The Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat with TrueShield has been welcome addition to our family and a great relief for our 14-month-old, who has been cramped in his infant car seat as he creeps toward its height and weight limits. As parents know, a comfortable seat can make or break a car ride, and it’s safe to say the Extend2Fit 3-in-1 has improved our time on the road significantly. The car seat features an 5 extra inches of legroom to keep our little one safely able to ride rear-facing longer, which is great for a family that is always on the move!
Installing Our New Car Seat
Inside the box, we found an easy-to-understand instruction manual with clear illustrations. We first install the car seat rear-facing mode. From start to finish, it took approximately 5 to 10 minutes. To be thorough, we then tried the two other configurations (forward-facing and highback booster). In every position, we found the biggest challenge of setup to be ensuring the seat was level. (The manual’s illustrations weren’t immediately clear as how to gauge it, even though there is a visible level indicator on the seat.) In every position there are audible clicks to confirm the seat is properly in place thanks to the InRight Latch system.
We are using this seat in a mid-size SUV, and although the car seat fits, it is snug in the back seat. (Those 5 inches of extra legroom require some space!) The front passenger needs to be aware of how far their vehicle seat can be adjusted back, but I would still recommend it for a SUV or roomy sedan.
Much More Than a Rear-Facing Car Seat
As mentioned previously, this seat offers three configurations:
- Rear-facing is recommended for children 4 to 50 pounds
- Forward-facing for 22 to 65 pounds
- Highback booster for use with vehicle seat belt for 40 to 100 pounds
Again, our favorite feature is the 5 inches of extra legroom when in the rear-facing position. (Our little man finally has some wiggle room!) There is an extender near the feet that has four position options based on height. The seat also has a 6-position recline to allow for the most optimal positioning. When in the booster seat configuration, the 10-position headrest is easily adjusted to accommodate your growing tot.
In terms of safety, we were drawn to this seat because it meets and exceeds U.S. safety crash test standards, boasts a steel reinforced frame for strength and durability, and offers protection from head to hip in the case of side impact, thanks to Graco’s Trueshield Advanced Side Impact Protection. Also worth noting: The seat also has a 10-year expiration.
The first time we placed our son in the seat, he fit well with plenty of room for growth and was instantly comfortable and content. The buckle pockets and adjustable 5-point harness made securing him a quick process. The adjustable head support and 4-position extension panel will be beneficial as the months progress and our boy continues to grow. The Simply Safe Adjust harness system will allow us to adjust the headrest and harness straps in one motion. The dual cup holders are key for the everyday drink or toy du jour. While we haven’t the need to clean the seat yet, it seems rather trouble-free, only requiring mild soap and water. The seat pad is machine-washable.
Considering its safety features, extended rear-facing weight and longevity of use, I think the Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 is a no-brainer! We have felt so much better having our son in this seat versus his cramped rear-facing infant seat. We have the gotham color scheme, which is sleek and stylish. The side impact protection, configuration options, one-second latch attachment and all-in-one design make it an incredibly good value considering the reasonable price point. We can see that this seat will be well-used and liked for years to come.