2019-2020 Graco 4Ever DLX Platinum All-in-One Review
You may already be familiar with the Graco 4Ever, a CarseatBlog Recommended Carseat and a 2019 Editors’ Pick. It is the seat that rocked the car seat world a few years ago by delivering the first true all-in-one car seat that actually functioned well in every mode of use. Graco has now upped its game in the luxury car seat market with the Graco 4Ever DLX Platinum! Everything you loved about the 4Ever, now with premium fabric and features such as a seat belt lockoff for forward-facing and self-tightening lower LATCH connectors.
4Ever DLX Platinum Specs & Features:
- Rear-facing: 4-40 lbs. and child’s head must be 1″ from gray headrest adjuster handle
- Forward-facing (with harness): 22-65 lbs and 49″ or less
- Highback booster: 40-100 lbs. and 43-57″
- Backless booster: 40-120 lbs. and 43-57″
- 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 connectors with Graco’s EZ Tight™ LATCH (LATCH limit: child weight of 45 lbs.)
- Lockoff for forward-facing seat belt installations
- Dual integrated cup holders (assembly required)
- RapidRemove cover
- ProtectPlus Engineered designation (tested for frontal, side & rear impact crashes)
- 10 year lifespan before expiration
- Lowest harness height (with infant insert): 6.5″
- Highest harness height: 17.5″
- Tallest booster height: 18.25″
- Internal rear-facing height: 26.25″ (that’s one inch below the headrest adjustment lever of 27.25″)
- Crotch buckle positions: 5″ and 7″
- Seating depth: 12″
- Internal seat width: 13″
- Widest external seat width: 19.5″ (at cup holders)
Installation/Fit to Vehicle:
In general, the 4Ever is not difficult to install and tends to have good compatibility. I tried it in several seating positions in a 2015 Ford Expedition with the seatbelt and with LATCH. I was able to get a secure install in every position I tried (outboard 2nd row, center 2nd row, center 3rd row) both rear- and forward-facing.
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).
Installation with LATCH:
The lower LATCH strap on this model features Graco’s EZ Tight™ LATCH, which at this time is exclusive to Graco’s “Platinum” models.
Graco has a demonstration of the EZ Tight™ installation here – And yes, in some vehicles like my Expedition, it really can be as easy as it looks in the demonstration. Although you still need to apply force to get it to tighten, in a best-case scenario there isn’t the usual pulling and tugging of the LATCH strap. For people like me with less than stellar joints in the hands, this can be a huge bonus. Unfortunately, the EZ Tight LATCH feature doesn’t work well in some vehicles or seating positions. Sometimes, you just can’t get an adequate LATCH installation no matter how much force you apply to the seat. Luckily, you always have the option to switch to a seatbelt installation if you can’t get the seat installed tightly with the LATCH strap. Reminder – when installed properly, the carseat shouldn’t move more than 1″ from side-to-side or from front-to-back when you test for tightness *at the beltpath*.
The 4Ever DLX Platinum has a single LATCH strap, which means it needs to be manually switched between the different beltpaths when you switch from rear-facing to forward-facing or vice versa. The process isn’t as complicated as it is on some seats, but not as easy as on some others (see video below). One thing I found frustrating was that the LATCH strap had to be moved not only when changing between rear- and forward-facing but also when changing from a LATCH to a seat belt install. If you are installing this model with seat belt, the LATCH strap and connectors must be stored in the other beltpath, to keep them out of each other’s way.
Forward-facing LATCH weight limit: 45 pounds. For kids who weigh more than 45 lbs., install the 4Ever with seatbelt and tether.
Center LATCH installations with Non-Standard Spacing: Not allowed. Only use LATCH in the center seating position if the vehicle manufacturer allows it and the lower LATCH anchor bars are spaced 11” apart when measured at their centers (i.e., standard lower anchor spacing).
Inflatable Seat Belts: This car seat CAN be installed with the inflatable seat belts found in some Ford/Lincoln vehicles; just route the seat belt over the closed lockoff when forward-facing. Other types of inflatable seat belts are still incompatible for use with the 4Ever DLX Platinum. There are no issues when using the seat as a belt-positioning booster, although watch to make sure the shoulder belt retracts properly through the belt guide.
Lockoff: All 4Ever DLX models (including this platinum model) have a lockoff for forward-facing installations using seatbelt. There is no lockoff for the rear-facing beltpath but that is less important because you can use the lower LATCH anchors all the way up to the 40 lbs. rear-facing weight limit.