Britax vs Graco – which car seat brand to choose?

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graco vs britax

Britax vs Graco

Some swear by the quality of one, others can’t stop raving about the other. So choosing between these two brands of child car seat – Britax vs Graco - is naturally a tough proposition. From safety to security, to comfort and ease of use, there are a host of features you want for your child. Both Britax and Graco being popular brands, choosing one over the other can be quite a complex task. An obvious way to make a choice is to compare and evaluate all the major features one by one, and then make a studied choice so that what you end up is really the best for your baby – on all counts.

​Britax versus Graco - the Brands Compared

​Britax and Graco are both global manufacturers of childcare products including car seats, strollers, travel systems, high chairs and accessories.

The Britax Brand

Britax vs Chicco

The Britax brand is synonymous with quality, safety and reliability and takes its name from ‘British Accessories’, a company that began making automotive safety equipment in 1938. The Britax company initially produced seatbelts and motorcycle accessories and it wasn’t until the 1970’s, that Britax started to manufacture child safety seats.

Part of their growth has been through acquisitions of other established child seat manufacturers across the world such as RÖMER in Germany and Safe-n-Sound and Steelcraft in Australia. They have brought many innovations to child seat safety like Versa-Tether and True Side Impact Protection. Britax car seats are highly regrded as having the best safety features compared to other brands.

The Graco Brand

britax vs graco

Graco by comparison, was founded in Philadelphia in 1942. Similarly to Britax, Graco started out making machine and car parts before moving into products for children. Their first baby product launch was the Graco Swyngomatic®, the world’s first wind-up infant swing, which went on to sell millions of units.

Graco were also responsible for the introduction of the Travel System, the first product that allowed you to quickly click a car seat into and out of a stroller. Graco continues to lead and innovate in the industry and a more recent example is the TurboBooster® SafeSeat™ (Step 3) youth booster car seat.

Today, Graco is a Newell Rubbermaid™ company, with 1500 associates worldwide. While a half-century has brought many changes to Graco, the dedication and commitment to designing and manufacturing top-quality products—products that inspire parents and babies alike—remains, and continues on.

So in comparing the Britax vs Graco brands it is clear that both have a long established history and success in producing childcare products.

​Comparison between Britax and Graco Car Seats

We've reviewed and compared Britax vs Graco child car seats in many of our other Kid Sitting Safe Reviews and each brand has 3 seat models that feature in our Top Rated Car Seats. The brands also come out on top in in our Booster Seat Reviews.

​In terms of car seats, both Britax and Graco manufacture the main types: infant car seats, convertible car seats, combination seats and booster seats. Graco also manufacture all-in-one car seats such as the Graco 4ever, however Britax don't produce this type. We've therefore not included this category of seat in our Graco vs Britax comparison.

Both brands also manufacture travel systems to fit with their car seats.

Key differences

In overall terms you will find that Britax seats are more expensive than Graco and provide better features relating to safety and comfort. Graco seats, although generally cheaper are very good quality and most of their models are highly rated proving you do not need to break the bank to find an excellent car seat for your loved ones.

We've considered the latest models of seats that are in a similar price range for our Britax vs Graco comparison that follows in the sections below. 

  • Infant Car Seats - Britax B-Safe 35 vs Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35
  • Convertible Car Seats - Britax Boulevard vs Graco Size4Me 65
  • Combination Car Seats - Britax Pinnacle Clicktight vs Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1
  • Highback Booster Seats - Britax Parkway SGL vs Graco TurboBooster LX

Britax vs Graco Car Seat Safety

That obviously is the supreme consideration for any parent when buying a car seat. Whatever else the child restraint may or may not have, it needs to have total security to keep your baby completely and well protected at all times. After all, when it comes to your little one’s safety, all parents are paranoid, and they’ve every right to be so. So let’s analyze this aspect of the two brands first.

While Britax has a 5-point harness, the harness of the Graco varies from 3 to 5 point. The Britax travel system has an integrated safety system – the SafeCell Impact Protection – which seeks to ensure your child’s safety beyond the federal safety standards. This system includes a solid and durable steel frame for strength and a base that compresses to absorb energy during a collision, thereby enhancing the safety aspect of the model.

In the Britax, side impact protection is ensured with a deep foam-lined shell. In fact, the system is engineered, tested and made in the USA with global components for top safety and quality. However, both Graco and Britax are JPMA certified for safety.

Are Britax and Graco Car Seats FAA Approved?

If you will be flying with a car seat then its good to know that ALL Britax harnessed car seats are certified for use on aircraft. All of the Graco car seats featured in this review except for their Turbobooster LX Booster Seat are also FAA approved for use on aircraft.

Britax vs Graco Infant Car Seat Base

Both Britax and Graco rear facing infant car seats can be used with (or without) a car seat base. This is a popular addition to provide quicker and easier installation and removal and usually comes as standard with purchase of the infant car seat. Additional bases can be purchased separately if you have more than one car. Both Graco and Britax car seat bases come with a level-indicator that indicate the accurate angle in the vehicle seat.

Britax vs Graco Infant Car Seats

Britax B-Safe 35 vs Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35

Britax B Safe 35

Graco SnugRide 35

Weight - seat only

10lbs

7.5lbs

Weight - base only

9lbs

6.67lbs

Baby Weight

4-35lbs

4-35lbs

Maximum Baby Height

32 inches

32 inches

Dimensions 

17.75" W x 25" H x 26.5" D

18.66" W x 15.59" H x 30.67" D

NHTSA Overall Ease of Use Rating

Price

Features

Side impact protection features a deep foam-lined shell to shield your child.

Impact-absorbing base and Impact-stabilizing steel frame.

SafeCenter LATCH Installation - tighten easily and quickly.

Spring-assisted recline makes for easy angle adjustment.

Dual level indicators let you know the seat is angled correctly in your car.

Removable head pad acts as a cushion for your child and can be removed.

Ergonomic handle makes carrying comfortable with your hand or forearm.

Extra-large canopy protects your little one from sun and rain.

Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System - simple to use one-hand harness & headrest adjustment.

Cick Connect™ technology offers a one-step secure attachment to all Graco® Click Connect™ strollers.

EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management.

Convenient, LATCH-equipped stay-in-car base features integrated belt lock-off for easier seat belt installation* (* versus using the locking clip).

Stay-in-car base with 6-position dial adjustment makes proper installation easier.

Easy-to-read level indicator ensures accurate installation

5-point, front-adjust harness helps you get baby in and out.

Removable infant body support cushions baby.

Pros

  • Best for safety features​;
  • Extra large canopy​.
  • The infant seat is lightweight at under 10lbs and much lighter than the Britax B-Safe 35.
  • Very easy to install with or without the included base and with either seat belts or LATCH.

Cons

  • Some users have complained there is not enough growing room in the seat and babies grow out of it too quickly;
  • Interior space is narrow and better suited to thinner babies.
  • The design of the infant car seat is such that you cannot have the canopy open and the handle in the carry position at the same time.
  • A few users have remarked that the padding is not as thick as on some other car seats.

In this review of Graco vs Britax Infant Car Seats we've looked at their two most popular models. Furthermore, the Graco SnugRide 35 features in our Top Rated Car Seats and is an Amazon best seller!

Both of these seats are similarly priced and are suitable only for infants up to 35lbs in weight and up to 32 inches in height.

​Key differences - which infant seat is best?

Here are some of the key differences between these two seats that are worth highlighting to help you choose which one is most suitable:

  • The Britax only has a removable head pad, whilst the Graco has a removable body support.
  • The Britax comes out on top with 5 stars in the NHTSA's Ease of Use Ratings.
  • The Graco is slightly cheaper than the Britax.
  • The Graco is much lighter (7.5lbs) than the Britax (10lbs). 

​Stroller compatability

  • The Graco Click Connect system provides a one-step secure attachment to all Graco Click Connect Strollers. The Graco Aire3 Click Connect Travel System combines the SnugRide 35 with a lightweight 3 wheeler stroller and is available at a discount price on Amazon.
  • The Britax B-Safe 35 has an integrated CLICK & GO adapter system, which works with Britax B-Series strollers.​ The Britax 2016 B-Agile/B-Safe 35 Travel System is their best selling car seat stroller combo and available at a discount price on Amazon.

Britax vs Graco Convertible Car Seats

Britax Boulevard G4.1 vs Graco Size4me

Britax Boulevard G4.1

Graco Size4Me 65

Weight

19.5 lbs

19.34 lbs

Child Weight - Rear Facing

5 - 40 lbs

4 - 40 lbs

Child Weight - Forward Facing

1 year and 20, up to 65 lbs

20-65 lbs

Maximum Child Height

49 inches

49 inches

Dimensions 

18.5" W x 26" H x 21" D

22.3" W x 26" H x 19.3" D

NHTSA Overall Ease of Use Rating - RF

NHTSA Overall Ease of Use Rating - FF

Price

Features

2 layers of side protection formed by a deep foam-lined shell, quick-adjust head protection.

Impact-absorbing base, impact-stabilizing steel frame and impact-absorbing harness pads.

On/off lower anchors lock into place with a click and easily release with a push of a button.

3-position recline makes for easy angle adjustment.

No-rethread 10-position harness quickly adjusts with the push of a button as your child grows.

Removable body pillow adds comfort and can be removed when your child outgrows it.

Plush foam padding and fabrics for premium comfort.

​Exclusive InRight™ LATCH system for one-second LATCH attachment.

EPS energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management.

Removable head and body support to allow for adjustment as your child grows.

Seat cushion is removable for machine washing.

Simply Safe Adjust™ 5-point harness system, which automatically adjust both your harness and head rest height (no re-thread, 8 position).

3 position recline and 2 buckle positions to keep your child snug and secure.

Pros

  • Easy installation with either LATCH or seatbelt;
  • The click feature when tightening the straps is really helpful (clicks when straps are appropriately tight around baby)​;
  • Side head protection provides great added protection compared to other seats plus makes a comfortable support for sleeping kids!
  • Seat does not take up too much space and so are good for smaller cars or if more than one car seat is required in the back.​
  • ​Cheaper than the Britax.
  • Includes a cup holder unlike the Britax​.
  • Very easy installation with LATCH or with seatbelt.
  • No re-thread harness​ makes adjustments easy.
  • It is easy to get your child in and out of the car seat.​
  • Premium push-on SafeGuard lower LATCH connectors​.

Cons

  • Does not come complete with a cup holder, which needs to be bought separately;
  • Doesn't come with a tether strap for rear facing instatllation​;
  • LATCH installations are limited due to LATCH weight limit.​
  • Fabric might be itchy if your child is sensitive to certain fabrics;
  • No built-in lockoff for seatbelt installations​;
  • Not as much padding as the Britax​;
  • Can be difficult to fully tighten all the slack out of the harness for small babies​.

In this Britax vs Graco Convertible Car Seat comparison you can see that both of these seats have premium safety, comfort and convenience/ ease of use features.

These seats are suitable for your chid from infant (Britax from 5lbs, Graco from 4lbs) through to when they can move to a booster seat (both seats up to 65lbs and 49 inches in height). Both seats feature push on LATCH connections for super easy installation or alternatively (or in addition) can be installed with the vehicle's seat belt.

In terms of car seat ratings, the NHTSA do not have an Ease of Use rating for the Graco Size4Me 65 but they do for the Graco Size4Me 70 and so this has been used for reference purposes as the seats are very similar (except that the 70 can be used forward facing up to 70lbs). The Graco has the slight edge over the Britax in rear facing mode for ease of use.

​Key Differences - which car seat is best?

These Graco and Britax seats have consistent excellent user feedback and ratings. It is hard to choose between them, however the Graco is much cheaper whilst the Britax offers slightly more in terms of comfort and safety. The Graco is also nearly 4 inches wider than the Britax, which might be a factor for you if you have a smaller vehicle. Either seat is a great choice for a convertible car seat for your loved ones.

​Britax Boulevard G4.1 or ClickTight?

If you're considering the Britax Boulevard then we would recommend paying the extra for the latest ClickTight model over the G4.1 model we have reviewed here if your budget allows.

The ClickTight Installation System gives you a safe and easy installation every time so you can be certain your loved one is safe. Although the Clicktight has a higher retail price than the G4.1 you can often find them selling for a similar price on Amazon! We reviewed Britax's range of ClickTight Convertible car seats here. We've also found that there is a significant difference in price between the different colours of the Britax Boulevard seats so be sure to check this out too!

Britax vs Graco Combination Seats

Britax Pinnacle G1.1 Clicktight vs Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1

Britax Pinnacle G1.1 ClickTight

Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1

Weight

26.5 lbs

26 lbs

Child Weight/ Height Forward Facing (with harness)

25 - 90 lbs / 30 - 58 in

22 - 65 lbs

Child Weight/ Height Booster

40 - 120 lbs / 45 - 62 in

30 - 100 lbs

Child Height

38 - 63 inches

38 - 57 inches

Dimensions (Min height headrest)

22.5" W x 28" H x 21" D

20" W x 29" H x  22" D 

NHTSA Overall Ease of Use Rating

Price

Features

3 layers of side protection formed by a deep foam-lined shell, quick-adjust head protection.

Impact-absorbing base, impact-stabilizing steel frame and impact-absorbing harness pads.

ClickTight Installation System makes safe installation as simple as buckling a seat belt.​

Easy-on/off lower anchors for an alternative installation method

No-rethread, easy adjust 9-position harness and quick-adjust 2-position buckle​.

​Multi-position recline

Plush foam padding and fabrics

Hassle-free transition from harness to booster mode by tucking away straps in the seat

Easy-remove cover

Cup holders and storage for drinks, food and toys.​

Simply Safe Adjust harness system adjusts the height of your harness and headrest, in one motion.

New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) – peak crash force approximately 2X Car Seat Standard​

Side-impact tested* (*with the built-in 5 point harness system.)

EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management

Integrated belt lock-off for easier seat belt installation* (*versus using the locking clip)

Fully adjustable headrest allows to change headrest height and width

Steel-reinforced frame provides strength and durability

3-position recline helps keep your growing child comfy

Open-loop belt guides help you position your vehicle's seat belt

Easy to remove washable seat cover

Contoured armrests with cup holder and storage pockets

Pros

  • ​Easy to install using either LATCH or seatbelt;
  • The seat has a much higher weight limit than the Graco for both harness and booster modes;
  • Great side impact and head protection​ - this is the safest harness to booster seat in the Britax range;
  • Users report that their kids say the seat is very comfortable;​
  • The seat adjusts to the exact height you need it, not just 3 positions like many other boosters;
  • Seatbelt shoulder path is clear and the belt does not get stuck in the guide.

  • The Graco Nautilus is much cheaper compared to the Britax Pinnacle and offers great value compared to other harnessed booster seats.
  • You don't need to rethread the harness straps after adjusting the height.
  • It's easy to install and easy to get your child in and out of the seat because of the harness storage that holds the buckle out of the way.
  • Children can buckle themselves and you are certain that the seat belt is in the correct position because of the belt guides.

Cons

  • The seat is heavy, however it is the practically the same weight as the Graco Nautilus.
  • The seat is much wider than the Graco and it might be a squeeze in smaller cars if you need to fit other car seats next to it.
  • The Britax Pinnacle is more expensive than the Graco and is the most expensive combination seat in the Britax range.
  • Compared to the Britax the straps are a bit fragile and twist easily which might make it difficult to hold and buckle.
  • Not as easy to install with the LATCH as the Britax.
  • If the head rests in the car lean slightly forward they may interfere with the seat.

Here we are looking at the Britax and Graco combination seats. Combination seats are used forward facing with a harness and can later transition to be used as a belt positioning booster seat as your child grows. In our Britax vs Graco comparison above you can see the key differences between these two seats. 

​Which combination car seat is best?

​The Britax Pinnacle is a top of the range seat and is a clear winner in comparison to the Graco Nautilus based on safety features, comfort, ease of use and weight limits. However it is also much more expensive and you will need to decide if these extras are worth the additional cost over the Graco.

While the Britax is the better of the two, the Graco Nautilus is also a great combination seat and offers extremely good value. Referring to the above features of the Nautilus there are several which will make parents' lives easier. The Simply Safe Adjust no rethreading harness system that is exclusive to the LX model of the Nautilus is a particularly noteworthy addition. In addition, the Nautilus LX has 3 crotch strap positions compared to only 2 on the older standard model.

Britax vs Graco Highback Booster Seats

Britax Parkway SGL vs Graco Turbobooster LX

Britax Parkway SGL G1.1

Weight

12.5 lbs

9.35 lbs

Child Weight

40 - 120 lbs

30 - 110 lbs

Child Height

38 - 63 inches

38 - 57 inches

Dimensions 

35 H x 18 W x 15 D inches

25.59 H x 16.93 W x 9.21 D inches

NHTSA Overall Ease of Use Rating

Price

Features

2 layers of side impact protection

Impact-absorbing base

ISOFLEXTM LATCH connection system

Quick-adjust headrest easily adjusts at the push of a button Plush foam padding and fabrics

SecureGuard clip ensures the vehicle seat belt is properly positioned

Retractable cup holders

Removable back for easy transition to a backless booster

Easy-remove cover

Color-coded vehicle belt guides

​EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management

One hand, 7 position adjustable headrest;

Side impact tested (highback mode)

Converts from highback booster (30-100lbs) to backless​ (40-110lbs)

Hide away storage compartment and integrated cup holder

Removable, machine washable seat cushion;​

Front adjust LATCH connectors secures the booster seat to the vehicle when not in use.

Pros

  • ​LATCH is very easy to use and secures the seat well when not in use;
  • Great side impact and head protection​;
  • Users report that their kids say the seat is very comfortable;​
  • The seat adjusts to the exact height you need it, not just 3 positions like many other boosters;
  • Seatbelt shoulder path is clear and the belt does not get stuck in the guide;
  • Greater weight limit versus Graco Turbobooster.

  • Much cheaper and very lightweight compared to the Britax;
  • Fabric wipes down easily
  • The seat can recline to suit the slope of your car seat;
  • Comfortable plush fabrics and soft padding

Cons

  • Although the Britax booster is fairly lightweight it is heavier than the Graco Turbobooster. But it is also more sturdy as a result.
  • No recline​;
  • Arm rests could be longer and higher​.
  • Arm rests could be longer and higher​.
  • The seat is not nearly as deep as the Britax
  • The seat is not as padded and comfortable as the Britax Parkway.
  • Forward leaning headrests can interfere with the seat installation.
  • Fabric stains easily
  • Some have difficulty with the red plastic loop that holds the seat belt in the correct position.
  • Cup holders are shallow

In our Britax vs Graco belt positioning booster seat comparison above you can see the key differences between these two seats. 

​Which booster seat is best?

Both of these booster seats are highly rated by their users with the majority of users providing the highest score rating.​ However the Britax Parkway SGL is a best seller and in our view is the better seat of the two but it costs much more than the Graco seat. If your budget won't stretch to the Britax then the Graco Turbobooster LX is a great choice! If you want to save even more you could go for the standard model GracoTurboBooster rather than the LX if you don't mind compromising on the extra plush fabric and the LATCH connectors.

Conclusion

In this Britax vs Graco review we've compared the latest popular seats from each brand. If you choose a seat for your child from either brand you can be sure that you are getting a good quality product that will provide the best protection for your loved one.​ The seats from Britax and Graco also provide a high level of comfort and additional convenience features. We hope our side-by-side comparison of these Britax vs Graco seats will help you choose the right seat for you!

As ever, if you have any comments or questions relating to this article​ we would love to hear from you so please don't hesitate to get in touch!

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