Child car seat review: SWiSH air convertible booster seat from Safety 1st

It can take the skills of a structural engineer and the fortitude of an amateur wrestler to install a new car seat. Eleanor James explains why the Safety 1st SWiSH air convertible booster seat is worth entrusting with your time, money, and your child’s safety.

One of the more tiresome duties of a parent is undoubtedly the installation of a child car seat. The motivation to get the safety factor right pours cold water on the desire to get the damn thing quickly strapped onto the back seat with minimal loss of patience and fingertips. The new convertible booster seat from Safety 1st is refreshingly easy to install and reassuringly fitted with safety features that compliment its evident comfort.

With the SWiSH air convertible booster seat your child can safely ride in First Class style, albeit without the in-seat internet connectivity and champagne on demand.

During a side-on collision, the head-shielding Air Protect technology immediately reduces side impact forces through the precise release of air.

There are many features that demonstrate this seat as being a top-of-the-line choice for your toddler or child. The plush trimming in a sensible grey covers its substantial structure, including pivoting arm rests and an extending head rest to accommodate your growing child. The padded harness belt and soft lumbar support are nice touches, but crucially it’s the padding either side of the head rest, known as ‘Air Protect technology’ that boosts this product into the realm of optimal comfort and maximum safety.

The new ‘Air Protect’ feature integral to this car seat aims to reduce the risk of head injury during side impact collisions. Due to multiple child-carrying requirements or ease of access, car seats are often located at the sides of the back seat. While the thought of being involved in a crash whilst your children are in the car is enough to chill the blood of any parent, this new air-filled cushion technology gives added peace of mind. During a side-on collision, the head-shielding Air Protect technology immediately reduces side impact forces through the precise release of air.

This convertible booster car seat is forward-facing only, meaning that it can be used as a child restraint with the 6-point safety harness or for older children, as a very comfortable booster seat. Babies under 12 months (or 8kg) are not catered for by this product, making it a good purchase for parents who are graduating from a baby capsule. Your 26kg child will be accommodated by the SWiSH air convertible booster, in most cases extending its use to the seven-year mark making it a sensible investment.

The ease of installation means that parents can be confident in securing this seat in a safe manner without the need to use a professional child car seat fitter. An anchor bolt system is provided and a pouch at the rear of the seat housing the instruction manual means you’ll never be digging around for this important document. Similarly the harness can be stored in a compartment within the shell when a booster configuration is required.

The car seat protector mat is a nice additional , however it’s not at all large enough to cover the many contact points the sharp plastic structure has with your car seat trim. The slightly inclined angle of the back seat of the Toyota Camry in which this product was reviewed meant that three towels had to be enlisted to prevent seat damage and to be wedged underneath to prevent excess seat movement.

While some seat movement is standard, I felt that the low positioning of the rear anchor strap allowed the seat too much back and forward movement. Its position cannot be at the top of the seat back due to the extending head rest, which while catering to the growth of your child, must be adjusted with the utmost care, with this reviewer very almost performing a potentially painful thumbectomy in her enthusiasm to manipulate the adjustment mechanism.

Some smart features which were pleasing to encounter included two practically located bottle/snack holders and the easy-care machine-washable and tumble-dry trimming. A very smooth feed of the harness adjustment and the extra-long top anchorage strap makes installing this seat a satisfyingly simple experience.


While the one-year-old test-rider of the Safety 1st SWiSH air convertible booster seat made no complaints about her fancy new ride, I am concerned that the protruding sides of the ‘Air Protect technology’ block a substantial field of vision out the car window. But perhaps the in-flight movies and champagne service won’t make this an issue.

For optimal comfort and maximum safety, the Safety 1st SWiSH air convertible booster seat is a sound investment for the safe transportation of your most precious cargo.

Please note: To ensure your child's safety, it is crucial that you choose, correctly fit and use the restraint most appropriate to your child’s age and size. Children should be kept in a rear-facing position for as long as possible, and are are safest when travelling in the rear of the vehicle.

The Safety 1st SWiSH air convertible booster seat is currently on sale at Babies”R”Us for $299.99 Save $50. Ends Tuesday, 23rd August.