Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thumbs Up or Down for this one?

This is the Safety First Alpha Omega Elite. Anyone have this seat? Do you love it? Hate it?


I'm having the world's worst time figuring out what convertible carseat to get! I keep looking and researching and asking and looking and researching...you get the picture. I thought I was going to go with the Eddie Bauer. Then I changed my mind. Then I looked at the Britax Marathon - but it was hard as a brick and I can't see putting B in it. Then I looked at the Evenflo Symphony but I didn't like that you had to use that clicker thing to tighten the straps.
Now we are here. Looking at the SFAO Elite. Any takers?

42 comments:

Erica said...

Hey Jenna,
We just got Ella the Britax Boulevard Click and Safe, and we LOVE it! Most importantly, Ella loves it! I did a lot of research too because car seat safety is important to me. It is a bit pricey, but I don't think you can put a price on your child's life. It gets great reviews, and it's very soft and comfy. It feels like velvet. We got ours through Babies R Us, and you can use their coupons too. Just a thought! :) Good luck!

Ella has a pink one, but here's one that is more boyish ;)
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3477243

Beth said...

I have this carseat in the tan and black and we love it!!! We have taken many extended road trips and my daughter is always very confortable. It is easy to operate and I feel secure with her in it.

Tara said...

Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and Brayden is so cute! My little boy just turned one last week and he got him the Maxi Cosi Priori. He absolutely loves it. He falls asleep as soon as the car starts moving and it reclines so it is comfy for him to sleep in. It is really easy to use and install. We had to order it online from BRU because they do not carry it in the stores but it was definitely worth it. We also have the Alpha Omega Elite in my husbands truck and I find it a little harder to use. The strap that goes in between their legs is a little short so it is hard to buckle without pinching his little fat legs. Good luck choosing a car seat, it took me months to make a decision!

Melanie said...

My only suggestion is to make sure you are getting a seat that harnesses to 65 lbs... there are several new ones out now that do and I think you'll find that is the way you want to go to ensure he can be in a harness for as long as possible!

Jen said...

We have the same car seat (in pink and brown) and totally love it. Our daughter is so much more comfortable in it than she was in her infant seat. It should last until they no longer need a car seat; I believe with the Britax seats, you end up needing a booster. I also like that I didn't have to spend 300 dollars to get a nice car seat; you can find these online with free shipping for really inexpensive!

Nic (NotPerfect) said...

I'm a former Child Passenger Safety Technician and my advice is to talk to the people at the car-seats.org forums. I agree with the other poster that you'll want a car seat that harnesses as long as possible. My biggest gripe with the Alpha Omega since it debuted in 99/00 when I was active was that it doesn't really last from Alpha to Omega. In most states the booster laws go to age 8 and car seats have a six year lifespan. In addition, there are many awesome, lightweight boosters available that will be more comfortable for B when he's older and will better adapt to his body.

Shari said...

I say thumbs up, but at the same time I know they make seats that harness up to 65 lbs now, too. You may want to research that and see. We had the Alpha Omega seat when it came out the very first year for our youngest and we loved it.

Mace and Brei said...

We love this one http://www.combi-intl.com/Products/Item.aspx?Item=12 (they have some GREAT colors!), but if I was going to get another, I would go with this one I saw at babiesrus last week http://www.toysrus.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=3629011
it felt really comfy but SO safe!

Assistant Ring Master said...

You might want to look at some that 5-point harness to a higher weight limit, like the Graco Nautilus. It's a little less expensive than Britax and it harnesses to 65 lbs - a huge plus in the safety department!
Below is a great link with lots of information on how to keep your little man really safe in the car.
http://www.kyledavidmiller.org/pages/3013/Car_Seat_Info.htm

Boni said...

We got the Evenflo Symphony for Hannah. Even though you didn't like the clicker, it's great! We had the Elite and hated it because when she fell asleep, her head rolled all around...the other one you could reach back, pull the front handle and lay her backa little more...not issues

Elisabeth said...

Personally I wouldn't buy anything from Safety 1st or Cosco (Eddie bauer is one of cosco's lines) because of the huge fine (1.75 million) given to them for hiding dangerous defects in their products a few years back. That and they're products are frequently recalled. For me I'd go with the Graco 3 in 1 Nautilus because not only are their models nicely padded Graco has a good safety reputation. That's the seat we're getting for our baby (after 3 years we are due in April) after he/she grows out of the Chicco keyfit infant seat.

BookMama said...

Good for you for researching car seats rather than just going to the store and buying one with the cover you like best. :)

I second the suggestion to visit http://www.car-seat.org and ask your question. There are lots of experts there who can provide knowlegable opinions on the seats your interested in, as well as letting you know which seats work best with the particular vehicle(s) you drive.

Tracy said...

I have an Alpha Omega. I LOVE it. It is easy to switch cars, the straps are easily adjusted, and I don't feel bad if it gets roughed up since it didn't cost so much. I originally bought it b/c it was the only convertible that sat in our compact car without rocking. I am so glad I went with it. It is the best!!! I bought mine at BRU during a carseat sale, so we got an addition $10 off or something like that.

AJU5's Mom said...

We have that seat (in tan and brown). We have only used it forward facing because my daughter didn't reach 20 pounds until 15 months! By then, she was strong enough and tall enough to be forward facing. She seems to like it and it is easy to install. My only complaint is how hard it is to take the cover off to clean it. But, I don't know if the others are really any better in that sense!

Linds said...

It doesn't get very good reviews on the ivillage car seat message board. They typically recommend the Evenflo Triumph Advanced if you are looking at this one. You might want to go over to ivillage and post on the car seat board... they were really helpful with us trying to figure out what infant seat and then convertible seat to get.

Coleen said...

For anyone reading AJU5's comment, please know that 20lbs and 15 months isn't nearly big and strong enough to be forward facing. The current recommendation is to your convertible seat's limit. Most have rear-facing weights to 35lbs, some are now 40lbs and there has been a recent announcement that one may be going to 45lbs REAR-facing. Most kids can get to at least age 2, some as long as to age 4 or older. Children's spines don't complete fusing until closer to age 3, a good goal is to try to keep them rear-facing until then.

As for convertible seats, the AO is ok...just ok. There are much better seats on the market. One I'd consider is the First Years True Fit, but there are many more choices. I'd post on car-seat.org for the best (and more expert) feedback on this. -CPST

Emily said...

We have that one, but different color. Quinn seems to like it. I mean, she hasn't complained. :) Derrick hates how the straps get twisted easily, but I think Quinn is the one that twists them as she thinks she can now buckle herself. The girl is quite independent or at least thinks she is.

Alicia said...

Love your blog. Our boys are just two weeks apart in age. I like seeing what your B is doing and what my B is doing. Have you ever heard of Orbit? I got the infant carrier/stroler base and then got the car seat that goes with it. I love all the Orbit pieces. They are pricey but very safe! In fact, NASA had a part in the development. Just thought I would share.

KAL071203 said...

the way the evenflo's tighten are SO much easier, we had one with our first and now have one of the newer modles with our second, we love them. we also love the britax seat for once they are about 30lbs, it keeps them in a 5pt harness for a very long time which is safest. Also PLEASe keep brayden rear faceing as long as the car seat allows and look for a care seat with a high weight limit 35-40lbs. rear facing is the safest position for your babe to be in. good luck finding the right seat for your needs!

ABandCsMom said...

We that this care seat in black and grey. We love it. Carly is always comfortable and I feel quite safe as we travel about.

Laura Craig said...

My older 2 children have this carseat. My daughter used it for 2 1/2 years (she outgrew it). It was wonderful!! The adjustment on it is very easy! My son is still in his and he loves it. I give it 2 thumbs up :)

My youngest is in a Britax Marathon. I personally have no issues with it. I love the LATCH system on it. I think it is easier than most other car seats! And she loves it as well!!! She has never complained about going in it!

Barclay Kathryn said...

I know Britax is the best for safety but a bit pricey. The one you have pictured was also up there in safety. We went with Britax and my girls have loved it, you should see all the cushions some of them have. They're nice too because they last up to 65 pounds, which is the time they'll need just one of those boosters. But I've enjoyed the Britax and their fun patterns!

babigrl232008 said...

go with the Britax regardless....It has the highest safety rating in crashes..regardless of the model it is the best out there!

Poppy said...

We purchased the Radian 80 for our granddaughters. It's a bit spendy but it will work for a child from birth to 65 lbs. My soon to be 5 yr. old granddaughter still uses hers and she fits very comfortably. We tried out one of the run of the mill booster seats and the cars seat belt when she reached the age of 4 and that was totally inadequate. We didn't feel safe at all with her belted in like that. So back to the Radian she went. She didn't mind at all and we'll keep her there until she no longer fits

I was very impressed with the construction of the car seat and the steel reinforcements. I've never come across another car seat reinforced with steel. You can read about them here: www.sunshinekidsbaby.com We purchased our via ebay and saved about $50.00. HipMonkey.com often has them on sale. I just checked and they actually have them on sale now with free shipping.

katrina said...

2 Huge thumbs DOWN!
Im with a previous poster and will not sure Costco/Dorel products. They are not an honest company who has safety in mind. Not to mention the low top harness slots. He will outgrow it most likely before he is big enough to use as a booster.

We use Britax (who is VERY proactive with safety and recalls) for all 3 girls. They love them b/c they are so comfy and plush and my husband and I love them b/c they are easy to install and use.

I would suggest a new britax with a 35lb rear facing limit, a Radian b/c of their awesome rear facing limits and higher top harness or the new graco my ride 65 (NOT the nautilus since it does not rear face).
There are so many options now.... at least more then there was even a year ago.

Mrs. V said...

Hey girl!

I know I have never commented before, but I had to jump in for this one. I am a car seat FREAK! We have had 10 between my 2 kids. I have FINALLY found the best one...The First Years True Fit

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3137030

It is THE BEST car seat ever. The reviews are just as good as Britax, but the features are even better to me. The cover snaps off without taking the seat out, which I LOVE! We had an Alpha Omega, Britax, Cosco, Radian, etc. and NONE of them compare to this one.
Also, 2 of my friends have recently switched to this one, and they LOVE it too! :)

Amber

starlightmommy said...

I have a britax marathon so EASY to install and especially the latch hooks are nice. Not a hassle to move from one car to another in a pinch. My kids can ride for hours (from Texas to NE Oklahoma) in their Marathons without problems. Britax has great customer service.

My sister in law bought the Eddie Bauer and took it back after she got it out of the box and they tried to install it. It wan't a tight fit as it moved around too much as a convertible seat.

My sister in laws ended up with the Evenflo ones that have the crazy clicker thing....crazy things I don't like them either.

Never will I stray from a britax for my kids who need convertible/forward facing.

Best of luck

Kristen and Andy said...

We have the Britax Boulevard for my daugther and we LOVE it. We just took a 3,400 mile round trip this summer and she was just as happy as could be in her seat the whole time. It is super comfy, and the head rest thing is the best - gives them something for support when they sleep. Plus its a huge safety benefit for side impact protection.

I also did a lot of research with carseats for my daugther, and Britax was the clear winner for us. Its a heavy carseat but you can definitely feel the quality with it. We also have another carseat as a spare that was less expensive, but had good reviews - and after using the Britax daily, I refuse to even use the spare. Its just so much more complicated to install correctly. The Britax couldn't be any easier...I love it. We will definitely be getting another one with baby #2 on the way....hope this helps!

Tiffany said...

I'd go with Britax or the new Graco MyRide, which will allow your adorable son to stay rear facing to 40lbs. The seat you are thinking about is ok, but doesn't provide much side impact protection nor will it last as long as they advertise (it will expire before I can be used as a booster). Car seat safety is my "soapbox" issue, so I like to inform everyone to absolutely not turn their children forward facing simply because they reach the "1 year, 20lbs" milestone. My son is 2 and still rear faces, providing me with a little sanity on road trips knowing he's as safe as can be.

Linda said...

We have the Alpha Omega Elite and love it. The only concern I have about it is that it only has a 40 pound weight limit. My daughter is 3 years old and 40 pounds so we are trying to find her a new seat. After We get her new seat, my son will start using this seat rear facing. We just ordered a Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 for my daughter, which harnesses to 65 pounds, but is only a forward facing seat and booster. I still love the AOE and if it had a 65 pound weight limit I would keep my daughter in it. At least my son will also get to use it as a rear facing and then forward facing until he hits the weight and height limits. Good luck making the decision, there are so many seats out there!

Jenny Rose said...

I have never commented before, but I too feel the same as you when it comes to the reviews and trying to decide. It is so overwhelming and since it is a safety issue, should definitely not be taken lightly! I am a stickler for not skimping on anything related to safety and health! I spent HOURS on oline, at many stores to touch and try-out, place her in, etc. I also talked to the some child experts from AR Children's and UAMS before final decision.

I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and we have the Britax Marathon! Can we say LOVE IT! I feel like we live in our car because we are always traveling (we were home less than 15 for the last 2 months!) and she seems super comfortable in it. It is also easy to clean and the covers wash very well- we know this very well because she has a very sensitive tummy! augh! She is a lightweight for her age (just broke 25 pounds a few weeks ago!) and we kept her turned backwards in this seat until right at her second birthday- and the only reason I finally turned it was her legs were so cramped (she is super long). I really now wish I had just lived with that and kept her backwards a bit longer though. I feel like this is a no lose car seat that you will be very happy with and should last precious Brayden for a long time.

Rebecca said...

Please, please stay away from that seat. As a former car seat tech I can say that we wanted to hit our heads against the wall every time that seat came through a car seat check. There are so many reasons you just don't want that seat that I can't even fit them in one post.

If you are looking for some good carseat information from a group of carseat techs from all over the U.S and even Canada, please check out this link: http://forums.delphiforums.com/Carseats/start

It's a forum that has lots of certified people that can give you all the knowledge you need and want about carseats. You do have to sign up but it's free and they can answer any and all questions about carseat related stuff! That board is the reason I ended up becoming a carseat Tech and were I have learned all the information I have to keep my four kiddos safe in the car. So, PLEASE check it out and DON'T buy the Cosco seat. It's just plain evil for a lot of reasons.

Ashley said...

Two words...Britax.Regent. This is the best carseat ever...it will allow B at his age now to be comfortable and will last through 80 lbs. It is comfortable, yet most importantly....SAFE!!!

RN Mama said...

I have 4 and 5.5 year old daughters, and we've had Britax carseats for both of them since they were 9 months old. I LOVE these seats. They are definitely more expensive, but well worth the money. The cover also comes right off, and can go into the washing machine...it washes beautifully! We have 3 Britax seats and even after 5 years, they still look like new!

Shelley said...

We bought the First Years True Fit for our daughter and I love it. It's comfy and easy to use. It's rear facing to at least 35 pounds I think (can't remember for sure). And the 5 point harness goes to 65 pounds which was essential for me. We couldn't afford a Britax but everything I read when I researched said the True Fit was also a good option. I'm glad we went with it. Lucy is 15 months and well over 20 pounds. She's still comfortably rear facing and I foresee her staying that way for quite some time. Rear facing is the way to go for as long as possible!

The 'Ssippi Scoup said...

Oh the car seat maze! I too have been reading and researching this for about a month. My SIL got the Britax Marathon for her first who is now 5 years old. Her 2nd, who is now 6 months old, is riding in the same seat and it has held up fabously. I'm leaning towards that one myself. But I came accross this website, not sure if anyone mentioned it or not, but it's the Kyle David Miller foundation. He was killed in a car accident and this website is dedicated to car seat products/safety research and awareness. It lists all kinds of seats and their status and says to also buy at hipmonkey.

One that I am looking into is one called the air ride or something like that. I saw it in a parenting magizine about two weeks ago and can't remember the exact name. But right now it's only available at at BRU.

These seats are pricey but I'm determined to get one Bailey can stay in until she doesn't need a seat at all. I've read too many bad things about plain old booster seats, so I don't want her in one at all. It's just so hard to pick out a $300 car seat when I need one, my husband needs one, and grandparents need one.

Thanks for blogging about this and getting info from your readers. Please let us know what you decide.

Atloss4wrds said...

http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/StayRearFacing.aspx

Hi!! I just wanted to chime in on the car seat search. The best thing info I can give is to keep your little one rear facing as long as possible..There are seats avalible that will allow your child to remain rear facing until 35 lbs. Just google extended rear facing and you tube search some extended rear facing videos and you can greatly educate yourself.

Table for Four said...

Hi,

I love my Alpha..Omega, and so does my baby. The only downside is that it was hard to install in our minivan. We have a Chrysler Town & Country Sto-N-Go and the seat did not want to go in correctly on the captain's chairs. Once we FINALLY got it installed correctly, it's been great. Our son sleeps great in it.

Dawn Hudson said...

My son Bryson has been in two car accidents with his alpha omega. Not my fault. In one accident we were T-boned and Bryson (8 months) was strapped in the middle and Bryson was safe and unharmed. The insurance paid for us to get a new carseat so I bought another Omega. A few years later we were rear ended. Bryson was 2 years old and once again safe and sound. The insurance company once again gave us money to replace the car seat and I bought another Omega. Once my second son came we bought another Omega and thankfully he has not been in a car accident besides the one where he was in my belly. My third son will get his very own Omega here in the next few months.

Good luck in finding the seat that's right for you. Though just so you know that the Omega is a little bulky.

llandtmom said...

We used Britax for our son. We had two car accidents and he never moved. We absolutely loved it. I would highly recommend it. THey are pricey but well worth the money. In California when you have a car accident your insurance has to replace your car seat. So we had two of them.

Great seats. We passed them both on and both parties just love them.

Portia
San Diego

Dawn said...

We bought a First Years True Fit and LOVE it!!!

http://shop.learningcurve.com/product/detail/Y11035?locale=en_US

Cuddles and Chaos said...

Jenna
I just found your blog. My children are older (9,7,5) but with our first we bought the Alpha and though it's been almost a decade...I have since become a huge fan of Britax car seats. Look for a convertible car seat from them. Why? BEcause their weight limits are higher for rear face, they fit in the vehicles better, they are actually very comfy for the kids, safety ratings are so much better and the weight limits on forward facing with five-point harness are much better. You'll buy less car seats by going Britax. I will mention that Evenflo has a triumph (I think) that has gotten good ratings.
We did not like our alpha when it became a booster seat...it was awful. as a convertible there were strap issues that I am sure are muc better now. I was recently in a car accident so I'm an anal car seat mom, and just put my youngest in a Sunshine Kids 5 point harness that I really like too.

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