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Graco Sequence 65 Platinum Convertible Carseat Review

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2018 Graco Sequence 65 Platinum/Sequel Convertible Carseat Review

Graco has had such success with the Extend2Fit (E2F) with its ability to install in compact front to back spaces that it has expanded the line to include many different models. Not all models include the leg extension tray or the E2F’s fabulous 50 lbs. maximum rear-facing weight limit, but there are other great features it passes along to its siblings. The Sequence 65 is the same carseat as the Sequel 65; they’re just sold at different retailers (known as an exclusive). We have a review of the Sequel 65 here.

Weight and Height Limits:
  • Rear-facing 4-40 lbs. AND child’s head is 1” below gray harness height adjustment handle
  • Forward-facing 22-65 lbs., 49″ or less, at least 1 year old*

*We recommend following the American Academy of Pediatrics minimum guidelines of rear-facing to the limits of the seat before turning your child forward-facing. It’s safest to rear-face with a seat that has a high rear-facing weight and height limit, why not?

Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX Harness Booster Review – The Next Generation

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2018 Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX/DLX Combination Seat Review

The Graco Nautilus has long been a go-to combination seat. Ever since its inception, the original Nautilus model has provided a tall harness for forward-facing kids, has served as a good booster for kids old and large enough not to need the harness anymore, typically fits kids and cars well, and is generally a reliable seat. It seemed like there wasn’t much that could make it better…until now.

Graco recently released the all-new Graco Nautilus SnugLock, which combines all the features we love about the original Nautilus with a SnugLock feature that cinches, locks and tightens the seatbelt for a less-complicated, secure installation.

To clarify, this is a forward-facing only carseat that can also be used as a highback booster and eventually as a backless booster. Graco refers to it as a “3-in-1” product which can be confusing because many consumers think a 3-in-1 carseat always means Rear-Facing/Forward-Facing/Booster. However, in this case, it means Forward-Facing/Highback Booster/Backless Booster. This is a Stage 3 carseat that is most appropriate for pre-school and school-aged children.

Let’s take a look at the specifications and features.

Nautilus SnugLock Weight and Height Limits:
  • Forward-facing with 5-point harness: 22-65 lbs., 27-49″ tall, at least 1 year old
  • Highback booster without harness: 40-100 lbs., 43-57″, at least 4 yrs old
  • Backless booster: 40-100 lbs., 43-57″, at least 4 yrs old
  • Backless booster with arms removed: 40-120 lbs., 43-57″, at least 4 years old

   

Nautilus SnugLock Overview:
  • 3 forward-facing seats in one (harness + highback booster + backless booster)
  • SnugLock feature for easy, secure installation with either LATCH or seatbelt
  • SnugLock feature acts as lockoff device when installing with seatbelt (so there is no need to also lock your seatbelt)
  • Removable armrests when in backless booster mode (gives older kids more hip room)
  • 6-position no-rethread harness
  • Energy-absorbing EPS foam
  • Premium push-on LATCH connectors
  • 4-position recline in harness mode
  • Steel-reinforced frame
  • 10-year lifespan before expiration
  • Built-in storage for the harness when using in booster mode
  • MSRP LX $219.99/DLX $249.99
Nautilus SnugLock Trim Levels:
  • LX models include all features listed above
  • DLX models include all features listed above plus enhanced soft goods and a RapidRemove™ cover which can be removed without uninstalling the seat

Turbo, Take Me Away: Review of the Graco TurboBooster TakeAlong Booster Seat

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Once upon a time, traveling with child restraints was a bulky, heavy, complicated endeavor. In recent years, more lightweight travel options have appeared, especially in the realm of booster seats. The downside to some of these options is that while they’re highly portable, they tend to lack the structure and support kids are used to. Enter the new Graco TurboBooster TakeAlong, which might be the perfect marriage of portability and convention.

TurboBooster TakeAlong Specifications

  • Weight range: 40-100 lbs. (highback and backless)
  • Height range: 43-57 inches (highback and backless)
  • Age range: 4 years and older (highback and backless)
  • Lowest belt guide: 14″
  • Tallest belt guide: 19.25″
  • Measurements
    • Base, widest point without cup holders: 15.5″
    • Base, widest point with cup holders: 18.5″
    • Width of base at back of seat: 15.5″
    • Width at torso wings: 17.5″
    • Seat depth: 14″
    • Internal width at armrests: 11.5″

TurboBooster TakeAlong Features

  • Available in highback (converts to backless) or backless-only models
  • FastAction fold strap for easy disassembly
  • Six headrest/belt guide positions (highback use)
  • Two retractable cup holders
  • EPS foam in head portion
  • Detachable belt guide (backless use)
  • Carry bag for backless portion

  

Portability

Before we look at how the TurboBooster TakeAlong fits with cars and kids, let’s take a look at what makes this seat unique: It’s folding and portability.

Britax Skyline Highback Belt-Positioning Booster

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2018 Britax Skyline Highback Belt-Positioning Booster Review

In an effort to make more affordable and accessible products, earlier this year Britax introduced its Essentials by Britax line of carseats. However, they found that the buying market still found the Britax name to be the big draw, so they dropped the “Essentials by” part so that will slowly fade into the past. The base model belt-positioning booster for Britax is called the Skyline and is based on the Britax Highpoint booster seat, but with fewer features and a smaller price tag to show for it. A review on the Britax Highpoint can be found here, and here’s a top-down pic to show the basic differences between the two seats (Skyline is black, Highpoint is blue).

Britax has a mid-level booster, called the Midpoint, that does not have side impact cushions but does have unique breathable fabric and the SecureGuard™ Belt Positioning Clip.

Weight and Height Limits

40-120 lbs.; 38-63”

Skyline Overview
  • 10 position headrest
  • Can be installed with lower LATCH connectors
  • Lined with EPP foam
  • Two removable, dishwasher-safe cup holders
  • MSRP $99
Measurements

Belt guide heights: 15 ¾”-23”
Inside shoulder width: 14”
Inside hip width: 11 ½”
Seat depth: 14”
External widest point: 19 ¼”
Seat weight: 12.1 lbs.

For more measurements, see our comparison database.

 

There are 2 fashions available, Dusk and Teal. Since this is Britax’s more affordable line, you’ll be able to find these boosters at stores like Target and Wal-Mart, and at local Brixy retailers as well.

The only assembly required for the Skyline is adding the cup holders, if desired. The booster comes out of the box in once piece and cannot be used backless, so there is no putting the back onto the bottom piece. The bonus to this is that it stays together when you carry it!

Fit to Child

Seat belt fit is very good; lap belt fit is aided by thick armrests that push the lap belt forward onto the thighs. Shoulder belt fit is adjusted by squeezing a handle on the back of the headrest and lifting up or pushing down. The Skyline is one of the tallest on the market, so it will be a good option for kids with tall torsos. Be sure to adjust the headrest so that the shoulder belt guides are above your child’s shoulders and his ears are inside the headrest. The label just above the shoulder belt guide helps you with placement. My model liked the Skyline and found it comfy. S is 5.5 years old, 40 lbs., and 44″ tall.

  

Fit to Vehicle

Check your vehicle owner’s manual to see if you can install the booster using the lower LATCH connectors. This is an optional feature that keeps the booster in place when the child is not in the seat; otherwise, the child should buckle the booster in when getting out of it so it doesn’t become a projectile in a crash.

Center LATCH installations with Non-Standard Spacing:

Permitted only in designated LATCH positions

Inflatable Seat Belts:

Not allowed

Cover/Maintenance/Ease of Use

Essentials by Britax suggests hand washing the cover and hanging it to dry. It is fairly easy to remove and has a couple of elastics.

FAA/Lifespan/Crash

Because belt-positioning booster seats require the use of lap/shoulder belts, the Skyline cannot be used on an airplane.

The Skyline has a lifespan of 10 years. Britax follows NHTSA crash guidelines for replacement after a crash.

Advantages
  • 10 position headrest
  • Can be installed with lower LATCH connectors
  • Lined with EPP foam
  • Two removable, dishwasher-safe cup holders
  • Less expensive than the similar Britax Highpoint
  • Narrower by about 1.5″ than the Britax Highpoint because it lacks the side impact cushions at the shoulders
Disadvantages
  • Made in China
  • Does not convert to backless booster

Despite not converting to a backless booster, the Skyline scores as one of the tallest highback boosters on the market. It is less expensive than the Highpoint, but it also lacks the SecureGuard lap belt clip that helps some kids stay in position when transitioning from a harnessed seat. Not having the side impact cushions on the outside of the shoulder area means that it’s narrower than the Britax Highpoint, but the downside is the loss of a safety feature. When comparing boosters, though, it’s definitely worth consideration.

The Skyline sample used in this review was provided by Essentials by Britax. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

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