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Many parents are looking for a robust convertible car seat that can hold a child for extended rear-facing, and up to 65 pounds forward-facing. But these convertible car seats are often big and heavy, taking up a lot of space in a car.
The Safety 1st Guide 65 is a convertible that holds children from 5 – 65 pounds, and yet is only 18.5 inches wide, slim enough to fit 3 across in most vehicles. It's a space-saving design in a popular, affordable car seat.
Who is the Safety 1st Guide 65 Most Suitable For?
The Safety 1st Guide 65 is a convertible that is rated for extended rear-facing, and front-facing up to 65 pounds or 52 inches in height. And yet it is remarkably lightweight and compact, small enough to install 3-across in most vehicles. That makes the Safety 1st Guide 65 a great choice for growing families who need to use multiple car seats at once, or for parents with a small car that need a car seat that doesn't take up too much space.
It doesn't have a lot of the convenient features you will find in more expensive car seats. It doesn't have a non-rethreadable harness. It isn't very easy to install, and doesn't recline. However, it's a functional, compact, affordable car seat that is small enough to fit three across, light enough to easily carry in an airport or on a plane, or affordable enough to give to a family member or care giver as an occasional use car seat. When space or cost are an issue, the Safety 1st Guide 65 is a great choice.
Pros and Cons of Safety 1st Guide 65
Overview of Safety 1st Guide 65
The Safety 1st Guide 65 is an incredibly affordable car seat that is light in weight and compact in size, but still rated to protect children up to 65 pounds or 52 inches in height. It has side impact protection, a five-point harness with up front adjustment, and adjustable head rest, and a removable cup holder.
It also comes with removable newborn body pillows for better fit and comfort over time. And it has a slender width that allows growing families to install as many as three car seats in the rear seat of a vehicle, making it easier to transport multiple children in comfort and safety.
What are this model’s NHTSA ratings? The Safety 1st Guide 65 sport has an NHTSA rating, but the base model does not.
Does this model have:
- Side impact protection? Yes
- Energy-absorbing base? Energy absorbing foam
- Metal frame? No
Ease of Use
Ease of Installation
Comfort and Quality
Safety 1st Guide 65 Video Overview
Safety 1st Guide 65 Specs
Rear-facing height limit
19 – 40 inches
Rear-facing weight limit
5 – 40 pounds
Forward-facing height limit
34 – 52 inches
Forward-facing weight limit
22 – 65 pounds
Car seat weight
Car seat dimensions
27.2 x 18.5 x 20.2 inches
Car seat life span
Safety 1st Guide 65 Features
Ease of use
Quality and comfort features
What is included with the Safety 1st Guide 65?
The Safety 1st Guide 65 comes with removable body pillows for support and fit as a child grows.
Safety 1st Guide 65 Installation
The Safety 1st official YouTube channel does not have installation videos for this model of convertible car seat, but other YouTubers have stepped in to help out.
and Christine C have both made Guide 65 installation videos.
The PlayRightParent channel has also made a video showing how to adjust the headrest, which can be seen here.
Safety 1st Gudie 65 Manual
There are different versions of the Safety 1st Guide 65 owner's manual depending on the date of manufacture. All the manuals can be found here.
Safety 1st Guide 65 vs. Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport
At first glance, the Safety 1st Guide 65 and the Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport are extremely similar car seats. They are both 2-in-1 convertibles, with many of the same features. Both car seats have:
- Rear-facing weight limits: 4 – 40 pounds
- Forward-facing weight limits: 22-65 pounds
- Five point harness with up front adjustment
- Side impact protection
- Adjustable head rest
- Removable cup holder
- Machine washable seat pad
- Slim, compact design
In fact, there are just very slight differences between these two models. The Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport:
- Has a lower front-facing height limit, at 34 – 42 inches, vs the 29 – 49 inches of the base model
- Is the same width but lighter in weight, at 14 pounds vs 15 pounds
- Does not come with the infant pillows
- Is slightly less expensive
If you are considering the Safety 1st Guide 65 particularly because it's an incredibly compact, light weight, convertible car seat, ideal for 3-across installations or for frequent travel, then the Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport may be an even better alternative. It's even lighter, and is more affordable, and has the same narrow width and convertible convenience.
If you have an infant, then the Safety 1st Guide 65 base model is the better choice, because the newborn support pillows are usually necessary to help the harness fit correctly in infants. It's also never recommended to use infant support pillows that are not specifically designed for that make and model of car seat, since harness fit is so crucial for safety, so it isn't a good idea to pick up different infant pillows from a different manufacturer.
As the name implies, the Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport is a smaller, lighter, less expensive, sportier version of the popular Guide 65 car seat, and is a great option for portability and travel. For daily use, the Guide 65 base model might be a better choice.
Marcus Thackeray's Safety 1st Guide 65 Car Seat Review
Part of the Safety 1st brand is to offer child restraint seats at a price that parents can afford. The Guide 65 is an overall good choice if you are looking for a convertible car seat to keep your precious cargo safe and comfortable.
Safety is the most significant concern for parents. The Guide 65 has side impact protection and an anti-rebound bar that adds an extra layer of security. You will need to roll a towel to position your little one in the safest recline. The Guide 65 has a no-rethread harness that makes adjustments so much easier.
Safety 1st Guide 65 (click image for more info)
The Guide 65 lacks ease of installation, especially in rear-facing mode. If you choose to use your vehicle belt system, the fit is not quite right while in rear-facing mode. A belt locking clip is a requirement for securing rear-facing installation in most positions. In the forward-facing position, the installation is more comfortable, but the LATCH system can be stubborn.
The Safety 1st Guide 65 works best for carpoolers and busy parents. It is lightweight, narrow, and affordable. However, in rear-facing mode, it does become difficult to install.
With two kids of my own, I’m passionate about child safety! I’m a research nerd who’s on a mission to make the world a safer place for kids – starting with car seats!
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