Graco vs Chicco: Infant, Convertible, Booster Seat – Choosing the Right One For Your Baby!

Confused about Graco vs Chicco infant, convertible, booster seat options? Which one should you pick? When it comes to your infant’s comfort and safety in the back seat of your car, the obvious option has to be the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat. Not only is it compact enough to fit in just about any car, but it’s also great for smaller or even premature babies.

Every parent’s number one priority is their baby’s safety. Choosing the right car seat is no different. When it comes to choosing the right type and brand, you certainly aren’t spoilt for choice in an ever-growing market.

Today I will look at two of the most popular brands, Graco vs Chicco child car seats. I’ll be looking at why they’re so popular and I’ll also give you an outline of their defining features. By the end of this review, you’ll definitely have a better idea of which brand and model to pick!

Graco vs Chicco – A Recap on the Brands

I recently placed an article detailing the key differences between Britax vs Chicco, which you should also definitely check out if you’re considering these two brands.

Let’s recap a few of those defining differences.

Graco: Established in 1942, this American based company initially started out as a car part manufacturer. Recent years have seen them become market leaders in the production of car seats, high chairs and other baby travel systems. With comfort and safety in mind, their brand has gained popularity with many consumers.

Chicco: Based in Artsana Italy, Chicco has been producing baby and infant products for more than 50 years. These include baby foods, shoes, traveling systems and hygiene products. The company’s main goal is to create products that focus on emotional needs.

The key difference between these two brands is the variety of products each one offers. Chicco focuses extensively on general baby products whereas Graco places their focus on travel systems, seats and strollers. Chicco and Graco join other baby brands in offering revolutionary designs and safety levels with all their car seat models.

Which is Better for Car Seats? Graco or Chicco?

When you’re paging through a catalog or clicking through online options, you’re probably wondering what exactly differentiates one car seat from another. Especially when two brands offer similar quality and features.

The answer to the “which is better” question ultimately comes down to your personal preference based on your baby’s individual needs. However, it’s beneficial to consider both options and look at the different features each brand model offers. These include price, safety, comfort and ease of use.

Both Chicco and Graco offer extensive safety features that ensure the safety of your child not only during the journey but in the unfortunate event of a collision. Considerations such as the size of your vehicle seat, space in the back seat and ease of movement also need to be considered. As a parent, you need to identify which of these features are more important to you and your little one.

If you’re interested to explore the different car seats offered by Graco, read my post about the Graco Extend2Fit vs 4Ever vs SlimFit models.

What’s the Difference – Infant Car Seat vs Convertible vs Booster Car Seat

If this is your first experience using a car seat, you might be wondering, “what’s the difference?”. Although the primary design and function are very similar, there are a few major differences between the different types of car seats.

Let’s have a look at what those differences are:

Infant car seat: An infant car seat is a bucket type seat that the infant or toddler sits in. It uses a five-point harness as a restraint to keep the baby secure. These seats are only suitable for newborns to about two years depending on weight and size. As your baby grows, you’ll have to upgrade to a convertible or booster seat.

Convertible car seat: This is the type of seat you use between the infant seat and the booster seat. They can be used in the rear or forward-facing position. The rear-facing position is suitable for infants and the forward-facing position is ideal for toddlers.

Booster car seat: A booster seat is the type of bucket seat where the vehicle’s seat belt is used to secure the seat. This ultimately will teach your child to use the seatbelt on their own. Children can sit in booster seats up to ages between 8 to 12 depending on their weight and height.

Some car seats are known as “all-in-one” car seats. These are actually just booster seats with adjustable straps and padding to allow you to make the seats smaller for babies, and then adjust as the child grows.

These seats are economical because it’s a one time purchase. An added advantage of a quality car seat is its durability allows it to last long enough to be used by different children.

Before we look at some of the different products from these popular two models, I’d like to share a video that shows you how simple it is to install a baby seat in your car. Each brand has its own instruction manual, but the general principle is the same!

Graco vs Chicco Travel Systems

I won’t be reviewing Graco or Chicco travel systems in this article as I have covered these options extensively already on my site. Read all about them here. In case you’re wondering; a travel system is a car seat and stroller combination. It has many advantages (and some disadvantages) so make sure you’re fully informed before deciding if this is the route you want to take.

Comparison Table – Key Features of Graco vs Chicco Car Seats

A few of the defining features between Graco and Chicco can be summarized below:

Key FeaturesGraco Car SeatsChicco Car Seats
Ease of installationEasy to install- Suitable for most car seats
- Easy to install
- Latch attachment and one-pull tightener makes fastening and unfastening very easy
Design- Infant, convertible and booster seats available
- All-in-one seats available that allow for your child to use one chair throughout
- All-in-one car seat options which offer rear-facing, forward facing and booster in one easy adjustable chair
- Contoured design for comfort and support
Safety features- Anti-rebound bar provides an extra layer of support for rear-facing seats which restricts motion in the event of an impact.
- Trueshield technology offers side impact protection from head to hips
- Safety surround technology provides advanced head protection in the headrest.
- Five-point harness security system offers easy-pull straps, making fastening and unfastening easy.
- RideRight bubble levels which make it easier to get the right angle in your vehicle's seat.
- The LockSure belt-tightening system keeps your little one safe with secure, adjustable straps.
- Duoguard side impact protection adds two layers of protection with steel-reinforced frame offering maximum support and protection.
- EPS energy-absorbing foam surrounds the head and torso offering additional support. It also provides improved impact protection.
Durable- Quality material, breathable, designed to last.- Material is durable, breathable, meaning the seat will last for years.
Lightweight- Varies, depending on the model, but in general, most car seats are lighter than expected.- Varies, depending on the model chosen.
Added features- Removable cup holders for older children keeps their snacks neatly within their own reach.- Removable cup holders for older children.
- Booster seats have padded headrests for neck and spine support.
Value for money- Convertible seats have varying positions which are easy to adjust for growing children.
- Extra leg room for growing legs means your little one won’t be uncomfortable as they get bigger.
- Height adjustment feature means the seat will adjust as the child grows - no need to buy a different seat. With the right model, your child will use the same seat from birth to 8 years. This makes it a one time expense.
Compatible with strollers- Only infant car seats are compatible with Graco strollers.- Keyfit 30 is compatible with a Chicco stroller.
Easy to Clean- Material is machine washable and can be spot cleaned for minor spills.- Material can easily be spot cleaned.
- Seat covers can be machine washed in cold water.
Pricing- Models available for
under $100.
- Top models can be purchased for under $200.
- Models available for
under $100.
- Top models can be purchased for under $200.

My Top Picks

Graco vs Chicco Infant Car Seats

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat

I found this particular model to be very easy to carry around because it’s actually not as heavy as you would expect from a car seat. Setting up is very simple and the adjustable seat straps make it ideal for premature or very small babies. The last thing you want is your baby rolling around or being too loose in the car seat!

The material is very breathable making it comfortable and less likely that your little one will feel hot and irritable.

With it’s multi-functional features, it’s perfect for little ones weighing between 4 – 30 lbs. and has a height restriction of 32 inches. This means most infants will be able to use it up to the age of two.

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion

Not only is it easy to install this car seat in the backseat of your car, it also has latch attachments which make securing your baby very simple.

An added benefit is the newborn head and body support, which by the way, is removable. Because its main focus is comfort during travel, it’s compatible with Chicco strollers. This makes it useful both inside the car and out.

Ideally it’s best suited for infants averaging between 4 – 30 lbs. who are no taller than 30 inches. Did I mention that it inflates in less than a minute? Well, that in itself is a huge plus!

While it is a little on the heavy side, the material is very sturdy and its durability means it will last for quite a few years.

Graco vs Chicco Convertible Car Seats

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

This convertible car seat doesn’t only look snazzy, it has the features to match. It can be used as a rear-facing car seat for little ones weighing between 4 – 30 lbs. As the infant grows, you can use it for your toddler weighing between 22 – 65 lbs. This eliminates having to buy more than one car seat as your child grows.

A prominent feature of this model is the four-position extension panel and six-position recline. Both features provide comfort and additional safety for a growing child who might be more prone to moving around.

For taller children, there’s enough legroom and additional pads to ensure your child isn’t uncomfortable.

Chicco Fit 4 4 in 1 Convertible Car Seat

This model offers the 4-stage FitKit system which means it adjusts as your little one grows. Layers are easy to remove which gives your child more space to sit comfortably as they grow.

Like other Chicco models, this model also has the SuperCinch latch tightener and LockSure belt-tightening system making it easy to keep your little one safe and secure.

An added advantage of this convertible seat is it’s suitable for your child from infancy right up to the last stage of needing a car seat. A QR code on the side of the seat will give you an updated instruction guide on how to adjust the seat for each growing stage!

Graco vs Chicco Booster Seats

Graco Tranzitions Harness Booster

It’s always more economical to buy a booster seat that grows with your child, and this model doesn’t disappoint. It can be used as a forward-facing harness for infants weighing 22 -65 lbs and then later as a high back booster for weights of 40 -100 lbs. Eventually, as your child grows, the seat can be used as a backless booster. This will let your child get familiar with using the car back seat belts, preparing them for the next phase of their lives.

The No-Rethread Simply Safe Adjust Harness System makes adjusting the headrest and harness so much easier since it happens in one simple motion. Its lightweight design makes it easy to use for parents who don’t have time to struggle with a finicky car seat!

The 8-position adjustable headrest can be easily adjusted as your child grows. This ensures there’s always the right amount of support and comfort for a developing neck and spine.

Two handy easy-to-clean cup holders ensure your child always has their snacks in easy reach. This means you can focus solely on the drive, without trying to reach a drink for a fussy little one!

I’ve written about the Graco Tranzitions vs Nautilus in another post and you’ll find more information here about these two booster seats from Graco.

Chicco KidFit 2 in 1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat

Babies grow so quickly and before you know it, your little one has outgrown their infant seat. When it’s time to upgrade to a booster seat, this model would be an ideal consideration. Children should use booster seats up till the age of 12, depending on their height and weight. This seat will accommodate your child till at least age 8.

The SuperCinch latch attachment together with a one-pull tighter makes it very easy to secure your child without any hassle. Fastening and unfastening have never been easier!

An added feature in this booster seat is the padding which is made of double foam. The foam in conjunction with the seat design gives your child both comfort and extra support. This means there will be no aching necks during or after the journey.

Other features that stand out include simple height adjustment, removable cup holders and it’s sturdy, lightweight material.

FAQs

What are the stages of children’s car seats?

Depending on the type of car seat you buy, you might only buy one seat for all the stages of your child’s early traveling years. You might prefer to buy an infant seat for the early days and then upgrade to a bigger booster seat. The four stages of child car seats can be defined as rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, booster car seats and seat belts.

What is the maximum number of hours my newborn can sit in a car seat?

Safety experts and healthcare professionals recommend that babies not be in car seats for longer than two hours. If you’re driving for long periods of time, you should stop for breaks and take the baby out of the chair. This is to prevent strain on the baby’s developing spine and neck.

Is it really necessary to use a car seat up to 8 or 12 years?

Often some parents might find it totally unnecessary to keep a bigger child in a booster or convertible seat. However, the golden rule with children in cars is “Buckle up every age, every seat, every trip.”

Motor accidents are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. Fortunately, many of these fatalities can be prevented by always buckling children up in the age-appropriate car or booster seats. Studies have shown that this can reduce fatalities or serious injuries by at least 80%. Don’t take shortcuts, buy the right seat and use it every time. Don’t regard it as a chore but rather as a safety measure that will keep your little one safe and give you peace of mind!

Final Thoughts

It’s clear from the information shared in this article, that both brands are top-notch. It’s also clear that when it comes to the Graco vs Chicco infant car seat debate, both brands offer an extensive range of comfort and safety. If you’re still a little undecided, I suggest the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion because it offers exceptional support for your newborn’s head and neck.

If you’re considering an all-in-one car seat that allows for rear-facing, front-facing and booster all rolled into one option, a good choice would be the Graco Tranzitions Harness Booster. With its safety features, your growing child is guaranteed to be safe for all your early-stage journeys.

Whether you end up choosing a Graco or a Chicco car seat, rest assured, you’ll be choosing a quality seat. Not only will your precious cargo be comfortable in the back seat, but you’ll have peace of mind that your infant is safe for the duration of the journey!

Last update on 2021-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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