Safety 1st Elite Air 80 + BOOSTER PICS

Brigala

Well-known member
I had a car seat playdate today. Among other things, we took the Elite Air 80 + out to my car, squished it into my Civic's front seat (so I wouldn't have to move my car seat out of the back) and tried two kids in it as a booster. One who is just a little too small to use it as a booster, and another near the top of the size range (and close to 5-stepping).

I posted pictures in a public facebook album. Please let me know if this link doesn't work for you because I can share my photos and comments in other ways if necessary. I'm not positive, but I *think* you should be able to view the album even if you don't have a Facebook account.

The verdict: Belt fit is a lot better than on an Alpha Omega, but we HATED this seat as a booster anyway and would never ever ever buy one with the intent to use it as a booster. The belt did not retract through the guide at all, the seat is absolutely giant, there's no way a kid will be able to buckle it himself/herself without help (even an older kid) because if by some miracle they could reach the buckle they would need help getting the belt back through the guide after leaning over that far to reach the buckle. Plus, buckling the kids in took up so much of the belt that it engaged the ALR so we couldn't figure out how to use it without locking the belt on the child. That problem will probably vary from vehicle to vehicle. I suspect there are some vehicles out there with belts that aren't even long enough to use this seat in booster mode.
 

Brigala

Well-known member
That's weird. Some people seem to be able to click through and some don't.



Safety 1st Elite 80+ 3-in-1. We'd rather knock our heads on a brick wall than deal with this monster in booster mode on a regular basis, but it might be OK once in a while in an emergency. Nice that they have a 4 year age minimum for booster use. In theory, if you had a child that hit 40 lbs and 43" tall at exactly the same time (and was over the age of 4) you could theoretically skip the forward-facing-with-harness stage all together with this seat. But you wouldn't want to. Did I mention how annoying this seat is as a booster?

(Someone has already pointed out a serious typo in the booster section which I didn't catch...)



Belt fit on a child who's a little too small and a lot too young to use this seat as a booster. We really didn't like the way the lap belt path is so wide and bunches up at the corners, and we really really didn't like the shoulder belt guide because the belt doesn't slide freely and we really really REALLY didn't like how massive this booster is and how hard it is to buckle.




Safety 1st Elite 80 Air +. Belt fit as a booster. Not so great on this child, but then again she doesn't meet any of the minimum requirements to use it as a booster. She is 35 months old, 39ish lbs, 39.5" tall. But her torso height is as tall as the 43" child we had with us who would have met the height requirement but who refused to sit in the seat for a photo op.

My biggest "fit" concern here is that it doesn't wrap around her side at all. She kept sticking her left hand under the shoulder belt because there was a huge gap there. Maybe that wouldn't be a concern on a child old enough and mature enough to use a booster.
 

Brigala

Well-known member



This 8 year old gets a pretty decent belt fit in the new Elite 80 Air +, although we didn't like how far away the belt was from the sides of his hips. He is a very tall 8 year old and is starting to pass the 5-step test in some smaller vehicles. Theoretically, if you don't throw it out the window first from sheer annoyance, you could actually use this seat for some kids as the "only seat you'll ever need." Shocking. We hated it anyway.

- Just to clarify, we hated it *as a booster.* It actually looks like a fairly decent convertible seat, if you have enough space for it in your car. It's massive. My favorite feature was the metal bar on the top which could be used to man-handle it around.

- Cole is 55 lbs, just turning 8. I can't remember exactly how tall he was when he was last measured-- 52" maybe? He can pass the 5 step test in grandma's Prius on the center "hump" only. The belt fit was passable, but held the shoulder belt away from his body at the bottom. He would not be able to buckle it himself, either, with how far away and awkward the buckle is in this seat.



Another angle with the tall 8 year old in the Elite 80 Air +. This is in the front seat of a 2005 Honda Civic because I didn't want to move my daughter's car seat out of the way in the back (we weren't going anywhere). We HATED the belt guide. It's very hard to thread the belt through it, and once it's in the belt guide, it does not slide freely. It's almost like a lock-off. Coupled with how wide the lap belt path was, it made us a bit uncomfortable even though "technically" the belt crosses the child in all the right places. Also, the seat is so big and bulky it would be totally impractical as a booster seat. The buckle is not shown here, but it's way back by the seat bight on the other side. I would be shocked to find a child who could buckle this in while sitting in it. Even if they could, they'd need help retracting the belt back through the guide after leaning that far over. Plus, the seat was so big that when this 8 year old got out of it we had to take the belt out of the guide in order to let it retract all the way before we could buckle the next child in because it engaged the automatic locking mechanism.
 

Brigala

Well-known member


In its fully reclined position like this, sitting on the floor, the "under 22 lbs" line is roughly level with the ground. I don't foresee this car seat working for a newborn in very many vehicles.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Please feel free to upload to your album here as well. If you need more space, just let me know!
 

Brigala

Well-known member
Are the photo links showing up for everybody else? I suspect if I uploaded all the pics I probably would need more space, but if doing photo links works for everyone then I think it's fine. I suspect by the time the photos disappear or are moved on Facebook, we'll all pretty much know why we hate this seat as a booster. ;)

It really is a big improvement over the AOE, I think. But, man, I can't overstate how hard it was to actually use.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Feel free to give it a try. I think for technicians it is limited to full HD resolution (1920x1080) but otherwise should be enough space for a modest gallery of photos and I think you can organize them by folders as well.
 

thekatie

New member
What's the typo? I didn't catch it, either.
I think it's that instead of saying "forward facing using vehicle seat belt" (or whatever language they'd use) for the booster section, it says "using 5-point harness".

Edit: oops cross posted with another answer.

Thanks for the pictures. I haven't seen one of these in stores yet, it's huge!
 

LBR

New member
What's the typo? I didn't catch it, either.
Is the typo the "5-point harness" under booster mode instead of "vehicle lap and shoulder belt"? I posted pics of the inside of the manual on another thread for this seat, and the booster instructions do say using the vehicle lap and shoulder belt.

I was so excited about this seat, and now I'm bummed about the booster mode and difficulty of installation. :( I have not had a chance to go back to BRU and install in my van yet. I still want to see how it fairs in the caravan's super slanted seats RF and FF.
 

LBR

New member
Is the typo the "5-point harness" under booster mode instead of "vehicle lap and shoulder belt"? I posted pics of the inside of the manual on another thread for this seat, and the booster instructions do say using the vehicle lap and shoulder belt.

I was so excited about this seat, and now I'm bummed about the booster mode and difficulty of installation. :( I have not had a chance to go back to BRU and install in my van yet. I still want to see how it fairs in the caravan's super slanted seats RF and FF.
Oops! I was still typing when others figured it out!
 

LBR

New member
I just watched the Safety 1st video on youtube: Introducing the Elite 80 Air +

The video states that the RF height limit is 40" (approx 00:49), and the installation sticker on the side on the car seat also says 40" (I paused it at 1:49)....the manual says 43", which is it?

Have I gone crazy?
 

Brigala

Well-known member
Good question. I don't remember whether I looked for the height limit on the stickers. It will be interesting to see whether they match.

We did not attempt to do a RF or FF install of this seat. Neither of us had room in our vehicles to really do so without uninstalling something else, and the kids weren't being especially cooperative, particularly mine. We just didn't have time to do a full in-car evaluation of the seat, so we prioritized "booster mode" since that seemed to be what a lot of people were curious about.
 

Car-Seat.Org Facebook Group

Forum statistics

Threads
219,311
Messages
2,200,970
Members
13,337
Latest member
BBNBDW

You must read your carseat and vehicle owner’s manual and understand any relevant state laws. These are the rules you must follow to restrain your children safely. All opinions at Car-Seat.Org are those of the individual author for informational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect any policy or position of Carseat Media LLC. Car-Seat.Org makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician. Before posting or using our website you must read and agree to our TERMS.

Maxi Cosi is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!Graco is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!

Please  Support Car-Seat.Org  with your purchases of infant, convertible, combination and boosters seats from our premier sponsors above.
Shop travel systems, strollers and baby gear from Britax, Chicco, Clek, Combi, Evenflo, First Years, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Safety 1st, Diono & more! ©2001-2020 Carseat Media LLC

Top