We spend a lot of time in the kitchen because of our passion for food and the joy it brings to make something delicious and healthy for our family. But just as important as looking after their diet is, it is also just as crucial to keep them safe outside of the home. Most of my friends are new parents like me. It is just that stage of my life where we find ourselves more concerned with our kids than with ourselves. One of the most important aspects that new parents stress over is finding their first car sat. I have had this discussion with many folks and it is not uncommon to feel a little overwhelmed. Picking a car seat is tough because you want the most safe option available, but those can also be pricey. Plus there is the fact there are many different types of child safety seats available. Let us help you with the research and share our experiences with the convertible car seat we have been using. Hopefully it will help.
We decided to go with an all in one seat, a convertible car seat that can be used from infants to toddlers. This way we only have to buy one seat instead of 2 or 3. It made the most sense for us. We went with the Graco 4Ever convertible safety seat and we have to say that it has been a blessing for our vehicle. Not only is it extremely safe, but it is also a joy to use everyday and our child really loves riding in the back seat in this thing. So what is so great about it?
Graco 4Ever Features at a Glance
- Comes with a 5-point Simply Safe Adjust harness feature; a no re-thread harness system that allows you to automatically adjust the height of the harness and headrest simultaneously using one hand.
- Utilizes the EPS foam energy technology that absorbs any impact force.
- Has a 4-in1 versatile design; high back booster, forward facing, rear facing and backless booster.
- Very durable and strong due to the steel reinforced frame.
- Offers 10 head rest positions and 6 recline positions for FF and RF modes.
- Offers dual integrated cup holders which are very easy to assemble.
- Easy-to-read indicator – eliminates guess work during installation.
- Its seat cover can be removed without altering the harness (can be machine-washed).
- Has a built-in harness storage compartment that holds unused harness straps while in booster mode.
- Has meet all US safety standards.
Benefits of Using This Convertible Car Seat
It arrives as almost completely assembled and ready-to-go for a newborn. The only parts that come separately are the cup holders. You can always find the cup holders assembly instructions in the manual. Once you assemble the cup holders, they will remain attached to the seat.
The best thing about the 4Ever is that it’s an easy-to-install seat. It fits perfectly when in installed in both forward-facing and rear-facing modes. Its belt paths are color coded and clearly labeled (orange for FF, blue for RF and green for booster).
The LATCH and tether straps are very easy to loosen when necessary but they remain secure. There is also a premium push-on LATCH connector feature. It’s important to note that lower anchors have to be discontinued once the child reaches 42 pounds.
4Ever’s impressive insert has a bottom harness located 6 inches from the seat-pan and a buckle depth of 4 inches from the seat-back. This makes it firm but not plush. The infant insert has an adjustable elastic attachment for head support hence can be raised as the child grows. The insert should only be used if the infant’s shoulders don’t reach the harness position at lowest headrest position. Don’t use it in FF mode.
The term 4-in-1 car seat might make you think that the 4Ever is very complex. However, it’s very easy to use. For instance:
- You don’t have to remove the harness to use the seat in booster mode. Tuck it out of the way in a cubby in the shell.
- The cover comes off nicely in three parts; using some elastic hooks and tabs. Attaching the cover is a bit tricky because you have to remember where the elastic loops hook.
- Converts into backless mode very easily.
- Suitable for small babies/infants.
- Easy seatbelt and LATCH installation.
- Compact for RF modes.
- Can accommodate children weighing below 40 pounds.
- 10 years lifespan.
- The LATCH can be used in high back booster mode.
- Clear and well-written instruction manual.
- Two crotch buckle positions
- Push-button lower anchor connectors.
- Twisty straps.
- Can be somehow complicated when tightening the harness for RF mode.
- No lock-off device for installations with seat belts.
If you have been racking your brain trying to pull the trigger on which car seat you should get, let us put in our vote for this Graco model. The 4Ever has performed brilliantly for our family, maybe it will do the same for yours. Now that we got this out of the way we can finally get back into the kitchen.