Graco has long been known as one of the premier suppliers of high-quality strollers, playards, chairs and more, all targeted primarily towards parents of toddler-age children. They also happen to manufacture special child-sized car seats, and like the rest of their lineup, these are all made to a very high standard of quality that suits Graco’s reputation.
However, due to the large amount of products, all of which look largely the same—they are seats, after all—it can be a little difficult for the average buyer to choose the one that’s truly best for them and their child. This is why, in the following, we’ve assembled a compact, easy-to-read list of the very best children’s seats that Graco has to offer.
|Name||Type||Weight limit||Parent Ratings||Price|
|Graco Nautilus 65||Booster Seat||22-100 lb||4.5||View Price|
|Graco Nautilus 65 LX||Booster Seat||22-120 lb||4.3||View Price|
|Graco 4Ever||Convertible Seat||4-120 pound||4.6||View Price|
Best Graco Car Seats Compared
Here are some best options from Graco convertible car seat.
This nice little contraption safely occupying the mid-end of the child seat market is branded as a 3-in-1 seat, meaning it can adjust for three different ranges of body size depending on the child’s age.
In its minimal, barebones setup, it’s a ‘Group 3’ by law—it repositions your child on the seat so that the adult-sized seatbelt reaches properly and holds them tight, nothing more.
However, by adding one or more of the modular parts, you can easily transform it into a ‘Group 2’ or ‘Group 1’-type seat for younger occupants. For that, the Nautilus packs its own, toddler-friendly five-point seatbelts.
Thanks to high-grade materials and the modular, three-piece design, cleaning becomes as easy as possible, and there are hardly any spots that are truly tough to reach.
- Great construction quality for the price
- Optimum in safety
- 3-in-1 Versatility
- Nice reclining function
- Difficult to assemble
- Straps may not be tight enough by default
The LX model is something else entirely: Though based off of the standard Nautilus, it incorporates some ‘Not for everyone’ features that didn’t make their way into the original, and are now offered side by side with it for those who require them.
Does the new system fare better? Yes, if marginally; you’re unlikely to notice the difference if you’ve already used a regular Nautilus for some time. However, and much more importantly, the LX now includes a much easier, built-in mechanism for tightening (or loosening) the straps, so the out-of-the-box feel becomes much less important.
Just have your child sit in it for a few minutes, adjust to the perfect tension, and you’re done! Besides this change, the LX is almost identical to the Nautilus 65, with the exception of some different stitching, optional color combinations, a slightly larger weight tolerance and further minor details.
Despite these changes, the price of the LX is barely $20 higher than the regular model, making it a perfect deal, too.
- Only $20 over the original despite upgrades all around
- New straps and latches a definite improvement
- Increased weight tolerance a minor plus, too
- Mostly identical to the Nautilus 65; still contains (nearly) all of its flaws
- Why pay $20 more when you can get (nearly) the same product for less?
In conclusion, if the standard Nautilus has been bothering you with some of its minor imperfections, or if you’re so put off by them that you can’t even consider buying one, then perhaps the LX variant is worth a look or two.
Still, it remains a Nautilus, and we do hope Graco does, at some point in the future, come up with a true successor that will leave this design in the dust with its innovation instead of trying to improve marginally on old ideas.
3. Graco 4Ever
This is the next step up in Graco’s model lineup after the Nautilus and its variants. It’s as deluxe of a child car seat as you can get, which is obvious just from the looks alone, but if those didn’t communicate the 4Ever’s luxuriousness to you just enough, here are some numbers: $299. Ouch.
However, unlike those more pedestrian seats costing half, or even a quarter as much—pun intended— the 4Ever was precisely designed to be something that could blow all of them out of the water: A truly universal child seat, fit for any age.
Its weight tolerance for elder occupants has also been generally extended to a maximum of 120 pounds. All in all, Graco says this makes it fit for up to a full decade of use! While the two cupholders make its silhouette more symmetrical than the Nautilus’, you will also happily find that Graco used the 65 LX’s seat belt assembly and latch system on the 4Ever, meaning it’s much easier to assemble and tighten than it might look.
To top it all off, there’s a brand-new, 6-position reclining system, even more versatile than the one used on lesser models.
Still, don’t underestimate the 4Ever’s bulk, weight or complexity, especially when all four parts are put together. It’s a big contraption alright, and definitely not meant to be disassembled that often. The insanely high price will also put off some, if not most of the 4Ever’s potential demographic.
- Amazing versatility unmatched by any other child seat
- As many adjustment and customization options as you could want
- Truly ‘rows with the child’—usable for up to ten years
- Sturdy, well-built and safe like nothing else
- Very expensive
- Bulky and hard to(dis)assemble
We hope this little overview and review made the big picture of child seats and their many details, technicalities and legal quibbles a little clearer and more accessible. Now, we hope, you won’t have to end up scratching your head when shopping for this much of an essential piece of safety equipment for your child. And with that, we wish you good luck in finding one that suits your little one just perfectly!