on March 15, 2012
We purchased the Graco ComfortSport at Target in Sept of 2010 as an emergency replacement for our previous carseat after an accident. (We actually got the Creighton model.) I have 3 major concerns about the safety of this seat:
1) The shoulder straps do not tighten evenly. After looking at the back of the seat I realized this is due to the design of the set yoke; most seats have two individual hooks for the shoulder belts, tightened by a single pull strap. The ComfortSport overlaps the two shoulder straps under a single hook and one strap will always be a little looser than the other. This also crates the potential for the overlapping strap to slip out of the hook, as it is barely held in place by the hook.
2) The chest plate is easy to unbuckle, even for young children. I looked up advice on how to solve this issue on Graco's website- apparently many parents were having the same issues and Graco's response was that parents should just explain to their children why they need to keep the belt on. After pulling over 10+ times on a two-hour trip because my 2 year old didn't understand my explaining on why this belt was intended to keep him safe, I settled on buying self-adhesive Ace wrap to wrap around the buckle so he couldn't mess with it.
3) The tightening plate on our model broke after only 11 months of use. I was tightening the strap, as usuall, and the single screw the holds the plate in place pulled out and flew somewhere in the car. If this had happened during an accident, the shoulder straps would have been loosened about 2 inches and greatly reduced the protection of the seat.
I had contaceted Graco regauding my concerns about the seat, and asking for a refund. They sent me a letter stating that if I had problems with their product, I should ship it to them at MY expense and they would replace the seat with another one of the same model- no refund. Needless to say I just went out and bought a different, better rated seat for my son.
on July 4, 2013
This car seat is super cute for my little girl! Also, it seems very comfortable for her.
However, when my daughter was rear facing every time she fell asleep her head would fall forward . Also, it doesn't fit well rear facing in my Toyota corolla. Both my husband and I are tall and I have to have my knees jammed in the dash so her car seat could fit rear facing. Also, the seat is very hard to install rear facing so if you plan to take it out and put it in a different vehicle on a regular basis, then this isn't the right seat for you when shopping for a rear facing car seat.
In my state they can go front facing at a year, so right when she turned a year I moved the seat front facing. Since then, I have LOVED this seat! Her head is tilted back more so when she sleeps it doesn't fall forward, and I don't have to have my knees jammed into the dash! It's easier to install front facing as well! I think this is a great front facing car seat!
on June 16, 2012
Let me first say I am happy with this car seat now, but it was a rocky start. Once I had the right information and a little help it was smooth sailing.
To start, one of my annoyances in reading these reviews for car seats is that people love to tell how much their 6 month old loves the color but fail to give vital information like what kind of car they are installing it in... with that said, I have a 2006 Mazda6. I also have very long legs which requires me to have my driver seat as far back as it will go and this made it difficult to find a car seat that would fit in the center rear facing while still leaving leg room in the front. We returned one convertible car seat for not fitting and then bought the Graco Comfortsport. I got the seat, read the manuals, watched the online install videos and after 45 minutes still could not get it in properly using the LATCH system or the seat belt. So rather than losing my mind trying, I gave up and drove over to the fire department for them to install it... here is what I learned and what I do & don't like about this car seat.
First of all, Mr. Fireman said that most car's LATCH systems are not intended for car seats to be in the center and after reading my car's manual it was confirmed for the Mazda6. But you can still use the seat belt in the center, using the little medal "deely-bob" that is mounted on the back of the seat on the left side. We did have to put a rolled up towel under the car seat to get the correct angle. Now that it's properly installed I hope we don't have to take the sucker out for any reason in the near future. Oh and by the way, there is still plenty of room in the front seats for my long legs.
Likes: Good quality, straps easily adjusts to fit baby and seems pretty comfy for baby.
Dislikes: Install directions are NOT clear and buckles are hard to click in at first but have gotten a bit easier with use. This seat is tall (when rear facing) and could be difficult to see over (especially if you are a short)when sitting in driver seat looking behind to the back seat or out the back windows. But I would imagine this is the case with most convertible car seats.
on June 3, 2014
My best advice regarding this seat is to us a protective pad or rolled towel underneath this seat to keep the base from putting stretched ridges in your leather.
I use this rear-facing in the center of my 2011 Mazdaspeed3, and I keep it in the trunk (hatchback boot) it when the baby is not riding with me. Putting the baby in the Speed3 is really forcing the issue, and that car can't "baby" with a roll cage or Hans device. The seat won't fit in the trunk if the rear chassis brace is in place--it takes up all the room. I use a rolled towel to get the angle just right and to keep the pokey plastic ridges off my leather. This Graco ComfortSport Jette is the backup seat for our Recaro Performance Ride convertible seat. I'm giving this Graco seat a solid four stars for value at this price point. I got mine on the Amazon deal of the day for $65.02, having done no research on it, just to have a spare seat. I didn't give it five stars since the head pillow greatly annoys me--I can see where Graco keeps the cost down on everything, but they just need to fix the attachment of the head pillow. To keep the head pad/pillow, which is necessary for safety, from annoying me to death, I used a string to tie it through the strap holes with a knot on the back side of the seat. Also, unlike Britax and Peg, Graco prohibits the use of the top tether in the rear-facing position (as far as I know, no Graco seats allow that Swedish attachment method).
When shopping for our first convertible seat to use in the center rear-facing position of a regular Mazda 3, where cost was of little concern (safety #1, hence rear-facing as long as possible, and our very difficult center fit #2, hence no Swedish top tether), we narrowed the selection down to the Chicco NextFit and the Recaro Performance Ride. We went for the Recaro (don't laugh--Sparco doesn't make baby seats), but that's only to establish my point of reference for considering the value of this Graco within the confines of the small car fitment. If you are rear-facing and have more space, consider one that uses the Swedish-style top latch in case you roll your car (don't laugh--Sparco doesn't make helmets for babies). This Graco is not trying to play at the higher price point.
The pull-belt to tighten the baby is big and wonderful, and better than any other seat. The rocker is big, easy to see or find behind the Velcro'd flap, easy to reach in the rear-facing position, and allows the parent to pull the strap upward. I wish every seat was so easy in that regard.
The baby sweats more in this seat--the material does not breathe (better than in an infant seat, but much worse than our Recaro convertible). The material is easy to clean and seems to be wearing very well, and it is soft. The baby belts are standard Graco, if you recall comparing those on your infant seat, just with an upsized chest clip for the larger baby. (The chestplate is redesigned, mitigating previous criticism that kids might unclip it.) If you want to be able see twists in the strap, paint the edge of the belts with some red paint or stitch a red ribbon to it. The Latch system clips are standard Graco, meaning they are just functional clip hooks with no nice button release. The head pillow insert is only held-in by the shoulder belts, and not kept in place with Velcro or on a track. That head pillow drove me crazy until I tied it to the back with string. The shoulder belts have only three positions, which puts the belt further below the baby's shoulder than you might like in the rear-facing position or further above the shoulder when front-facing.
As for fit in my small car, it just fits in the center and uses some of the space between the front seats. It would not rear-face in the side seats, else I'd have to move the front seats up. I wish it would recline a bit more, but I'm in the green part of the level meter now, and the seat offers no adjustments for angle. My baby's head flops forward when he sleeps--boo.
So, it looks good, wears well, and works for everyone's budget. Just be sure to use a rolled towel for rear-facing and a protective pad for front-facing if you have leather seats. Then, get some string and tie the head pillow down. Also, don't have a crash, don't drive distracted, and remember if you drive behind me that I stop from 100 mph in three car-lengths.
on July 15, 2013
I've installed a lot of car seats. I worked as a nanny and we're on our second kid and have had two cars for years and NEVER have I had so much trouble with an install. When I read that you "might" need a pool noodle to get it to sit right I thought "OK, no big deal." but it's actually printed in the instruction booklet. There's a diagram on the install page that shows "rolled up towels" in my opinion, If it needs towels to install correctly it shouldn't be allowed to claim rear-facing install as a feature. We could not get it tight enough. My husband was really cranking on it and he's not a weak guy so if he can't do it who can. After consulting the booklet a third time we ended up just bringing it back into the house and sticking it back into the box. I'm glad to spend an extra $100 to make sure the little one is safe.
Ended up buying the Chicco convertible seat and, while it was quite a bit more expensive, it installed easily and requires NO POOL NOODLE! I actually was shocked to find that even the $500 seats at the high end baby store require them. So happy with the Chicco!
on January 20, 2016
I am not sure why this item got a 4 star average rating. I will not recommend this car seat to anyone. Although I've reviewed a Graco car seat combo before and gave it a 5 star rating, this one does not even deserve any stars. It has major flaws that would lead to injury and even death. The harness chest clip is so easy to unbuckle. The straps do not adjust evenly and it's hard to pull straps to tighten them. It takes forever and a lot of trouble to install it. And...the red harness release button does not always work. I will not put any child in that car seat knowing he or she might get stuck in there in case of an emergency. Product part had a recall. Look for something else because your kid is worth it.
on September 23, 2014
We bought this as a 2nd car seat for our son, who was 18 months old at the time of purchase. Our primary car seat is a Chicco Nextfit Convertable car seat which cost arount $279.99 when we bought it. This seat was much less expensive, and after receiving it/using it, it is apparent why that is. This seat was much harder to attach and change from rear to forward facing than our other car seat. This seat is not adjustable (inclide, height) the way our Chicco seat is. Also the padding and quality of materials that make up this Graco Seat are not of the same caliber as the Chicco Nextfit seat that we own. The Graco seat also lacks any shoulder pads, and we found that on longer trips the shoulder harness belts seemed to leave red marks on our son's neck. We ended up purchasing separate harness pads to remedy that. To be fair, all car seats have to meat the same testing requirements, and this seat does that at a very affordable price. One positive note, is we found that since this seat is not as bulky as our other seat from Chicco, it is easier to take our son in and out of the car. I would recommend this to someone who needs a 2nd, economical car seat for short errands around town. For longer drives/trips, I would invest in something a little more comfortable.
on February 11, 2016
This seat lasted us a while because we purchased it when my son was 5 months old, because he was already getting too large for his carrier car seat.
It looks like good quality and my son seemed to be quite comfortable in it for a while.
However, the biggest downfall of this seat is it seems to be more suitable for more petite children. My son was becoming to large for it by the time he was 2 while most other convertible car seats last longer. The shoulder straps are the main issue because they simply do not go up high enough as your taller child gets older. So again, I think I would recommend this for more petite,shorter children.
I am glad we started using it early as we were able to get out money's worth, it is a good seat for the money.
on April 19, 2015
Things I wish I would have known before I bought this seat:
1. It's very difficult to install RF. We were having trouble so we took it to an inspection site and the police officer said he'd never had so much trouble installing a carseat before. FF was much easier to install.
2. It's one of he shortest carseats on the market. My 2 year old son is 50% in height and he outgrew it after a year. He should be able to use this seat for at least another year and a half, but because the shoulder straps are so low, we now have to buy another car seat. If I would have known this before, I would have never bought a car seat. It's perfectly useable and my son is nowhere near the weight max, but because the company can't make a higher slot for the straps we are having to spend money to buy another seat.
on June 9, 2015
We have been using this car seat for the last five months. I ordered this when my daughter was 10 months old and was getting too heavy for the carrier in the Graco Click Connect travel system. She loved the transition. I like that we will be able to use it long-term and it will grow and adjust with her, while rear-facing and front-facing.
I absolutely adore this car seat. My daughter falls asleep in it within minutes of being put in the car. We are doing extended rear-facing. My state requires to rear-face until 1, but we are waiting as long as we can (at least 2, but trying to until 4, depending on her height and weight by then). Usually while rear-facing, the seats are horrible to install and adjust. I have a Graco (this one) and Safety 1st for our vehicles. My mom has an Evenflo. My dad bought a Cosco. The Graco ComfortSport was, by far, the easiest to install and adjust. The Evenflo is the worst. We all use the Latch system in our vehicles.
It is easy to install, easy to move of switching vehicles, very easy to adjust.