Graco Nautilus Review – Is this the Best Combination Car Seat Out There?

Car seats are one of those things you don’t think about until you’ve got a screaming bundle of joy in your arms. At that point, your first instinct is to buy the next car seat you see, and you end up going through the cycle of infant car seats to forward-facing toddler seats to booster seats. Then, one day you stumble upon a Graco Nautilus Review, and you wonder, “where has this been all along?”

That is the reaction that many parents have when they first come across the Nautilus. It is a 3-in-1 combination seat, which means it can serve as a car seat for infants, a front-facing car seat, and a booster seat for toddlers aged four and over. That’s a lot of functionality in one car seat.

The Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat probably wouldn’t be your first pick since it’s advertised primarily as a combination seat. However, there’s more to it than that. Its design is practical and efficient, with the one drawback being that it is slightly bulkier than usual. This review covers the good and the bad, so you can make an informed decision before buying the Nautilus.


Why it’s so great with the Graco Nautilus

1. It is the last car seat you will need

Other than the infant car seat for newborns that you will need until your baby is at least 20 months old, the Nautilus is likely the last car seat you will need to buy. Graco says that the seat is designed to grow with your baby. Its high back and seat width certainly leave plenty of room for growth.

The Nautilus can be used by babies of 22 months to 69 months, so it will serve your child until they’re well out of their toddler stages.

2. You have a few installation options at your disposal

If you’re sharing the car with your spouse, the last thing you need is a car seat that’s always a hassle to install and uninstall. Even without using the seat belt, the Nautilus installs pretty easily using latches. It seems small, but this little feature makes a world of difference when it comes to setting up and taking out the car seat.

3. There’s cup holders and storage galore

It’s always nice to have an extra cup holder in your car. They make a huge difference, and so does extra storage space. The Nautilus has both: cup holders and storage pockets. They provide a convenient space for your kids’ snacks and toys. You don’t have to keep reaching into the glove compartment while driving to get them their favorite action figure.

4. Lasts about eight years

The general lifespan of the Graco Nautilus is about 6 years, but its booster seat can last up to 8 years. This takes us back to the first point: this car seat is probably the only one you’ll ever need. It lasts for the entire duration of your kid’s childhood and literally grows with them through the various stages.

It’s excellent value for money when you consider that the Nautilus is not very expensive and that it does the work of three different types of car seats.

Where the Graco Nautilus falls short

1. Hard to clean

The search for a car seat with easy to clean padding continues because the Nautilus is no different. It’s disappointing because Graco caught our attention with the other features of this car seat.

Removing the padding for cleaning is still a struggle, so you’ll be dreading the cleaning sessions before long.

2. The headrest sort of leans forward

Comfort for your baby and convenience for you are two things you look for when buying a car seat, so it’s a bit concerning to see the Nautilus fall short on the first. There’s nothing particularly wrong about the seat or the amount of padding; it’s perfectly comfortable. The headrest, though, could use a little tweaking.

It leans forward a little when the seat is upright, so your child remains in an almost perpetually slumped position. It doesn’t look very comfortable, and though your child probably won’t make a fuss about it, you might not be so graceful. Fortunately, the Nautilus can recline, so you can always adjust it to be more comfortable.

3. It is a bulky car seat

The Nautilus is quite bulky, and normally you can only fit one of them in your backseat or two, but it will be a tight squeeze.

Perks of having a car seat with some heft is that they’re generally better at absorbing impact. On the downside, you won’t enjoy carrying it or installing it as much on account of its weight.

Notable Features

· Safety measures – the Nautilus has EPS impact-absorbing foam lining as well as a heavy duty steel frame.

· Storage – cup holders and storage pockets give you plenty of room to store your kids’ stuff.

· Harness – the security harness is easy to buckle but not too easy that your kids can unbuckle themselves.

· Build quality – excellent material quality and good craftsmanship make the Nautilus a decently built entry-level car seat that’s got a lot to offer.

Final word about our Graco Nautilus review

The Nautilus was usurped from the title of the best car seat by the TranZitions, Graco’s response to the Nautilus’ shortcomings. However, it still has some advantages. For instance, it has a better frame, better impact/energy management, excellent build quality, and a great price. It is a combination seat that can be used by babies as young as 22 months old, and it has a lifespan of up to 8 years.

Whether it’s a booster seat, an infant car seat, or a front-facing seat you’re after, the Nautilus is all that and more. In many ways, it is the perfect entry-level combination car seat for first-time parents, but as this Graco Nautilus review has shown us, it has a lot more to offer than just that.

Looking for a Graco Nautilus be sure to check out Amazon here. They usually have the best price and reviews.

Any question be sure to leave a review below.