Graco car seat review

Graco car seat review DEFAULT

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

When it comes to convertible car seats, you want something that&#;s going to last and grow with your kid through all the car seat stages. The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat delivers: it&#;s suitable for kids from four to pounds, has a year expiration date, and in our lab and parent testing, we found it to be a quality seat with lots of plush padding—so your little one will be comfy wherever the day takes you.

Like all the car seats we tested, the Graco 4Ever has been crash tested by the manufacturer and approved for use in Canada by Transport Canada and Health Canada. Given the rigorous testing that car seats go through to get approved, we focused our assessment on the car seat&#;s quality of materials, the seat&#;s comfort, the ease of installation and use, and the value for the cost.


There are pluses and minuses to both UAS and seat belt installation, and deciding which one works for you can take a bit of installation trial and error. Car seat and vehicle compatibility can be an issue, but what works for your day-to-day routine is also a factor—especially if you need to move car seats from one vehicle to another fairly regularly.

Installing a car seat is no walk in the park, but a good user manual can make all the difference, whether you&#;re a first-time installer or practically a pro. Colour-coded sections in the Graco 4Ever&#;s manual correspond to labelling on the car seat, so it&#;s very obvious what goes where when installing this car seat. (We also appreciate that there’s a small slot underneath the seat to store the manual so it&#;s  always handy.) Elastic fasteners on the car seat cover made it a little finicky to remove in order to thread the UAS strap through the appropriate path, but that&#;s a pretty minor issue.

This car seat has three recline positions for rear-facing, but they&#;re intended to help get the seat level, not provide older babies or toddlers with a more upright position, a feature some other seats offer. (Note: You cannot use a tightly rolled towel or pool noodle to help level this car seat. The seat base should sit as flat as possible against your vehicle&#;s seat.) In our tests, we found that getting the seat level in the rear-facing reclined positions is quite easy thanks to the bubble level-indicator on the side of the seat—no guesswork required—and our parent testers agreed that this made installation easier. In terms of adjusting the recline position, we found using two hands offers more control as you secure it in the appropriate position. There are also three recline positions for forward-facing, and while you don&#;t have to worry about levelling, they might impact how flush the car seat is to the vehicle seat and seat back—important in getting a secure install.

Attaching the UAS connectors to your vehicle&#;s lower anchors is easy: you just push the connectors against the anchors and you&#;ll hear a click that indicates you&#;ve securely connected them. (Uninstalling was a bit more difficult because you have to press in on the red release button while pulling away from the anchors. They release doesn&#;t stay open once the button is pressed, like it does with some car seats.

The toughest part of the UAS installation is tightening the UAS belt (no surprise there). In our lab installations, getting the seat secure—so that it couldn&#;t be moved more than an inch in any direction when tugged at the belt path—required a lot of muscle in the rear- and forward-facing positions. That being said, our parent testers who installed the car seat with the UAS said the install was &#;somewhat easy,&#; so the level of difficulty may very well depend on your vehicle—or how you define easy, for that matter.

One thing we came to appreciate in our testing was good storage for the UAS connectors when they&#;re not being used. Located at the front under the seat, the connectors are attached to their own hooks for clean storage.

All the diagrams on the side of the seat make it easy to know how and when to adjust it as the baby grows.” —Sabrina, mom of two


Overall, we found the seat belt installation of the Graco 4Ever a little easier than the UAS installation because it required a bit less upper body strength to properly secure the seat. As with the UAS installation, the belt path for seat belt installation is colour-coded to match the manual, so it&#;s easy to find the seat belt path. Seat belts in newer vehicles have a locking mechanism, which holds the car seat securely in place. (If you have an older vehicle without locking belts, you&#;ll need a locking clip to install this car seat with the seat belt.) To engage the locking mechanism, you&#;ll need to slowly pull the seat belt all the way out and then let it retract; you&#;ll hear the locking mechanism clicking as the belt retracts. It can be a bit tricky to ensure that the belt doesn&#;t twist as you&#;re letting it retract and lock, but this is crucial for keeping your child safe and secure (twists add stress to a belt and it may not be as strong as a flat-lying belt if you&#;re in a crash).

The most difficult part of the install is tightening the seat belt to get the car seat well secured. During our lab testing, we found that tightening the seat belt in the rear-facing position was a two-person job: one to apply pressure to the seat and another to tighten the belt. Getting the seat secured in the forward-facing position is less challenging and can be done by one person because you can apply pressure by placing a knee (just one) in the car seat while you tighten the seat belt. 

Take a look at your vehicle&#;s manual before you buy a car seat. Some manufacturers have dos and don&#;ts for car seat installs that conflict with the installation instructions for some seats. The seat you&#;re eyeing could even be completely incompatible with your vehicle—and you don&#;t want to find that out after you&#;ve made a pricey non-refundable purchase.


When you&#;re installing the seat in the forward-facing position, you have to attach the tether strap to the tether anchor to stabilize the seat. The tether anchor is typically found on the back of the seat, on the floor behind the seat or on the shelf behind the rear seat in a sedan, but be sure to consult your vehicle&#;s manual to locate the correct anchor in your vehicle. We found it easy to attach, tighten and detach the Graco 4Ever&#;s tether strap, and our parent testers generally agreed.


One of the features we really like in the Graco 4Ever is its adjustable headrest that expands the seat from a compact 24 inches tall to 34 inches. The shorter starting height means it&#;s less likely you&#;ll have to move the front vehicle seats forward a lot to accommodate this car seat when you&#;re installing it at the infant recline angle. And the adjustability means you&#;ll still have a nice tall seat back for the high-back booster mode.

While the adjustable height is a space-saver, the Graco 4Ever&#;s inch width is on the bulky side. You&#;d only be able to fit two of these car seats in a lot of vehicles (unless yours has a third row), and, depending on the contour of the vehicle seats, you may only be able to get one seat in the centre of the vehicle in some compact cars. Whether this is an issue or not will really depend on the size of your family and your vehicle.

Weighing 23 pounds, the Graco 4Ever is going to be fairly manageable for most people to lift into a vehicle. While it isn&#;t a car seat you&#;d want to move from one car to another on the regular, it&#;s pretty doable every now and then (say, when the kids are staying at Grandma&#;s).


Both our editors and testers found it straightforward and easy to fasten and unfasten the Graco 4Ever’s five-point harness. Unbuckling the chest clip does take a little hand strength, but that&#;s a good thing if you have a little escape artist. The harness lever, located just below the seat cushion, also makes it easy to adjust the harness length for a secure fit—just lift the lever and pull on the straps to loosen or pull the strap under the lever to tighten.

The height of the harness straps is also crucial. In rear-facing, the harness should always be at or just below your child&#;s shoulders (never above), while in forward-facing, they should always be at or just about your kid&#;s shoulders (never below). The Graco 4Ever&#;s harness can be adjusted without rethreading the harness straps, which is a huge time and sanity saver. The harness and headrest adjust as one with a simple lever on top of the seat. Once your kid is big enough for the booster, your child will be secured with the vehicle&#;s seat belt. The five-point harness neatly tucks away in a storage compartment in the backrest, behind the back cushion.

I love the adjustable headrest—the 10 positions make it easy to get the right harness fit.” —Christine, mom of three


The Graco 4Ever has a steel-reinforced frame and energy-absorbing padding to protect your child in a crash. Plus, this car seat&#;s infant insert has a lot of plush padding to provide support and prevent your infant&#;s head from falling forward when they doze off. And once your little one outgrows the insert, it&#;s a snap to remove it. The car seat&#;s soft and squishy padding also makes for a comfy ride, and the breathable seat cover—which our parent testers really liked—will help keep your kiddo from getting really sweaty.

It&#;s a given that your kid is going to spill something, have a diaper leak (or a post-potty training accident) or get sick in their car seat, so a machine washable car seat cover that&#;s easy to remove is a big plus. With a few pulls and some unsnapping, the Graco 4Ever&#;s headrest pad (though not the foam padding) and seat pad can be quickly removed and thrown into the wash. Like most car seat covers, these pads have to drip dry. (Tip: Make a mental note of where each piece belongs. In our testing, we found it a bit tricky to remember the placement of all the little snaps and hooks.) If you need to clean the harness or UAS strap, you have to surface-wash it with a mild soap and a damp cloth—submerging it in water can weaken the strap. Similarly, for spot-cleaning, Graco recommends using mild soap and water.


A comfy kid is a happy one, and the Graco 4Ever’s plush padding and adjustable headrest make for a cozy seat. The infant headrest and body support is loaded with extra padding to cradle your baby&#;s wee body. As your baby grows into a toddler and preschooler, they might like to have a drink handy when you&#;re on the go, and the Graco 4Ever comes with two cupholders—one each for the left and right sides of the seat. They&#;re super easy to install, and you can add one or both, depending on your kid&#;s needs.


The majority of our parent testers gave the Graco 4Ever a very good rating for ease of use and good to very good ratings for quality and value—all above average. The majority said this car seat was better than other car seats they&#;ve used, and all would recommend it to other parents or parents-to-be. With its user-friendly colour-coded manual, plush padding, breathable fabric and adjustability that will allow you to use this car seat for a long time, the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat has a lot to offer. It&#;s no wonder our parent testers unanimously felt this car seat should receive the Today&#;s Parent Approved seal—and we agree.

It&#;s important to try before you buy. As we found in our testing, there are all sorts of incompatibility issues between vehicles and car seats. The belt path could be too low, the tether might hang loose or a car seat&#;s height might interfere with the vehicle&#;s front seats. Or it just might be challenging for you to lift your kid into and out of a particular seat. Ask retailers if you can try installing the floor model in your vehicle to see if it&#;s a good fit. And when you&#;re buying a new vehicle, be sure to take your car seat to see if it&#;ll work—or be prepared to shell out for a new car seat if you love the car.

Tech Specs

  • Width: inches
  • Height: 24 inches, extends to 34 inches
  • Rear-facing: lbs., inches
  • Forward-facing: lbs., inches
  • High-back booster: lbs., inches
  • Backless booster: lbs., inches
  • 5-point harness
  • position harness height and headrest adjustment—no rethreading required
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • EPS, energy-absorbing foam
  • Side-impact tested



Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat Review

We purchased the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.

Welcoming a new baby to the family is a fun and exciting time. It can also be very expensive as you add up the price of all the necessary gear. Given this, it makes sense that items that can grow with your child are invaluable to new parents. One such item is the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, which is immensely popular for keeping children safe and comfortable. To see if the car seat lived up to its excellent reviews, we took it home and had our two young sons, ages 1 and 3, use it. Afterward, we evaluated its various features, from its design and durability to its overall value. Read on for our insights.

The 9 Best Convertible Car Seats of

Installation and Setup Process: Easy and safe

Most vehicles and car seats are equipped to use the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system for installation, in which the seat attaches to the steel frame of your vehicle via under-seat anchors that are designed specifically for this purpose. The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 uses its own InRight LATCH system, meaning that the tethers from the car seat need only to be pushed down on the corresponding steel anchors—so thankfully, there was no need to try and manipulate hooks with our fingers. When the hooks engage, there’s an audible click. This signal that the seat was secure gave us instant peace of mind. And when we needed to remove the car seat for cleaning, disconnecting it was just as simple—all we had to do was push down on the red button and pull out the LATCH tethers. 

When installing a car seat, you also have to consider its angle. The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 offers six recline positions, which can keep your child comfortable as they get taller. Fortunately, each side of the seat has a level indicator that shows is it’s in a safe position, whether it’s front- or rear-facing. The height of its position headrest is also easy to adjust; we could do it with just one hand.

An important thing to note is that the LATCH system setup can differ from vehicle to vehicle, so you should check your car’s manual to see exactly where you can find the anchors.

Also, if you’re unsure about any aspect of your car seat installation, you can check with your local police or fire departments to get a professional to inspect your installation. Many cities have designated times or events open to the public that include free car seat inspections.

Age Range: Birth through age 10

The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 is one of the most popular car seats on the market because it has such a long life. This car seat has four positions: rear-facing, front-facing with harness, highback booster, and backless booster. While car seat use is based on weight as well as age, the company advertises that this one car seat can take a child from 4 pounds (using the infant insert in a rear-facing position) through the toddler and preschool years, and all the way to a booster seat for a pound child. (Rear-facing is recommended, and often required by state law, for children younger than two years old or who are 40 pounds or less and shorter than 37 inches.) The expiration date of the car seat—an important thing to know especially if you’re using a hand-me-down seat—is ten years from the manufacturing date. 

Many parents prefer an infant-only rear-facing car seat for the first few months of their child’s life. An infant car seat can be taken out of the car with the baby still in it, while a convertible car seat is designed to remain in the car. Having the option to keep a sleeping baby in the car seat and use it with a travel system stroller is worth the extra purchase for many families, but if you want to use a convertible car seat from the very first day you bring baby home from the hospital, the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 is a good option when used with the included infant insert. 

We’ve used the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 for a little more than two years with our oldest child. When he was ready to transition out of an infant car seat, we wanted something that would grow with him. We first used it when he was 12 months old in the rear-facing position with the five-point harness. When he was a little more than 2 years old, we moved it to the forward-facing position, still using the five-point harness. We like that he stayed in a familiar seat through that transition and that we didn’t have to keep buying new gear and equipment as he grew.

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.

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.

Design: Comfortable and practical

Our children spend a lot of time in the car, so a comfortable car seat is a must-have. The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1’s cushions are made with plush fabric that doesn’t scratch delicate skin. It also has a special harness system (no need for rethreading), plus six-position reclining and a position headrest. The harness is easy to use and makes us feel confident that our kids are safely buckled.

If you’ve ever taken a long trip with young children in the car, you know that having snacks and drinks helps keep them happy. The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 has two cup holders which we used for water bottles. A typical disposable water cup fits in them, as well as most sippy cups. While baby bottles also fit, infants using the car seat will most likely not be able to reach the cup holders themselves.

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 inches wide (with the cup holders being the widest part), 20 inches deep, and 24 inches high.

The height of its position headrest is also easy to adjust; we could do it with just one hand.

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. It isn’t exactly easy for adults to climb into the car around the installed car seats, but because it isn’t a daily occurrence for our family, it rarely presents a challenge.

Cleaning: As easy as can be

Overall, we find this car set easy to clean. For crumby messes, we use a handheld vacuum with a crevice tool; baby wipes work well for cleaning spills and debris that accumulates in the cup holders. 

When the seat itself needs more cleaning, we take it inside to remove the cushions and wipe down the plastic. We machine-wash the cushions (as instructed by Graco) using regular detergent and let them air-dry overnight. According to the company, the five-point harness and buckles can also be wiped down with mild soap and warm water. Occasionally, we use an old toothbrush to deep clean the buckles to make sure that they’re free of any sticky residue and able to function properly. All in all, the car seat takes no more than 15 minutes to deep clean. 

Graco also provides instructions for removing and reattaching all the pads, but we found that watching YouTube tutorials was the best way to learn. There are four main pads that come off the car seat, but some of the smaller tabs and elastic loops are tricky to reattach. The hardest part of the cleaning process (for us, anyway) was having to carry the bulky, pound car seat in and out of the car and house. 

Safety: Follow all guidelines

With any car seat, it’s important to follow the height and weight restrictions for that particular model. Because the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 can be used in so many different modes, parents may find themselves referring to the manual or Graco’s online resources as their child grows. The manual clearly outlines weight limits of the rear-facing position (40 pounds) and forward-facing harness position (65 pounds). As mentioned above, states may also have specific laws about car seat use. Graco recommends checking with the state you live in to make sure you’re following all regulations.

We love that the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat complies with all Federal Aviation Administration guidelines and can be used on an airplane in the rear or forward-facing positions with the five-point harness. The seat also has a convenient sticker outlining correct airplane use. 

We actually brought the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 on a flight, which prevented us from worrying about any damage it might incur as checked baggage. It fit easily into the airplane seat and our son, who was 2 years old at the time, enjoyed a flight strapped into his familiar spot.

Price: A worthwhile investment

The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 is not a cheap car seat; it retails for $, though you can often find it for less through online retailers like Amazon. For my family, the price is worth it as the car seat offers quality and longevity. If we bought a cheaper car seat, we’d likely be replacing it before our children were out of car seats or booster seats. We are confident that the quality of the pads, the actual structure of the car seat, and the four position options will allow us to use this car seat for years.

The harness is easy to use and makes us feel confident that our kids are safely buckled.

Competition: Good price for years of use

Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat:Those looking for a more basic convertible car seat should consider the Evenflo Tribute LX. We tested the car seat and found that despite its great price, it still offers comfort and all the required safety features. For around $60, parents can purchase this car seat for rear-facing or forward-facing use. It can be used for children up to 40 pounds and has multiple settings to adjust for height as they grow. It doesn’t have the LATCH system and uses the car’s seat belt for installation, but if you’re looking for a budget car seat for travel, the Evenflo Tribute LX has just what you need.

Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat Review

Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat:We also tested the Britax Marathon ClickTight, which is popular with parents looking for a high-quality car seat that’ll last for many years. This model is well-made and can accommodate children up to 65 pounds in the front-facing position. It promises easy installation and has seven recline positions for babies. At $, it’s one of the more expensive options out there but it has a lot of advanced safety features, which some parents may prefer. If you’re looking for a similarly priced seat that’s safe and can eventually be used as a booster, however, the Graco is the way to go.

Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat Review

Final Verdict

Yes, buy it.

We can confidently recommend the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat as a great buy. After all, we’ve bought and used two! It’s easy to clean and keeps your child safe through all the ages and stages until they’re out of a car seat for good.


  • Product Name 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
  • Product Brand Graco
  • MPN
  • Price $
  • Weight lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 20 x x 24 in.
  • Expiration Date 10 years from manufacturing date
  • Warranty 1 year for material and workmanship defects
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A Good Look At The Graco 4ever All-In-One Car Seat Lineup (Reviews)

As a parent, you know that Graco is a trustworthy and recognizable brand, typically designing products with safety in mind. But, is the Graco 4Ever line of car seats all that it’s touted to be?

Graco’s 4Ever, convertible, and all-in-one car seats feature a few models in the line-up, which we will review below. Graco wanted to bring a product to the market that would serve parents from the birth of their child through the child transitioning into riding in the car without a seat.

For some kids, this could be up to age ten. As your child goes from a rear-facing infant to a forward-facing toddler and onto an older child in a booster seat, each product in the line is meant to last from the beginning of needing a car seat until your child outgrows using a safety seat.

Car seats aren’t so expensive that they’re out of reach for most families, but they certainly cost enough to want to do your research before making the investment. Because each of these seats is from the same line, they’re going to be fairly similar, with few major differences and a few minor differences and upgrades in each.

Let’s check them out.

See Also: 

Graco 4Ever Car Seat Reviews

1. Graco 4Ever All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

Graco’s version of the all-in-one car seat features four-seat configurations, growing with your child from birth forward.

There is no additional legroom featured in this model. It features position headrest and the SimplySafe, easy-adjust harness.

They weren’t short with the extras on this seat as it comes with dual cupholders, reclines into six positions, uses machine washable fabric and harness storage. This seat also features Graco&#;s TrueShield Technology with advanced core and side protection.


  • Features four-seat configurations
  • Rear-facing configuration allows a child up to 40 pounds to remain rear facing
  • Forward-facing configuration allows a bigger/older toddler to face forward safely
  • High-back booster configuration allows your older toddler to remain safely buckled in the five-point harness
  • Backless-booster configuration allows a child who’s outgrown the harness but who don’t meet the standards for riding without a safety seat to sit safely, and comfortably in a booster.
  • Features Graco’s TrueShield Technology
  • Plenty of extras.

Parents and family members alike love this seat as it’s a “one and done” set up. The seat will be installed in your car and not removed unless moving to another vehicle or using in a new seat configuration.

As far as safety features and ease of use go, this product is top of the line. The only downside parents mention is not being able to use the seat as a carrier.

  • Only need one seat from birth
  • Easy to use, simple technology for restraining in vehicle
  • Dual cup holders and storage space in armrest
  • Not removable to use an infant carrier
  • Crash tested only with dual cupholders in place; it is not recommended to remove cupholders to gain more space

2. Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Convertible

Among the 4Ever family, the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible is the lowest model in line with just one significant difference from the 4Ever All-In-One Convertible seat. The Extend2Fit Convertible features only two seat configurations, the rear-facing, and forward-facing car seat.

The most significant selling point of this model is that it keeps your toddler rear-facing for a more extended period.


  • 5 inches of extra legroom space, keeping toddler rear-facing for longer
  • Forward-facing and rear-facing seat configurations
  • Features 10 position headrest and Simply-Safe easy adjust the harness
  • Dual cupholders, 6 reclining positions, and machine washable fabrics

For parents and caregivers that are highly interested in keeping their children in the rear-facing position for as long as possible, this is a great choice. This seat will grow with a child, for up to 10 years, the five-point harness includes SimplySafe easy adjust technology for ease of use.

  • Rapid Remove cover options
  • Platinum version features EZ Tight Latch
  • Safety Surround model featuring additional side impact protection
  • Keeps child rear-facing longer
  • 5 inches extra leg room
  • The platinum model can be pricey
  • All models in this line tend to take up more space, on the “bulky” side

3. Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-In-One

Combining the use from birth to growing out of safety seats with the extended use of rear-facing seat configuration, the Extend2Fit All-in-One is the best of both worlds when it comes to Graco’s 4Ever line.


  • All four-seat configurations, rear-facing, forward facing, high back booster, and backless booster
  • 5 inches of extra leg space to keep child rear-facing even longer
  • SimplySafe easy adjust harness and ten positions headrest
  • InRight latch featuring technology for the integrated vehicle belt locks
  • Dual cupholders, six position recline, harness storage, machine washable fabrics

Parents and caregivers love this car seat, stating ease of use, comfortable fit, and excellent color options.

Although the seat cannot be removed and reset like a traditional infant carrier would, if you’re comfortable getting your infant in and out instead of using a carrier, this is an excellent fit for you.

Gone are the days of buying multiple seats as your child grows, plus you can keep your toddler rear facing for much longer with the additional leg room.

  • All four-seat configurations + extended ability for rear-facing
  • Lasts from birth to outgrowing safety seats
  • Plenty of “Extra’s,” including, dual cup holders, machine washable fabrics, SimplySafe easy adjust harness
  • Can be quite large, bulky
  • Not recommended for use without cup holders, only crash tested for safety with cup holders in place


Depending on what your priorities are, each of these seats is safety tested, suitable for a broad age and height range of infants, toddlers, and older children, and they come with great “extras.” If you want a seat you don’t have to remove several times and replace; you can’t go wrong with any in this lineup.

We always vote for the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-In-One because you get both the ability to keep your child rear-facing for much longer and all four-seat configurations.

Other Car Seats:


When it's time to switch from a car seat to a harness booster, you cannot go wrong with the Graco Tranzitions.

This forward-facing booster car seat is light enough for families on the go, as well as for those who often embark on carpool adventures. The narrow, high-back design makes it a piece of cake to carry it from car to car.

Since it is recommended to keep children restrained in a belt-positioned booster or a harness one for as long as they do not reach 4 ft, 9 inches of height, this booster will serve the purpose for the transition period.

One of the most impressive features of the booster seat is the material. Other car seats and boosters are made out of EPS lining, but not this one. The blow-molded plastic works in your benefit actually, by reducing the weight and delivering a lightweight booster.

Since the belt path is relatively high, it may be trickier to install it in some vehicles. Unlike the push connectors, which are significantly more comfortable, this booster seat uses a hook system. This may present an issue in cars with deep-set anchors.

The installation issue is compensated with the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System, which is the constant praise in multiple Graco seats in this review. It offers easy harness adjustment along with eight different height positions, all with no rethreading the harness!

Sounds impressive coming from budget-friendly booster seats.


  • Affordable
  • Eight position headrest
  • Narrow and slim design

Review graco car seat

(Last Updated On: September 26, )
Graco 4ever 5 year old

Graco 4ever 5 year old

We first reviewed the Graco 4Ever multimode car seat when it was released.  Since then, the 4Ever has stood the test of time and remained a fan favorite with the CSFTL team.  So much so that our original 4Ever has spent time with a number of CSFTL families and become a bit worn over the years.  Our friends at Graco were kind enough to provide us with a new (much cleaner!) version of this seat for an updated review.

The 4Ever was the first car seat to function well in all 4 modes: rear facing, forward facing, high back booster, and backless booster.  A lot of the time, multimode car seats tend to fall short in at least one of the modes but the 4Ever was a game changer &#; it&#;s suitable for children ranging from a 4 pound rear facing newborn all the way up through an older child in backless booster mode.

CSFTL Quick Stats

  • Rear facing weight range: pounds
  • Rear facing height range, United States: Until the child&#;s head is 1 inch below the adjuster handle on the headrest when fully extended
  • Rear facing height range, Canada: until the child is 43 inches tall
  • Forward facing weight range: pounds (seats made before may have a lower minimum weight; always follow the manual that came with your seat).
  • Forward facing height range: less than 49 inches tall
  • High-back booster weight range, United States: pounds
  • High-back booster weight range, Canada: pounds
  • High-back booster height range, United States: inches tall
  • High-back booster height range, Canada: inches tall
  • Backless booster weight range: pounds
  • Backless booster height range: inches tall
  • Lowest harness position: 6 inches with infant insert
  • Highest harness position: 18 inches
  • Highest booster guide position: 19 inches
  • Expiration: 10 years
  • Lower anchor weight limit: 45 pounds (older models of this seat have a 42 pound lower anchor weight limit.  Please verify your seat&#;s limit in the manual before installing with this method.)


  • Premium push button lower anchor connectors
  • LATCH is permitted in high back booster mode
  • Harness stores on the seat in high back booster mode
  • No rethread harness
  • IIHS Best Bet in both high back and backless mode
  • Steel reinforced frame


  • Two crotch buckle slots: and inches from the back of the seat pan
  • Width at widest part of the shell: 19 inches
  • Width at the cupholders: 20 inches
  • Shell height: 28 inches
  • Seat pan: inches deep
  • Base width: 16 inches
  • Narrowest part of the seating area: 13 inches at the back of the base
  • Seat pan interior: 15 inches across, with 14 inches of interior hip room
  • Widest part of the seating area: 14 inches at the front of the base
  • Front to back space: ~28 inches (this is measured on a flat surface with the headrest on the lowest setting, this measurement will change as the child grows and the seat is installed more upright.  This measurement also varies when the seat is installed.)

First, Assembly

Graco 4Ever cupholders

Graco 4Ever cupholders

The 4Ever arrives mostly ready for a newborn to use. HOWEVER. The cupholders require assembly before the seat can be used. Directions for assembling the cupholders are in the manual &#; they slide into a channel and click into place.  Once assembled, the cupholders are required to remain attached to the seat.

Now, Some Features

Steel-Reinforced Frame

Graco 4Ever steel reinforced frame

Graco 4Ever steel reinforced frame

The 4Ever boasts a &#;steel-reinforced frame&#;.  While we have no idea if this means it&#;s actually safer, we do know the trend in child restraint manufacturing is toward energy flow management and not just retention in the car.

Smooth Harness Adjuster

Graco 4Ever harness rollers

Graco 4Ever harness rollers

The harness mechanism pulls quite smoothly and does not require significant strength to tighten.  The roller bar at the back of the seat helps achieve this smooth pull.

Infant Insert

Graco 4Ever infant insert and head padding

Graco 4Ever infant insert and head padding

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.

Graco 4Ever head padding

Graco 4Ever head padding

The insert itself has a separate head and body support, with an adjustable elastic to raise the head support as the child grows.

The insert must be used if the baby&#;s shoulders do not reach the harness position in the lowest headrest position. It may not be used in the forward facing position.

Note: The body support may be used without the headrest, but the headrest cannot be used without the body support.

Recline Angle Indicator

Graco 4Ever recline angle indicator

Graco 4Ever recline angle indicator

There are no restrictions on which of the first three recline positions must be used in rear facing mode. The recline angle indicator on the side of the seat has a bubble that must be entirely on the line. When installing rear facing, this seat can use any of the three rear facing recline positions as long as the bubble in the recline indicator stays fully on the blue line. If the seat is not reclined enough for the tiniest of passengers when it’s in the most reclined position (recline 1),  Graco allows the use of a rolled towel or pool noodle to achieve a more reclined installation.

Graco 4ever rear facing harness height

Graco 4ever rear facing harness height

In rear facing mode, the harness should be positioned at or below the shoulders. While many no rethread harness seats have the harness exit the shell immediately below the adjustable headrest, the harness of the 4ever exits the shell a couple of inches below the headrest, which often confuses caregivers and results in the headrest (and harness) being positioned much lower than required by Graco. 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.

Front to Back Space

Graco 4Ever rear facing recline position 1 vehicle seat belt

Graco 4Ever rear facing recline position 1 vehicle seat belt

We know that when rear facing, the space that a car seat takes up can be a challenge in tight spaces.  In rear facing mode, the 4Ever is compact enough that it can work even in a small sedan.  The headrest extends up from inside the shell so as the child grows and the headrest is extended, the seat still fits well in most seating positions.

Recline Positions

Graco 4Ever recline positions

Graco 4Ever recline positions

The 4Ever has 6 recline positions.  Positions 1, 2, and 3 are for rear facing mode.   Positions 4, 5 and 6 are for forward facing mode.

Recline position 4 MUST be used for a forward facing child who weighs between 20 and 40 pounds in the United States.  Recline position 6 must be used in booster mode.

There are no restrictions on which of the first three recline positions must be used in rear facing mode. The recline angle indicator on the side of the seat has a bubble that must be positioned along a blue line on the indicator, and that bubble must be entirely on the line.  To adjust the recline position, squeeze the white handle at the front of the seat (it says RECLINE on it), then push the seat&#;s back.  The recline adjuster glides smoothly and is simple to use.

Lower Anchor Webbing

Graco 4Ever lower anchor connector bar

Graco 4Ever lower anchor connector bar

The 4Ever&#;s lower anchor webbing is attached to the seat via a narrow metal bar inside the belt path.   To move the lower anchor connectors between the belt paths, just unsnap the cover on the inside of the seat, then slide the connectors to the other belt path and thread them back through the belt paths.

The belt paths are color coded and match the relevant pages by color in the manual.

Seat Bottom

Graco 4Ever seat bottom

Graco 4Ever seat bottom

The bottom of the seat is smooth and solid, designed to minimize the pressure marks that occasionally result on vehicle upholstery from a tightly installed seat.

Side Overhang

When this car seat is installed on the plus one or jump seat of a minivan, Graco has confirmed up to 20% of the base can overhang the edge of the vehicle seat while in harness mode. In booster mode, the entire base must be in contact with the vehicle seat.

A Note about Rear Facing

The 4Ever&#;s manual contains several references to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that children under 2 should ride rear facing. In addition, NHSTA recommends that children years continue to use a rear facing restraint as long as they fit by height and weight. CSFTL echoes this recommendation.

A 40 pound 4 year old would be in the 80th percentile on the growth chart. We expect that the 4Ever&#;s tall shell can help almost every child ride rear facing until their 4th birthday.

Installation &#; Rear Facing

Lower Anchors

Graco 4Ever rear facing position 1

Graco 4Ever rear facing position 1

The 4Ever ships with the lower anchor connectors in the rear facing belt path and stored on the front of the seat. To install the seat rear facing, remove those lower anchors from their storage spots, then secure them to the lower anchors in the vehicle.  There&#;s a very handy opening in the cover that makes accessing the belt path pretty easy.  You can also unsnap the lower portion of the cover inside the belt path to expose the entire belt path &#; whichever method helps YOU install the seat correctly is the best one.   Once the lower anchor connectors are attached to the vehicle and the loop at the end of the webbing is accessible, press down on the seat pan with one hand while pulling straight up on the webbing to remove all slack.  The seat is installed securely when there&#;s less than an inch of movement at the belt path.

Graco 4Ever rear facing recline position 1

Graco 4Ever rear facing recline position 1

The lower anchor connector webbing is fairly short.  This is on purpose so caregivers cannot install the seat with the lower anchor strap in the wrong belt path.

There are 2 lower anchor storage spots &#; store the lower anchors in the opposite belt path from the one you&#;re using when they&#;re not in use.

Vehicle Seat Belt

Graco 4Ever rear facing belt path

Graco 4Ever rear facing belt path

To install the 4Ever rear facing with the vehicle seat belt, makes sure that the lower anchors are stored in the forward facing storage locations on the seat&#;s shell, then set the car seat on the vehicle seat with the harness facing the back of the vehicle.

Graco 4Ever rear facing recline position 1 vehicle seat belt

Graco 4Ever rear facing recline position 1 vehicle seat belt

Thread the vehicle seat belt through the rear facing belt path. There&#;s a very handy opening in the cover that makes accessing the belt path pretty easy.

Graco 4Ever rear facing belt path

Graco 4Ever rear facing belt path

You can also unsnap the lower portion of the cover inside the belt path to expose the entire belt path &#; whichever method helps YOU install the seat correctly is the best one.   Once the vehicle seat belt is threaded through the rear facing belt path and the shoulder portion of the belt is accessible, press down on the seat pan with one hand while pulling straight up on the top portion of the vehicle seat belt to remove all slack.  Once the slack is removed, engage the seat belt&#;s locking mechanism to secure the installation and feed the excess slack back into the seat belt&#;s retractor. The seat is installed securely when there&#;s less than an inch of movement at the belt path.

Recline Positions

Graco 4Ever rear facing label

Graco 4Ever rear facing label

The 4Ever can be installed rear facing using recline positions 1, 2, or 3.  Here&#;s a quick summary of how large the seat is when installed in those positions.

Graco 4Ever rear facing, recline position 1, lower anchors

Graco 4Ever rear facing, recline position 1, lower anchors

Recline position 1 would typically be used for the tiniest of passengers.  This position takes up the most front to back space but also reclines the seat so that those tiny passengers have clear airways as they travel. If this recline position does not recline the seat enough for a newborn (per the bubble indicator), a rolled towel or pool noodle may be used to recline the seat further.

Graco 4Ever rear facing, recline position 2, lower anchors

Graco 4Ever rear facing, recline position 2, lower anchors

Recline position 2 is slightly more upright and takes up a little less front to back space.

Graco 4Ever rear facing, recline position 3, lower anchors

Graco 4Ever rear facing, recline position 3, lower anchors

Recline position 3 is the most upright of the rear facing recline positions.

Front to Back Space: Compared to a Contender

Graco 4Ever next to a Graco Contender

Graco 4Ever next to a Graco Contender

The 4Ever is fairly compact front to back,  here we see one installed rear facing next to a rear facing Graco Contender in a Ford Edge.  It&#;s a bit more compact than the Contender.

Fit to Child

Preemie Doll

Graco 4Ever preemie doll

Graco 4Ever preemie doll

The 4Ever is rated from 4 pounds. Many a car seat has made this claim but not all actually work for a preemie because the bottom harness height is still too high for their tiny shoulders. In the name of science, we put our preemie Huggable Images doll in the 4Ever and here&#;s what we found.Yes, indeed, that&#;s a 4 pound, 17 inch long preemie doll fitting correctly and snugly in the 4Ever, with the harness coming out from just at her shoulders.   Keep in mind that not all preemies have the same proportions, and just because it fits the Huggable Images preemie does not mean it will be suitable for all preemies. But we&#;re encouraged just the same.


Graco 4Ever 3 days old

Graco 4Ever 3 days old

This tiny passenger is 3 days old!  She weighs 8 pounds and is 21 inches long.  We&#;ve added a rolled up washcloth behind the crotch buckle to help with the fit &#; this is permitted by the manufacturer.  The harness is below her shoulders and the seat fits her very well.

Newborn Doll

Graco 4Ever newborn doll

Graco 4Ever newborn doll

Our newborn doll weighs 7 pounds and is 17 inches long.  With the infant padding in the seat, the doll fits quite well and has plenty of room to grow.  The 4Ever&#;s low sides mean that loading a newborn in and out of the seat shouldn&#;t be too difficult.

23 Months Old

Graco 4Ever 23 months old

Graco 4Ever 23 months old

This model is 23 months old, weighs 30 pounds, and is inches tall.  She&#;s still got lots of room left to ride rear facing in this seat and she seems quite happy about her ride!

Two Years Old

Graco 4Ever 2 years old

Graco 4Ever 2 years old

This model is 25 months old, weighs 22 pounds and is 33 inches tall.  She seemed comfortable and had plenty of leg room. The seat allows for rear facing to within 1 inch of the adjuster at the top, or a seated height of about 27 inches tall. With those limits, she&#;s got plenty of room to grow.

Two Years Old

Graco 4Ever 2 years old

Graco 4Ever 2 years old

This model is 2 years old.  She weighs 26 pounds and is 35 inches tall.  Like our other models, she&#;s got plenty of room to grow in the 4Ever.   Her mom loves how easy it is to install and adjust the seat. The openings in the cover make installing the seat with either the vehicle seat belt or lower anchors a breeze.

Three Years Old

Graco 4ever 3 year old

Graco 4ever 3 years old

Here&#;s our adorable model from above again.  She&#;s been using the 4Ever regularly so we&#;re thrilled to share an updated picture of her in the seat almost 2 years later!  She&#;s years old, weighs 34 pounds, and is 39 inches tall.   She&#;s still happily riding rear facing and has some room to grow. She regularly removes her shoes and tucks them into the cup holders &#; why not?

Installation: Forward Facing

Lower Anchors

Graco 4Ever forward facing

Graco 4Ever forward facing

When installing the 4Ever forward facing, it must be in recline positions 4, 5, or 6. If the occupant weighs less than 40 pounds, the recline angle must be in the 4th position. Note: This restriction is for the United States only.

The harness should be positioned at or above the shoulders and the buckle should be in the position nearest to but not under the child.

Graco 4Ever forward facing label

Graco 4Ever forward facing label

This seat may only be installed with lower anchors for children weighing under 42 or 45 pounds, depending on when your 4Ever was manufactured.  If your child weighs more than the lower anchor weight limit, it can always be installed with vehicle seat belt and top tether instead of the lower anchors and top tether.

Graco 4Ever rear facing lower anchor storage

Graco 4Ever rear facing lower anchor storage

The lower anchors are initially stored in the rear facing belt path.   To move them to the forward facing belt path, loosen the harness and extend the headrest all the way. Then, unsnap the cover on the inside of the seat to expose the seat&#;s interior, then slide the lower anchor connectors along the interior bar into the forward facing belt path and move the lower anchor connectors out through the forward facing belt path openings.  Remove the top tether from the storage spot on the side of the seat&#;s shell and loosely connect it to the vehicle&#;s top tether.

Then, set the 4Ever on the vehicle seat with the harness facing the front of the vehicle.  Unsnap the inside of the cover to expose the forward facing belt path and connect the lower anchor connectors to the lower anchor in the vehicle.  Pull the loop on the end of the lower anchor connector webbing to remove the slack, then when there&#;s enough slack, feed the loop through the belt path into the inside of the seat&#;s shell.  Press the back of the car seat into the vehicle&#;s seat back while pulling that loop straight out from the belt path to remove the slack.  Once there&#;s less than an inch of movement at the belt path, secure the top tether and the installation is complete.

Vehicle Seat Belt

Graco 4Ever forward facing

Graco 4Ever forward facing

To install the seat forward facing with the vehicle seat belt for a child who weighs between 20 and 65 pounds, store the lower anchor connectors in the rear facing lower anchor connector storage spots and thread the vehicle seat belt through the belt path.

Children who weigh between pounds may use recline positions 4, 5, or 6 for forward facing installations.

For all forward facing installations, the 4Ever&#;s base must be flat on the vehicle seat. That sometimes means there will be a gap between the back of the car seat and the vehicle seat back (especially in recline position 4!). This is completely fine as long as the 4Ever moves less than 1 inch at the belt path.

Top Tether

Graco 4Ever top tether

Graco 4Ever top tether

Regardless of whether a forward facing install uses the lower anchors or the vehicle seat belt, always attach the top tether to the tether connector on the vehicle.
We mentioned the tether, right?  Always use it with a forward facing installation! The manual clearly states that the top tether is required for all forward facing installations. There is no option for installing the 4Ever without it.

Recline Position 4

Graco 4Ever forward facing recline 4

Graco 4Ever forward facing recline 4

We&#;ve installed the 4Ever forward facing at the required recline for a child who weighs less than 40 pounds. 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).

Graco 4Ever forward facing recline 4

Graco 4Ever forward facing recline 4

The 4Ever is quite reclined in this configuration.  The entire base of the 4Ever is flat on the vehicle seat.  We&#;ve installed the 4Ever in a number of vehicles over the years and discovered that this recline position can be a bit tricky because 80% of the 4Ever&#;s base must be on the vehicle seat.  In addition, the entire base must be flat on the vehicle seat but there can be a gap between the back of the 4Ever and the back of the vehicle seat as long as the car seat is installed correctly with less than one inch of movement at the belt path.

This recline position presents some challenges in vehicles with very sloped seats.  In vehicles with more level vehicle seats, the 4Ever may install more easily at the 4th recline position.

Fit to Child

5 Years Old

Graco 4Ever 5 years old

Graco 4Ever 5 years old

This kiddo is years old.  She&#;s 44 inches tall and weighs 46 pounds.  With the 4Ever in harness mode, she&#;s got a bit of room to grow and the seat still fits her well.  As you can see, she&#;s also very fond of the cupholders!

5 Years Old

Graco 4ever 5 year old

Graco 4ever 5 years old

This kiddo is also years old. At 48 inches tall and 47 pounds, she is one growth spurt away from outgrowing the 4ever in harness mode by standing height.  She has used the 4ever on many long drives and finds it very comfortable. She has a love/hate relationship with the harness covers (can you guess what stage she was at here?) so we always keep them close by in the vehicle for the days when she wants to use them.

High Back Booster Mode

Graco 4Ever high back booster mode

Graco 4Ever high back booster mode

NHTSA recommends that children ages continue to ride rear facing as long as they fit in their car seat by height and weight, and then use a forward facing 5 point harness. Children between years old should continue to use their 5 point harness as long as they fit by height and weight, and then move to a belt positioning booster seat.

We mention this because 4 year olds do not ever belong in high back booster seats and yet the 4Ever&#;s manual lists 4 as the minimum age to use the 4Ever in booster mode.  That&#;s a no from us.  Earlier versions of this seat had a 3 year old minimum for booster mode, so while the 4 year old minimum is an improvement, we&#;d still encourage Graco to update this misguided low-end minimum on a seat that can certainly accommodate older children in the harness until they&#;re at least 5 years old.

Converting to Booster Mode

Graco 4Ever unsnap cover

Graco 4Ever unsnap cover

Once the child outgrows the harness, the 4Ever converts to a transitional booster seat that will last about another year or so. Graco devised a nifty system for harness storage in booster mode.  The harness is never removed from the seat.

Graco 4Ever harness storage

Graco 4Ever harness storage

Instead, it is tucked away in a little door behind the seat pad, guaranteeing that you don&#;t accidentally lose it.  Extend the headrest, expose the interior of the seat, then open the door to store the harness.

Graco 4Ever harness storage

Graco 4Ever harness storage

Buckle the chest clip but leave the buckle tongues unbuckled.

Graco 4Ever harness storage

Graco 4Ever harness storage

Secure the harness pads, retainer clip and buckle tongues in the compartment behind the door, then shut it.

Graco 4Ever crotch buckle storage

Graco 4Ever crotch buckle storage

Store the buckle itself in the compartment provided in the seat pan.

Graco permits use of lower anchors and top tether when using the seat in booster mode.  As always, if you choose not to use this feature, be sure to buckle the booster in when not occupied, to prevent it from moving unhindered through the cabin in an accident.

The recline position must be in position 6 for booster use.

5 Years Old

Graco 4Ever booster mode 5 years old

Graco 4Ever booster mode 5 years old

Here&#;s another longtime CSFTL review model.  He&#;s 5 years old and gearing up for his first year in school &#; and his first year in a carpool so he&#;s starting to learn how to ride in a booster seat.  The 4Ever fit him well in booster mode &#; the lap belt lies low on the lap, where it belongs, the vehicle seat belt moves freely through the shoulder guide and rests comfortably and correctly across the chest.

The 4Ever lists a 57 inch maximum height in high back booster mode, but it&#;s unlikely that a child who is 57 inches tall would fit in the seat in that mode.

Moving to a Backless Booster

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.  Vehicle head support is required for backless boosters.

Converting to Backless Booster Mode

Graco 4Ever unsnap cover

Graco 4Ever unsnap cover

To change the seat from high back booster mode to backless booster mode, first make sure the seat is in recline position 6 or it&#;s impossible to detach the high back portion of the seat from the backless portion of the seat.  I tested this for you just to be safe.  The following directions assume that the harness has already been stored on the seat, and it&#;s in high back booster mode.

Graco 4Ever conversion to backless booster mode

Graco 4Ever conversion to backless booster mode

Detach both sides of the harness from the splitter plate behind the seat.  Now, turn your attention to the front of the seat, where you&#;ll unsnap the cover on the front.

Graco 4Ever conversion to backless booster mode

Graco 4Ever conversion to backless booster mode

Expose the inside of the seat pan, then locate the two red tabs on the bottom of the seat pan.  Rotate them upward, and then push them in together.

Graco 4Ever crotch buckle storage

Graco 4Ever crotch buckle storage

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.  Tuck the splitter plate onto the storage area at the back of the seat.  The remaining end of the seat pad tucks behind the seat when it&#;s in use.

When the 4Ever is in backless booster mode, it cannot be used with LATCH (since the connectors aren&#;t attached to the seat in this mode!), so remember to buckle it in when not in use. For younger and smaller children, we&#;d advocate that families use high back mode for as long as possible.  The provided belt guide helps to correctly place the shoulder belt in backless booster mode.  For older children, the shoulder belt will likely fall in place on its own.

Fit to Child

Backless Booster Mode

9 Years Old

Graco 4Ever backless booster mode

Graco 4Ever backless booster mode

This model is 9 years old.  She&#;s 52 inches tall and wears a size 12 in clothes.  For a long time, the 4EverExtend2Fit Platinum in backless booster mode was her very favorite car seat so I was eager to see what she thought of the 4Ever in backless booster mode.  It fit her well and she found it quite comfortable.  In backless booster mode, this seat is a bit taller than many backless booster seats so it worked well with the very high backed seats in my Mini Countryman.  I also tried the 4Ever in backless booster mode for this kiddo in a Mazda 5 and found that the booster seat was so tall that it didn&#;t fit her well on those shorter vehicle seats.

Recline Level Indicator Replacement

Replacing the level indicator on the Graco 4Ever is a task that most families won’t have to tackle.  But for the few who do, here’s a quick guide to this pretty simple process.

Graco provides detailed instructions with the new level indicator. You will need a hand-held Phillips screwdriver and about 60 seconds of your time, possibly less.

First: Locate the level indicator mounting screw, and remove it with the Phillips screwdriver. Keep the screw in a safe place, because you will need it again.

Then, pull the left side of the indicator out of the shell, rotate the indicator, and pull the right side of the indicator out of the car seat’s shell. Throw the defective indicator away.

Finally, insert the hook end (right side) of the new indicator in the hole of the seat, and rotate the left end into the shell. Align the holes and re-insert the screw. Do not over tighten the screw or the indicator could break.

With those steps complete, the new indicator is installed and ready to keep on indicating your Graco 4Ever’s recline angle.

Important Information: Where to Find

Graco 4Ever manual storage

Graco 4Ever manual storage

Manual Storage: We love it when a manufacturer thinks about the little things &#; like where can you stow the instruction manual for easy reference whenever a question comes up? The 4Ever has a handy little storage pocket at the back of the seat&#;s base the manual.  It&#;s even clearly labeled!

Graco 4Ever FAA approval label

Graco 4Ever FAA approval label

FAA Approval: If you&#;re taking your 4Ever on an airplane to use in harness mode, a Flight Attendant may ask to see the FAA Approval label. It&#;s located on the inside of the pillar on the left side at the back of the seat.  Please note that the label may be obscured if you&#;ve got a travel cart attached to the seat.

Graco 4Ever date of manufacture label

Graco 4Ever date of manufacture label

Date of Manufacture Label: The Date of Manufacture label is located on the seat&#;s base, on the right side. It&#;s right next to the manual storage compartment.



  • Fits newborns and children through booster age
  • Fairly compact and good in small spaces
  • Two crotch buckle positions
  • Push button lower anchor connectors
  • Can use LATCH in high back booster mode
  • Hideaway harness for switching to booster mode
  • No re-thread harness


  • Cannot use lower anchors in backless booster mode
  • If used from birth, will most likely expire before the child is truly ready to travel without a booster

Overall Thoughts

CSFTL can give this seat a hearty and non-conditional thumbs up. It is easy to use, well designed, solid in feel, designed to be compatible in many vehicles, and will truly span a significant age range, from preemie on up.  That&#;s a rare thing, so we celebrate it with a small note of caution that a seat that&#;s in use for 10 years in a row will certainly need regular cleaning!

While Graco markets this seat as the only seat you&#;ll ever need, we issue a small note of caution: children generally need a booster seat until they are around 4 feet 9 inches tall.  That&#;s the size of a year old.  Since the 4Ever seat expires in 10 years, it will likely expire just before most children are ready to ride in a vehicle seat belt alone.  Despite that small limitation, for a seat that can last most of those car seat days the 4Ever has a lot to offer!

Graco graciously provided this 4Ever for review. Our opinions, as always, are entirely our own.


Our friends at Graco are offering one 4Ever to a lucky reader from Canada. Please read our terms and conditions, then enter below for your chance to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat Review - Babylist

Graco 4ever All-in-One Car Seat Review

Graco 4ever All-in-One Car Seat

The Graco 4ever All-in-One convertible car seat is meant to last from birth to when your child no longer needs a safety seat. Many of these seats are dependable in this regard, but most lack some versatility. Either they lack enough recline in rear-facing mode or children grow out of them way before the listed maximum weight, among other things.

We’ve reviewed lots of convertible seats, and like most multi-function equipment, they perform each job decently, while single-function seats often perform their one job better than any convertible can. While this one isn’t perfect, the Graco 4ever All-in-One is about the closest it comes in the realm of convertible seats.

The newest versions of this seat include more fabric options and a lower price than the originals. While not super expensive, it still costs enough that families will want to research all the pros and cons before making the investment. We’ll break them down for you here in our review.

Key Features of the Graco 4Ever All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

All-in-One in this case means a 4-in-one car seat, with four different configurations.

  • A rear-facing seat that allows for extended rear-facing to 40 pounds
  • A forward-facing seat
  • A high-back booster seat
  • A backless booster seat (often lacking in convertibles)

In addition, you’ll find these features:

  • No-rethread 5-point safety harness
  • 10 position headrest
  • 6 recline positions (3 rear-facing, 3 forward-facing)
  • Bubble-level indicator
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Push on lower LATCH connectors
  • Two built in cup holders
  • 10 year expiration date
  • Washable cover
  • Up to 10 color options
  • Storage compartment for harness when in belt-positioning booster mode
4ever Design

All the color/pattern options, quality fabric and adjustability make it a nice-looking, versatile seat that easily adapts to each stage of your child’s life and your lifestyle.

The two cup holders have solid bottoms so kids can have their snacks and drinks close by while on the go – something that will come in handy as you child gets older and you hear, “Mom, I’m hungry!” more often. They’re roomy enough for storing crayons and small toys too. Plus, they’re easy to remove for cleaning.

Most parents think the cover is easy to take off. It’s machine washable and drip dry. It’s not one solid cover (3 separate parts), so you can remove just the part that needs cleaning most. There’s also a removable body/head support cushion for newborns. It’s washable too. Metal and plastic parts can be cleaned with soap and water while the buckle should be cleaned with a damp cloth.

Like other convertibles, it will not serve as a portable infant carrier, nor will it fit on strollers. It’s meant to stay in the car at all times. The good thing is you don’t have to remove the harness when switching to booster mode. You just tuck the harness in the built in cubby, although the compartment is a bit small. Converting to a backless booster is really easy too.

What are the child size limits of the Graco 4ever All-in-One Convertible Car Seat?

We were pretty impressed with the 40 pound weight limit to allow for extended rear-facing. Most other convertible seats top out at 30 to The size limits can get a little confusing, so keep your manual in the car for quick consultation.

  • Rear Facing: Ideal for children between 4 and 40 pounds; height limit is when the child’s head is one inch below the headrest adjustment button when the headrest is fully extended.
  • Front Facing: Ideal for children between 22 and 65 pounds, height should be less than 49”; child should be at least one year (12 months) old, preferably 2 years old or more.
  • High-Back Booster: Ideal for children weighing between 30 and pounds, height should be 38 to 57”; children should be able to hold themselves up in the seat and at least four years of age.
  • Backless Booster: Ideal for children 40 to pounds; recommended height is between 40 to 57”; and the child should be at least four years old.

How big is the Graco 4Ever All-in-One convertible car seat, and will it fit in your vehicle?

Convertible seats are often bulky, since they have so many jobs to do. If you have a larger vehicle like an SUV or hybrid, the seat will likely fit just fine unless you need to stick 3 car seats in the backseat. Then, you’ll want to measure your interior and compare it with the below measurements.

  • Width: inches at the widest part (at cup holders)
  • Width of base (widest point): 15 inches
  • Seat weight: pounds
  • Seating depth: inches deep
  • Width of seat area at narrowest point: 13 inches
  • Shell height: 24 inches, extends to 34 inches
  • Lowest harness height (with infant pillow): 7 inches
  • Highest harness height: 18 inches

For sedans and compact cars, definitely take measurements first. Some parents noted that there wasn’t much legroom left for the front passengers when this seat was in rear-facing mode, even on the minimal recline setting.

How safe is the Graco 4Ever All-in-One convertible car seat?

This seat has held up in real-life crash situations. One such experience occurred with an month old baby involved in a terrible rollover accident. The baby was completely unharmed. This seat was crash tested only in the US, so if you’re outside the US, check with your country’s specific safety standards. Or call Graco to see if there is a specific model sold in your country.

For overall safety, the 4Ever is a great option, including the ability to use LATCH in booster mode (up to 42 pounds). But there are a few things to note. When extended to full height, the seat can block some rear visibility depending on your vehicle, but it shouldn’t be enough to pose a safety risk. If you have a particularly small vehicle, make sure to get measurements so you can better determine if visibility will be a problem.

Some smaller issues were noted that may affect comfort and peace of mind more than safety. A few parents thought the seat felt too loose in rear-facing mode and flopped side to side too much. Once the infant insert was removed, other parents felt the seat was too uncomfortable for their child. Some parents also noted that the fabric didn’t seem breathable enough, so their child was very sweaty after riding in the seat for a while.

Useful tip: One complaint involved not being able to get the harness straps to remain tight enough, which seems to be a recurring issue in Graco convertibles. But here’s a useful method some parents use to overcome that. Make sure to pull up all the slack in the harness in the hip area first, then pull out the slack in the harness behind the car seat BEFORE pulling the adjuster strap to tighten the harness. Also, tighten the harness BEFORE you buckle the chest clip.

Note: The manufacturer states that the cup holders must remain in the car seat when in use. This is because the seat was not crash tested without the cup holders in place. Previously, we noted that some parents removed theirs to gain a couple extra inches of space in the backseat. Please follow all current manufacturer guidelines.

How easy is the Graco 4Ever All-in-One convertible to install and use?

Graco Installation

The Graco 4Ever All-in-One is an easy seat to install in almost all modes. You may have a little more trouble fitting this one into a sporty car with bucket seats due to the width of the base. However, the belt paths are all clearly labeled and color coded so that you can figure things out without having to consult the manual every time.

Unlike some Graco convertibles, the 4Ever All-in-One has only one set of LATCH straps for both rear and forward-facing, so you will need to switch the straps manually when converting. There is no lockoff device for seat belt installations, so you’ll need to know how your seatbelts lock, particularly if you have an older vehicle. To be on the safe side, consult your vehicle owner’s manual to see if there are specific instructions for car seat installations.

For a lot of the conversion steps, it’ll be necessary to take the seat completely out of your car. This isn’t a complicated process, but it can be a bit of a pain. Make sure you’re not in a hurry when converting the seat from one mode to the next.

In rear facing mode, there are three recline positions () so that your baby can have the utmost comfort. The same goes for the front facing position (), but position 4 must be used for children under 40 pounds.

There is a bubble indicator on the seat that allows for easier leveling when installing rear-facing.

The 4Ever CAN be installed with inflatable seat belts in certain models of Ford vehicles, but not all. If you have a Ford with inflatable seat belts, be sure to consult your vehicle manual and Graco to confirm if your model is compatible.

There were a few notable usability issues. While the seat cover is removable in 3 parts, the harness straps are NOT removable, so some parents had issues with keeping the straps clean, especially after spit-ups and other smelly messes.

Possible design flaw: One of the biggest complaints, which isn’t so much ease of use, but more a case of sanity, involves the headrest. According to several parents, it rattles. A lot. It doesn’t seem to pose any safety issue, however. The rattling seems to be worse the higher up the headrest is moved and when the car seat is empty. If this happens, Graco may be able to exchange your seat, but there’s no guarantee it will not rattle.

Graco does offer a one year warranty on all of their products so parents can have peace of mind that any trouble they encounter will get fixed or replaced.

Best Car Seat Hub’s Final Verdict

  • Easy installation
  • Easy converting between modes
  • Wide weight range
  • Allows extended rear-facing
  • 2 removable (solid bottom) cup holders
  • No-rethread harness that doesn’t need to be removed in booster mode
  • LATCH available for booster mode (up to 42 pounds)
  • Simple seat belt installation
  • Proven crash safety record
  • 3-part cover for easy removal and washing
  • Headrest rattles
  • Bulky, especially in rear-facing mode
  • Fabric not very breathable
  • Harness can be tricky to tighten
  • Harness not removable for easy cleaning
  • At full height, can block rear visibility somewhat
  • No lockoff device for seat belt install
  • Only one set of LATCH straps for both rear and forward-facing

Take a Look At These Extended Specialized Editions:

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat​

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat
Check Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat price

The design of this seat is very similar to the 4Ever, but the DLX has a few extra features including a RapidRemove cover that you can remove in less than a minute. It also has integrated seat belt lock-off and is designed with Graco ProtectPlus Engineering that protects in front, side, rear, and rollover crashes. The DLX also has fuss-free harness storage for when it’s time to convert to a belt-positioning booster.

Weight ranges for booster modes are slightly different, with the DLX high back booster minimum weight of 40 pounds compared to 30 pounds in the 4Ever. Height range is a little different too, with a minimum height of 43 inches in the DLX, compared to 38 inches in the 4Ever.

The DLX is offered in 6 colors, compared to 2 for the 4Ever. Both seats are very similar in price.

Key Features that stand out from the 4Ever:
  • RapidRemove cover
  • Seat belt lock-offs
  • 6 color choices
  • Rear-facing 4 - 40 pounds
  • Fuss-free harness storage
  • Graco ProtectPlus Engineered
  • RapidRemove cover
  • Seat belt lockoffs
  • More color options
  • May be too big for preemies or newborns
  • LATCH straps can be hard to tighten
  • Seat cover is air dry only

Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-in-One Car Seat​

Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-in-One Car Seat
Check Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-in-One Car Seat price

This seat is a mix of the 4Ever and the Graco Extend2Fit. A few nice features this one has compared to the 4Ever are a forward-facing seat belt lockoff, easily accessible belt paths, recline handles on front and back of the base, and an integrated harness storage compartment.

The 4Ever Extend2Fit better supports extended rear-facing with a pound weight limit compared to the 4Ever’s pound limit. Plus, parents who are worried about their toddlers getting cramped legs rear-facing will love the leg extension panel that offers 5 inches of extra legroom. All other weight and height ranges are the same as the 4Ever DLX, with a pound minimum weight for booster mode and inch minimum height.

The 4Ever Extend2Fit is slightly smaller but about 3 pounds heavier than the 4Ever. The 4Ever Extend2Fit comes in 5 colors compared to the 2 colors offered with the 4Ever, but it costs about $45 more.

Key Features that stand out from the 4Ever:
  • pound weight limit rear-facing
  • Leg extension panel with 5” extra leg room
  • Harness storage
  • Seat belt lock-offs
  • Recline handles on front and back of base
  • 5 color choices
  • Extended rear-facing with pound weight limit
  • 2 recline handles on front and back of seat base
  • 4-position leg extension panel
  • Uncomfortable for long rides in backless booster mode
  • Inner buckle slot could be too tight-fitting for some children
  • Takes up a lot of room front to back in rear-facing mode
4ever All in One and Baby

Optional accessories

There are a couple accessories that might provide a more comfortable and cleaner experience when using the Graco 4Ever:

Car Seat Protector with Thickest Padding
This slip-proof, extra large seat cover is made with PVC leather. It’s water-resistant and will protect your vehicle seat from spills, keep crumbs out of the cracks and prevent markings on the upholstery. There’s also a 3-pocket compartment in the front for extra snack or toy storage.
Car Kick Mats Back Seat Protector 2 Pk
Keep the backs of your front seats clean and scuff free with these kick mats. Designed to provide a barrier against dirty shoes, they’re also a handy storage area with stretchy pockets to hold books, crayons, snacks, and mobile devices.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Graco 4ever All-in-One is a great choice for those who want a convertible car seat. Because it’s bulky and not portable and not the most comfortable seat on the market, we recommend this one for your everyday drives. For longer car trips, your child would likely be more comfortable in a one-tasker seat that delivers more in terms of cushioning and portability.

In the end, the Graco 4ever All-in-One is an affordable option that delivers on all values: safety, ease of use, functionality, price, and comfort. Yeah, it’s got a few issues here and there, but nothing that should compromise safety. As a convertible seat, it’s probably the closest to perfect we’ve seen yet.

Read Graco 4ever All-in-One Manual

Check Graco 4ever All-in-One Car Seat Price

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)


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