In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Graco Extend2Fit Review

Best crash test results on a budget-friendly seat that lets little ones sit rear-facing for longer
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $200 List | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Best crash test results, rear-facing till 50 lbs, price
Cons:  Not the best quality, harder belt installation
Manufacturer:   Graco
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jun 12, 2019
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 17
  • Crash Test - 35% 9
  • Ease Of Install - LATCH - 20% 8
  • Ease Of Install - Belt - 15% 7
  • Ease Of Use - 15% 7
  • Comfort / Quality - 10% 6
  • Weight / Size - 5% 5

The Skinny

The Graco Extend2Fit is a higher-end Graco with impressive top crash test results. This seat is relatively lightweight and easy to use, with dual cup holders, side harness retainers, and a cool footrest that provides additional legroom when rear-facing. The Extend2Fit can remain rear-facing up to 50 lbs, making it relatively unique, and it sports a no-rethread harness height adjustment you can operate with your baby in the seat. This Graco is almost 19 inches wide, which makes it a challenge to fit three safety seats across or two seats and an adult. It can be slightly harder to install, and the quality isn't as nice as similarly priced options. However, this seat has the best crash test results, a budget-friendly price, and children can remain rear-facing longer (which is safer). So if you want the best crash test results, then this Graco could be the one for you.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Graco company started in 1953 after Graco Metal Products decided to shift gears by hiring an engineer to design new types of products. Rex Thomas, along with David Saint, was inspired by an outdoor glider to create the first baby swing. The unique swing went on to sell millions catapulting Graco onto the baby gear scene. Over the years, Graco has continued to design and create useful gear including car seats, strollers, play yards, and more.

Performance Comparison



The headrest of the Extend2Fit has dense EPS foam for impact absorption in addition to the padding that is part of the main shell.
The headrest of the Extend2Fit has dense EPS foam for impact absorption in addition to the padding that is part of the main shell.

Crash Test


The Extend2Fit earned impressive crash test results which makes it the top product in this metric.


While this Graco did not earn the top results for the head sensor (HIC) or the chest clip sensor (g clip), it did have the best-combined sensor results for the group. While every car seat on the market in the US must meet or exceed the Federal guidelines outlined in FMVSS 213, some seats do a better job than others with more impressive results that indicate an additional margin of protection. The Graco is definitely one of these seats.

This Graco has a HIC result of 214 Gs where the high is 1000 and a lower result is better. The best result for this sensor is 186 earned by the Britax Allegiance. The image below shows a comparison of the Extend2Fit and the Allegiance.

The Extend2Fit has a HIC result of 214 which is one of the best in the group. The graph shows this value in comparison to the best in the group of 186 earned by the Essentials by Britax Allegiance.
The Extend2Fit has a HIC result of 214 which is one of the best in the group. The graph shows this value in comparison to the best in the group of 186 earned by the Essentials by Britax Allegiance.
The Extend2Fit has a better than average chest sensor result with a 40 Gs  but it isn't enough to keep up with the Clek Foonf and its result of 33.4 Gs.
The Extend2Fit has a better than average chest sensor result with a 40 Gs, but it isn't enough to keep up with the Clek Foonf and its result of 33.4 Gs.

The Extend2Fit chest clip sensor result is 40 where the maximum allowed is 60, and a lower result is better. This result is impressive but can't compete with the Clek Foonf and its 33.4 Gs result. The image above shows the two in comparison. Only three products earned a better result during testing.

Installing the Extend2Fit using the LATCH method isn't difficult  but the one-sided tightening strap made it more difficult to secure the seat than competition with center straps or self-ratcheting features.
The LATCH system for the Extend2Fit forward-facing configuration uses the same belt pathway as the vehicle belt.

Ease of Install - LATCH


If possible, you want to choose LATCH anchor installation for your Extend2Fit because it is easier.


This method is not only easier but for the most part, creates a more stable seat.

The Extend2Fit has the push button style LATCH anchor we believe are easier to use both for attaching to the car and removal.
The Extend2Fit has the push button style LATCH anchor we believe are easier to use both for attaching to the car and removal.

This Graco has the push button style of LATCH anchor which we feel is easier to use, especially when trying to remove the clip from the car. The LATCH straps use the same belt pathway you use for the vehicle belt installation, but it only has a one-sided strap pull for tightening. This can be challenging compared to options with unique tightening methods like self-ratcheting straps and center pull tightening.

THe Extend2Fit level is a metal ball in a plastic case on the sie of the seat. The acceptable angle for installation is based on the age of your child.
Reclining the Extend2Fit will help you achieve the correct angle during installation.

The Graco has a side level that consists of a metal ball in a plastic case. This level helps parents determine when they have the seat properly installed. The angle adjustment on the Extend2Fit is simple and adjusts the angle to assist with installation.

The rear-facing configuration of the Extend2Fit using the vehicle belt was the most difficult installation method to perform and get a stable feeling seat in the end.
The belt pathway on the Extend2Fit is harder to use than the competition.

Ease of Install - Belt


Installing the Extend2Fit using your vehicle belt is going to be your toughest challenge with this Graco with a lower performance than its LATCH installation.


In the event that your vehicle doesn't have LATCH anchors in your chosen position, or your little one has outgrown the LATCH connectors, you'll need to install your seat using the vehicle belt.

Rear-facing installation for the Extend2Fit was the most challenging installation for us with an increased difficulty getting the seat stable.
Rear-facing installation for the Extend2Fit was the most challenging installation for us with an increased difficulty getting the seat stable.

For the rear-facing configuration, which the Extend2Fit can remain up to 50 lbs, the belt pathway runs through the foot end of the seat (above left). It is easy enough to find, but you do need to navigate without seeing it. Changing the belt from front to back is also a pain unless you remove the fabric which is another degree of difficulty. This Graco doesn't have a belt lock-off which we find helps with stability, but this one wasn't as wobbly as some of the other options that lack the lock-off. We had the most difficulty getting this seat installed in the rear-facing position.

The belt path for the Extend2Fit forward-facing configuration is harder to use because you can't see what is going on. Removing the cover for visibility is also challenging.
The belt path for the Extend2Fit forward-facing configuration is harder to use because you can't see what is going on. Removing the cover for visibility is also challenging.

Installing forward facing uses a belt pathway on the back of the seat near the seat bottom. This method is easier with a lap-only belt but can be done with a lap/shoulder belt as well. The Extend2Fit is the most stable in the forward-facing configuration using the lap/shoulder belt.

The Extend2Fit is easy to use with the second highest ease of use score in the group.
The Extend2Fit is easy to use with the second highest ease of use score in the group.

Ease of Use


The Extend2Fit is one of the easier options to use in the group.


The features and daily functionality of this Graco make it a pleasure to use compared to much of the competition.

The chest clip of this Graco is convoluted and not intuitive.
The chest clip of this Graco is convoluted and not intuitive.

Harness


The Extend2Fit buckle is similar to the one found on the Britax products. It is somewhat stiff but easy to use. The chest clip n the other hand is convoluted and not as intuitive as the competition.

The Extend2Fit has a tightening strap on the foot and a harness release button hidden under the fabric and out of the sight of little ones.
The Extend2Fit has a tightening strap on the foot and a harness release button hidden under the fabric and out of the sight of little ones.

The padding on the shoulder straps can get in the way of adjusting and tightening the harness to fit. While they may add comfort, they can be cumbersome. The harness is tightened with a pull strap at the foot of the seat and released with a button above the strap under some fabric.

The Extend2Fit has a non-rethread adjustable harness assembly with ten positions. This features can be used with your little one still in the seat.
The Extend2Fit cover has a built-in harness retainer system to keep the harness open so you don't need to search for it after you put the baby inside.

This Graco has a no-rethread harness assembly to change shoulder heights. It has 10 settings and the crotch strap has 2 for a more specialized fit. It is easy to operate with a lever squeeze (above left) and it moves smoothly up and down. The harness can be retained on each side (above right) so you don't need to search for the harness under the baby. It's a nice feature but like other similar designs, we think most parents will stop using it after a few months.

The LATCH anchors on this Graco click onto the shell side about halfway up the seat back.
The Extend2Fit user manual fits in a frame on the top side of the base. This keeps it out of the way and free from the spill and vomit zone.

LATCH Storage


The LATCH anchors attach to the underside lip of the Graco shell on either side (above left). This storage design keeps the anchors out of the way, but also leaves them exposed for possible play by little ones. The manual stores on the base under the seat (above right) where it is easy to access but out of the way of spills and potential vomit.

Cover


The Graco cover is challenging to get off, but once you do it is machine washable in cold water. We think this is a huge advantage over hand washing or spot cleaning of car seat covers. It can't go in the drier, however, and must be line dried.

The Extend2Fit has a footrest that extends legroom up to 5 inches allowing little ones to remain comfortable rear-facing for longer.
The Extend2Fit has a footrest that extends legroom up to 5 inches allowing little ones to remain comfortable rear-facing for longer.

Comfort/Quality


Like most Graco products we've tested the Extend2Fit is about average for quality and comfort.


While the Extend2Fit seat is a good looking option with adequate padding and friendly fabric, it doesn't feel as durable or sturdy as much of the competition. The padding could be thicker for better comfort and the fabric weave is loose indicating it will grab dirty and may not last. The fabric also doesn't cover the shell as well as the competition with the front of the cover coming untucked frequently on our seat.

The Extend2Fit is more self-contained than the Graco MyRide 65 LX  but it isn't as sleek and contained as much of the competition.
The Extend2Fit bottom has some smooth parts but there are plastic "fins" that could potentially cause indents or damage to your vehicle seat.

The shell on the Extend2Fit is better and more self-contained (above left) than the other Gracos, so it will be easier to keep clean and has less loose straps and items. The bottom (above right) has two rubber gripping pads and it is smoother than the MyRide, but it still has "fins" and narrow sharper edges that could potentially dent or damage vehicle seats.

This Graco has an extendable leg rest (rear-facing only) that provides 5 inches of additional legroom. This feature increases comfort as little legs won't dangle or be scrunched up against the vehicle seat when sitting rear-facing. It is the only seat we reviewed with this kind of feature.

The Graco Extend2Fit looks nice but struggles to keep up in a side-by-side comparison with the competition that offers materials that feel more durable and sturdy.
The Graco Extend2Fit looks nice but struggles to keep up in a side-by-side comparison with the competition that offers materials that feel more durable and sturdy.

Weight


The Extend2Fit is average for weight and width measurements.


The Extend2Fit weighs 18.7 lbs, which is light compared to some options that are between 25 and 30 lbs. It isn't light enough to consider a great travel or city seat because we suspect most parents will not want to carry almost 19 lbs for very long. The width is almost 20 inches at its widest point making it a poor choice if you need to fit three safety seats in the back seat or hope to fit two and another person. The width can potentially increase comfort, but that won't mean much if you can fit all your kids in your car.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz