The Safety 1st Continuum is a car seat that works as a rear-facing (up to 40 pounds), forward-facing (up to 50 pounds), and booster seat (up to 80 pounds). Once the child transitions to vehicle seat belts, it can turn into a belt-positioning booster seat. This is the product for the budget-conscious parent looking to take advantage of the durable material from which the seat is manufactured. 

Investing in a reliable car seat is becoming more critical than ever. You have probably seen the statistics from the CDC Transportation Safety indicating that car seat use reduces the risk of injury in a crash by 71–82% for children compared to seat belt use alone.

If you take these statistics seriously, as most parents do, you may consider purchasing a Safety 1st Continuum car seat. A few friends of mine and mothers I know have recommended this product. However, I could not take someone else’s word for it, so I tried it.

I can proudly say that I have enough experience with the Safety 1st Continuum to now make a judgment. In this review, I will focus on the product’s main features, specifications, pros and cons, and a few frequently asked questions.

Specs at a Glance

Here are the most important numbers to know about the Safety 1st Continuum.

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Highest harness height16.5 in.
Lowest harness height6 in
Width at widest pointA little under 19 in. 
Shell height26 in.
Seat weight17 lbs.

Why Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite?

The Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite – Best 3-in-1 Car Seat

This is designed to be the only car seat you will ever need.  Even its name is clever,  named after the Greek alphabet – from Alpha (the first letter of the Greek alphabet) to Omega (the last).

As the name suggests, you can use these extended-use car seats in multiple modes, rear-facing and front-facing, with a harness and a belt-positioning booster. The Alpha Omega Elite is also equipped with a variety of upgraded safety and use features that make this safety seat an excellent choice for a wide range of families.

Key Features of The Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite

The Alpha Omega Elite convertible car seats offer enhanced safety features to help keep kids safe in case of an accident.

Advanced side-impact protection with EPP foam increases support in a side-impact collision and includes a removable infant support cushion to keep smaller kids safer and more comfortable overall.

The Alpha Omega Elite™ series is also equipped with LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) to make Installation secure and easy for parents and caregivers alike.

Safety 1st Alpha Omega

Here are the key features of Safety 1st Continuum:

Feature Details
Three recline positionsRear-facing 5-40 pounds, Forward-facing harness 22-50 pounds, and belt-positioning 40-80 pounds
Harness holdersAvailable In both rear-facing and forward-facing mode
CleaningMachine washable and dryer-safe seat pad
Installation type           LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children)
The weight limit for a child‎Minimum of 5 lb and a maximum of 80 lb
ColorsChili pepper, hollyhock, grey/black, wind chime, sea glass, blue horizon, dark shadow, teal topaz, carbon ink, hollyhock II, and waterfall mist. 
Orientation     Rear forward facing

Additional Safety Features

⚙️ Three things stuck out for me while using the Safety 1st Continuum:

⚙️ The three different recline positions make my child more comfortable and safe. 

⚙️ The harness holders kept the straps out of the way so I could safely place or remove my baby from the seat.

⚙️ The cup holders and fabric were quickly removed, dishwasher-safe, and washing machine friendly.

User-Friendly Features

The Alpha Omega Elite models also offer a variety of convenience features that parents love. The QuickFit harness system allows you to quickly adjust the headrest and the harness together in one step without rethreading as children continually grow.

The seat has three recline positions providing kids with a comfortable fit. Two pivoting armrests allow children to load and unload into the seat quickly.

The seat pad is comfy, and the fabric cover and padding are machine washable, making cleanup a cinch when messes happen.  The Alpha Omega Elite has a removable cup holder to keep drinks or snacks readily available.

Main Features To Watch For 

⚙️ QuickFit harness system.

⚙️ Three recline positions.

⚙️ Pivoting armrests.

⚙️ Machine-washable seat cover and pad.

⚙️ Removable cup holder.

Parent Frustrations

Most convertible car seats have some challenges; the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite series of 3-in-1 car seats are no different.  First and foremost, these seats are incompatible with any travel system or stroller.

This single detail can be problematic for sleeping babies who must be physically removed from the seat instead of quickly transitioning from car seat to stroller.

Additionally, even though the car seat cover is machine washable, parents complain that removing and reinstalling it is complicated. Parents also complain that the Alpha Omega Elite is unsuitable for babies, especially with the infant cushion.

Although there are multiple recline positions, when installed, the seat doesn’t recline far back enough for babies without head control. Additionally, the infant cushion doesn’t provide proper head and neck support, which is uncomfortable and can cause breathing issues too.

Many users indicate that the Alpha Omega Elite is nearly impossible to install in their cars, even with the LATCH hooks. The seat is bulky and doesn’t fit well in many vehicles.

The harness and top tether straps are challenging to tighten and don’t seem to tighten correctly.  Furthermore, the highest harness slots for these seats are almost an inch lower than similar convertible car seats. This can be a problem for taller kids, forcing parents to transition them into booster mode earlier or use another safety seat.

When using the seat in the belt-positioning booster mode, many parents complain that there isn’t a good lap belt fit.  The belt seems to lay across kids’ tummies instead of across their laps, which can cause more severe injuries in case of a crash.

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat, Harvest Moon

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Key Frustrations

❌Not compatible with any travel system or stroller.

❌The machine-washable cover is difficult to remove and reinstall.

❌Recline positions don’t recline enough for infants.

❌The infant insert doesn’t provide proper head support.

❌Very difficult to install, even with LATCH.

❌The harness system and top tether are hard to tighten.

❌Bulky and doesn’t fit well in many cars.

❌Five-point harness slots are too low for tall kiddos.

❌Lap belts don’t fit well in booster mode.

Alpha Omega Elite Limits

❌Rear-facing weight limit between 5-35 pounds (19-36 inches tall).

❌Forward-facing weight limit from 22-50 pounds (34-45 inches tall).

❌The belt-positioning booster weight limit is 40-100 pounds (43-52 inches tall).

Three Recline Positions

Getting the angle right for your child to be comfortable is extremely important. This matter is emphasized by Consumerreports.org, which says, “Rear-facing infant car seats must be installed at the correct angle—upright enough to protect a baby during a crash, but reclined enough to prevent their head from falling forward potentially obstructing his airway.” The same source says the correct angle is generally between 30-45 degrees from the seat’s upright position. 

The three recline positions feature what I see as the unique offering of the Safety 1st 3-in-1 car seat. Unlike many other car seat products, this feature made Safety 1st Continuum provide more safety for my child.

Harness Holders

The hardness holders in Safety 1st Continuum are another quite impressive feature, and they allow you to quickly get your child out of the car by holding the harness strap back. The car seat features QuickFit Harness, allowing you to adjust the headrest and harness in just one step.

Removable Parts for Hassle-Free Cleaning

One of the not-so-great aspects of using car seats is maintenance. But the Safety 1st car seat has removable cup holders and is dishwasher-safe, and you can also remove the car seat’s fabric for washing.

Adjustable as Your Child Grows

If your child is between 5 and 40 pounds, you can start with the Safety 1st car seat using the rear-facing, then later on, you can turn them around to become a forward-facing car seat as the baby’s head gets higher than the headrest. This position will hold your child and protect them until they reach 50 pounds.

As your child approaches four years of age and weighs around 40 pounds, you can use the Safety 1st car seat belt-positioning booster. All this is to say that the product is versatile enough for all car seat stages, and you get a value of four years from your money.

Pros 

Like every product, the Safety 1st Continuum car seat has pros and cons. Here are some of the most prominent ones you should consider to make your decision:

✔️ Affordable price for such a level of protection.

✔️ Durable fabric material makes it washing-machine friendly.

✔️ Adequate legroom, so you don’t have to worry about your child’s comfort when rear-facing for a long time.

✔️ Easy to use. 

Cons 

❌ Installation can be a little challenging. This appears to be a common issue across significant review platforms.

❌ Threading the seat belt through the path to secure it can be difficult since its path is narrow.

❌, Unlike most highly-rated car seats, Safety 1st Continuum has a more extended base, making it almost impossible to stay level with the vehicle’s seat.

❌ Takes extra time to ensure the car seat is steady and properly installed. (This is often a required effort when using most other car seats. So it’s not a significant issue) 

Is there another version of the Alpha Omega Elite?

2018 The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) amended some safety guidelines. AAP experts now recommend that children ride in a rear-facing position for as long as possible (well beyond their second birthday, as previously advised).

Safety 1st responded to these new guidelines by releasing the updated Alpha Omega Elite 65. The Alpha Omega Elite 65 now extends rear-facing weight limits to abide by the new AAP recommendations.  The five-point harness included in this model also extends forward-facing boundaries by 15 pounds.

The Alpha Omega Elite 65 also changes the overall height limits in the forward-facing with a harness position to 29-52 inches. These updates can keep kids in a safer position longer and exceed federal safety standards.

The same features in the Alpha Omega Elite also apply to the Alpha Omega Elite 65. A shock-absorbing EPP foam for increased side-impact protection, pivoting armrests, multiple recline positions, and the QuickFit harness system.

Additionally, an infant insert and one removable cup holder are included with this model, as well. Even with the new updates, parents seem to have similar complaints.  The seat cover is hard to remove, infants don’t fit well, and the seat doesn’t recline enough for babies who can’t control their heads.

Furthermore, the Alpha Omega Elite 65 is still bulky. It can be next to impossible to install correctly, the harness straps that are hard to tighten, and the lap belt doesn’t sit properly in belt-positioning booster mode. Parents have also found that kiddos outgrow this seat long before reaching the extended weight limits of the car seat.

Unique Features

⚙️Extended rear-facing weight limit between 5-40 pounds.

⚙️Extended forward-facing with harness weight limits between 22-65 pounds.

⚙️Forward-facing with harness height limits of 29-52 inches.

Pros

✔️Extended weight limits can keep kids safer for longer.

✔️Shock-absorbing EPP foam.

✔️Pivoting armrests.

✔️Multiple recline positions.

✔️An infant insert is included.

✔️A removable cup holder is also included.

Cons

❌Kids outgrow this seat too early.

❌ Installation is challenging.

❌The seat doesn’t recline enough for babies without head control.

❌ It’s bulky and doesn’t sit well in many cars.

❌Harness straps are difficult to tighten.

❌The lap belt doesn’t sit properly in booster mode.

Grow and Go vs. Alpha Omega Elite

Safety 1st offers a newer line of convertible car seats, the Grow and Go, which looks similar to the Alpha Omega Elite.

Both lines are considered 3-in-1 car seats for use in a rear-facing, forward-facing harness, and belt-positioning booster position.

The extended weight limits of the Grow and Go are also similar to the Alpha Omega Elite 65 – rear-facing from 5-40 pounds and forward-facing with a harness from 22-65 pounds.

Additionally, both lines of convertible car seats offer advanced side-impact protection, the “no-rethread” QuickFit harness system, three recline positions, a removable infant insert, and a machine-washable fabric cover.

So what’s the difference?

There are a couple of unique differences between the Grow and Go and the Alpha Omega Elite that you should consider when weighing out your options. First, the Grow and Go line includes harness holders that keep the straps out of the way when loading and unloading your kids.

This can be a critical feature for parents who frequently struggle with finding harness straps.  Additionally, while both lines include cup holders, the Alpha Omega Elite only has one detachable one.

The Grow and Go, however, has two integrated cup holders.  Depending on your family’s needs, this could also be essential.

Even though the depth and height dimensions are roughly the same, It’s important to mention that the Grow and Go are four inches wider than the Alpha Omega Elite.  This could be problematic in some vehicles, and it’s always wise to take accurate measurements before purchasing either model.

Unfortunately, similar complaints are also mentioned in the Grow and Go parent reviews. The seat is tough to install; straps are hard to tighten; it’s big and bulky, doesn’t fit well in many vehicles, and is just not a great fit for babies.

Comparing Safety 1st Continuum with similar products

So, how does the Safety 1st Continuum compare to other products in its class? Here is a quick comparison:

Product NameDistinctive PerksMajor Drawback

 

Weight limit (Rear-facing)Weight limit (forward-facing)
Safety 1st Continuum 3-in-1This a solid option for parents on a budget who want a versatile seat that will grow with their child.

 

The seat has a rear-facing weight limit of 40 pounds, which is lower than some other convertible car seats on the market.

 

5 – 40 lb22 – 50 lb.
Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1An added feature of converting into a backless booster seat.

 

Heavy for air travel.

 

4 – 40 lb22 – 65 lb.
Evenflo EveryStage DLX All-in-OneEasy-to-adjust headrest and harness system and offers up to 10 years of use.It offers a lot of versatility and may not provide the same level of comfort as some higher-end models.4 – 50 lb22 – 65 lb.
Chicco NextFit Zip Max ConvertibleFor easy Installation, a 9-position leveling system, a 6-position headrest, and a SuperCinch LATCH tightener.

 

This seat’s high-quality materials and features come at a premium price, which may not be affordable for all families.4 – 50 lb22 – 65 lb.

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Conclusion

While many car seats stop at rear-facing orientation, the Safety 1st Continuum stands out because it lasted a little longer for me and turned into a booster seat (designed for children between 40 to 80 pounds.)

With this in mind, The Safety 1st Continuum 3-in-1 car seat is a solid option for budget-conscious parents who want a versatile seat that will grow with their child. 

It can be used as a rear-facing infant seat, a forward-facing toddler seat, and a booster seat for older children. While it’s not the most premium option on the market, it offers outstanding safety features and comfort for the price. 

However, I won’t hastily call it the best choice for parents who prioritize high-end features or need a seat for extended rear-facing use.

Why don’t you read our reviews if you are looking for high-end car seats? 

Author

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren

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Keren Simanova

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren