When I first picked up the bass, I always played with the one finger per fret (OFPF) even on the lower frets, which was a bit of stretch (pardon the pun) with small hands, but I managed.

Well, recently in lessons, my teacher strongly suggested I break the habit and start incorporating the three fret box at least below the 7th fret (index, middle,pinky). He said it's more comfortable and will eventually allow faster fingering below the 7th. Above the 7th OFPF is more applicable.

Comfort is a non-issue at this point in the game, but an easier and more efficient approach on the lower frets would always be valuable, so I am working on this now. But what's everyone's take on this? Do you use one or the other, or a combination of both?
I always thought on bass guitar the 1-3-4 was for children with teensy hands. I can't imagine how using less fingers would make your playing more efficient, that just makes no physical sense. My teacher said he taught that to students under the age of 8 but when they got old enough he broke the habit so they could play faster. I just don't see how doing that could make your playing more efficient. That's just my humble opinion maybe your teacher knows something I don't (well obviously but you know what I mean.)
Yeah I agree I can't see how using 3 fingers instead of 4 would make you more efficient.
I only use the 3-finger technique in first position, and even then only if it's a slower piece. That's just a matter of comfort. I also use it when playing a lot of octaves (such as in slap, etc.). Other than that, there's no reason not to use the OFPF technique unless you have small hands and cannot comfortably do otherwise.
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OFPF seems to make the most sense over the whole bass. Without any bass lessons, it just seemed to come naturally to me. It also means that your finger strength will develop more, giving you stronger fingers and, (in theory) allowing you to fret faster higher up.
If you can definately OFPF, because otherwise you're second finger won't be trained as much as the others, when you move up positions.

My bass is a shorter scale than the precision or jazz styled ones though so I have it a bit easier :P.
I haven't even thought about this since I started playing and was trying to work out which was best - I actually had to pretend to play something to figure out what fingers I used where! I use OFPF all over the fretboard.
i've caught myself ignoring the pinky and moving my hand up for the fourth fret but i never leave out any other finger.....ever.
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On upright bass you play with fingers 1-2-4 because the notes are too far apart to do 1-2-3-4 unless you're Ron Carter. I started with 1-2-4 on bass guitar, since I played upright first. I play OFPF now but that took a while to get used to on the lower frets. Some people's hands are just too small for that though. Stretching that pinky for the 4th fret really makes it independent from your ring finger. Try this and see what I'm talking about:
Look at your palm and stretch all of your fingers out. Now try moving only your pinky to the center. Your ring finger will probably try to follow your pinky. I can move my pinky to the center without moving my ring finger but I definitely can't do that on my right hand, since that hand only plucks. If you try it, you'll see how far your left pinky can stretch compared to the pinky on your right hand.
I always use OFPF. I can even stretch enough to hit the exact same notes on two adjacent strings anywhere on the fretboard, so I don't think reducing my stretch would help me.
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I use my pinky on frets below 7 because it feels more comfortable.Faster?I would say not, i think its slower.A song like this i use my pinky on the 5 and my pointer on the 3.
i usually use my pointer and pinky whle fretting, and my ring finger occasionally....