The Safety 1st Grow And Go Ex Air and the Regular Grow and Go share several common characteristics since the regular version is like the basis of all other car seats in the Grow and Go series. 

I think the Ex Air model is preferable because of its key differences. Keep reading to know more about them.

 

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Safety 1st Grow And Go Ex Air

Vs

Regular Safety 1st Grow And Go

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Ideal Use


 

Grow And Go EX Air Regular Grow And Go
Rear-Facing Weight: 5 to 50 pounds 5 to 40 pounds
Rear-Facing Height Limit: 19 to 49 inches 19 to 40 inches
Forward-Facing Weight: 22 to 65 pounds
Forward-Facing Height Limit: 29 to 49 inches
High-Back Booster Weight Limit: 40 to 100 pounds
High-Back Booster Height Limit: 43 to 52 inches

One of the key differences between the 2 Safety 1st car seats is their rear-facing capacity. The original Grow and Go can only safely hold a child up to 40 pounds and 40 inches while the EX Air can secure a child up to 50 pounds and 49 inches in the rear-facing position.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child should be kept in the rear-facing position when traveling in a car for as long as possible or until the child has reached the maximum rear-facing capacity of their car seat. Thus, manufacturers now introduce child restraint products that have higher rear-facing capacity.

The EX Air model can be more tempting to purchase for its mid-range price. Other extended rear-facing car seats like Diono Rainier and Clek Foonf are far more expensive. 

 

Good All-In-One Car Seats


 

Will It Fit In My Car?


 

Grow And Go EX Air Regular Grow And Go
Width 19 inches
Height 24 inches
Depth/Length 23.75 inches

These two car seats have the same dimensions – 19 inches in width and

  • 24 inches in height and 23.75 inches in length for an upright position 1
  • 19.5 inches in height and 29 inches in length for semi-reclined position 2 and
  • 16.5 inches in height and 31 inches in length for fully-reclined position 3

Therefore, if one of these car seats fits in a certain vehicle, the other car seat could also fit there. However, it will be helpful to know if these car seats will fit in your own vehicle. Some reviewers fortunately share their experience in installing these car seats in their particular vehicles.

  • Grow and Go EX Air

One parent gave this car seat a perfect rating and one factor that made him do so is the fact that it was installed perfectly in their GMC Terrain car while still leaving adequate space for other passengers in the car. Their boys could get in and out of the vehicle with no issues.

In another review, a parent said that even if the child restraint is fully reclined, the front passenger in their 2017 Subaru Forester still enjoyed ample leg space.

In a Mazda CX-5, the reviewer said that they needed to place a rolled towel under the front part of the child restraint so they can install it with proper recline for their child.

Other vehicles where this car seat was installed were Crew Cab Silverado and 2011 Subaru Impreza.

  • Regular Grow and Go

One reviewer mentioned that they could place this car seat in their Hyundai Santa Fe 04. However, they encountered a problem when they found that they could not get it as tight as they thought they should be. She added that they felt disappointed because of this, but another reviewer provided some helpful comments. He said that there is an available YouTube video where the lady showed how the LATCH strap should be pulled straight up through the belt path (instead of the side) to install the seat snugly. To do this, the corner of the car seat cover needs to be removed so you can thread the LATCH strap through the belt path and pull up the LATCH strap to tighten it.

In a review, a parent mentioned that they initially intended this car seat to be installed in their Ford vehicle, but the car was sadly totaled in an unfortunate accident. They replaced the wrecked Ford with a Jeep Latitude and could snugly install the Grow and Go rear facing in the back seat.

A mother said that her husband drives a 4-door Chevy Silverado. Compared to a full crew cab Silverado, the back seat of the 4-door is significantly smaller, but they could fit the Grow and Go car seat on it. Even with the fully reclined setting, they had no problem fitting it at the back. They also encountered no installation problem when they tried it in their Nissan Sentra.

In a 2011 Toyota Corolla, a first time mother also did not encounter any problem installing this in fully-reclined position.

 

Good Two-Way Car Seats


 

Installation


 

Grow And Go EX Air Regular Grow And Go
Do I need to use a pool noodle/rolled towel? Yes Yes, allowed according to manual
Easy To Install Rear-Facing by LATCH? Relatively
Easy To Install Rear-Facing by Seatbelt? Relatively
Easy To Install Forward-Facing by LATCH? Relatively
Easy To Install Forward-Facing by Seatbelt? Relatively
Easy To Uninstall? Yes
Recline Positions:

3 recline positions

3 or 2 for rear-facing; 1 for forward-facing

Lower Anchor Weight Limit: 40 pounds

 

Pool Noodle/Rolled Towel

Using pool noodles or rolled towel is allowed when installing either seat, but it is again helpful to hear other parents about their experience in doing so. 

  • Grow and Go EX Air

In the review mentioned earlier about how this seat fits in a vehicle, the parent with the Mazda CX-5 mentioned that they installed the seat with a rolled towel placed underneath the front part to get correct recline.

In a 4-star review, a mother said they had no problem getting this car seat in a tight installation although she said they used a pool noodle to install it in their older car.

A grandmother who bought this car seat for her grandson said that they initially had issues installing it in the rear-facing mode. Good thing they thought of bringing the car and the child restraint to the local state police where they asked help. The technician who helped them placed a cut-off pool noodle under the seat to make it more level in the fully reclined position. She added that she bought another same car seat for her husband’s truck. They tried installing it on their own, but this time, they required no pool noodle because the truck’s seat is more flat.

  • Regular Grow and Go

A car seat’s recline will depend on the design of a vehicle’s seat and this will also determine whether a pool noodle or rolled towel will be necessary. The manual of Grow and Go mentioned the use of these aftermarket products for achieving the proper recline of a seat.

 

Installation Issues

Installing both seats can be a challenge for some parents. There are several factors that I can think of why is that so.

  1. Both have the “j hook” style LATCH connectors, which are less-preferred in LATCH installation. More parents are favoring the push-on style LATCH connector for convenience.
  2. The lack of seat-belt lock-off for both car seats makes the seat belt installation more challenging. Not to mention that both seats have specific compatibilities to certain seat belt types.

 

Safety 1st Grow N Go EX Air 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Lithograph
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Safety


 

Grow And Go EX Air Regular Grow And Go
Country Of Origin: USA
Steel Frame: No
Five-Point Harness? Yes
Side Impact Tested: Yes
Approved For Airplane Use: Yes
Easy To Buckle And Unbuckle? No Yes

Under this category for Safety, another key difference will make the Ex Air more preferable. 

Side Impact Protection serves more than just for marketing. It is actually a component that might save your child from harm and death. According to statistics, the lives of at least 5 kids are promptly ended each year because of side impact car crashes while it leaves over 60 kids injured.

Thus, side impact protection in car seats will play a crucial role in saving kids’ lives and wellbeing. Both these seats have a side impact protection, but they make the EX Air model better safety-wise because they equip it with Air Protect Technology.

  • Grow and Go EX Air

Air Protect in the Ex Air model is an advanced cushioning system that can provide additional protection for the child’s head as this is located in the headrest.

Air Protect works by accurately releasing air in the event of a side impact crash or accident. This will then absorb and dissipate the crash energy that could potentially and fatally injure a child.

In this video, it explains the technology involved in the Air Protect by Safety 1st. It is not or even similar to an airbag that could explode. The static system consists of 2 chambers. In the event of a crash, when the child’s head hits the headrest with Air Protect system, the air inside is pushed out and the crash energy is dissipated.

A mother of twin girls stated they got involved in a messy accident that resulted to their car being totally wrecked. Through it all, the 20-month old girls remained sleeping in their EX Air car seats. She added in her review that the seat may be bulky, but buying it was definitely worth it.

 

  • Regular Grow and Go 

The regular Grow and Go car seat may not have the Air Protect System of EX Air, but it has proven itself as an efficient protector of children in times of accidents. 

One father said that they were in a car accident where they hit the car that blew a stop sign, but their daughter did not get even a scratch.

A mother said that her daughter slept through a car accident. She suffered from a serious whiplash but her daughter was unharmed.

A mother said that she T-boned another car that took a left turn in front of their car and her vehicle was totaled. Even so, her son remained okay in his car seat.

 

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat, Blue Coral
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The Seat


 

Grow And Go EX Air Regular Grow And Go
Is The Material Breathable? Relatively Yes
Seat Weight: 20 pounds 15.4 pounds
Machine Washable Cover? Yes
Roomy? Yes
No-Rethread Harness? Yes (excluding newborn harness)
Comes With An Infant Body Support? Back, head and seat pillows Back and head pillows
Easy To Remove Cover? Yes
Expiration 10 Years
Comes With A Cup Holder? Yes, 2
Shoulder Harness Has Pads? Yes
Crotch Pads? No Yes
# Of Crotch Strap Positions: 3

 

Check The Grow And Go EX Air Colors

Check the Regular Safety 1st Grow And Go Colors

 

  • Extra Cushion

The Grow and Go EX Air comes with additional removable comfort pillows. With more cushion, your baby can feel more comfortable. 

  • Headrest Adjust

Both have the Quickfit Harness, but if you look more closely, you’ll see that they have different handles.

Ex Air has a more convenient to use one handed adjustment handle, as you can see at 0:37 of this video. 

 

The regular Grow and Go requires the use of two hands to adjust the headrest/harness, as seen starting at 1:53 of this video.

 

Compare The Price


 

Safety 1st Grow And Go EX Air

Regular Safety 1st Grow And Go

Check The Latest Price

Check The Latest Price

 

Conclusion


 

There is an approximately USD50 price difference between the Safety 1st Grow And Go Ex Air and the regular Grow and Go. The regular version is cheaper.

With the Safety 1st Grow and Go EX Air, you can have a seat with

  • extended rear-facing capacity.
  • “Air Protect Technology” for side impact protection. 
  • a one-handed harness/headrest adjustment.
  • an added seat pillow.

With the regular Grow and Go seat, you’ll get a seat that

  • is easier to buckle and unbuckle (5-point harness).
  • has more breathable fabrics.
  • is lighter.
  • is equipped with crotch strap pads.

Do You Need More Help To Decide Between

The Safety 1st Grow And Go Ex Air Or The Regular Grow and Go?

 

See My Safety 1st Grow And Go Ex Air Review

Read The Regular Grow and Go Review

 

What do you think? 

I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

Cheers!

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The Safety 1st Grow And Go Ex Air Or

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