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Experts recommend that children remain in car seats and booster seats until they are large enough that an adult lap belt fits and protects them properly. For most kids, this happens sometime between 10-11 years old, when they are 57 inches tall (4' 9”) and the right proportion for a seat belt.
Until that time, they should be protected in the car, with car seats that can keep them safe and comfortable as they grow.
For parents, this often means buying a succession of different car seats every few years, which can be expensive and cumbersome to install. An alternative is to get an all-in-one car seat, like the Graco 4Ever, that can protect a child in every stage.
Who is the Graco 4Ever Most Suitable For?
For parents who want a single car seat that will keep their child safe and comfortable through all their stages of growth, the Graco 4Ever is just about perfect. It installs easily, converts easily, and headrest and harness adjustments are a snap with no rethreading. It's easy to clean, from the cover to the cushions to the cupholders, and has a fantastic 10-year life span.
The Graco 4Ever is best for parents who want to install it in a single car and use it forever. At over 20 pounds, it's not easy to move or travel with. At 19.5 inches across, it is probably too wide for 3-across seating except in the largest vehicles. In smaller cars, rear-facing installations may take up a lot of front passenger space.
The wide base may not fit easily in bucket seats, and the tall back may impede on the rear view in booster seat mode, so people with smaller vehicles will want to take careful measurements before getting this car seat.
If you are looking for a single, long-lived, set-it-and-forget-it car seat, the Graco 4Ever is an excellent choice. While it may be a bit bulky and heavy to move, it's an excellent investment in years of safety and comfort for a child.
Pros and Cons of Graco 4Ever
Overview of the Graco 4Ever
The Graco 4Ever is a single convertible car seat that fits kids from 4-120 pounds, backed by trusted Graco quality. It's gotten rave reviews from parents and professionals, and been honored as the IIHS Best Bet Booster seat, won the 2018 Cribsie Awards, and won the Baby Center Mom's Best Award for 2018.
Parents love the long lifespan, easy installation and adjustment, and easy cleaning of this car seat. Kids love the comfy seating, dual cupholders, and padded harness that prevents rubbing.
What are this model’s NHTSA ratings? Every car seat sold in the United States must meet strict federal crash test ratings, so the NHTSA does not rate car seats for safety or compliance. Instead, the NHTSA rates car seats for ease of use. The NHTSA has rated the Graco 4Ever (in the rear-facing configuration):
- Side impact protection? Yes
- Energy-absorbing base? No
- Metal frame? Plastic body, steel-reinforced frame
What is this model’s child height limit?
What is this model’s child weight limit?
Ease of Use
Does this model have:
Comfort and Quality
Video Overview of Graco 4Ever
Graco 4Ever Specs
Rear facing child weight
Rear facing child height
Head must be at least 1 inch below handle
Forward facing child weight
Forward facing child height
Highback booster child weight
Highback booster child height
Backless booster child weight
Backless booster child height
Car seat weight
Car seat dimensions
24” tall x 20” deep x 21" wide
Car seat expiration date
Graco 4Ever Features
Ease of use
Quality and comfort features
What is included with the Graco 4Ever?
The Graco 4Ever comes with a newborn insert pillow.
Graco 4Ever Installation
Graco has produced a number of helpful videos showing how to install the 4Ever, covering all the different seating modes and installation methods.
For rear-facing LATCH installation, check this video:
For rear-facing seat belt installation, check this video:
For forward-facing seat belt installation, check this video:
For forward-facing LATCH installation, check this video:
The Graco YouTube channel also has a number of helpful videos, covering topics like harness adjustment, how to know your car seat is installed properly, and how to know when to switch installation modes.
Graco 4Ever Manual
The Graco 4Ever instruction manual is available here:
Graco 4Ever vs. Graco Extend2Fit
Graco has been making innovative, award-winning parenting products since the 1950s. Their car seats always earn high marks for their safety and ease of use. So when choosing between the Graco 4Ever and the Graco Extend2Fit, it isn't a question of safety or quality. It's a question of what your needs are in a convertible car seat.
The Graco 4Ever is an all-in-1 car seat that converts from a newborn seat with an infant insert pillow, to a backless booster seat for children old enough to use a vehicle seat belt. It is rated to protect children from a whopping 4 pounds to 120 pounds.
The Graco Extend2Fit is a standard convertible car seat, that transitions from rear-facing to forward facing, so even at first glance it doesn't have the useful life of the Graco 4Ever. The Graco Extend2Fit fits rear-facing children from 4-50 pounds, and forward-facing from 22-65 pounds and up to 49 inches.
Compared with other convertibles, the Graco Extend2Fit has some nice features. Extended rear-facing keeps kids in the safest installation for longer, with a 4-position extension panel that gives children up to 5 inches of extra leg room when rear-facing. It also has a fuss-free harness storage that holds the buckle out of the way while you are seating a child.
Both the Graco 4Ever and the Extend2Fit have:
- Extensive crash testing
- Side impact testing
- Steel reinforced frame
- The InRight LATCH system for fast and easy installation
- The Simply Safe Adjust Harness system for simple adjustments
- Six recline angles
- Ten head and harness positions
- An easy-to-read level indicator
- Integrated dual cup holders
- Easy machine washable cover
- 10-year lifespan
So both car seats are high in quality and easy to use. The Extend2Fit is much less expensive than the 4Ever, but then, it doesn't convert into a booster seat and protect children all the way up to 120 pounds.
The Graco Extend2Fit is an excellent car seat for the first few years of life, and it's offered at a reasonable price for a car seat of this quality and durability. The Graco 4Ever costs more, but will be able to protect a child for the full 10 year lifespan of the car seat, or until they are big enough to use an adult lap belt.
If you looking for a convertible car seat to protect a child up to 65 pounds, the Graco Extend2Fit is an excellent choice. If you want a true all-in-one that will keep them safe until they are big enough to use a lap belt, the Graco 4Ever is one of the best options on the market.
Graco 4Ever Car Seat User Review
While it may not be the most compact and portable car seat, the Graco 4Ever is an excellent car seat, recognized by experts and parents for its quality, reliability, and longevity.
It is a single car seat that will last for the entire time a child needs a car seat, which makes it a great investment in a child's safety and comfort for all the years when they need it most.
Graco 4Ever (click image for more info)
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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