In Depth Baby Product Reviews Led by a Pediatrician

Safety 1st Grand 2-in-1 Review

Lots of design flaws that left us frustrated when trying to use the seat or help little ones buckle up
gearlab tested logo
Safety 1st Grand 2-in-1 Review
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $75 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Safety 1st
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jan 26, 2024
51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 14
  • Crash Test - 35% 4.8
  • Ease of Use - 25% 4.9
  • Weight/Size - 15% 7.2
  • Comfort - 15% 4.5
  • Quality - 10% 4.0

The Skinny

The Safety 1st Grand 2-in-1 is an inexpensive high-backed booster from our best booster seat review. This option has almost no real redeeming qualities outside of price and perhaps being lightweight, and we encourage parents not to be drawn in by price alone. Why? The Safety 1st brings some of the lowest crash test results to the competition. It also doesn't offer much padding for comfort, and the plastic shell feels flimsy. With harder-to-use features, like a cup holder that kept falling off and a thread every time shoulder positioner, we weren't big fans of this booster and would not recommend it to our friends.
REASONS TO BUY
Inexpensive
Lightweight
REASONS TO AVOID
Below-average crash test results
Shoulder guide has issues
No real headrest
Editor's Note: We tested the Safety 1st Grand 2-in-1 for a new update on all booster seats on January 26, 2024.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Value Award  
Price $75 List
$74.98 at Amazon
$160 List
$159.99 at Amazon
$37 List
$29.74 at Amazon
$120 List
$79.99 at Amazon
$29 List
$28.98 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
51
78
68
63
57
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bottom Line Lower crash test results and unique design choice left us not feeling the love for this hard-to-use boosterGreat choice for most families with better crash testing analysis, easy installation, and cozy seating for kidsGreat for travel and carpooling, but the quality and crash results make it less appealing as an all-the-time boosterA comfy headrest and good crash test results make this lightweight choice an option that won't break the bankThis basic booster offers disappointing results in most metrics, including crash test analysis, making the low price less appealing
Rating Categories Safety 1st Grand 2-... Chicco KidFit Zip A... BubbleBum Diono Cambria 2 Graco TurboBooster...
Crash Test (35%)
4.8
8.2
6.5
8.0
5.3
Ease of Use (25%)
4.9
8.3
8.0
5.1
7.5
Weight/Size (15%)
7.2
6.5
10.0
5.9
7.9
Comfort (15%)
4.5
7.3
4.4
6.1
3.2
Quality (10%)
4.0
8.0
3.5
4.0
3.5
Specs Safety 1st Grand 2-... Chicco KidFit Zip A... BubbleBum Diono Cambria 2 Graco TurboBooster...
Modes 5 Point Harness,
High Back Booster
High Back Booster, Backless Booster Backless Booster High Back Booster, Backless Booster Backless Booster
High Back Booster Weight Range 40-100 lb 40-110 lb N/A 40-120 lb N/A
High Back Booster Height Range 43-57 in 38-57 in N/A 38-63 in N/A
Width 17.3 in 18.2 in 11.3 in 19.9 in 16.3 in
Weight 8.0 lb 11.8 lb 0.9 lb 12.0 lb 4.5 lb
Backless Booster Height Range N/A 38-58 in 40-57 in 38-63 in 43-57 in
5 Point Harness Weight Range 30-65 lb N/A N/A N/A N/A
5 Point Height Range 32-49 in N/A N/A N/A N/A
LATCH Equipped Yes Yes No Yes No
#REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF!
Recline Positions None 2 N/A None N/A
Foam Type None EPS None None None
Seat Lifespan 10 Years 8 Years 4 Years from purchase date 8 Years 10 Years
Aircraft Certified

Our Analysis and Test Results

In 1985, the Safety 1st company launched its now historic “Baby on Board” vehicle badge. Since then, Safety 1st has created various child-centric products, becoming a leader in child safety products. You can find child-proofing and other gear by Safety 1st almost anywhere that sells products for babies.

Performance Comparison



The Safety 1st struggled to perform in our MGA Research commissioned tests.
Credit: GearLab & MGA Research

Crash Test


The Safety 1st earned a below-average result in our crash test analysis metric with one of the lowest results in the review.

The lower the line, the better for this HIC sensor data graph for...
The lower the line, the better for this HIC sensor data graph for the Safety 1st (in black) compared to the Peg Perego (in green).
The graph offers a comparison of the chest clip data recorded during...
The graph offers a comparison of the chest clip data recorded during crash testing for the Safety 1st vs the Peg Perego. A lower line is better and indicated fewer G-forces recorded by the sensor form the crash test dummy.

This booster had some of the highest recorded G-forces in the test dummy HIC and chest clip sensor. Both results were almost the highest in the group.


While all of the boosters are considered safe, including the Safety 1st, and have passed the federal guidelines, we were not impressed by the results from our commissioned tests. Our tests were a little faster than the standard and we utilized a sled with a stiffer cushion more akin to modern vehicle designs.

Threading the shoulder belt in the Safety 1st guide is convoluted, but worse, it had trouble staying in place during testing.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


The Safety 1st earned a below-average result for ease of use and was frustrating for both adults and kids to use. While the front of the seat is wide, it tapers in the back, giving better access to the seat belt buckle. The shoulder positioner is where things go south, as ours essentially didn't work, and we had to rethread it every single time. Something many younger booster passengers might struggle with. Once you get the belt in, the positioner orients it in a weird way to make it slip right back out.

safety 1st grand 2-in-1 - negotiating the lap portion of the belt under the safety 1st arm...
Negotiating the lap portion of the belt under the Safety 1st arm rests is a pain.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

There is limited adjustability on this seat, and the headrest doesn't move. Since the shoulder positioner is attached to the headrest, it makes it difficult to ensure a good position for the shoulder belt to rest.

safety 1st grand 2-in-1 - the safety 1st secures to the vehicle using latch hook connectors.
The Safety 1st secures to the vehicle using LATCH hook connectors.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

It is awkward to carry, and the open back includes plastic components that jot out strangely. It has hook-style LATCH connectors that are easy enough to use, and given the lack of tightness required for boosters, they were also easy enough to remove. We did have a problem when pulling the LATCH strap tighter we had to shove our hand through the cover hole to thread the strap to get a better angle to pull it.

safety 1st grand 2-in-1 - the two cup holders on the safety 1st are on the ends of the...
The two cup holders on the Safety 1st are on the ends of the armrests, which is awkward and the lack of depth means taller bottles will likely fall out over bumps.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Safety 1st has two cup holders and they fit our kid's water bottle used during testing. The cup holders pull off from the front. They are not super deep, but deep enough.

Weight and Size


The Safety 1st is a rare high-backed bird that is both fairly light and narrow. It's too bad it doesn't have better crash test results because we might have really loved it for those looking for these paired attributes.


This seat weighs only 8 lbs and measures 17.3 inches wide. Both are below the average in our booster test group.

safety 1st grand 2-in-1 - the safety 1st doesn't offer much padding or features for comfort...
The Safety 1st doesn't offer much padding or features for comfort compared to the competition.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Comfort


Given the light overall weight of this booster, it isn't surprising that it scored lower for comfort. There are a lot of missing features for comfort, starting with the padding. The seating area is hard, and you can feel the ridge seam on the back of your legs.

safety 1st grand 2-in-1 - the seat bottom on the safety 1st doesn't offer padding for comfort...
The seat bottom on the Safety 1st doesn't offer padding for comfort and there isn't much between the hard plastic and the passenger's bottom.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The fabric is smooth and feels good, which is the main plus here, but it isn't enough to provide genuine comfort and is more for fooling you into thinking it is going to be okay once you sit in it.

safety 1st grand 2-in-1 - the headrest on the safety 1st is not adjustable or well padding...
The headrest on the Safety 1st is not adjustable or well padding, and it lacks the structure found on much of the competition.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The headrest isn't really a headrest on par with the competition. It has much in common with infant inserts from the convertible car seat group, and it looks like a placeholder for the real thing. It is wide and flat, like an unsupportive airline pillow you get for free.

safety 1st grand 2-in-1 - the safety 1st is a very inexpensive seat and it is a bare bones...
The Safety 1st is a very inexpensive seat and it is a bare bones option with little thought to overall design or quality.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Quality


The Safety 1st earned one of the lowest results for quality, which isn't a big surprise. One could argue that the price is equivalent to the quality, but we think it should still offer more than what it does.

safety 1st grand 2-in-1 - the flimsy feeling plastic on the safety 1st and the lack of comfort...
The flimsy feeling plastic on the Safety 1st and the lack of comfort gave us the feeling that quality was not top of mind during the design of this seat.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The padding is largely for impact with little added for comfort. It has a flimsy feel that reminds of a child's toy and not a real safety seat. The padding that is there compresses easily, making it feel like nothing fast. The cover attaches with loose elastic strings, and the front flap doesn't have enough resistance and flips up like it's saying hi. It looks ill-fitting and cheap.

Should You Buy the Safety 1st Grand 2-in-1?


There isn't much we like about the Safety 1st, and the crash test results alone make it one we hesitate to recommend. While we understand it has an attractive price, we think you get what you pay for here, and it earned some of the lowest scores in every metric and overall. Aside from being relatively lightweight, there is no compelling feature or function that would make us put this option on our favorites list.

What Other Booster Seat Should You Consider?


If you need lightweight and budget is a concern, the BubbleBum earned better crash test results than the Safety 1st and is super compact and light for travel. While it wouldn't be our go-to for everyday use, it certainly performed better than the Safety 1st, and we'd choose it over the 1st. If you want an everyday option but money is a factor, we think the Diono Cambria 2 is one to consider. This below-average priced seat has compelling crash test results and offers a high back with good features for comfort. While it may not be an ideal or high-ranking option for everyone, it did perform better than the Safety 1st, and the crash test results imply a potential for an additional margin of safety over the average seat.

Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz