Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX Review – Does this Tank Deliver?Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX 3 in 1 Harness Booster Car Seat Review
Older kids need side protection as well, and this car seat delivers…

Side impact protection has been neglected for a long time. Most car seat makers only test frontal and rear collisions. These seats do well on those occasions. But what happens when somebody gets T-boned?

There’s not much protection against it. This is where the Nautilus comes into play.


Our body wasn’t designed to take side impact too well. Take a look at our skull, for example. The forehead is one of the toughest bones in our body. The back of the head is strong as well. And what about the temples?

They are not that strong. Since kids have thinner bones, it’s paramount to protect them. With the Nautilus besides frontal and rear collisions, you’re getting lateral one as well. But I’m getting way ahead of myself.

Before we get any further, let me give you a quick preview. This car seat has one of the easiest installations ever. You can get it done in less than a minute, either with the Latch system or with the car’s seat belt.

The Nautilus is a 3 in one car seat. From a 5-point harness, it can be transformed into a highback booster seat and finally into a backless booster seat. If you’re planning for the long run, this is the winner.

Let’s get this Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX review started. If you stick with me until the end, I will tell you the pros/cons. Some of them are unexpected, to say the least.

Who is the Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX 3 In 1 Harness Booster Car Seat?

This car seat is meant for parents who value protection to the most. Also, it’s for those who want a buy one car seat, which is good until the child is big enough to ride without it.

Since the Nautilus is so easy to install, you won’t be fiddling around with other installations. Plus, it saves you money as the years go by.

What can the Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX car seat do for you?

The Graco Nautilus is the highest rated car seat on Consumer Reports. This means that they got something right.  The main reason I’ve chosen this car seat is protection. Of course, it has the usual front and rear plus the side protection, and it has more than that.

As the kids get older, other car seat makers forget about the protection. Not with Nautilus, they get padded protection as they get older. This is a super important safety-wise.

The truth is that this car seat is for older kids. It supports extended rear-facing mode. As you know, this is the safest position for your child to travel in.

Did I mention the storage compartments? This is missing from so many car seats. You can put away things in the storage compartment as you transform the seat.

It has two cup holders. Perfect for keeping a drink in one and toys in the second one. Also, if you have a smaller child, they can get distracted while you buckle them in.

Since it’s 3 in 1, you will get a good number of years of usage. The armrests are removable for extra comfort.

Graco Nautilus shortcomings

I feel disappointed. I barely got something wrong with this car seat. For some reason, this is the most popular section of my reviews. Now I feel that I’m letting my readers down. Two things might be a turnoff for a would-be buyer.

Ever since the law passed, the car seats are necessary from infancy to pre-teen age. And they don’t come cheap. So when you’re buying, you want quality so it lasts as it should. This is the issue that I’ve found with the Graco Nautilus. The material is held on the chair by elastic. The wear and tear will come apart.

The second issue I’ve found was the missing leveling guide. The professional approach would be to have bubble indicators. And those are super easy to use. But we don’t have that. Even the cheapest of the cheap ones have some sort of drawn leveling guide.

They have missed this. Besides these two minor issues, I haven’t found anything wrong with it. So are they a deal-breaker for you?

How To Get The Most Out Of Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX 3 In 1 Harness Booster Car Seat?

The first thing you have to decide when you are installing the car seat in which the best position for your child is. The safest location is in the middle of the car. But this might not be the best solution for you. Then you should pick the second safest spot, which is behind the driver.

Once that’s done, get it installed. The Graco Nautilus made it extremely easy to get this done. In less than a minute, you are ready. If you want to be on the safe side, you can ask a certified professional to double-check. Plus, you won’t need Hulk’s strength to get it snug and fit.

The main reason why I recommend this car seat is for the extended rear-facing mode. It sits high, so your little one can lookout.

When you look at this car seat, you immediately can tell that it’s high quality. The material is soft and comfortable. Don’t forget this could be the last car seat that you will ever have to buy. It’s a great car seat to have.

Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX 3 in 1 Harness Booster Car Seat Review

  • 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

Conclusion for the Graco Nautilus Review

This car seat is one of those handful ones that I barely got something wrong with it. Actually, this was the closest one to perfection.

It has all the safety features that you will ever need both now and in the future. It has added padding around the head for older kids.

We have reached the end of the Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX Review. I hope that reading this has helped you to make the decision.

If you have any questions, do post them below. Maybe you want me to review other car seats? Send your suggestions to me.

Catch you next time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between the Graco Nautilus 65 and 65 LX?

There’s only a slight difference between the Graco Nautilus 65 and 65 LX. The LX version upper weight limit is set to 120 pounds while the other one is limited to 100 pounds.

Is Graco Nautilus FAA approved? Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX Review

Yes the Graco Nautilus is FAA approved

How do you install a Graco Nautilus SnugLock?

You can install the Graco Nautilus SnugLock with the latch system or with the seat belt. The latch anchor is the most straight forward. You connect to the latch connectors and pull it tight. For the seat belt option, you have to guide it through the belt path and gradually remove all the slack.

Is the Graco Nautilus 65 rear facing?

The Graco Nautilus 65 harness booster seat. It can be mounted in front facing mode only.

What safety features does the Graco nautilus 3-in-1 harness booster has?

The graco nautilus snuglock lx 3-in-1 harness booster comes with so many safety features that it’s hard to talk about all of them. There’s a quick run down. It’s an excellent choice for a growing child. It can be used as an infant car seat all the way up to booster mode. In booster mode you have armrest storage for the removable armrests. This Graco car seat has passed all the safety standards. Thanks to the secure install the combination seat is nice and tight. The steel-reinforced frame provides strength and durability and keeps your child safe even in rollover crashes. Graco ProtectPlus Engineered system offers a 360 protection from any impact. The 5 point harness is the most secure harness you can get. The 5-point harness booster has been tested for occupant retention. As I mentioned the steel-reinforced frame will keep you kiddos safe no matter what. There’s body support for both safety and comfort. Make sure you check state laws when you’re installing the forward facing harness booster car seat. It has top anchor connectors s it provides strength to the whole thing.

How is the installation of the graco nautilus snuglock lx 3-in-1 harness booster?

In simple words it’s a hassle-free installation for the snuglock lx 3-in-1 harness seat. There’s a 3-step installation process.

How long is the nautilus snug lock lx good for?

The expiration date is set to 10 years of use.

What is the snuglock technology for the lx booster?

The snuglock technology is a way to tighten the car seat without using a lot of force. There’s an arm that does the heavy lifting for you. Besides that it is designed to keep your growing child comfortable. The snuglock installation technology made the whole mounting process easy.

Does this Graco car seat have a cup holder?

As a matter of fact you’re getting dual cup holders. One cup holder could be for drinks while the other one for toys.

How comfortable is this car seat graco nautilus snuglock highback booster seat?

This harness booster seat is comfortable thanks to the one-hand 6-position adjustable headrest. No matter how old is your child the adjustable headrest will provide sufficient comfort. When you adjust the headrest you adjust harness as well. There’s no rethreading what so ever. You auto-adjust harness with the carseat headrest. The fancy name goes like this: simply safe adjust harness. To give the most comfort these infant seats and combination seats have a recline position. Here are some other features you might want to check out: seat pad, chest clip, different riding options, generous seat cushion, lap belt, seat belts, travel system. Pick the one of the right headrest positions for good sleep and no head flops.

What’s the difference between the Nautilus 65 and Snuglock version?

The main difference is the snug lock technology. The installation is far easier with the snuglock one. The Nautilus 65 is a bit sluggish in that department.

Which car seat could compete with Nautilus’ backless booster mode?

Chicco kidfit pops into mind. They make great booster seats. The high back booster mode is super comfy. And they also provide backless booster mode as well. The highback booster mode is typically limited to 100 pounds. While the backless booster mode taps out at 120 pounds. The belt-positioning booster mode on the other hand guides the vehicle seat belt.

How do you use the harness system?

Well you can use the harness system actively and passively. There’s integrated harness storage system unused harness straps. The harness storage is located on the car seat. Everything with the Graco is adjustable from the harness height to harness position and even harness and headrest. This is why the harness adjuster comes so handy. It’s the #1 baby gear pick. From one year old all the way to early adulthood you can use this car seat. After the harness mode, you can check out the booster modes. Forward facing is also known as booster use.

How much the seat weighs?

The seat weight is 25.2 pounds. The strap height 39.6 inches.

How do you wash the cover?

The cover is machine washable.

Which car seats are better Graco or Britax?

Both car seat brands are quite good however if you want the best quality and money is not an issue, Britax car seats are the better choice.

Last Updated on April 7, 2024 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!