Graco Smart Seat car seat

Price range:
$239.99 - $259.00
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Summary: The newest among All-in-One models, and the only All-in-One offered by Graco.
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Community icon4 people have reviewed this model.
About - Graco Smart Seat

The Graco Smart Seat is part of the car seat test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, all-in-one car seat models like the Smart Seat are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.

Harnessed crash protection:
A rating of the potential for each seat to limit injury and movement to a child in a crash when secured using the seat's internal harness that are based on simulated frontal crash tests using child sized dummies.

Ease of use:
Our judgment of how easy each seat is to use including the clarity of labels and instructions, adjustments of clips and buckles, the transition of the seat between modes and installation features such as LATCH connections, belt paths, top tethers and booster guides.

Rear facing fit-to-vehicle:
A rating of how easy it is to securely and correctly install each seat using both the vehicle belts and LATCH in a variety of vehicles in a rear-facing orientation and how well they fit each vehicle once installed.
About This Brand

One of the world’s best-known names in child-care products. Graco originated popular products such as the Swyngomatic baby swing sold in the 1950s, and later Pack n’ Play portable play yards. Graco has the largest share of the child-seat market in the U.S. and is part of the Newell Rubbermaid group of companies.

Features & Specs - Graco Smart Seat
info Rear facing weight range (lbs.) 5-40
info Rear facing height range (in.) head 1" below shell
info Forward facing weight range (lbs.) 20-65
info Forward facing height range (in.) Less than 50
info Booster weight range (lbs.) 30-100
info Booster height range total (in.) Less than 57
info Seat weight (lbs.) 34
More features and specs
User Reviews - Graco Smart Seat
User Reviews
Already own it? Write a review
Comfortable and safe seat
Attractive color options
Easy to adjust
Easy to clean
Hard to install
Very Heavy
Best Uses
We purchased the Graco Smart Seat when our daughter outgrew her infant seat. She has used it for 3 years without any problems. We used it rear facing for a year and it has been front facing for 2 years now. <br /><br />PROS: It is easy to adjust as she grows or for a guest child. It cleans easily after the initial cleaning (the snaps are hard to undo initially). We have taken all of the coverings off several times to clean after accidents. The seat is well padded and safe. The seat reclines to make it even more comfortable for sleeping. The base of the seat secures tightly to the LATCH system and does not move at all. The cupholder is very handy for snacks and drinks.<br /><br />CONS: The seat is really wide and takes up more than a normal seat width. We have it installed in a Ford Explorer, but cannot put another seat next to it. It is also difficult for someone to try and sit next to this seat. Do not plan on moving this seat from car to car because of its size and bulk. My spouse hates to move it to different cars. As the other reviewers said, it is not a seat for travel because of the weight and size. It may not fit in small cars.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
Bottom Line
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
I like this seat but....
Great Reclining Feature
Safer Than Fort Knox
Hard To Shift Between Car
not for air travel
Really heavy
Best Uses
I like this seat, it seems to me to be the safest thing going for a rear facing seat, especially once your kids start to grow. It is a solid option for a larger child that you want to face backwards and they are too long for many of the other options. I would recommend it, but not....if you want to switch it between cars often or if you plan to jump on a flight with it.<br /><br />Lets talk about the second issue. Its got to be the heaviest car seat around. Its also larger (with the base) than any car seat carrier bag around.<br /><br />It is realllllllly hard to take out of one car and put back in another. Im no engineer but there is no way that it is supposed to be as difficult as it is - no way. The bar contraption takes a herculean type grip to turn.<br /><br />So, I would recommend it if you are not going to switch between vehicles often and you were looking to wrap your baby up in Fort Knox.<br /><br />Now - about my experience with car seats, I have purchased three different type models, given an extra one for free and have gone through a total of six seats. My fav is the nautilus - it is the best, but... it does not face backwards.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
Bottom Line
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)
Love This Seat
Cup holder
Easy To Install
Easy to tighten
Great Look
Great material
Lots Of Recline Positions
No Rethread Harness
Stay In Car Base
Bulky Harness Strap Cover
Headrest Leans Forward
Headrest Pushes Forward
Not Suitable For Aircraft
Short Side Impact Cushion
Best Uses
Child Restraint
Forward Or Rear Facing
Infant Restraint
Infant toddler child
Toddler Restraint
I really do love this seat. Here are the reasons why:<br /><br />The material stays cool in the sun (I have the beige and black model. It also has a steel frame like the Britax. <br /><br />The harness pulls tight and loosens like butter. I have tried to do the same with 5 other different models/Brands that my families have (Britax, Graco, Recardo) and the straps are so hard to tighten that you can fit 2 to 3 fingers between the child's chest and the strap after tons of yanking. Still the harness won't budge after that. The straps also twisted on those other models. It is a bigger risk too if you have to rethread the harness yourself and accidently twist it in the process. The seats my family members have received better safety ratings, but I feel that does no good if you can not use the seat properly as intended. <br /><br />The same issue goes for the install. This seat installs so fast and easy. You can leave the base in and switch forward facing to rear and back again. With the other seats I mentioned, the parents had such a hard time installing it that it moves left to right 3 -4 inches!! That is not safe. I even tried to install theirs and was able to get it within an inch wiggle but it took me 20 minutes! The graco smart seat can install in 5 minutes after reading the manual or using common sense. Again what good is a seat if you aren't going to use it properly? With the graco smart seat, the base will not even move without moving the whole car. That is safe. <br /><br />The material wipes clean very easily. I have yet to wash the whole thing as I hear that can be time consuming the first time with all the snaps that come off. That is a drawback. I like how on the Britax marathon you can remove the cover with the seat still installed. But with a stay in car base it is easy to take out the whole seat and take off the cover without needing to reinstall it. <br /><br />I do wish the side impact protection wings were longer, (especially since there is no regulated standard on SIP). I only hope graco tests it thoroughly as they say. This one comes out about 7-7.5 inches and the britax M. 70, Recardo, Chicco Next fit come out about 8 or 9 inches. The drawback of a high side is the child cannot look out easily, but I would prefer that over a short side personally. <br /><br />People complain about the seat being big and heavy but it is more WIDE than big. Hence, not suitable to fit a plan seat. As for heaviness, it says 33 pounds but 10 pounds or so is the car seat that never gets moved. I am a small lady, and I can lift this seat without breaking a sweat. It is no issue. I do all the install and removing. If people complain about it being too heavy then they will have trouble with most all the other convertible models out there. <br /><br />The reclines are great and super smooth to use and the no rethread harness is great too. One hand use. I tried the chicco nextfit and returned it because the fabric had a chemical smell, it took two hands and lots of work to move the headrest up, and you could not tighten it without tugging multiple times (and my child would cry as I used all my force tugging and tugging to get it barely tight; a common issue I read among buyers). <br /><br />The arm rests are great for getting in and out, but I use them for holding the harness straps so I can get my child in without digging them out from them. With the Chicco next fit that was a problem. With the Briax marathon, the velcro tabs to hold the harness straps catch on clothes and fray them. So this is a good feature. <br /><br />The harness straps are bulky and I wish they weren't. It was weird using them at first and trying to position them just right to get a tight harness pull. It only took a couple times using it, and now I am a pro and it does not get in the way at all. I do not think I need to use them due to my childs weight, but they help to keep the straps from digging in to her neck. She is still a toddler. Plus like I said it is so easy and quick to pull tight, neither my child nor I notice them anymore. <br /><br />People also complain about it being too big for cars. Rear facing it is fine until you want a tall toddler using it. Then you have to raise the headrest and in a small car like our Toy. Corolla, you will lose front seat room. As a baby, it takes up no more room than our chicco car seat did. Forward facing it is just fine. <br />A plus is that because of the car seat part you can have a tall toddler in the seat rear facing and their legs have more inches to grow before bending. With the chicco car seat, my daughter was a half inch from touching the back seat rear facing. When I moved her to the Chicco nextfit convertible, her feet were so close to the back seat they bunched and folded. With the smart seat she had another 3-4 inches leg room to grow before touching the seat so she could stay rear facing without the annoyance of her legs bunching. <br /><br />Lastly, my child loves this seat. She cried when being put in other models but not this one. But I do notice that the material behind the head protrudes forward slightly more than other models. I wonder if that is uncomfortable for her. She doesn't seem to mind, but I like to lean my head back to sleep so I just think about these things...<br /><br />Overall, I really like this seat. I wish it was given better reviews by consumer reports, but like I said, some of the other brands I have tried were so hard to use day to day that improper install and use makes it unsafe, but these were rated the highest by CR. So I take their opinion with a grain of salt now. This seat is guaranteed to get you an easy, tight, comfy install. It has side impact protection, EPS foam, and grows with your child. It is good for ten years from the manufacture date. This could be the last seat your newborn may ever need (5-100 pounds). There were only some minor details that kept me from giving it a 5 star rating.
How long have you owned it:
Three-to-six months
Bottom Line
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
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