Graco has a ton of car seats on the market. They have everything from infant all the way to booster and a wide range of convertible seats in the middle to fit everybody’s need and everybody’s price point. One of their 3-in-1 car seats on the market is the Graco Argos 80 Elite or more simply the Graco Argos Elite, as they are the same exact seat. The addition of the 80 only signifies the weight limit for forward-facing children in this seat. Now that we have that covered let’s get into what this 3-in-1 seat does. First, it starts off as a forward-facing harnessed seat that can be used from 20-80 lbs. Now keep in mind that new recommendations aim to keep your child rear-facing until at least 22lbs and 2 years old, so chances are they’re going to be weighing more than 20lbs by the time they make into this seat. Next, the seat transforms into a high back belted booster seat up till 100lbs, and finally a backless belted booster seat that fits up till 120lbs.
What is the difference between the Graco Nautilus and the Graco Argos?
The Argos was debuted after Graco had huge success with the Nautilus. What they did basically was make the Nautilus a bit more luxurious, up the weight limit 20lbs and there you have the Argos. The main differences aside from the increase in weight are:
- The Argos Elite features a no-rethread harness
- The Argos Elite features a lockoff for seatbelt installations
- The Argos Elite includes a width-adjustable headrest and armrests with additional pockets
What we see are some small but pretty cool upgrades that make the seat easier and more comfortable to use. But, keep in mind both seats have the same dimensions, have a 3-position recline, and energy absorbing foam and steel reinforcements for safety.
- Item Weight: 21 lbs
- Orientation: forward facing, high back booster, backless booster
- Weight limits: forward facing – 20-65lbs, high back booster – 30-100lbs, backless booster – 40-120 lbs
- Height limit: forward facing – 27-49in, high back booster – 38-57in, backless booster – 40-57in
- Harness: 5 point
What are the Pros of the Graco Argos 80 Elite?
- Side Impact Crash Protection – Graco both meets and exceeds all safety standards set by the US. Their impact protection with energy absorbing foam and steel-reinforced frame help keep your child safe in the event of a crash by both absorbing crash energy to keep it away from the child and providing strength and support to the seat.
- No-rethread Harness – A really cool feature about this seat is there is no rethreading needing when moving the harness up or done to adjust for your growing child.
- 3-position Recline – At Pro #3 are the 3 different recline positions to help keep your little one comfy in the seat.
- Seat Design – The seat design is very similar to the Graco Nautilus. The seat has a nice quality fabric, adjustable headrest, and armrest with storage pockets.
- Washable – In this case the seat cushion is totally machine washable making for easier care.
- Weight Limit – As a backless booster this seat goes up to 120lbs which is a 20lb extension from the Graco Nautilus.
And the Cons?
- Not for Little Ones – This shouldn’t come as any surprise since this isn’t a rear-facing car seat for infants, but this seat is often purchased and used when children reach that 3-4 year old age. So try to keep your little one rear-facing for as long as possible, or in their previous rear to forward convertible before putting them in this. They’ll be a lot more comfortable that way.
- Installation – Car seat installation always seems to be a bit of pain and this seat isn’t an exception. Some people find it okay to install and others relatively difficult, a lot of it really depends on the car you have and your car seat experience. The bottom line is, once you get that tight and secure installation, don’t move this seat around too much, just keep it where it’s at and life will be much easier.
How do consumers rate it?
The Argus Elite is a popular 3-in-1 seat with great ratings. There aren’t many parents who regret buying this seat after they’ve been using it for a while. That being said though the Graco Nautilus is still much more popular, which could be because it’s the original 3-in-1 and has built up a reputation as a safe and reliable seat. The reason though could be price….
What’s it going to cost?
As I said before, the Argos comes with a few features that the Nautilus doesn’t and therefore comes in at a bit of a higher price. Graco sets the MSRP for the Argos at $219.99 which is about $20-30 more expensive than the Nautilus depending on the style you get. Basically what you’re paying here is $20 more for the 20 extra pounds this seat affords you. Looking at Amazon the Argos Elite comes in at a discount of $189.99 which is a nice price overall but the Nautilus is also discounted normally around $150, making it still the more budget friendly option.
The Bottom Line
I think the decision for most usually comes down to: Should I purchase the Graco Nautilus or the Graco Argos? I think…if you need the extra 20lbs in weight limit the Argos offers you, or you much absolutely have that no-rethread harness and it’s worth an extra $30 to you then get the Graco Argos. It is a great seat and will last you through the end of your car seat years. However, if you don’t need that extra 20lbs and you don’t mind rethreading a harness every once in a while then go with the Graco Nautilus and spend that extra $30 on a mani-pedi for yourself…you deserve it 😉