Graco is a leading manufacturer of all things baby, including car seats. In the quest for the best car seat, the Graco Extend2Fit and the Graco Milestone are both very popular car seats. How do they compare? Which is the best choice for YOU?
While they are both quality car seats with great safety standards, there are some noticeable differences between them. For parents that are looking for a car seat with extended rear facing capabilities, the Graco Extend2Fit would be the best choice and is among the top car seats. Here’s why!
It can accommodate rear facing all the way until 50 lbs which is at the very least until 4 or 5 year old. After that, it is a harnessed forward facing seat until 65 pounds. It’s one of the few car seats on the market with these long extended ranges!
Graco Extend2Fit Unique Features
Extended Rear Facing Friendly
The Graco Extend2Fit is a 2 in 1, which means it’s suitable for rear-facing mode for infants from 4-50 lbs (Extended rear facing!!), and forward facing for toddlers weighing between 22-65 lbs. For both positions, the weight ranges are very generous, allowing extended rear facing which many parents love.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children ride rear-facing until at least 2 years of age. However, many parents buy seats that allow them to rear face as long as possible because it’s safer for the child.
For forward facing, it allows your child to be harnessed for a very very long time (my average sized 7 year old is about 50 lbs for reference). Staying in a harnessed seat for an extended amount of time is much safer than in a booster seat.
Weight: 4-50 lbs
Height: Head must be at least 1″ below red handle
Weight: 22-65 lbs
Height: Up to 49″
Additional extension of leg room
The Graco Extend2Fit features this handy extension panel which provides up to 5″ of additional leg room for the child. It has 4 different extension positions, which help the child to rear face for an extended period of time comfortably.
Although parents who are very dedicated to extended rear facing are not deterred by having the child sit cross-legged, this leg room extension is a nice option.
Graco Milestone Unique Features
Three in One Car Seat
The defining feature of the Graco Milestone is that it’s a 3-in-1 solution, which would hopefully mean it’s the only car seat you’ll ever need. From birth through booster years, this seat has got you covered.
It’s a rear-facing car seat from 5 to 40 lbs., a forward-facing car seat from 22 to 65 lbs., and a belt-positioning booster from 30 to 100 lbs.
Hopefully, no one is really putting their child forward facing at 22 lbs, as the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends riding rear-facing until at least the age of 2. Specifically, here’s what Graco has to say about this:
“The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) and National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend that children ride rear facing until the age of 2 or until they reach the maximum rear-facing height or weight rating for their seat, and when forward-facing, children should use the built-in harness system for as long as possible until they reach the maximum forward-facing weight or height for their car seat. After reaching the maximum forward-facing weight and height, they also recommend that children 4 feet 9 inches tall or under should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat.”
At 40 pounds, the rear facing limit would be enough to rear face quite a bit past age 2, but a whole 10 lbs less than the Graco Extend2Fit.
- Rear-facing Harness Mode
Weight: 5-40 lb
Height: head must be at least 1″ below the handle
- Forward-facing Harness Mode
Weight: 20-65 lb
- Highback Booster Mode
Weight: 30-100 lb
How the Graco Extend2Fit and the Graco Milestone are similar
What is a “no re-thread” harness? Well back in the olden days when your child got taller, as they tend to do, you would need to adjust the height of the straps. So the procedure was to un-thread the straps in the back, and re-thread them through higher loops.
These handy dandy car seats of today leave that memory in the distant past. Both the Graco Extend2Fitand the Graco Milestone have a “no re-thread” harness. When your child has grown out of the current position of the headrest, simply move it up with one hand.
Both also have the Simply Safe Adjust System. With the Simply Safe Adjust System, the harness adjusts in height automatically with the headrest. The headrest has 10 different positions to accommodate the child all the way through the top end of the weight and height range.
One of the safety features of both the Graco Extend2Fit and Graco Milestone is the steel reinforced frame. Although all car seats must pass rigorous safety tests to be sold on the market, it does make me feel quite a bit safer to have a steel frame to count on during a collision.
Other safety features include EPS Energy-absorbing foam to help disperse the energy during an impact and therefore away from the child. Both are also side-impact tested and SafeSeat Engineered.
Side-impact protection is nice to have, especially for the smaller children since the side curtain airbags in vehicles might not reach down far enough. That is, if you have a vehicle with side curtain airbags. If you do not have a newer vehicle with side curtain airbags, a car seat with side-impact protection is a must.
Easy to install
Both the Graco Extend2Fit and the Graco Milestone feature the InRight LATCH system for an easy, one-second LATCH attachment. There is nothing worse than having a great seat and a very cumbersome installation. I’ve returned seats in the past because of installation issues alone.
Why you ask? Well, here’s why:
Because a cumbersome installation makes it difficult to get the seat in either at the right angle or tight enough. When the seat is not installed properly, it is less able to do its job, and makes the seat less safe.
They also feature level indicators to help you install the seat properly.
They have similar recline ranges (6 for Extend2Fit and 4 for the Milestone) to find that a comfortable and safe position for your child, no matter how old they are.
Both have removable and machine washable covers, which is so very handy. Both also have removable cupholders. So in those respects, you cannot go wrong with either choice.
The Graco Extend2Fit measures in at 19.25 inches at its widest point while the Graco Milestone is 19 inches. While this helps keep the child very comfortable, it makes neither an ideal seat for 3 across installations. This is when a rear seat of a vehicle needs to accommodate three car seats across.
Typically, 3 across installations need to be under 18″ wide at their widest point or it’s just not feasible. So if you’re looking for a convertible seat that is on the narrower side, neither of these would fit the bill.
Parents and children love them
Both the Graco Extend2Fit and the Graco Milestone are highly loved by parents as seen by the reviews for both. They love the ease of installation, safety, comfort and style of the seats.
Over at Amazon, the Graco Extend2Fit has over 1,600 reviews giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars. The Graco Milestone has 4.7 out of 5 stars based on over 300 reviews (it’s a newer released seat, so hasn’t had as much time to gather reviews quite yet).
How they are different
Rear Facing limit
The Graco Milestone is available for rear facing until 40 lbs while the Graco Extend2Fit is up to 50 lbs. For parents that are trying to rear face as long as humanly possible, the Graco Extend2Fit is an obvious choice. 10 lbs can easily extend that timeline a half a year or longer, depending on the child.
The Graco Extend2Fit offers 6 recline positions (3 for rear facing and 3 for forward facing) while the Graco Milestone offers 4 total. I am one of those people that loves options. The more, the better.
I once tried a convertible car seat with only 3 recline positions and could not find one that was suitable for my 1-month-old. One position was too reclined, one was too upright, and one was reserved for forward facing. There simply wasn’t a good middle ground.
For this reason, I love as many recline options as a manufacturer is willing to give me. If I don’t end up needing it, that’s ok. At least it’s there. All babies and cars are different, and recline positions help bridge the two for a proper fit at any age.
As you can see, each of the seats has unique features which makes them ideal for different needs. If you need a seat with long rear facing and forward facing harness ranges, the Graco Extend2Fit is the seat for you.
However, if you are not a die-hard extended rear facing fan, and a moderate range is enough for you (but you prefer to buy only ONE seat ever), then go with the Graco Milestone.