Thank you for visiting Babies R Us. If you need assistance with shopping on our site, please call us at 888-222-9787 and a customer care representative will be happy to assist you. Please inform the Customer Service representative that you require assistance.
Welcome! Login or create an account. Learn why

Blog: Product Review: Graco 4Ever™ All-in-One Car Seat By »

May 30th, 2016

Most often when new parents, or even second-time parents, are prepping for baby, one of the most daunting items to choose is the ‘right’ car seat. Depending on the couple, a funky colour might catch their eye, a brand name that they know and trust might be where they lean, or a quick Google search can help dwindle down the seemingly never-ending choices.

Well, when we were researching…sorry, let me rephrase, when I was researching car seats (my husband said, ‘anything you like honey’…until he saw some of the price tags!) I actually didn’t look for very long because all I was thinking about was the infant stage and nothing beyond that. I found the Graco Modes Click Connect Travel System that came with the bucket style car seat, the separate stroller seat and chassis and I was sold. (P.S. A ‘bucket’ style car seat is one in which you install a base in your car, which allows you to click the car seat in and out). What I didn’t realize at the time, was just how quickly our little guy would out grow his first car seat.

Thus…I needed to go back to the drawing board, or research table in this case, and find the next ‘stage’ car seat for our 1 year old. I still wanted him rear-facing, was looking for something to grow with him (so I selfishly wouldn’t have to research again in 8 months!), didn’t want to deal with a big bulky seat, and was trying to be cost-efficient but not at the expense of compromising quality and safety.

Graco 4ever Car SeatSo when I was asked to review the Graco 4Ever™ All-In-1 Car Seat, which is marketed as, ’10 Years, 1 Seat. The only car seat you’ll ever need’, I jumped at the opportunity. A car seat that has the capability to rear-face, forward-face, turn into a high-back and a backless booster…is this too good to be true? See my findings below:



This 4-in-1 car seat provides safety and convenience for you, and comfort for your little one as it can transition from baby seat to booster…did you read that right?…to booster…to 120lbs…the same seat!

First Stage, from the very first car ride home: rear-facing, 5-point harness, with a plush infant body support, for infants from 4-40lbs.

Second Stage, for your fast growing toddler: forward-facing, 5-point harness, for toddlers 22-65lbs.

Third Stage, for your belt wearing ‘youth’!: a high-back, belt-positioning booster, for 40-100lbs.

Fourth Stage, for your ‘You’re still my baby. Why are you growing up so fast?’ child: a backless, belt-positioning booster, for 40-120lbs.

Growth spurt? No problem! There’s a one-hand, 10-position adjustable head rest to fix that.

Well, what happens to the harness straps, chest clip and buckle when you convert to the high-back belt-positioning booster? Oh that little hiccup? No biggie – just place them into the integrated harness storage compartment located in the back pad. It’s all in the details folks!

10 Year Expiration/Safety:

With the above versatility, it’s a no brainer that this seat would need a longer expiration date than most, and thus has a generous 10-year lifespan.

Other than passing all Canadian car-seat standard tests, this car seat has a steel reinforced frame and energy absorbing foam which helps provide it’s continuous strength, durability and protection.

Easy Install:

I was quite happy and proud of myself with the ease of installing this car seat into my van…because let’s be honest, it’s a daunting task and I have no patience for not getting it right the first time!

Graco’s patented InRight UAS (universal anchorage system) or ‘latch’ (which stands for lower anchors and tethers for children) system allows for a one-second attachment (it takes literally one-second!) with an audio click cue to ensure it’s secure. I installed using the UAS, but you also have the option for seat belt installation, and I noticed that the belt paths were pretty clearly labelled and colour-coded (love that!) both on the seat and in the manual.

The easy-to-read level indicator also helped me ensure correct positioning for the install, and another thing is that I found the seat base quite flat, which not only helped with the install, but I didn’t see any edges pushing into my upholstered seat.

Harness System:

When modern technology makes my life easier…and in this case eliminated rethreading harnesses…I say thanks! Graco’s patented Simply Safe Adjust Harness System let me adjust the height of the harness and headrest, with one hand, in one motion – thus ensuring my little MJ was always properly secured.

One great thing to note here as well, is that since the rear-facing mode can accommodate children to 40lbs, and since you can keep readjusting the headrest height, it’s impossible to outgrow rear-facing by height, which means your 35 pound 2.5 – 3 year old can still rear-face, which I think is great.


Well it definitely looks comfy…I can’t actually attest to the fact that it is, because I’m just a wee-bit over 120lbs…it’s still baby weight…over a year later…whatever.

Annnyways, the seat has plush inserts to keep your little one comfortable. MJ is still rear-facing (he’s 16 months and about 23 pounds) and has fallen asleep many a time…which wasn’t always the case with his love-hate relationship with the car.

The six-position recline is also a great feature, and might I add one that you can use if you only have one-hand to do so. Parents need octopus limbs to be able to juggle everything, so when I tried to pull up the harness/headrest adjuster with just my left hand, and then pull the recline handle with just my right, I could, and it was definitely a win. Just like I hate reading instructions, I loathe putting things down to open a door, or adjust a strap!

Positions 1, 2 and 3 are used in rear-facing mode and in position 1 (the most reclined position) I still had my seat in my regular driving position, which is always better than having to get closer to the wheel.

Cup Holders:

Once in the high-back, belt positioning booster, my ‘little big guy’ will be able to enjoy the cool perks of the integrated cup holders.

Seat Cover:

Speaking of cup holders, if the seat is growing with your child, then it will probably…no it will definitely be the bearer of many spills, food crumbs and other goopy messes you can’t even explain. Kids are messy, you can’t help it, you can’t avoid it, but in this case you can do more than just spot clean the unidentified substances, you can quite simply (by using tabs and elastic loops/hooks) remove the seat cover and machine wash it. Getting it back on requires some technique, and I’m sure the cleanliness will only last for a New York minute, but I’ll take it!


The Graco 4EVER retails for $449.99, which seems relatively expensive up front, considering you can purchase some travel systems (car seats and stroller together) for between $200-$300 dollars. However, when you take into consideration the 10 year expiration, the versatility to potentially eliminate another purchase (or two!) of the next stages of car seats/boosters, it actually represents a good value.



My biggest con, and it doesn’t even correlate to this car seat specifically, but all ‘non-bucket’ style infant seats, is that you will have to carry your newborn in and out of the car, place them in and out of the stroller, and really manipulate them more than you have to (in my opinion). With the bucket, you can place them in it in your home, carry them outside all nicely bundled, and click them into the car. Then, once you get where you’re going, if it’s a short trip (it’s not recommended to keep your child in a bucket seat for long periods of time), you can just place your car seat on your stroller, or make the decision to take them out. You don’t have that option with this seat. I just found that a bucket seat made life much easier with MJ, who was born in the winter.


As much as this is a pro, it might be a con too. Think about this scenario: Fast-forward 2 years from this purchase and baby #1 is using this seat in stage 2 of the 4 conversions, and baby #2 is on the way. Now what? Spend $449.99 on another one? Whereas, if you had the bucket car seat, you could have baby #2 use that, while #1 uses a new stage 2 convertible purchase. Confused? At the end of the day, there are still two car seat purchases taking place, it really just depends on what works (feasibly and financially) for your family.


Depending on the size of your car, the recline positions may cause a tight situation. Position 4 (the first recline position of forward-facing) could pose a problem with cars that have small back seats, as the child’s leg room might be quite tight.  Depending on the recline position, you may also lose visibility out of your side windows. I found it ok with the seat behind the driver’s side, but have read that behind the passenger is the issue.

10 Year Expiration:

Just a note that even with its 10-year lifespan, you could lose time between when it’s manufactured and when you start to use it (which is the case with any car seat, really).

Seatbelt Locking Device:

This seat doesn’t have a built-in lock off device for installations with seatbelts, so you’ll have to read your owner’s manual to understand how the seatbelt locks, which ultimately holds the car seat tight while driving. Some cars have switches or locking plates (don’t know the technical terms!), so get to know your vehicle prior to installing this car seat (or any car seat) with a seatbelt.


As mentioned above, this can be a Pro or a Con, depending how you view it.

Final Verdict

Too good to be true? As far as what I’ve currently used the seat for, it does everything it claims to do. I truly like that you can rear-face until 40lbs, as I believe the longer you rear-face, the safer your child is. I think that the versatility of this product is one that isn’t seen in the market and really fills a niche that is quite appealing to parents (me included) and can realistically grow with your child. Literally.

Eliminating multiple purchases, gaining time back by not having to research the next stage of car seats and keeping little MJ safe and comfy, makes me happy.  And you know what they say right?  “Happy wife, happy life!”

Featured Parent's Blog Articles View All

Blog: The Complete Package in Style, Comfort and Versatility – Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System with Snugride 35 Infant Car Seat


I have to be honest, this blog post is LONG overdue. Life got in the way! I started back to...Read More »

Blog: gb X1 Urban Runner Jogging Stroller


The gb X1 Urban Runner Jogging Stroller is a bit of a mouthful to say, but has been an incredible...Read More »

Blog: Happy Father’s Day


Historically men have been the family ‘providers’ and the women were the ‘caregivers’ whom maintained the home. I’ve heard stories...Read More »

Blog: Happy Mother’s Day


Growing up, Mother’s Day was just another ‘holiday’ where I’d go through the motions- go out, get a card, buy...Read More »

Blog: Your new sidekick- Philips Avent Digital Video Baby Monitor Review


The only consistent thing in life, is change. We should never get used the way things are, it will not...Read More »

Blog: Mom vs. Baby: Round One – Britax B-Ready Stroller Review


I am thinking about the name of this stroller, B-Ready. When anyone asks me to go anywhere these days I...Read More »

Blog (Product Review): VTech (VM343) Safe & Sound Pan & Tilt Full Colour Video Monitor


Guest Blogger Alert! Last time I featured a guest blogger it was my sister-in-law Catherine, a great writer, teacher and...Read More »

Blog: The Ultimate in Car Seat Safety – Diono Rainer Convertible Car Seat


As first time parents, the car seat was the single most stressful purchase Joe and I had to make.  Let’s...Read More »

Blog: Diono Radian RXT Review


One thing about car seats, that you don’t realize this until your baby starts getting a bit bigger, is that...Read More »

Blog: Barricade Baby – Brica Wood and Steel Designer Gate Review


Babies, they are logistical nightmares. When they are first born, they stay in one spot, they sleep a lot, they...Read More »

Blog (Product Review): Go Grippers Bounce ‘N Zoom Speedway


Planes, Trains and Automobiles…no not the movie, I’m talking about the toys my little guy is playing with these days....Read More »

Blog: Adventures in feeding – Who doesn’t love ‘roni?


Feeding kids is an awesome adventure. As a dad it was pretty simple for me for the first 6 months...Read More »

Blog: Your Baby’s Domain – The Nursery – Lambs & Ivy Signature Goodnight Sheep 4 Piece Bedding Set & Mobile


With us, as is true with most new parents, setting up the nursery can be the most exciting and one...Read More »

Blog: Package Deals – gb Evoq Stroller Travel System Review


I really want to appear that I have everything under control when I take Ethan out but most of the...Read More »

Blog: Baby Surveillance – Philips AVENT DECT Baby Monitor


Do you ever look at all the gadgets and gizmos you have scattered around your house or in your vehicle...Read More »

Blog: Moms know best: Evenflo Platinum SafeMax All-in-One Car Seat Review


I have been lucky enough to receive lots of free advice in the short time I have been a new...Read More »

Blog: Tranquil Moments: Fisher-Price My Little Lamb Deluxe Rock n Play Soothing Seat Review


Pregnancy and parenthood is rewarding and challenging; sharing stories, experiences, advice, successes and struggles, helps you to know you are...Read More »

Blog: Teething Never Looked So Cute – Kushies Chewbib Reviewed


The hardest part about being a parent is seeing your child in any sort of pain and discomfort and not...Read More »

Blog: It’s meal time – Fisher Price 4-in-1 Total Clean High Chair


Do you remember the scene in Home Alone 2 the Sticky Bandits get covered in bird seed and the pigeon’s...Read More »

Blog: Tips on the Sips – Sippy Cups Reviewed


With the amount I spill on myself I’m fairly certain Callum and I could both benefit from these sippy cups...Read More »