- Received five star ease fo use government rating from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- Features the rebound energy management for use in rear facing installation
- Removable headrest for better rear facing installation, can be used rear facing with headrest for infants up to 35 pounds
- Easy to read center angle indicator with two position settings
- Built in lock offs for both rear and forward facing installation, external latch storage
Safe seat but a few issues
Seat has fantastic safety ratings. I like that you don’t have to put the two sides of the crotch buckle together before you snap them in. We had an infant seat where you had match two pieces together like a puzzle and then insert them in the crotch buckle – super inconvenient! The only thing I don’t like about this seat is when you install it the rear-facing position with the LATCH system, you need to unsnap the cover and take it partially off to get the anchors in correctly; the problem is that if the seat is installed correctly, there is absolutely no way to snap the cover back on once you’ve done that. Also, the instructions refer to a “red lock” that needs to be snapped after the LATCH belt is tightened, and we only have blue locks (believe me…I searched all over the unit!),so I think it was just a misprint. The instructions under the seat pad refer to a blue lock and not a red one. It looks nice and my daughter seems to like it.UPDATE: After using it for a couple months, I have to say I’m not happy with this seat. In rear-facing mode in our vehicle (a Ford Edge), there was no easy-adjustment for the harness or recline feature. You can’t reach either with the rebound bar being in the way, so you have to completely take the seat out to adjust them, then put the seat back in and retighten everything. I am a small woman, and I found the installation/tightening of the seat to be really difficult. As mentioned earlier, I also could not get the cover to snap in place for the same reason. When we needed to put the headrest on (when baby reached 22 lbs), you couldn’t recline at all or push the front seat very far back without hitting the TrueFit, which is pretty inconvenient and disappointing, since we drive a crossover, not a tiny car. As other reviewers have said, don’t buy this seat really thinking there is a reclining feature, because it can’t really be considered a recline; it’s very slight. We need another seat for an additional vehicle and I won’t be purchasing this one again.
I like it, but I don’t see it being worth the $
Gosh but I was hoping that this seat would be ‘the one.’ It’s not. The padding doesn’t seem like it would be that great for a baby. I would prefer to use my own infant head stabilizer as the one that comes with the seat is super pillowy and pushes the baby’s head forward. Just looks uncomfortable.All the ‘no thread’ features just look hokey, and there are a ton of crumb and muck catchers on this seat. The crotch strap button that you push to move forward or back would be a pain to clean out. And just like with the non-premier models once the seat is forward facing and you remove the extra padding there’s a huge gaping hole at the crotch…that’s going to be gross and uncomfortable. I would rather take 5 minutes out of my day to re-thread the crotch strap than to spend longer than that trying to clean it or sewing up a cover for the hole.I just really have a hard time buying that this seat is better than a more conventional model that has a smarter, mom friendlier, mess resistant design.Pluses: The fabric is really nice and soft. It fits in our Prius.Maybe the Sunshine will be ‘the one’. If not, I’ll keep the baby in the infant seat as long as I can and just get a forward facing chair. At least those are smartly designed.
Love The First Years True Fit!
Our daughter was rapidly outgrowing her height requirement of her infant carrier so we knew we had to upgrade.. After much research we settled on this car seat and are so happy with the purchase. I would highly recommend it to anyone.Edit: Months later we are still VERY pleased with this seat. Our daughter has so much room to grow in it, and will be able to do extended rear facing as we hoped. We plan to purchase a second one for grandmas car – but may end up getting the c680 just to switch it up. It is such a sturdy, reliable seat. Easy to install and uninstall. Cleaning the material is so easy too. Just wipe down any messes (smooshed in cookies and snacks) and it looks new.
LOVE the True Fit Premier!!
Let me start off by saying we have only used this Rear Facing, and when we switch to Forward Facing, I will update.I have an 8 month old boy in this seat and COULD NOT be happier!! He was 29″ tall and 15 lbs at a doctors appt at 6.5 months so we NEEDED to get a convertible seat as his Chicco infant seat only went to 30″.This car seat took me literally 7 minutes TOPS to install in my car. (after i read the entire manual, of course… which might i say was extremely easy to read). I am not sure how another reviewer said the lach or straps always come loose… I have had it in for over a month now and i have NEVER had anything come loose at all. It is snug as ever!I drive a 2006 Mazda 6i, which is a small-ish car, and it fits perfect in the center, with the full recline. I am only 5’3″, but my husband is 5’10” and he has room in the passenger seat. (this is without the headrest in place) BUT i am sure with the headrest in place we will still have room because it looks like it will fit in between the 2 front seat backings. If not, He wont be as reclined by then anyways, so i am sure its not a problem.If you don’t think hes reclined enough, you could wedge like a pool noodle or a rolled up towel underneath the carseat. This is also recommended by the fire department, so it will not have any safety risks. The was some of the cars have their seats almost make it virtually impossible to get a seat reclined correctly. I had a graco infant seat before my son was 1 month old and i HAD to get rid of it… I had TWO pool noodles under the base and it still was not reclined enough! BUT then i got the Chicco and it fit perfectly. Weird. I have no recline issue in this car… if you can get the level in the center your childs head will NOT fall forward.I havent had to clean it yet, but i have had to adjust the straps, and ITS SOOOOO EASY!!!!! I took the cover off when i got it because i wanted to play with it and it was super easy. No re-thread harness is an incredible idea!My son LOVES to go for rides now because he has soo much room surrounding him… But hes sooo safe! he feels much more independent than in his infant bucket seat.We bought 2 of these seats, one for my mazda and 1 for my husbands elantra, which we havent put the other one in yet, so i will update on that fit when we do, which will be probably this weekend.We got ours from a website which is surprisingly cheaper than amazon called dealomite.UPDATE 4/14/2011So we have been using these seats for a couple months now, and i still am in love with them. It is a very tight fit in my husbands 08 Hyundai Elantra though… He gets in there the way he needs to, BUT unlike my 06 Mazda 6i, he cant make the seat back squeeze beside the car seat when reclining really far. Not a big deal, as he can get the seat to where he needs it, but if he was above 5’10” it probably wouldnt happen. But then again you could always recline the carseat a little less and get one of those little head rests that look like little boppys for the babys head…DS is now 29.5″ long and 18 lbs, at his 9 month appt yesterday… and he has SOOOO much height left before we even need to consider the headrest… so i am glad i get to extend rear face for a while after he turns 1.This car seat is very comfy and DS STILL gets all excited when we got for rides. Cant comment on the cup holder because we aren’t anywhere near close to using that yet.
Nice car seat.
My baby used to wiggle around and cry in her Graco Snugride carseat. She hated how tight the space and harness was. My husband installed this carseat over the weekend and she’s been in twice and loves it. There’s lots of room for her to move her arms around. She’s six months old and we had to take out the newborn insert. Seems like she’ll be ready to put the headrest on in about two to three months. Without the headrest it takes up the same amount of space as the Graco Snugride so I didn’t have to move the front passenger seat forward at all.
Super easy to install and to move from car to car
My daughter who is now 2 still enjoys this car seat. I like it because it’s so easy to move in and out of the car if you need to swap vehicles. It’s also easy to adjust the straps since the adjuster is in the front. It was a little challenging to assemble at first but ever since then it’s been a breeze to use. I like that you can take the cupholders off when you don’t need them. I definitely feel like this is a safe and secure car seat.
Wish I could have tested it out in person.
We purchased this car seat after reading tons of reviews. My husband really liked that it had the 5 star rating from the NHTSA. I liked that the rail stripe color was taupe instead of predominantly black, the ratings, the removable cover, and that it cost less then the comparable Britax which was our other top contender.Have to say I agree with everyone who dislikes the location of the strap release when it’s rear facing. It’s also a pain to have to even out the strap looseness before tightening them down. What I’ve found works so far is to pull the straps tight from the back and then pull the strap release to take up the slack. Otherwise it takes a huge amount of effort to tighten them down. Not sure how it’s going to work once we go forward facing, but at least I won’t be fighting the rebound bar and seat back to get leverage.It also took two tries and a section of pool noodle to get it in the car (2005 Highlander) snugly. In addition, like so many others have mentioned, the passenger seat can’t go back but so far with the head rest installed.On the plus side, the fabric is very soft and if the rate of my infant falling asleep in it is any indication, it’s pretty comfortable.Reading my comments you might wonder why I’m giving it 4 stars: it’s because though I don’t love it, I do like it and I am confident that in the (God forbid) event of a crash that our child will be safe.
Good Quality, comfortable for our boys
We rocked one of these in the back seat of our Honda Civic for about a year. Rear facing in the center seemed to fit well.Then we had another baby 11 months later.Having one of these monsters squeezed in the rear side seats rear-facing was ok….until we had to add the headrest. There just wasn’t enough room in the Civic for a passenger to sit comfortably.Long story short, now we’re driving a new Honda CR-V :-)The seat juuuuuust fits rear-facing with the headrest on comfortably.I’d buy this again.
Last Manufactured in 2011
Let me start by saying that this car seat is HUGE. It did not fit well in our Subaru Forester and by no means for into our Honda Insight. It’s bulky and incredibly wide as far as convertibles go. When my son fell asleep, his head would roll to the side and then forward (he didn’t complain but it looked uncomfortable!).My biggest issue with this seat is that it is two years old. It has been sitting on a shelf (or in a warehouse) since some time in 2011. This particular seat was last produced in 2011 but I was unaware of this until I purchased the seat and looked at the production/expiration date. If you plan on using this seat forward facing for a while (which I imagine most people like myself would), the normal 6-year expiration is now down to 4-years.I have since returned the seat and exchanged it for a seat that was made recently and fits well in our cars.
Love this carseat
My husband and I had done tons of research on a new car seat for our baby who was quickly outgrowing her infant car seat. A lot of the ones we saw were just too bulky or problematic to install for our car. This one is very practical for a compact-midsize vehicle and the installation made a whole lot of sense and was very easy. It’s also rated well, so we’re very pleased with it and will be purchasing another one very soon.
So far so good…Satisfied with our choice.
We had the Chicco KeyFit 30 since my daughter was born & loved it…but she is getting older & we knew it was time to look at the next step in carseats-not necessarily because of her size (she is on the smaller size), but her age. We researched lots of models & took our daughter to sit in different ones as several stores. Our #1 priority was safety ratings. We chose this over the Britax models because of the competitive highway/safety ratings (it seems to run neck & neck with Britax) but has the Anti-Rebound bar feature which First Years seem to be the first to offer. My favorite thing about the carseat is that it’s not as huge as the other convertible car seats seem- better for us since as I mentioned, my daughter’s size is smaller so she doesn’t need one of those enormous carsears & also because I have a 4 door truck which offers decent room but not as much as the backseat of a typical 4-dr car or suv. The “no re-thread” strap adjustment is nice- (as your child gets taller, you just pull the harness straps up with a feature on the back instead of completely un-doing, threading through etc- if you’ve dealt with carseats before, this will make sense, if you haven’t- just know this way is easier). My only complaint is it isn’t as easy to adjust the straps from the front when you’re putting the child in & out -you have to pull the leftover belt down while pulling up on a little hinge- if you just undo & get your child out without loosening the straps, it won’t make a difference (meaning, if you keep it the same all the time) – its a minor inconvenience regardless & once we turn it around front facing, i dont think it will be an issue. In conclusion, I am satisified with this carseat- the tiny inconvenience of the front adjustment strap doesn’t outweigh the fact that it gets great safety ratings & is still priced under $250.*we have had the seat a few months now and the strap adjustment is fine, it’s still not as easy as the keyfit was, but I just had to get used to it being slightly different. Still highly recommend after using for awhile. Our daughter seems to like the seat & never complains about her comfort, is happy in the car. When my mom came to visit we did have a lil trouble installing it in her older model explorer at first, but did find it could be done if the seat was put in the middle, it would not work on either passenger side though…just a note, consider what vehicle you have & consider going somewhere that will let you test a carseat model in your car before purchasing. While infant seats seem to fit well in most any vehicle, these convertible seats seem less compatible.
Great car seat
I don’t have anything to compare to because this is the only car seat brand we have purchased for our two children, but I think it is comfortable, easy to use and SAFE. Also, the color options are neutral and cute, and not tacky. What more can I ask? As a mom, I love it.
Great forward-facing, awkward rear-facing
This is our second true fit carseat. We bought the first one for our son when he was ready to be forward-facing. He’s still in it, and it’s awesome. Easy to install and put him in/out of it. We have our daughter rear-facing, and it’s a huge pain to try to get her out- the release button is just too difficult to reach. Plus, and maybe I don’t have it installed correctly, it’s awkward to use with the latch system. The straps need pulled downward to be tight, but I feel as though we need to push the seat backward (into the back of the seat) in order for it to be tilted correctly. I hate every time I have to switch the seat between cars and cannot wait for her to be forward-facing. I still would buy it again though. It’s safe. And that is what is most important.
Did my research and couldn’t be happier
I’ve been using this car seat since my baby was 1 day old. It fits well in my vehicle (Mazda5) and is incredibly easy to use. I’ve recommended this car seat to many new moms.
Love it, but don’t like the recline
We had one for my older daughter and it is wonderful. Easy to install & move to other vehicles. It has held up really well so we got another for the baby. It’s great and I loved that the new version had the rebound bar and had an indicator to make sure it is at the right incline. Well we have it set in the appropriate incline, but i feel like its too upright for the baby. its more upright than the infant seat, which might be normal and maybe im just too used to the infant seat. Not a reason to pass up this seat. overall I love it – seems comfy, wide enough, will grow with the child and our older version is still in excellent condition after several years so know it is durable!
Great car seat!
I bought this car seat 2 months back. It’s great for my 11 month old daughter. She can rest hear head easily and she is very comfortable in general. Knowing is rated as one of the safest car seats it makes me feel even better.I would recommend the car seat to anybody from newborn to toddler.
So glad we got the convertible
My son would already be growing out of an infant seat at 4 months if we had gotten one.This seat is so comfy. Doesn’t get hot in the sun(90 degree weather), some materials do. Doesn’t get too cold either (40 degree weather). The inserts are great. Nice gender neutral color. Detachable cupholder… good since my son is far from the age of sippy cups. Takes awhile to install, and the straps are different than other seats i’ve used. But just read the manual. ;)Update @ 8 months: I am still glad we got this seat, but if we have another baby I think I will get a different one. The padding on this one is impossible to snap if you install the seat rear facing with latch. Now that my son is older he plays with it with his feet and I’m afraid as he gets even older he will pull it right off the seat. The straps are a bit difficult to loosen/tighten because it doesn’t tighten when buckled, so you have to guess how right you need it before you buckle and readjust a few times to get it to a safe tightness. I do love love love the material of this seat! We have below zero weather here in winter and the seat does not feel cold when we put him in it! We had an extra infant seat for awhile for the convenience of being able to take him in and out while it was snowing without having to wake him… And that material got really cold if left in freezing weather. Also, I’m worried about installing the headrest because we tested it out and it has to be behind the passenger seat with the passenger seat leaned forward, rendering it useless 🙁 and the cars eat is so wide that the back middle seat can’t be used by an adult. So basically this car seat turns my 5 seat 2003 Saab 9.3 into a 2 seater plus this huge car seat. It’s only an issue when I have to pick up a friend who also has a baby. They end up squished unsafely in the front passenger seat while the two car seats take up the whole back seat. Hmmm. I better not have another baby before this one is out of his car seat!! I’d have to buy a bigger car!
Love this seat! I was on the fence about buying because I could not try it out first in any stores. It’s super cute and comfy and was really easy to install. I’ve got it in the middle of my Cadillac CTS and that sucker doesn’t move an inch! I have to have the front seats up a little more than I’d prefer as with this seat it can not be touching the vehicle seat at all. I’m still very comfortable driving though as is my husband. My only suggestion for the Premier would be for the harness to be easier to adjust. It seems a little wide and I can’t get it quite as tight as I’d prefer. It’s not loose enough that it’s not safe though, I guess my daughter needs to grow a smidge more. Oh and it’d also be wonderful if The First Years came out with the next one capable of rear facing to 40 lbs. Overall this seat is fantastic!
This seat is large but fits great into my Dodge Avenger. But I don’t think more than two car seat would fit into the back seat of the car with this seat. My son is comfortable in it. It is very well built. I researched many seats before purchasing this one. I am extremely satisfied with this seat. I never used it as rear facing so I cannot comment on its use that way but forward facing it is extremely easy to use and adjust. It was very easy to install and well padded. It has plenty of room for my son to grow. We will have many years of use. It is easy to clean the cover, I can atest to that given my son threw up on it. It washed easily and was easy to replace onto the seat again. Of all the car seats I have installed this one is easly installed and adjusted. The instruction manual is easy to read and is stored on the chair. The cup holder is large. Over all I feel safe and happy with this seat for my child.
Prefer True Fit SI instead
We bought this carseat as a backup/extra seat to have in a car after purchasing the TrueFit SI which we really liked. The fabric material is not as great as the SI one and of course, the headrest attachment is different. It is wide and is less supportive then the SI version. But overall, great seat and less expensive option compared to the SI one. Much of features are the same. Fits nicely in our hatchback sedan. Be aware, it is on the wide side thus takes up quite a bit of room in the car, thus don’t expect to squeeze another seat in the backseat if you put this seat in the middle. Child sits in this carseat comfortably as it is nice and roomy. Getting the child in/out of this carseat is not that bad as sides scoop down and not as high (unlike Recaro carseat).
Decent for the safety and cost
This is a roomy carseat and it fits my extra tall infant nicely. He is comfortable in it. My only gripe is that the straps are a little bit of a pain to adjust. Not as smooth as the chicco straps/buckles.
This is the one!
Finally I have found a car seat that my toddler looks super comfortable in and has high safety ratings. I had originally purchased the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Car Seat, but after using it for a few months, I was very disappointed with how my little girls head slumped in the car seat when she slept. The True Fit car seat is much wider, roomier, more padded, and reclines (preventing the head slumping). The instructions for installing are very simple due to the colored labels on the car seat. A big bonus is the fact that you don’t have to rethread the harness when adjusting the shoulder height….this saves so much time. And, the padding comes off in a snap….literally. So if the car seat padding gets dirty, just unsnap, wash and snap back on. I’m definitely happy with my purchase.
This seat fits well in our Honda Odyssey and my daughter seems very comfortable in it. The anti-rebound bar is a great safety feature. In my opinion it is definitely worth the extra money to get the premier version. I hope to be able to rear face my large 10 month old for at least another year. I also have a radian XTSL for my other 10 month old which I like a lot, but the true fit premier has a better fit in my vehicle and was easier to install. I like the anti-rebound bar on this car seat better than the tether on the radian xtsl.Cons: probably not very easy to travel with, sometimes have a hard time reaching the strap tightening slot.
Did Not Fit Our SUV
We bought this as a second car seat because it was supposed to fit better in cars because it doesn’t have a base. That was not the case for us, we could not get it to fit in my husband’s 2011 Chevrolet Equinox behind the passenger seat so we shipped it back and got the Britax Marathon which fit very well. We also had a difficult time tightening the straps, to the point we were concerned about safety… could it be opperator error? Sure, but we haven’t had problems with our other car seats. Maybe it had to do with how poorly it fit in our car. Other then that, it seemed like a very nice and comfortable car seat, combined with the safety and ease of use rating, it could be great for the price.
Love this carseat 99%
I bought this for my one year old and we’ve both been very pleased with it. It was pretty easy to install. It would have been very easy, except there is an error in the directions that slowed me down quite a bit. This error is known by The First Years and has gone unfixed for years. THAT really makes me angry! The error is that at one point it tells you to push the blue clips down (to secure the seatbelt in place) but the clips are actually yellow. There are no blue clips. Once I gave up looking for them and used the yellow clips, the rest of the installation was a snap. The seat fits my son very well and also fits my car very well. When I took it to the police station to be checked, the officer even commented on how well the seat fits my car (a 1998 Chevy Blazer). The rebound bar makes a perfect angle when rear facing and provides great stability for the seat if there were a rear impact crash. Yes, his feet hit the rebound bar (and the seat), but kids don’t care if their legs are folded up; that’s how they sit when they play on the floor anyway. I will keep him rear-facing until his weight makes it unsafe. I am very happy with the fabric on this seat. It is super soft; not that scratchy stuff some seats have. Adjusting the height of the shoulder straps is very easy. If only adjusting the length of the straps were as easy when it is rear facing. This is my one big complaint. The release lever to adjust the straps is down below the level indicator on the front of the seat and when it is rear facing you CANNOT get your hand in there enough to pull on the strap to tighten it. If you have small or even average hands you can release the lever and then pull on the straps to loosen them, but tightening them is nearly impossible. What I have done to work around this is to pull the end of the strap (that you need to pull to tighten it) under the seat, towards the front of the car. This way I can use one hand to release the lever and reach the other hand under the carseat to pull the strap to tighten it. I can only pull it a few millimeters at a time, but at least I can adjust it A LITTLE without having to take the seat out. It’s enough to compensate for whether he is wearing a sweater or not. My only other small complaint is also related to the tight space between the front of the seat and my car seat when RF. When installing the seat, you have to pull the carseat cover off of the bottom part to get to the clips to secure the seatbelt, but once you have the seat tightly installed, it is absolutely impossible to get the cover all the way back on and snapped down. I just had to pull it down as much as I could and leave it. I am a perfectionist, so this really bugged me at first, but now I don’t notice it. I will feel better when I turn him FF and can snap the cover down 🙂 Since this seat fits my car and my son so well, I have NO regrets buying it. I feel like he is very safe in it and it is comfortable for him. If it didn’t fit my car so perfectly, I might wish I had a different seat that allowed for easy adjustment of the straps.
Good carseat, make sure it’s the best fit for your car and child
I have been pleased with this carseat for my daughter, but in hindsight, I bought this carseat too fast. I bought it without trying it in my car (bad idea — I got lucky that it fit). I’ve got a 2009 Toyota RAV4 and we used this carseat from when my child was a newborn (we never had a infant bucket-type carseat). This seat fit her well as a newborn because of the extra padding and the fact that the headrest could be removed so the seat could be reclined enough even in a relatively small backseat. (This seat is wide though — if you’re trying to do side by side carseats, the removal cupholder will help, but with the width, I’m not sure it would work).The rebound control is a nice safety feature that is still reasonably hard to find — my child also likes to kick the rebound control for fun 🙂 She’s overall been quite happy in the seat — she can fall asleep without much head slump but is high enough to see.Installation was relatively straightforward once we figured out the LATCH locations in my car — we were able to get a rock solid installation — we did use one towel to get the angle right (there is an angle indicator that makes figuring out the right angle easy).Only thing I would change about the seat is the rear face weight limit — it’s only 35 lbs versus the 40 other seats have. It is a good seat for tall kids though — high harness slots. My child is relatively tall and light, so I think she’ll hit the height limit before the weight limit. Different child would have been a different story, so again, we got lucky on the fit.Also, buying online, the seat was manufactured a year before I got it, so I have less time before it expires. It’s easier to see what date you’re getting when you buy in a store.