Safety 1st as a brand has got a lot of stuff going on. They have a ton of car seats to choose from, as well as strollers, play-pins, and other travel and safety gear. As the name suggests, Alpha Omega, Alpha being the 1st letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega being the last, this car seat is designed to be the only seat you will ever need. It has a weight range from 5-100 pounds which should accommodate you’re little one basically from their grand entrance into the world until they no longer are in need of a car seat. However, this seat has some serious mixed reviews. When you talk to someone who’s installed a few car seats in their lifetime and you mention the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite, you may see a look of, “Oh no…really? You bought THAT car seat?” Don’t get me wrong, if you are up to the challenge of installing a car seat, and then not moving it until absolutely necessary then this seat may be for you, because it really can be a safe seat, it’s just got a little quirk as some may call it. On to the review for now though, and we’ll come back to the installation in a minute.
- Item Weight: 20 lbs
- Orientation: forward-facing, rear-facing, and booster
- Weight limits: 5-35lbs rear-facing, 22-50lbs forward-facing, 40-110lbs booster
- Height limit: 19-36in rear-facing, 34-45in forward-facing, 43-52in booster
- Harness: 5 point
What are the Pros of the Evenflo Symphony?
- Side impact protection – Safety 1st meets or exceeds all Federal and ASTM Safety Standards with superior side impact protection to support your child in the event of a crash.
- Harness – The harness is easily adjusted from the front by using their QuickFit harness system to adjust the height without needing to rethread everything.
- LATCH – LATCH installation is pretty standard these days. This seat has a limit of 50lbs forward facing though, unlike the usual 65lbs you may be used to seeing with LATCH.
- Cushioning – This seat does have really nice and soft cushioning, with a good quality fabric that your child will feel comfortable in. They also have armrests that pivot and cup holders installed for the older kids using these seats.
And the Cons?
- 3-position recline – Recline is a good feature and necessary for infants in the rear-facing position. However, this recline totally falls short. It does not recline far back enough without a towel under the seat to help it, nor does the extra infant insert on the inside provide proper head and neck support.
- The Only One – The idea that this seat can be used from infant until booster is a huge bonus in terms of saving money as well as time in not having to go out and start searching for the perfect seat all over again. When a car seat claims this my initial reaction is to get a bit apprehensive, this seat definitely has the potential, but it doesn’t really follow through on the height and weight limits. Your child could potentially grow above the limits of these seats before they’re actually ready to transition.
- Installation – Although this uses LATCH installation, installing this car seat is real challenge. It’s big and bulky, so it doesn’t fit easily into all cars and that makes it difficult to install it properly.
- Booster Seat – The third transition on this seat is as a booster seat, and for me this is what makes the seat the biggest NO in my book. This seat just does not provide a good lap belt fit. The belt comes up around the abdomen instead of sitting properly on the lap, which can leave your child to take the brunt of the force directly into their abdomen in the event of a crash which could cause issues. Additionally, this seat in booster mode is on the not recommended list by the IIHS. This is a seriously red flag for me because there are a ton of other seat that are on the recommended list to choose from.
How do consumers rate it?
The Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite gets kind of in the middle ratings at about 3.6 out of 5. Many seats come in much much higher. To me, that’s a sign of a seat that I may want to stay away from.
What’s it going to cost?
This Safety 1st car seat is a tempting purchase at an online price of just over $100. I mean think about it, a seat that may last you from birth and onward and upward for just $100. That’s a STEAL…right? But, is it worth it?
The Bottom Line
In my opinion, no. This seat isn’t worth it because even though it costs $100, it’s not recommended as a good booster seat, my child will probably outgrow it before they’re ready, and there are so so so many car seats on the market that are recommended as being a great seat that will provide you so much better value for money even if you are spending just that tiny bit more. If what you are looking for is a convertible booster seat check out my review on the Britax Frontier, Britax Pinnacle, or the Graco Nautilus. These are all great seats and a better value for the money you’re spending.