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2017 Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit 4-in-1 Carseat Review

Late one night at the Graco factory, some smooth Barry White was heard playing, some carseats were hanging out, and about a year after the Extend2Fit’s original introduction, the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-In-One was born. It’s about the perfect combination of what you could want in a carseat: the Graco’s super popular 4Ever 4-In-1 carseat and the Extend2Fit convertible carseat with the fabulous leg extension that eases parents’ minds about cramped rear-facing legs. The Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit is a busy seat for busy families: it rear-faces, forward-faces, becomes a highback booster, and converts to a backless booster.

Weight and Height Limits:
  • Rear-facing: 4-50 lbs. AND child’s head is 1” below adjustment handle
  • Forward-facing: 22-65 lbs., 49” or less
  • Highback booster: 40-100 lbs., 43-57”, at least 4 years old
  • Backless booster: 40-120 lbs., 43-57”, at least 4 years old
4Ever Extend2Fit Overview:
  • 50 lbs. rear-facing weight limit
  • 4 rear-facing recline positions, 2 forward-facing recline positions
  • 2 recline handles: each located on the front and the back of the seat base for convenience
  • 4-position leg extension for rear-facing comfort
  • Seat belt lockoff for forward-facing use
  • On-board harness storage for booster mode
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • InRight™ LATCH system
  • Two cup holders
  • Machine-washable cover
  • 10 yr lifespan before seat expires

Graco also offers three other versions of the Extend2Fit carseat. Here’s a quick overview of the differences:

Extend2Fit with RapidRemove: Has all the E2F features plus an easy-to-remove cover. MSRP $219.99

Extend2Fit 3-in-1: Has all the E2F features plus the capability of being used as a highback belt-positioning booster seat from 30-100 lbs. MSRP $249.99

Extend2Fit 3-in-1 with TrueShield: Has all the E2F 3-in-1 features plus TrueShield technology, an extra layer of side impact protection. MSRP $279.99

4Ever Extend2Fit Measurements

Harness height: ~7”-17 ½”
Shoulder belt guide height: 18 ½”
External widest point: 19”
Shell height with headrest: 29”
Shoulder width: 12”
Crotch strap depth: inner slot: 2” with padding, 4 ½” without padding; outer slot: 6 ½”
Seat depth: 13”
Seat weight: 25.5 lbs. with padding, 24.6 lbs. without padding
Don’t forget about our comparison database!

      

Installation

Rear-Facing Installation

  • When rear-facing, any of reclines 1-4 can be used to achieve an appropriate recline.
  • The leg extension can be pulled out into any one of the 4 available positions.
  • The bottom cover pulls forward for easy access to both the RF and FF belt paths.

Installation was easy using either LATCH or seat belt in the vehicles in which I placed the 4Ever Extend2Fit. The deluxe push-on lower anchors (InRight™ LATCH system) make installation with LATCH easy. You’ll also never have to guess about overhang because the labels on the base show you how much is acceptable.

 

J is 13 months old, 21 lbs., 29″:

 

L is 3.5 yrs old, 34 lbs., 38″:

 

S is 5.5 yrs old, 39 lbs., 44″:

 

Forward-Facing Installation

  • If your child is 40 lbs. or less, you must use recline position 5; kids over 40 lbs. must use recline position 6.
  • If you’ve been using the leg extension in rear-facing mode, it’s time to put it back in because it’s not allowed in forward-facing mode.
  • There are 2 Graco convertible/all-in-one carseats that have built-in lockoffs and the 4Ever E2F is one of them. When installing with the seat belt (40+ lbs.), you’ll use this lockoff.

The lockoff is Graco’s typical clip style and if you over-tighten the seat belt, you’ll risk sore fingers trying to open it when it comes time to uninstall the carseat. I suggest unbuckling the seat belt first before opening the lockoff to relieve the tension on the belt.

Booster Seat Installation

  • The harness is stored on-board in the storage compartment. The buckle must be removed then buckled into the harness tongs, then it can all be smooshed into the compartment. It’s a great way to keep it all together for future use.
  • When used as a highback booster, the seat can be secured with LATCH up to 100 lbs., the maximum weight limit as a highback booster. That’s because the backless portion of the booster doesn’t have the lower LATCH connectors attached to it. If the LATCH strap or connectors interfere with the vehicle buckle or seat belt in any way, store it through the forward-facing belt path on the carseat instead.
  • The recline position must be set to position 6, which is most upright.

S is one pound too small to be using the 4Ever E2F as a booster, but you can see that the belt fit would still be good on him if he ate a big meal:

J is 8 yrs old, 70.7 lbs.:

 

B is 10.5 yrs old, 70.8 lbs., 54.5″:

LATCH Weight Limits
Rear-facing LATCH weight limit: 35 lbs.
Forward-facing LATCH weight limit: 40 lbs.

Center LATCH installations with Non-Standard Spacing:
Graco allows LATCH installation in the center seating position only if the LATCH anchor bars are spaced 11” apart. That means the center seating position MUST be a dedicated LATCH seating position or one of those rare vehicles where the spacing is *just right*.

Inflatable Seat Belts
Graco has determined that the 4Ever Extend2Fit cannot be installed with inflatable seat belts found in some Ford, Lincoln, and Mercedes vehicles, and in some airplane seat belts.

Fit to Child

The 4Ever E2F has a body pillow, pillow that slips into the headrest, and harness covers. The body pillow and harness covers MUST be used for children under 25 lbs., whether rear- or forward-facing. The head pillow can only be used in rear-facing mode.

Of special note is the buckle routing for the inner buckle slot. When using the inner buckle slot, it must be anchored in the outer buckle slot so that the metal slide is facing up toward the top of the carseat. This is different than most carseats, indeed all Graco seats, but you may be familiar with the routing if your non-Graco infant seat allowed it as a preemie/small infant setting. Because this routing reduces the length of the buckle and the body pillow must be used for kids under 25 lbs., children using cloth diapers or with fluffy exteriors may find it uncomfortable until they are able to fit in the seat with the buckle in the outer slot.

 

Padding is sufficient for my 4 lbs. preemie doll, but the mandatory harness pads are enormous. If you’re serious about putting a preemie in a convertible, it’ll probably work. The thing with preemies is that you usually don’t plan on having them.

All my rear-facing models found the 4Ever E2F to be very comfortable and they enjoyed the leg extension.

 

My forward-facing model also found the carseat to be very comfortable, though being a true tech’s son, he preferred being RF.

Belt fit was good in booster mode; however, lap belt fit was somewhat far forward on my bigger backless riders. My big kid backless models expressed extreme displeasure at their comfort level. They both felt their knees were much higher than their bums, which was awkward to them. Having the back on in highback mode pushed the booster rider forward enough that he didn’t feel this way.

Cover/Maintenance/Ease of Use

The cover can be thrown in the washing machine on gentle cycle. Hang to dry.

When moving the crotch strap to the outer position, I found it easier to grasp the metal slide underneath when I moved the leg extension out. It somewhat blocks your hand from getting to the underside of that outside buckle position.

The cup holders are required to be attached and are labeled on the bottom so you know on which side they belong . I found mine to be of moderate difficulty to attach since they feel like they’re snapped in when they’re not. A whack with a rubber mallet will probably seat them in securely—just make sure not to crack them.

FAA-Approval/Lifespan/Crash Guidelines

The 4Ever E2F is FAA-approved when used with the harness. If you’re using it as a booster seat, you can’t use it on the plane because booster seats require lap/shoulder belts.

This carseat has a lifespan of 10 years from the date of manufacture. It must be replaced after any crash, including a minor one.

Advantages
  • 50 lbs. rear-facing weight limit
  • 4 rear-facing recline positions, 2 forward-facing recline positions
  • 2 recline handles: each located on the front and the back of the seat base for convenience
  • 4-position leg extension for rear-facing comfort
  • Seat belt lockoff for forward-facing use
  • Easy access to both RF and FF belt paths
  • On-board harness storage for booster mode
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Two cup holders
  • Machine-washable cover
  • 10 yr lifespan before seat expires
Disadvantages
  • Relatively short shoulder belt guide in highback booster mode
  • Uncomfortable in backless booster mode
  • Inner buckle slot length may be too short for some kids

The Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit is nearly everything you want it to be. It does rear-facing well, it does forward-facing well, and it will work as a highback booster well for a while. However, as a backless booster, it may work in a pinch, but you’ll want a dedicated backless when your child outgrows the relatively short highback booster. The 4Ever E2F really shines as a multi-purpose seat with a very high rear-facing weight limit and cool extension panel for legroom. It’s easy to switch between harness and booster mode if multiple children will be using the seat and it has a forward-facing lockoff. Graco added the small things to this carseat to make it desirable: the lockoff, the cover that unsnaps to reveal the belt paths, the recline handles on both the front and the back of the base for easy access, and the onboard harness storage for when the seat converts to a booster. You’ll have to decide if all those desirables outweigh the few negatives of the 4Ever Extend2Fit.

Thank you to Graco for providing the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit used for this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are those of CarseatBlog.

CONTEST ENDED SORRY-  4Ever Extend2Fit 4-in-1 Giveaway – USA

  • Leave us a comment below (required to be eligible to win), then click on Rafflecopter to qualify yourself.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the fine print – winner must have U.S. shipping address to claim the prize. Only one prize will be awarded. Fashion choices will be limited to those in currently stock at Graco. Only one entry per household/family, please. If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count. We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above. We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules for any reason. The contest will close on June 28, 2017, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 7 days, a new winner will be selected. Good luck!

CONTEST ENDED, Sorry.