Graco sells a range of car seats as one of the best-known brands in the industry. This Graco Extend2Fit review takes a detailed look at one of Graco’s most popular models. In our roundup of the best convertible car seats, we listed the Extend2Fit as one of our favorites. Here, we’ll offer a closer look at the features of the seat and how it performed in testing.
Graco Extend2Fit Overview And Features
A high-quality convertible car seat with soft and easy-to-clean fabrics.
We believe the Graco Extend2Fit is one of the best convertible car seats in the $200 range. It is a well-built seat with excellent safety features. This car seat is highly adjustable and includes a ten-position headrest, six recline positions, and a four-position extension panel leg rest to help your little one ride rear-facing for longer (the rear-facing position is generally considered safer for children up to four).
- Approximate cost: $210
- Weight range: 4.0 to 65.0 pounds
- Height limit: Up to 49.0 inches
- Car seat weight: 19.0 pounds
Graco Extend2Fit Testing Process
To test the Graco Extend2Fit, we installed it in the back of a small sedan, trying every buckle and adjustment mechanism. While we handled the seat, we considered ease of use, adjustability, and material quality when determining our rating.
In addition to our in-person testing, we also read through hundreds of customer reviews to see how the Extend2Fit worked out for other parents. We tried to find reviews from those who had experienced accidents while using this seat and those that used it for several years.
Ease Of Use
Every car seat sold in the United States must pass federal safety standards, but even approved car seats are unsafe if improperly installed. If a car seat is easier to install, there’s less of a chance for user error.
Any car seat will need to be adjusted to ensure a safe fit. Convertible car seats are supposed to accommodate a range of heights and weights as your child grows. We gave the highest ratings in this category for car seats with the most adjustment positions and with smoothly-operating levers.
Quality Of Materials
We examined the materials for quality and comfort. Seats with soft padding, quality stitching, and durable frames scored best in this category.
What We Like About The Graco Extend2Fit
The Extend2Fit is a $200 car seat that rivals the quality of pricier models. It features high-quality materials and is easy to install in both the forward- and rear-facing positions. We like that it uses LATCH anchors, which are easier to operate and sturdier than plain metal clips. You can also install this car seat using a seat belt.
Helpful stickers and guides make this fuss-free seat easy to install and provide peace of mind that you’ve fit it into your vehicle properly. A ball level indicator shows the seat is at the appropriate recline angle and stickers show you how far the Extend2Fit can hang over your seat and which settings are appropriate for which configuration (forward- or rear-facing).
Another benefit of the Extend2Fit is that it is rated for children up to 50.0 pounds in the rear-facing position. Many car seats cannot accommodate larger children in this position, though it is generally safer for children four and under to be placed this way. The Extend2Fit has an extendable footboard that can keep your child comfortable in the rear-facing mode as they grow.
Perhaps most importantly, the Extend2Fit vehicle seat has undergone a front and side-impact crash test to meet federal safety standards and for peace of mind.
While the seat cover takes some time and searching to remove, it is machine-washable. The harness storage pockets are also nice for tucking away the parts you aren’t using.
What We Don’t Like About The Graco Extend2Fit
The Extend2Fit is great, but it isn’t perfect. Repositioning the anchor latches to switch from rear- to forward-facing modes is a bit of a pain. This is because it requires removing almost all of the outer fabric layer, which is attached by several anchor points.
Adjusting the incline position is also a little tricky and takes some effort to accomplish. Other car seats that we’ve tested can shift more easily. Tightening the latch connectors and straps also requires a bit more elbow grease than other models, though once tightened, these are very secure.
This seat is a little wide for a car seat, so it may not fit in your car if you need to place three across. The dual cup holders are also square-shaped, which can make for an awkward fit for some cups. And while the inserts and seat pad are easy enough to remove, the fabric cover is difficult to put back on after you wash it.
Graco Extend2Fit Reviews
Reviews on Amazon rate the Graco Extend2Fit an average score of 4.9 out of 5 stars. This near-perfect score is based on over 60,000 ratings. A total of 97 percent of reviews give this car seat 4 or more stars.
Positive Graco Extend2Fit Reviews
The Extend2Fit is popular among parents with children who are large for their ages because it accommodates a higher weight limit and height limit for the rear-facing position.
“My son is not even one and his height and weight [are that] of a [two-year-old]. In order to rear face as long as possible, this was the best product for us.”
– CK via Amazon
Reviewers also like the value of this seat, which offers an excellent price-to-quality ratio.
“This was a very budget friendly convertible seat and the fact that it grows with the kid makes it that much better of a financial investment. The fabric allows a lot of breathing room for our son during the hot days.”
– Dave via Amazon
There are some reports from parents using this seat during an accident.
“We were in an accident where my now totaled car [spun] from the road into a neighborhood sign and [my kid] was laughing and playing in the back seat like nothing happened!”
– Kelly via Amazon
Negative Graco Extend2Fit Reviews
The most common negative critique of the Extend2Fit regards removing the padding. The lining is machine-washable for easy cleaning, but it must be first unattached from the car seat, which is tricky.
“The cover is secured by small elastic loops strategically placed around the seat. Some of these loops need to be threaded through small holes to reach the fastening hook. Get yourself a crochet hook because otherwise you will be ready to throw the seat away.”
– K Graham via Amazon
“You’ll need endless patience and elves with tiny but impossibly long fingers to get the darn cover back on the seat.”
– A via Amazon
Our Take On The Graco Extend2Fit: 4.3 Stars
The Graco Extend2Fit is an excellent value, offering the high-quality padding and latches one would expect from pricier options. We like the leg extender, which allows taller children to use the seat in its rear-facing position and have extra legroom.
The downsides to this seat are that the harness can be difficult to tighten and it is a pain to remove and reattach the padding when it comes time to wash it. If you buy this car seat, consider also purchasing a crochet hook.
|Overall Rating||4.3 out of 5|
|Ease of Use||4 out of 5|
|Adjustability||4.5 out of 5|
|Quality of Materials||4.5 out of 5|
Choose this convertible car seat if your child is in the upper percentile for height and weight. It is a wide-based seat that will take up a good amount of space in your back seat, but is safe and easy to use (other than cleaning the lining).
Remember that anytime you purchase a car seat, you should check to make sure there have been no recalls on the model.
Why You Can Trust Us
Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.
We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more.
How To Install A Convertible Car Seat
Parents should always refer to their product manual for instructions on how to install a car seat. However, we can offer the following tips that are universal across all car seats:
- Secure all car seats using the lower anchors or a seat belt but never both. Lower anchors are small, horizontal bars in the space between the seat’s back and cushion.
- Once your child exceeds the weight limit of the car seat, it’s important to transition your child into a bigger car seat or booster seat. Not only is a small car seat tight and uncomfortable, it may not be able to support your child’s weight limit and may damage the lower anchors.
- You’ll want to use tethers to secure front-facing car seats. Tethers are typically located above or behind the back seat.
Owners of car seats used them incorrectly in 59 percent of cases the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) examined. Find a local station on NHTSA’s website for a free car seat inspection by a certified technician.
What Is The LATCH System?
The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) harness system is installed in cars made after 2003. These anchors and tethers make installing a car seat in any position in your car (even the middle seat) easier.
The top tether is located above the back seat. It secures the car seat in place when the driver makes a sharp turn or sudden stop, and it’s compatible with leather or vinyl upholstery. If you have an older car, you’ll use the seat belt rather than the lower anchors that are built into cars today.
Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat: FAQ
*Data accurate at time of publication.