We got our Argos shortly after my daughter turned forward facing right around her fourth birthday. I had seen it at the store and was instantly drawn to the pretty flower pattern. It was a big bonus that it fit her well and she liked it, too!
We’d had Graco’s very similar seat: a Nautilus, but I prefer a no-rethread harness. This means that as the child grows or another child rides in the seat, you just push a button on the seat to move the harness up or down.
There are a few seats in the Graco Nautilus/Argos family, our handy chart lists the differences between each model.
The Graco Argos is a is a solid choice for a child who is at least two years old and has outgrown their rear facing convertible car seat. The Argos is forward facing only, and has three modes:
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Forward facing weight range: 20-65 lbs
- Forward facing height range: 27”- 52″
- High back booster weight range: 30-100 lbs
- High back booster height range: 38-57″
- Backless booster weight range: 40-120 lbs
- Backless booster height range: 40-57”
- Highest harness position: 18”
- Highest booster guide position: 19.5″
- Expiration: 10 years
- Lower anchor weight limit: 45 lbs
- Adjustable crotch strap
- Body support cushion
- No re-thread harness
- Allows use of lower anchors in booster mode
- Cupholder and cubby holes
Mode 1: 5 Point Harness
- Weight range: 20-65 lbs
- 18″ top harness position
- No re-thread harness allows for quick height adjustment up or down without uninstalling the seat
Mode 2: High Back Booster
- Weight range: 30-100 lbs
- Height range: 38-57″
- 19.5″ top booster belt guide
- Can use LATCH to secure while in booster mode
- 2013 IIHS Best Bet
- Shoulder belt guides are easy to access, threading the shoulder belt is fairly simple
Mode 3: Backless Booster
- Weight range: 40-120 lbs
- Height range: 40-57″
- Cannot use LATCH to secure the booster when unoccupied.
The Argos has a 10 year expiration whether using in harness or booster mode, and generally lasts most kids until 6-7 years old in harness mode, 7-8 years old in high back booster mode, and through passing the 5 step test in backless booster mode. The main differences from the Graco Nautilus to the Argos are the no re-thread harness, and an additional 10 lbs on the backless booster weight limit.
Like any seat, there are a few drawbacks:
- Some children have trouble sleeping comfortably in the Argos, as it doesn’t have great head support for a car sleeper. Many children experience “head slump”, despite the Argos’ recline feature. This isn’t a safety concern, but it can be a comfort concern for some children.
- Converting the Argos from harnessed mode to booster mode can be tricky — you have to remove the cover via series of tiny elastic loops and hook fasteners, grab and slide two red levers, then once the seat can lay flat, pinch a rather stiff connector until the seat releases. At that point, lift the seat’s back at *just* the right angle to remove it, then re-attach all of those little elastic hooks on the cover.
- Converting the Argos to a booster is the same process as it is for the Nautilus. Our handy guide walks through the steps involved in this conversion.
- The outer crotch buckle position is fairly shallow and it can be uncomfortable for some bigger children.
- Our 7-year-old tester found the backless booster uncomfortable because once the back is removed, it leaves quite a gap between the vehicle seat back and the start of the Argos’ seat cushion.
- At 9 years old, that same model found the backless version of this seat a very comfortable option.
Overall, despite some minor drawbacks, the Argos is an excellent choice for preschoolers on up. You can find it on Amazon.com. My oldest daughter rode in the Argos harnessed until she outgrew it by height when she was almost 7. Today, her little sister rides in it harnessed or it works in my Mazda 5’s third row as a high back booster.
Note: You can find information regarding the buckle recall affecting this seat here: http://csftl.org/graco-car-seat-buckle-recall/
Neither Graco nor Amazon sponsored this review. Opinions, as always, are all our own!