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Meta Description: When it comes to selecting the right car seat, you need to consider a number of factors, including your child’s height, weight and age. You should also take into account a car seat’s longevity, durability and comfort. Use this guide to compare the Safety 1st Guide 65 with others of comparable price and quality.
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Safety 1st Guide 65: Car Seat Reviews and Essential Information
When it comes to car seats, you have dozens of options from which to choose, each of which claims to be safer than the last. However, you cannot just take a manufacturer’s word that its safety seat is better than its competitors. After all, the manufacturer’s ultimate goal is to make money. The only way that you can truly find the best fit for your child is to do your due diligence.
When it comes to selecting the right car seat, you need to consider a number of factors. Those include but aren’t limited to:
- Your child’s size
- Your child’s weight
- The amount of space available in your car
- How you can secure the car seat in your vehicle
- Crash ratings
In addition to the safety features, you also want to consider convenience. Your child is bound to eat or drink in his or her seat, which means there will be spills. You might want to select a unit that is easy to clean. Also, make sure that the belt path is easily accessible, and that the car seat can be secured with retainer clips, as those are more difficult for a child to unfasten.
If you’re not already overwhelmed with the car seat buying process, you will be once you start shopping. This guide is designed to take the headache out of car seat shopping by reviewing the top car seat on the market today and three of its competitors.
Safety 1st Guide 65
Safety 1st is one of the oldest and best car seat manufacturers, and therefore one of the most trusted. If you look at any “Top Car Seats” list, at least one Safety 1st unit will be on it. That said, the Guide 65 is definitely a home run. Like most car seats today, this seat is convertible, meaning that your infant, toddler or school-aged child can sit in it with comfort. However, unlike many convertible car seats, the design of this particular unit is slim and can fit in even the smallest of cars. If you want to leave more room in your SUV, this seat will enable you to do just that.
The Safety 1st Guide 65 can keep your new bundle of joy safe in the rear facing position and, as he or she grows, can easily switch to a forward-facing unit. Children of up to 40 pounds can rest comfortably in the rear-facing position and, when ready for the forward-facing position, can cruise in the 5-point harness in comfort all the way up to 65 pounds. Side impact protection keeps the child safe in both modes of use and provides additional pillowing, which is nice for long car rides.
The Guide 65 has several noteworthy features in addition to the fact that it is rear- and forward-facing. Some design features that will give you peace of mind include the following:
- Rear-facing for 5-40 pounds
- Forward-facing for 22-65 pounds
- Five 5-point harness heights and three buckle locations for a proper fit
- Multi-position adjustable head support
- Lumbar body pillows
- EPP energy-absorbent foam
- Slim design
- Durable fabric and removable inserts
- Hand-washable seat pads
- Anti-rebound bolsters
- Airplane ready
- UAS equipped
- Meets CMVSS 213 & 213.1 safety standards
Pricing and Where to Buy
You can find the Safety 1st Guide 65 at a number of online retailers and in-store locations. Most sellers offer free shipping if you do choose to make an online purchase. Below is a list of locations where you can purchase this car seat and the current selling price:
- Walmart, $79.98 – $84.97
- Kohl’s, $89.99
- Sears, $86.42
- Amazon, $81.38
- Safety 1st Official Website, $169.99
How It Compares
As promised, we will compare the Guide 65 to a few others of equivalent quality. Below are just a few comparable car seats and their key safety features:
The Graco Extend2Fit is another comfortable car seat that allows for both front- and rear-facing positions. It features six different reclining positions and 10 different headrest positions for maximum comfort. This seat has five times more leg room than other car seats.
Ease of Use: 5
Build Quality: 5
Warranty: 1 year, with unlimited warranty for defects
Graco 4ever All-in-One
The Graco 4ever All-in-One has been a parent favorite for years, and for a good reason. It continually receives top safety and comfort ratings, and it is for kids of ALL ages, with weight guides of 4 to 120 pounds. The parts are easy to use, there are two cup holders and it features an InRight Latch system. The only real pitfall is size. Because the seat can accommodate full grown children, it’s bigger and bulkier than other car seats of its kind.
Ease of Use: 4 (headrests on your vehicle may need to be adjusted to accommodate the seat)
Build Quality: 5
Warranty: 1 year
The Evenflo Sonus is a good choice if you need something that is comfortable and affordable. Evenflo car seats are generally of good quality, though some users rated this as being “cheap” and not as durable as other car seats. Your child can use the seat in rear- and forward-facing positions and features five harness slots. There are no cup holders, no recline position and the headrest is not adjustable.
Ease of Use: 4.6
Build Quality: 3
Warranty: 2-year product warranty when you become a member of their ParentLink Premier Services
Pros and Cons
In terms of price, quality, durability and ease of use, the Safety 1st Guide 65 is most comparable to the Graco 4ever All-in-one. Below is a list of the pros and cons of each:
Pros of the Guide 65
- Rear- and forward-facing
- Made for children between 5 and 65 pounds
- 5-Point harness with five adjustable heights
- Easy to install
- Multi-position headrest
- UAS equipped
Cons of the Guide 65
- Not great for bucket seats
- Tends to push the heads of smaller children forward
- Difficult to adjust straps
Pros of 4ever All-in-One
- Rear- and forward-facing
- Made for children between 4 and 120 pounds
- InRight Latch system
- Easy to use
- EPS energy-absorbing foam
Cons of 4ever All-in-One
Overall Rating of the Safety 1st Guide 65
When compared with Evenflo’s offering, the Guide 65 is by far the more favorable car seat. However, when compared with Graco’s offerings, the only thing that makes the Guide 65 more desirable is the purchase price. That isn’t to say that the Guide 65 is not safe or comfortable—it is both of those things—but Graco seems to understand that ease of use and longevity are also things that parents look for in car seats. Though the Guide 65 is great for children up to 65 pounds, Graco’s seat is perfect for children twice that weight. Though it is nearly double the price, it can save parents a significant amount of money on upgrades in the long run.
That said, a car seat that accommodates children of up to 120 pounds might be a bit excessive for most parents, as most states require children to be 8 years old or 80 pounds before switching from booster to regular car seat. The average 8-year-old doesn’t weigh much more than 60 pounds, making the Safety 1st option more than sufficient for the average child.
When you discard longevity and consider strictly safety, comfort, ease of use and price the Guide 65 is not a bad option. Overall, we give it a 4.5-star rating.
Car Seat Buyer’s Guide
According to a 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, approximately 3 percent (1,132) of the 35,092 traffic fatalities that year were children, a 5 percent increase from 2014 but a 37 percent decrease from 2006. According to another report conducted by the NHTSA, seating position and the type of safety restraint used plays a major factor in the outcome of an accident for children. Bearing those statistics in mind, it is essential that you choose the right car seat for your child and not just the best car seat based on what people of the internet have said. When selecting a car seat for your child, there are several factors that you should consider:
- Read the owner’s manual to determine who a seat should be installed. Some car seats can be installed strictly via the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), some strictly with a belt and some with both. Read the owner’s manual of the seat you intend to buy to determine which type of anchoring system it requires, then check your vehicle to make sure it supports that system.
- Know how much room you have in the back seat of your vehicle. Car seats are bulky, and until your child moves up to a booster seat, you’re going to need ample space to accommodate even the smallest ones. That said, some are bulkier than others. Make sure you have space in your vehicle to accommodate the seat you choose.
- Choose a seat that works for your child’s age, weight and height. Many car seats today are forever car seats, but not all of them are. When selecting a seat for your child, make sure that it is designed with your child’s height and weight in mind, and that it is made for kids of a certain age group. For instance, most children outgrow standard infant seats at 2 years of age, and most children outgrow 3-in-1 seats at 6 years old.
- Check the belt path. If you’re going to be anchoring your car seat with a seat belt, make sure that the belt path is easily accessible. Some car seats make you work way too hard to get the belt from one side to another, with slots designed for almost child-like hands. If you or your child’s other parent has average to large-sized hands, this is a must-investigate issue.
- Choose a seat with a two-piece retainer clip. There will come a time when your child learns how to unfasten his or her own car seat, at which point, you’re in trouble. You can save yourself the scare and drive with peace of mind by investing in a seat that has a two-piece retainer clip, which requires more dexterity than most children possess.
- Check for easy-to-access harness adjusters. All harnesses adjust, but some just do so easier than others. You can save yourself a lot of frustration by looking for a car seat in which the adjusting mechanism is in the front and easily accessible.
- Choose something that is easy to clean. Your child will likely make a mess in his or her car seat once or twice. Make clean-up easy on yourself by opting for a car seat with an easy-to-remove and wash cover. Removable and washable foam is also a plus, for those spills and accidents that go right through the fabric.
At the End of the Day, Safety Comes First
When you’re shopping for a car seat for your child, you have several options from which to choose, each of which may look more promising than the last. From fabric design to size, and from bonus features to easy-installation, there is no doubt that there will be several secondary features that manufacturers use to try to win parents over. However, keep in mind that most features are just that—secondary. When shopping for a car seat, you need to focus on the primary features, which, of course, are the safety measures.
Does the car seat have an adjustable harness? Is it side impact tested? Is it constructed of plastic or steel? Does it feature a LATCH system or just a belt anchoring system? These are all questions that you want to ask yourself, in addition to whether or not it’s the right seat for your child’s height, weight and age. While this guide can direct you in the right direction, it is ultimately up to you to do your research and even test the car seats yourself. Your child’s life may depend on your diligence.