Home / Baby / Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat: Ultimate Comparison

Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat: Ultimate Comparison

by  Katie -  Last updated on December 16, 2020

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.

One of the most precious and fleeting parts of parenthood is how quickly your baby grows up–especially during the early months and years.

They’ll quickly outgrow a pair of socks or shoes even though you’ll feel like you just bought it.

Clothes are one of the easier things to handle though. When it comes to buying a car seat for your child, it gets a little bit more complicated. Driving is inherently risky and there are so many variables to consider, not least of which is making sure that the car seat is properly fitted to your child’s size.

From our perspective, when looking for a car seat, there are two things that matter most: Your little one’s safety (in other words, the quality of the car seat) and ensuring that you’re paying the right amount for what you’re getting.

Of course, safety is hardly compromisable, but that doesn’t mean that the most expensive products are the best ones out there. Raising a child can get expensive but there’s also ways to be smart about what you’re buying for your little one.

This is where we come in. It’s always important to make sure that not only can a product deliver on its promises, but also that what they are promising is pretty amazing. Today we’re looking at two different products from Graco: the Graco 4Ever and the GracoExtend2Fit.

If you’ve been shopping for car seats for a bit then you’ll definitely have come across at least one, if not both, of these products. Graco, pronounced gray-co, is an American baby products company founded in 1942 and based in North Carolina.

They manufacture and sell a wide range of baby hardware products, from car seats and strollers to cribs and baby swings. Graco is definitely a brand that we know and trust so we’re excited to be sharing our thoughts on the similarities and differences between two of their car seats.

Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit at a Glance

Graco 4Ever Advantages:

  • Can be adjusted to be rear-facing and forward-facing car seat, as well as a high-back and backless booster seat
  • Easy to access adjustable button on the headrest, which also makes it easy to convert
  • Easy to install
  • Cup holders

Graco 4Ever Disadvantages:

  • Infant position reclines a little less than regular infant seats on the market
  • Can be expensive depending on the color or pattern that you choose
  • Stiffer back structure

Graco Extend2Fit Advantages:

  • Can be adjusted to be rear-facing and forward-facing car seat and a high-back booster seat
  • 6 different adjustable positions
  • Adjustable leg room thanks to the leg extender with four positions
  • Cup holders

Graco Extend2Fit Disadvantages:

  • Stubborn buckle straps
  • Difficult installation when integrating it with seat belts
  • Does not become a backless booster seat
  • Slightly tricky to remove and reattach the seat cover

Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is Graco Extend2Fit.

What’s the Difference Between Them?

Safety

Above all else, you should always strive to pick the safest car seat for your little one. Luckily, both of these car seats have highly rated safety and follow every car seat regulation and guideline.

Both car seats are crash tested and have varying percentages of car safety so these two car seats pass the test with flying colors. Because Graco specializes in baby products, its safety measures are specifically designed with little ones in mind.

These car seats get put through front, rear, and side impact testing, and roll testing in the event of a crash. Both of these car seats have Safety Surround Side Impact Protection, which provides protection for your child’s head from all possible angles.

Graco employs energy-absorbing foam called EPS, which will absorb most of the impact in the event of a crash, and the headrests on both are further reinforced with thick padding. The build is further reinforced with steel frames for durability and strength, while remaining relatively lightweight so you don’t need to worry about lugging a really heavy car seat between cars or between your car and your house.

All these different materials have also been tested to see if it conducts heat. Both car seats have gone through extreme interior temperature testing to ensure that your baby stays cool. That said, we did notice that the seats themselves doesn’t get hot, the fabric used on both is slightly non-breathable.

It’s a small sacrifice to pay for safety, in our opinion, but it does mean that your baby could get a little sweaty on rides (just like when you’re sitting in a leather car in the summer). It’s easily amended with breathable and sweat-wicking clothing.

Aside from safety, if you’re looking for a bit more detail to ensure that you’re buying a car seat that can accommodate all the things that make your little one unique and special, take a look below at some of the key differentiating features between the two.

We’ve done the heavy lifting and testing. All you need to do is keep reading to help you make the best purchasing decision for your growing baby!

The 4 in 1 and adjustable head and footrests

At the minimum, aside from safety, of course, you want a car seat that can grow with your child. It should come as no surprise that one of the best features about these two car seats is the fact that they can transform from a car seat into a booster seat.

Both of these seats have adjustable positions for comfortability and can convert into a booster seat when that time comes, so they check the boxes on that front. You can comfortably move forward with either of the ones we review, knowing that it won’t expire after a couple years of use and will continue to keep your child safe throughout their childhood development years.

Advertised as a “4 in 1,” these car seats promise to last through different growing stages. The expensive prices are an investment to keep your child safe and comfortable until they’re ready to sit on their own. The adjustable positions on each of these car seats also customize to your child’s comfortability. Let’s explore how well each of these car seats accomplish this task.

The Graco 4Ever has:

  • Six recline positions
  • Ten headrest positions

The Graco Extend2Fit has:

  • Six recline positions
  • Four position extension panel (for legroom)

So far the recline positions are clocking in at an even match, with the main difference between the two lying in the headrest and the leg rest. The Graco Extend2Fit does offer a somewhat adjustable headset, but it’s certainly not as detailed as the Graco 4Ever.

That said, however, we did notice that the headset on the Graco 4Ever sometimes rattles while the car is in motion. We’re not quite sure why this is the case, but it seems to be an issue that several customers have experienced in the past.

Without knowing whether this is a car seat or simply a car (or even user installation) issue, we’re inclined to think that the main culprit is the multitude of headrest positions. It may add more comfort to your child’s seated or reclining position, but that can quickly be negated with an annoying clicking sound.

Considering this, we prefer the Graco Extend2Fit. Plus, in terms of customization, we prefer having more legroom because it’s such a unique quality to this specific product.

Verdict: Graco Extend2Fit

Weight and Height Support across Adjustable Positions

Taking a deeper dive into the adjustable positions now. We mentioned earlier that while both car seats have rear facing, forward facing, and high-back booster seat capabilities, only the Graco4Ever has the backless booster option. Let’s take a look at where the two converge first.

Rear facing:

4Ever:

Weight: For children up to 40 pounds

Height: For children up to one inch below the adjuster button on the headrest when it’s fully extended (USA), 43 inches tall or less (Canada)

Extend2Fit:

Weight: For children up to 50 pounds

Height: For children up to one inch below the adjuster button on the headrest when it’s fully extended (USA), 43 inches tall or less (Canada)

Verdict: Graco Extend2Fit

Forward facing:

4Ever:

Weight: Between 22 and 65 pounds
Height: Less than 49 inches tall

Extend2Fit:

Weight: Between 22 and 65 pounds
Height: Less than 49 inches tall

Verdict: No verdict. The two have the same requirements when it comes to product and tech specs for the forward facing car seat functionality

High-back booster seat:

4Ever:

Weight: Between 30 and 100 pounds (USA), between 40 and 100 pounds (Canada)
Height: Between 38 and 57 inches tall (USA), between 50 and 57 inches tall (Canada)

Extend2Fit:

Weight: Between 30 and 100 pounds (USA), between 40 and 100 pounds (Canada)
Height: Between 38 and 57 inches tall (USA), between 50 and 57 inches tall (Canada)

Verdict: No verdict. The two have the same requirements when it comes to product and tech specs for the high-back booster seat functionality

Extend2Fit doesn’t have a backless booster seat option in its range of adjustable positions, so we won’t provide a verdict on the specs below.

Backless booster seat:

4Ever:

Weight: Between 40 and 120 pounds
Height: Between 40 and 57 inches tall

Overall, considering that one of the features of a car seat is its ability to adjust and fit the growth of your child, we have to go with Graco4Ever in terms of the range of options that it offers.

Having spent so much money on a car seat, you want to make sure that it can really stretch while maintaining maximum safety considerations. Graco4Ever definitely meets the bill.

Verdict: Graco4Ever

Product specs

Next, let’s consider some of the technical specifications of the two products. This includes height and weight, but this time of the actual car seat itself.

In terms of the seat measurements, the Graco4Ever is 20 x 21.5 x 24 inches and weighs in just under 23 pounds at 22.8 pounds. On the other hand, the Graco Extend2Fit is 22.1 x 19.2 x 25.2 inches and weighs just under 20 pounds at 19 pounds, or almost four pounds lighter.

We also took a look at the range of harness positions that each of the car seats features. Graco 4Ever and Graco Extend2Fit apply 5 point harnesses to really keep children buckled in and safe. Graco4Ever has a range between 6 inches, its lowest harness position, and 18 inches, which is its maximum.

Graco Extend2Fit has a slightly reduced range, at 7 inches and 17.5 inches, respectively. Note that both of the lowest harness positions consider the infant insert. Also, we touched on safety earlier but it’s worth mentioning again that in addition to these key features, both have a number of latches and anchors that hold the car seat down.

These two products were built with safety in mind and you really can’t go wrong with either of them, in terms of the harness’ safety. That said, and despite the weight difference, we’re really bumping on the adjustability of the car seat and Graco4Ever takes the cake again here.

Verdict: Graco4Ever

Installation and Cleaning

Here’s where it gets less fun for the caretakers or parents. Children are messy–that’s just a fact of life. This means that easy to clean car seats are heavily appreciated. Thankfully, the Graco 4Ever and Graco Extend2Fit both have a machine washable seat pad with instructions on how to clean the rest of the car seat.

We mentioned earlier that the fabric on the car seats is slightly non-breathable, which does lend itself to making it a lot easier to wipe spills and other messes up while you’re on the go. The only thing that makes this part cumbersome is the actual bulkiness of the products themselves.

Because of the complexity of the numerous added features, it does make something like cleaning and re-installation a hassle. The covers can be removed, but putting them back on will be a trial when you have to focus on multiple things at once.

Both car seats use a LATCH system that can make for a quick and easy buckle in, but the actual weight of the car seats also has its own problems. A four pound weight difference doesn’t sound all that much, but things do add up when you’re juggling a car seat, a diaper bag, and possibly even your baby all at once.

Another thing to consider is that the Extend2Fit has stubborn straps that require a good pull to latch in. Which, of course can get frustrating over time if you’re constantly going from your house to your car.

Both seats offer wonderful customization options, but you do have to sacrifice the weight and ease of regular car seats. Knowing that both of these car seats have difficulty with their installation and cleaning, we’re definitely inclined to go with the one that presents the least amount of hassle.

These are small concerns in the grand scheme of things, but you know that chaos reigns and will always find a way to prevail.

Verdict: Graco 4Ever

Conclusion

You can hardly go wrong when picking between these two car seats. They are built to last ten years and ensure adaptability to your child’s growing body. The “4 in 1” feature of these car seats is certainly the best part about them.

Saving that extra money you would’ve spent on a booster seat allows you to spend on something else for your child. The minor mechanics of the car seats do have their own setbacks and flaws, such as the bulky exteriors and complicated installations, but no qualities that really truly strike us as dealbreakers.

In terms of choosing between the two of them, our pick is with the Graco4Ever. It has a wider range of adjustability in terms of positions, harnesses, and height and weight class, which will ensure that it not only will be better fitted to all the unique aspects of your child, but can likely last for a longer period of time as your child quickly grows from car seat to booster seat and eventually just a regular seat belt. Oh how the time flies.

We do want to make one note on price, since we mentioned economics earlier on. There is a 100 dollar difference between these two seats. The Graco 4Ever is the newer product, which may put more folks at ease given it’s the “updated” car seat in its line of models (and our overall pick anyway).

For those who may be more price-conscious, we found that while Graco Extend2Fit may be a past model, it doesn’t compromise anything on safety. Overall, Graco continues to prove itself as a reliable and trustworthy manufacturer of baby products.

These car seats go above and beyond and really provide a lot for the caretaker in terms of safety and peace of mind. We hope that this makes your purchasing decision slightly easier and can’t wait for your baby to be strapped into your car and going on brand new adventures throughout the years!

Related Articles:

Comments are closed.