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Graco Nautilus

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October 12th, 2009, 10:56 AM
::er!ca::'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 36,283
Our Graco Nautilus Review!

Purchased from Toys R Us for about $150 (instore price has gone up since, but can be purchased online for $145 plus 97 cent shipping at WalMart.com)

FORWARD FACING ONLY 3-in-1 car seat
Harnesses forward facing from 20 to 65 pounds, and at least 27 inches tall.
High back booster from 30 to 100 pounds, and at least 38 inches tall.
No back booster from 40 to 100 pounds, and at least 40 inches tall.

**Even though the manufacturer allows this seat to be used at 20 lbs & 27 inches, I strongly urge parents to keep their children rear facing for at least 2 years and 30 pounds as it is 500% safer than forward facing and recommended by the AAP! I also do not recommend using a booster seat until a child is at least 4 years old, 40 inches, AND 40 pounds with the maturity to sit in the seat correctly 100% of the time. This is also a bare minimum, and it's safer to keep children harnessed to 6 years of age.**

We purchased the Graco Nautilus for our (then) 3 year old, and fell in love with it immediately!

This car seat has 4 harness slots, the measurements are the following:
4 (top) = 18.25-18.5 inches
3 = 16 inches
2 = 13.75 inches
1 (bottom) = 11.75 inches

The seat back with the headrest raised all the way up is 29 inches
WIth the headrest raised all the way up, the height of the belt guide at it's highest is about 20 inches
The seat depth (front to back) is 13 inches
The seating area is 12 inches wide

The car seat at it's widest point on the bottom is 19 inches (outside edge of cup holder across to the other edge)
The car seat at it's widest point on the back of the seat is 18 inches

The seat weighs 26 pounds.

There are also 2 crotch strap placements, in which you use the one closest to your child's body without being underneath it. *I believe Graco has now approved the use of the furthest out crotch strap being underneat the child but the buckle itself can NOT be under the child.

There is an adjustable headrest that you move up as your child grows. As the headrest moves up, it exposes the higher harness slots. The headrest also has red belt guides for when you use the seat as a high back booster. The headrest gets moved up as your child grows, positioning the seat belt in the correct place at your child's shoulders. These red belt guides are also to be placed at your child's shoulder leven when using the harness so that the headwings are in the proper place.

There is a built in cup holder, and two little "cubby holes" for your child to store things like small toys, a little notebook, crayons, etc. Our gets lots of use!!!

The car seat has to be assembled when it arrives, but it's very easy and the instructions are in the owner's manual. The manual gives great picture tutorials for adjusting the harness in different slots too. It's very easy, just follow the given steps.

The harness adjuster strap si very smooth when tightening the harness. I give it one smooth tug and Brinlee is good to go. the seat comes with harness straps. It also comes with a body support when using it on the lowest harness setting. However, I don't recommend this seat for a child that small... so I'd hope it never needs to be used!

Graco designs their harness to lay close to the neck so that if a parent doesn't tighten the harness correctly (tight enough) it's going to help prevent it from slipping off the child's shoulders.

The seat can be installed with the seat belt or LATCH while using it in the harnessing mode. We only do a seat belt install because our vehicles don't have LATCH. It's not mandatory, but it's highly recommended to top tether the seat to reduce head excursion (see pg 55 of the manual).

You can ONLY use the seat belt when using the seat in either booster modes. DO NOT USE LATCH WHILE IN BOOSTER MODE. You can NOT use a lap-only belt while in booster mode.

The LATCH straps are stored on the seat so they don't fly around while not in use.

The entire base of the car seat MUST be on the vehicle seat. Graco does NOT allow for any hangover on this car seat.

This car seat is FAA approved, but only in the harnessing mode.

Overall, we absolutely LOVE this seat! It's easy to use and easy to install. It's comfortable for Brinlee, she's never complained. It's going to allow us to harness her a LONG time! The price is great, especially for what this seat offers. The only con I can think of is the weight of this seat. It is heavy. Thankfully we don't have to move the seat around very much, it just stays installed in my vehicle and we have one for DH's vehicle. I highly recommend this seat for children who have outgrown their rear facing seat.

Here are a couple pictures of Brinlee using her seat! I'll add more soon

Last edited by ::er!ca::; February 23rd, 2010 at 09:25 AM.
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January 22nd, 2010, 08:45 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
We also love this seat. Ben likes the extra compartments to hold his little toys, and he loves having a cup holder. My only complaint is that the straps occasionally get tangled in the buckle, so I have to fix them before going anywhere. I've never seen a seat that doesn't do this, so eh... not a huge deal.
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February 12th, 2010, 09:08 AM
Madeline410's Avatar Maddie
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 48,199
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Just wanted to add a bit here. We love this seat!!! It is SO easy to install and use. My DS loves it. He is 4 years and 4 months old. 35-36 lbs and 40 inches tall. He sometimes rides RFing in the Complete Air, but this is his main seat now. I think with this seat, you get more than your moneys worth.

(Don't mind his silly faces, he does it so I stop taking pics LOL)

in harness mode

*Note, I would never put a 4 year old in a booster, this is just to see how it fits. It also shows misuse, the harness is still attached and it needs to be removed when used in booster mode*
The lap belt is a little higher than I'd like, but then again he will grow before he uses a booster.

Claire is 26 months old, 28 lbs and 37 in. She does not ride FF, this is just to show how a child her size fits. (We always recommend keeping children RF until at least 2, but 3-4 is much better )

95% of kids aren't in their car seats safely.
Click here to see how your child should look!

A rear-facing child is 75% less likely to die in a crash. Click here to learn more!

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to watch my installation videos,
click HERE!

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March 8th, 2010, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1
thanks so much for posting these pictures. My daughter and son are about the same size as yours. We are heading out this weekend to get these seats and I so enjoyed knowing how well they will fit.
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January 26th, 2011, 09:16 AM
::er!ca::'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 36,283
Child's stats: 5 yrs 8 months; 40 pounds; 44.5 inches

Overall, the belt fit was good!

The shoulder belt fits flat across her chest and lays perfectly over her shoulder. The bottom of the lap belt is laying low on her thighs, it is on the bony pelvic area and not on the soft tissue around her belly button.

(don't mind the crotch strap between her legs, she still rides in harness mode)

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graco nautilus, nauti, nautilus

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