The Graco Exend2Fit was specifically designed to keep kids rear-facing for as long as possible. They accomplished this by offering an extendable tray, of sorts, that pulls out to grow with your child. This “tray” offers a whopping 5 extra inches of legroom. Talk about first class! If you’re looking for a way to keep kids rear-facing longer, we bring you this Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat review.
Not to harp on this, but…. did you know?
The #1 thing you can do as a parent to keep your child safe in the car is to keep him/her rear-facing for as long as possible. Alas, we cannot control the behavior of idiots who are texting and driving, but we can control what goes on inside our own car.
Four years is the goal for many; after four or so, it becomes too cramped. As a practical matter, many turn their child’s seat forward prematurely because of a real (or perceived) lack of rear-facing legroom. Sometimes, it’s done because of motion sickness (can’t help you there). Some parents even say things like it “looks dangerous” for them to be sitting that way (it’s not).
The norm for kids in most European countries is to remain rear-facing until 3 or 4 years of age, so it isn’t that out of the norm to make that your goal.
Note that the extendable tray can only be used in the rear-facing position. It manages to do this without eating up too much legroom from the front seat passengers, although the farther the tray is extended, the more room it takes up (obviously).
Check out our video shot at a previous year’s Baby Show:
This seat has push-on LATCH connectors (the good kind), which spare your nails from breaking (usually). It has another cool feature called “fuss-free harness storage,” which are these cute little pockets where you put the buckle tongues to keep them out of the way while getting your child in his seat. Yessss – I lerrrvvvvv this feature!!
The Extend2Fit also has two cupholders (are kids double-fisting sippy cups or something?). Because of this, the seat is wider than most. If space is tight in the backseat, you’ll want to look elsewhere — this puppy is wide!
Note that Graco allows 20% of the seat to hang over the edge of the seat, which is marked clearly with a sticker. If your car’s backseat is not super deep, you may be limited in how far you can pull the extender out.
To adjust the seat height, the Extend2Fit has a no-rethread harness, which means adjusting the harness height is super easy. It has 10 height settings and the crotch strap has two settings for a perfect fit (this is key for boys!).
Note that like many Graco convertibles, this seat does not come with a lock-off device for a seatbelt installation, so you’ll have to lock your seatbelts manually (which I assure you is quite easy – just don’t forget!).
Cliff Notes: to “lock a seatbelt”… pull the belt allllll the way out of the retractor, then let it slowly retract back until it’s tight. Try pulling it now, it should be totally locked – voila!
The cover on this seat is a little challenging to get off, but on the plus side, it’s machine washable in cold water. We think this is a huge advantage over hand washing or spot cleaning of car seat covers. (Note that it must be hung to dry; the thing doesn’t want to go in the dryer.)
You’ll find the new 3-in-1 version of the Extend2Fit at Amazon, which also becomes a high back booster, like the Graco Milestone and 4Ever.
Bottom line: The Graco Extend2Fit is a fantastic economy seat designed especially to keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible. In addition to the extended leg shelf, the seat itself is relatively easy to use, has dual cup holders, side harness pockets and is easy to adjust for height, with a no rethread harness. All in all, Graco hit a homerun with this seat, especially given the modest price. No wonder it’s become a parent-favorite.