User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:Very safe car seat, reasonable price. Cute feminine pattern but not over the top.
Cons:Canopy can get stuck in handle.
Handle needs 2 handles to adjust.
The Bottom Line: Would buy again given the information and other car seat options that were available at the time that I bought this particular seat based on safety record and available features.
Note this pattern is only available as part of the Travel System.
Recommend this product?
Total price was $249 with stroller, car seat and 1 base.
This review pertains to the car seat and base only.
We bought this car seat primarily because the Graco SnugRide was rated top-notch in safety by Consumer Reports. I took into account that that Consumer Reports retracted their report naming this and one other car seat as meeting safety requirements in both front and side impact testing. However, they retracted the report because they actually tested it at 70 mph instead of 35. I figured that since it could withstand a crash of 70 mph then it would be safer. In the updated report, it was named a CR best buy.
I chose the pattern because we were having a girl and this is a feminine pattern but not too over the top.
This car seat offers the features and specs:
front adjust harness
stay-in-car adjustable base
Removable double infant head support
Removable infant harness covers
Easy to read level indicator
180° Rotating canopy
2-Piece chest clip
Removable seat pad
EPS, energy absorbing foam* models 7440CNR3 only (not 7440CNR2). EPS looks like styrofoam. In this model it is located under the seat cover on the top and covers both side wings and the back up at the top. It is covered with a softer, compressible foam in the center.
**I purchased this seat because of the EPS only to get it home and actually use it before realizing when I removed the cover to wash it that it did not have EPS foam. It turns out, I had an older model (identical pattern) that was leftover stock in the major chain store that I bought it in. That is when I found out about the differences in model numbers. The model numbers ending in a 2 only have the compressible foam, not the EPS. My advice now is to always check to see if the foam is in place! (When I took it back to exchange, the store associate tried to convince me that the compressible foam was the EPS foam since the display model had the model number that ended in 3 and only had the compressible foam...it wasn't until we opened another box with the model number that ended in 3 and saw the other layer of foam that she believed me).
Car Seat weight without base: 7.24 lbs
Car Seat weight with base: 12.64 lbs
Car Seat Depth: 26.7"
Car Seat Width: 17.5"
Car Seat Height: 24.2"
Installed in '06 Toyota Sienna LE 8 passenger, center seat in center set of seats.
I love that is is rated as a top car seat for safety.
5 point harness. Easy to use. 2 pieces snap into a central crotch strap...no puzzle pieces like in some models. Straps do not twist too easily. I am able to snug it down tight over my little baby (who was just over 6 lbs when we brought her home).
Up-front adjustment. Very easy to use. Only drawback is that the "tail" can drag, getting dirty. I tend to roll it up and place it under the cover. I wish that they would add a specific space to store the tail.
If you need to adjust the harness level, you do need to remove the seat pad and re-thread the harness. You will only need to do this once (this car seat only has 2 slots) unless you make a mistake as I did. I thought that her shoulders were at the next harness level (remember in rear-facing car seats, the harness should be at or below your baby's shoulder level at all times) and re-threaded them only to find that after I put her in the seat and completely fastened her in that they are not really so I had to re-thread them.
This is where I found some difficulty. The actual re-threading was very simple. However, the diagram shows how the ends of the webbing must lay in the back of the clip and that it must hang over the clip and not under. It just took some trial and error to get them to hang in the correct position as there is no diagram to show how to do it, only what they must look like in the end. I did eventually figure it out. It was just a bit time-consuming.
Great to have that removable double head support. I find that when the baby is really little, they need the double head support. The inside head support can be removed when baby is a bit bigger but still needs head support. Then the outer layer can be removed as well.
Rotating canopy is great...I can move it where I need the most sun/wind protection. Canopy is also completely and easily removable from the car seat shell (although you cannot remove the canopy from the canopy support to wash). It re-attaches quickly and easily.
The base is easy to install with LATCH. I did not install with seat belt in the Sienna. Nice tight fit. My husband installed the extra base that we purchased using the seat belt in his 1999 Saturn L series and the base does not install quite as tightly although it is within the 1 inch wiggle test.
The level indicator is easy to read. You can easily tell if it is level or not at a glance.
Seat cover/pad is a taupe pattern with faux suede accents on the side with a touch of plum color. The seat cover is a sort of paisley with light and dark taupe and plum with the faux suede sides. The faux suede is very soft. I am certain that they did not put this fabric in the main part of the cover because it would retain heat and cause the baby to sweat. The plum color is what makes the pattern feminine.
Seat pad is very easy to remove and I washed with delicate cycle. It came out looking brand new. Quickly and easily re-attaches.
Harness covers are pretty. Just remember to put them up on baby's shoulders, otherwise they interfere with the position of the chest clip which should be positioned at baby's armpit level at all times. Easy to remove and re-attach.
Chest clip is easy to use and can be unlocked with one hand.
Canopy can get caught up in handle, preventing handle movement. Easy to fix but annoying. Would like to be able to remove fabric from canopy support to wash.
Harness straps are not long enough to move out of the way to put baby in the car seat. I find that I have to put baby in the car seat and then dig under her to get to the harness straps. More annoying than anything.
Must depress 2 buttons on opposite sides of car seat to adjust car seat handle. I am sure that this is a safety feature but it is difficult to put baby in the car seat when the handle is in the carry position and you already have the baby in your arms. (I am used to the handle on the Evenflo PortaAbout 5 where you could push it in with 1 hand to adjust). I try to remember to put the handle down before I take the baby out but then if I need to carry baby in my arms and car seat in other hand it is difficult.
Car seat handle is not ergonomic. Must carry with hand facing forward or backward instead of to the side which is more natural.
The head support needs another adjustment spot for when baby is a bit bigger but still needs the lower harness level and head support. I am constantly moving it up because it slides down now that she is taller. This could be remedied if Graco added 2 sets of snaps (one a bit lower than current set). However, she is not quite tall enough for the upper harness slots and she still needs head support when she is sleeping.
Up front harness adjuster--Again, only drawback is that the "tail" can drag, getting dirty. I tend to roll it up and place it under the cover. I wish that they would add a specific space to store the tail.
Need a diagram in the instruction booklet to show exactly how to position the harness if it is re-threaded (with the webbing in front of instead of in back of the clip).
Need a better slot to store instructions that offers more protection. My instructions are already ripped worn and slightly soiled.
No cold weather boot available in matching pattern. (Cold weather boot shown on Graco's website is for the stroller only which I did not realize).
Other note: Shell of car seat is different color than stroller which is odd since they are part of the same travel system...they still complement each other but do not match.
I would buy this car seat again if faced with the same options and information that I had before when I purchased it.
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Amount Paid (US$): 249*trav sys
Age Range of Child: 0 to 12 Months