Note: Cosco has replaced the Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite with the Light N Comfy. While the seats are similar, they have made some small changes. We explore these changes in our review of the Light N Comfy.
The Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite is one of Safety 1st’s many offerings for rear facing only seats. The Comfy Carry Elite is a lower priced seat, with a good range of features that make it easy to use. It is also a good seat for fitting smaller newborns, and preemies. With a retail price of $59.99, it’s a budget-friendly option for baby’s first ride.
CSFTL Quick Stats:
- Weight range: 4-22 lbs.
- Height range: up to 29”
- Shell height: 19″
- Lowest harness position: 5.5″
- Expiration: 8 years (seats made before 12-13-2013 have a 6 year expiration)
- Handle position: any locked position
With the low price point of this seat, you might think that it lacks the creature comforts that would make it an easy to use seat. But, that’s definitely not the case!
The Comfy Carry Elite features a handy Lower Anchor storage space on the base, an easy to use front adjust harness adjuster, an on-seat level line to measure the angle, three options for crotch buckle positions, and five different harness slots to make fitting an infant easy. It also comes with a head support, so there’s no need to add non-regulated retail products to the seat. One downside to the seat is that the base does not include a recline foot. This means that cars that have sloped seats will probably need a noodle or a rolled towel to install the seat at the correct level.
Fit to Child
Because the Comfy Carry Elite has a variety of harness slots and crotch buckle positions, it provides an excellent fit for a large and small newborns. The minimum weight is 4lbs, which makes it a good option for preemies. To test out the fit on kids, we used our Huggable Images dolls, Jo and Fiona.
Jo is our preemie doll. She weighs 4lbs and is 17″ long. The Comfy Carry Elite fit Jo really well. The harness slots were below her shoulders, and the crotch buckle was fairly close to her body. Adding a rolled receiving blanket between her thighs and the crotch buckle improved the fit. On a real child, this would prevent slumping.
I found the head support that came with the seat to be cumbersome. It became bunched up, and it made it hard to adjust the straps properly. There are no stipulations in the manual on whether or not this needs to be used for a period of time or during a particular weight range. I would opt to not use the head support.
Fiona is our newborn sized doll. She is 7lbs and 17″ long. She did not need a crotch roll to make the seat fit her appropriately. The head support that came with the seat was rather cumbersome with Fiona as well.
Fit to Car/Installation
I installed the seat in both a 2007 Chrysler Town and Country and a 2006 Saturn Ion. I installed in the second and third row of the Town and Country, and in the outboard and middle positions in the Saturn Ion. I installed both with the base and without. Each of these installs was easy to do with either the lower anchors or the seat belt.
I decided to install in the Saturn Ion first because it is a smaller sedan that is generally not a very friendly car for rear-facing only seats. We brought both our daughters home in this car and I distinctly remember cursing, sweating, pulling, and fighting to get both of their seats in stalled correctly. Then, when they were installed, both my husband and I had to sit with out seats pushed so far forward it, was uncomfortable.
I was surprised, shocked even, at how well the Comfy Carry fit into this car. In the graphic to the right, I had the driver’s seat adjusted to fit me comfortably. When installed with the base, the Comfy Carry left enough room for me to slide my hand between the child restraint and the vehicle seat. When installed without the base, there was a significant amount of room left.
Now what if you already have two seats in such a small vehicle, and you need to fit in another seat? The Comfy Carry Elite can help there too! The Comfy Carry Elite measures 17 inches at its widest point, which is at the handle. This makes it very friendly for a three car seats across one bench seat situation.
To test this, I tried it in a three across in the Saturn Ion. It worked! The two other seats in the car at the time were a Britax Frontier90, and a Kiddy Cruiserfix Pro. My first attempt was without the base. However, It actually worked better WITH the base, because it put the handle of the seat away from the arm rests of the other seats in the vehicle.
Installation in both the captain’s chair and the third row of my Chrysler Town and Country was easy as well, although a pool noodle was required to get the correct level because the seats have such a steep slope. Installing without the base once again provided significantly more room for the front passengers when on the captains chairs. When installed in the third row with the base, the captain’s chair in front of it needed to be up nearly all the way.
One important thing that I wanted to note is that there are two red pegs near the back of the seat on the bottom. At first glance, it appears that these need to lock into the base. This is not the case. Even when the seat is locked correctly into the base, you will be able to lift the seat up at the back of it.
All in all this seat really does offer a lot of bang for your buck. It is easy to use and easy to install without breaking the bank on a stage of car seat that generally doesn’t get used for an extended period of time. The next time you’re looking for a budget-friendly rear facing only seat, take a good look at Comfy Carry Elite!