Graco Smart Seat All-in-One Car Seat

By Published On: March 3rd, 2011

As with most purchases, when searching for a car seat, […]

Graco Smart Seat All in OneAs with most purchases, when searching for a car seat, I look for a product that would give me the most bang for my buck. So when I found out about Graco’s Smart Seat All-in-One Car Seat, I thought: Now this is a real value.
This seat-and-base combination accommodates kiddos from 5 to 100 pounds. Yes, you read it correctly. 100 pounds! And with a little guy who’s on the bigger side (in the 97th percentile to be exact), it’s important to me not to waste money on a purchase that won’t accommodate his persistent pound-packing. He’ll be able to use this seat throughout his car seat-riding days—every last one of them. Rather than concerning myself with purchasing multiple car seats to fit his ever-changing weight requirements, with this one investment, I’ve got my tot covered.
Here are my favorite safety features of the seat:

  • Graco’s Smart Seat is side-impact tested. This means that in an accident, the sides of the car seat act will serve as protection against impact rather than merely collapsing, thanks to the steel that reinforces the base and the seat.
  • The Smart Seat uses a stay-in-car base, which offers convenience installing the seat and an added element of safety via the seat-to-base locking indicator and easy-to-read level indicator. The stay-in-car base also offers another exceptional value by allowing the purchase of a second base for your partner’s car. While I’d heard of this option being available for pumpkin seats, I wasn’t aware of it being offered for any convertible car seats. Instead of purchasing a second car seat for Daddy’s car, we can simply buy another base for $99 and swap the seat from car to car with easy click-in installation. I love that this reduces parent cost and also environmental impact (less bulk to dispose of when we’re through with the car seat and less energy expended in production too).
  • Like all Graco products, the Smart Seat has been built to meet or exceed US standard FMVSS 213.

Once I knew it was safe, I wondered just how exactly it was able to fit such a wide range of sizes. Graco’s Smart Seat can be positioned three ways: rear-facing with harness (for infants 5 to 40 pounds), forward-facing with harness (for babies 20 to 65 pounds), and forward-facing with belt-positioning booster (for children 30 to 100 pounds). In each position, the On-the-Go 5-position recline allows easy adjusting of the seat without having to remove it from the base. A simple lift and tug on the recline strap and changing from position to position takes just seconds. Additionally, the Smart Seat boasts a one-hand, height-adjustable headrest with harness. This feature allows incredibly easy adjustment of the headrest and harness to accommodate varying heights.
The other thing about the Smart Seat that sold me: It’s kind of fancy. It looks nice, is obviously well made, and doesn’t skimp on niceties. It’s plush, providing a cozy ride for its passenger, and includes movable arm rests and a cup holder, which I don’t doubt will come in handy during my little buddy’s toddler years. With the Smart Seat, I feel like my tiny man is riding in first class—and he doesn’t deserves anything less than the best.
If you’re looking for a seat that is going to last and keep your sweet babe safe, I would very much recommend Graco’s Smart Seat All-in-One Car Seat. It’s a hefty piece of equipment, but it’s also super safe and easy to use with its stay-in-car base, simple adjustment features, and convenient safety check indicators.
Price: $299
To buy: