Eleven years before Graco began the production of baby products they were known as the Graco Metal Products company. In 1953, engineer Rex Thomas was tasked with creating new products for Graco. With the help of engineer David Saint, he created the first automatic baby swing. Graco moved forward making additional baby gear including their famous Playyards, strollers, car seats, and more making them one of the leading manufacturers of baby products worldwide.
The Graco MyRide 65 LX
The following chart shows the overall scores for the car seats we bought and tested for this review including the Graco MyRide 65 LX (in blue).
The sections below provide detailed information on how the MyRide performed during testing in each metric.
The Graco has a thick layer of EPS foam in the head region of the shell for energy absorption in the event of a crash
The crash test data for the Graco we used in our review are the results from sled crash tests designed to the exact specifications as those used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA designed crash tests are created to ensure each seat meets the guidelines described in FMVSS 213. The Graco exceeds the minimum safety results required by law. All of the seats we tested meet or exceed the guidelines so they are considered safe. The Federal maximum allowed G-forces for the head sensor are 1000, and the Graco results indicated 343.2; this is significantly below the maximum allowable.
The comparison charts show the results from the head and chest sensors located in the test dummy used during the Graco car seat tests (in black). Also shown in the charts are the sled crash sensor results for the highest scoring products for each sensor for comparison purposes.
The Essentials by Britax Allegiance has the best HIC results while the MyRide value is 343.2.
The Graco MyRide chest sensor results compared to those of the Clek Foonf chest sensor.
The Essentials by Britax Allegiance head sensor has the lowest test result data for G-forces recorded in its head sensor and the Clek Foonf chest sensor has the least amount of G-forces than the other seats that went through testing (both shown in green).
Installing the Graco in the rear facing position required the use of a rolled towel to get the proper angle
Ease of Install - LATCH
We tested each seat in at least three different cars with multiple testers to average the scores for side-by-side comparison. The Graco fared below average with a 5 of 10 with the average being a 7. This score is for both the rear facing and forward facing configurations.
Using LATCH should be more straightforward for installation than the vehicle belt, but that is not what we found with this Graco model. We liked that this seat had different LATCH connectors for forward facing vs. rear facing, so you don't have to reroute them to change seat direction, but we had to use a towel in the rear facing configuration to get the proper angle. It is easier in the forward facing position than the rear, but it still isn't as easy as some of the competition. The recline adjusts with flip-out feet on the bottom of the seat (above left) and is usable with the seat installed. You need to check for proper angle alignment using the side level indicator (above right).
The LATCH position makes the straps difficult to tighten as much as you need to for a secure feeling fit. It would be easier to install if the seat bottom was narrower so that it didn't get in the way of using the anchors or tightening the strap. It would also fare better if there were an anti-rebound bar so that it didn't rotate so much. Loosening the LATCH anchors is tough, and we struggled to get it to release once we did get it tight. Thankfully you won't need to do this very often, but when you do, you might need help it is such a bear.
While we had difficulty installing the Graco in most cars and directions, it seemed most stable forward facing
Ease of Install - Belt
Installing the seat using the vehicle belt earned it a slightly higher score than its LATCH score of 6 of 10. This result is below average for the group (which is 7).
The belt pathway is different for the rear-facing configuration (above left) and the forward-facing configuration (above right).
Installing the Graco with the vehicle belt is marginally easier than the LATCH method
We still needed a towel for installing the seat in the rear-facing position with the vehicle belt. The process itself is relatively quick and painless as far as the threading of the seat belt. Rebound is also a problem when installing with the belt, but we did feel like it was more secure with the seatbelt than the LATCH, and we liked how it felt installed in our test truck with a flat bench seat and lap-only belt. It almost felt like part of the car when installed in the truck, and we think at least part of this is the lack of angle in the vehicle seat itself.
Ease of Use
This Graco seat earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use, which is just over the average for the metric.
The Graco has one of the most difficult buckles in the review to use, but it is the chest clip we really didn't like
The buckle on the Graco isn't much better than the buckles we experienced on the Graco infant seats. While it isn't the most difficult buckle in the group, it isn't the easiest either. The chest clip also failed to impress, and some users felt it was the worst of the bunch with very small buttons to operate. So small in fact that larger fingers might have trouble depressing the buttons far enough to unsnap the clip.
The harness release button and tightening strap on the Graco MyRide 65 LX are both located near the foot of the seat and they are the easiest ones in the group to use.
The shoulder height adjustment has five positions with a crotch strap that only has one. It is a rethread adjustment, so you will need to remove the straps from the back plate and unthread them from the slots and then rethread through the correct height. This process is time-consuming and must be done with the baby out of the seat and the seat out of the car if it is front facing. For these reasons, we like the non-rethread adjustment found on other seats better and think parents are more likely to make a change when needed instead of waiting for a more convenient time. The harness is one of the easiest to tighten, and we liked that the release button can be lifted or depressed to loosen the harness.
The LATCH clips on the Graco hook onto the back of the seat for storage
The LATCH anchors clip both high and low on the sides of the shell for storage when not in use. This location isn't the best, and it means you could be leaving some strap trailing behind you. The tether clips to the back of the frame. This storage does not keep the straps out of the way, and while it isn't as crucial as the infant seats, it still seems like an oversight to offer storage that doesn't get the straps out of the way. This storage won't be an issue when you attach with LATCH, but after your child reaches the maximum weight for the LATCH method, you will be forced to use the belt and then faced with what to do with the anchors.
The fabric for the Graco can be machine washed in cold water and line dried. This possibility is a plus over the seats that are hand wash or wipe to clean only. With the potential children have of making a mess or merely getting sick, it is nice to know the cover can be removed and thoroughly cleaned.
The cover of the Graco wraps securely around all the edges of the seat, but it doesn't look as sleek as some of the competition
For comfort and quality, the Graco earned a 5 of 10, which is below the average of 6 for the group. This Graco seemed on par with the other Graco products we have reviewed in the past with a quality feel that pales in comparison to the competition when assessed side-by-side.
The infant insert on the Graco gives it additional padding. The fabric wraps around the edges of the seat and tucks nicely under the dual cup holders for a smooth look
The feel of the fabric is relatively soft to the touch but still feels durable. It is softer than the Britax products, but it isn't as nice as the Clek Foonf. The fabric is not liquid resistant, but it doesn't absorb spills either. The padding under the cover is on the thin side, and you can feel every bump and groove under the seat. The infant insert helps a little, but it isn't a great help, and it will disappear as soon as your baby outgrows it. While some of the seats have dense padding or feel somewhat hard to the touch, that is still preferable to a product like this with superficial padding and an uneven plastic surface underneath.
The back of the shell on the Graco looks difficult to clean with lots of creveases
The Graco outer shell is open without closed or smooth areas. It has compartments that are difficult to clean but could theoretically keep the weight low. The impact absorbing foam on this seat is Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). It is dense and more brittle than the alternative Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) that doesn't off-gas and is somewhat more flexible than the EPS.
The bottom of the Graco has a lot of protruding parts and edges thanks to the flip out recline feet
The fabric wrapping around the shell goes a long way in improving the overall fit and finish of this seat. The two-tone helps make the seat look better than it is and the way it wraps around the shell and hides the frame gives it an overall sleeker finish that some of the competition that hooks onto the shell with elastic looks. The bottom is completely exposed and not smooth which could potentially cause damage to the vehicle seat at some point after consistent wear and tear. Unlike seats like the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible or the Clek Foonf, this Graco doesn't seem that concerned with the overall quality or feel the seat.
The weight of the Graco seat includes the infant insert additions
The weight of a convertible style seat isn't as much of a concern as the weight of the carrier of the infant car seat, but it might be a concern for parents who live in an urban environment or those who plan to travel with their children. The majority of parents will be installing the seat and are unlikely to move it very often. If they do move it, it is usually just from one car to another, and the distance is minimal. The MyRide weighs over 14 lbs, which makes it one of the lighter options in the group. Measuring a little over 20 inches, it is wider than several of the other seats. The width of this seat hurt it overall for weight and size giving it a score of 6 of 10.