If I only had to buy a car seat once and never have to worry about purchasing another one ever again, I’d snatch that deal up in a heartbeat. So when I was asked to test the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1, I excitedly agreed. 

The Graco4Ever 4-in-1 convertible car seat lasts from infancy until your child is ready to transition to a regular seat and seat belt. I found installation easy and secure thanks to the LATCH system. It was a little tough to undo the buckles. The harness was difficult to tighten as well. 

I’ve seen some car seats with difficult-to-remove covers or non-removable covers and I found it aggravating.

However, this car seat allowed me to easily remove the cover for quick machine washing. I didn’t even have to uninstall the seat. My only issue with the car seat was that the headrest rattles when the seat is empty. It’s quite annoying in my opinion. 

Lastly, the cup holders are spacious enough for my child to store their drink or snacks in. 

I honestly find no reason to NOT recommend this convertible car seat. It has stellar safety ratings, it’s easy to use, comes with dual cup holders, and the fabric can be machine washed.

Height & Weight Limits 

  • Rear-Facing Harness: 4-40 lbs, head must be at least 1″ below headrest adjustment handle
  • Forward-Facing Harness: 20-65 lbs with harness 27-49″
  • Highback Booster: 30-100 lbs 38-57″
  • Backless Booster: 40-120 lbs 40-57″

The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 has a lifespan of ten years. It can be used rear-facing with a four-pound infant, all the way up 120 pounds as a backless booster for a young child. The optional recline positions, easy-adjust headrest, and harness system keep your little one comfortable without too much stress or reconfiguration on your part. 

Remember, even if your child still meets the height and weight requirements, an expired seat should never be used. You should dispose of the seat in a manner so that it cannot be used by another individual upon its listed expiration. 

Price Comparison

Product Specs 

  • weight: 22.75 lbs
  • Seat height: 24” 
  • depth: 20” 
  • Listed seat width: 21.5” 

Standard Safety Features 

The Graco 4-in-1 comes with all of the standard safety features such as a latch system for easy installation, side-impact protection, steel-reinforced frame to exceed the US standard FMVSS 213. 

Graco 4Ever DLX

Harness & Inserts 

The Harness storage compartments for containing unused harness straps is great. This feature can only be used while in the belt-positioning booster mode.  I found the harness can be difficult to tighten. 

Once you figure out how to properly adjust your harness, it should be simple. Adjusting the chest strap and shoulder pads can help. The harness can be tightened to the appropriate restraint level even if it takes some finagling. 

The Latch System 

The LATCH system must be converted to the proper position dependent on if you are using the seat in the forward-facing or rear-facing position. The LATCH system works in conjunction with your car’s anchors or tethers. 

No matter which position you are using, be sure that all straps and belts are fastened tightly and securely. The addition of the easy to read level indicator simplifies proper seat placement and positioning.                

Easy To Remove Car Seat Covers 

These car seats are designed with kids and parents in mind. Specifically, the rapid remove feature allows your car seat cover to be taken off without uninstalling the seat. Additionally, the covers are machine washable.  

Headrest Rattles – One Possible Drawback 

In the case of the headrest, the rattling seems to occur mainly with an empty seat or when the headrest is in a high position. Graco may replace the headrest if you contact them but this is not a failsafe way of preventing future rattles. 

Graco’s Reliability

Graco prides themselves on their reliability. Their company operates on a foundation of safety, durability, and recognizing the best intentions of parents and caregivers. Therefore, they craft their car seats to meet rigorous crash testing standards and routinely hone their design to ensure safety, comfort, and parent satisfaction. 

According to Graco, their car seat safety standards include the following: 

  • Frontal-Impact Tested
  • Side-Impact Tested
  • Rear-Impact Tested
  • Roll tested using Graco’s RollSafe™ testing standard
  • Tested using New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) with a peak crash force approximately double the Car Seat Standard
  • Tested for heat to Extreme Car Interior Temperatures
  • Meets or exceeds NHTSA’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 213**

Expiration Information

Don’t let the name mislead you, 4Ever car seats do expire. However, the 4Ever models are designed to last longer than the average recommended lifespan of six years. Graco notes that car seats with steel reinforced frames can be safely used for up to ten years, this includes the 4Ever 4-in-1 car seats.

The car seat expires ten years after the printed manufacture date, specific to your seat. The Graco forever line debuted in 2014, so the manufacturer date should fall after this year. 

Thankfully, Graco makes it simple to determine your car seats expiration date. Most of their seats contain an imprint or sticker that explicitly lists the date on which a car seat should be retired. The seats manual should also contain the expiration date information.

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Vs. DLX

The Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 is very similar to the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 aside from a few additional features. The first is that it has Graco “ProtectPlus” safety engineering for protection in frontal, side, rear, and rollover incidents. 

The DLX also offers a rapid remove cover, an integrated belt lock-off for easy installation, and rubberized Fuss Free Harness storage. These upgrades do not alter the safety of the seat, only improve the experience for parents. 

This seat can be used from 4 pounds as a rear-facing infant seat to 120 pounds as a backless booster. There are other seat positions and conversions in between, including a front-facing seat and a high-back booster. 

How To Install Graco 4ever Car Seat

It is important to follow all written instructions for installation provided in the owner’s manual, which can also usually be referenced online. 

The manual includes illustrations and diagrams to assist with your install. It is possible to locate videos online demonstrating how to install your car seat. However, it is important to verify that the videos are accurate and all steps should be verified with your owner’s manual instructions. 

Graco recommends that you keep your child rear-facing as long as possible due to the fact that they are much safer during a crash than if they were forward-facing. Still, you must abide by the height and weight restrictions. The forever seats can be installed using your car’s seat belt restraints or by using the LATCH system. 

Installing Graco 4Ever Using Seat Belt  (rear-facing)

  • Place the car seat in the back seat of the vehicle in the rear facing position
  • Store the LATCH straps
  • Move the recline position to 1,2, or 3
  • Route the seatbelt through the belth path as marked (blue)
  • Make sure the seat belt is in the locked position, you may have to pull the belt all the way out until it clicks. 
  • Buckle it and tighten the seat belt
  • Install the seat securely in your vehicle so that it does not move at the belt path more than one inch from side to side and front to back
  • Ensure the recline level bubble indicator is within the blue area

Installing using a LATCH

  • Remove the LATCH straps from their storage compartment
  • Move the recline position to 1,2, or 3
  • Route the latch strap through the rear facing path as marked (blue) if not already in place
  • Store the top tether strap and extend the latch straps all the way out
  • Place the seat in the back seat of the vehicle in the rear facing position between the vehicle anchors so that it is as flat as possible
  • Attach the LATCH connectors to your vehicles anchors
  • Ensuring that the LATCH belt is not twisted, tighten the belt
  • Install the seat securely securely in your vehicle so that it does not move at the base more than one inch from side to side and front to back
  • Ensure the level bubble indicator is within the blue area

Front Facing using LATCH

  • Remove the LATCH straps from their storage compartment
  • Move the recline position to 4,5, or 6
  • Route the latch strap through the forward facing path as marked (orange) if not already in place
  • Extend the LATCH strap all the way out 
  • Unhook the tether strap and loosely attach it to your vehicles anchor point
  • Place the seat in the back seat of the vehicle in the forward facing position between the vehicle anchors so that it is as flat as possible
  • Attach the LATCH connectors to your vehicles anchors
  • Ensuring that the LATCH belt is not twisted, tighten the belt
  • Tighten the top tether strap, you may need to put your weight in the seat
  • Install the seat securely securely in your vehicle so that it does not move at the base more than one inch from side to side and front to back
  • Ensure the level bubble indicator is within the blue area

High Back Booster using Seatbelt 

  • Store the harness straps and crotch buckle
  • Place the booster forward facing in the backseat of your vehicle with no overhang
  • Store the LATCH straps and tether
  • Thread the vehicle seat belt (shoulder belt) through the belt guide on the headrest of the car seat and buckle
  • Adjust the seat belt so it is snug on the child’s hips and follows the belt path behind the arm rest. 

Backless Booster using Seatbelt (not compatible with LATCH as a backless booster)

  • Remove the seat back
  • Store the splitter plate, buckle, and harness
  • Store the LATCH straps
  • Place forward facing on the vehicles seat with no overhang and as flat as possible
  • Guide the seat belt through the belt path behind the armrests
  • The belt should fit snugly across their hips and chest area between their neck and shoulder 

Recall and Solution 

There have been no recalls, replacement parts, or warnings issued for the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1. Registering your car seat as soon as you receive it is the best way to stay up to date with recalls and warnings. If an issue does become known, Graco will contact you if you have registered your product. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I contact Graco? 

Graco can be reached via telephone at 1-800-345-4109.Alternatively, they respond to all email inquiries after you complete a short form. A link to the form can be found here: http://www.gracobaby.com/en-US/contactus 

What is the lifespan of 4ever car seats?

The lifespan of 4Ever car seats is typically ten years. You should refer to your exact seats expiration date sticker or imprint. You can also consult the owner’s manual and/or the manufacturer. 

Is side overhang okay with the Graco 4ever seats?

When using the forever seats as an infant or toddler car seat in either the rear-facing or forward-facing position, the car seat should be as flat as possible on the vehicle seat. Graco’s instruction manual does not explicitly mention overhang, but all images in the manual portray the car seat entirely on the vehicle seat. 

When using the 4Ever car seat as a booster Graco states the following “The front of booster seat MUST NOT hang over front of vehicle seat”. Therefore, when using it as a high back booster or backless booster, no overhang is allowed. 

Should the Graco 4ever be replaced after an accident? 

Yes, after any type of accident Graco recommends that your car seat be replaced. Even if your seat does not appear to have any evident damage there may be unseen structural damage. This may impair its protection in future use. Additionally, even if your child was not using the seat at the time of the accident, it should be replaced.  

How do I clean Graco 4ever car seats?

You should always refer to your owner’s manual. However, one important thing to note is that the harness straps should not be immersed as they are spot clean only. All other plastic and metal parts, including the buckles, can be cleaned with a damp cloth and a mild soap if necessary. The cover is removable and can be washed. 

Is it easy to transport? 

One downside of 4Ever seats is that they are not that easy to transport. As they are not infant seats, they do not have removable bases.

Therefore, you cannot easily remove the seat from the car; nor do they attach to strollers. 4Ever seats are meant to remain in one vehicle and are not conducive to frequent transfers.

Graco 4 Ever Affordable Yet Safe

Graco is well known for its reliability and safety. They have become a brand trusted by parents after years of edication to durability, strength, and dependability. 

The seat’s reinforced steel frame scored high on the extensive testing for side, rear, front, and rollover crashes. Beyond safety, the seat offers particle features such as padded cushions, dual cup holders, no-rethread harnesses, and rapid remove seat covers. 

Author

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren

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