Safety 1st Alpha Omega ElitePrice$86 to $150.

Type: Convertible seat.

Limits: 5 to 35 lbs. rear facing, 22 to 50 lbs. front-facing, 40 to 100 lbs. as a booster.

NHTSA ease of use rating: Not Available.

IIHS rating for booster mode: Not Available.

Pros: It’s an infant seat! It’s a convertible! It’s a booster!

Cons: Very difficult to install and tighten. Poor recline. And much more!

Comments: The Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite is pitched as an extended use seat for infants as small as five pounds up to school age children. Rear facing, it is rated for infants up to 40 lbs., as a convertible with five-point harness up to 65 lbs. . . . and then as a belt-positioning booster up to a whopping 100 lbs. for toddlers and older kids. A one-size-fits all solution.

The problem: it isn’t the miracle solution after all. Parents tell us it’s difficult to impossible to get the Alpha Omega installed correctly in their cars. The straps in the seat are a nightmare to tighten, the tether is also doesn’t tighten properly, the recline doesn’t work and the quality of the fabric is poor. Yet another problem: the highest harness slot in this seat (14.5”) is a full inch lower than other seats like the Britax Roundabout. Why is this a problem? That low slot means some parents will be forced to convert this seat to booster mode too soon for larger children.

As for safety, Consumer Reports pegged this seat as “poor” for rear facing fit to vehicle, although overall crash protection was very good. (This was in a previous report that is no longer online). And adding insult to injury, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says this seat in booster mode is “not recommended.”

Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65

The Alpha Elite 65 has most of the same features as the Alpha Omega but with slightly higher weight limits.

FYI: Safety 1st also makes a similar seat called the Alpha Elite 65. This seat has slightly higher weight limits than the Alpha Omega: 5 to 40 lbs. rear facing, 22 to 65 lbs. forward facing and 40 to 100 lbs. as a belt positioning booster. Otherwise, it has the same features although it sells for a bit more ($110 on Amazon vs. the Alpha Omega at $86).

Bottom line: the basic design and technology of this seat is about 15 years old and is showing its age, in our opinion. Yes, it is a top-selling seat on Amazon with 250+ five-star reviews, no doubt due to the $100 price tag and the promise that it is an “all-in-one” solution for infants through booster age kids. But we’ll respectfully disagree with the masses on the Alpha Elite—this seat is a loser.

Rating: D