In this complete guide to the best Graco convertible car seats, we cover the background on the company, information on its safety record, and provide you with Graco convertible car seat reviews of the top models (and much more!)
Best Graco Convertible Car Seat (Summary Table)
Safest Graco convertible car seats
The general rule for car seat safety is that your child should ride in the rear-facing position for as long as possible. With the Graco Extend2Fit, your child will receive 5 extra inches of legroom, giving your child the opportunity to ride in the rear-facing position longer. In addition to the extra space, the Extend2Fit is equipped with the SimplySafe Adjust that allows you to adjust the height of the harness as needed in conjunction with your child’s growth.
The Graco Contender 65 is quite exceptional in design and durability. It has a rear-facing weight limit of up to 40 pounds, meaning your child can stay in the rear-facing position for a longer period of time, as recommended by the NHTSA. As your child grows, the Graco Contender 65 can be adjusted to fit their new height with its Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.
Other features include:
The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat is comfortable and gives your child 10 years of safe riding. It has a rear-facing weight limit of up to 40 pounds, and once your child reaches this weight limit, it can be switched to the forward-facing position with a weight limit of up to 65 pounds.
As if it couldn’t get any better, once your child exceeds 65 pounds, the car seat can be transitioned into a booster seat with a weight limit of 100 pounds, and from there it can be turned into a backless belt-positioning booster with a weight limit of 120 pounds.
Other features include:
The Graco Size4Me 65 features a RapidRemove cover that can be removed without installing the car seat, and it’s machine-washable. It’s also equipped with the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System that automatically adjusts both your harness and headrest.
The Graco Size4Me65 also contains the InRight LATCH system to installing your car seat quick and easy.
Other features include:
There are no safety ratings for this car seat at this time.
The Graco SlimFit is a 3-in-1 convertible car seat that can transition from a rear-facing to a forward-forward facing car seat, and then to a highback booster seat that can hold a child that weighs up to 100 pounds. It’s a compact car seat that will leave plenty of room for your other children or passengers. The rotating cup holders can be moved out of the way to create up to 10% more space in your back seat. These features along with its sleek design and easily adjusted harness system and headrest make this car seat one of the best choices out there.
The Graco Milestone is an all-in-1 convertible car seat that’s convenient and easy to use. It can be used in the rear-facing and forward-facing positions, and once your child meets the height-weight requirements, it can be transformed into a belt-positioning booster seat. The Graco Milestone also has 4 recline positions to ensure that your child is seated comfortably.
Additionally, the Graco Milestone is equipped with the InRight LATCH system to make installation easier. These features, along with others, make this car seat a logical and cozy choice.
Other features include:
Background on Graco
When was the company started?
Graco was founded in 1942 by Russell Gray and Robert Cone. The company was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and back then it was known as Graco Metal Products. Rex Thomas, an engineer for the company, was in charge of coming up with new ideas that would put the Graco on the map. Inspired by his wife and child, Rex partnered with David Saint, another Graco engineer, to create the Swyngomatic, the world’s first automatic baby swing. It took them a total of 18 months to create this revolutionary product.
The success of the Swyngomatic was more than they could’ve ever hoped for. Having sold millions of Swyngomatics worldwide, Graco quickly became the world’s leading manufacturer of baby products.
Then, in 1987, Nick Saint, son of David Saint, invented Graco’s popular line of Pack N’ Play Portable Playards, a portable nap time spot for your little ones. Today you can find Pack N’ Plays in almost every home in North America.
As the years went on, Graco would continue to raise the bar with each new product they created to meet the standard set by organizations like the NHTSA. Some of these products include the Travel System, the 4Ever Car Seat, and the Blossom 4-in-1 Seating System. With each innovation, Graco is dedicated to providing your family with high-quality products to help make your parenthood journey a little bit easier.
How large is the company?
Graco Children’s Products Inc. is primarily owned by Newell Brands Inc., located in Atlanta, Georgia. The Graco headquarters can be found in High Point, North Carolina. According to D&B Hoovers, their annual revenue is around $328,000,000.
As far as I can tell, Graco does have a location in Canada, and they only ship within those borders. In other words, the US location does not ship to Canada and vice versa. However, their products can be purchased internationally, and a list of the eligible places can be found here.
What products does the company manufacture?
Graco manufactures a wide range of baby products which includes:
- Car Seats: The car seats created by Graco are crash tested at their crash test facility located in Atlanta, Georgia. Each car seat is designed to exceed the safety standards set in place by the NHTSA.
- Strollers: Graco strollers are styled and equipped with features that will ensure that all of your travel needs are met.
- Playards and Bassinets: The Graco Pack N’ Play provides your baby with a comfortable space to nap and play whether you’re at home or on the go.
What is the reputation of the company’s products?
Graco is known to have some of the safest car seats on the market. For one, all of their car seats are FAA approved, and they’ve been crash-tested to guarantee that they’re safe and reliable. At Graco, they have what’s known as “Graco ProtectPlus Engineered,” which is a combination of meticulous crash tests to ensure that your baby protected all around.
They also have a team that consists of 90+ technicians who are trained in child passenger safety and certified to educate the community on the proper ways to install a car seat, how to choose the right car seat, and much more.
Now, after doing some extensive research on customer reviews and experiences, I’ve learned that Graco is a wonderful company that produces top-quality products, but their customer service is lagging in some departments. Overall, it seems that aside from their below-average customer service skills, Graco is still considered a leading brand of baby products nationwide.
Difference between Graco convertible car seats
After reviewing these products, we can see that all of these car seats are unique and made up of top-of-the-line features that are designed to keep your child safe and comfortable. Now, there are certain similarities between all of these convertible car seats, but there are also distinct differences that set them apart. Before we get into that, let’s get the similarities out of the way.
First, all of these Graco convertible car seats are equipped with the InRight LATCH System to make installation quick, simple, and easy. Second, each of these car seats is fitted with a machine-washable cover, so you don’t have to worry about a build-up of dirt and old spills. Lastly, all of these car seats can hold a child in the rear-facing position until they’re at least 40 pounds.
To discuss the differences between these models, I feel it’d be best to do so in categories based on their general features.
Graco Convertible Car Seats
Standard convertible car seats
All-in-1 convertible car seats
Simply Safe Adjust Harness System
In addition to all of these differences, I would also like to point out the Graco Extend2Fit is the only convertible car seat, out of these options, that’s designed to give your child more legroom with its 4-point Extension Panel.
Graco convertible car seats on sale
Where can consumers in the USA find Graco car seats on sale?
- Albee Baby
- Burlington Baby Depot
- buybuy BABY
- Sam’s Club
- Baby List
Graco convertible car seats vs other manufacturers
Graco vs Evenflo convertible car seat
Evenflo has been making high-rated baby products for over 100 years. It was founded in 1920 and initially got its start producing products to help with baby feeding. As the years progressed, Evenflo would expand their baby feeding line and evolve into a multi-layered company with a mission to bring the best baby products to your door. They manufacture car seats, strollers, at home necessities, and more.
The first thing to note about these two companies is the price. Evenflo convertible car seats are about the same price, in fact, they’re relatively cheaper than Graco with car seats that offer the same premium features at $100 or less.
Also, overall, Graco has better NHTSA safety ratings than Evenflo. Be that as it may, Evenflo crash tests their car seats at energy levels 2x’s the amount set by car seat safety regulators to ensure that their seats go above and beyond the safety standards.
Evenflo has won many awards and has even been noted to have the #1 rated convertible car seat for performance and price (2011).
At the end of the day, both manufacturers produce really good baby products set at reasonable prices. In terms of quality, both companies go above and beyond to ensure that your child is comfortable and safe. As for the features, they’re pretty much the same, besides that fact that Evenflo convertible car seats have more layers of energizing foam to reduce the impact force of a car crash. Other than that, there’s not a crazy amount of differences. So, choose the brand that you feel will best suit your needs.
Chicco vs Graco convertible car seat
Chicco was founded in 1958 by Pietro Catelli. Inspired by the birth of his son, Cartelli was determined to create safer and efficient baby products for you and your child. They manufacture car seats, strollers, nursing toys, baby gear, and more. The Chicco headquarters are located in Milan, Italy, so not only will your baby ride safely, but they’ll ride in style.
To start, Chicco car seats are notably way more expensive than Graco car seats. Let’s take a look at why.
- Chicco convertible car seats have a One-pull harness tightener to give your child an added layer of security and tightness.
- Their convertible car seats are also fitted with a LockSure seat belt locking system to make installing your car seat with a seat belt clear and easy.
- Chicco’s convertible car seats also have a SuperClinch Tightener to give you EVEN MORE security when integrating the LATCH system.
- While all the Graco convertible car seats either have singular or dual cup holders, all of the Chicco convertible car seats just have one.
As far as safety ratings, Chicco scored in the top 5 for crash testing compared to other leading brands. All in all, when comparing these two manufacturers, you’ll see that Graco offers some good features on quality car seats at a reasonable price. Chicco, on the other hand, produces car seats with amazing features that cost more, but it proves to be worth it in the end.
Graco vs Britax convertible car seat
Britax is one of the top leading brands to produce high-quality car seats and strollers. They’ve been in business for more than 70 years and have made their presence known across Europe, China, North America, and Latin America. Britax is most famous for its revolutionary ClickTight Installation System that makes installing your car seat as easy as fastening a seat belt.
To begin, you’re going to pay a lot more for a Britax convertible car seat than a Graco one. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re looking for something with more features and more worldwide recognition.
Next, you’ll find that none of the Britax convertible car seats come with cup holders. While that may be a bit of hindrance, Britax car seats are equipped with Side Impact Protection to ensure that your child’s neck and head are protected from the force of a collision.
It’s also important to recognize that Britax convertible car seats are a lot heavier than Graco car seats. This could be a deal-breaker if you’re a parent who takes your child to places where you have to do a lot of walking.
Lastly, Britax does have a bit of the higher ground when it comes to the NHTSA safety ratings, but it’s not by a whole lot. All in All both companies are ideal choices that make your child’s safety their top priority.
Graco car seat accessories
Best Graco convertible car seat covers
After browsing their website, and others that sell Graco products, it doesn’t seem like they have any accessories for their convertible car seats.
Every car seat is different, which means that different car seats will work with your car differently. Most of the Graco convertible car seats have specifications that tell you the height, length, width, and weight of the car seat. These measurements should give you some indication of if the car seat will fit in your car comfortably.
Graco convertible car seats are good for 7 to 10 years. To find the expiration date, look for the Date of Manufacture sticker (DOM). This will help you determine the expiration date.
The height limit for a Graco convertible rear-facing car seat is 49 inches.
This video will show you how to make sure that you’ve installed your Graco convertible car seat correctly.
These videos will give you an example of how to install your Graco car seat in the forward-facing position and the rear-facing position.
This instructional video will show how to convert your convertible car seat, and how to install it in your car in these different modes.
Most of the Gracco convertible seat covers are machine-washable. Ideally, you should wash your car seat with a non-abrasive, soap, and warm water. For further instructions, check out this Graco article on 10 helpful tips for cleaning your baby products.
On their Recall and Safety Notifications page, you can find a list of Graco products that have been recalled. To say up to date on any item that you’ve purchased from Graco, make sure that you register your product once you’ve received it.
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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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