Infants: 0-2 • Little Kids: 3-6

Graco 4Ever vs. Extend2Fit: Which Graco Car Seat Is Best For Your Family?

Graco 4Ever Car Seat vs. Graco Extend2Fit Car Seat

Ah, the struggle to settle on the perfect car seat. If you thought deciding which stroller to buy was a doozy, wait until you embark on the complexities of determining the ideal convertible car seat for your kiddo.

What’s a convertible car seat?

What’s a convertible car seat, you may wonder? It’s one that can make the transition from rear-facing to forward-facing in your car, essentially growing with your child. There are many, many options out here. But in an effort to make things a bit easier, we’ve put two of the most popular convertible car seats—both made by Graco—side-by-side, to help you determine which one might best suit your needs. 

Graco 4Ever Car Seat vs. Graco Extend2Fit Car Seat

The Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat and the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat are two different car seats that were designed to appeal to different market segments.

The biggest difference to know right off the bat about the two (besides the obvious price difference) is that the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 was essentially designed to be the one car seat you’ll ever need. It goes from a rear-racing infant seat, to front facing, to a booster with harness to a backless booster, thus covering all the phases of car-riding until your child is ready to simply strap into their seatbelt and ride like an adult (usually when they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics). In essence, this could potentially mean 10 years with the same car seat—impressive in a way, to be sure. But do keep in mind how dirty car seats can get, and factor in if you think it’s reasonable to suppose that anything carrying your child for 10 years is still likely to be something you’ll want strapped into your car a decade after their birth.

The Graco Extend2Fit was designed for parents who are mainly focused on getting through the early years with one car seat, and open to buying another one later. The Graco Extend2Fit can be used rear and front facing, but doesn’t segue to the booster phase (for that, you could consider the Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat, which can eventually be converted to a harness-style booster).

For parents who really want to keep their kids rear-facing as long as possible, the Graco Extend2Fit does the trick. While conventional wisdom might say the age of 2 is appropriate for turning a child forward facing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends keeping children “rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height or weight limit allowed by the particular seat,” according to the organization’s website. For the Graco Extend2Fit, that means kids up to 50 pounds can ride rear-facing—and in comfort, too, thanks to an extension panel that pulls out to allow 5 inches more legroom as your child grows.

Read on for the ins and outs and what to expect with the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat and the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat.

For one Facebook user, it was all about the ability to keep her toddler rear-facing as long as possible, and the comfort was an added bonus. “It gave my son more leg room while rear-facing, which meant I was able to keep him rear-facing longer.”

An Amazon user who tried many other car seats says the Extend2Fit’s covers were very easy to remove for washing and all of the hardware was very sturdy. But she was particularly impressed with how easy it was to get inside the Extend2Fit to adjust it. “I can get my paw all the way through the appropriate areas. The harness adjustment feature alone is enough to give Graco repeat business,” she says.

Another Amazon user said he scoured the options and couldn’t ask for a better car seat. “After seeing many models, reading many reviews and looking at safety tests, we decided to buy this car seat. It’s big and comfortable for our baby, the instructions are easy to understand, and it’s very easy to install in the car. On top of that, it’s considered very safe and comfortable. What more could we ask for?

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat; Courtesy Amazon
Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat; Courtesy Target

Car Seat Specs

Graco® 4Ever® Car Seat

  • Price: $269.99
  • Car Seat Weight: 27.93 pounds
  • Dimensions: Depth: 26.14 inches; Width: 20.39 inches; Height: 27.93 inches
  • Rear-Facing Weight Limit: 4 pounds to 40 pounds
  • Forward-Facing 5-Point Harness Seat Weight Limit: 22 to 65 pounds
  • Highback Belt-Positioning Booster: 40 pounds to 100 pounds or up to 57 inches tall
  • Backless Belt-Positioning Booster: 40 pounds to 120 pounds

Graco Extend2Fit Car Seat

  • Price: $170.99
  • Car Seat Weight: 19.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: Depth: 22.13 inches; Width: 19.25 inches; Height: 25.16 inches
  • Rear-Facing Weight Limit: 4 pounds to 50 pounds or up to two years old
  • Forward-Facing 5-Point Harness Seat Weight Limit: 22 to 65 pounds
  • Highback Belt-Positioning Booster: None
  • Backless Belt-Positioning Booster: None

Car Seat Pros

Graco® 4Ever® Car Seat

  • Grows with your child through all stages of car seat and booster seat use
  • Cover is easy to remove for cleaning
  • Easy installation, with an audible clicking sound to assure you it’s properly installed.

Graco Extend2Fit Car Seat

  • Designed with an extension panel to give extra legroom and keep babies rear-facing longer
  • Cover is easy to remove for cleaning
  • Push-button style latch anchors make it easy to remove from car attachment
  • Six recline positions for comfort

Car Seat Cons

Graco® 4Ever® Car Seat

  • Bulky design makes it a difficult option to travel with
  • While it’s technically made to last through all stages, it may be dirty or outdated 10 years down the line
  • Doesn’t recline fully back when rear-facing, so not good for babies with reflux or ones who like to be laying back more

Graco Extend2Fit Car Seat

  • Headrest can block visibility (for driver) when extended
  • Bulky to travel with
  • Can be hard to fit three car seats across in backseat if you have three kids, due to size

Car Seat Reviews

Graco® 4Ever® Car Seat

One Facebook user says that while she’s been able to get good use out of her Graco 4Ever car seats, she would opt for an Extend2Fit or “something else that’s convertible but doesn’t go all the way to booster stage.” She added that the extra costs for the highback and backless booster conversion doesn’t seem like it will be worth it since it’s many years past the infant and toddler stage. “By then, the seat will be quite old and there are less expensive booster-only seats you can buy later that have better functionality and ease of use than the 4Ever in those early stages.”

An Amazon user praised the new easier-to-remove cover of the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat, which has been enhanced to make pulling them on and off for machine washing as easy as possible. “The covers come off easily and are intuitive to put back together,” she says.

If you’re planning to travel with the 4Ever, be aware that it’s bulky, warns a Facebook user, who said, “I used the 4Ever once flying solo with my son and it was so, so heavy.”

Graco Extend2Fit Car Seat

For one Facebook user, it was all about the ability to keep her toddler rear-facing as long as possible, and the comfort was an added bonus. “It gave my son more leg room while rear-facing, which meant I was able to keep him rear-facing longer.”

An Amazon user who tried many other car seats says the Extend2Fit’s covers were very easy to remove for washing and all of the hardware was very sturdy. But she was particularly impressed with how easy it was to get inside the Extend2Fit to adjust it. “I can get my paw all the way through the appropriate areas. The harness adjustment feature alone is enough to give Graco repeat business,” she says.

Another Amazon user said he scoured the options and couldn’t ask for a better car seat. “After seeing many models, reading many reviews and looking at safety tests, we decided to buy this car seat. It’s big and comfortable for our baby, the instructions are easy to understand, and it’s very easy to install in the car. On top of that, it’s considered very safe and comfortable. What more could we ask for?”

Longtime travel writer and adventurer Terry Ward lives in Florida with her husband and young son and daughter. She’s constantly on the lookout for the next Scandinavia Airlines Kids Fly Free deal to save money on flights to Norway, her favorite place to visit both in the winter (Northern Lights!) and summer (Midnight Sun!). A travel writer since 2001 (read: long before the kids came along), she’s written for such publications as Endless Vacation Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler and Scuba Diving Magazine, among many others. Find Terry on her website, Terry-Ward.com.

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