In Depth Baby Product Reviews Led by a Pediatrician

Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Review

A below-average option with lower scores in most metrics made it a disappointment despite the lower price
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Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Review
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $140 List
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Manufacturer:   Graco
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jan 26, 2024
60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Crash Test - 35% 5.8
  • Ease of Use - 25% 7.0
  • Weight/Size - 15% 6.4
  • Comfort - 15% 5.3
  • Quality - 10% 4.5

The Skinny

The Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 is a versatile configuration seat with some interesting features from our best booster seat review. It has an above-average ease-of-use performance, but that is about where the good times end here. The Tranzitions has lower crash test analysis results for our test group, and we find it hard to look past this when considering the seat for most families. This booster also failed to impress us with comfort (with no seat padding on the tushie portion) or quality (with a hard plastic headrest), and we think there are other options we tested that offer more for a similar or cheaper price.
REASONS TO BUY
Smooth fabric
Easy-to-use shoulder belt position
Multiple configurations possible
REASONS TO AVOID
Below average crash test scores
Kids needed help buckling
Editor's Note: The Tranzitions 3-in-1 was tested in an all-new update against other booster competitors on January 26, 2024.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Value Award  
Price $140 List
$119.00 at Amazon
$160 List
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$37 List
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$120 List
$79.99 at Amazon
$29 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line This versatile configuration option has below-average crash test results and a lower score overallGreat choice for most families with better crash testing analysis, easy installation, and cozy seating for kidsGreat for travel and carpooling, but the quality and crash results make it less appealing as an all-the-time boosterA comfy headrest and good crash test results make this lightweight choice an option that won't break the bankThis basic booster offers disappointing results in most metrics, including crash test analysis, making the low price less appealing
Rating Categories Graco Tranzitions 3... Chicco KidFit Zip A... BubbleBum Diono Cambria 2 Graco TurboBooster...
Crash Test (35%)
5.8
8.2
6.5
8.0
5.3
Ease of Use (25%)
7.0
8.3
8.0
5.1
7.5
Weight/Size (15%)
6.4
6.5
10.0
5.9
7.9
Comfort (15%)
5.3
7.3
4.4
6.1
3.2
Quality (10%)
4.5
8.0
3.5
4.0
3.5
Specs Graco Tranzitions 3... Chicco KidFit Zip A... BubbleBum Diono Cambria 2 Graco TurboBooster...
Modes 5 Point Harness,
High Back Booster, Backless Booster
High Back Booster, Backless Booster Backless Booster High Back Booster, Backless Booster Backless Booster
High Back Booster Weight Range 40-100 lb 40-110 lb N/A 40-120 lb N/A
High Back Booster Height Range 43-57 in 38-57 in N/A 38-63 in N/A
Width 18.1 in 18.2 in 11.3 in 19.9 in 16.3 in
Weight 13.5 lb 11.8 lb 0.9 lb 12.0 lb 4.5 lb
Backless Booster Height Range 43-57 in 38-58 in 40-57 in 38-63 in 43-57 in
5 Point Harness Weight Range 22-65 lb N/A N/A N/A N/A
5 Point Height Range 27-49 in N/A N/A N/A N/A
LATCH Equipped Yes Yes No Yes No
#REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF!
Recline Positions 2 2 N/A None N/A
Foam Type None EPS None None None
Seat Lifespan 7 Years 8 Years 4 Years from purchase date 8 Years 10 Years
Aircraft Certified

Our Analysis and Test Results

Graco makes budget-friendly baby gear for parents around the world. It all started in 1953, when the then metal fabrication company hired an engineer to to help specialize in juvenile gear. The first baby swing from Graco launched shortly after and was a huge success. Graco still makes swings today, in addition to strollers, car seats, play yards, and more.

Performance Comparison



The Tranzistions struggled to keep up with much of the competition in our commission crash testing through a third party that also runs tests for NHTSA.
Credit: GearLab & MGA Research

Crash Test


The Trazitions booster did not perform well in our commissioned crash tests with MGA Research, earning one of the lowest analysis results in the test group. Its final score in this metric is below the average and not a standout.

This graph illustrates the difference between the higher G-Forces...
This graph illustrates the difference between the higher G-Forces recorded in the HIC sensors in the crash test dummy for the Tranzitions compared to the lower results in the Peg Perego (lower is better).
The Tranzitions chest clip sensor in the crash test dummy recorded...
The Tranzitions chest clip sensor in the crash test dummy recorded more G-forces than those of one of the higher-performing seats. Lower G-forces is the goal.

We analyzed the HIC and chest clip sensor results from our testing to determine the final scores. We ran our tests hotter than the federal guidelines and used a sled designed to better mimic modern vehicle back seats.


All of the boosters in this review are assumed to have passed the federal guidelines and are considered safe. The Tranzitions has higher sensor data for both the HIC (head) and chest clip sensors than much of the competition. Lower is better as they are recordings of the g-forces experienced by the crash test dummy sensors.

The Tranzitions headrest moves smoothly up and down to make adjustments for height and comfort.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


The Tranzitions has a higher than average result for ease of use. However, one downside is your child tester struggled to buckle the belt on her own. After multiple attempts, an adult had to help her, and we suspect many parents will want a seat their kids can use without assistance.

The Tranzition shoulder guide includes a little convoluted shape to...
The Tranzition shoulder guide includes a little convoluted shape to help prevent the belt from slipping out when you don't want it to.
The lap portion of the belt goes under the Tranzitions armrest, and...
The lap portion of the belt goes under the Tranzitions armrest, and there is no color-coding to help guide kids in placement.

The belt guide is not color-coded, but it is somewhat forward compared to others, making it easier to find and grasp. The 5-point harness for smaller kids might also require some help, but in our experience, most booster-age kids can get these on alone but might need help unbuckling.

The LATCH strap release on the Trazitions is a push button on the...
The LATCH strap release on the Trazitions is a push button on the strap that requires significant pressure with two thumbs.
The LATCH connectors on the Tranzitions are hook-style options that...
The LATCH connectors on the Tranzitions are hook-style options that are harder to use.

This option installs using hook LATCH connectors, not our favorite, but they are easier to remove here than on the tighter straps on the convertible or infant car seats. The seat has handholds on top and bottom to make it super easy to move and maneuver in a car to install.

The pop-out design of the Tranzitions cup holder creates a situation where kids might use the removable part for fidgeting.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Tranzitions have dual cup holders, and while our test water bottle didn't fit all the way down inside the holder, it was snug, and we weren't worried about it toppling out.

graco tranzitions 3-in-1 - the tranzitions can be made smaller and lighter by removing the back...
The Tranzitions can be made smaller and lighter by removing the back for occasional travel or carpool situations.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Weight and Size


The Graco is almost dead on average for both weight and width. The measured weight is 13.5 lbs. It is heavier than we'd want to tote, but if you don't need to move it far or carry it often, it likely isn't a big deal. There are definitely heavier and larger options in this lineup.


It measures 18.1 inches wide and has the lounger portion of leg padding that comes down. So, while there are wider options in this group, it still feels like a lot of chairs, and you probably don't want to carry it through the airport.

graco tranzitions 3-in-1 - the tranzition's sides are fairly narrow, and the padding compresses...
The Tranzition's sides are fairly narrow, and the padding compresses too easily, creating more discomfort than the overall looks imply.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Comfort


This Graco is below the average booster for comfort. The padding is like a pillow and lacks support, with an instant hard plastic feeling when pressure is applied. We suspect there will be pressure points. The armrests are fully padded, however, and little ones might like having padding over resting legs against bare plastic.

graco tranzitions 3-in-1 - the tranzition's headrest is somewhat pushed forward and requires...
The Tranzition's headrest is somewhat pushed forward and requires reclining the entire booster to overcome its discomfort.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The fabric is soft, and our tester liked it until she sat in it and could feel the seam in the cover. The headrest seemed to push the head outward awkwardly and we had to slightly recline the seat to rectify this problem. It is a small thing, but if you want to sit upright, it isn't great for head position.

graco tranzitions 3-in-1 - the overall quality of the tranzitions just couldn't keep up with...
The overall quality of the Tranzitions just couldn't keep up with the stiff competition.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Quality


The Tranzitions is not the best-ranked option for quality, with a performance below the average. There isn't much padding on this seat, and when you remove the cover, it looks really uncomfortable. The headrest is mostly a hunk of plastic, and it's disappointing there isn't more here for impact or comfort.

The material on the cover is okay and feels like a microfiber. The cover is held snug to the seat with elastic bands and doesn't come undone, but it looks less polished than those where the cover slides into slots and hides the cover edge.

graco tranzitions 3-in-1 - while it has some interesting features, overall, the tranzitions had...
While it has some interesting features, overall, the Tranzitions had trouble keeping up with competitors in key metrics like crash test analysis.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1?


The Tranzitions is an easy-to-use high-backed booster from Graco with a relatively reasonable price for this lineup of booster options. However, it didn't perform that well in our tests, with below average scores in every metric we tested but ease of use. With lower crash test results and problems with comfort and quality, it isn't a booster we recommend, and we believe there are better options, no matter what your hopes might be.

What Other Booster Seat Should You Consider?


The Chicco KidFit Zip Air Plus 2-in-1 is our favorite option and the one we'd recommend to most families. With a below-average price and one of the highest scores for crash test analysis, it is hard to beat this thoughtfully designed option. This Chicco performed well for comfort with a leg lounger feature and is easy to use with LATCH installation. If you want the best crash test results and a high-quality option with more adjustability, the Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 120 is easy to use, super comfortable, and outperforms most of the competition in crash testing.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz