Graco Headwise 70Graco’s Head Wise 70 convertible car seat with Safety Surround is the third in a great trilogy.  We’ve already reviewed the nearly identical Graco Size4Me 70 and it’s twin, the My Size 70.  The Head Wise 70 is very similar, with only minor changes that include the addition of the “Safety Surround” technology for enhanced side-impact protection and some variations in soft goods (covers and infant inserts).  So, this will just be a quick update and video review.  Please see our Size4Me 70 review for measurements and more information.  The Head Wise 70 is currently a Target exclusive, retailing around $199.

 

Video Review:

 

And here is a quick feature summary:

 

Photo Gallery:

To show you how similar the HeadWise 70 is to the Size4Me 70, here are a couple comparison photos.  There are some differences, but the shell is very similar overall, along with the height and weight limits of the seat:

GracoHeadwise70Size4Me70 GracoHeadwise70Size4Me70front

Below are a few shots with kids of various sizes.  On the far left, a nearly 8-year old boy who is at the harness system limit of 52″ tall.  He still barely fits in the Head Wise 70 at 60 pounds. Next is an almost-4-year-old who weighs 33 lbs, is 40″ tall, and wears a size 4 shirt. After that is a 17-month-old, 20 lbs, 33 inches, size 18 month shirts.  On the far right, a 7-pound infant doll, using the included infant inserts.

GracoHeadWise70FF GracoHeadWise70RF1 GracoHeadWise70RF2 Graco HeadWise 70 Infant

 

Pros:

  • GracoHeadWise70reclineRear-facing legroom seems better than average
  • Handy recline indicator for rear-facing (photo, right)
  • Deep EPS foam-lined head wings w/ Safety Surround system
  • Enough shoulder room for older kids to fit comfortably
  • Front adjustable 3-step Recline
  • Tall harness limit should get many kids to at least 6-7 yrs
  • Integrated cupholder
  • SimplySafe Harness one-hand height adjustment is easy to use, no re-threading straps or uninstalling to adjust to 8-positions!
  • Extremely generous rear-facing height limit, nearly all kids can remain rear-facing to 40 pounds in this seat

 

Cons:

  • Harness System.  Can be a little hard to tighten, especially for babies.  May be somewhat difficult to buckle/unbuckle, 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
  • Made in China
  • Slightly more expensive than Size4Me 70 and My Size 70.  Available only at Target.

 

Conclusion:

Like the Size4Me 70 we reviewed last year, the Graco Head Wise 70 is a great seat for larger, full-term newborns all the way up to 6 or 7 years of age.  In particular, it offers one of the best height limits for rear-facing, the safest way for kids to travel.  Nearly all kids will be able to use this model rear-facing all the way up to the 40-pound rear-facing weight limit!  For the extra $10 or $20 over the cost of a Size4Me 70 or MySize 70, you add Graco’s Safety Surround system for extra side impact protection, along with different cover choices and infant inserts.  All three models are great choices, so find the style you like best and follow the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to keep kids rear-facing as long as possible!

Thank you to Graco Baby for providing the Head Wise 70 used in this review!  No other compensation was provided.