Graco® Launches Its Most Innovative Car Seat Yet the New 4Ever® DLX Grad 5-in-1 Car Seat

Christina has three children, ages 4, 6, and 9; she can frequently be found ferrying them to soccer practice and play dates in her Honda Odyssey minivan. If your family is larger, you may wonder how multiple 4Ever 4-in-1 car seats will fit into your vehicle. We drive a mid-size SUV and are able to fit two Graco seats and an infant car seat across the back row without any issues. Sometimes, depending on who’s in the car, we leave space in the middle of our backseat for toys, books, and the occasional adult passenger.

graco car seat

Clek sells an Infant-Thingy insert for the Foonf that lets the seat carry babies as small as 5 pounds in rear-facing mode only; we recommend using a dedicated infant car seat for newborns. The Foonf’s minimum weight for a forward-facing child is 22 pounds, but experts recommend keeping your child rear-facing for far longer. In rear facing mode, the harness should be positioned at or below the shoulders. Adjusting the harness itself to at or just below the shoulders is what the instruction manual dictates – so ensure the harness is positioned correctly even if the headrest appears “high”. The crotch buckle should be in the position nearest to but not under the child. Either crotch buckle position may be used for either rear facing or forward facing installations.

It has more wiggle in the final installation test than seats with a lock-off, but it passed. At 24 pounds, it is not the lightest option available if you want a seat that has a seat belt lock-off, but it would work for international travel. For help with all things airplane travel and car seats, check out our Wheels Up Course and private Facebook group. A car seat must be locked in place for safe installation, and outside of the US and Canada, vehicle seatbelts typically don’t have the same locking mechanism as US and Canadian vehicles do.

The Boulevard can be used in the rear-facing position for kids up to 40 pounds (the size of a typical 4-year-old, and an average rear-facing weight limit for a convertible car seat). But we think it could be difficult, in practice, to actually keep a kid rear-facing in the Boulevard for that long. Unlike with our other convertible picks, with the Boulevard the design of the seat itself doesn’t really accommodate larger kids in the rear-facing position. Our top pick, the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible, has a pull-out extension panel to create extra legroom.

Many cities have designated times or events open to the public that include free car seat inspections. Move the crotch buckle to the outermost position and tuck it into the storage area. Then, lift the entire back off the bottom, harness and all, and move the red tabs back to their original position. Finally, replace the seat pad and secure the two remaining elastic loops onto the tabs at the back of the base.

The leg panel has multiple settings and can give up to 5″ of extra leg room for a rear-facing child. This is optional and does not have to be used if you have a smaller vehicle or very tall passengers. So, parents of little littles, unless you plan to rear-face your child until they reach 40+ pounds (which may be when they are 5, 6 or even 7) then this is not the best seat for you. You’ll run into the weird recline rule which could make the seat awkward at best, and impossible to install safely at worst.

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 first version of this seat debuted in 2006, and Chicco (pronounced “KEY-co”) has made very few changes to the core design since then; this is a model that caregivers and friends recommend and pass along to each other. The KeyFit 30 was previously our top pick in this guide, and Wirecutter staffers who’ve now used the seat for many years, over multiple babies, continue to vouch for its quality. In the past, we have made it known that the 4Ever graco convertible car seat seats are not SITS favorites due to the bulky backless booster mode. But now, with their 4Ever DLX Grad, Graco has added a 5th mode, with a seat belt trainer that’s very similar to the Graco Right Guide. This version also features SnugLock, which makes the installation in the rear and forward-facing harness modes very simple. Every car seat needs to be installed using either the lower anchors or a seat belt to secure it in place, never both.

It’s one of the simplest infant car seats to install when you’re using the base, whether you install it with a seat belt or the LATCH method. This stylish seat has some bells and whistles usually reserved for pricier models, such as a removable seat pad for quicker cleanup, harness straps that you don’t have to undo and rethread to graco turbobooster adjust, and one-handed handle adjustment. This seat also has the added safety feature of an anti-rebound base (a metal bar built into the base of the seat), which can help limit the amount the seat rotates (or rebounds) after the initial impact of a crash. At 10½ pounds, the SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX is the heaviest of our picks.

So you have to manually tighten the seat belt and engage its locking feature (video) by pulling the seat belt all the way out and and then slowly letting the slack back in, while holding tension on the seat belt. (Because it can be tricky to get the seat belt tight and locked, we prefer the LATCH install method for this seat.) When you’re done, the Extend2Fit Convertible shouldn’t move back and forth more than one inch, if you grab it at the belt path and wiggle it. In terms of overall size, convertible car seats tend to be some of the largest car seats on the market as they must be versatile enough to convert from rear- to front-facing and beyond. The Graco is 21.5 inches wide (with the cup holders being the widest part), 20 inches deep, and 24 inches high.