Check Out the Graco Smart Seat:
This week we’re reviewing the Graco Smart Seat. This is a sturdy All-In-One designed with the child (and the parents) in mind. We’ll examine the features below, but first a quicklook at a press snippet for the Smart Seat:
What Graco Says:
“With an intelligent design engineered to fit children from 5 to 100 pounds, the Graco Smart Seat All In One Car Seat can provide years of safe, reliable travel for your child. The Smart Seat’s features include a stay-in-car base, adjustable six-position headrest with no-thread harness, five recline settings, flip-up armrests, seat-to-base locking indicators, and child’s cup holder. Constructed with heavy-duty steel reinforced frame for durability, this car seat delivers the perfect combination of safety and convenience.”
What we say:
The Graco Smart Seat All-In-One packs a lot of features, and does a few things that aren’t found on other All-In-One car seats, with one of the most notable being the Smart Base (more on this in a minute.)
Generous weight limits in all 3 positions:
Keep your child rear-facing longer with this seat – all the way up to 40 lbs. This compares favorably against most other seats that are limited anywhere from 20-35 lbs in the rear-facing position. This is important because the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) updated their recommendations in March of 2011, saying parents should seat their children rear-facing until reaching the weight limit of the car seat. The NHTSA’s research has shown that the rear-facing position provides the best spinal protection for small children in case of an accident. Consider this before turning you child around at 1 year or 20 lbs, as many parents have been told in the past.
Smart Seat All In One Weight Limits:
Rear-facing: 5-40 lbs
Forward-facing: 20-65 lbs
Booster seat: 30-100 lbs
- Flip-Up Armrests – This is a pretty common feature on higher-end car seats like the Smart Seat. We’d actually be surprised to find this seat without them.
- 5 Recline Positions and 6 Headrest Positions – Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. The 5 recline positions take your child through pretty much any position you’ll need to find her a comfortable ride. Combine that with the easily adjustable headrest and you will be hard-pressed to find a child this seat can’t accommodate. This is one of the few seats that offers such a wide range of positions; a feature that will come in handy when you want to quickly recline your child for a nap, or raise them up to look out the window.
- Cup Holder – Yep, it has a cup holder. This is hardly worth mentioning, except that many parent reviews report the cup holder is the one place this seat is lacking, as it’s a little flimsy compared to the rest of the seat. Of course, nobody buys a car seat for the cup holder, but at least you can’t say we didn’t point it out!
- Front Harness Adjust – This is coming standard on many car seats nowadays, but Graco doesn’t disappoint. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: spend the money to find a seat that has this feature. If you don’t, you will quickly see what we mean the first time you’re fiddling with straps and adjustments every time your child grows, adds/removes jackets, or (even worse) tries to climb out. Front adjustments for the harness have become the new standard for a reason.
A Smart Base?
This is our favorite feature of this seat, as you’ll quickly notice when changing seating positions from rear-facing to front-facing. Simply put, the base doesn’t move when turning the seat around. This is ideal for the family that needs to switch seats around for different children on a regular basis.
I’ve frequently wished for a feature like this on carpool mornings when we’re swapping car seats around with other families. The Smart Base, combined with the front harness adjustments, solves this dilemma by allowing parents to configure just one seat for different children in no time.
The Graco Smart Seat All In One is one of the priciest seats on the market, but also offers more options than the other All-In-One’s in it’s class. The nearly unlimited positioning of this seat and the Smart Base are two features that parents will appreciate. And although it is also one of the heavier car seats that we have reviewed, weighing in at a hefty 33 lbs, this may not be such a downside if you consider the extra safety gained by the steel reinforcements throughout the seat. If you’re looking for a high quality All-In-One that will grow with your child, the Smart Seat will not disappoint. Follow our link below to Amazon to read more parent reviews (4 out of 5 stars) on the Graco Smart Seat:
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