The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 is an economy seat that gives you nice features and longevity of use for a very good price. The term “3-in-1” means it can be used rear facing, forward facing, and as a high back booster.
Though a booster seat probably isn’t on your mind right now, the takeaway is that this seat will prevent you from having to buy a separate high back (or “belt positioning”) booster later on.
Safety 1st is one of the many brands under the Dorel Company umbrella. Their other brands include Maxi-Cosi, Quinny and Cosco. They are a trusted name in the baby gear business.
These “all in one” seats are growing in popularity every year – and in 2019, we saw just about every major car seat maker release one onto the market. They tend to be more expensive than regular convertibles, but you’re getting longer use out of it. This one, however, is a bargain even for a convertible seat, and is pretty highly rated. Though not the sexiest seat of the bunch, it’s one that mainstream parents can get behind.
This seat weighs 16 lbs, so it’s not super heavy. This makes it good for grandparents. It would also make a decent spare seat or travel seat, and it comes in just about any color under the sun.
Things we like:
- Harness holders (shown below) holds the harness out of the way, so it’s easy to get your child in and out of the seat. I LOVE this feature!!
- QuickFit™ Harness for easy adjustment of both harness and headrest in one simple step – you don’t ever have to rethread it to adjust for height (except for use with an infant).
- Easy to remove, washable cover: the cover can be removed without removing the harness or uninstalling the seat. Great for kids who get car sick!
- 2 cupholders: one for drink and one for snack 😀
Thing we don’t like:
- One complaint is that the harness won’t properly tighten. This is because the splitter plate sometimes gets stuck on the plastic ribs between the bottom of the seating area and the base. If you have this problem, remove the seat and check the splitter plate on the back to fix it.
- The Grow and Go’s lower anchor connectors are the standard j-hook style (nail breakers), but hey, what do you expect for the price.
- It’s not our favorite for infants because, when reclined for an infant, it takes up TONS of space
- Adjusting the harness height for an infant is especially difficult
The Upgraded version: The “EX Air“ ~ $199
There’s an upgraded version of this seat called the Grow and Go “EX Air”, which adds the Dorel company’s famous “Air Protect” Side Impact Protection — and offers a higher rear-facing weight capacity (50 lbs).
This is a better choice if you plan on practicing extended rear facing (i.e. rear facing into year 3 and 4), especially with a bigger/heavier kid. It also offers superior side impact protection.
This seat is available at Buy Buy Baby for $199.
*Currently out of stock.
Safety 1st Grow and Go: Bottom Line
All in all, the Safety 1st Grow and Go (and Grow and Go Ex Air ~ $199) is pretty darn nice seats for a great price. Both car seats have several niceties you only see in higher end seats, such as ample padding, a no re-thread harness, buckle pockets (squeee!!!) and a washable cover.
Remember it’s still an economy seat, so nail breaker LATCH connectors it is. Be sure to check the splitter plate in the back if your harness won’t tighten, but that’s easy enough. Return it if it still won’t tighten properly. Enjoy!