Does it have high rear-facing limits?  Can it fit a full-term newborn?  Can it fit a 7-year old?  Is it easy to install?  Easy to adjust the harness height?  Is it, dare I say, my favorite Graco convertible to date?  Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes And Yes!  It’s the Graco Size4Me 70 convertible carseat.  This review also applies in general to the similar Graco MySize 70 convertible carseat sold at Toys R Us and Babies R Us.  Please note that the MySize70 may have slight variations of features and fabrics from the Size4Me 70 reviewed here.

The Size4Me 70 is rated from 4 to 40 pounds rear-facing.  Forward facing, it is rated from 20 to 70 pounds.  Other key features that set the Size4Me 70 apart from its competition include the Simply Safe Adjust harness system that allows you to raise and lower the harness height with the squeeze of a lever, without having to uninstall the seat or re-thread harness straps.  Also, the unique InRight LATCH system is easy to install and even easier to uninstall, unlike those on many basic entry-level carseats!

Specs and Measurements:

Graco lists the shell width as 18.5″, outside height of 23.43″ and depth of 22.05″.  I made the following measurements*:

Bottom harness height around 8″ (closer to 7″ with infant insert), the top is about 17.5″

Crotch strap positions measure about 4.5″ and 6.5″

Seating depth is almost 12″.

Seating width is about 12″ at the legs, closer to 14″ at the bottom.

Shoulder width over 15″ in front, about 14″ in back.

Lifespan is 7 years from the date of manufacture

*Please note all measurements can vary considerably depending how you measure and photos can differ with the perspective of a camera, so please consider images and specifications as rough estimates that may vary from your observations!

 

Features:

Rated from 4 to 40 pounds rear-facing,  20-70 pounds forward facing.  Not only is it rated to 70 pounds, but it also fits full-term newborns down to at least 7 pounds.  It is rated to a 4 pound minimum weight.  I found it fit the Huggable Images full-term 7-pound newborn doll very well (photo, right), something many convertibles can’t do.

InRight LATCH System: These connectors are easy to install, like most deluxe push-in connectors.  The great part is that they are also very easy to remove, unlike the basic hooks you find on many child seats.  Plus, you get two sets of LATCH connectors: one for forward-facing and one for rear-facing.  That means no re-routing of the straps is necessary to switch between modes!  The attachments and top-tether connectors are easily stored on attachment points on the carseat when not in use.  The vehicle seatbelt must be used instead of LATCH at 48 pounds.

Simply Safe Adjustable Harness Height System: Many convertibles force you to uninstall the seat and re-thread the harness straps each time you need to adjust the harness strap height.  The Size4Me 70 has a one-hand, front adjustable height setting with 8 positions.   It works very well.  The lowest setting is about 7″ with the infant body support.  Without the support, it ranges from roughly 8″ to around 17.5″ for seated torso height.

Level Indicator: Many convertibles lack a real level indicator for rear-facing, beyond a simple line or lines on a label.  The S4M70 has a nice ball-type level indicator to make it easy to get the right recline for a baby.

3-position Recline: Speaking of recline, a front-adjustable lever allows you to choose one setting for rear-facing and two for forward-facing.  The intermediate forward-facing setting is for 20-40 pound children, while the most upright position is for 20-70 pounds.  The recline can be a little difficult to adjust once installed in the vehicle and you may need to check the installation if you are able to adjust it.

Wide Range of Fit: The height limit is very generous and should allow nearly all kids to be rear-facing until the full 40 pound limit, most to at least 4-years old!  According to Graco’s updated guidance: “It is important that the top of the child’s head must be at least 1” (2.54 cm) below the bottom of the red head support actuator when using the seat rear facing.  The head support may be placed in any of the adjustment positions provided that the shoulder harness is positioned at or below the child’s shoulders and there is no interference with the front vehicle seats.”

Forward facing, it fits my son well even at over 7 years old, 52″ tall and 56 pounds, but there is a stated 50″ forward-facing limit, so photos/videos of my son are only to give an idea of how old a child might fit in this product  (CarseatBlog does not advocate that parents exceed any published limits from the manufacturer, our images are for demonstration purposes only)!  Even at 52″, he had enough shoulder room and the side impact protection wings contained his head very well.  Most kids will outgrow it by height well before they reach the 70 pound weight limit, but many could reach 50-60 pounds.  Very impressive for a convertible! *UPDATE* Graco has increased the forward-facing height limit from 50″ to 52″ tall. This update is retroactive so all Size4Me 70 and MySize 70 seats are now rated to the higher standing height limits!

Cup Holder: Simple and integrated

Machine Washable Pads: Machine wash cold water/delicate.  Drip-dry.  No bleach.

Extensive Testing: Graco states the Size4Me 70 meets or exceeds all federal standards, including a test at 2x the peak force of the NCAP test.  Since no side impact standard exists in the USA, it is also designed to pass Graco’s own standard as well as the European draft standard for side impacts.  This is no doubt aided by the deep side wings around the head, lined with EPS foam (photo, right).

Removable head and body supports: The torso body support, “Must be used if shoulders are below lowest harness setting.”  These make it cozy for a baby or small toddler, but are easily removed for a big kid.

 

 

Installation and Use:

Seatbelt: The Size4Me 70 is pretty typical for seatbelt installation, either with a lap-only belt or a lap-shoulder belt.  There are separate belt paths for forward-facing and rear-facing.  No built-in lockoffs are provided, so you will probably need to switch your seatbelt to locking mode by pulling the shoulder belt all the way out of the retractor as you tighten the seatbelt.  For older cars without a switchable retractor or a locking latchplate (please see owner’s manual), you will need to use a locking clip.  Also, when rear-facing, the belt path sometimes slightly interfered with the crotch strap, but this will vary depending on your vehicle.

 

LATCH:  The InRight LATCH system makes the Size4Me 70 among the easier convertibles to use in terms of installation.  You simply click each connector onto the lower anchors found in most newer vehicles and then pull the strap to tighten.  Many other Graco carseats have simple hook attachments.  These can be more difficult to attach and much more difficult to remove.  The InRight attachments release with a simple pull on a fabric loop.  Couldn’t be easier!  This is one of the highlights of the Size4Me 70.

Fit to Child:  The size, inserts and adjustments provide a wide weight and height range for use.  I estimate most kids will fit from full-term newborns all the way to 7 years old.  Unfortunately, it did not fit my Huggable Images Preemie doll very well (photo, right).  Graco research indicates that it can fit lower birth weight infants that may have different proportions from this doll.

Harness System:  The adjustments are all up front, including harness height, harness tightness and recline.  I do note that my early production version could be difficult to tighten, especially when used rear-facing with a baby or small child.  Initially, it works smoothly but eventually requires a fairly strong pull on the adjustment strap to get it tight enough.  I found it easier to adjust forward-facing for my 7-year old.  Also, the buckle tongues can be difficult to insert into the buckle, even for an adult.  Older kids may not be able to do it themselves, as they might in other carseats.  This is the case on some other newer Graco models as well.  Not a major issue, and I think it’s possible they may become easier to adjust with use, but it is the one notable drawback of this model.

Advantages:

  • Extremely generous rear-facing height limit, nearly all kids can remain rear-facing to 40 pounds in this seat!
  • Rear-facing legroom seems better than average
  • InRight LATCH system.  Ultra easy to connect and remove.  Separate attachments for front-facing and rear-facing, so no re-routing is necessary.
  • Tall harness limit should get many kids to at least 6 or 7 years old in the harness system.
  • Enough shoulder room for older kids to fit comfortably
  • SimplySafe Harness one-hand height adjustment is easy to use, no re-threading straps or uninstalling to adjust to 8-positions!
  • Front adjustable 3-step Recline, easy-to-read ball indicator for recline level
  • EPS foam-lined head wings, meets Euro draft side impact standard
  • Integrated cupholder
  • Good value at under for such high weight and height ranges with 7-year lifespan, $179.99 at Kids-N-Cribs.com

 

Disadvantages:

  • Harness System.  Can be a little hard to tighten, especially for babies.  May be somewhat difficult to buckle, especially for younger kids.  Harness straps can twist.
  • Somewhat large and bulky, but this is the tradeoff for the very generous height and weight limits
  • Like most convertibles, a 65 or 70 pound weight limit is unrealistic for most kids who will reach the height limit much sooner
  • Low birth weight infants and very small newborns may not fit well, despite the 4 pound minimum rating
  • Once child outgrows infant torso insert, there is minimal padding for their bottom.
  • Made in China

 

Conclusion:

The Size4Me 70 is a great convertible carseat with generous height and weight ranges.  Honestly, aside from some issues with the harness, it was difficult to come up with any major disadvantages so those I list are mostly nit-picks that apply to many of the larger convertible carseats on the market.  This model will accommodate many kids rear-facing to 3-years or even 4-years old and then front-facing for a few years more.  A large full-term newborn could potentially use this model from birth all the way to 7 years!  Perhaps the best part is that you get all this without spending $300 or even $200 like many upscale convertibles.  The suggested retail price is $179.99 at Kids-N-Cribs.com.  It is also available at local Amazon.com, Target, BuyBuyBaby and will soon be in BabiesRUs, so expect sale prices will be even less!  I really like the Size4Me 70 for all these reasons and I definitely recommend it as a model you consider for your child!

Stay tuned to CarseatBlog.com for our Graco Size4Me70 giveaway contest later this week!

Thank you to Graco Baby for providing the Size4Me 70 carseat used in this review.  No other compensation was provided and all opinions are those of the author.