In our quest to find the best convertible car seat on the market, we discovered that while there are many to choose from, not all of them are created equal. While researching the Graco Extend2fit Convertible Car Seat and the Britax Advocate we felt they deserved a second look and a comparison.
Whether a first-time parent or a parent that has been around the block a time or two, we know finding the right convertible car seat can be difficult. Below, we will answer some frequently asked questions about convertible car seats before we compare the Graco Extend2fit Convertible car seat and the Britax Advocate.
What Is a Convertible Car Seat?
A convertible car seat is a seat that is made to grow with your child from the infant stage until they are old enough to sit in a regular seat belt. For children from 4 to 40 lbs, the convertible seat needs to be installed rear-facing and slightly reclined. For the older child, 20-65 lbs, the convertible seat needs to be installed front-facing, allowing them to sit upright in the seat.
Are Convertible Car Seats Safe?
Convertible Car Seats are safe and offer many advanced safety features. They are crash tested and must meet or exceed all federal and ASTM safety standards before they can be put on the market. As long as parents are attentive to their child's weight and height changes and adjust the seat accordingly, they are safe to use until the child no longer needs the seat.
Are Convertible Car Seats Comfortable?
Because convertible car seats are built to last for many years, they are designed with a child's comfort in mind. With features such as different reclining positions, adjustable headrests, harnesses, and buckles, the child's comfort will be easy to achieve.
Why Choose a Convertible Car Seat?
A convertible car seat is the right choice for many people because they offer the convenience of only buying one car seat instead of multiples as their child grows. Once correctly installed, these car seats do not have to move until the child is ready to advance to the next stage.
Is a Convertible Car Seat a Better Choice than a Standard Child Seat?
Children can quickly outgrow standard child seats and then they have to be replaced. Convertible car seats take away the need for replacements. By making simple adjustments to accommodate a child's height and weight, the convertible car seat will last as long as the child needs it.
How to Install a Convertible Car Seat?
Most convertible car seats offer two ways for installment into a vehicle. They all come with a seatbelt path underneath them so the car's seatbelt can be threaded through and then secured in place. Many brands come with latches that attach to the anchors in newer vehicles. Once buckled, either with anchor latches, or with the seatbelt locked, the car seat should not move more than an inch from side to side. If rear-facing, the seat should be reclined slightly to keep an infants airway open. If front facing, the seat will sit straight up. Please refer to the instruction manual that comes with the seat for specific instructions.
How Do I Use the Convertible Car Seat Once It Is Installed?
Once installed correctly, the seat is ready to use. Simply adjust the harnesses and buckles to fit your child snugly. Please refer to your state regulations and your instruction manual provided for specifications.
Compare Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat to Britax Advocate
Graco Extend2fit convertible car seat and the Britax Advocate both have much to offer in safety, durability, and style. Each seat is attractive and each of them offers special features that make them unique. In their overall performance ratings, the Graco Extend2fit came in with a rating of 76% and the Britax Advocate came in at a close 74%.
The crash test rating is one of the most important things to look for when considering which car seat to buy. The Graco Extend2fit convertible car seat received an impressive result of 9 out of 10. In the same test, the Britax Advocate received 4 out of 10.
While the Britax Advocate boasts of the most advanced safety features, including 3 layers of side impact protection and an impact-stabilizing steel frame, the Graco Extend2fit holds its own with its EPS energy absorbing foam and reinforced steel frame.
Both seats provide latches that connect to the anchors in newer vehicles. Though not easier to install, this method is by far the safest. For older vehicles, both seats offer the traditional belt threading area beneath the seat, but the Britax has a slight advantage with the ClickTight feature.
Ease of Installation
While the Britax Advocate is heavier than most convertible car seats on the market and the Graco Extend2fit convertible car seat is one of the lighter models, the Britax Advocate is easier to install when comparing the anchor installation. The Britax Advocate also rated higher than the Graco Extend2fit convertible car seat for regular seatbelt installation. The Britax seat is built so the bottom can be raised up for easier installation.
Ease of Use
The Graco Extend2fit convertible car seat and the Britax Advocate both received high approval ratings for their ease of use. The Graco received a 7 while the Britax received an 8. Both seats offer an easy to adjust harness, with the Graco offering a 10 position no re-thread harness that can be adjusted with the child in the seat. The Britax features a 14 position harness that can be adjusted with the push of a button. Both seats recline easily with the Britax offering 7 positions as opposed to the Graco's 6 positions. The Graco offers an extra retainer on each side of the seat to hold the harness straps when not in use.
The Graco Extend2fit convertible car seat comes with a 5-inch extension panel that allows a child to stay rear facing longer; up to 50 lbs as opposed to 40. It also has a 10 position adjustable headrest that can accommodate a child as they grow. The seat cushion is fully machine washable while the Britax has to be hand-washed. The Extend2fit also offers 2 built-in cup holders while the Britax does not include one.
The Britax features the ClickTight Lock which provides a two-fold advantage. First, the bottom of the car seat lifts up, allowing easy access to position and secure the seat belt properly. Second, once the seat is pushed down and locked in place, the car seat does not move. This gives an advantage over the Graco's standard installation system. Also featuring the Click and Snug Harness, it allows adjustment with the touch of a button.
Comfort and Quality
The comparison between the two convertible car seats for comfort and quality leaves a wide gap. The Graco Extend2fit convertible car seat only received 6 on a scale from 1 to 10. The Britax Advocate received a very impressive 9 out of 10. While the Graco has adequate padding for comfort, the Britax is considered more of a premium seat and more comfortable. The Britax is also sturdier and well built while the Graco gives the feeling of being less sturdy and durable.
Weight and Measurement
The Britax Advocate weighs in at 30 lbs while the Graco Extend2fit convertible car seat weighs only 18.7 lbs. At their widest points, both car seats measure 20 inches. The width on both can make it difficult to put two passengers in the back seat with the car seat.
The Graco Extend2fit convertible car seat is the more economical of the two seats and can be purchased in a bit low price while the Britax Advocate is a bit costly.
The Graco Extend2fit convertible car seat is a more affordable choice than the Britax Advocate. Even though this seat does not boast the more advanced safety features as the other seat, it did extremely well in crash tests and it meets or exceeds federal safety standards. This seat also offers the extension panel that allows for children to be rear-facing longer, which is safer. While this seat is not as easy to install, once it is installed, it will stay securely in place and it offers two built-in cup holders as opposed to not having one. This seat is the choice for the person who wants a more economical choice but doesn't want to cut corners on safety.
The Britax Advocate, though higher in price, offers the most advanced safety features on the market and is sturdy and well-built. Easier to install with the simple, yet safe, installation system, it has many features that appeal to parents including the Click and Snug Harness. The ClickTight Lock ensures proper positioning of belts and locks the seat in place securely, giving added peace of mind. This seat is the choice for someone who does not mind spending a little more to get the latest in safety features and prefers the ease of installation and use.