This is a review of the Cosco/Safety 1st/Eddie Bauer Alpha Omega/Alpha Omega Elite/3-in-1/Deluxe 3-in-1/All-in-One three-in-one car seat. A three-in-one car seat, like a convertible, first rear-faces, then forward-faces with a five-point harness once rear-facing is outgrown, then has an option to use as a belt-positioning booster. Though marketed under many different brands and names, all models share a similar shell and features, and this review is of all models with notes pertaining to differing features or limits.
RECOMMENDED CHILD SIZE:
- Rear facing weight limits: 5-35 lbs. (5-40 lbs. on 65 lb. harness version)
- Rear facing height limits: 19-36 inches
- Forward facing age and weight limits: One year of age and 22-40 OR 22-50 OR 22-65 lbs. (depending on model's overall weight limit)
- Forward facing height limits: 34-43 inches, ears below top of seat, shoulders below top USABLE harness setting (top usable harness setting is lower on seats with 40 lb. limit- see discussion here
- Booster minimum limits: 40 lbs., 43", 1 year of age
- Booster maximum limits: 80 OR 100 lbs., 52", ears below top of headrest, shoulders below belt guide
- Claims "Side Impact Protection"
- EPP Energy-absorbing foam (many models)
- Deluxe push-on LATCH connectors (some models)
- Multiple-angle recline range (some newer models)
- Base with multiple-position recline
- QuickFit™ padded headrest adjusts with harness in one easy step - never needs re-threading! (Some models adjust from front, some from back)
- Cup holder
- Movable armrests
- Removable infant padding
Certified for aircraft use in harness mode.
MSRP (US) $149.99-$199.99 (depending on model)
Various models have been evaluated for NHTSA Ease-of-Use Ratings. Please see NHTSA's 3-in-1 Ratings as there are too many to list and ratings vary (another example of the variability of NHTSA Ease-of-Use ratings.)
CarseatBlog’s Professional Review Note: review is of older model seat in booster mode (newer models still recieve a Not Recommended rating despite changes.)
Instruction Manual (Manual linked is for 40 lb. model, models with differing weight limits and/or manufacturing dates may differ)
TheCarseatMom’s Quick Review:
The Cosco/Safety 1st/Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 seats (marketed under many different names) have been around a long while with only very recent changes. These changes include reinforcing the top slot for harnessed use on models with higher weight limits (see link above), changing the base (it used to be removable- now is not), and upping the weight limits for forward-facing mode. This seat is a popular choice with families who think it is "the only car seat they'll need"; alas, it is not so! The bottom slots are too high for almost any newborns to use the seat safely; the top slots on the 40 lb. harness model are too low for most children to get to a safe booster age (the top slots are decent on others, but taller children may still need another harnessed seat before boostering); the booster mode fit is potentially deadly in a crash (see review link above.) What does it do well? It is a fine seat for rear-facing for children who have outgrown an infant seat, though the 35 lb. limit (except the 65 lb. version) is not as high as some seats on the market, it is decently tall and will work for children who are lighter weight; many can rear-face to 3 years or beyond in this seat, and almost all lighter children will make the minimum recommended 2 years. Heavier children will probably make it to 3 years in the 40 lb. rear-facing 65 lb. harness version. The higher weight limit seats provide a decently tall harness with an over-40-lbs. rating, and some children will make it to a safe booster age in this seat. The no-rethread harness may be good for multiple children sharing a seat. This seat is not recommended as a booster, even for very occasional use. The longer-than-average 8 year expiration means it can be passed down to multiple children (though other seats now often comparable expirations without the drawbacks of this seat as well.) Overall, a fine seat for rear-facing in many cases, though not always the easiest to install, decent for forward-facing, with caveats, and do not use this seat as a booster.