find our dream car, but when it's time to find a car seat, that's when things get tricky. A lot of the models on the market are quite bulky and do not offer any additional legroom.

Well, meet your new favorite compact Safety 1st car seat, The Guide 65 convertible master. This convertible car seat is a perfect choice for smaller cars, but it will also work in bigger ones, resulting in extra legroom and 3 in row installations.

The car seat offers rear-facing installations by supporting babies from 5 to 40 pounds and forward-facing facilities from 22 to 65 pounds.

With a built-in side impact protection, the Safety 1st car seat keeps infants and toddlers safe at all times. Now, for the comfort, you will be amazed by the plush padding and removable pillow.

Since the infant insert is removable, it gives you a prolonged use in forward-facing installation. The car seat is ready to keep up with the growth of your child.

Also, the Safety 1st car seat comes with a removable cup holder that occupies the little ones during travels. Not only does it serve to hold beverages, but they can also sneak a snack or two in their "secret" hiding spot.

  • Allows three in a row installations
  • 5-point harness
  • Suitable for small cars
  • Plush padding
  • Adjustable features
  • Tricky installation

Best Safety 1st Booster Car Seats

Safety 1st Grand Booster Car Seat - Ultimate Safety 1st Booster Seat

Last but not least, the car seat on our list is the Safety 1st Grand Booster car seat. This car seat deserves a lot more praise than it usually gets, and I'm going to demonstrate why.

Firstly, this is not your regular-everyday type of booster. No way! You can use this booster seat as a forward-facing car seat until your kiddo is ready for a belt-positioning booster.

The car seat can support between 30 to 65 pounds in forward-facing mode, while the booster takes between 40 to 120 pounds. Pretty impressive, right?

Until your child is fit for a booster, you can safely secure them in a 5-point harness and ensure they reach the standard of using a booster—no sudden changes.

It follows the child's growth with its many convenient features such as an adjustable head pillow with added head and neck support.

Comfortable rides are in everyone's interest!

The plush padding makes sure your child is relaxed and comfortable during summer and snug during wintertime. The breathable fabric makes all the difference here.

As for the 5-point harness, it ensures your child has proper support with two belts around the shoulders, one crotch strap, and two hip straps for stability and safe rides.

The whole construction of the booster car seat is designed for families on-the-go.

Safety 1st car seat paid special attention to making the booster lightweight for transport and easily installed in every vehicle.

  • Ease of use
  • 5-point harness
  • Plush padding
  • Flimsy construction

A Few Words About Safety 1s Car Seats

Now that you have read the Safety First car seat reviews, I would like to educate you more on the brand and help you understand the real value of their car seats.

Safety 1st was created in 1984, USA. You know the little bumper sign you see on every vehicle? The one that reads ''Baby On Board"?

Well, we have Safety 1st to thank for that. The sign was their top seller, even nowadays.

The creator, Michael Lerner, realized that child safety had become a growing concern in American households. This is why he created a line of childproofing accessories and a wide range of outdoor and indoor baby gear products.

The result of the brand's hard work is developing high-quality and efficient products that parents worldwide now love and trust.

The products cover home equipment, hygiene, baby care, strollers, and car seats.

1. What makes the Safety 1st car seats special?

If you asked us to select one of the many benefits these car seats offer, it would be the non-toxic elements.

Parents who are looking to get only the finest for their child, listen up! These car seats use a minimal amount of fire retardant in their design.

Some of you may rebel against the minimal amount, but you should know that this amount is required to be present by the US law. Still, the car seats are safe for newborns.

Since NHTSA requires all car seats to meet the necessary flammability regulations, I think we can agree when I say that Safety 1st is on the top of the game.

All of the car seats are made out of natural cotton neoprene blend and are entirely non-toxic.

2. Why should you choose these car seats?

best safety 1st car seat

All of the car seats I reviewed have their pros and cons, but they also have one thing in common—a trustworthy service.

You can be calm, knowing that your child is always safe, whether riding rear-facing or forward-facing.

The unique features are designed to offer only the best comfort your child deserves during longer rides.

Many parents don't want to spend a couple of hundred dollars every few years on a car seat. The 3 in 1 convertible car seat system you can find in most Safety 1st seats is truly a wonder.

The car seats are constructed to support a large weight capacity and therefore result in more prolonged use.

Plus, a lot of the options are budget-friendly if you compare the prices on the market.

3. How does Safety 1st compare to the competitors?

In terms of comparison, you can notice that Safety 1s does not reach enough praise as other brands on the market. This is because most customers tend to focus on the luxurious design rather than on features and safety ratings.

Safety 1st car seats are compact with enhanced layers of side impact protection and offer extended service.

4. Safety considerations

Lastly, I would like you to pay attention to safety.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you need to secure your child in a car seat or a booster seat during the ride.

Child restraint devices are known to reduce the chances of injuries by 82%.

Safety 1st car seats use a 5-point harness along with side impact protection and Quick Fit harness.


Is Safety First a good car seat?

Safety 1st car seats may not get enough credit in the car seat world, but the selection is impressive from our point of view.

They offer stability, safety, ease of use, and budget-friendly prices. The brand offers everything a parent would want for their child during transport.

Is Safety 1st car seat FAA approved?

Some of them are, the others aren't.

First, you have to find a label stating that the car seat is suitable for aircraft and motor vehicle uses.

Also, you can check with the airline whether they will approve your car seat on the plane.

What is the safety rating on Safety 1st car seat?

According to the NHTSA testing, the Safety 1st car seat got an overall 2/5 rating for the rear-facing car seat installation.

The brand received a total of 3/5 stars for the booster car seat installation.

Overall, the Safety 1st car seats are considered well-designed and safe for everyday use and traveling.

Although they may not have the highest rating, they are still a trustworthy choice for many parents.

What accessories does the Safety 1st car seat come with?

best safety 1st convertible car seat

Depending on the type of Safety 1st car seat you choose, you can pick from various accessories.

Such include the Safety 1st head support pillow, baby mirror, car seat base, protective car seat sun shade, kick mats, and backseat mirrors.

Although they might result in a costly purchase, it's always nice to equip your new Safety 1st car seat with many necessary accessories!

Which is better Safety 1st or Evenflo?

Safety 1st and Evenflo have their pros and cons.

If you are looking for an economical price point, ease of use, and large weight capacity, then the leading choice would definitely be Safety 1st.

If you desire advanced safety technology, comfort, and luxurious design, we would have the advantage of Evenflo.

How long is Safety 1st infant car seat good for?

Like all car seats, a Safety 1st infant car seat is good for around 6-10 years of use. You can find the expiration date and the manufacturing label on every Safety 1st car seat.

After a car seat has expired or has been in an accident, you need to discontinue using it. The safety is compromised, and the car seat no longer serves the safety purpose as it should.

How do I know if my Safety 1st car seat is expired?

You will find a sticker on the backside of the seat.

Most seats expire after six to ten years of use, but inspecting the shell from top to bottom part on the back is better.

Look for the manufacturer's date or expiratory date.

How do I convert my Safety 1st car seat to a booster?

Safety 1st car seats are not that tricky to work with; converting them to a booster will take some time.

For starters, remove the harness straps on the car seat.

You can do this with scissors, but skip this step if you plan on passing the car seat to the younger child. Instead, simply try to tuck the straps in.

Next, adjust the headrest and the highback position for the car seat.

Finally, remove any body inserts of the forward-facing design, and you have your belt-positioning booster!

best safety first convertible car seat

How do you clean Safety 1st infant car seat?

Some Safety 1st infant car seats come with a removable car seat cover. You can clean it through a gentle machine wash cycle using mild soap and detergent.

Removing the body insert and the infant insert to spot clean is also possible with Safety 1st. Other parts such as harness pads and covers should also be spot-cleaned.

The Safety 1st car seat's metal and plastic parts should only be wiped with a damp cloth. Try not to expose the car seat's plastic parts to the sun as it may damage them.

How to install Safety First car seat?

Safety 1st car seats are one of the most comfortable seats to install. Most of them use the LATCH system, which makes the process of installation that much easier.

Here is a helpful video on the structure of one of the most popular Safety 1st car seats; the marvelous Grow and Go.

How do you adjust the straps on Safety First car seat?

Start by pushing the metal adjuster of the Safety 1st car seat, which is under the seat pad. Next, use your force to pull the harness and loosen the straps.

Now you can easily maneuver the desirable height of the straps.

Rotate the QuickFit handle and adjust the headrest in the desired position.

Final Words

A higher price does not always stand for better quality. Safety 1st car seats have ensured that the budget-friendly choices are still a hot item on the market.

If you don't want to splurge but even need a quality seat with excellent safety ratings, you know what to do.

Our best pick is the Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat. Check out our full Safety First 3 in 1 car seat reviews above and find your ultimate model.

Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Rear-facing 5-40 pounds, Forward-facing...*
  • BUILT TO GROW: The Safety 1st Grow and Go Convertible Car Seat is for extended use through 3 stages: Rear-facing 5-40 pounds, Forward-facing 22-65 pounds, and Belt-positioning booster seat 40-100...
  • SIDE IMPACT PROTECTION: The Grow and Go's side impact protection helps keep your child safe through all of the 3-in-1 convertible car seat’s stages.
  • EASY IN, EASY OUT: Harness holders keep the harness in an open position so it's easy to get your child in and out of the car seat.
  • QUICKFIT HARNESS: With the QuickFit Harness you can easily adjust both the harness and headrest with one hand.
Avatar of Kathy Warner

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here

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