The Graco Landmark 3-in-1 Car Seat has just been released! This is the newest car seat in the Graco line up, and it really does have a lot to offer. Between the 3 modes, the plentiful padding, and the overall sturdiness, this 3-in-1 car seat can compete with a lot of the top car seats already on the market.
While it’s not as luxurious and, well, fancy and feature-loaded as some of the Britax or Chicco options, it gets the job done for a waaaaay lower price.
Here’s my totally honest take on the Graco Landmark- complete with pros, cons, and my recommendation.
3 Modes in 1 Car Seat
Like many Graco car seats, this car seat offers you the ability to grow with baby. This saves you money, time, and storage space! Not to mention your sanity. Here are the 3 modes:
Rear-Facing Infant Car Seat
This convertible car seat starts as a rear-facing infant car seat that fits up to 40 pounds. You can place baby in here starting at 5 pounds, so it can be your go-home-from-the-hospital car seat. Side note: if you have a tiny preemie, check out the best preemie car seats. With that being said, even if your newborn is barely 5 pounds, there’s enough padding and recline to keep them supported.
Forward Facing Car Set
When your baby reaches 22 pounds, you can turn it to be a forward-facing car seat. The fact that this seat has an easy adjust harness system and an easy-to-use latch system make it a perfect car seat for any growing baby or toddler. This works with the safety harness as an actual car seat until the 65 pound point. That’s an amazingly high weight limit for a car seat!
Once your child reaches 40 pounds, the Graco Landmark Convertible converts into a toddler belt positioning booster seat. You can keep your child in this backed booster seat until 100 pounds.
The Only Car Seat You’ll Need?
Now, at that 100 lb point, your child will admittedly want a backless booster since they’ll be so large and the seat will be so small. So while this car seat advertises that it can work until your child outgrows a car seat, I would say that isn’t quite true. I know that my kiddos run on the big size, and there ain’t no way they’re staying in this car seat until 100 pounds. Maybe 85 pounds is more accurate.
The Graco Landmark is an excellent option for parents who don’t want to invest a bunch of money in multiple seating options. Since it works from day 1 up to grade school, it really is the only car seat you’ll ever need to purchase. All you’ll need is a backless booster at some point, and you’ll be good to go for life!
But remember, this car seat will expire 7 years after the date of manufacture, so don’t use it past that point!
After knowing the basics, most parents need the deets on safety. Fear not! This car seat has superb safety for your little one.
For starters, it’s got a steel-reinforced frame for durability and strength. Yes, that means that is will hold up in a crash, which is most important. But it also means that it will hold up to years of wear and tear by one or more children. Like one reviewer aptly put it: this thing is “built like a tank” and still only weighs just under 20 pounds.
Complete Crash Testing
Next, it has been tested every which way for crash safety, which is something Graco calls ProtectPlus Engineered. Here’s a quick breakdown of the tests that it’s been through:
- Side Impact Tested: Makes sure that your child is “retained” in the case of an accident due to the safety harness or the seat belt doing its job; this is super important when you are using it in booster mode
- Rear Impact Tested: This looks at crash forces if you are rear-ended; Graco uses the European Rear Impact Crash Pulse, which you can read up on here
- Rollover Testing: Yet again, Graco looks to the more rigid European rollover standards to make sure their car seats meet the Graco RollSafe testing standard
- Impact Force Testing: US FMVSS 213 is a safety standard that dictates how much force a car seat has to withstand to be sold in the US; this Graco car seat was tested at twice that amount!
- Temperature Testing: Most people don’t think about this one, but Graco does! They test their car seats to make sure that they stay true in the highest and lowest of temperatures
As if all that weren’t enough, it’s FAA Certified for use on airplanes, both rear-facing and forward-facing. Neat!
Oh, and did we mention the InRight LATCH system? It makes it easy to get into the car securely with their easy 1-second latch hooks. It makes it almost impossible to get the installation wrong. And don’t forget, proper installation is the only way to ensure that the safety features of your car seat do what they are supposed to.
One thing I don’t like about these latch hooks is that they are the basic ones that are just plain clips. Yes, they’re easy to get in, but they are not easy to get out! You’ll definitely pinch a finger or bust a fingernail in the process. I prefer the latch hooks on the Britax Allegiance car seat. At least you can hook these latch connectors onto the back of the car seat when not in use.
Keeping Kids Cozy
Made for comfort, the Landmark car seat has a soft, plush cover. And for parents: you can machine wash the cover without removing the harness. I’m telling you, that’s a feature that can’t be raved about enough! Once you’ve had to take apart and rethread a harness, you never want to do it again. And with the Landmark, you don’t have to.
Under the cover, you’ll find EPS foam. This keeps the car seat safe by absorbing crash forces, but it also works to keep your child comfortable. Plus the shoulder straps and the bottom buckle are padded. I personally love this for keeping hot buckles and straps off of baby in the summer. Not to mention the obvious comfort benefit.
The Graco Landmark also has plush inserts that can be removed as baby grows and needs more room. Long story short, your child won’t complain about their tushy, back, or legs hurting in this car seat.
And so your hungry little monkey doesn’t complain about being thirsty, it has a removable cup holder. And the great news is that this cup holder can be placed on either side, so you can adjust it depending on where in the vehicle you place the car seat. That’s great for having multiple car seats in the same back seat. And you can take it off if you need the extra space.
Customize Their Fit
The Landmark’s headrest and harness move together seamlessly between several different positions. This helps the car seat to grow with your child, from those 5 tiny pounds all the way up to booster mode. All you have to do is push the button on the front of the headrest and the harness scoots up and down.
The only bad thing about the button being on the front and not the back is that if you have an older, mechanically-obsessed toddler, they’ll probably try to mess with the button once they figure out what it does. And trust me, don’t underestimate a bored toddler in the car. They can and will move that headrest if they get the button activated.
Another cool part of the headrest is that when you pull the headrest all the way to the top, it reveals the belt positioning booster guides. They’re bright red and located on either shoulder, so your kid can’t miss them. And neither can you. Love this safety feature!
And to really get that buckle fitting right, there are 2 bottom buckle positions to choose from. Since this car seat works for kids up to 65 pounds using the harness, I wish there was one more bottom buckle position. That would make it much more cozy for bigger kids with bigger bottoms.
And speaking of booster mode, you can store the 5-point safety harness in a secret storage compartment while you use this seat in booster mode. That means no more lost straps, which is good news for the next kid (and for mom and dad).
Finally, you’ll find a 4 position recline. This is another dual purpose feature that works for both safety and comfort. It keeps your tiny, rear-facing baby safer by keeping them at the proper angle to help the car seat work. Then, as they get older, you can use the recline to keep them from doing the broken-neck nap thing in the car. You can use all 4 positions in both forward facing and rear facing mode.
- 3 modes work from 5 pounds to 100 pounds
- Crash tested in every way you could think of
- Washable cover
- Infant inserts and EPS foam padding all around
- No rethread harness adjustment
- Harness storage for booster mode
- 4 position recline
- No backless booster mode
- Latch connectors are a pain to un-click
- Only 2 bottom buckle positions
Final Take on the Graco Landmark
I can’t help but like Graco products! They might not have every single little feature ever, but the features they do have are well thought-out and well-executed. And the Graco Landmark 3-in-1 Car Seat is no exception.
The obvious features, like the 3 modes, the insane safety, the ease-of-use, and amazing adjustability are wonderful to have. I also like some of the little features like the easy wash cover and the movable and removable cup holder.
All of this comes at a price that’s definitely below the price of comparable best convertible car seats. That being said, there are some features that aren’t so stunning, like the plain-Jane latch connectors that can be difficult to use, and the fact that this doesn’t convert into a backless booster like the Graco 4Ever. But that’s what you get with a lower price.
That being said, the price is great for what you get, and it’s still high quality. It will last you through its 7-year life span with no problems.
If you want a sturdy and safe convertible car seat that’s not the bottom of the heap nor the cream of the crop, then the Graco Landmark is the car seat for you!