Graco Grows4Me 4-in-1 Car Seat Reviews – In-depth Assessment
Table of Contents
Graco Grows4Me, the direct rival of the Graco 4Ever DLX (Grows4Me vs 4Ever), is a 4-in-1 convertible car seat and derives its name as a car seat that ‘grows’ with a child all the way from infant to becoming a school-aged child.
The Grows4Me 4-in-1 car seat is designed with an additional mode (backless mode) from the usual 3-in-1 convertible car seats and will last your child for 10 years – the only car seat you may ever need for your child. This grows with me car seat can be used in the following modes:
- Rear-facing (5 – 40 lbs.)
- Forward-facing (22 – 65 lbs.)
- Highback booster seat (40 – 100 lbs.)
- Backless booster seat (40 – 110 lbs.)
Read on to learn more about the Graco Grows4Me Reviews, the weight and height limits, safety rating, crash test, specifications and features, and what other parents say about this seat.
Basis of This Graco Grows4Me 4-in-1 Review and Why You Can Trust This Assessment
When researching a car seat to buy, it can be overwhelming at times not knowing what to look for in a car seat or what assessment to make about a car seat before deciding if it is the right one or not.
I am usually also in that position when researching things to buy for myself and my family. Over time I have developed that skill and experience in making detailed analyses about a product before deciding to buy it.
I have taken such expertise to look into this Grows4Me car seat and make an assessment from a position of no bias, just as I would if I were purchasing it for my family. As such, you can trust this Graco Grows4Me review.
Graco Grows4Me Review
Here’s a quick overview of my assessment of this car seat, covering the PROS and CONS very quickly.
Pros and Cons
Unbias Asessment of the Graco Grows4Me 4-in-1 Car Seat
The Grows4Me is like the Graco Triride; the budget-friendly versions of their rivals, the 4Ever DLX, and the Extend2Fit, respectively, with differences in their features but without compromise on safety and comfort.
The Grows4Me serves your child for 10 years so that you wouldn’t need any other car seat for them.
Beyond that, the car seat may be difficult to install. This is common with car seats generally, and since this model doesn’t come with the conventional Graco in-house feature that eases installation, such difficulty will be expected.
Nonetheless, the car seat does not compromise on safety and comfort, which should give you a good value for your money while saving you more bucks for other things for your family.
Graco Grows4Me 6-Position Recline
The Graco Grows4Me 4-in1 convertible car seat can be reclined in 6 positions to fit correctly in your car. This, on the other hand, offers your child more comfort at the same time and also helps to keep a newborn’s head from slouching forward when they doze off.
These positions can be adjusted accordingly for rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster seat modes.
- Recline position 1 – rear-facing
- Recline position 2 – rear-facing
- Recline position 3 – rear-facing
- Recline position 4 – forward-facing; children weighing less than 40 lbs.
- Recline position 5 – forward-facing; children weighing less than 40 lbs.
- Recline position 6 – forward-facing; children weighing over 40 lbs.
- Recline position 6 – booster mode
Table 1: Graco Grows4Me 4-in-1 Specifications
Product Dimension (inches)
20D X 24H X 21.5W (wide)
22.5 lbs. (heavy)
Recommended Weight Range
5 – 110 lbs.
Recommended Height Limit
Rear-facing Weight Limits
min. 5 lbs.;
max. 40 lbs.
(enough room for growth)
Rear-facing Height Limits
19 - 49 inches
Forward-facing Weight Limits
min. 22 lbs.;
Forward-facing Height Limits
Highback belt-positioning Booster Seat Weight Limits
min. 40 lbs.;
Backless belt-positioning Booster Seat Weight Limit
min. 40 lbs.;
Belt-positioning Booster Seat Height Limit
min. 43 in.;
Life span (expiration)
10 years from the date of manufacture
Graco Grows4Me Crash Test and Safety Rating
Graco carries out extensive crash tests on their car seats using their ProtectPlus Engineering technology, a crash testing system that involves the following crash tests
- Frontal impact
- Rear impact
- Side impact
- Rollover crash
The Grows4Me car seat has been extensively crash tested to sustain these impacts while keeping the occupant safe.
Table 2: Graco Grows4Me 4-in-1 Seat Features
Ease of use
Comfortability for a Child
Longevity and Suitability
Who is it best for?
Growing families within a budget for another car seat that will serve through the child's growing years and wouldn't mind the basic ease-of-use features of a car seat.
Key Decision-making Factors When Buying a Convertible Car Seat
To choose a convertible car seat, there are factors one must consider to make an easy decision if the car seat is right for you or to look for something better.
Some of these factors include:
- Installation features: to enjoy the real safety benefit of a car seat, it should be correctly secured in a vehicle. As such, it must be easy or fairly easy, at the minimum, to install. Some brands include features that make it easier to install a car seat very quickly and, at the same time, securely.
- Compatibility with a vehicle: as a first-time parent or car seat buyer, you may be ignorant of this very important feature. Some car seats are comparably bigger than a vehicle seat, so installing them properly may be impossible. To be sure a car seat will fit your vehicle size, you need to check the car seat dimension and your vehicle seat. A car seat should occupy at least 80% of the vehicle seat.
- Size and weight: this goes in line with compatibility, however, considering the car seat’s weight. The bigger a car seat is, the bulkier and heavier it would be to carry. If you know you’ll often switch between vehicles; you want to consider the car seat’s weight. Either buy two seats for two vehicles or look out for one that’s relatively lightweight.
- Ease of usage: while the most important essence of a car seat is its safety, the ease of using it is also as important. You should be looking for a car seat that allows removing the car seat cover and reinstalling it, easy-to-wash car seat cover, is easy to adjust the harness and without rethreading, has easy-to-adjust headrest and more.
- Comfort and growing room space: as a convertible car seat, you want to get the full value for money over the years you’ll use the car seat. At the same time, it should be comfortable and also provide enough growing room space as your child grows in it.
- Weight and height requirement/limit: depending on your state of residence, you want to be sure the weight and height limit of the car seat meets the car seat laws’ requirements. However, on a good note, most states’ laws require that parents follow the manufacturers’ recommendation for each seat mode.
- Safety features: saving this for the last, every car seat is safe. Car seat manufacturers must meet very stringent federal safety standards before a car seat enters the market; as such, you’re guaranteed of their safety. Nonetheless, many manufacturers go overboard to exceed these standards by carrying out more rigorous tests.
Table 3: Comparing the Factors Above with What the Grows4Me Offers
|Key Decision-making Factors||Grows4Me Features||Verdict|
Product dimension – 20D X 24H X 21.5W (wide)
Compatibility With Vehicle
Big, bulky and heavy - compatible with a wide range of vehicles (mid-size, full-size vans, and SUVs cars) except for small cars
Excellent for regular size cars
Ease of Usage
Comfort And Growing Room Space
Weight And Height Requirement
Detailed Insight Based on the Features – PROS and CONS
The way to understand the real-life use of this car seat is from what other parents have said about the seat as it covers the different features this grow with me car seat offers. This section will cover the PROS and CONS in detail.
PROS and CONS
Every parent’s primary concern in a car seat is safety. The only way to truly find out a car seat’s safety is to be involved in an accident in which we never hope to be involved in. Unfortunately, come what may, some parents did have accidents. Fortunately, their kids came out hitch-free, without a scratch. Goes to say that the Grows4Me keeps a child protected in a car crash.
There is a mix of feedback on the ease of installation of this car seat. While many parents complain of difficulty installing the seat, getting it tight, or reaching for the straps, a good handful of parents reportedly say the car seat is ‘easy’ to install.
Undoubtedly, one would understand quite fairly why this car seat may be difficult to install. Car seats are generally challenging to install to ensure you get it tight and secured in the vehicle for absolute safety. In the decision-making section above, I mentioned some brands that include features to ease this process.
However, the Grows4Me model lacks the exclusive inRight LATCH system and the integrated belt lock-off system included in the rival model, 4Ever DLX, that makes installing with either the LATCH or seat belt super easy. Notwithstanding, following the car seat manual to the latter will greatly help and yes, you can do it.
A very good note on Graco car seats is not compromising on comfort irrespective of premium features present or not. Graco makes all their car seats comfy for a child. Many parents praise the Grow with me car seat for being comfortable despite Graco not using premium fabrics on this car seat like the 4Ever.
On the other hand, the car seat may not be ‘very comfortable’ for a newborn or a tiny baby. This car seat comes with only body support and lacks the ‘newborn head support‘ that adds more comfort for a newborn and further helps keeps a baby’s head from slouching forward. This car seat will be ideal if your infant is more than 6 months old or weighs a considerable weight.
Ease of use:
From many parents’ feedback, the car seat is easy to use, the car seat cover is easy to take off and clean, and it is easy to adjust the harness and headrest without rethreading. These features give this car seat a good pass mark as unexpected from a seat of this price.
That is to say; it’s a good buy over a more expensive rival that has just the following additional features – RapidRemove cover (easier to remove the seat cover in under 1 minute), additional removable cup (making it two), the type of level indicator (bubble instead of a ball – the bubble is easier to read). Other than these, both seats are as easy to use.
The car seat has a dimension of 20D X 24H X 21.5W. This is a wide car seat and will not fit well in small or fit 2-3 seats in mid-size cars. Since you may be using this car seat rear-facing, it may not fit well when rear-facing in smaller cars because of the recline position. The seat is more compatible in relatively bigger cars.
Close Rivals to the Graco Grows4Me and Alternative Comparisons
The Graco4Me is, in its way, not so unique as it has similar models that may have better or just about similar features.
The following are the close comparatives to the Grows4Me:
Graco Grows4Me vs 4Ever – the Graco 4Ever DLX is a similar 4-in-1 convertible car seat to the Grows4Me, but with more premium features that make installation easier and general handling easy too. However, the 4Ever DLX comes at a higher price, a marginal difference that can take care of some other things in the family.
Grows4Me vs Slimfit – the Graco Slimfit is a 3-in-1 convertible car seat that perfectly fits 3 across the backseat. The slim fit is best for small cars. The Grows4Me and Slimfit can be a perfect mix if you already have one or two seats and need a third seat to fit in the back.
Grows4Me vs Extend2Fit – the Graco Extend2Fit is another 3-in-1 convertible car seat with extra ‘extended’ features, including a 4-position extension panel for enough legroom as a child grows and extended usage in rear-facing of up to 50 lbs. The Extend2Fit comes in different series, including the 4Ever Extend2Fit 4-in-1, similar to the 4Ever DLX.
Grows4Me vs Milestone
Installation and Manual
Frequently Asked Questions
How wide is the Graco Grows4Me?
The Graco Grows4Me car seat measures 20D X 24H X 21.5W in dimension; that is, 21.5 inches in width, which is quite wide for a car seat. This seat will fit only 2 in the back seat of a mid-size car and may not be compatible with a small car.
Is the Graco Grows4Me FAA Approved?
The Graco Grows4Me is approved for use in an aircraft on forward-facing seats and when used as either rear-facing or forward-facing, but not as a booster seat since aircraft seats are not equipped with a shoulder belt. The sticker can be found on the back of the seat.
How Long is a Graco 4-in-1 Car Seat Good for?
The Graco Grows4Me 4 in 1 will last for 10 years. That is, the Grows4Me will expire 10 years from the date of manufacture. You should stop using the car seat once it expires or after being involved in a car crash and throw it away.
Final Thoughts – Is the Graco Grows4Me a Good Buy?
From this Grows4Me review, you have seen a detailed insight into the car seat specifications, features, and key decision-making factors that can help you understand this car seat better.
Beyond the basic features this car seat offers, which may require you to spend a little more time and energy to install it, the car seat is a perfect choice. It meets every basic of what a car seat should offer.
A key takeaway is that you should have a prepared mind of what to expect when installing the car seat. Other than that, the seat is safe, relatively easy to install and use, and budget-friendly.
Cheers to happy parenting!