Friday, March 22, 2013

Graco MySize70 Review

A few weeks ago, I purchased a Graco MySize70 carseat at the local Babies 'R Us. Now that I've been using the seat for a little bit, I thought it'd be good to share my thoughts on it. First of all, I chose this carseat because I needed something narrow enough to fit in the mid-size SUV rental that I am currently driving (I drive a mini-van so if it fits into the mid-size it'll fit in there) and was pleasantly surprised to find it fit perfectly. If you're in doubt, most Babies 'R Us locations have staff who will walk to your car with a display seat and let you try it in your car to be sure it can fit. While narrow enough to fit in the seat, this carseat still is roomy enough for my very big boy and has amazingly high rear-facing and front-facing specs. Babies, infants and toddlers 4-40 lbs and up to 40" can rear-face and toddlers and children 40-70 lbs and up to 50" can forward-face with the harness. That means this seat should last most children from birth until early preschool years when the parents is ready to switch to a booster seat. Even though my son is off the charts for his size, this carseat will undoubtably last him a long time. This makes me incredibly happy since a harnessed carseat is undoubtably safer than a seatbelt positioning booster.

Because of the In-Right Latch System, this carseat has been by far the easiest to install using LATCH than any other carseats I have installed in a vehicle. Not only that, but there are two sets of LATCH belts: one set for rear-facing and one for forward-facing, which means there is no need to re-route a LATCH belt for different types of installations. This makes this seat a dream come true for me since I struggled trying to figure out how to re-route the straps of my J's previous carseat. Like most modern carseats, this one has three levels of recline and you must use the most reclined level for rear-facing. Depending on your actual vehicle seat, you may need to use a pool noodle cut-up or a rolled up towel to make sure the carseat is at the correct angle. For a newborn or infant, it needs to be at a 45 degree angle and for a toddler you can lessen the angle to 30 degrees. When in doubt, get a carseat inspection done by an NHTSA tech (I do that every time, btw) and just google to find one near you.

The one concern I had when I took this carseat out of its box was that the cushioning didn't seem very plush, but that thought has gone out the window since J fell asleep within 5 minutes the very first time he rode in it. Since then, J has fallen asleep 4 other times which tells me that this is one comfy carseat!

Let's talk about harness straps. One drawback is that they are a pain in the butt to tighten. I cannot seem to pull the strap tight enough once I my son is in the seat. To get around that, I tightened it a bit more without him in it then put it on him and buckled and did the pinch test (try and pinch the harness strap by the child's collarbone; if you can pinch it then it is too loose). I only loosen the straps a tiny bit to get J in and out since tightening his harness is a chore. The one factor that does make the tightening issue not as annoying is the adjustable headrest and harness. With a squeeze of a red lever on top of the head rest, you can instantly make the strap level higher or lower; for rear-facing always keep the straps at or below shoulder level. Having the harness set at the appropriate level ensures that there isn't a ton of harness to need to tighten. The harness has also tangled a handful of times, but it is pretty easy to fix and as a more experienced mom now that hasn't frazzled me.

My final favorite feature of the carseat is the integrated cupholder. Our other carseat didn't have one; the carseat had to be attached and could not be used in rear-facing, which meant that J was always dropping his sippy cup when he got tired of holding it or simply forgot he was holding it and then I'd have to do a sippy cup search in the car. Now, no more dropped cups! After buckling J in, I put his sippy cup right into the cup holder and he has a drink within reach when he wants it; now that J is used to this feature of the carseat, he puts the cup back when he is done with it. How great!

All in all, I love this carseat! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a convertible carseat.

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