Price: $100 to $140.
Limits: 5-40 lbs. rear-facing, 22-65 lbs. forward-facing.
NHTSA ease of use rating:
Rear facing: Two out of five stars.
Forward facing: Three out of five stars.
Pros: Side-impact protection, yet priced under $200.
Cons: Large seat can be difficult to install rear-facing in smaller vehicles.
Comments: The Safety 1st Chart Air 65 is a member of the “Air” family and features a 65 lb. weight limit and a headrest that adjusts separately from the back of the seat.
The headline here is the Air Protect side impact protection cushions—this is one of the lowest price seats with this enhanced crash protection and a 65-lb. rated harness.
Feedback on this seat is mostly positive. Fans love the side impact head cushions (unusual at this price point), but a few dissenters note it is hard to load/unload a child into the seat as a result. A handful of folks thought the seat was difficult to install rear-facing in smaller vehicles, thanks to its large size.
And while the 40 lb. rear-facing limit is impressive, the limited crotch buckle positions means older toddlers will probably outgrow this seat by size instead of weight long before 40 lbs.
On the plus side, the Chart Air earned a “best” ranking in crash protection in Consumer Reports latest report. Ranking 15th out of 31 seats, the Chart Air was held back by “poor” rear-facing seat belt installation, which echoed comments we also heard from our readers. The NHTSA also only gives this seat middling grades for ease of use.
FYI: Safety 1st tells us the Advance line of car seats will be discontinued in the near future. They are still available for sale online as of this writing.