Graco Contender Convertible Car Seat Review

Graco Contender Convertible Car Seat Review: Your Most Affordable and Easy To Use Car Seat Every Time

Graco’s Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat is another wonder car seat having two seats in one. Unlike most other car seats out there, it  Contender convertible car seat makes it easy for children from parents on a very tight budget to enjoy many of the premium features that come with much more expensive seats without subjecting such parents to pay a premium price.

Why Buy The Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat?

Rear- Car Facing From 5-40 Pounds

The Graco convertible car seat is one such car seat that isn’t compared to any in terms of being a rear-facing infant car seat fit for babies from 5 – 40 Pounds. And what this means is that it allows your child to start with the rear-facing seat first and thereafter, if the child wishes or is ready for switching to the other way round (forward-facing) he can easily convert to a forward-facing toddler car seat when the child weighs from between 22 – 65 Pounds. What a wonderful seat allowing your child an uncommon opportunity to protect him while using the convertible car seat comfortably and confidently for such long years.

Easy To Use Convertible Rear-Facing Facilities

One major problem reportedly faced by many parents especially American parents is with installing and using their car seat correctly and perfectly. With the advent of the Graco Contender for quite some time now, it has established itself as one company ready to produce a solid, easy-to-use convertible car seat that will suit or meet the needs of most parents when it comes to ease of use and having a wonderful improvement to several car seats previously released to the market. This is clear seen and proven in the Graco’s great rear-facing capabilities thereby allowing easy turning of the seat into a forward-facing car seat that can serve your child all through to booster age, plus additional better features of ease of installation and amazing cup holder for your child’s enjoyment while travelling with you in your car.

Very Affordable

The last but not the least reason for choosing the Graco contender convertible seat for parents is the fact that it is again the only car seat that you can rarely get at a price that will necessarily require you to spend to the roof and nothing will be sacrificed in terms of this low price for the features you can get with other self-acclaimed best car seats out there.

Graco Contender Convertible Car Seat – Weight and Height Limits:

If you’re a parent like some people who love to have or already have very small babies, then the Contender convertible car seat is your best pick as it is fit for a child weighing 4 lbs. This again is usually not common with most convertible car seats where the weight starts from 5 lbs and above and as such the Contender 65 (and the various other editions of Graco convertibles) have an additional win here over the competition as far as this weight issue is concerned.

One amazing thing and of course the surprising thing I also notice in this car seat is that at that low price it still manages to make a bit of loving compromise as regards common maximum weight and height limits for convertible car seats. This, I must say is done not in the slightest at your child’s discomfort but to offer him the uncommon opportunity to keep using his Contender 65 car seat right from birth to when he reaches either more than 65 lbs in weight or 49 inches in height. Kudos to Graco for this wonderful plus!


However, after all said and done, there is a minor con with the Contender 65 (including the rest of the Graco’s car seat editions) and that is in the area of its rear-facing weight limit which suitable for child at just 40 lbs., though this isn’t a serious downside or even one at all as I would say because it’s within the normal range for convertible seats. The only reason I would have wanted to call this a downside before is because as with other convertible seats, the Graco 65 wouldn’t allow the kind of extended rear-facing that you can get with some other convertible seats on the market.

Up to the age 3 or beyond your child should still be able to rear-face but one very important is that if you choose to go beyond 3 years you should be ready to take into cognizance a genuine extended rear-facing seat and that’s another extra option which will cost some good amount of money.

Again, you should be careful with going about switching your baby around carelessly to forwards-face at 22 lbs because the fact that this is allowed doesn’t mean you should abuse it or you should even do. If going by me, I would be blunt with you that you shouldn’t. Why do I discourage switching to forward-facing? Simple! I insist on rear-facing as it’s much safer than forwards-facing and you will also want to also allow your child continue with that for as long as they are within the required height and weight limits.

When talking about the rear-facing height limit you should understand that it is not usually in regards to your child’s standing height, but what it’s meant or a rule is that the top of the child’s head should be at least 1 inch below the headrest adjustment button when you extend it fully.

For many children, there is the possibility that they’ll still be able to use their seat for the full 40 lbs weight limit, this can be very impossible with many other convertible seats where rear-facing weight limits are unrealistically higher.

So, one would expect that the overall limit of 65 lbs or 49 inches given is supposed to mean that most children could continue with using their Graco Contender 65 seat through to when they reach the age of 6 or 7.

My Recommendation

If you want to play safe I would advise that you keep within the American Academy of Pediatrics’ minimum guidelines of rear-facing to at least age 2 before switching to forward-facing. That is much safer for you and anything other than that can be very risky.


The American Academy of Pediatrics Age / Weight Recommendations

The recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics is that children be rear-facing until age two or upon reaching the maximum rear-facing height and weight rating for their seat and also the kid should stay harnessed for as long as possible.

  • Rear-facing is recommended and suitable for infants weighing 5 – 40 lbs.
  • Forward-facing toddlers weighing 22 – 65 lbs.

Contender Features:

  • Zero re-thread harness plus 8-position headrest
  • 2 buckle positions or crotch strap
  • Color-coded recline flip-foot
  • Safe and approved by FAA for use on aircraft
  • The seat expires until after 7 year
  • Indicator and 3-position recline
  • The seat pads can be machine washed
  • Allows LATCH installation which is very easy when installing with hassle-free in the rear-facing position
  • Includes Cup holder
  • Comes with an excellent EPS for foam absorption which is good for effective impact energy management
  • Adjustable 5-point front harness system
  • Perfect body support plus removable head
  • Includes manual video of the Graco Contender 65 to guide you
  • Has a shell height of 28 inches

Installing Graco Convertible Car Seat

Installing the Graco car seat is easy with different options available for you to use ranging from using either the lower LATCH strap or the vehicle seat belt. If you choose to go with the LATCH strap, for instance, it is safer as the latch is securely and tightly attached to the left side of the cars eat with a metal bar thereby ensuring that it will never get twisted in the harness straps. The only caveat here which, of course, is common with any forward-facing installation, is that you must always make sure that you use the top tether irrespective of any of the above-mentioned installation methods (seat belt or LATCH strap) you use.

Installing With Center LATCH

Graco gives the option of installing using the LATCH located at the center seating position depending on what the vehicle manufacturer allows.

Tips To Buy Graco Contender Convertible Car Seat

So, you’re ready to buy your Graco 65 seat? The seat comes in different colors and below is some of the steps you can take to ensure you buy the right product. The tips are applicable to all car seats.

  • Decide on where to buy the Graco Contender 65. The best place for you is via as there many benefits for you doing this. You can order via the link here [Please insert your affiliate link]
  • Search for the right or latest price of the Contender 65
  • Check what the buyer’s reviews are saying about the product. Again, the best place to get reliable and verified reviews is via com [Insert your link here instead]
  • Check for the safety Information


  • The harness is easy to use
  • The car seat is lightweight


  • There is difficulty with tightening or loosening the straps and buckles.

Graco Contender Convertible Car Seat Review: Conclusion

Going by the benefit and the price of the Graco convertible seat, it’s logical to conclude that this is the best pick of convertible car seat for parents a car seat that is easy to use, affordable and lightweight. These three features are key features that ordinarily any parent should look for in deciding the car seat to buy. Thankfully, you have all now! So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get your Graco Contender Convertible Car Seat here.


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