All car seats are created equally, right? Wrong! Each car seat manufacturer has its own way of creating its product.
Whether it’s a different plastic or how their harnesses are equipped. Some people prefer one more than the other and swear by their choice. When it comes to Britax vs Graco, a lot of people have different opinions.
Safety features, comfort, ease of use, and price are some of the biggest considerations people make when choosing between Britax and Graco.
They are both popular brands, but picking one over the other can be a tedious task. Fortunately, you don’t have to dig too far into it as we have compiled all of the facts you should be aware of to better help you make your choice.
Safety is one of the biggest considerations a parent makes when choosing a car seat. A car seat should be a safe place for your child and keep them protected at all times.
Britax car seats all come equipped with a 5-point harness system. The travel system, however, has a SafeCell Impact Protection feature. This is an integrated safety feature that takes the safety of your child beyond federal safety standards.
This system includes a durable steel frame that adds strength and a bast that is designed to absorb energy if a collision were to occur. Britax also has a side impact protection feature with a deep foam-lined shell.
Graco car seats have 3-5 point harness systems depending on the car seat style. They also have an anti-rebound bar that provides an added layer of safety when the car seat is rear-facing. This bar limits the rotation of the seat if there were to be a collision.
Additionally, they also have TrueShield technology. This is advanced side-impact protection from head to hips. This is much like the Britax side impact feature. Lastly, they also offer the Graco Safety Surround Advanced Side-Impact Protection. This ensures there is optimal head protection at every stage.
Which Is Better Infant Seat?
Since there are different levels of car seats, we will break down each category to better assist you with your choice. The infant car seats aren’t part of a travel system, they are a standalone car seat.
The Safety Aspect
Safety is the most important feature we look at, as mentioned earlier. Each car seat company has different and similar safety features. Let’s check them out.
Britax infant car seats can be rear-facing up to 35 pounds and have a safe center latch for easy and secure installation. On the side of the base are indicators that ensure the seat is reclining at the proper angle for optimal safety. They are built with high-strength steel and have SafeCell technology to better absorb crash energy.
Graco is very similar to Britax. They have rear-facing infant seats up to 35 pounds and have a 5-point harness system. They also have advanced side impact protection and SnugLock technology to ensure the car seat is safely installed.
Some car seats may have the level indicator, while others may not. Unfortunately, it’s these infant seats don’t have as much padding as other car seat brands.
Convenience is another factor to take into consideration. You don’t want to worry about struggling with installation or trying to remove the car seat from its base while the child is sleeping.
In terms of convenience, Britax has some notable features, but nothing like Graco. Britax car seats are easy to install and are compatible with most travel systems that are also Britax.
They also have a canopy to keep your child shielded from the sun, as does Graco. Additionally, most of the infant car seats have removable covers that can be tossed into the washing machine.
Unfortunately, these car seats don’t have enough growing room, and babies grow out of them too quickly.
There’s also an adjustable handle that allows it to be used with one hand and it’s very easy to install. As with Britax, these infant seats may be compatible with travel systems and they’re lightweight.
The one downside to Graco’s convenience features is that you can’t use the canopy and use the carrying handle at the same time.
Britax Infant Seats Pros
- Great safety features
- Canopy is large
- Extra support
Britax Infant Seats Cons
- Not enough room to grow
- Car seat is too narrow
Graco Infant Seat Pros
- Easy to install
Graco Infant Seat Cons
- Can’t use the canopy and handle at the same time
- Padding not as thick as other car seats
Which Is A Better Convertible Car Seat?
Britax and Graco both manufacture convertible car seats. These car seats are more than just infant seats. They can be used as rear-facing, forward-facing, and as a highback booster. However, Britax does not make a convertible car seat that converts to a booster.
Most of the Britax convertible car seat systems convert to at least a forward-facing seat, but nothing like the Graco all-in-one.
The closest Britax gets to that is the One4Life. This car seat accommodates children up to 120 pounds, but it’s not like the other boosters. It still looks like a car seat and isn’t as inconspicuous as the Graco boosters. Larger kids may feel more uncomfortable in these seats.
Graco convertible car seats take the cake in this category. They offer car seats that accommodate preemies all the way to seats helping children convert to just a seat belt. This means that you only have to make a one-time investment and you’re done.
Let’s check out the safety features of the most popular convertible car seats from each manufacturer.
The Britax convertible car seats feature three layers of side protection with a deep foam-lined shell and a stabilizing steel frame that absorbs impact from a collision. They are also equipped with impact-absorbing harness pads. With a company such as Britax with its history, it’s no surprise that they put all of their effort into the safety of their seats.
Graco convertible car seats feature a Simply Safe Adjust harness system that allows you to adjust the height of the harness and headrest in one simple motion.
They’re also part of the New Car Assessment Program and all of their seats are side-impact tested with the 5-point harness system. Additionally, these seats have EPS, energy-absorbing foam for ideal impact energy management with a steel-reinforced frame.
Let’s check out how convenient the convertible car seats.
The convertible car seats from Britax have easy-to-remove covers for easy washing, as does Graco. They also have cup holders and storage for food, toys, and drinks. These seats are simple to install with the ClickTight installation system.
You can also use the Easy-on/off anchors if the ClickTight method doesn’t work for you. Additionally, these seats have a 9-position harness and a quick-adjust buckle with two positions.
The seat can be reclined and consists of plush foam for optimal comfort. When the child is ready to move to a booster, or what Britax’s version of a booster is, it has a hassle-free transition.
Unfortunately, this is as far as their car seats go. They do not extend to backless boosters as Graco does. However, their convertible seat has a higher weight limit than Graco’s.
Graco out-performs Britax in the convenience category for a variety of reasons. We already mentioned that the cover can be removed from the seat for easy washing. There’s also a 3-recline that helps keep your child comfortable as they grow. The armrests are contoured and have cup holders and storage pockets.
The seat itself is very easy to install and you don’t have to worry about re-threading the harness when adjusting the height of the headrest. Lastly, once your child is ready to transition to a backless booster, simply remove the back of the car seat and it’s ready to go.
- Easy to install
- Higher weight limit than Graco
- Comfortable seat
- The seatbelt doesn’t get stuck in the guide
- Heavy seat
- Wider than Graco’s
- May not fit in smaller cars with other car seats
- Doesn’t convert to backless booster
- More expensive than Graco
- More budget-friendly than Britax
- Great value
- No re-threading needed after adjustments
- Easy to install
- Seatbelt guides make it easy for children to buckle themselves
- Straps are more fragile and twist easily
- Can’t be latched as easily as Britax
- Lower weight limit than Britax
About The Brands
Before we dig into the aspects of the car seats themselves, let’s take a look at how each company came to be and what they’re all about. Sometimes, a better understanding of the brand can make a choice simpler.
Britax began manufacturing car seats in the 1970s. Before that time, they were known as “British Accessories”, a company that made automotive safety equipment in 1938.
They had originally manufactured seatbelts and motorcycle accessories before car seats. Since then, they have been associated with safety, quality, and reliability. Britax car seats have also been deemed as having some of the best safety features of any other brand on the market.
Graco has a similar story as Britax. They began as a machine and car part manufacturer in 1942 and then moved onto products for children. Their first baby product to hit the shelves was the Swygomatic, which was a wind-up infant swing.
They were also the first company to manufacture the travel system. This system allows you to swiftly attach a car seat to its respective stroller.
The key difference between Graco and Britax is that Graco manufactures an all-in-one car seat, but Britax does not. Britax has convertible car seats, but none that go all the way up to a backless booster.
There’s no doubt that both Graco and Britax are great companies. Each one has its strong suit, but we are choosing Graco for one specific reason-the convertible car seat.
Graco offers that car seat that grows with your child until they are ready to not need a booster anymore.
Britax doesn’t offer one of those and children may not be comfortable in the high back booster at the age of 11 or 12. Not to mention, Graco car seats, whether infant or convertible, tend to be more affordable than other seats, which is perfect for families on a budget.