“Mom, what was that loud bang?” Little did she know that they just survived…
The scariest part of an accident is that you have no control.
When it’s happening, the only thing for you to do is hope that all the safety features are enough to keep you protected.
It’s not an easy task to find the perfect car seat. There are simply so many of them on the market. You have probably shortlisted Graco. That’s a safe bet.
This is the reason why I’ve created this Best Graco car seat article. Graco is known for having many models. I’ve cherry-picked the very best of them.
By reading this article until the end, you will find the best car seat for you. Also, please stick with me for a bit, and you will know the outcome of the accident mentioned above. Not only that, but I will share with you which car seat was tested in real life and how did it perform.
Remember this good rule of thumb. All the car seats are safe. The only bad car seat is an unused one or the incorrectly mounted one.
So let’s get this best of the best Graco article started.
What Will I Learn?
- #1 Graco 4Ever DLX All in One Car Seat – Best Graco Car Seat
- #2 Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat – Best Graco Infant Car Seat
- #3 Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Ceat- Best Graco Convertible Car Seat
- #4 Graco Atlas Booster Seat – Best Graco Booster Seat
- #5 Graco Nautilus – Best Graco Toddler Car Seat
- #6 Graco SlimFit – Best Graco Car Seat for Small Car
- Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
- What is the safest car seat on the market?
- Is Graco a good car seat?
- What are the best car seats?
- What are the height and weight limits for Graco car seats?
- What is the expiration date for infant car seats, convertible car seats and booster seats?
- How do you create a travel system with an infant seat?
- What kind of government safety standards do these Graco car seats have?
- What is a good alternative for the infant Graco car seats?
- How do you install a convertible car seat?
- Should I keep my child in rear-facing position as long as possible?
- What other features do these Graco car seats have?
- What so special about the Graco Extend2Fit infant car seat?
- How to fit three across with a graco car seat?
- What can I expect from a Graco booster seat?
- What are you getting with a Graco All in one car seat?
- What kind of car seats does Graco have for older kids?
#1 Graco 4Ever DLX All in One Car Seat – Best Graco Car Seat
They were on their regular commute. Her daughter was in back, sitting quietly. When all of a sudden, everything changed.
Another SUV slammed into them head-on. The impact was loud. There was so much force that the engine deformed into an unknown shape.
The airbags exploded, protecting the mother. When everything was over, the little girl asked: “Mom, what was that loud bang?”
My niece was lucky the next day she was off to kindergarten as if nothing has happened. Her mother wasn’t that lucky. She ended up in the hospital with a broken nose and a few bruises.
The Graco 4Ever DLX won the Best Graco Car Seat award. As you have seen above, this car seat is safe. Thanks to the steel frame your little one is protected. It also comes with the ProtectPlus system, which protects from the front, rear, side, and even rollover crashes.
Besides being safe, this car seat is a lifer. From the day your child is born until they don’t have to use the car seat, it will serve well. The expiration date is set to ten years. That’s a lot of mileage for one seat.
It has four modes of use: rear-facing, front-facing, high back, and no back booster mode.
Last important aspect is that the cover can be easily removed and machine washed.
It’s easy to install might be the easiest of them all
No more rethreading the straps ever
The fabric removal is super-fast
The straps tangle up too fast, and it’s a pain to undo them with a protesting child
The cup holders fall off way too easily.
#2 Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat – Best Graco Infant Car Seat
Today things changed for the worst. As they were crossing the intersection, another car T-boned them.
The impact was overwhelming. The glass shattered, and the airbags exploded. There was so much energy during the impact that the car got projected in the ditch. To make matters worse, the vehicle rolled a couple of times over.
The parents got out as soon as they could. When they opened the back door, they saw their little one. She was smiling at them as if she was saying this was fun, let’s do it again.
Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat won the Best Graco Infant Car Seat.
Besides being safe, this car seat delivers on all fronts. Carriers are perfect for infants because you can click them in and out of the base with no effort. During winter months, your little one will be warm and snug in their carrier.
The material is so soft. It’s not those sandpaper-like covers. Babies love it, and many parents reported that their little one fell asleep with ease in them.
Many carriers suffer from a major defect. The canopy won’t cover the child. The Graco Snugride Infant Car Seat is different; it offers all the shade that’s needed.
If you value safety and comfort, this is the car seat for you
It’s easy to use even grandparent hands can adjust it
It’s compatible with Graco strollers no converters are needed
It’s a heavy car seat, and it will give you a decent workout until the child learns to walk
Few people reported that the chair wiggled
#3 Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Ceat- Best Graco Convertible Car Seat
Our friends were coming home from the grandparents’ house. Their 11-month old was asleep in the back.
The unthinkable happened. A speeding drunk driver smashed into them from the front. In situations like these, you can’t do anything. Metal screeched and twisted. The windshield cracked. The airbags did their job and protected the parents.
The impact was so powerful that the car did a 180 and flew across two lanes. The totaled car finally came to rest in the embankment.
The family got lucky; they only suffered a few cuts and bruises. Their son, on the other hand, had no injuries what so ever.
Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat won the Best Graco Convertible Car Seat award. As you have seen from the story above, this car seat delivers when it comes to safety.
Besides being safe, it’s one of the best convertibles I’ve seen. As you know, rear-facing provides the best protection for little ones. With this car seat, you can do extended rear-facing until they reach 50 pounds. To make rear-facing as comfortable as possible, it has an expandable footrest.
It’s great value for the money. Being a convertible, it caters to newborns up to young kids weighing 64 pounds.
It’s one of the easiest to install can be done in less than 5 minutes
There’s no manual rethreading of the straps ever
The fabric is easy to wash even after a vomiting incident
The release button is hidden, and if you have big hands it’s hard to reach
You need to watch videos to put the fabric back into place
#4 Graco Atlas Booster Seat – Best Graco Booster Seat
The Graco Atlas Booster Seat won the Best Graco Booster Car Seat award.
This caters to older kids who want to transition into the forward-facing mode. If your child is 3 or above, it’s a good candidate. This car seat is safe. Besides the regular safety features, it has side impact protection. Best of all, it doesn’t just protect the head. Many brands only cover that part, but with this Graco, your child is getting protection for the torso.
Let me share with you a secret. This will be the last car seat you will have to buy. The harness mode will keep your child protected until they reach 65 pounds, and after that, you can transition into high back booster mode. The upper limit is set to 100 pounds. As you can see, this car seat will serve until your child doesn’t need it anymore.
The installation is super simple. You can go with the latch system or with the seat belt. My only feedback would be that they should upgrade the latches. They are still going with the first generation ones.
The cover is durable and ready for the wear and tear for the next years to come. It’s one of the best belt-positioning booster seats out there.
It offers all-around protection for the sides as well (head and torso protection)
The fabric is easy to remove and wash very important if you have a child with motion sickness
Most parents reported that kids fall asleep fast
It’s harder to install in older cars
It’s huge both vertically, and it takes up a lot of space
#5 Graco Nautilus – Best Graco Toddler Car Seat
Graco Nautilus won the Best Graco Toddler Car Seat award.
Toddlers can be a handful, so you need a car seat that can face the challenge. According to Consumer Reports, it’s one of the highest-rated car seats there. So protection is guaranteed.
The Graco Nautilus comes with two cup holders. This is perfect for toddlers since they can keep the drinks in one of them and toys in the second one. Plus, if they are cranky, it can be a good distraction while you’re strapping them in.
Toddlers like all kids are messy. So spills, accidents will be common. Luckily Nautilus is prepared for that. The cover can be easily removed, and machine washed.
If you buy this car seat, this will be the last one you’ll need. From toddlers until the day that they won’t need it this car seat will serve well.
There are three ways of using it. There’s the traditional forward-facing harness mode. After that, you can choose a high back or backless booster mode. The upper limit is set to 100 pounds, so it will be a great travel companion for the years to come.
As you know, rear-facing gives the most protection for kids. After that, the safest is the harness mode. With the Nautilus, you will be able to do extended harness mode until they reach 65 pounds.
It’s super easy to install just listen to the “Click” sound
It’s top-rated on Consumer Reports
Padded side protection for older kids not many car seats offer this
The material stitched on by elastic that par won’t last
There’s no leveling guide, so you have to guess
#6 Graco SlimFit – Best Graco Car Seat for Small Car
Graco SlimFit won the Best Graco Car Seat for Small Car award.
Let’s face it. Not everyone has a big SUV, so for them, narrow profile car seats are the best. As the name suggests, this Graco car seat is slimmer than the rest.
With their space-saving technology, you gain 10% in space. Now, if you want to do 3 across, it’s doable with this seat. Plus, you can sit an adult comfortably between two of these car seats.
This car seat caters to smaller kids. There’s one thing common with kids that they don’t like change. If you want to avoid tantrums, then here’s a great tip for you. Unbox the car seat and leave it in the room for a while. Eventually, your curious little one will climb in it and explore it. This way, it won’t be new.
It has all the protection that’s needed. Besides protecting the head, the torso is safe from side impacts.
By getting this car seat, you’re investing in the future. Since it caters to infants all the way up to 100 pounds, you will get a lot of mileage out of this seat. It can be mounted in rear and front-facing mode, plus it has a booster mode as well.
If you want a safe car seat that is narrow, you have found the perfect one.
It’s a perfect car seat who wants three across
It has everything you need: safety, comfort, and sturdiness
Easy to use no manual threading of straps everything is automatic
You will need to force of Hulk to strap it down right
Not much tilting options if you want to mount it in rear-facing mode
In the end, I usually include a buyer’s guide. I know how tiring is to look through hundreds of car seats. Besides that, you have to compare them and check out the reviews. This is why I’ve created this buyer’s guide.
Actually, I had to develop a system of how I can review and compare all these car seats. If you like, then you can copy it. Put it to good use.
Here are the main categories that you should check out when you’re shopping for a new car seat.
This is the first and most important item on the list. Now here’s the truth all car seats are safe because they have to pass the government standards. Still, there’s a difference between the brands. For example, some barely pass it, and others go beyond the minimums.
As you have seen, Graco has gone above and beyond. They are using the ProtectPlus tech. This provides the typical protection against front and rear impact. Not only that, it has side impact protection and rollover protection. While most brands only offer protection for the head Graco keeps the torso safe as well from side crashes.
The rollover accidents are the deadliest. Now you know that it can protect your little one from that as well.
This is the second most important part of any car seat. You have to know ahead of time how long you will be able to use it. In recent years it became popular all in one car solution. From birth, until they don’t need a car seat, it offers protection.
These car seats have two main drawbacks. First of all, they are more expensive than any other. And they are cheaper than buying two or three. The second issue is that you won’t be able to carry it. These seats are heavy, so it will be hard to transfer them left and right.
Not to mention the wintertime. This is only a problem with infants. As soon as they learn to walk, you can use it.
The typical car seat modes are rear-facing, front-facing, and booster mode. The Graco brands offer both high back and backless booster mode.
This is the place where you can save some money. The longer your child uses a car seat, the more money you save in the long run.
The install makes or breaks a car seat. You can’t get it installed correctly, then it won’t be able to protect your child 100%.
Graco is one of the most affordable car seats you can choose from. And with many models, you will have to use some decent force to get it nice and snug.
Also, the earlier models use the first level latch system. These are great to install and a hassle to uninstall.
This is the last item on my list. These car seats cater to kids. This means that means accidents and spills will be common. That’s why you have to know ahead of time the washing procedure.
Luckily with Graco, the washing is easy. The cover can be easily undone, and you throw it in the washing machine. No matter the stain, you will get it back good as new after a good wash.
These were the most important items to look at when you’re shopping for a car seat.
We have reached the end of this best Graco article. I’ve picked the best car seats for you. If you want the all-around the best, you know which the one is. Also, if you want the best infant, best convertible car seat, I’ve made it easy for you to choose.
Now it’s your time to take action. Last time I checked, the stocks were running low, so get them now.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What is the safest car seat on the market?
The safest car seat on the market is the Britax Advocate with 3 layers of side impact protection.
Is Graco a good car seat?
Graco is a good car seat maker. They have a big line up of car seats to choose from. They are also affordable and not overpriced.
What are the best car seats?
What are the height and weight limits for Graco car seats?
Since there are many Graco car seats I will break down the weight limit for each of them. For the infant car seat the weight limit is 35 pounds. The lower weight limit is 5 pounds. The 35 pounds upper limit is quite high compared to infant car seats. For convertible car seats, there’s rear-facing position which is usually 40 pounds but if it’s an extended rear-facing car position then it can be as high as 50 pounds. Only a handful of convertible car seats offer 50 pounds of weight limit while others tap out at 40 pounds. In forward facing there are two modes to choose from. There’s the harness system mode and forward-facing car seat booster seats mode. For harness mode the typical limit is 65 pounds after this you have to go with booster seats. 65 pounds is the limit of the latch system as well. If your child has a higher weight than 65 pounds you have to switch to shoulder belt. Keep in mind that booster seats are for older children. The upper limit is typically around 100 pounds or the maximum is 120 pounds. Well, I know some adults who are not 120 pounds so you’re good with that. As for the height limit it’s fairly simple the upper height limits are at 62 inches and the lower ones are at 30 inches.
What is the expiration date for infant car seats, convertible car seats and booster seats?
Typically the expiration date is around 10 years or so with infant car seats, convertible car seats and booster seats. Graco car seats that are not big kid it’s less. That’s a lot of years of use for one car seat.
How do you create a travel system with an infant seat?
As you know infant seats were created for carrying. This is why it’s a good idea to create a travel system. All you need is the right stroller. In most cases infant car seats are compatible with their own brand when it comes to strollers. If you have a different one then you will need an adapter to create your travel system. When it comes to baby gear these Graco car seats are the best choice. As the child grows there’s an even bigger selection of Graco car seats.
What kind of government safety standards do these Graco car seats have?
These Graco car seats it doesn’t matter if it’s a convertible car seat or not they have high safety standards. There are two important things you have to make sure that they are there the first one is side-impact protection and proper head support. For infant seats, the anti-rebound bar is a must and typically it can be used in rear-facing car mode. Other safety features include: no-rethread harness, energy-absorbing foam, anchors and tethers. Also, it comes with the 5-point harness which is the safest one on the market. Graco made this seat to meet or exceed and of crash tests.
What is a good alternative for the infant Graco car seats?
The nuna rava infant car seats and the Cosco scenera all-in-one convertible car seat and belt-positioning booster seat are a good choice.
How do you install a convertible car seat?
To install a convertible car seat first of all make sure you read the manual. Then there’s no difference between forward-facing car seat mode and rear facing one. The easiest option is to use the inright latch system. The latch connectors provide super easy installation. Graco is known for its ease of use. Also there’s the vehicle seat belt. This can only be used in the back seat.
Should I keep my child in rear-facing position as long as possible?
The rear-facing position is the safest one for a child. With the proper installation your child will be comfortable. Make sure you adjust the harness to the proper size. Besides adjust harness there are many recline positions to choose from. If you want the most leg room out of the convertible seat then get the convertible car seat with the extension panel. Car seats tend to neglect this one car seat features. It’s a good idea to keep them in this mode until your child grows to 2 years old. Better yet you can do it until 4 years old.
What other features do these Graco car seats have?
Graco car seats other features include: a removable seat pad which is easy to clean, simply safe harness and headrest. They have won many awards as best bet best car seat. For convertible car seat the seat cover is removable and it’s easy to adjust for smaller cars. The car seats include: easy to adjust, lower anchors and seat base.
What so special about the Graco Extend2Fit infant car seat?
The Graco Extend2Fit infant car seat is special because it allows extended rear-facing position up to 50 pounds. As you know the maximum for rear-facing position is usually 40 pounds. So it’s not just one of the best graco car seat but it’s one of the best rear-facing car seat on the market. The seat also has and easy to adjust leg rest which gives comfort to any car seat buyer. These infant car seats are usually 20 to 65 pounds and 30 to 100 pounds forward-facing booster seat mode.
How to fit three across with a graco car seat?
As you know there is a graco car seat that allows to fit three across. The slimfit would be a good option. Also it’s a good idea to consult with Child Passenger Safety Technicians to the best seat and install. The Child Passenger Safety Technicians can tell you exactly if the car seat is properly installed or not. Plus it will give you peace of mind after you have talked with a Child Passenger Safety Technicians.
What can I expect from a Graco booster seat?
The booster seat is used the longest. From 20 to 65 pounds forward-facing harness system mode to 30 to 100 pounds forward-facing high back booster mode. Eventually, you can upgrade with backless booster mode until 120 pounds. The rear-facing weight limit for infant car seats is 35 pounds. And the rear-facing weight limit for convertible car seats is 40 pounds. For a first time car seat buyer it can be overwhelming during growth spurts if they are interested in child injury prevention.
What are you getting with a Graco All in one car seat?
During the infant car seats faze you can easily clean it even after a diaper blowout. The Graco seat also known for extended rear-facing position. With graco all in one car seats you won’t be able to create travel systems. You see travel systems are for infant car seats. They can be easily moved in and out of the car so these travel systems are easy adjust.
What kind of car seats does Graco have for older kids?
You can choose a Graco convertible 20 to 65 pounds forward-facing which allows you to hide the harness straps in the harness storage (harness holders). Or a booster seat 30 to 100 pounds forward-facing. These car seats are typically installed with seat belts. As a matter of fact all car seats can be installed with seat belts. Older cars don’t have the latch options so you can only use the seat belts. As for extra comfort all car seats have at least one cup holder.
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