Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air Review

The Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air infant car seat a safety standout, affordable infant car seat for your baby. It fits babies 4 – 35 lbs and is easy to install.

This is a comfortable car seat and with a quality build, is not too heavy, and scores well for overall. It fits smaller infants and preemies well due to its infant inserts and lower bottom harness slots. Additionally, the Safety 1st boasts a large shell and 17% more leg room. There’s no proof to back this up, but the car seat does look bigger than other infant car seats. Your baby will be able to use the onBoard 35 Air longer than some other infant carriers especially if they get to 32” in height before 35lbs as is the case for most infants.

While it may not have all the bells and whistles that higher priced car seats have, this cheap car seat managed to hold its own with more expensive car seats. Impressive! Parents are going to love this car seat.

The Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air is a cheap car seat that outperforms other plenty of other more expensive car seats on the market today. This makes it a brilliant choice for parents on a tight budget, with its only downside being that it has limited stroller options compared to more expensive infant car seats such as the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35.

It is important to note that all the seats for sale in the US offer a basic level of protection by meeting the requirements of the standard.


  • Rear-faces from 4-35 pounds and up to 32” in height
  • Features Air Protect® Side Impact Protection meant to protect your child’s head
  • Carry Curve™ Handle with padded grip for additional comfort for easy carrying
  • Infant insert to keep smaller babies and preemies cozy.
  • Additional leg room for your baby’s comfort
  • Machine washable car seat pad
  • 5 recline positions so that the base achieves best fit
  • 4 harness heights and 3 buckle locations to accommodate your growing child
  • Storage compartment for LATCH

One Standout feature is the Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air’s “Air Protect”. This feature acts as an air cushion meant to protect your baby in the event of a side collision. They absorb energy and limit compression on the cushions by allowing the air to gradually escape. They are used on the sides and replace EPS or EPP foam that’s common in many other car seats. The rest of the area around and behind the head is covered in EPS foam.


The Safety 1st onBoard is comfortable seat, made out of soft fabric and comes with additional infant inserts

The padding on the Safety 1st isn’t the highest quality, but still feels nice. The fabric is also soft to the touch. The car seat shell is of a decent quality, as is the finish. Everything speaks to a car seat in this price range.

The handle has a rubber grip on its center that makes it comfortable to hold, and can be locked in any position, and an indicator tells you when the handle has been locked.

The Safety 1st has a large, average looking canopy that does not get in the way of the handle.


The Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air’s weight is average (9.46lbs), and is in line with other top infant car seats that we tested.

The Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air weighs 9.46lb, which is the infant car seat average (Not too heavy and neither is it too light)

While a car seat’s weight is a factor you should consider when picking a car seat, it should not be the number 1 thing you consider. Just because a car seat is light does not mean that it is the best car seat for your baby.

The weight of a car seat should only be a deciding factor whrn being used to settle a tie breaker between two or more good car seats based on other factors like features, ease of installation etc.
However, buying a stroller (frame stroller or a compatible standard stroller) can gived you something to attach the carrier to so you don’t have to carry it by hand thus giving you an easy time.

Stroller Compatibility

One downside of this car seat is its limited stroller compatibility, it does not work with many strollers and does not work with any of the strollers listed in our best baby stroller reviews.

The Safety 1st is compatible with some strollers such as the Safety 1st Aerolite Deluxe Stroller, and the Safety 1st Clic It Universal Infant Car Seat Carrier. View the list of best rated strollers and infant carriers.

Best Applications

The Safety 1st 35 Air is perfect for parents looking for a comfortable, high quality car seat that does not break the bank.

It certainly does not sport all the bells and whistles the more expensive, high-end car seats have, but parents can trust this car seat not to disappoint.


This car seat offers parents and infants proper value. While it may not be decked out with all the bells and whistles that parents love so much, the onBoard 35 manages to score above average, while still being cheap car seat.

While this is not the cheapest seat in the review, it is one of the cheaper car seats with so much more to offer compared to other cheaper or equally priced car seats. Given that well performing infant car seats cost between $200 and sometimes even $300, this car seat is a breath of fresh air.


The Cozy Greens back seat mirror

We recommend the Cozy Greens Back Seat Mirror as an accessory for your infant car seat. This nifty mirror keeps your baby entertained, and helps you keep an eye on them while they’re in their seat.

The surface of the mirror is shatterproof and provides wider viewing angles owing to its convex shape. According to Amazon reviews, this is the best car seat mirror compared to other options offered due to its clear reflection.

The mirror has a flat base which means it can be secured against the front of the rear headrest by using the horizontal and vertical straps & tightened to ensure it stays in place. Unfortunately, for the vertical straps to be fastened on the headrest, it needs to be an adjustable headrest.


The Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air comes standard with a positional infant head pillow and bolsters

This is a fantastic car seat. Parents get a very good car seat that doesn’t cost as much as most infant car seats. While it might not have all the bells and whistles the higher rated, more expensive infant car seats on our list, it has enough to give them a run for their money.

It has a high upper weight limit of 35lbs, a longer carrier, is easy to use & install, and is Side Impact Protection tested.

This car seat is a great choice for parents on a budget, or those looking for a secondary car seat. Many parents will be happy with this car seat.

The downside of this car seat is that it has limited stroller compatibility options compared to other infant car seats such as the Peg Perego or the Chicco Keyfit 30. Not a deal breaker, however. We believe that this shouldn’t be a major factor unless you cannot choose between two or more car seats.

Booster Car Seat Myths Debunked

Caregiver knowledge and state laws on child passenger safety have evolved slowly. However more parents and guardians now realize that kids need to ride in booster car seats for much longer than anticipated.  There are numerous oppositions to proper booster use and we would like to put a rest to some of these myths.

#1: I can move my child to a booster when they reach the height and weight requirements of the booster seat.

FALSE! Your kid may meet the height and weight requirement for a booster but at the age of 3, he is just not ready. Just because your child meets the booster seat’s height and weight limits, doesn’t mean they’re ready to use one.

Your child should be at least 5 years old. This would mean that they are also mature enough to always sit calmly. Some parents will transition their children into  a booster seat by driving for short distances in a booster seat at 5 years old. Most kids will need to still use convertible car seat till they reach about 6 or 7 years of age.

Despite what state law says, check to see how well the seat belt fits your baby.

#2 : State laws say it’s OK for my kid to ride in a car without a booster seat at age 8 so it must be safe.

FALSE! State laws will vary greatly. Some states will let a child ride without a booster car seat at 5 years while other states insist that a 10 year old is not tall enough to ride without a booster seat .

Children will require a booster seat until the ages of 10 to 12 and they must also pass the 5 step test.  Kids under 10 are not ready to ride without a booster seat because their bones are not strong enough to handle the force of a crash.

#3 : My toddler is too big to use a booster car seat.

The 5-step booster car seat test

FALSE! Even big kids can still use a booster until they pass the 5 step test. There are so many plenty of seats available for big kids, but these kids might find a high 0back booster to be more comfortable.

#4 : High back booster car seats are safer than a backless booster car seats.


FALSE! There are no clear safety advantages to having a high back booster in the frontal crash tests. You may need a high back booster or a harness  if :

  • Your child slumps when sleeping
  • Your child is unable to sit properly in a backless booster.
  • Your child does not fit the shoulder belt.

Additionally, some high back boosters need the head rest behind them for support. Please read your manual and check what yours needs.

#5 : I do not need a head rest if I am using a high back booster.

FALSE! A high back booster may be necessary for cars with low back seats. Not all of them can be used safely without a head support. Some car seat manufacturers (like Diono and Dorel) will need head support for their car high back and backless sears.

As always, ensure you read your booster car seat manual to know exactly what to do and what not to do for your seat.

#6: I cannot use lower anchors with my booster seat.

FALSE! Most boosters will come with an added feature of a lower anchor. Many combination seats continue to use the lower anchors when they are turned into a booster.

The lower anchors remove the need to fasten the booster when it is not being used so that it does not become a projectile in the event of a crash. There are no weight limitations with a booster that uses lower anchors. This is because the seat belt does all the difficult work of restraining the child during impact.

One more benefit of a booster with lower anchors is that they fasten the seat in place thus making it easier for some kids to buckle themselves in.

#7 : You do not need to replace a booster after a crash.

FALSE! Only in instances where the manufacturer has clearly adhered to the NHTSA re-use guidelines, all  car seats should be replaced after a crash. A booster car seat that has been in an accident may not be able to protect your child against the impact of a crash.

Many boosters require replacement even after minor crashes

#8 : Short adults also need boosters.

FALSE! Short adults have adult bones. This means your iliac crest has formed adequately and is able to keep your lap belt down on your pelvis well.

Always remember to wear your car’s belt the right way. Ensure it’s tight and is placed low against your lap and across your shoulder.


We hope that The Car Seat Nerd has answered all your questions about booster car seats 🙂