One of the most eagerly anticipated seats at the ABC Kids Expo this year is Graco’s Extend2Fit convertible. What sets this seat apart is an innovative leg rest/seat extender that gives rear-facing children more legroom. Although we know that bent legs don’t pose a safety hazard, and we know that kids tend to be little contortionists, lots of parents worry that their kids look uncomfortable rear-facing and use squished legs as a reason to turn kids forward-facing, often before they should. Graco hopes to combat that worry with the Extend2Fit.
The seat we saw was a prototype so the soft goods and some other aspects might change a bit, but we liked what we saw.
- 4-50 lbs. rear-facing
- 22-65 lbs. and 49″ or less forward-facing
- Infant insert
- 10-position harness height, maxing out at 18 inches
- 6-position recline (3 positions for forward-facing; 3 for rear-facing)
- 17″ seat depth with panel extended
- Steel reinforced shell
- 10-year expiration
We were concerned that the Extend2Fit’s expandable seating area might cause the seat to take up an excessive amount of room in the car, but I don’t think that will be a problem. When we put the seat in the most upright rear-facing position and extended the panel, the seat took up only about 28″. Graco said they’ve done extensive fit-to-vehicle testing and found that in most cases, an average-sized man should be able to sit comfortably in the front seat.
With a tall shell and a 50-lb rear-facing weight limit, this looks like it will be a great fit for larger rear-facing kids, yet it should still fit newborns well, too. Here’s Romeo modeling:
The seat will be available in three colors, plus there will be retailer-specific fashions. The Extend2Fit should be shipping in November and should hit stores in January. Retail price is expected to be $199.