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If you use this seat from birth, there is a chance that it will expire before your child fits into the adult seat belt without a booster since it only lasts 10 years. Most of the time, the seat is a few months old already when you buy it. Kids need a booster until 10-12, depending on when they pass the 5-Step Test. This means that if you use it from birth and your child does not fit properly in the seat belt when it expires, you will need to buy a backless booster. Follow these steps to help you through the process of finding the right car seat, installing it correctly, and keeping your child safe. About Graco Graco is one of the most recognized children’s products brands that provides innovative and reliable solutions to help parents make smart choices while taking care of their little ones.

And we can see how an all-in-one seat might also make a lot of sense if you’re in the market for an ancillary car seat—say, to keep at a grandparent’s house or as a spare for the babysitter. With our younger son, we started using the Graco when he was around 1 year old and still use it in the rear-facing position. We found that, even in this position, there is plenty of room for his legs. We have not used the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 as a booster seat but are confident that the familiarity of the seat and ease of use will make it the best choice for our family. If you’re looking for one car seat that will last through all your child’s ages and stages, the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is prepped to grow with them for ten years. In addition to continuing to use a harness to its capacity, CSFTL recommends backless boosters for older children who have outgrown their high backs, and do not need the support of a back to remind them to sit correctly, even when sleeping.

graco car seat

This is the required recline position for forward facing passengers who weigh less than 40 pounds in the United States (the Canadian version does not have this requirement). Recline position 4 MUST be used for a forward facing child who weighs between 20 and 40 pounds in the United States. With the very firm, not plush infant insert in use, the bottom harness height is about 6 inches and the crotch buckle is 4 inches from the back of the seat pan. These adjustments should combine to make the 4Ever fit most newborns reasonably well. However, there has been a push to create side-impact tests for car seats. Many car seat manufacturers voluntarily conduct their own side-impact testing, and a standard is already in place in Europe.

With many car seats, getting a tight install relies on human force or skill. Not so with the Boulevard, since the ClickTight system is doing all the hard work—which makes this seat an especially good choice for anyone struggling with strength or dexterity issues. That said, for the uninitiated, the ClickTight system may take a few minutes to understand, since the key and seat belt lock-off could be counterintuitive for parents familiar with a LATCH system. For first-timers, we think a video demonstration may offer a clearer overview than the diagrams in the seat’s manual.

The SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX is attractive, and it comes in several appealing color combinations. The seat cover is made of a polyester fabric; to the touch, it feels slightly coarse, a little like a wet suit. You can spot-clean it or take it off and machine-wash it on the gentle cycle and air-dry it. The SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX also features what Graco calls a “rapid remove” seat pad, which means you don’t have to take apart and unthread the harness in order to remove the cover for washing.

So the most effective strategy for keeping your kids safe on the road is to choose a car seat that works well for your family—and to use it correctly. For the first version of this guide, published in 2018, we elected to perform independent crash testing on the convertible car seats we considered to be our top contenders. We commissioned Calspan, an independent lab in Buffalo, New York, to conduct the tests. But for the purposes of this guide, we didn’t intentionally seek out lightweight seats.

The NHTSA requires that all car seats be subjected to a set of regulated crash-testing protocols to confirm that they meet or exceed established benchmarks. Many of the things we consider to be flaws of the KeyFit 30, including its American belt path and barebones features, are resolved in the KeyFit 35; the seat even looks a little more stylish. It does weigh half a pound more than the KeyFit 30—10 pounds instead of 9½—but that’s graco turbobooster still less than our 10½-pound top pick from Graco. It costs more than the KeyFit 30, but we’ve concluded that what it delivers—in particular, an anti-rebound base and a European belt path—justifies the price. Also, if you’d like to reuse your seat, note that the KeyFit 35, like the KeyFit 30, expires after six years, so it has a shorter lifespan than our top pick from Graco (seven years) or our upgrade pick from Clek (nine years).

Installing the Foonf in the forward-facing position is substantially easier. In fact, of all the seats we tested, the Foonf was our favorite to install forward-facing. When we graco convertible car seat had visitors and I suddenly needed to put a car seat in the third row of our minivan, I opted for the Foonf out of about eight models in our garage at the time to choose from.