We’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Graco Extend2Fit. While we’re waiting, our guest author and CSFTL Facebook Forum Moderator Bridget has graciously given us a sneak peek at this exciting new seat! Thanks, Bridget!
The newest convertible seat from Graco has arrived after much anticipation.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Rear facing weight range: 4-50 lbs
- Rear facing height range: no stated limit in the manual
- Forward facing weight range: 22-65 lbs
- Forward facing height range: under 49″
- Shell height: 30″ tall with headrest fully extended, to the top of the adjustment handle
- Seated Height: 27″
- Lowest harness position: 7″ with insert
- Highest harness position: 18″
- Expiration: 10 years
- Lower anchor weight limit: 45 pounds
- Weight: 18.5 lbs
- Infant pad and head pad for added comfort
- Premium push-on latch connectors
- Six recline positions
- Two position crotch buckle – 4.5″ and 6.5″ inches from the back of the seat
- Ten position headrest
- No re-thread harness
- Two cup holders
- Four position foot extender
- Buckle pockets to store the crotch buckle tongues when the seat is not in use.
The Extend2Fit has 6 recline positions and a few rules around their use.
- Rear facing mode: use recline positions 1-4
- Forward facing mode: use position 4 for children who weigh less than 40 lbs
- Forward facing mode: use positions 5 or 6 for children who weigh over 40
Did I mention that this seat can rear face to 50 pounds? It is more affordable than some of the older names in the 40+ lbs rear facing car seat category, and smaller than its similarly priced Safety 1st counterpart, the Advance EX Air+.
The Extend2Fit offers handy little pockets that can be used to store the crotch buckle tongues when the seat is not in use. These pockets allow the strap to be stored out of the way of children being placed in or climbing into the seat, helping to prevent the dreaded “digging for buckles” that often happens when the straps get stuck beneath a squirming child!
The Extend2Fit is easily adjustable to fit to the child and to the car.
- Recline: there are 6 recline positions. Positions 1 through 4 can be used rear facing, positions 4 through 6 can be used forward facing. When forward facing children between 22 and 40 pounds, position 4 MUST be used. For children over 40 pounds, positions 5 or 6 must be used. There is a ball indicator that will show if you’re within the correct rear facing range. Like several other Graco convertibles, the Extend2Fit has a good recline for newborns under 3 months old. Once a baby is 3 months old or older, the Extend2Fit can be set very upright, which makes it very compact.
- Headrest: the adjustable headrest has 10 positions, and is very easy to move from one to another. Since the Extend2Fit uses a no-rethread harness, adjusting the headrest also adjusts the harness height. The lowest harness position is 7″ (with the infant insert in place), while the highest position is 18″.
- Foot extender: this is the piece that makes this seat truly unique. As the child grows taller, the panel can be extended to help them feel more comfortable. While this is not truly a concern (children are much more bendy than we adults, and can be comfortable in many positions we would find difficult to manage), this feature may help many parents be comfortable with extended rear facing.
- The rear facing lower anchor install is pretty easy. No new tricks were needed, although you might need to get behind the seat to help compress it with your hips.
- The rear facing seat belt install took a little doing, thanks to the narrow belt path openings. Still, I’ve seen much harder seat belt installs. Like the latch install, compressing with your hips may be necessary.
- I didn’t attempt the forward facing latch install: if you max out the rear facing limits of the seat, you’ll have switched to a seat belt install already anyway.
- The forward facing seat belt install was much easier than the rear facing install, so far as threading the seat belt through the belt path. This is due to the way the seat padding can be lifted away from the forward facing belt path. The top tether is easily used and easily stored when not doing a forward facing belt path.
Removing the cover and putting it back on is not as simple as I would prefer. So far, I have only removed the cover near the bottom of the seat (underneath the child’s feet), which is necessary to install the mandatory cup holders and to move the latch strap from one belt path to another. In order to remove this portion of the cover, here is an elastic band and hook on each side of the seat that must be unhooked. The hard part (for me) is hooking the elastic band back around the hook. I have discovered that extending the extender panel all the way exposes the hook, making the process easier. I’m certain practice will make this easier.
The lowest harness slot is 7″ with the infant pad in place. This is about the right height to fit an average or larger baby, but it may not fit a smaller baby or a preemie. Unfortunately, this convertible will likely not be a first choice as a “from birth” car seat. However, it should fit once the small baby has a month or two of growth added to their torso.
Measuring across the cupholders, the Extend2Fit is 20″ wide, and it is 19.5″ wide across the head wings. It’s not the narrowest of car seats, and might not be the most friendly for a three across situation. It would work just fine in my Honda Odyssey’s 2nd row, but I wouldn’t want to try it with three across in the third row.
All in all, there are a few situations where I’m not comfortable recommending this seat (newborns or three-across situations) but if you are in need of a high-weight rear facing seat or a seat that can be installed very upright and very compact, the Extend2Fit is going to be one of my top recommendations.