Before choosing an infant car seat, there are several factors to consider. One of the factors that top the list of things to consider before buying an infant car seat is the safety of the seat.
No parent would want to put the life of his/her little one at risk, hence, the need to be double sure about the safety of a car seat.
Graco is one of the numerous car seat brands in the marketplace, and the company has been in the industry for over 8 decades now. Nonetheless, are Graco car seats safe for babies?
In this short write-up, we will go through Graco car seats to determine whether they are worth buying or not. In the end, we will list the three safest Graco car seats you should consider buying if you are interested in the brand.
Related: Differences between Graco car seats (complete guide)
Table of Contents
Can You Trust Graco Car Seat In Terms Of Safety?
For a car seat to be considered safe in the US, it needs to meet the US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. Graco has various types of car seats and all Graco car seats meet or exceed all the safety requirements set out by the relevant authorities.
In addition to meeting the US safety standards, Graco has a crash test facility in Atlanta Georgia for testing products. With a team of experts, all Graco car seats are tested in this facility to be double sure that it meets or exceed any safety rules.
Graco’s safety standard is powered by ProtectPlus, a series of rigorous crash tests that safeguard your child in case of frontal, rear, side, and rollover crashes.
The anti-rebound bar is another amazing safety feature on Graco car seats. This bar provides an extra layer of rear-facing safety, limiting rotation of the car seat and your little one in case of any impact.
Therefore, judging by what Graco has invested in their car seats, one can say that Graco car seats are one of the safest car seats in the marketplace.
Of course, you should expect that a baby product brand with over 80 years of operation should understand the implication of making unsafe baby products.
Here’s an article that talks about the toxicity of Graco car seats.
What Are The Features That Make A Car Seat Safe?
Whether you are buying a Graco car seat or other brands of car seats, there are certain features to look out for. These features will determine how safe the seat is for your little one.
Below are the safety factors to consider when choosing a car seat.
Rear-Facing Tethers And Anti-Rebound Bar
These are some nice features that improve crash performance and reduce the rebound of the rear-facing seat. They also help to make installation more stable and snug.
5-Point Safety Harness
A 5-point safety harness system has five attachment points, which have the primary aim of restraining your little one at the shoulder and hip level.
In case of any impact, these harness points absorb the forces of the crash and reduce the impact of the crash on the shoulder and hip of your child.
Two-Piece Chest Clips
In addition to being a pre-crash tensioner, the chest clips help to reduce strap twisting, allowing the harness to lie properly on the shoulder.
Car Seat Head & Body Support
The head and body support in a car seat is to provide extra padding to ensure comfort. When traveling with your child, you want to make he/she is comfortable. That’s what the head and body support provides.
Built-In Locking Clips
The essence of this feature is to ensure that the seatbelt holds the car seat firmly for a long time. This is only needed if the car seat doesn’t have the LATCH system or you prefer to use the seatbelt.
The LATCH system is a new technology that allows car seats to be installed without the need for seatbelts. Most recent car seats have LATCH, and vehicles produced in the early 2000s to date have LATCH sockets for easy connection.
Recommended: Are Graco car seat covers machine washable? (Read this first!)
Is It Safe To Use Graco Car Seat In An Airplane?
Most Graco car seats are FAA-approved, but not all. There is always an indicator that tells you whether a car seat is airline-approved or not. You should check the back, bottom, or side of the seat to find the sticker.
You may also want to contact the airline you wish to use to learn more about their car seat policies. Having a car seat that is FAA-approved is just one step, following the airline’s policies is another thing.
You can read this article here for more details on Graco car seats and their airline status. You will also see a list of Graco car seats that are FAA-approved.
Which Graco Car Seats Are The Safest And Best To Buy?
While all Graco car seats pass through the same testing program to confirm their safety, some tend to be performing better than others in the marketplace.
Our judgment is based on the reviews of other customers and the features of these seats. Below are the 3 safest and best Graco car seats to buy.
Graco 4Ever DLX 4-In-1 Convertible Car Seat
The 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 convertible car seat is unarguably the best Graco car seat. With over 27,000 reviews and a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon, you can rest assured of buying the best car seat there is.
This Graco car seat converts from a rear-facing to a front-facing car seat, to a high back belt-positioning booster, to a backless belt-positioning booster, saving you the stress of needing to buy several car seats as your child grows.
The rear-facing seat can hold babies from 4 to 40 lbs, the front-facing seat can hold a child from 22 to 65 lbs, the high back belt-positioning booster is from 40 to 100 lbs, and the backless belt-positioning booster is from 40 and 120 lbs.
Other features of the 4Ever DLX car seat include 6 position recline, InRight LATCH attachment for easy and secure installation, machine washable, belt lock-off for easy seat belt installation, a harness system, etc.
You can view the Graco 4Ever DLX Convertible car seat on Amazon (it costs $329.97)
Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat
The Graco Extend2Fit is one of the best-selling car seats on Amazon with about 66,000 customer reviews and an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
However, unlike the 4Ever DLX which is a 4-in-1 car seat, the Extend2Fit is a 2-in-1 car seat. The Extend2Fit car seat can convert from a rear-facing into a front-facing car seat.
The rear-facing seat can hold a weight of between 2 and 50 lbs, while the forward-facing seat can hold between 22 and 65 lbs.
The features of the Extend2Fit include plush head and body inserts that keep your child comfortable, and an InRight LATCH system for one-second attachment.
The car seat also features the No-Rethread Simply Safe Adjust Harness System that allows easy adjustment of the height of the headrest and harness in one motion.
Here’s a link to Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat on Amazon (it costs $234.98).
Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car Seat
If you are interested in getting just a rear-facing infant car seat, then your option should be the SnugRide 35 Lite LX. You can use this infant car seat for babies weighing between 4 and 35 lbs.
The lightweight of this car seat coupled with the handlebar makes it super easy for parents to carry their babies out of the car. The car seat comes with an easy-to-read level indicator for accurate installation.
SnugRide 35 Lite LX uses the LATCH and Click Connect system, and the 4-position adjustable base makes installation as accurate as possible. You can easily connect the SnugRide 35 Lite LX to a Graco Click Connect stroller to have a travel system.
You can view this $120 car seat on Amazon.
Click Connect Vs. Classic Connect: Which Is Better And Safer?
Both the Graco Click Connect and Classic Connect are good and safe. The Classic Connect used to be an older model of Graco car seats, while the Click Connect is used by the recent set of Graco infant car seats.
Therefore, whether you have a Click Connect or Classic Connect car seat, they are both safe as long as you connect them to the car seat base or stroller properly.
Note: You can Only connect a Click Connect car seat to a Click Connect base or stroller. Likewise, a Classic Connect car seat should only be connected to a Classic Connect base or stroller.
Find out if Graco infant car seats are compatible with Evenflo strollers, Britax strollers, Baby Trend strollers, or UPPAbaby strollers.
Is It Safe To Use An Expired Car Seat?
It is not safe to use an expired car seat because it poses a risk to the life of your little one. An expired car seat means it no longer meets the standard safety requirements or its technology is outdated.
Typically, most car seats, including Graco, expire between 6 and 10 years after the production date. All Graco car seats are marked with Date of Manufacture (DOM). Simply go through your manual to find the expiration date.
How Safe Is It To Buy A Used Car Seat?
If you can, try as much as possible to avoid buying used car seats. While it could be tempting to buy a used car seat for the cheaper, make sure you know the history of the seat to save your child from potential risk.
If you have more than one child with close age differences, there is nothing bad in using the same car seat for the younger ones. However, in all that you do, make sure you stop using the seat when it is due (expiration date).