Safety 1st Complete Air 65 SE Protect Convertible Car Seat

Safety 1st Complete Air 65 SE Protect Convertible Car Seat

The Safety 1st Complete Air 65 SE Convertible Car Seat with revolutionary air protect side impact technology brings long term protection to parents with its ability to accommodate rear-facing infants from 5-40 pounds (19″-40″) and forward-facing toddlers from 22-65 pounds (34″-52″). This Special Edition Car Seat features a 3-position recline that provides extra comfort and premium fabrics with custom embroidery.

Main features

  • Rear facing 5-40 pounds
  • 5-point harness
  • 3 position recline
  • Latch system

Verified reviews

★★★★★

Didn’t work for us…

I bought this for my 7-month-old since who had started fussing in his infant seat. My 2 1/2 year old has a MyRide 65 that is pretty big rear-facing, so when I read reviews that stated this was a tough fit RF, I figured it couldn’t be any bigger than hers. Wrong! Not only will it not fit rear-facing in my Subaru Impreza in any way, it will only fit in the MIDDLE seat of my husband’s full-size Nissan Titan even with the seats all the way forward! Huge is an understatement with this car seat. Keep in mind, this version has a base & maybe that is part of the problem (I wanted the base for the recline feature), but seriously, it was ridiculous how far back this thing needed to be tilted to meet the rear-facing “level” line – not to mention I would have had to use a pool noodle or a rolled up towel to get it there had it been able to fit (not my idea of a “perfect” installation if you need one of those).That being said, if you have a huge car or a van and can fit it, the car seat felt really solid and the material was good quality. I was really disappointed that I couldn’t use it, but my advice would be make sure you try it in your car before buying, or at least make sure you can return it if it doesn’t work. We ended up putting my little guy in the MyRide (which we’ve loved by the way) and getting my older child a Nautilus.One other note, my 7-month-old is pretty average for height & weight, and there is NO WAY he would have been big enough for this seat much younger than he is now because of the height of the bottom strap position; it was about level with his shoulders now. So I definitely wouldn’t recommend this for young infants.

Coleen Rosenberg, TX
★★★★★

New model, some improvements

I have a love/hate relationship with this car seat. This has been a long saga – I’ll try to summarize my story. I had the same car seat but the previous model number (CC051AIR) last year, but it had covers over the straps that were cutting into my daughter’s neck. The covers also kept getting caught in the adjustment mechanism. I called Dorel Juvenile Group in November and they offered to replace the seat with an improved model that didn’t have the annoying covers. Awesome customer service, right? Well, I give them an A for effort, but an F for execution. First, they sent me another seat identical to the one I had sent back; it was clearly a customer return and was in a beat up, re-taped box. So I sent that back, and they sent me another “similar” car seat without the strap covers, but instead of the SE version with the reclining base and the premium fabric, it was their cheapest version of the seat with no reclining base and a plain grey scratchy-material cover. Not at all what I’d paid a premium price for! So I emailed them
• again
• and sent that seat back and they told me the correct seat was on backorder and could be 12 weeks away. Fine, I can wait; I have another seat I can use in the meantime. 9 weeks later I email to check and they say: 1) The seat is never coming back into stock, possibly discontinued. 2) This car seat was never revised to remove the strap covers, and 3) They’re sending me a refund.So about the time my refund check came, someone alerted me to this deal on Amazon. What a great price at only $152!! I paid $190 for the last seat, and that was after a lot of shopping around – I hadn’t been able to find a price that good again, which is why I was a little ticked about getting a refund; to replace the seat (it matches my Onboard 35 Air SE infant seat, which I love, by the way) it was going to cost me more than the refund check I was getting. But I really didn’t want another one with the strap cover things, and I was stressing about that. Then I noticed that the model number on this seat was new (CC093AIR). I asked Dorel about the change in model number and was told that it was the same as the seat they had refunded. After experiencing first hand that Dorel doesn’t know what the heck they’re talking about with their products, I decided to take a chance and order the seat from Amazon knowing I could send it back for free if necessary.It arrived today! And, sure enough, there are NO annoying plastic strap covers to get tangled up and cut into my child’s neck. Yay! Also, the seat was manufactured less than a month ago (date is January 26, 2012). So much for the seat being “discontinued” and no longer available!!Other than that, it is pretty much the same seat. Which is fine. There are a lot of things I love about this car seat, and a few things that still annoy me.The good:- This is one of the tallest convertible car seats available in the US. It can rear-face to 40 lbs and forward-face to 65 lbs. Many car seats have these same “stats” listed on the box, but are outgrown by height long before those weights are actually reached. With the Complete Air, these numbers are actually realistic for normally-proportioned children. I have had a taller-than-average 5 year old in my seat and she still had room to grow in it (forward facing). Most children should be able to rear-face in this seat until almost four years old. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recommends children in the age 1 through 3 age group remain rear-facing as long as possible for maximum safety, so this is great.- The O2 color pattern on the SE version of the seat is really pretty, and the fabric is soft (not plushy/fuzzy, just comfortably soft).- The height adjustment is super duper easy, making it a great seat for babysitters or grandparents who may need to adjust it for different-sized children on the go- The seat lasts at least 8 years before it expires (it expires in December of the 8th year after the date of manufacture). Most seats expire after about six years, typically.- I really love the air protect cells in this seat. We have no objective proof that they’re more effective than other forms of side-impact protection, but we do know that air bags in general save lives and that’s basically what these are: air bags that don’t have to deploy to work.- Did I mention that it matches my infant seat? :)The bad:- Dorel Juvenile Group is a joke. You can call six different times with the same question and get six different answers. It’s hard to fault them for trying to replace my seat after what probably seems like a minor issue, and they did eventually issue a refund, but dealing with them is like a Comedy of Errors.- The Complete Air is required to be very reclined in the rear-facing position. The one I received this time isn’t
• too
• bad, but I have dealt with several of these seats over the last year or so, and some of them have the “this line must be level to the ground” at a completely unrealistic angle. The variation is very concerning. The company is very evasive about the fact that the lines on different seats are at different angles. The “best” ones are supposed to be reclined to 45 degrees, which is usually considered the maximum recline angle that is safe and it makes it very hard to fit in most vehicles. Some of them have a level-line which puts the seat at as much as a 56 degree angle, which is practically laying down and other car seat makers would consider it unsafe. The one I sent back last fall had a line that angled the seat to 53 degrees. I installed mine more upright than that because I had to; it wouldn’t even fit in my Suburban at that angle! But if you ask the company, they would say I was using it wrong. When pressed, they did make a public statement that said it passed crash testing at a more upright angle, but in the same breath they said the instructions must be followed and the line must be level to the ground. But they refuse to say why. The Canadian version of this seat (and some of the other seats put out by this company) have recently started coming out with different recline instructions saying kids over 22 lbs and sitting unassisted can have the seat more upright, but the US version of the Complete Air hasn’t caught up yet.- For rear-facing, the Complete Air has a standing height limit of 40″ tall. Most other companies allow a seat to be used rear-facing until the child gets too tall for the seat by “seated height” – based on how close the head comes to the top of the car seat. Typically the rule is that the child needs 1″ of car seat over the top of the child’s head, though the exact rule varies from one car seat to the next. Dorel, on the other hand, insists that the 40″ standing height limit be followed absolutely, even if a long-legged, short-torsoed child still has 6″ above his or her head in the seat. This isn’t an issue for my stubby-legged child who will probably outgrow this seat’s shell by the time she’s 40″ tall, but it’s an issue for long-legged children whose parents want to rear-face them as long as possible. For those kids, one of the other tall car seats such as the True Fit or the Radian would be preferable.- This car seat uses a “continuous harness” design which I find annoying. There are good and bad points about it, but generally I prefer a car seat harness that’s anchored at the hips instead of one where you can pull the straps unevenly from one side to the next. This isn’t unique to this car seat; lots of car seats use a continuous harness. But I’d like the seat better if it didn’t have that “feature.”-
• edited to add
• One more thing I almost forgot. Although the seat is supposed to fit babies as small as 5 lbs and 19″ long, it cannot actually be used for an infant that short. The harness does not adjust short/small enough and if you put a newborn in it, it won’t actually fit. A good rule of thumb for this seat is that one the baby starts to run out of room in the infant seat, the baby is probably just about tall enough for this seat. So it’s a good seat to follow-up after an infant bucket but it’s not going to work if you want to start with a convertible seat from birth. For a seat very similar to this one (made by the same company even) that will work for a newborn, choose a Maxi-Cosi Pria instead.

Cathryn Georgetown, CA
★★★★★

good looking car seat

I havent used it yet because my baby was too small for it.. soon I hope. My biggest complaint is that it was expired before I even got it.

Maricela Delphia, KY
★★★★★

Easy to use, Wonderful Car Seat

Comfortable easy to clean (once you figure out how the first time). Wonderful price. Does fade a bit from being in the sun in a car with no tent constantly after a year and a half. But still does its job.

Lorna Truckee, CA
★★★★★

Good seat, hard to install

Very nice seat, I love it.The only thing that I find difficult is getting the adult seat belt through the seat in rear facing position. You have to lift up the seat cover to do so.I have tiny hands so I kind of cheat and fish it through with my fingers and do not lift the cover off at all or else when you have the seat belt through, it is very hard to replace the cover.I do love it though.It is nicely padded, soft material.I have not washed the cover yet, but when I did try to get the cover off before, it was nearly impossible to get the seat cover off from the child lap restraint area. To do this, you need to pull the two tiny plastic pieces from the seat but I could not even do that.It looks nice, fits nice and my son seems to like it. 🙂

Haley Hurlock, MD
★★★★★

Great overall

My only complaint is that when using this seat rear-facing, its takes up too much horizontal room, making it almost impossible to use in a standard sedan, and barely usable in a minivan.

Stacy Newton, MA
★★★★★

Such a good choice

I have the baby seat for my daughter and I bought this to follow because of such high safety ratings. I like that the headrest has extra cushions on both sides of the head. The more protection around your babies head,the better. My sister is the one who recommended this for me when I was pregnant and I do feel better with my daughter in this seat in the car.

Vickie Shannon, MS