Recently, the American Pediatrics Association released a study statin that children should stay in a rear-facing car seat for longer than originally thought. The Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat makes that goal a reality with its weight restriction of 50 pounds in the rear-facing position.
While most convertible car seats have the limit set at a much lower number, theExtend2Fit allows you to keep your child in the safest position for as long as possible. When it does come time to switch to front-facing though, the seat is rated up to 65 pounds.
Another big bonus to this seat is that it comes with an extension panel which gives children more leg room in the rear-facing position. If a child has no leg room, the rear-facing position would not be safe; the extension panel solves the problem.
The main draw of the Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat is the ability for rear-facing through a higher weight than other car seats. The seat does, however, have a number of impressive features besides that. Some of the features include:
- Extension panel adjusts to provide 5” of additional leg room in the rear-facing position
- Rated from children from 4 to 50 pounds in the rear-facing position and from 22 to 65 pounds in the front-facing position
- Harness storage keeps the buckle out of the way
- Simply Safe allows you to adjust the height of the harness and headrest at the same time
- Six position reclining mechanism allows for comfort as the child grow
- Weight: 19.8 pounds
- Allows for rear-facing for longer which is the safest option for children under two years old
- Lots of leg room with the extension panel
- Very comfortable and all the padding is removable to accommodate growth
- Fits in smaller vehicles in both front and rear-facing positions
- Built in cup holders
- Relatively simple to install
- Forces children into a slouched position which cannot be corrected using the reclining adjustment
- The straps are extremely difficult to tighten when the seat is in the rear-facing position
- The headrest is not removable
- With the extension panel, the seat hits the back of the front seats in smaller cars
- Shoulder strap covers do not stay in place
The main draw of this seat is the ability for rear-facing through a higher weight limit than the main competitors. One of the major ways the Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat accomplishes this is through the extension panel, which is not available with any other seat.
In addition to the extension panel, the multiple reclining positions and harness/headrest positions help make the seat more versatile. Additionally, the seat is comfortable for most children and the padding can be removed to accommodate growth.
The one piece of padding that cannot be removed, however, is the headrest. For some children, the placement of the headrest makes it so that the child cannot sit up straight. This position can lead to poor breathing and a curved spine, which are both definitely negatives.
Even though the seat promises to be extremely adjustable, the harness straps are difficult to tighten in the rear-facing position. If the straps are not tight enough, then the protective rear-facing position is lessened in effect.
One good alternative to the Graco Extend2Fit is the Evenflo Symphony DLX All-in-One convertible car seat. Although the seat is only rated to 40 pounds in the rear-facing position, the Symphony DLX can also be used as a booster seat up to 110 pounds.
Even though the Extend2Fit has a higher weight limit for rear-facing, the Symphony DLX has it beat in ease of use. The Symphony DLX is simple to install and to tighten and adjust as the child grows.
Another alternative is the Safety 1st Grow N Go EX Air 3-in-1 convertible car seat. As far as weight limits, it is comparable to Extend2Fit in that it is rated for up to 50 pounds in the rear-facing position, but it also can be converted into a booster like the Symphony DLX.
The Grow N Go EX may fall into the trying to do too much category, however. The seat is more difficult to install and is also difficult to tighten. This can lead to a poorly anchored seat, which is not the safest option.
Overall, the Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat does offer all the necessary features for a longer rear-facing position. With the extension panel and the 50 pounds upper weight limit, it meets the American Pediatrics Association’s recommendations better than many alternatives.
While the rear-facing capability is a definite plus, there are a few setbacks to this seat. One major one is the non-removable headrest which forces some children to slouch.
Ultimately, the Graco Extend2Fit offers a good option for a convertible seat that can take your child from infancy all the way through toddlerhood safely.