Last Updated on March 28, 2021
Chicco and Graco are both leaders in the car seat industry. Many parents wonder whether Chicco vs Graco car seat is the optimal choice for their little one. Below, we’ll share more information about both of these brands and review 4 of the top car seat options from each manufacturer to help you select the absolute best seat to keep your precious child safe and secure.
Things to Consider When Trying to Decide Between Chicco vs Graco car Seats
There aren’t many things as important as the safety of your child when you’re a parent. Thankfully, technology, testing, and increased awareness have allowed car seat manufacturers to offer consumers some very safe car seats to keep babies, toddlers, and older children safe in the event of a car crash.
There are several things to keep in mind before purchasing a car seat. Use our short buying guide below to identify some of the critical features that are especially important to you. This can make your decision between Chicco vs Graco car seat easier. Or…scroll straight down to reviews 😊
1. Should you get an Infant Carrier or go with a Convertible car Seat from day one?
One of the most significant decisions many new parents (or soon-to-be parents) need to make is whether they want to purchase an infant carrier car seat or a convertible model.
Both Chicco and Graco Infant Carriers Will Save you a lot of Time and Make Your Life Easier in the First Year
Many dads see the former as a more convenient option for newborns and younger babies. Both Chicco and Graco infant seats come with an easy-to-insert base. You can effortlessly remove the lightweight seat from the base and deal with securing your baby in the house. And later, simply click the carrier back into the base, and you’re ready to go.
Both Chicco and Graco allow you to directly connect their infant seats to their strollers. This will enable you to create a perfect travel system (car seat/stroller combo) as it’s not necessary to unstrap your baby from his seat and re-strap him into the stroller.
Convertible car Seats Will Save you Money as you can use Both Chicco and Graco Products for Years
Infant carriers, however, can’t be used for as long as convertible car seats. Most babies will be too large to safely fit in by the time they are one, if not earlier. The weight of an infant carrier plus the weight of a baby can also be too heavy for some parents to carry between the car and the house comfortably.
Convertible car seats are designed to be used with newborns through toddlers. These seats feature adjustable straps, and most can be installed rear-facing for babies and younger children and forward-facing for older children. Because of this convertible design, these seats are able to grow with your child and can be used for a number of years.
A downside of convertible seats is that you lose the convenience of being able to simply click your baby’s carrier into the base at the car. Instead, you’ll need to stand outside the car door and properly secure your child into their seat. This isn’t ideal on cold or rainy days.
Convertible car seats also prevent you from being able to click your baby’s car seat onto your stroller, so you’ll need to take them out of the car seat and strap them into the stroller. This can make going to the doctor’s office or running errands more time-consuming.
2. Baby’s age and Weight
If you’re looking for a car seat for a toddler or older child, it is important to know their height and weight. All car seats have a maximum weight and height capacity, and if your child is close to reaching these limits, they’ll likely outgrow the seat soon.
Look for a car seat that will still be a good fit for your child as they continue to grow. Both Chicco and Graco offer a wide selection of models with different weight limits.
3. Rear-Facing vs Forward-Facing Weight Limits
Many state laws require children to rear-face until they are at least two years old because it’s around 5 times safer in frontal crashes.
If rear-facing is a priority for you, you can find some differences between Chicco vs Graco car seats. Graco 4ever Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat (Also Sold on Amazon) has a weight limit of 120lb, and your kid can sit in a rear-facing position until 50lb. In contrast, Chicco NextFit Zip is also a convertible model, but the corresponding number is only 40lb.
This said, quite often, the limiting factor is the height of your kid. And it’s impossible to guess that beforehand. We had to opt for a forward-facing position sooner than we wanted because our boy didn’t have any more legroom.
4. Ease of Installing and Adjusting
Before you purchase a car seat, look for information about how easy it is to install. Achieving a secure install is essential in keeping your little one safe in the event of a crash. Many cities or counties also offer car seat safety checks, which may be something you want to consider since some studies suggest that around 50% of car seats are not correctly installed. Never done it myself though as the instructions are generally pretty good.
Both Chicco and Gracco top models are effortless to insert into your car, so this shouldn’t be an issue when you’re deciding between the two.
This said, there can be huge differences between some Chicco vs Gracco models regarding the ease of adjustment.
If you’re a working parent, then time is money. Buy an infant car seat with a base and a convertible model after that. It’s much easier to properly secure your newborn to a carrier inside the house and carry him or her to your car. Additionally, you can save a lot of time as you can create your own travel system.
For convertible models, look for information about securing your child in the seat and adjusting the straps. Make sure the directions look straightforward since this is something you’ll need to do for every car ride with your child.
Best car Seats for bad Back
If you’ve got a bad back, look for a car seat with a rotating base. You can rotate these seats 90 degrees to get your little one in more easily. Chicco and Graco both offer these in Europe. At the moment of writing, Chiccos Seat4Fix and Graco’s Turn2Reach are both available for the Isofix system. This said, in America, one of the best options is Cybex Siron S (also sold on Amazon) which can be secured with a seat belt. It costs a lot but may be worth it if you’ve got back issues.
All car seats sold in America must meet the US standard FMVSS 213. To comply, they are all also crash tested. So if you compare Graco products to Chicco, there shouldn’t be any difference as long as safety is concerned.
Chicco vs Graco – Brief History
Answering the Chicco vs Graco car seat question isn’t easy as both make excellent car products. But maybe you can make your decision after learning a little about each brand?
Origins of Chicco
Chicco was founded by Pietro Catelli in Italy in 1958. Catelli has just had a son named Chicco, and the event inspired him to create a company specializing in baby care and safety. Chicco products are currently available in 120 countries worldwide.
In addition to car seats, the company offers numerous other baby care and baby gear products. The company’s headquarters are located just outside of Milan, Italy.
In addition to its focus on high-quality, functional, and safe products, Chicco also strives to create stylish and fashionable products to offer its customers.
Origins of Graco
Graco first began in 1942 under the name Graco Metal Products, but the company as parents know it today really got its start in 1953. One of the company’s engineers, Rex Thomas, developed the idea for a Swyngomatic automatic baby swing, the first baby product offered by Graco. The success of this revolutionary product quickly made Graco a leading manufacturer of baby gear.
Since this time, Graco has continued the tradition of creating innovative solutions for parents of young children, such as their Pack’ n Play Playard. It’s the first travel system to allow a car seat to simply click into a stroller. Another excellent example is the first highchair that can be transformed from a highchair for babies to a booster seat for toddlers.
Chicco vs Graco car Seat- Reviews of Their 8 Best Models
The Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat is the number 1 rated infant seat in America. It offers a variety of safety and convenience features that make it an excellent option to consider.
The easy-to-install base is included in this package. The force-multiplying LATCH tightener makes it possible to insert it securely without exerting too much effort, and the spring-loaded leveling foot ensures the right angle. The car seat base also has two bubble level indicators that allow you to confirm that the base is actually installed at the correct angle.
The Chicco KeyFit 30 is designed with a baby’s comfort and safety in mind. It comes with removable supports for newborns weighing as little as 4 pounds. The seat has a five-point harness that can be secured with a single pull. An EPS energy-absorbing foam lines the carrier to ensure maximum protection against any impact. It also features a removable and adjustable canopy.
You can easily secure the infant carrier into the base in the car or remove it when you need to remove your baby from the vehicle. The carry-handle can be placed in two different positions to help you find the most comfortable way to carry your baby.
Weight of the Seat (without the base): 9lb
Capacity: The carrier can be used for babies weighing up to 30 pounds or those who are up to 30 inches tall
- The spring-loaded leveling foot, bubble indicators, and force-multiplying LATCH tightener help parents achieve a secure install of the base at the right angle. There are three different available recline positions
- You can effortlessly secure the seat to a base, and more importantly, you can release it with only one hand
- This is a good option even for premature babies since it can be used with infants weighing as little as 4 pounds. You get a removable head and body support to adjust the seat for newborns
- KeyFit 30 is compatible with Chicco stroller, so you can create your ideal travel system
- You also get a removable canopy. This doesn’t seem to be a big thing until you have to drive with the sun shining directly at your baby’s face and waking him or her every 5 minutes
- You can machine wash the newborn insert, seat cover, and shoulder pads
- There are many different colors available
- While you can install the carrier part without the base, it is not very easy to do so
- Keep in mind that it’s an infant car seat (as the name implies) and doesn’t grow with your kid
Chicco’s NextFit Zip is a convertible car seat that can be used with babies and children weighing between 5 and 65 pounds or 49 inches tall. It offers both rear- and forward-facing installation options.
Infants and toddlers can rear-face in this car seat until they reach 40 pounds or 43 inches, after which time the seat can be turned forward-facing to safely secure older children. The seat comes with a newborn positioner to ensure a secure fit for smaller babies weighing between 5 and 11 pounds. After the baby reaches 11 pounds, the positioner can be removed.
This versatile convertible seat offers a nine-position headrest with a no-rethread harness to allow for simple seat adjustments as your child grows. The harness is also padded to provide optimal comfort to children.
You can install this car seat into your car using either the seatbelt or the LATCH system. The car seat has a force-multiplying tightener for easy installation with a LATCH system and simple routing pats with integrated lock-offs for seatbelt installation.
These features make this a good option for parents who may need to move the car seat between vehicles frequently.
Weight of the Seat: 25lb
Capacity: The official weight limit is 65lb (or 49 inches)
- Installing this seat is easy with the force-multiplying tightener for LATCH systems and integrated lock-offs for seatbelt installs
- A newborn positioner is included for a proper fit for babies between 5 and 11 pounds
- You can use this car seat until children are 65 pounds or 49 inches tall
- The padding is machine washable, and the zip feature also lets you effortlessly machine wash the cover
- You also get a moveable cup holder
- This car seat comes in over 10 different colors combinations
- The rear-facing weight limit isn’t the best. Compared to the Graco Extened2Fit, this seat has a lower limit
- The base isn’t removable, so it’s pretty heavy and not ideal if you need to often move it from one car to another. Additionally, you can’t use it as a travel system for your newborn
- Keep in mind that the seat doesn’t rotate on the base. This means that it may be challenging to get your child into if you’ve got a high car
The Chicco MyFit is a forward-only facing seat that can be used as both a five-point harness or a booster seat. This seat can accommodate toddlers and older children weighing between 25 and 100 pounds.
The harness mode is designed for children between 25 and 65 pounds. It features a no-rethread harness with padding to keep children comfortable and allow for easy adjustments to ensure a safe and comfortable fit for your child. Once children outgrow the harness mode or are ready to transition to a booster seat, this model can also be used as a belt-positioner boost for children between 40 and 100 pounds.
To ensure a safe and secure fit when installing the seat, it has a four-position recline setting. This seat also has a 9-position headrest to grow with your child and keep them comfortable in both the harness and booster modes.
For easy installation, Chicco added RideRight bubble levels, LATCH connectors, and LockSure belt-tightening system to this seat.
Chicco designed this car seat with a deep ErgoBoost seat and dual-density foam padding. EPS energy-absorbing foam was also added around the head and torso parts of the seat. This seat also features a reinforced steel frame. These features work together to ensure children are fully protected in the event of a crash while also keeping them comfortable in their seats.
Weight of the Seat: 25lb
Capacity: Ideal for older children weighing between 25-100lb
- This seat can grow with your child thanks to the 9-position headrest and two different modes. You can use a typical five-point harness for younger children or convert it into a belt-positioning booster for older kids
- There are four recline positions to help provide a secure install in different vehicles and offer more comfort for your child
- You also get two cup holders
- The seat pad is machine washable
- This seat cannot be used in a rear-facing mode
- You can choose only between two different colors
For dads who only need a booster seat, take a look at the Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat. This seat can be used with children who are ready for a booster, at least four years old, weigh between 40 and 110 pounds, and are between 38 and 57 inches tall.
It offers both high-back and backless modes. There are 10 different height positions to provide the right fit for growing children.
Chicco KidFit offers LATCH connectors with Chicco’s force-multiplying tightener to help parents achieve a secure installation without over-exerting themselves. It also has a belt guide for easy installation with the seatbelt.
The seat is designed DuoGuard to ensure a child’s head and torso are fully protected. This means that the seat has a very rigid shell to resist impacts and EPS foam to also absorb the effects of force. Chicco’s ErgoBoost Comfort seats are contoured with double-foam padding, so they keep your child comfortable.
Two CupFolders are also included in this seat to hold beverages or snacks. When not in use, the CupFolders can fold to the sides to stay out of the way.
Weight of the Seat: 10lb
Capacity: For older kids weighing between 40-110lb
- This seat can be used as both a high-back and backless booster for children weighing up to 110 pounds
- It is designed with a rigid shell and impact-absorbing EPS foam
- The seat is contoured and padded to ensure children stay comfortable during car rides
- Best Chicco car seats come with foldable cup holders, and this model isn’t an exception
- You can machine wash the cover
- Children must be at least 38 inches tall and weigh 40 pounds to be able to use this car seat
If you are looking for an infant carrier car seat, you may want to take a look at the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX. This rear-facing seat can be used with infants and babies between 4 and 35 pounds who are up to 32 inches tall.
You can quickly install the base into vehicles thanks to the LATCH system and the Graco SnugLock Technology. It also features a level indicator to ensure a proper fit. The seat itself is lightweight to make it easy to carry between the house and car.
Graco added their TrueShield Technology to this seat as well to provide optimal protection against side impacts.
Weight of the Seat (without the base): 10lb
Capacity: The upper limit is 35lb or 32 inches
- The base is included in the package, and you can effortlessly insert the seat into it. So it’s a perfect infant car seat for busy working dads. The base also offers a four-position adjustable base to ensure proper positioning and installation in different vehicles
- Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 is perfect from birth as the minimum weight limit is only 4lb
- You can use this infant seat with all the Graco Click Connect strollers so you can create your ideal travel system
- The TrueShield Technology offers additional protection from side impacts
- You can adjust the handle with just one hand
- The seat offers a Silent Shade canopy to allow parents to shield their baby from the sun without disturbing their sleep by making a loud sound
- You can effortlessly remove the cover and machine wash it
- At the moment of writing, you can choose between four different colors
- You can use the seat without a base, but it’s relatively hard to tighten it properly
- It’s an infant car seat, and most babies will outgrow this seat by the time they are around one year old
The Graco Extend2Fit is a convertible car seat designed to be used with children weighing between 4 and 120 pounds. It offers both rear- and forward-facing modes to accommodate the specific safety needs of growing children.
This seat offers extended rear-facing and allows children weighing up to 50 pounds to remain rear-facing for added safety. To help taller children remain comfortable as they enjoy the safety benefits of extended rear-facing, this model also includes an adjustable extension panel to provide additional legroom. The seat will accommodate newborns weighing as little as 4 pounds, so it is also an excellent option to use as a baby’s first car seat.
The forward-facing mode can be used with children between 22 and 65 pounds. For both rear-facing and forward-facing modes, parents can easily adjust the height of the headrest and hardness thanks to Graco’s No-Rethread-Simply Safe Adjust system. There are 10 heights to choose from to provide a safe and comfortable fit for babies and children.
This all said, you can also turn it into a booster seat with a high back or without (for older kids).
This car seat also has a six-position recline to allow appropriate positioning in various vehicles for both rear- and forward-facing modes. The InRight LATCH offers a simple attachment to a car’s LATCH system with just one push and an audible click to confirm the seat is secure. It also has a level indicator to help ensure the seat is at a safe angle in the car.
A steel-reinforced frame and padding have allowed this seat to pass crash tests to ensure your child will receive optimal protection against all types of impacts. Padded inserts are included to keep infants comfortable and positioned appropriately in this seat.
Weight of the Seat: 24lb
Capacity: For kids weighing between 4-120lb
- Toddlers can remain rear-facing until they weigh 50 pounds with this seat. The adjustable extension panel can prove up to 5 “of extra space for hir or her legs
- There are 10 height positions to keep children of a range of heights comfortable and safe
- Newborns that weigh as little as 4 pounds can ride safely in this seat. This seat comes with a machine washable infant insert
- This seat really grows with your child. You can turn it into a booster seat and the weight limit is 120lb
- You also get two integrated cup holders. This said, clicking the cup holders in when you receive the seat can be a challenge, and they must be inserted for the seat to be installed properly
- You can choose between many different colors
- While the covers are machine washable, it’s relatively hard to get them on and off. In comparison, the Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible seat is easier to clean
- It may be hard to properly tighten the straps. One of the reasons is that the crotch belt is too short, but you can adjust it
- The base doesn’t rotate, so it may be hard to get your kid into if you’ve got a high car. Additionally, you can’t create a travel system for your infant
The Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 car seat is another convertible option designed to be used with children weighing between 5 and 100 pounds. It offers a rear-facing harnessed mode, forward-facing harnessed modes and a high-back booster mode.
The advantage of this seat vs Chicco reviewed models is its slim design. So it’s a good option for parents who need to fit multiple seats in the same row of their car or want to ensure other riders without a car seat have plenty of room.
Children weighing between 5 and 40 pounds can ride rear-facing in this seat. The forward-facing harness mode is designed for children weighing between 22 and 65 pounds, and the last option is for booster-ready children weighing between 40 and 100 pounds.
This seat features Graco’s Simply Safe Adjust Harness System to allow parents to adjust the headrest and harness at the same time to meet the needs of growing children. It also offers four recline positions to keep children comfortable and ensure a safe and secure install in different vehicles. Graco also added their InRight LATCH system and level indicator for fast and easy installation.
To keep children safe in the event of a crash, this seat features a steel-reinforced frame and ProtectPlus Engineering. It also has energy-absorbing EPS foam. The seat is padded to keep children comfortable as they ride.
The seat features rotating cup holders that allow it to have an even slimmer profile and take up even less space in the back seat.
Weight of the Seat: 19.5lb
Capacity: Up to 65lb
- The slim profile makes this a good option for parents with multiple children in car seats
- SlimFit 3-in-1 grows with your child.It offers rear-facing, forward-facing, and high back booster modes for children weighing between 5 and 100 pounds
- The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System allows the headrest and harness to be adjusted at the same time
- There are small pockets for seat belts
- You can effortlessly machine wash the cover
- SlimFit 3-in-1 reclines, so it’s comfortable for sleeping
- The rear-facing limit is only 40lb, which is less than the Extend2Fit (reviewed previously)
- The base isn’t removable, so you can’t build a travel system for your newborn. Additionally, it isn’t always easy to get your kid into it because the base doesn’t rotate
If you have older children who are already forward-facing, take a look at the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat. This seat can be used as a forward-facing harness seat for children between 22 and 65 pounds, a high-back booster seat for kids between 40 and 100 pounds, and a backless booster seat for kiddos between 40 and 100 pounds.
This seat is lightweight and portable, making it a good option for those who may need to switch the position of their child’s car seat or install it in different cars from time to time. A comfortable seat pad and body support make it a comfortable choice for children.
Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1offers Graco’s Simply Safe Adjust Harness system with eight different height positions for easy adjustments for growing children. The harness does not require rethreading, so changing the position is seamless and can be done using just one hand.
The seat is designed with open-loop belt guides to ensure proper positioning and installation.
The seat offers two cup holders to hold drinks or snacks. When needed, the cup holders can be removed for easy cleaning.
Weight of the Seat: 15lb
Capacity: The recommended weight is 22-100lb
- This seat can convert from a harnessed booster to a high-back booster to a backless booster for children weighing between 22 and 100 pounds
- The harness can be adjusted with just one hand and does not require rethreading
- You can machine wash the covers, and the cup holders are removable for easy cleaning
- It only weighs around 15lb, so it’s the best option if you often need to move the booster seat from one car to another
- If you compare it to the similar Chicco KidFit 2-in-1, you’ll discover that this model has a lower weight limit of 100lb
To sum it up
Selecting the right car seat for your baby or toddler is no easy task. You want to choose the seat that will keep them safe for a long time and help them ride comfortably in the car. In the Chicco vs Graco car seat match-up, both Chicco and Graco seats really are a great option to consider. The best seat for you will depend on your exact needs and wants as well as your baby’s age.
Buying an infant carrier at first will make your life more comfortable. This said, if you’re on a tight budget, convertibles by both manufacturers are excellent alternatives.
The Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, for example, really stands out as an excellent pick for newborns as the highest-rated infant carrier. It comes with a base and this feature will save you a lot of time.
If you’re looking for a convertible seat, we’d recommend the Graco 4ever Extend2Fit since it offers extended rear-facing options for added safety. And you can convert it into a booster seat for older kids who weigh up to 120lb.
Chicco and Graco’s harnessed, high-back, and backless boosters are also trusted and highly-rated products. Our top booster picks are the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 if you need a harnessed booster or the Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Booster if your child is ready to just use the seat belt.
I hope this article makes your choice easier. Thanks for reading😊