Graco is a very well-known baby brand and manufacturer of a number of car seats, I have done several reviews of their seats on my blogs, and I think they do great value and quality for money. Graco introduced the All-in-1 car seat not too long ago, and it has a lot of people talking. So what exactly is the buzz around this seat? Essentially it’s the idea that you could buy just one car seat and only one car seat for all of your child’s car seat needs, until they no longer need any type of car seat or booster seat.
How does the Graco All-in-1 work?
Think of this seat as 3 seats all rolled into 1. First we have your rear-facing infant seat, designed for infants from 5 to 40lbs and at least 2 years old. Second, flip the seat around and you have your forward-facing harnessed seat for children from 20 to 65lbs. Third, keep the seat forward facing and remove the harness to transform the seat into a belt-positioning booster seat from 30 to 100lbs. Note** This seat does not go any further and transform into a backless booster, however these are much lower cost than other car seats and may not be necessary if you child stays in the belt-positioning booster.
- Item Weight: 33 lbs
- Orientation: rear-facing, forward-facing, and belt-positioning (high-back) booster
- Weight limits: 5-40lbs, 20-65lb, 30-100lbs
- Height limit: 57 in
- Harness: 5 point
What are the Pros of the Graco All-in-1?
- Safety features – Graco loaded this seat up! They used EPS, energy absorbing foam to absorb and disperse impact energy in the event of a crash. The seat is also steel reinforced for further strength and durability. The seat was rated highly for safety in all three modes by the NHTSA.
- LATCH and Lock It Up – Graco uses LATCH installation on this seat, and they’ve also added their “Lock It Up” feature which is a pretty nifty indicator on the base of the seat that lets you know if the seat is locked in securely and properly into the base.
- Adjustable Harness and Headrest – One thing I was wondering about this seat until I tried it out was if it could adjust and expand properly even though it was an all-in-1 seat. Graco has put in 6 different heights on the headrest, from tiny baby level to grown-up big kid level, and it works great. There’s also no rethreading required on the harness, just simply move it up as your little one grows.
- Recline – 5 recline positions that you can use while your child is in the seat. I did it…it worked…and I only used 1 hand…SCORE!
- Extras – machine washable seat cushion, soap and water cleaning on all other parts, arm rests, and a cup holder all built in. The arm rests are awesome since they flip-up making it easier to get your kid in and out of the car…I do have to say though, when your child realizes the arm rests go up and down and do it over and over and over again…well…you get where I’m going with this =)
And the Cons?
- Crotch Strap – This seems to be a theme with Graco, that for some reason the crotch straps always come in a bit too short. I see the same issue with the Nautilus, I think we should all request that the next seat coming from Graco have an extra 2 inches added. This isn’t a big issue for many people though, so test it out for yourself.
- Not connectable – As this does have the infant rear-facing mode and Graco has so many connectable (car seat to stroller) options I feel compelled to mention that this is not one of them. This is not the type of seat you’re going to want to pull in and out of the car, nor does it click into any Graco strollers or other play systems.
- Heavy – This seat is a whopping 33 pounds!! Definitely one of the heavier seats on the market. In my opinion, it’s an install it and leave it kind of seat. If you’re on the move, even if you’re a car seat expert, it will not be quick to move this seat from one car to another.
How do consumers rate it?
The All-in-1 has really made a splash on the car seat market. Parents give it 4.4 out of 5 stars. Parents are loving the cushioning and fabric of the seat, and the neutral color designs it comes in. They also find installation to be relatively easy with this seat, and I absolutely agree. The base makes it a lot easier to maneuver the seat around for a secure installation and the added leveling bubble is a lot better than other brands. Also, the recline angles in the rear-facing mode are great and really support the head while your infants sleeping to avoid that dangerous slumped over effect.
What’s it going to cost?
As this is an all-in-1 seat, Graco has definitely considered this and it shows in the price. On their website they have the seat advertised at $299….Ouch! High price…yes…but, if you break it down by potential years of use it’s not so bad. Even though this seat is a bit high on Graco’s website, its $70 less on Amazon for $229 which is a pretty steep discount and you still get the same manufacturer’s warranty from Graco even buying from Amazon.
The Bottom Line
I really really like the Graco All in 1 and think it’s a great car seat. It has top notch safety features, installation is relatively easy, it’s comfortable for kids, and will last for many many years. My only teeny weeny BUT to this, because of course there has to be one (nothings perfect), I probably wouldn’t buy it as baby’s first car seat. Here’s why. Infants sleep a lot and at any random hour of the day, so if you’re on the go and want to take baby with you, in and out of the car, and put them in the stroller, it really is so so much easier to get an infant car seat that clicks into a stroller, and is a lot lighter to carry in and out of the house. I think around 6 months to 1 year would be a great time to get this car seat, and keep it until you no longer need it, and your child is grown out of car seat all together. If this sounds good to you, give the seat a go and let me know how its working for you and your family.