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Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat, Matrix
Color: Matrix|Item Package Quantity: 1|Change
Price:$271.43+ Free shipping

on September 27, 2015
My 20 month old son & I were in a rollover accident a few weeks ago in my explorer. I broke my wrist and collar bone. Thanks to THIS car seat my son made it out with only a few bruises and scrapes!! We landed upside down and the seat didn't move at all. I am very thankful for this seat. I didn't purchase it from Amazon, I also paid $189.99 for ours but I reccomend this seat to everyone. Pay the extra money. This car seat is great !! :)
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on March 25, 2013
Many reviewers have commented here that the crotch strap is incredibly short. I spent some time agonizing before I finally ordered, since I did not want to have to return it. But it turns out, the crotch strap is plenty long. I even bought a second one for my other child. Here's what you need to do.

1. Once your child is too large for the smallest setting on the 5 point harness, follow the instructions to REMOVE THE BODY SUPPORT. This is the thing that looks like extra padding in what would be the lumbar region if you could somehow squeeze an adult into the seat. In my copy of the manual it is shown on page 6 under "Features". If you fail to REMOVE THE BODY SUPPORT, yes, indeed, the crotch strap appears to be ridiculously short. So, in conclusion, REMOVE THE BODY SUPPORT per the instructions.

2. Also, as many have commented, move the crotch strap to the second slot. Make sure you are using the second slot in the hard plastic base, not just the second slot in the fabric insert.

3. Congratulations, you now have a ton of space in the crotchular region. I have a 56 lb 43 inch tall son who, even while wearing ski pants, fits just fine in the seat when configured according to points 1 and 2. He is not 'sitting on' the crotch buckle as so many have alleged. I think a child who doesn't have enough room is likely too large for the weight limit on the harness anyway, in which case you remove the harness and migrate to #2 of the "3-in-1" scheme and secure the child in the booster with the vehicle belt.

The kids love them.
The price is right. They are quite a bit cheaper than the corresponding Britax model.
A consumer research magazine, which I'm not sure if I can name here, rated this seat highest among convertible seats for safety and usability.
Looks better than the Britax, at least in my car.

CONS: Not many, but here they are.
-Straps feel a bit flimsier than the Britax.
-Clips/buckles are a bit harder to operate than the Britax. Maybe they will get better with use.
-In my opinion, the metal junction plate is too small compared to the width of the straps. The metal junction plate is shown on page 38 in my copy of the manual. It looks sorta like something Batman or a ninja might throw at a villan if it was sharpened. It is there to hold the loop ends of the shoulder straps behind the seat. The slots in the plate are only about 3/4 as wide as the straps, thus the straps get bunched up a bit, which is a weaker configuration than if they had enough space to lay flat. But that consumer magazine rated it tops for safety, so it probably doesn't matter. Again, the Britax does not have this issue.

I don't feel the cons are worth paying another $100 or whatever for the Britax, but that's my budget. The main thing is that the crotch strap is not an issue. Go try it in a store if you don't believe me.

Edit: After a month of use, the clips/buckles on one of the seats has loosened up a bit and is easy to operate. The other one is still a bit stiff. However, the flimsier straps tend to twist up so they are not flat in the buckle slot. That's a little disappointing. I'd knock off a half star for that.

Edit #2: A year later, and everything is holding up fine. On their own accord, Graco sent me a new center strap and 3 point buckle assembly for both seats. The old one seemed fine, but the new one is beefier and operates more smoothly. The center strap is still plenty long. I would guess that if you buy a new seat today, you're going to get the new buckle assembly. I still think the straps are too flimsy and they do still twist up. Yo, Graco! How much extra can it cost you to use a strap wide enough to match the buckles? Thank you.

Edit #3: Almost 3 years now. Still going strong, no issues, other than the strap-twisting.

Edit #4: 4+ years now, still going strong. My kids are all large enough now that I'm just using them as booster seats (using only my vehicle's seat belts). I have to take the fabric seating covers off routinely and throw them in the wash, but what parent doesn't? These were an excellent purchase. I hope the current models are as good, but I'm not inclined to have more kids just so I can check that out.
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on March 29, 2017
I have bought two of these car seats, one for my husbands nissan truck and one my moms acura. These are great basic 3 & 1 car seats! The only issue I have with them is unlike my 3 & 1 convertible(graco) they do not sit back and sit straight up... When my son naps he has no where to put his head and it ends up just hanging(that has to hurt)...
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on May 23, 2015
A car seat that would protect my Grandson in the event of a crash was my highest priority. After a lot of research, the steel reinforced frame of this one was a determining factor for it's purchase. Plus the easy to adjust harness was also a big factor. The seat was installed for use by one child only, so other than for growth reasons, the harness adjustments shouldn't be needed too often. One concern was the size and whether or not it would fit in a Subaru Outback. The back tether and latch system installation was used and the seat size was not a problem. The seat sits snugly without any movement at all. The baby looks comfortable sitting. Please note the recline foot is not adjustable once installed. Some reviewers complained about the crotch strap being too short and the chest strap difficult to open. Neither have been a problem so far. Dark colors absorb heat so for summer use, the seat may get very warm. For this reason I went with the Gavit version which seems to have a lot of grey. Safety recommendations are that until 2 years of age a child should be rear facing. Unfortunately this car seat is not. It would have a 5 star rating if it was. Graco, please consider offering a rear facing model. Although no-one can determine how this seat will react during a crash, I do feel that my Grandson is safe in this car seat and is comfortable for his journey. So far, it seems to be a great seat. Let's see how it fares 'down the road.'
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on April 20, 2017
I bought this carseat when my daughter was a few months old. She is now 5 yrs old and is using the booster portion of it as she is a tall 5 year old and could no longer fir in the carseat. If I was going to have another baby "I am not" I would buy it again.
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on May 31, 2015
Finally got this installed in my new van and I am very impressed. Very adjustable to suit your child's needs. Plenty of crotch room for my 20 months old son. I do recommend that if you buy this and need to adjust the straps, if this is your first car seat, needle nose pliers to get the straps through the tiny slots. If this is not your first car seat then you know what I'm talking about lol.
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on May 14, 2013
When it comes to my 3 daughters, safety is the most important factor in choosing a car seat for them. For that reason, I own 4 Britax carseats and been very happy with their products. When I needed to shop for a booster seat with 5 point harness for my 2 1/2 year old, I was all set to buy another Britax Frontier SICT. Then I saw how popular the Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 was and what a great rating that Consumer Reports gave them. When I saw that it was literally $100 less, I placed the order. I'm disappoined. At first I was excited by a few of the features, but the practicality or lack there of takes the precedence in my mind.

The latch system on this seat is far inferior to the Britax technology. It was much harder to situate the seat properly in my van. And the tighening is only on the right side of the seat and very awkward. I couldn't get a good angle to tighten the seat. I much prefer when the latch on the right and left are independent of each other. It is much easier to tighten them that way.

The crotch strap came with a really nice cover, which I thought was great at first to save little legs from being pinched. But, then when it either came off or covered the buckle ever singe time I needed to put my daughter in the carseat, it was annoying, so I took it off. Now, the crotch strap falls through the pad on the bottom of the seat every time I put my daughter in/out. So we have to dig it out from below the pad and feed it back through the hole. ANNOYING! I keep hearing my husband and I saying "Augh! This carseat!"

The straps and buckles feel cheap...especially the chest clip. It is hard to get them to click because they are so flimsy.

Finally I've seen my sweet little girl fall asleep a few times now in this seat and everytime, her little head is dangling down because the seat doesn't tilt back far enough to help her head stay in between the rests. She looks SO uncomfortable. While the Britax wasn't perfect, I wish I had spent the extra money and gotten that seat instead. Buyer's remorse. :-(
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on March 25, 2016
I read several reviews of many different car seats before purchasing this one. My 1-year-old graduated from her infant car seat, and needed the convertible car seat(a Britax Marathon) my 3-yr-old was in. So I bought this for my 3-year-old.

I was surprised that none of the reviews that I read mentioned my two complaints with this car seat when worn with the harness.
First, like our Britax, there is a piece of fabric around the crotch buckle to keep it from getting stuck under the child as they get into the car seat, and to prevent the buckle from going under the fabric cover of the car seat. Unfortunately, on this Graco model, the crotch strap is attached with Velcro, so it falls off occasionally.
Second, the car seat has two fabric pieces. One, that covers the entire car seat, and another that covers just the portion of the car seat surrounding the shoulder straps, back, and seat. There isn't anything to hold it into place, so every time my daughter climbs into her car seat, it slides way down. I have to lift her up, yank the fabric piece up, and then set her back down and buckle her.

Overall, I am happy with this car seat. These issues have become less of a nuisance over time, and I probably still would have purchased it because it seems to be the best value for what I wanted. But I wish I had known these things beforehand and could have made a more informed decision. I hope this review helps you make the best car seat choice you can for your child.
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on February 13, 2016
It was easy for my husband to put together. It's well-made, sturdy after installation and comfortable for our toddler. I feel like he's safe and I like this is the last booster seat we will purchase! Recommendations: the head dangles a bit when he falls asleep, two cup holders (one for snacks, toys, etc. & the other for drinks/cups), & removable cups- there's no effective way to clean the cup out- which for me, is a major downside!
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on January 9, 2013
What a way to ring in the New Year...
My daughter (6yrs old) and I was in a car accident on Sunday (yes 1/6/13). Just came back to work today. We were on the main road and the other driver was at a stop sign waiting for me pass so he can cross the intersection, but he didn't wait. He hit us from the passenger's side. My airbags deployed and my car was banged up. When I turned around to check on my daughter, she was STILL in the middle of the back seat in this carseat just crying because she was scared of the smoke she saw from the airbags. The carseat was position in the Middle of the rear seat and that's where she was after the accident. That seat didn't move out of place!!! She only suffered some "carpet burns" on her neck/shoulder area from the strap which has healed, but that was it. This seat saved my daughter and I'm so grateful!!!

I read about this seat on Consumer reports shopping for another seat when i realized that the previous one only went up to 40lbs (Cosco Summit High Back Booster Car Seat). If you have an older child like mine the recommendation is if you need to get another carseat/booster seat try to get the convertible seat with the highback and 5 point harness and keep them in it as long as you can!!! I'm glad I listened because my child is still here!!! I'm just suffering from a little soreness. Glad to be still living to tell this story!!!
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