- Plastic, Metal
- Rear-facing in a harness from 5-40 pounds, forward facing in a harness from 20-65 pounds; Then as a belt-positioning booster from 30-100 pounds
- Convenient, stay-in-car base with belt lock off for one time install (LATCH equipped)
- Steel-reinforced frame and car seat base provides strength and durability
- Indicators on seat and stay-in-car base help ensure proper installation
- Integrated harness storage compartment hold the harness straps that are not in use while in the belt positioning booster mode
Fantastic car seat with some drawbacks. On par with other top-rated seats. Make sure it fits before you buy.
This is an innovative car seat & design. We’ve tested dozens of car seats, & have lots of things to say about this one:(1) Versatility (5 to 100 pounds). It goes from rear facing, to front facing, to booster.(2) The “smart base” is a great idea. Unlike most other models with a base, this one does not have to be flipped around for rear vs. front facing. Once it’s in, you can leave it in permanently. Buy another base to put in your 2nd car.(3) Very sturdy, lots of extra safety features (steel frame, level bubble so you can be certain it’s installed correctly, etc). And it gets top safety ratings. Tight stitching, sturdy pads…. HOWEVER, here are some frustrations with it:(1) Doesn’t fit well for a slender child. Our daughter fits fine in it now, but when she was 20-25 pounds, there was WAY too much room on either side. The shoulder belts were an inch too wide on either side, didn’t even touch her body. I can’t imagine fitting a small infant in it.(2) It sits too far upright – the childs head flops forward when sleeping. Plus, the padding slides around a lot, not a big deal, but they should have some velcro on the bottom so you don’t have to adjust it every time you use it.(3) A cleaver child can unbuckle the top clasp! This is a really poor design. It took our 20 month old about 5 seconds to unbuckle it. I looked down, and it was unbuckled! At first I thought it slipped out, so I bucked it again. My daughter got a big grin, and unbuckled it again! So you definitely have to keep an eye on this.They took the opposite approach with the bottom buckle – it’s
• difficult to undo (even by an adult – you have to push
• hard).(4) In both of my vehicles (Saab & Land Rover), there’s not enough room for another car seat or person. It sucks up almost 1 1/2 seats. And because of the angle of the seat, it sticks out quite a bit. Even in the Land Rover, you have to move the front seat forward to accommodate the car seat behind it.Fortunately it fits fine in our minivan, in a captains chair. In the rear bench seat, it takes up more than 1 seat, so it would be impossible to put 3 car seats in a row, or to fit 2 adults on either side of the car seat. It’s the widest car seat we tested.Additional Tip:If you have a vehicle that has a large middle row (like a minivan), has room for a 2nd car seat if you need it, and your child isn’t too slender, then I would definitely recommend this car seat.You can go to any Babies-R-Us or Toys-R-Us and they will let you take the floor model to your car to try it out.We decided to keep this one, for use in the minivan only, because of the great safety ratings & the amenities. For our infant, we use the Safety First Convertible car seat, which is absolutely top notch. Hope this helps – good luck!
Very comfortable, sturdy – the only car seat you will have to buy
If you are looking for car seat, there are 3 car seats you may need to buy for you baby from birth to till they are 7-8 years old.(1) Rear facing car seat: Since an infant’s neck is very delicate and not fully developed, the baby needs to be rear faced till they 20 lbs(2) Front facing car seat: A regular car seat – typically from 1 year to 5-6 years of age(3) Booster: More of a riser typcially from 6-8 yrs of age.This particular seat combines all the 3 into single car seat. Given the fact that it has to last 8-9 years, it is very well built.I started with a evenflow infant seat + an evenflo stroller for my daughter and switched to a Graco Natilus car seat when she turned 1, she is 3 now the Graco natilus is still doing great.Now, after we got the Graco Smart seat, we replaced the Graco Natilus in our car with the Graco Smart Seat. And here is what we find:(1) It is very comfortable – it is a little wider than the natilus and hence very comfortable for my daughter. it also means a little uncomfortable for the passengers if you have a small sized car(2) Very heavy – The Natiulus itself is considered a heavy seat, the SmartSeat is heavier than the Natilus – speaks of the amount of steel that goes into constructing a good car seat.(3) A cup holder – both the natilus and the smartseat come with a cup holder which is very handy.Few other tips:(1) If you are buying this for an infant – buy a compatible stroller : this will help you detach the infant seat and lock the seat directly into the stroller : you will need to do this until your baby is 1 year old. I did not have to buy one since my daughter is 3+. Check/call the manufacturer to find a compatible graco stroller(2) Clear the Car seat covers atleast once a month – they can get very dirty with all the snacks & liquids.(3) Always place the car set in the center of the back seat – this will help protect your little one in case of a side impact.Overall, I am happy with this product and would recommend buying this product.
This safe Graco all-in-one car seat is an excellent choice, especially for grandparents and caregivers …
Graco is one of those names in the baby gear names that I trust. In fact, one of the first items I received at a baby shower was a Graco stroller. Apparently other women were thinking safety, comfort, and utility and chipped in to buy me one. The only safety issue I ever encountered was when my son decided to take a stick and shove it into the wheel spokes and bend a few fingers. Other than that, no issues whatsoever. I’ve been hooked on Graco ever since.Several years ago there was an accident very close to my house when a mother fell asleep and hit a telephone pole. The mother and the baby were brought into our house and 911 was called. The baby was screaming, but after being examined by paramedics it was determined that he was going to be fine, but suffered quite a jolt because the car seat was improperly installed. We all had quite the fright, but that told me one thing … there would be absolutely NO skimping on safety in the car seat department, regardless of cost. The Graco Smart Seat all-in-one fits the bill.Graco provides that safety that I want for my grandchildren. This will be in the grandma mobile because safety pays in many ways and I want that for my family. This seat, once the base is installed is convertible and can be used for rear facing (infant 5 to 40 pounds), forward facing (toddler 20 to 65 pounds), and as a booster seat for the older child (30 to 100 pounds). This seat has a stay-in-the-car base, that once properly installed won’t have to be played with or adjusted again. Now this seat takes up a lot of room and if you require a lot of space you may want to pass. It is however, absolutely perfect for grandparents and childcare providers who will be transporting assorted types of children because of the easily adjustable components of the seat.PROS++ This seat is convertible and can be used by children from 5 to 100 pounds in forward/rear and booster seat capacity.++ It has a stay-in-the-car base that makes things much easier, especially if you don’t want to keep adjusting your seat. Once installed properly, you won’t have to keep guessing if the seat is safely in place.++ The seat can recline which makes it especially comfortable for your forward facing child up to 40 pounds or so. If you are going on a long trip or have a sleepy child, this is perfect.++ If you put the seat in incorrectly, you have a built-in warning system when the red tabs stick up. You turn the red knobs or “locking indicators” to make sure the seat is properly connected to the base. The side windows will change from yellow to gray to let you know.++ The harness won’t need to be adjusted when you switch to a child of a different height. A real plus if you have a child who loves to dash off (been there, done that) or one that is impatient.++ The armrests can be put up or down. On a long trip the baby’s, toddler’s, or older child’s arms and shoulder’s will have less strain on them. This addition makes the chair a tad more ergonomic. If you don’t need them, they can be flipped up.++ There is a cup holder for a bottle or cup. This isn’t a necessary feature, but a nice one for a thirsty child. For those who can maneuver a cup and put it in the holder it’s great.++ The car seat has an integrated harness storage compartment. I consider this to be quite a nice innovative feature. No tangling, loss, or irritation of having to find them if the compartment wasn’t there.++ There is a level indicator feature that once again, insures you have the seat settled in properly. This sort of feature takes the guesswork out of things and makes sure the seat is installed safely and will be comfortable for your child.DRAWBACK– The car seat is large and takes up a lot of space from the front of the seat to the back. Now, I don’t mind this feature, but for those who want that space, they may wish to pass. Also the stay-in-the-car base may not be for everyone, especially for those who use the car for multiple purposes and need that space for other things now and then.My verdict, if you can call that, is that this is a marvelously innovative, well thought out, and SAFE car seat. I love the design, especially the easy to understand, applicable safety features. In our town people schedule time to head to the fire station to check to see if the seat has been properly installed, but this at-a-glance seat tells you. You can’t even fit a child in it when those red tabs go up.I also love the convertibility aspect for transporting different aged children. One other thing I like is that you only have to buy one seat instead of two (I’ve heard more complaints about this). Expensive … yes, but you get what you pay for. Not a seat everyone will like or one that works for everyone. This is a perfect seat for grandparents and caregivers. Thumbs up and five stars in my department.
Has more pros than cons
I bought this car seat to replace the Chicco Keyfit infant carseat. For reference I drive a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.Pros:-love the lavender print. It is adorable and the material seems durable and soft. I haven’t had to clean it yet so I can’t speak for that.-this seat is solid and heavy! Yes that is a pro to me! Lol I feel like this seat would protect my daughter very well in the event of an accident. Now if I were moving it from one car to another frequently I would think differently. It is VERY heavy!-ease of use. The harness adjustment is very easy to use with my child in it and the chest latch seems better than the one on my Chicco.-my little girl loves the arm rests. She is only 8.5 months old but already loves resting her little arms up there.-the seat height adjustments is so user friendly. Instead of having to move the harnesses by unthreading and moving to the next slot, these adjust automatically when you lift the height adjustment with a touch of a button.-I have only used this in the rear facing position but look forward to using it as a front facing and booster. I find it fantastic that it is all in one.-I compared this seat in store to a ton of others with the closest competitor being the my ride 65 by graco. I just couldn’t get over how little padding the Graco had compared to this one. My daughter has to make long trips in this so I want her in something that is super comfortable.Cons (reasons for 4 star instead of 5)-my number one complaint is the harness covers. Frankly, they are unusable. When I put them in the correct position I either have to let them shove against my daughters face (this will make your child scream) or tilt her head way up to fit (screaming again). They’re so big and bulky you can’t even get the harness snug enough. The instructions say they must be used rear facing but I will be purchasing new ones and using my old Chicco ones until then.-this thing is a space HOG! If you have a car or small SUV this will NOT fit. We have this behind the drivers seat in our vehicle. My husband has always told me that I sit way up in the steering wheel when I drive but even on my setting it is pushing back on the seat. My poor husbands settings are so uncomfortable for him. And we are not tall people at 5’9″ and 5’7″. I just thought my Chicco was tight! This is only in the rear facing position though. It will be fine once front facing.-one small complaint is the crotch belt. It flops forward and can be aggravating. Then again my Chicco did the same thing so maybe it is the same with all car seats.In the end, I can live with all the cons so long as I feel my baby is safe and comfortable. This is a pretty great carseat if you are willing to pay the difference in price. That being said I didn’t use this for an infant seat. In my opinion this seat seems to be a little to large for a tiny infant. I recommend it for the transition when they are outgrowing the infant seat. I will try and update this review if I have any issues in the future after more use.Update-After using this carseat a few more months I had to lower my rating to 3 star. The chest buckle is so frustrating to unhook! Your child will definetely never figure it out because it takes me ages to un snap! Also where the belt buckle clicks in at the crotch can be very aggravating as well. I am praying these become easier to use with more use. If not I will seriously be regretting this purchase since I was hoping to use this for 3+years.
We purchased this carseat after a lot of research. We thought we had found the perfect seat for our 7 month old. The main reason it didn’t work for us is how reclined the seat must be in rear-facing mode. Our 7-month old loves to sit up…and loves to try to sit up if he is in his current carseat, which leads to some tantrums. We were looking for a new seat that would have him sit up more both rear and front facing. It was such a bummer considering the other perks of this seat. There was just no overlooking how uncomfortable our little one looked once we had him in the seat. Back to the store it went. And the search continues…
Excellent sturdy car seat that will last
We used this seat to replace a Graco My Ride 65, which is going to be used by grandparents. Our other car has aEvenflo Triumph 65 LX Convertible Car Seat, Santee. I feel that the Evenflo is comparable in quality (and at a much more reasonable price), but we have also been very impressed with this seat.Pros:
• Extremely sturdy. The weight of the seat helps to create a real sense that it is not going anywhere, which is important. It was not difficult for us to get the seat installed in a way that was clearly safe and secure.
• Relatively easy to install. Compared to the Evenflo Triumph, the installation of this seat hardly took any time at all and was very intuitive (relatively speaking, of course).
• Seatbelt lock is awesome! Most car seats come with a small metal clip that you use to secure the seatbelt so that it doesn’t shift. This seat avoids that by having a very easy to use slot where you slide the seatbelt through and then close a cover to lock it in place. This is far superior to any other car seat I have used.
• Separate base. The base makes it possible to use this seat in multiple cars more easily and it is my belief that it also makes it easier to adjust the recline.
• Easy to adjust recline and shoulder height. Both the recline level and the shoulder strap height are very easy to adjust, saving you time later on when your baby grows or goes forward-facing.Cons:
• The seat is heavy. Since we are primarily using this seat in one car, this is not a huge issue for us, but if you are planning to regularly switch this between cars, the weight could be a real problem.
• Tightening mechanism is less than ideal. This is true of most car seats, but the strap is difficult to tighten fully when the seat is in the rear-facing position because the strap is close to the car’s seat back. The placement is a bit better than on the Graco My Ride, but it still leaves much to be desired. On this note, the Evenflo has a definite advantage, since it’s turning tightening mechanism is far superior.
Not a good choice for our family
This is a good seat, but it’s very heavy and really big. We just had to expand it from the smallest height and the front passenger seat in front of it is already really squished in both cars (an Accord and an Outback). Also, it is too heavy for air travel, so we borrowed an infant seat and are now having to get another convertible for that. Kind of frustrating to have to buy more seats when this is billed as being everything we’d need. In retrospect, I think we should have just gotten an infant seat to start with, and taken the time to really see what our personal car seat needs were going to be.That said, if all your friends and family live in your town, you’re not anticipating flying anywhere, and you have a roomy car, this would be great for you.
LOVE this carseat
We have 3 other graco carseats that look almost identical to this [about a year old] that we bought because of the high consumer report rating. It was such a blessing to add baby #4’s carseat to the same family of greatness. It’s wide, so watch out, but it’s fully loaded and padded. Cup holder optional too. I feel confident it’s the most safe carseat we’ve ever owned. My almost 2 year old is currently in it at a large 36 pounds and he’s got no complaints. Soon he’ll be passing it off [after adjusting of course] to his younger sibling come September. High recommend.
Finally a Good Install
We bought 2 of these a 2002 Yukon which doesn’t have LATCH and was notorious for being difficult to get a proper install with the seat belt. Previously we had a Recaro Signo in it and I never felt good about the install. The seat belt stalks in the Yukon were too long and would get in the way of the seat belt locking mechanisms on the car seat. When I saw this Graco with the removable base and seat belt lock I felt it would solve my problems. It was pretty easy to install. It is pretty heavy but definitely worth it for the peace of mind it gives. The base went in really easy just like the infant carrier bases do. The lock off for the seat belt works really well to give a very tight installation. Lining up the seat itself can be a little tricky but still not hard at all. I think I got the first seat on my second try and the second seat on the first try. It is just as easy to install it rear facing as it is forward facing. The markings on the seat are easy enough to follow to make sure you have the proper incline set on the seat and the flags and lock indicators let you know you installed the seat properly onto the base. I really like the feel of this seat, it is very sturdy, the fabric is nice and the buckles are very substantial. My son is forward facing on the driver’s side and my daughter is rear facing in the middle. It was slightly tricky to get them both in that close to each other but not difficult. The rear passenger side seat is fully available and my 6’1″ husband has enough leg room with the RF seat in the middle although he did move his seat up ever so slightly from the normal spot. I am overall very pleased with these car seats and would recommend them to people that have a hard time getting a tight install with seat belts. It isn’t the cheapest seat but also not the most expensive. Also wanted to add that it is super easy to adjust the harness and headrest height in a matter of seconds. It adjusts like pulling out a drawer and you can move it 6 inches in 2 seconds. This feature is great for the second family car or a grandparent’s car that isn’t used as often and needs to be adjusted depending on what child is in it.Pros+easy to get tight install+sturdy buckles that children shouldn’t be able to undo themselves+easy to change cars because of removable base+flags make it easy to know you have installed the seat onto the base properly+super easy to adjust the height of head rest and shoulder straps+cup holder+nice fabric and cushion+sturdy design+Rear Facing up to 40 pounds (extended Rear Facing is so important)+Forward Facing in Harness up to 65 pounds+booster use up to 100 poundsCons-heavy (still manageable for a smaller person though)-slightly bigger than other convertibles when rear facing-not inexpensive (although the fact that you can easily share it between two cars and that it converts from RF to FF to booster may save you money in the long run since you may purchase less seats)
We love it but it’s heavy and huge. You definitely need a big car since it got even tight with our SUV but once you can turn it around its all good. I love that you can change the seat how ever you need it so it’s perfect for long trips. I think that the bottle holder is a little to far away and it’s kinda difficult to clean but it seems to be comfortable and save.
Dont be discouraged! It is a tight fit, but my Daughter loves how comfy it is!
I was a little hesitant after reading all of the ratings saying that it did not fit in people’s cars. It fits in my Ford Focus Sedan, it is just a little snug between the front and rear seats when it is facing the rear. As she will be forward facing soon, we are not all that stressed about it. We are both fairly tall (6’4 and 5’10) and the seat fit very well when my 5’4 sister borrowed my car. It is a little on the wide side, but i can still fit the booster I use with my 7 year old niece.My daughter used to squirm around and seemed really uncomfortable in her Graco carrier seat, but she (now 15 months) LOVES this one. It is really cushy and seems like a really safe recliner with straps. We fully intend to buy another one if/when our next one comes along.I read a few reviews about how stiff the clasps and buckles were, that went away after a few days (maybe a week) of use. I didn’t think they were that hard to begin with, but my husband had a little trouble. Now they are easy, but secure.
Very Big, Very VERY Heavy, But Safe …
As pointed out by many, many reviewers, this car seat is just shockingly heavy. Under no circumstances can I comfortably carry for any distance. For me, once this is installed in a car, that is where it stays. Period. (I will not be the one moving it, I assure you). That is not necessarily a negative for me, per se. It does seem to indicate that this is a well-built car-seat. But, it is still sadly inconvenient.Moreover, as noted by others, it is (extremely) over-sized. And, while it does fit both of my vehicles, it does not fit all cars (as I can personally attest to). I would have thought car seats are a bit more universal. (So, buy this with caution. Check the specs very, very carefully).On the “plus side,” it is super easy to clean. (A damp cloth and minimal effort equals a clean car seat). And, this particular seat (rosin) is aesthetically pleasing. It complements the interior of our cars very nicely. (Very tasteful!)Obviously, the seat is immensely safe. (This almost goes without saying). It has exceeded all standards and will provide tremendous peace-of mind.Nonetheless, if I had other options, I would have a different seat. The bulk and weight are discouraging. However, it certainly does its job … I cannot argue with that. And. let’s face it, that’s what is most important!
Good car seat
When you see this car seat you can see a well made, with the best quality product, it looks pretty and elegant, but most of all is secure.This is a heavy car seat, the smart base is very easy to install but the seat is not that easy, you will need the help of another person, two will make a better installation of the car seat after that you will have the peace of mind to know that your baby (toddler) will be very secure and comfortable, is a good car seat with the best quality.
Big, beefy seat, but not happy with the fabric
I chose the SmartSeat because of the separable base feature, meaning that the base could stay attached via the latch system when the car seat was removed from the car for cleaning, or switched from rear-facing to forward-facing. That said, this is a LARGE seat – the biggest everyday problem I have with it is trying to get my son lifted into it without scraping the top of his head on the roof of the van. The seat seems to sit higher than others, perhaps because of the removable base? In any case, the most important thing is that the car seat seems safe, the belts are easy to adjust to move my son into or out of the seat, and it is simple to get a consistently "snug" fit every single time he uses the seat.Minor annoyances: 1. Fabric staining – Following a particularly eventful diaper "blowout," I had to rinse the seat repeatedly then dry it. It came clean, but now there is a permanent water line where it was washed, which doesn’t look terrific. 2. Sweaty Toddler Syndrome – As Summer approaches and temps start to rise, my son has started to get REALLY sweaty in the seat, particularly the back of his head and torso – the seat doesn’t seem to dissipate heat very well. I am looking at adding a carseat liner (like the Meeno Babies Cool Mee Liner) to try to help cool him down a little bit in the seat.
Highly recommend it
Very very nice car seat. Might be nicer than my car!It’s very very heavy and is designed to be left in the car. The straps are a bit short but it’s a very minor issue. When placing in the rear facing position, the seat turns into recliner. My daughter loves it but it might be a an issue for some people.Note– careful when securing the base. Make sure it’s very very tight because the belt tends to slip if not installed properly.
This is not an occasional use car seat.
I got this car seat for my grandson when he comes to visit. He and his parents live out of town and come for visits several times a year. I currently have a car seat for him but I wanted one that would “grow” with him and thought this would be a perfect match. Well, it is to an extent.My thinking is that I would put the base in and put in the actual seat when he was visiting. Well, the base if very wide which presents a problem as often during the weekend I carry passengers in my car. There is hardly any room in the back seat for passengers due to the base being so wide. The base is not made to come in and out and therein lies the problem. I had passengers in my back seat yesterday and today and they were squeezed into the back seat and they were very uncomfortable and I have a Toyota Corolla which really isn’t a very big car. So I have a problem now as this seat is not working out for me. It is a very nice, heavy, safe seat, but for what I wanted to use it for is not working out. I thought the base would be a lot smaller and cannot use it as I had planned. Since my grandson only visits occasionally, it doesn’t make much sense to leave the base in place in the back seat as I can’t have passengers with the base in place.Also compared to my other car seat, the shoulder harnesses are very wide and bulky. I don’t know how this would work out with my grandson as it seems it would be uncomfortable.Other than the fact that the base is too wide, it is a very nice seat, well constructed and heavy. I’m sure this seat would work out for a single child family but it won’t work out for occasional use as I was planning on doing.
Great Seat, A little bulky
We love this seat, but it takes up a lot of room in our Expedition. With it in the rear facing position, it is impossible for an adult to sit comfortably in the front seat. But it is very comfortable for my son and pretty easy to clean. Plus I like that it adjusts for him as he grows.
Good, but I just can’t love it…
I have one child and I have purchased six different car seats. We have had a Chicco Keyfit30 Infant Carrier, a Graco MyRide 65, a Safety 1st Complete Air 65, a Graco Nautilus, a Britax Frontier 85, and the Graco Smart Seat. I loved the Chicco, the MyRide, and the Britax. I loathed the Safety 1st and was lukewarm about the Nautilus. The Smart Seat is way better than the Safety 1st and the Nautilus. If my child was smaller and still rear-facing I would probably prefer the Smart Seat over the Frontier as well. The Smart Seat is great because it can really be the only seat you will need once you transition from an infant carrier. I love that the Smart Seat has a recline feature. Its very useful anytime my son falls asleep in the car. The seat is huge, but it fits in my Honda Civic without an issue (but again, I don’t use it rear-facing). It is fairly easy to install and the built in lock off clip is really neat for a seat belt install if you need it. It is a pain to move this to other cars (like when Grandma takes the kid for the weekend), but part of that might be that I refuse to shell out another $100 for a second base for occasional use. There are some things I just plain don’t like about this seat. The armrests are a joke. They move, but they don’t really stay up. The up position on the armrests doesn’t get them out of the way when you are trying to put the kid in the seat either. It is a pain to get my son in and out of this seat because it sits so high up and the armrests are always in the way. Its a little bit easier in cars with more headroom than the civic, but its still a pain. The crotch buckle can be difficult to release and there have been a couple of times that I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get my kid out of the stupid thing. Overall, if you are transitioning from an infant seat, this is a great car seat to consider because its so versatile. I like the Smart Seat and my complaints may seem minor, but these are the things that keep me from loving this seat. If you have an older child that is already forward facing, look into the Britax Frontier 85 because it has a higher height/weight limit for the harness and higher limits as a booster without being as cumbersome.
Great multi-purpose car seat.
Ok, first of all, the car seat is very expensive as compared to others on the market. Buying on Amazon helps narrow that gap, but still pricey. We have a now 15 month old boy and purchased one of these at about 12 months and one of these at about 14 months for our second vehicle. We actually were recently in a minor car accident with our son in the vehicle and this held up very well and our son was perfectly safe. Here are my pro’s and con’s:Pro’s1. This thing is very heavy and sturdy (be careful when using the seat anchors as Pedestrian’s recently advised if the car seat AND child weigh more than 65lbs to use a seatbelt not the seat anchors). If I would have to guess on the weight, I’d say this thing weighs a total of about 25lbs.2. The major selling point for us is you can use this rear facing, forward facing, AND as a booster. So, you pay more upfront for this but when you compare the cheaper models that don’t have the booster seat & then the cost of a stand alone booster seat later down the road, this is a better deal.3. The cloth is all removable so you can wash it – this was another selling point as we all know no matter how clean you are, your kids will destroy everything :).4. Many different reclining position while in forward-facing mode. We put our son in it at tried the different positions until we found the one he likes.Con’s1) There seemed to be a smell that came from it. Obviously, one would expect chemical like smells from the manufacturing process. I left it in the garage for a few days to air out.2) VERY heavy. If you plan on buying a second base and moving this in and out of your vehicles, you won’t want to do that for long! We ended up buying a second car seat because it was much easier.3) In rear-facing, its a petty big decline angled down. The child almost lays with his feat above his head (not quite). Our son didn’t mind it, but just know that for your child.4) Compared to all the other models, this thing isn’t really soft – especially the piece that goes around your child’s head. I know that doesn’t affect the safety all that much, but still
SmartSeat = High End Safety
This is a heavy duty car seat. My sister calls it the “Mercedes-Benz” model. It definitely has the highest standards in safety. It comes all assembled right out of the box with just a couple of things to do (like setting the cup holder and a stabilizer that goes on the back of the base). It took no time to set the base in the car and adjust the seat. It is well padded too.I was hoping to use the seat as a baby carrier also but it is too heavy for that. I have a 12 year old daughter and DH and I are TTC again. I can’t wait to use this seat! But in the meantime, I babysit my nephew (10 months old) and soon to be born another nephew/niece.My 10 month old nephew fits perfectly and is so comfortable. A newborn will fit just as fine but then I will need to buy something else to carry my baby. If you are in this situation, I would recommend you take a look at the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat. The Nautilus is suitable for 20-100lbs kids. They are about the same width.The price for the SmartSeat is a bit higher than what I would like to pay. I know that there is no price for safety but if you’ll end up buying another seat/carrier for your newborn plus the SmartSeat, then it gets really pricey.Overall, this car seat is sturdy, easy to move from one car to another, heavy, and safe. If you live in a busy city (and have a big car), this is probably your best choice (safe, safe, safe!). But if you live in a small town like me (and have a small-medium size car), you might want to consider more practical options.
We bought this seat nearly 3 years ago now. Wow, it really has been that long, and we loved it from the get go and ever since. Yes, it is heavy as sin (33 pounds on its own – with the base included so over 32 pounds you can no longer use the LATCH system, you need to use the seat belt), but it is heavy because of it’s construction. After doing extensive research this was what we ended up going with when our daughter outgrew her bucket seat (at 5.5 months). It wasn’t the most expensive, and it wasn’t the cheapest. This had the perfect combination of safety with cost effectiveness.PROS:~ Multiple bases, simple to exchange from car to car. It is heavy and a bit bulky to do this, but it isn’t the pain in the arse fighting with the seatbelt / straps to ensure a TIGHT and proper fit for the car seat installation. This in and of itself was a big plus for me. So many people use their seats with improper installation without even knowing it.~ Cup holder — seems silly when you are talking about a little bitty baby first making the transition to a convertible seat, not so much when you have a toddler. Just trust me on this.~ Simple to switch from front to rear facing and back again. I was working as a nanny and taking my infant with me to work. There was one day where I needed to transport an additional toddler in my car (friend of one of the kids) and I didn’t have my little one with me (she was with her daddy) and it was so easy to take my infant’s rear facing seat and convert it to forward facing proper strap positioning for a toddler in the span of under 5 minutes. And it went back to perfect positioning for my infant just as quickly and easily. Seriously, this was a huge plus for me!~ My 90th percentile moose of a toddler was able to stay rear facing until literally DAYS before her THIRD birthday! The safest way for anyone to ride in a car is rear facing, followed by a 5 point harness, and then high back booster (belt positioning) followed by just using the seatbelt. The weight limitations for this are rather high compared to what was on the market when we purchased, which was a big plus for me personally. If I was spending $300 on a seat … I wanted it to LAST me for a while. I won’t ever have to buy her another seat (which was a huge plus for my husband!).CONS:~ My daughter is always so warm in this seat. Like seriously, HOT! When she was little, she would be sweated wet on her back. I really wasn’t thrilled with this aspect, but I learned to layer her and remove layers so she is dressed in light light clothing in her seat (which is actually a positive because that is safer for strap tightness and placement!) and just layer her / bundle her up before taking her out of the car.Over all, I am beyond happy with my purchase and highly recommend this seat to anyone asking my opinion.