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2018 Graco Extend2Fit Review: The “Shut Up and Take My Money” Convertible Carseat

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Best in class legroom? A 50 lbs. rear-facing weight limit?? Superb height limits??? Under $200???? Extend2Fit is a winner!

Extend2Fit SpireWhat’s the one thing most people say when faced with an older rear-facing toddler? “What about their legs? Aren’t they uncomfortable?” Well, no, actually, but Graco has taken the bull by the horns and addressed this issue with their new Extend2Fit convertible carseat. Their engineers have designed a unique tray that slides out to accommodate growing legs as a child sits rear-facing, giving epic legroom while still maintaining legroom for the adult in the front seat. They gave it a 50 lbs. rear-facing weight limit then added 2 (count ’em!) cup holders! How do they do it and for a reasonable price point? Keep reading and see if the Extend2Fit is the seat for you and your child.

Weight and Height Limits:

  • Rear-facing 4-50 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 at least age 2 before turning your child forward-facing. It’s safest to rear-face past the minimum of age 2 and with a seat that has such a high rear-facing weight limit, why not?

Extend2Fit Overview:

  • 50 lbs. rear-facing weight limit—a leader for Graco’s convertible line!
  • 4-position leg extension for rear-facing comfort: adds up to 5″ extra legroom!
  • 10-position headrest with no re-thread harness
  • Fuss Free Harness Storage pockets on both sides of seat for storing buckle tongs out of the way
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
  • 6-position recline
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • InRight LATCH system
  • Two cup holders
  • Machine-washable cover
  • FAA-approved for use on aircraft
  • 10 yr lifespan before seat expires

Graco also offers four other versions of the Extend2Fit. 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

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: Has all the E2F features, plus the capability of being used as both a highback booster from 30-100 lbs. and a backless booster from 40-120 lbs. MSRP $349

 

 

Extend2Fit SpireExtend2Fit KenzieExtend2Fit Campaign TargetExtend2Fit GothamExtend2Fit Mack TargetExtend2Fit Rosie TargetExtend2Fit Valor WMExtend2Fit SolarExtend2Fit Davis

Extend2Fit Measurements:

Harness height: 7”-18”
External widest point: 19.625”
Shell height with headrest: 27”
Shoulder width: 13.75”
Crotch strap depth: 4.5”, 6.5”
Seat depth: 12”
Seat weight: 18.4 lbs.

Installation

Installation was amazingly easy in my ’11 Acura MDX using either the vehicle seat belt or the lower LATCH strap. The LATCH strap is attached to the inside right side of the carseat with a metal bar, so it will never get tangled in the harness straps. The E2F comes out of the box set up with the LATCH strap set in the rear-facing belt path, so unless you are using it for an older child who will be forward-facing, there’s no need to move it. To move the LATCH strap, lift the cover and slide the strap up to the forward-facing belt path.

Extend2Fit LATCH move Extend2Fit LATCH install

The lower LATCH connectors on the Extend2Fit are the deluxe push-on style, called the InRight LATCH system by Graco, which easily snap onto the vehicle’s anchors and remove with the push of a button.

Rear-Facing Installation

This is a feature-rich carseat and as such, there are several things to keep in mind when setting the Extend2Fit up for rear-facing.

4 rear-facing recline settings: Infants 3 months and younger must have a recline that allows the ball in the recline angle indicator to be fully in the light blue circle, but after that age, you can make the recline as upright as your child is comfortable. The recline handle is on the very bottom of the seat and you pull on it to engage the mechanism.

4-position extension panel: If you would like additional legroom for your child’s tootsies, squeeze the handle under the front of the seat and pull the panel out to one of 4 positions. To be fair, there are really 3 extended positions, since position 1 is fully retracted. For kids over 40 lbs., any of positions 2-4 must be used (any extended position). With the extension panel fully extended, it’s the most legroom of any convertible carseat on the market.

Extend2Fit LATCH install extend Extend2Fit RF seatbelt extend

80% of the base must be on the vehicle seat: To achieve a more upright installation and allow more room for the extender to be in positions 2-4, you can move the E2F base out on the vehicle seat. However, you must maintain at least 80% of the base on the vehicle seat at all times. I don’t know about you, but I don’t walk around with a ruler in my back pocket and Graco doesn’t expect you to either: they’ve put a handy dandy sticker on the base showing you the exact amount of E2F base that needs to be on the vehicle seat for both rear- and forward-facing installs. Cool!

Extend2Fit RF overhang sticker Extend2Fit FF overhang sticker

Forward-Facing Installation

There are also some attributes to keep in mind when using the E2F forward-facing.

Use recline position 4 only for children weighing 22-40 lbs.: This is a very reclined position for forward-facing and will leave very little legroom for many kids in most vehicles. Unless your child has outgrown the carseat by height, it’s worth it to leave them rear-facing in this weight range. Kids over 40 lbs. must use recline 5 or 6.

 Extend2Fit ff recline 4 Extend2Fit FF upright

Move the crotch strap to the forward position: The crotch strap has to be all the way out when forward-facing.

No extender: Put that leg extender away. It’s for rear-facing only! No exceptions.

No harness covers: Remove the harness covers and put them in a safe place when using the E2F forward-facing. It’s as if Graco wants you to use this seat rear-facing!

As always with any forward-facing installation, don’t forget to use the top tether regardless of whether you install the Extend2Fit using the seat belt or lower LATCH strap.

For fun, I put the E2F in my dh’s Tesla Model S and it fit nicely both rear- and forward-facing. In fact, it fit better rear-facing because the back seat doesn’t have the side bolsters like my back seat does, so the Extend2Fit was able to sit further back on the vehicle seat, leaving more room for the front passenger seat. Using the E2F in its tallest position, though, won’t work in this vehicle because of the low ceiling height. Even though our back seat is stained with red softball dirt, I didn’t want to risk damaging the headliner by installing the E2F and extending the headrest to it’s uppermost position. I did get it to one position below the highest.

Extend2Fit RF Tesla Extend2Fit FF Tesla side Extend2Fit FF center Tesla

Rear-facing and forward-facing LATCH weight limit: 45 lbs.

Center LATCH installations with Non-Standard Spacing:
Graco allows LATCH installation in the center seating position if the vehicle manufacturer allows it and the LATCH anchor bars are spaced 11” apart when measured at their centers.

Inflatable Seat Belts
Graco has determined that the Extend2Fit CAN be installed with inflatable seat belts found in some Ford Motor Company vehicles. Other types of inflatable seat belts are still incompatible for use with the Extend2Fit.

Locking Clip
Like most other convertibles of its generation, the Extend2Fit does not come with a locking clip. If your seat belts do not lock at the retractor or at the latchplate, you will need to contact Graco for a locking clip.

Fit to Child

The Extend2Fit is designed to fit children from 4-65 lbs. and to fit small babies, a body support and head pillow are included. The body support must be used if the baby’s shoulders are below the bottom harness slots, and it must be removed when the E2F is turned forward-facing. The harness pads also must be removed upon forward-facing. The head pillow can be removed at any time. Though it looks puffy, the pillow actually compresses pretty easily so bigger noggins will be comfy with it too.

My 4 lbs. preemie doll did not fit well in the Extend2Fit; this is not a carseat that will work for a very small newborn. The harness was too high and there was too much space around the hips and crotch. My doll, Romeo, is about the size of an 8-9 lbs. newborn and he fits well without the body support. In the rear-facing fit section, the instruction manual specifies that the harness height must be at or below the child’s shoulders.

Extend2Fit preemie front Extend2Fit preemie side Extend2Fit Romeo closeup Extend2Fit Nora legroom Extend2Fit Emma legroom

Nora, left, is 1 and around 25 lbs. Emma, right, is 4 and about 30 lbs. You can see the abundant legroom the Extend2Fit offers both girls.

Extend2Fit Emma FF

Here’s Emma forward-facing. At age 4, she’s very safe to ride in this position.

Cover/Maintenance/Ease of Use

The cover that shipped on my seat wasn’t the easiest to remove. It was attached in 4 places with tight elastics that had me saying some not-so-nice things and since this is a family blog, there’s no need to impress you with my knowledge of sailor vocabulary (no offense to sailors intended!). Two of the elastics are attached under the extender. If you undo one of those to lift the cover to expose the rear-facing belt path, it is impossible to reattach if the extender is retracted. It is nearly impossible to reattach if the extender is extended at all. I don’t think that over time a child will work the cover up in that location getting in and out of the seat since it’s so tightly attached around the cup holders, but it is poor design.

I also don’t like elastics because they’re hard to thread through tiny holes or slits to attach to hooks and they don’t last more than a single hot season here in Las Vegas. OK, so I’m clearly not a fan of the logistical design of this cover, though I do like the look. I’m especially fond of the seafoam blue-ish Spire cover on the sample I was sent; it’s lovely, though all the E2F covers are sharp-looking. Some of the covers are mesh in the seating area and my experience with mesh is that crumbs can be ground into those little holes and never see the light of day again, so stay on top of the snacks. The cover can be washed in the washing machine on cold and air-dried.

The harness is one long length, but it has a butterfly attachment in the middle under the child’s bum area, so there’s not a possibility of one side being longer than the other. It can be cleaned like any other: dip a washcloth in water and use a drop of mild soap (Dawn, Dreft) to clean it. Be sure to wipe off that soap with the wet washcloth and let the harness thoroughly dry. Set it in full sun if it still stinks. But . . . the harness *is* replaceable, so if it’s just that nasty, buy a new one!

Graco has gone to a 1-harness-slot design on their no re-thread convertibles, which means that it will be more difficult to tighten and loosen the harness in lower “slot” positions because the headrest is pushing on it, causing friction. As your child gets older and taller, there will be less friction and it will be easier to use.

Extend2Fit without cover Extend2Fit back

FAA-Approval/Lifespan/Crash Guidelines

The Extend2Fit is FAA-approved, but you will most likely need to raise the armrests on the airplane seat to get it to fit because of the cup holders.

The Extend2Fit has a lifespan of 10 years and Graco wants you to replace it after any crash.

Advantages

  • 50 lbs. rear-facing weight limit—a leader for Graco’s convertible line!
  • 4-position leg extension for rear-facing comfort
  • 10-position headrest with no re-thread harness
  • Fuss Free Harness Storage pockets on both sides of seat for storing buckle tongs out of the way
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
  • Replaceable harness
  • 6-position recline
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Push-on LATCH system
  • Easy install in both rear-facing and forward-facing positions
  • Two cup holders
  • Machine-washable cover
  • FAA-approved for use on aircraft
  • 10 yr lifespan before seat expires

Disadvantages (In fairness, these aren’t necessarily problems but I list them here to inform potential consumers of specific Extend2Fit issues)

  • Lacks a lockoff device for installations with seat belt
  • Seat takes up more space rear-facing when the legrest panel is extended
  • Harness strap covers cannot be used when child is forward-facing
  • Recline position #4 is required when the seat is installed forward-facing for a child weighing less than 40 lbs.
  • Cover difficult to remove and reattach in front
  • Made in China

In a carseat universe increasingly dominated by All-In-One carseats, the standard Graco Extend2Fit is a great convertible carseat that is also a tremendous value when on sale.  Not surprisingly, it is one of our 2017-2018 Editors’ Picks Recommended Carseats.

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

Halloween *GIVEAWAY* – Stroller Costumes!

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We discovered Stroller Costumes at the JPMA trade show earlier this year and we thought it was a super cute idea! Why should humans (and pets) have all the fun dressing up for Halloween? Doesn’t your stroller deserve some attention too as you meander through the neighborhood with your costumed munchkins? We think it does, so we’ve partnered with Stroller Costumes for a fun Halloween Giveaway! Winner has their choice of available costumes!

Stroller Costumes was actually designed by a dad whose kids went through the stroller-hating phase. I think many of us can relate to that experience! Lol. If your child is currently rebelling against the stroller but will gladly ride in a store shopping cart which looks like a race car or a cozy coupe – this product could make stroller time tolerable again. It’s also a fun way to distinguish your stroller from the dozens of other strollers in theme parks!

Available Stroller Costume Styles:

Current Stroller Costume styles include Fire Truck, Police Car, Princess Carriage, Red Race Car, Pink Race Car & Dump Truck.

What kind of strollers are compatible with a Stroller Costume?

Almost any single stroller with a front tray or napper bar is compatible. You need the front tray/bar because that is one of the attachment points for the costume. The other two attachment points are the lower sections of the stroller’s handle bar.

How to Enter our Stroller Costumes Giveaway:

  • Leave us a comment below telling us which costume style your child would love (comment 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 in winner’s choice of style. 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 Monday, October 16, 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 2 days, a new winner will be selected. Good luck!

 

2017 Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Review

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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

Evenflo Spectrum 2-in-1 Booster *Giveaway* – USA & CANADA

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

How do we love thee? Let us count the ways…

We know we have the most awesome, most thoughtful, most caring readers and followers and we love you all for that! We also know that our most awesome, most thoughtful, most caring readers and followers love to win cool stuff so we thought this would be the best way to show you how much we love and appreciate you.

For this promotion we’ve partnered with our generous friends at Evenflo to give away not one, but two awesome new Spectrum Booster seats in the “Seascape” fashion – one for the U.S. and one just for Canada!

Spectrum Specs & Features:

  • Weight 40 – 110 lbs.
  • Height 44 – 57”
  • For kids at least 4 years old
  • Dual mode (highback & backless)
  • Adjustable headrest with 8 height settings (it’s taller than most other highback boosters)
  • Lyf+Guard side-impact protection technology in the head rest
  • Rollover tested
  • 6 year lifespan before expiration
  • Dual cupholders/snack trays
  • Machine washable cover that can also be thrown in the dryer
  • Made in USA

See our complete Evenflo Spectrum review here: https://carseatblog.com/41458/all-the-specs-a-review-of-the-evenflo-spectrum-2-in-1-booster/

This promotion is now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Amy H. & Jasmine D. 

How to Enter Evenflo Spectrum Booster Giveaway – USA

  • Leave us a comment below telling us what you love about the new Spectrum booster (comment 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 in the Seascape fashion. 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 February 14, 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!

How to Enter Evenflo Spectrum Booster Giveaway – CANADA

  • Leave us a comment below telling us what you love about the new Spectrum booster (comment required to be eligible to win), then click on Rafflecopter to qualify yourself.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now for the fine print – winner must have Canadian shipping address to claim the prize. Only one prize will be awarded in the Seascape fashion. 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 February 14, 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!

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