A Real Review of the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum 4-in-1 Car Seat

A Real Review of the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum 4-in-1 Car Seat

by Adrina Palmer |

How would you like to buy one car seat to last the entirety of your child’s car seat years??

You can do that with the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum 4-in-1 Car Seat. With it’s fantastic installation technology and 4 modes of usage, this car seat is the best of the 4Ever lineup.

Overview

  • 4-in-1 Positions: Rear-Facing, Front-Facing, Highback Belt Position Booster, and Backless Booster
  • Rear-facing – 4 lbs to 50 lbs
  • Front-facing – 22 lbs to 65 lbs
  • Highback Belt-Positioning Booster – 40 lbs to 100 lbs
  • Backless Belt-Positioning Booster – up to 120
  • 6 Reclining Positions – 4 Rear-Facing and 2 Front-Facing
  • Adjustable Leg Position for Rear-Facing Comfort – Up to Five Inches
  • Seat Belt Lockoff for Forward-Facing Use
  • On-Board Harness Storage for Booster Seat Position
  • Steel Frame with Foam Padding
  • Two Cup Holders
  • Machine-Washable Cover Without Removing Car Seat
  • Ten Year Life Span

Features

Harness and Headrest

The five-point harnesses are one of the best inventions in car seats. With a strap over each shoulder, one on each side of the waist, and another between the legs, five-point harnesses guarantee your baby will stay snuggly in their seat. Incidentally, this car seat takes the ingenuity to a new level with a harness that hides out of the way when your child moves to a booster seat. Another added bonus with the Simply Safe Adjust Harness is it adjusts the seat to the height of the harness and headrest in one quick motion.

Beyond the harness, parents will love the ability to adjust the headrest up to ten different positions to better meet the height needs of their individual child. Even better, no rethreading of the belts is necessary! For newbie moms, the shoulder straps for rear facing should be at or below the shoulders and for front facing keep the straps at or above the shoulders. Don’t worry, Graco made this an easy task. Just squeeze the red handle at the top of the seat to slide the headrest up or down to reach your child’s desired position. Great for babies that grow like weeds! Overall, a wonderful safety feature to ensure a correct and comfortable fit.

Base

If you have never paid attention to the shape of the back seat in your car, now is the time to go look and notice the noticeable incline meant to provide posterior comfort. Every car has a different shape and this rather large car seat needs to be at least 80% on the vehicle seat for full safety. The base comes with a level to help ensure the correct fit for your car and the car seat base. Make sure you place the seat while the car is parked on level ground, not on an incline. You can use rolled towels to place in a deeper seat back to ensure your car seat is in the blue bubble zone.

Recline 

Most car seats stay forever in one reclining position but not the Graco-4Ever which has six different reclining positions and a footrest that extends out an extra five inches in the rear-facing position. Equally important, rear-facing keeps babies safer longer in the event of an accident – the whole purpose of a car seat, not to mention a baby loose in the car would mean trouble. We don’t want babies chewing on all the soda bottle we toss on the floor!

Usually, most parents move their child to a front-facing position sooner then they should because their child is uncomfortable with their little legs squashed against the back of the seat. With the extra five inches of legroom, even taller babies can stay rear-facing for as long as possible. Subsequently, some countries make babies ride rear-facing for the first four years of their life for safety purposes.

Ordinarily, for the first six months, most babies are content to ride in the most reclined position as this keeps them comfortable and lulls them to sleep. As your baby grows he or she will want to stay awake in the car, instead of spending all of his car time sleeping. Furthermore, he will want to see the world which is hard enough to do in a rear-facing seat let alone one completely reclined. Even better, reclining is as simple as pulling a lever. The convenient guide on the seat shows the correct recline for each stage. The first four recline positions are for rear-facing, 5 is exclusively for forward-facing. Finally, the sixth position is for forward-facing and for use as a booster.

Space

The Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum 4-in-1 Car Seat is a large car seat. Compared to other seats on the market, it’s a beast of a space for a single child. At 21.30 inches in length and 26.14 in height, this is a car seat that may be difficult to fit into the car if you have multiple children in car seats in your back seat. This is also a heavyweight champion, no that’s not right, a heavy car seat. Good thing this car seat is not meant to fit in a stroller. Between your child’s weight and the seat’s weight, you would get quite the workout!

Comfort

Ever dreamed about sleeping on a cushiony cloud? Sorry, you can’t but your baby can. With all the padding and plush inserts, your baby will be living in luxury. Graco integrated two cup holders for older kids to store drinks and snacks for road trips. Keep in mind, the body pillow and harness covers are not optional for children under 25 pounds for either rear or forward facing. The head pillow is only for use in the rear-facing position. Finally, the included shoulder straps will keep away nasty red marks on your little guy’s neck.

Washable

When it comes to babies and kids everything should be washable and this car seat is no exception. After your child messes up the cushions, toss all the parts of this fancy little seat in the wash but let the pieces air dry for best shape retainability. The metal and plastic parts can be washed with soap and water. Or do what most moms do and wash with baby wipes out of the diaper back. Also, you can spot clean the harness straps, again baby wipes are your friends. The buckle just needs a damp cloth or a baby wipe. Finally, one of the best features of this seat is the RapidRemove Cover which comes off in second without uninstalling the seat! It’s like the designers thought about busy moms!

Color Options

The color options for the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum 4-in-1 Car Seat are sparse at best. You have the choice of dark greys and black (Ottlie) or lighter grays mixed black (Hayden). Not a whole lot of creativity with the patterns either in this car seat. Graco does not even offer a brown version for tan interiors. As a result, your baby will be safe and that’s what counts.

Image of the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum Convertible Car Seat, Ottlie

Installation

If you are new to installing a car seat, then you do not know the accompanying frustration. However, Graco now offers EZ Tight Latch featuring a simple installation in 3 easy steps and this feature can only be found in the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum 4-in-1 Car Seat edition car seat. Simply release and attach the latch, retract the latch and push on the center of the seat to tighten. Who knew life could be so simple after the struggles with past car seats?

Read above in the Base section for the Easy-to-read level indicator information. Graco was considerate enough to put installation instructions on the car seat and base to make installing even easier. Definitely read the instruction manual beforehand (that’s for moms, we all know dads do not read the instructions), but the stickers on the seat make for a quick fit guide. Very handy. Nevertheless, do not assume every car seat is the same and requires the same installation. Last, we urge parents to read all of the instructions for the safety of your child.

For more information, watch the videos on how to properly install check out the Graco website here and click through the photos to get to the five videos.

Transitioning

 

From the moment you take your baby home from the hospital, they can use this incredible car seat. Start with rear-facing then switch to forward-facing. When they meet the requirements, switch to belt-positioning booster mode. Next, switch to a backless belt-positioning booster. This is why the car seat is a 4-in-1 because it transitions from baby to toddler to preschooler to child. Finally, everything is adjustable from the seat buckle to the back of the chair and the footrests for the rear facing. A lot of thought went into this modern piece of art. Great job, Graco.

Inflatable Seat Belts

Ford Motor Company has several vehicles with inflatable seat belts in the rear seats. The Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum 4-in-1 Car Seat is compatible with inflatable seat belts. Moreover, if you do have a car with the inflatable seat belts, do not use the built-in lock off in the forward-facing belt path. Otherwise, there are no other issues using the seat as a belt-positioning booster.

Stroller Compatibility

The Graco® 4Ever™ Extend2Fit™ Platinum All-in-One Convertible Car Seat is not meant to fit into a stroller. As a matter of fact, this is a stationary seat meant to stay in the car. Although, If you want an infant car seat that has a handle, a sun hood, and can fit in a stroller you will need to try a different model such as the Graco Snugride Snuglock 30.

Airport Compatibility

The Graco® 4Ever™ Extend2Fit™ Platinum All-in-One Convertible Car Seat is FAA-approved with a harness. Without the harness – as a booster seat – is not allowed as seats are required to have lap and shoulder belts. Subsequently, for car seats that do not work with strollers try the Go-Go Babyz Travelmate for easier travel.

Image of the GO-GO BABYZ TRAVELMATE Car Seat Travel Stroller for Toddler Car Seats

Safety

Another important feature of this car seat is a tether to keep the seat from moving. Just attach the clip to anchors in the back of your car. If you have a mini-van, SUV or a car without anchors you may be able to find another spot or get your car retrofitted. For more information click here.

With a steel-reinforced frame for extra strength and durability and engineered to meet or exceed US standard FMVSS 213 and strenuously crash tested to accommodate all standards. Beyond strength and crash safety, the car seats are tested for side impact to ensure your baby will not slip out of the harness. Lastly, the seat is made with energy absorbing foam for extra impact protection.

Lifespan & Fit

A final note. Most car seats are considered safe for five years of use or date of manufacture. This car seat has a ten-year lifespan. All car seats must be replaced if they are in a car crash – even a minor crash – for the safety of your child. In conclusion, even though the car seat can be used in the forward-facing position at 22 pounds, it is always safest to keep your child rear-facing until they weight 50 pounds or are too tall for the seat. Their head should remain at least 1 inch below the headrest adjustment handle for full safety benefits. Please see the Instruction Manual for more information.

Children should use a booster until the seat belt fits correctly. Children who are 4 foot 9 inches or taller can begin to ride in a car without a car seat or booster. First, the seat belt should cross between the shoulder and neck. Second, the lower back should be flush with the vehicle seat. Third, the lap belt should sit on the child’s thighs. Fourth, the knees should bend at the edge of the seat. Last, the child should be able to ride this way for the whole trip.

Is the Platinum Version Really Better?

The Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum is only a little more money than the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat. With the added bonus of the EZ Tight Latch system, the Platinum version is well worth the money.

The EZ Tight Latch allows you to install the car seat simply in three easy steps. First, release and attach the latch. Second, retract the EZ tight latch. Finally, push on the center of the seat to tighten. What could be easier to ensure the safety of your child? Car seats can be difficult but Graco has improved the process dramatically with the Platinum and with it the safety.

The other main advantage of this car seat is the four different uses: rear-facing, forward-facing, highback booster, and backless booster. Think about it, you are buying one car seat to span your child’s car seat need over a decade all for one reasonable price. In short, this seat will save you time, money, and hassle all while protecting your baby’s life. Read on for more information.

If you want to know about the whole 4Ever and Extend2Fit lines, read our Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit comparison, which includes a full review of the regular, non-platinum Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-In-One Car Seat.

Pros

  • 4-in-1 positions
  • Rear-facing for up to 50 pounds
  • 6 Reclining Positions
  • Leg extension of up to 5 inches for rear-facing comfort
  • Seat belt lockoff
  • Easy access to belt paths
  • On-board harness storage for booster seat use
  • Two cup holders
  • Washable cover without removing the seat
  • 10 Year lifespan
  • Easy to switch modes for different children
  • Meets all safety guidelines
  • Airport Compatible
  • Inflatable Belt Compatible

Cons

  • A stationary seat that stays in the car and does not come out for an easy transition to a stroller.
  • Five extra rear-facing inches means fewer inches for the person sitting in front. Make sure you do not place them behind the driver’s seat if the person is tall and cannot move the seat far enough back to accommodate driving.
  • A small percentage of customers had issues installing the car seat and a few had issues being able to use the extended footrest even in an SUV.
  • The car seat rattles internally which can be super irritating to moms and babies.
  • No sun visor to protect your babies eyes. You may want to purchase a window shade like this one.

Customer Reviews

Graco consistently creates highly rated products and the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum 4-in-1 Car Seat is no exception. Every website where the product is sold includes positive reviews in high numbers. Take a look:

  • 4.5 Stars, 226 Reviews – Amazon
  • 4.5 Stars, 28 Reviews – Buy Buy Baby
  • 4.6 Stars, 47 Reviews – Bed Bath & Beyond
  • 4.8 Stars, 5 Reviews – Walmart

Bottom Line

The main difference between the platinum and the non-platinum version of this car seat is the EZ Tight Latch. For just a few dollars you can upgrade the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat to the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum 4-in-1 Car Seat for a couple of bucks and keep your baby fitted perfectly in your care for the next ten years.

While the car seat has a few issues, the ratings speak volumes about the ease of use and comfort for you and your baby. Overall, the problems are few and none of them detrimental to your babies health. Most car seats come with a host of problems but Graco has gone above and beyond to ensure a comfortable and safe riding space for your baby. In conclusion, the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum 4-in-1 Car Seat is a fantastic car seat so long as you do not need a car seat to fit in a stroller.

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Adrina Palmer
Christian and Mom Blogger
Adrina Palmer is a stay-at-home-mom to three wonderful children and a wife to an amazing husband. She has a bachelors degree in Religion from Liberty University and works as a blogger, copywriter, and reviewer. Adrina is a Christian hoping to help other stay-at-home moms find the joy and simplicity as a mother and wife. In her free time she enjoys many crafts, writing, spending time with family, and reading. She would love to hear from you!

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