Graco 4Ever DLX Review | Tested by BabyGearLab
Graco Metal Products decided to make new products in 1953 after hiring an engineer to create new designs. Taking inspiration from an outdoor glider, Rex Thomas and David Saint designed the first baby swing. The first of its kind sold millions propelling Graco into the baby gear stratosphere. Graco continues to create baby-focused products, including swings, walkers, car seats, strollers and more.
The 4ever has a higher than average crash test analysis result with significantly better sensor data than allowed by federal guidelines. All of the products in this review meet or exceed the federal minimum safety guidelines defined in the fmvss 213. this graco performs better than average overall, with respectable results for the hic and chest sensors. both sensors registered g-forces well below the maximum allowed. We commission crash tests using the same facilities used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and to the same specifications. In our opinion, the test data indicates that this Graco provides an additional margin of protection over many of the competitors in this review.
Reading: 4ever graco car seat reviews
The graphs below show the crash test results of the chest sensors used in Graco’s tests (shown in black). Crash test data for the Clek Foonf (in green) is also shown as a comparison with fewer g-forces. the 4ever got a 43 where the max allowed is 60, and the best of the bunch is 33.
graco hic’s score is 364 compared to britax allegiance’s best score of 186. the lower the number, the better for these tests, and the maximum result allowed is 1000.
ease of installation – latch
The latch installation isn’t a challenge, but it’s not that easy and a lot for the competition, giving it a below-average performance in our tests.
The connectors are the button style that we prefer and are fairly easy to clip on and off, but threading the straps is a pain and a necessary process no matter which installation process you choose. the holes seem too small and can be annoying if your hands are larger. Facing back is easier than facing forward, but it’s still a challenge to keep all the padding and straps out of the way to complete the install.
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This seat comes with a bubble level indicator (top left), which is easy to read, and the angle of the seat can be moved for comfort (top right).
ease of installation – belt
Installing with the vehicle belt is so similar to the latch connection that it is equally difficult, and both methods achieve the same results. Looking forward is more difficult than looking back, as the harness straps and comfortable seat padding must be held to the side to access the belt lock and belt path. looking back is easier but still presents the same challenges as the latch connection.
Raising the headrest provides better access to “behind the scenes” operations so you can see more and position your hands more easily. The belt lock (top left) and path are behind the back padding, but the whole process would be easier if the holes (top right) were bigger.
ease of use
This Graco performs better than average when it comes to ease of use, but it pales in comparison to the competition in its price range. it has cup holders for children, which is not common in our review, although its usefulness is debatable.
the 4ever has an average buckle and chest clip; both work but are somewhat stiff and less intuitive than the competition. The harness can be tightened by pulling on the strap at the foot of the seat, and a lever under the fabric flap on the strap will allow you to loosen the strap. the lever can be pushed or pulled and is not too far under the lid.
The shoulder height adjustment for this harness is a non-rethreading method in which the headrest assembly is moved up and down to change the height of the shoulder straps. Adjustment is super easy and it moves smoothly up and down when you squeeze the lever on top. this process can be done with your child in the seat.
manual latch and store
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The latch connectors can be hooked under the front of the seat (top left) when not in use, and are easy to access and do a good job of keeping straps out of the way. The user manual is kept under the seat base (top right) in a designated spot that looks like it will keep it safe and fairly clean.
This seat cover is machine washable, but should be hung to dry. Machine washable is best, and we applaud any seat that makes life easier. We think hanging to dry could be a problem as it takes time and depending on your climate could cause a problem with the potential use of the seat. removing and reattaching the cover is fairly easy, but threading the loops is difficult.
4ever doesn’t have the best quality, and while this may be normal for the budget brand, this option is priced quite high for the level of quality it offers. It just can’t compete with the padding, fabric, and general attention to detail found in the similarly priced competition.
Padding is adequate but could be denser for comfort, and the fabric is relatively carefully woven with piping details that could irritate passengers’ bare skin. The frame is semi-contained and there are many nooks and crannies throughout the seat that will make cleaning difficult. the underside of the base is soft to protect your vehicle’s seat, which is a nice touch, but overall it feels more like a less expensive seat.
4ever is one of the widest seats of the bunch, at 19.3 inches wide, so it’s unlikely to be used with multiple car seats in a row or if you want an adult to sit between two seats. he weighs slightly below average, with a total weight of over 21 pounds. While it’s not the heaviest of the bunch, at over 30 pounds, it’s not one you want to bring along for travel, carpooling, or public transportation. however, there are only a handful of lighter options in this review.
should you buy the graco 4ever dlx?
we don’t think so. This car seat didn’t score very well compared to the competition, and we think there are several more compelling options in this review, including seats from Graco and other brands. The 4ever may be appealing as a single option, but we encourage parents to avoid this type of seat and instead focus on purchasing a specific seat for each stage of life, including an infant car seat, a convertible and a booster seat. . We don’t think this is a time to save money or time with your purchase.
what other convertible car seat should I consider?
if graco floats your boat, you’re in luck. The Graco Extend2Fit is less expensive than the 4Ever and has some of the best crash test results of the bunch. the extend2fit also works for extended time up to 50 pounds instead of 40, and it’s lighter. Both Graco ears are rated the same for easy installation.
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