Graco car seats are known for their luxury and safety. Their models combine the latest convenience features with easy-to-adjust harnesses and variable recline positions. Many of them are also designed to stay with your baby from infancy until they outgrow the need for a booster seat. Our top pick, the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, boasts easy harness adjustment, six recline positions, and fits children from four pounds to as much as 120 pounds. It's a fantastic option, but not the only Graco car seat that might work for you. To learn more, keep reading our buying guide.
Considerations when choosing Graco car seats
Types of Graco car seats
Infant (rear-facing): Infant car seats are rear-facing only and typically have a maximum weight limit between 22 to 35 pounds. They have carrying handles and canopies. Most of the Graco models have a base that stays in the car; though they can be installed without the base. They're less expensive than the other types, but babies usually outgrow them within the first year or two.
Booster (back and backless): Booster seats can either be fullback or backless. They offer protection and proper seat belt placement for children as tall as four feet nine inches. Fullback booster seats offer more protection for the neck and head. However, backless models take up less space in the car. They may have a five-point harness or use the car seat belts to secure the rider. Depending on your state laws, some children can't use booster seats until they are eight years old or older.
Convertible: Convertible car seats transition from rear-facing to forward-facing and then to a booster seat. They're larger than either an infant or booster seat, but they can be used from infancy until your child no longer needs a car seat.
Travel systems: Car seats that are part of a travel system fit in a stroller as well as to a base that's kept in the car. They're great for young children because you don't have to take your child out of the car seat when you want to use the stroller. However, the strollers with these systems tend to be heavy and bulky.
Harness adjustability: Graco has some impressive harness-adjustability features. However, they vary by model. With some, the headrest and shoulder straps can be adjusted together without rethreading the harness. With others, the straps can be tightened or loosened by pulling a single strap with one hand. And, of course, some have both.
Integrated belt lock-off: An integrated belt lock-off secures the car seat when using the vehicle's seat belt rather than the LATCH system. If you'll be moving the car seat to multiple vehicles, this can be a handy feature.
Cup holders: While cup holders aren't a necessity, they're great for when your child is old enough to tote along toys, snacks, and drinks.
Extend-to-fit: The extend-to-fit feature has an extension piece that adds as much as five extra inches, so your baby can comfortably stay in the safer rear-facing position for a longer time.
Recline indicator: Car seats have to be installed at the correct angle. Recline indicators may include a graphic on the side of the car seat or a level that indicates when the seat is at the correct angle.
Graco car seat prices
Backless boosters open the price range at about $25, while travel systems are at the top at $450. Infant car seats make up the lower end of the middle price range, coming in between $75 and $200, while convertible seats make up the upper end of the middle price range at $100 to $400.
Q. Are Graco car seat covers machine-washable?
A. The majority of Graco's car seat covers are machine-washable. Extra car seat covers can be purchased separately, and it's always a good idea to have at least one extra on hand.
Q. Where's the safest place in my car to install a car seat?
The safest position is always the center back seat. However, not all cars have LATCH anchors for this position. In that case, you can either use a seatbelt, or move the car seat to one of the side seats.
Graco car seats we recommend
Best of the best: Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
Our take: It's an investment, but one that will last your child until she no longer needs a car seat. Plus, it has some comfort and convenience features both you and your child will love.
What we like: The six recline positions offer more safety and increase comfort for your child. For parents, we like the "simply safe adjust" headrest and harness that allow you to move both without rethreading.
What we dislike: It's pricey.
Best bang for your buck: Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Car Seat
Our take: It may not have the bells and whistles, but it's safe and stays with your child from the time she's 22 pounds up to when she's 100 pounds.
What we like: We like the adjustable headrest and two seating positions. It transitions from a forward-facing car seat to a high back booster.
What we dislike: It can't rear-face, so it's not safe for infants.
Choice 3: Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat
Our take: This is a great choice if you're planning on purchasing a separate booster seat later on. It offers extended time in the rear-facing position.
What we like: The foot extension allows your baby to stay in the rear-facing position for longer. The harness and headrest adjust together without any rethreading.
What we dislike: It can only be used until your child reaches 65 pounds.
Stacey L. Nash is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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