The First Years True Fit IAlert C685 Car Seat, Naturalization

The First Years True Fit IAlert C685 Car Seat, Naturalization

The True Fit I Alert features an integrated monitoring system that connects and communicates with most smart phones. Once you purchase the True Fit I Alert, download the application, register and set up your seat and you are ready to go. .I Alert helps you obtain the desired rear facing angle installation, constantly monitors the ambient temperature in the back of your car and alerts you if your child unbuckles while you are driving. The I Alert also notifies you if your child is left in the car unattended. The True Fit I Alert has all of the easy to use features of the True Fit SI. The SI stands for Side Impact featuring the our head rest. The contoured design aides in containing your child’s head in the event of a crash. Keeping your child rear facing longer is easy, the SI can be used rear facing up to 35 lbs. Clean up is a breeze with our easy off pads. And the hassle free no rethread harness adjusts simply by moving the side adjusters to help with the correct positioning. The C685 model features smaller bottom rails and the patented Rebound Energy Management ™ system–a flip up rebound bar that actually helps manage the rebound in the unlikely event of a crash, pull the bar forward and it snaps in place with your rear facing installation and flip it back when you move to the forward facing installation. This seat is fully lined with EPP foam and has deep side wings that really surround your child.The larger interior dimensions keep your child comfortable as they grow.We have added a center angle indicator in the front of our seat for use when installing in the rear facing position. This easy to read indicator will help you determine if you have installed your seat correctly. For your infant, it will assist in achieving the advocate recommended 45 degree angle for installation(without our head rest)and as you keep it rear facing to 35lbs(with the head rest) you can check for the recommended 35 degree installation angle. We have LATCH attachments mounted on the sides so they are easy to access when you are installing your seat and easy to secure when you remove the seat from your vehicle. Installation is stress free with our color coded lock offs, whether you are installing for the first time rear facing or forward facing, they are both easily accessible and easy to use.

Main features

  • The first car seat that communicates with your smartphone. Quick and Easy set-up with IAlert app for IOS and most Android smartphones
  • Mobile-synched car seat designed to recognize potentially unsafe conditions and alert parents on their smartphone. (not included)
  • Alerts if child is left unattended, out of their seat while driving, reminders to check the seat buckle, monitors the ambient temperature, assists in achieving the correct angle position when installing seat and allows for set up of emergency contacts
  • Quick and Easy set-up with IAlert downloaded app for IOS and most Android smartphones
  • Removable contoured headrest,LATCH,color coded lock offs for rear & forward facing installations, patented Rebound Energy Management system & center angle indicator for rear facing installations.For use from 5 to 35 lbs rear facing & 23 to 65 lbs forward facing

Verified reviews

★★★★★

VERSATILE AND STURDY

This car seat is pretty impressive with today’s technology while keeping your baby safe and comfortable. I was also impressed at how sturdy and heavy the seat feels and its many adjustable features. What I didn’t care for was the color black, I think a lighter color would be more practical for the summer months as we all know dark colors feel hotter exposed to the hot sun. For the consumer who would rather use a lighter color, I think the manufacturer should give a choice of two additional colors, one in beige and one in gray.This product comes with a thorough 90 page detailed instruction manual including front and rear facing installation (the head rest is removable for rear facing) as well as the installation of the app on the IPhone and on the Android. The manual has lots of pictures to help you with the installation and usage. I think it’s a good product and it gives you an added peace of mind.

Charmaine Woodstock, OH
★★★★★

Even without the special additions, this is one safe car seat.

Everyone else has covered this car seat in great detail extensively, and I’ve only been able to use it for a little bit of time now, so I can’t provide a review of the usual length. But the First Years True Fit IAlert C685 is a very safe car seat worth investing in. However, when you’re paying this much, there has to be a reason for it, and the IAlert system, which is the key selling point I think, just isn’t that great when it comes down to it. If I could rate it 3 and a half stars, I would, because the safety outweighs the negatives with the IAlert. You can buy a car seat just as safe as this one for a fraction of the cost, without the extra features.Pros:-fantastic design in terms of safety and appearance-very comfortable for the child using it-doesn’t take up an ungodly amount of room regardless of how it’s positioned-multiple people can get alerts with the IAlert system appCons:-about one minute of delay with the safety notifications, which might not be that bad if you’re paying attention to your child most of the time, but it’s still a minute that passed where something really bad could have happened-needs to be completely charged before use-IAlert app is sometimes VERY inaccurate with temperatureI suggest buying this one when it goes down in price, mainly for the car seat itself, and not the IAlert addition.

Sylvia Campbell, MO
★★★★★

A Smart Carseat that requires A Smart Parent

I like the convenience of being able to adjust the shoulder height without having to completely remove straps. It is a large car seat and takes up a lot of space when rear facing. When reading about cleaning the car seat, I wasn’t thrilled to see it is handwash. Even though having special alert features is high tech, having to continually recharge the alert battery may be more time consuming than I would like to give it. I’ve been trying to charge and connect but haven’t been successful yet. It’s a beautiful and comfortable carseat, but as a fourth time parent, I’m not as concerned as a first time parent would be about temperature or movement. I probably don’t have the time to deal with a “smart” carseat. This is the reason I marked it from a 5 to a 4.

Nelda Ponemah, MN
★★★★★

Big & bulky, iAlert awesome, belts a bit tight at thighs

This eat is very good in most aspects, but a lot big and bulkier than its other competitors. The iAlert system is truly awesome, very easy and quick to set up, and works seamlessly right out of the box. There is a small module inside the seat with a usb cable which needs to be charged. It keeps the change for quiet sometime and works well.For our 11 months old, I found the belts to be bit tight especially at his thighs. With all the padding and the fixed belt for the buckle there is not much room for adjustment there. That’s a big issue and I’m not sure how long will we be able to use this seat further.Overall it’s on the expensive side for the value of money.

Ilene Midland, NC
★★★★★

Innovative design offers peace of mind

First things first, this is a LARGE and BULKY seat. The dimensions listed are 22 x 20 x 20 inches, so if you are trying to puzzle multiple seats into your vehicle and/or you have a smaller vehicle, please take that into consideration. For me, I have to deal with one seat and I have a small SUV, so this worked well.The seat itself is comparable to lower- to mid-range seats in some of the more expensive lines. The padding and fabric do not seem as high quality as the comparably priced chairs in some of the more expensive lines, but my toddler seems to find them comfortable enough and they spot clean rather easily. The toddler is ALWAYS willing to help me test out the ease-of-cleaning any fabric she must come in contact with.The mechanics of installing the seat were quite simple, but the actual installation required more strength than I could properly muster. I’m a small woman, but I like to think I am fairly strong for my size and I was able to install her other seat in my other car with relative ease. To get this seat properly installed and tightly fit, I had to ask my husband to do the final tightening. I am able to secure her in the seat myself, but not without bracing myself against the carseat and putting some work into it. I do absolutely feel she is secure once she is in, but I worry that if I’m ever feeling a bit off I might not be able to get the straps as tight as they need to be.But now for the innovation – an alarm that goes off to alert you to the status of your tiny passenger. Is the vehicle moving and the child is not strapped down? Is the vehicle parked with the child still in his seat? Is your little guy roasting in the sunlight pouring through the window while you have goose pimples from the A/C in the front seat? The Bluetooth enabled seat will send alerts to your phone to give you all of that info.In 2012, 32 children in the United States DIED from heatstroke as a result of being left inside vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “a locked car sitting in the summer sun quickly turns into an oven,” and “temperatures can climb from 78 degrees to 100 degrees in just three minutes, to 125 degrees in 6-8 minutes.” Losing a child is a parents’ worst nightmare. Losing a child in a preventable manner that is entirely your own fault must be absolutely devastating. No matter what any of us thinks, we are all at risk. The kiddo drifts off to sleep, your mind is running through the events of the day, your body is coasting on autopilot, and the next thing you know you are in the kitchen starting the sauce for dinner when you realize you have not heard a peep out of the toddler in far too long… This would eliminate that as long as you have your phone with you and honestly, if you have a smartphone you know that thing is ALWAYS within reach.

Susie Holtwood, PA
★★★★★

A bit disappointed / comparison with Chicco NextFit

I was so excited to try this car seat! The other reviews looked good, and the app sounded kind of cool. First off, let me say that I already own and use a Chicco NextFit. I chose it for its design and safety. I received this First Years seat as a tester, and I was hoping it would come close to the quality of the Chicco seat. Some features I liked, but others not so much…Features:Seat pads – there is a gray head bolster and a black “height adjuster” for very small children. According to the manual, the height adjuster (basically a thick pad for them to sit on and make them tall enough for this seat) is ONLY needed until the child’s shoulders are at or above the lowest setting for the harness. The head bolster can apparently be used until their head is up to the “upper seat back” which is the extra piece that snaps on to the top. My son is 9 1/2 months old, and kind of tall for his age. When I put him in the seat, his shoulders were just above the lowest harness setting, and since he’s rear-facing, I had to leave it at the lowest setting. However, since his shoulders are above the holes for the lowest setting, I could not use the height adjuster (which I kind of liked, since it’s extra padding). The head bolster is held on to the harness straps by two little pieces of velcro, and fell off instantly after I put my son in. In the case that it did stay on, it doesn’t seem substantial enough to make a difference in a side-impact collision – it seems more for comfort.No-rethread harness – this is VERY easy and quick to use, but the seat has two big slits all the way through it for the harness belts to move up and down. The innards are exposed, and you can see that it’s plastic and styrofoam inside! I don’t know if this is a safety issue, but it’s really weird and makes the seat seem really poorly designed!Rear-facing rebound control bar – I kept reading a lot about this in all the descriptions, and couldn’t figure out what it was. Well, it’s a piece of plastic that swings out from underneath the seat and sticks upright against the back of your car (picture a plastic “T” with the top in your child’s line of vision). It’s used in rear-facing only. I guess this might be useful, but I couldn’t find anything in the manual that really said much about it, besides to use it when rear-facing. There isn’t any springiness to it – it’s literally a piece of plastic on a hinge. And since this is part of the seat, there is NO RECLINE feature to this seat…Recline? – The manufacturer’s info and manual say this seat has two recline positions, so I thought this meant the seat actually reclines. Not the case. What they mean is that in the seat leveler, there are two acceptable zones for the ball-bearing to be in. Specifically, a 35 or 45 degree recline. The manual says to use a rolled up towel or pool noodle to get the leveling just right. Personally, I absolutely despise the idea of hinging my child’s safety on a pool noodle, and for a seat that costs a whopping $350, I think they should have figured out how to design this better. (My Chicco NextFit has 9 actual recline positions, but more on that later.)”Upper seat back” (USB) – this is what the manual calls the detachable headrest with the gray stripes on it. I don’t know if this seat has weird proportions, or if it’s my son, but he is currently on the lowest harness position, and his head is within an inch of the main seat top, so he needs to have the USB attached. However, his head is currently kind of in “no-man’s land” because it doesn’t quite reach up high enough for the sides of the USB to protect his head. Once he’s a few inches taller, I think this seat would be much safer for him. Take this into account though – if your child is around the size of mine – 20 pounds, 9 1/2 months old, you will need to have the USB attached. According to the manual, the USB MUST be attached when the seat is forward facing.Tether – this seat has a tether that comes out the top back of the main seat and MUST be used when the seat is forward-facing (and NEVER when rear-facing). So if your car doesn’t have a place to attach the tether, this is not the seat for you!The I Alert app – this seat comes with an app that can tell you if your child is in the seat, if they’ve unbuckled it (not sure how it knows this – there’s no sensor on the VERY flimsy chest clip…) and the ambient temperature. This sounds interesting, but I’ve read other reviews that say it’s very unreliable. And you MUST have Bluetooth on your phone for it to work. Think about whether you want to be reading alerts on your phone while driving – it seems like it would be a LOT safer to just have a seat that a child can’t unbuckle…Comments:First off, with the “upper seat back” attached, this seat is HUGE! About 36 inches diagonally from tip of the upper seat back to the tip where your child’s toes would be. My overall impression is that this seat relies on gimmicks such as the I Alert app and rebound control bar instead of thoughtful design. The gaping holes where the harness paths are located, the flimsy head bolster, the lack of recline function, the INCREDIBLY flimsy chest clip (I can almost undo it by breathing on it), etc.I will say that I’m very critical of car seats because it’s really important to me that my child is in the safest seat possible. So I’m sorry if this review seems harsh! This seat is a lot better than many other seats I’ve looked at in person. If you don’t care about recline settings and are fine with using pool noodles, then this is probably a good seat for you. I will say that the side-impact head protection seems insufficient until your child is tall enough for their head to reach mid-upper-seat-back.My recommendation:For me, I would say that money is no object as far as my child’s safety is concerned. I just want the best seat! This is one of the most expensive ones I’ve seen – in the last week, it’s been $300-$350 on Amazon, and in my opinion, the price is not justified. If you’re in love with the seat but don’t care about the I Alert app, it looks likeThe First Years True Fit SI C680 Car Seat, Abstract O’sis exactly the same without the app, and it’s currently half the price!As I said earlier, I currently own and use aChicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat, Mystique. I did a lot of research and in-person comparisons and chose it for its safety features and design. I haven’t been disappointed and absolutely recommend it! It has a steel frame (couldn’t find info whether this seat has one) and great head protection with a built-in headrest that goes up and down. It also has 9 recline positions with no pool noodle required! The only thing it doesn’t have is a removable cover. And it costs aboutt he same as this seat!Summary: if you’re ok with spending this amount of money on your car seat, I highly recommend you check out theChicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat, Mystique! The I Alert app doesn’t seem like it’s worth an extra $150, so if you really like this seat, theThe First Years True Fit SI C680 Car Seat, Abstract O’sis this seat for half the price, without the app.

Jody Brant, MI
★★★★★

Great concept marred by confusion and frustration

I tried out this First Years True Fit iAlert car seat for my one-year-old daughter, and as a car seat, it is a great product. Physical setup, installation, and adjustment was easy, and my daughter seems safe, content, and comfortable. Of course, what sets this particular seat apart from the others is the smart phone connectivity…and that’s where I found mixed results.I was careful to follow the instructions, no matter how confusing and frustrating they were at times. As instructed, I downloaded the free iPhone app and I went through the steps to get the car seat connected. Unfortunately some of the most basic instructions were not fully explained. There is a great deal to read between the enclosed booklet and the assorted explanatory cards that come attached to the seat. Oddly, some info is included on the card but not mentioned at all in the booklet, forcing you to really sit down and read every enclosure before moving forward. And even once I absorbed everything, there was still confusion. For example, although instructions are included about accessing the battery unit inside the car seat, both the booklet and information card failed to mention that the battery had to be removed and charged via USB before you could ever use the seat. Sure, this might seem obvious, but I had no idea going in that that was a necessary step. Further, there was no explanation about how long the battery needed to charge. As a result, I charged the battery initially for four hours, put it back in the car seat, and was promptly informed that the battery was still “dead.” I then charged the battery overnight, more than twelve hours, and suddenly noticed that a red light on the unit had gone off – presumably a sign that the battery had fully charged. If that information was spelled out anywhere, I never saw it. This was very much a trial-by-error learning process for me, but I was not willing to give up.Finally, charged battery ready to go, I had a really hard time getting the car seat to connect via Bluetooth to my iPhone. Each time I tried to connect my phone or my spouse’s phone or my mother’s phone, it briefly connected and then immediately disconnected. After a day or two of experimentation, I feared I had a broken device. But finally, with the aid of two other adults, we figured out that the child had to be strapped into the car in order to register and connect the car seat to a phone. That said, I still had trouble registering multiple phones, so in the most comical aspect of installation, we literally had to strap my daughter into the seat, set up a single phone, take her out, and put her back in again to register a different phone (and we repeated this process three times). Finally, after much effort and more than a little frustration, I was able to get three iPhones registered with the car seat. I then discovered – again, if this was spelled out in the manual, I missed it — that the car seat can connect with only one device at a time. So if I’m driving in the car with my spouse, her phone may be connected to the car seat while mine says “disconnected” or vice versa. Today we had a new discovery. My spouse’s phone was connected to the car seat most of the day. When I dropped my spouse off at work, suddenly we both received alerts that the connection was lost. About sixty seconds later, my phone connected to the car seat and I began receiving the alerts that my spouse had been receiving that day. That proved to be a neat and useful feature, but again it came as something of a surprise.Now with the app and car seat working for about one week, I can say that iAlert is moderately useful. The app is extremely limited in what information it offers, and apart from adding a photo, it’s not very customizable. The internal battery seems to last about one week before needing to be recharged. The temperature gauge seems way off, telling me at times that my child’s car seat is 110 or 118 degrees, even though our car temperature is registered at 70 or 75 degrees. It infrequently delivers messages at odd times, like sending me a reminder about buckling in my child when we’ve been on the road driving for a full twenty minutes. But those quirks aside, I did receive a notice reminding me that my child was still in the car when the engine was turned off. (We were at a park, and I was in the car the entire time while my older daughter played nearby). Of course, those repetitive notifications came every five minutes and alerted everyone on my plan via text, but I’m not complaining because that could be a truly useful and effective safety feature. And that’s the thing. The iAlert may be wonky and confusing, but it serves a purpose and promotes safety. Right now, this initial C685 model feels more like a Beta test and hopefully some of these kinks will be ironed out and the instructions will be rewritten and expanded to answer some of these basic questions. All in all, I am very pleased I had the chance to try out this innovative new car seat, but as a paying customer, I think I would have completely lost my patience some time ago.

Jeannette Cassandra, PA
★★★★★

IAlert Car Seat

When we first starting trying to connect the seat to my husband’s iphone, we couldn’t find a connection. You DO have to charge the thing first, which the instructions state. 😉 After being charged, we didn’t have a problem.We tried different things to in order to “sound the alarm” and we received an alert each and every time. There IS about a minute delay for most of the alerts, though! Some of them came immediately, mainly when our son came out of the seat. I’ll state the obvious here. I don’t think this thing should ever be totally trusted! Nothing beats just paying attention to my children. BUT, I do think this it is a pretty great device to use as a supplement!This seat will convert from infant to toddler. The cup holder comes on and off as your child ages. It’s a chunky little seat and well cushioned. It’s looks very comfortable, which is great for long rides!Overall, we’re pretty pleased with it!

Marie Rio Blanco, PR
★★★★★

Works well rear facing.

I own a Graco My Ride and needed an additional car seat for our other vehicle. I am use to the My Ride, I find it easy to use and it was easy to install. This First Years True Fit is easy to install as well after trying to figure out some things. It has some extra things that the My Ride doesn’t have like the Rear Facing Rebound Management Bar and a Removable Upper Seat Back. There is different information if you use the removable upper seat back and if you don’t. If you don’t use it the car seat will only work for weights between 5 and 22 lbs and the head is 1 inch below the top of the seat. The child must meet both of these requirements to use the car seat without the upper seatback install. So, this mostly is for newborns and probably takes the places of a infant carseat.My son is 15 months old and weighs about 22 lbs which is close to the weight requirement and his head was really close to the top of the carseat. So, I ended up installing the upper seatback when I installed the car seat. For Rear facing with the upper seatback the weight is between 5 and 35 lbs. Forward facing is between 23 and 65 lbs and 50inches or less and must be over 1 year old. They separate the rearfacing belts and the forward facing belts with colors. So, it is easier to figure out. Forward facing belt path is red and rear facing belt path is blue.I installed the car seat using the LATCH system and it was pretty easy to install and to secure the carseat in place. Then once it was in place I installed the upper seatback. The shoulder belts are easy to adjust and work with. There is also one cup holder that latches onto either side of the car seat.This car seat has two reclining positions for the rear facing. Upright and a recline of 10 you just squeeze a yellow lever at the front of the seat and move the seat to desired position but I didn’t play around with that feature. And it has an zone angle indicator in the front of the car seat so you can see what position your car seat is in. Shoulder height adjustment is real easy in this car seat, there are yellow release handles and you can raise or lower it to different notches to what height you child is. I think this is the only thing I like better on the True Fit than I do on the My Ride. With the My Ride you have to take the car seat out and rethread the belts to get the position you want it. Which is a big hassle, this one you just pull a yellow handle and it pops into an different position just like that.As for the IAlert aspect it was a bit annoying with all the notifications it gives you. It is through bluetooth so you need a bluetooth capable phone, which most are now a days. You also have to have a smart phone in order to download the I Alert App. With the I Alert app you can add your childrens photos, set up emergency contacts and register your seat for safety alerts. But, I didn’t end up doing any of that. But all in all I find it more as a distraction than a helpful tool.Overall, I think I like my Graco My Ride better. I like the padding in the My Ride much better. This ones padding is a bit bulky and slides around a lot because it isn’t part of the car seat as much. The polka dot area is just cumbersome and gets in the way. Also makes the car seat more hot and my son sweats a lot in his car seat so he need one that is more breathable and the My Ride is more breathable.

Raquel Biwabik, MN
★★★★★

Excellent seat….

I have used two different car seats in the past which are the Diono RadianRXT and the Recaro ProRide. Both great car seats. I can compare The First Years seat with the ProRide more. They are similar in size. The Diono takes less space and fit very well inside my Honda Fit. Even when rear facing it fit well with no problem. It was easy to store since you can fold it. Taking the upholstery off was easy as well for cleaning. Adjusting the straps was a little more work but do able. The ProRide is bulkier. Taking the upholstery was easy too. Adjusting the straps was super easy with a turn off a knob. The First Years falls between the two of those seats I have owned. The First Years car seat fit fine on my Honda Fit. Rear facing and forward facing was not a problem. Due to the adjustable headrest that can be removed I was able to fit it inside the car rear facing. With the other seats I had to push the front seats forward in order for them to fit. With the true fit I had more leg room and was able to drive comfortably. Cleaning is very easy as well. You can remove the upholstery for cleaning. It seems very comfortable for my son to ride in as well. It is more plush than the other 2 seats I have had. What I really love about this seat is the whole IAlert feature. I downloaded the app on my iphone and paired it with the seat. Super easy to do and the app is very easy to use. It has lots of great safety features that make sure your child is safe and comfortable.

Roberta Roe, AR
★★★★★

Good seat, could use alert improvements

Let me start by saying I was so excited to receive this seat, and I wanted to love it. I know some people have questioned the value of the alerts offered by this seat, but I simply see it as an evolution of technology. We now have video monitors instead of audio ones, no one is critical of those evolutions. This is just another tool to help you be a good parent, it is not intended to replace good parenting.Now, on to the seat itself, it is sturdy, well built and was a breeze to install using the latch system. I have no trouble getting it correctly placed and adjusted. It seems roomy for my son, but still secure. We are past rear facing, but I did install it that way, just to see how it fit, and it seems great.With regard to the alerts, my primary issue was the delay. There is over a full minute delay often between something happening that would trigger the alert and the actual alert sounding. That could be a very long minute. Also, the temperature setting seemed to vary a lot, sometimes low, but often much higher than what the temperature actually was.Despite my reservations, if you view the alerts as another tool in your toolkit as a parent trying to keep your child safe, this is a nice innovation. Once the kinks are worked out, this will be a great device. Until then, I think it is a very safe car seat, and a good choice. It is also fun to play with the gadgets for dad!

Trudy Timber, OR
★★★★★

Deep car seat perfect for securing little escape artists!

In my opinion, the most innovative feature of this car seat from Tomy is the deep sides and balanced posture. My toddler happens to be a professional car seat escape artist, and is now safely ensconced within the deep seat. The buckles and hardware do seem to be smaller than other brands. We did not use or charge the iAlert system; an electronic alert for temperature simply isn’t reliable enough to leave a child in car (not to mention that it is illegal to do so in many states, and rightfully so).

Gwen Imlay City, MI
★★★★★

review of front facing use for a preschooler

Since car seats are generally good for six years, if you are shopping for a convertible seat you will eventually have a preschooler in it. Different seats accommodate different sizes of big kid and the weight limits don’t always tell the whole story. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my preschooler and first grader both seemed to fit, and with the shoulder harness set on height three out of four.The seat comes set up for rear facing use, so when you want to use it front facing you will have to remove and re-thread the latch belt. The instructions are kind of confusing, and for whatever reason split across two sections of the manual, but I was able to do it easily enough. Unfortunately when I went to put the seat in the car the lower latch buckles were backwards. I can’t say if this was my error or a typo in the instructions, but the fact remains that when you remove and re-thread the possibility for error is definitely there, which does concern me. I have put up a customer image of how the lower latch belt SHOULD look in case you want to check yours before you lug it out to the car.There are several positives of this seat for my family. It is huge but fits fine in the back seat of my little Hyundai Elantra. I do feel like both kids would be safe in here, although my first grader actually uses a seatbelt booster not a harness seat. (He has theDiono Monterey Booster Seat, Tangerine) My daughter has previously been in theGraco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat, Matrix(in fact I have had four of the Nautilus and loved them). Unfortunately after a couple of months of using the True Fit I have really started to hate it. My biggest gripe is with both the design and placement of the crotch strap buckle. For one thing the buckle is too low, almost between a toddlers legs, and my kids have skinny legs. The buckle on the Nautilus opens by pushing down on the button (towards the floor) but the True Fit buckle opens by pushing the button straight into your childs crotch. You have to wedge your hand in behind the buckle and then press, there is real risk of pinching your kids skin or private parts if you have the harness tightened properly. I honestly just couldn’t take the annoyance and have stopped using this seat for my preschooler. It may be fine for babies to toddlers, but by the time your child is 3 you will probably be looking for a new seat.

Suzanne Manila, UT
★★★★★

Good product but not the best option.

With AAP now recommending to keep your child-rear facing for the first 2 years and for as long as the car seat will allow, you’d probably be sacrificing the passenger’s space with the bulkiness of this seat. Unless you have a minivan or an extra large SUV, I could not see a taller person being able to comfortably sit in most vehicles with this seat behind them. Our little one won’t be joining us for a couple more months so I tried this seat out with my petite 26 month old niece who is about 33 inches tall. Installation was a cinch with LATCH. The seat is very cushy and deep. It reclines well and the fabric seems soft, although it may be a little hot for those that live in warmer climates. With my niece’s height, you have to use the insert and that made the seat very large to put rear-facing. Adjusting the seat restraints is pretty simple via a lever that moves them up or down. However, the fabric is not totally attached to the seat and thus with just a few tugs, I was able to pull the restraints between the different rungs. I don’t see that much as a safety issue for the child because it would be difficult to move, but the fact that they are that easy to manipulate is a bit worrisome.I installed the seat forward-facing with the LATCH and it was equally easy. The different colors for the rear and forward belts help keep them coordinated.As far as iAlert system goes, I feel like it could be unwelcome distraction. Bluetooth connections drop, apps crash, and sometimes those same apps do not work. However, the one feature that I do think is useful is the angle adjuster. It’s a very convenient way of getting the correct angle right for an install. No pesky bubbles to navigate or stepping back to look at lines being horizontal to the floor!All in all, this seat looks and feels sturdy with a proper install. Although the technology may warrant the price tag, I simply am not as impressed with the iAlert aspect as the price tag would suggest.

Essie Seaman, OH
★★★★★

The First Years True Fit I Alert C685 Car seat

This is a very good concept. I was excited to try this Trufit I alert car seat. Though I have GRACO My Ride 65 convertible car seat I was very much impressed with the unique features of the IAlert system and thought of try it once for my baby who is 1 1/2 year old. Like Graco Trufit I alert is also easy to install and use. It has very well cushioned deep seats and balanced posture. I believe it could be comfortable any any baby right from infant to toddler. I had a problem downloading the app on my iphone i did not use or charge the I alert system. I alert system has some amazing and unique features like patented Rebound management and latch system mechanism and height shoulder adjustment straps,detachable upper car seat and further it could be used from infant to toddler ages i.e., to 1 lbs to 65 lbs. It is easier to figure out rear facing and front facing belts as they are shown in separate colors i.e, red and blue. unlike other car seats the I alert system has the ability to adjust the shoulder straps without removing the the straps. I alert system is the new innovative concept with modern technology for the safety, security and comfort of your baby.On the negative side of the car seat is that no where either in the manual or in the information card it is mentioned that the batter had to be removed and charged via USB and further how long i.e., the batter y has to be charged before one could use the car seat. Over all I like the concept of the car seat.

Marisa Almont, ND
★★★★★

A twenty-first century car seat

There is much to like about this car seat.-Being convertible you can use it from infancy to preschool. My three year old fits in it quite well, so one car seat will last you a long time.-It is very sturdy and offers great head and side impact protection.-There are more than one insert/liners to adjust to the needs of your growing child.-It was fairly easy to install sits very securely even in an older model vehicle.-It does give you peace of mind. While there is no substitute for parental supervision, it is nice to know that you will be alerted when something isn’t right. Some things are hard to tell – like the temperature in the back seat.There are also a few drawbacks:-The instructions FAIL to mention that you have to charge it first. Only after multiple attempts to get my iphone to detect it as a Bluetooth device did I go onto the First Years website and read that it has to be charged first. I suppose I should have thought of that, but I didn’t. Since it is easier to charge it before it is installed, it would be nice if that was Step 1 in the instructions.-I’ve found that the Bluetooth connections seems to drop a lot.-It is a very big car seat, so if you need to get two or three car seats in your car, that is something to keep in mind. I have two young boys, and only one of these car seats. This one is considerably bigger than the other. It would be a very tight fit to have them both in one of these.Overall I like this car seat, but it’s not perfect – just very good.

Nita Golden Eagle, IL
★★★★★

so far can’t connect

As a car seat, this seems well constructed and safe. It about as easy to set up install as other convertible seats we’ve owned… it seems it ought to be easier than it is, but that seems to be par for the course.The manual is a bit more difficult to understand than others I’ve read in terms of making setup a bit harder than it needed to be. I was left with minor unanswered questions like, “Are all these seat cushions mandatory at each size setting?” The seat would be far easier to install and use if the directions and illustrations were clearer.The seat pad can be hand washed, but not machine washed, which is a minor drawback for me.I’ve as yet been unable to connect my smartphone to the car seat. This review will be updated soon as I have the chance to test the seat with another type of smartphone with (hopefully) better results.

Lakesha Andover, CT
★★★★★

Ok car seat with a few problems.

I’ve gone through quite a few car seats trying to find the best one for my two children. This one we took a leap of faith on and battle tested this on a family vacation to hawaii. Literally shipped it still in the box and took it out at the airport in kona. Others have covered the issues with charging and bluetooth, I had no such issues. But the quality:Latch mechanism- Even at full extension it was VERY difficult to get it to fit in our rental car (late model impala w/leather FWIW). I’m strong, it was still tough. I can imagine this being a big problem for many women.Straps-A little bit tough to adjust the height for them to sit properly on my son’s shouldersTightening mechanism-No real positive clicking or ratcheting. This makes it difficult to be sure it’s fully in place. Several times my son got out of the shoulder straps despite adjustment attempts.This is a $300 car seat, but don’t expect the quality and seamless functionality of something similarly priced britax advocate 70 (we own 2 of them now), I’d guess you’re paying for a cheaper seat but with the electronics added. It’s not horribly cheap, the quality is decent, however I personally feel that for a day to day item like this quality and usability are more important than gimmick. I’ve never accidentally left my kid in the seat, a bubble level is fine for angle and I’d rather have a seat that keeps him secure rather than one that he can get out of that will alert my phone when he does. 🙂

Nelly Newmarket, NH
★★★★★

Well constructed car seat. Easy to install.

This is a very nice, plush car seat. It can be used rear facing or forward facing for larger children.As a parent of two children I’ve become quite familiar with car seats and this one has many features that set it apart. First, this is very easy to install. One of my biggest gripes with the latch system is the latches themselves. They are inside the seat and it is hard to connect and disconnect. This seat has an innovative feature that has the release for the latch up higher, so you can connect and disconnect from the automobile’s latch system much easier.Another great feature is the ability to adjust the height of the shoulder straps from the left or the right outside of the seat. Many seats, even many expensive seats require you to move straps from the inside of the seat; a cumbersome and time consuming process.This seat also has very easy to remove cushions and covers. Just a few snaps and the cover pulls right off; great for throwing in the washer, espeically if you have a kid that throws up or spills juice and such all over the seat.The feature that I was less enamored with was the blue tooth notification system. After getting the seat, I charged the unit (located under the right hip area of the seat). I ran through the instructions carefully and tried to pair my phone to the seat. It took a few attempts but was successful. When it successfully pairs and connects it alerts you to proper installation, temperature and lets you know if your child is in or out of their seat.Though it worked, I found it a bit annoying to work, and since it connected to your phone it would be tempting to use it while driving, something you shouldn’t do anyways. If they had an app that could run on the car’s computer system, that would be impressive. Though the notification system works and is pretty nice, I usually don’t use it as it is one more thing you have to worry about.The seat is heavy and well constructed, and seems very comfortable. My son seems to enjoy his time in it more than the other one. It also cradles and supports him better. When he falls asleep in the car his head doesn’t flop around at all as it did occasionally in the other one.Overall a very nice seat. Easy to install, clean, and adjust.

Juana Long Valley, SD