Like the Fountain of Youth or the Holy Grail, a true multi-function car seat has been eluding desperate searchers for years. Yes, there already are seats that rear-face, forward-face, and turn into a booster, but they are often lacking in at least one function, and when that happens, what’s the point?
So when Graco came out with the 4EVER, which rear-faces, forward-faces, and turns into both a high-back and backless booster, it was easy to get excited but also easy to have reservations. Will it really do what it claims, and do it well?
4EVER Specs and Features:
- Rear-facing: 4-40 lbs.
- Forward-facing (with harness): 20-65 lbs and 49″ or less
- High-back booster: 30-100 lbs. and 38-57″
- Backless booster: 40-120 lbs. and 40-57″
- No-rethread harness with 10 position headrest
- Adjustable base with 6 recline positions (3 for rear-facing, 3 for forward-facing)
- Easy-to-read bubble level indicator
- Steel reinforced frame
- Energy-absorbing EPS foam
- Premium push-on lower LATCH anchor connectors (LATCH limit: Child weight of 42 lbs.)
- Dual integrated cup holders (simple assembly required)
- Lowest harness height (with infant insert): 7″
- Highest harness height: 18″
- Tallest booster height: 18.75″
- Internal rear-facing height: 27.5″ (that’s one inch below the headrest adjustment lever of 28.5″)
- Crotch buckle positions: 5″ and 7″
- Seating depth: 12″
- Internal seat width: 13″
- Widest external seat width: 19.5″ (at cup holders)
- Widest point on base: 15″
- Narrowest point on base: 11.5″ (at very front and very back)
Installation/Fit to Vehicle
In general, the 4EVER is an easy-to-install seat, which is always a good thing. It installed nicely in rear-facing and forward-facing modes in the vehicles I tried it in (2010 Honda Odyssey and 2014 Honda Civic) with the seatbelt and with LATCH. The belt paths are clearly labeled and color-coded both on the seat and in the manual (blue for rear-facing, orange for forward-facing, green for booster). The LATCH and tether straps are easy to loosen when you need to, but stay secure otherwise. My particular model has the premium push-on LATCH connectors, but the manual includes a drawing/description of the hook style, too, so it’s possible that other models will come with those.
For LATCH installations, it’s important to note that the lower anchors need to be discontinued once the child reaches 42 lbs., in accordance with the new LATCH regulations. For kids over 42 lbs., install the 4Ever with seatbelt and tether.
Unlike some of the other Graco convertibles (like the MySize/Size4Me/Headwise) that have separate LATCH straps for the rear-facing and forward-facing beltpaths, the 4EVER only has one, which means it needs to be manually switched between modes. The process isn’t as complicated as it is on some seats, but not as easy as on some others. It would have been nice to see the two separate LATCH straps on this model, too.
Here’s a video showing how to switch the LATCH straps from forward-facing to rear-facing modes, how to tighten the LATCH straps rear-facing, and how to put a rear-facing child into the seat: