Graco Nautilus? Need a New Car Seat for 2.5 Yr Old.

Updated on July 30, 2010
K.B. asks from Marlborough, MA
18 answers

I am searching for a new car seat for my 2.5 yr old, and am wondering if anyone has feedback on the Graco Nautilus. I saw some posts on this from a couple of years ago, but wonder if there is more recent feedback. Have you used? Other suggestions? I like that it looks like it could be used as a booster when that time comes.

Appreciate any thoughts! Thanks!

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answers from Providence on

Both my children use Graco Nautilus car seats. I love them! My daughter is going to be 5 next month and still uses the 5 point harness (can be used up to 65lbs) It is much safer than just using the seatbelt as other carseats require. In addition to safety, they are available in cute designs (and all have a convenient cup holder and side cubbies) and convert to booster seats when needed. If you're looking for a great quality, safe, cute carseat, Graco Nautilus is the way to go!



answers from Boston on

I have a Graco and it is great. Very functional. The rear seat belt goes across his body just fine and I don't drive far anyway.

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answers from St. Cloud on

We looked at both this one and the Britax Frontier 85. We purchased the Frontier 85 (actually 2 of them!).

The Frontier 85 goes up to 85 pounds as a 5-point harness and a booster up to 100 pounds. It has true side impact protection. Was easy to install and the kids (ages 3 adn 5) love it!

Albee baby is running them 20% off with free shipping right now and we didn't have to pay any tax either. So it was only $223 and we'll be able to use it much longer than the Graco.......... It has a pretty tall height limit on it and a NO thread harness!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

We have both the nautilus and the frontier for my 4 (today!!!) year old. The Nautilus has a nice cup holder and gets a nice tight fit in my Sienna (leather seats), our old Grand Caravan and my husbands Toyota Tundra. We could not get it to be solid into our 2010 Altima with leather seats. it slid all over no matter what.
The frontier is a TANK! It is the most difficult Britax seat to install (read the directions because there is a trick to get it secure which is confusing). It has fit solidly in all of the above vehicles. I dont like the cup holders as much as the nautilus though.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We looked at both and bought the britax frontier, I think it has a higher harness and booster limit (not 100% positive about that), but after a fatality accident with my britax marathon, I trust their brand and highly value the safety of britax! My tall and big kid loves it and so do I.



answers from Boston on

We have one for our three year old and he loves it and so do we. We have no problem installing it and switching it from car to car. I like Graco seats anyways. Our three year old is on the tall side (he out grew the height for his other seat) but with this one has plenty of room to grow with the harness. I like to get my seats at babies r us so that I can try them in the car first before buying so that way I know it will work with our vehicle.



answers from San Diego on

I bought this carseat for my son about 6 months ago. So far I really like it. It is a very heavy carseat but once it is in the car I really like the way it fits in my car. (jeep Cherokee). My son fits in it really well with room to grow. He is in the 95% for weight and height so I needed something that was roomy. He loves the cup holder and the side cubbies for all this random toys.




answers from Boston on

We're very happy with our Nautilus. We got it for my now 4.5-year-old as soon as she outgrew her Britax Roundabout. She is tall and is very comfortable in this seat. It also fits well in our Ford Focus.



answers from Hartford on

We have the Nautilus for my son, and he loves it, most especially the cup holder! :) I find it just as easy to manage as our Britax Marathon, and liked that we won't have to buy any more seats for him until he's all done, as it converts to a high back booster and then a booster. The seat is very cushy, with an extra cushioned cover that attaches through the straps. I wouldn't remove it at this point because it does make the seat comfortable for my son, but sometimes it can be a pain because in getting in the seat, it gets squished down and has to be yanked up in the back to get the straps to be where they're supposed to be. That said, it's not a big pain or anything. We've been very happy with it, and it's much less expensive than a Britax.


answers from Los Angeles on

I love this car seat. This was the carseat when bought when we switched our baby to forward facing. She fits so well in it. We have used it in a few different cars and it fits will where ever we have put it (including a small honda, and a 3 door sports car). I put this together and installed it within 10 minutes myself, it is a bit heavy but honestly we leave the seat in 1 car for teh most part. I am also excited that I will never have to buy another car seat again, because it does turn into a booster.
I think my only complaint with the seat is when I went to walmart to buy it, there was no color on the picture on the outside, and it was a horrible pattern I didn't like. So I had to return it twice because of that. Finially went to target and found a soft color that we liked, and for some reason they listed the color on the box, where as walmart didn't.
Good Luck =)



answers from Pocatello on

Have it...Love it. My 2 yr old looks very comfortable in it. Yep pain to install and pain to clean but I find most are.



answers from Sacramento on

Yes, this is a convertible/booster combo seat. We tried this one with our Honda Odyssey but after two hours of trying to install it safely, returned it to the store. Needless to say, I'm not a fan. Like other convertible/booster combos, it's extremely heavy and huge. However, it does tend to get largely favorable reviews, which is why we got it in the first place. We ended up with a Britax Frontier instead, which did work in our Odyssey, but is just as cumbersome to deal with as the Nautilus.



answers from Los Angeles on

I've heard great things about the Britax Frontier.



answers from Chicago on

I bought the Nautilus when my daughter went in to the first bigger car seat. I love this and she likes sitting in it. She once got sick in the car and I had to take it apart to clean. Hope I never have to do that again but it was very easy to take the cushions off, wash and then put everything back together. The seat is a 5 pt harness to 65 lbs, changes to a regular booster to 100 lbs, and then the back part comes off so that it is just bottom booster after that. I figure we will wear this seat out before she grows out of it. I got a better deal ordering on line and shipping to the store than in the store so look around for a good deal. We have no problem putting the seat in either my Dodge Grand Caravan or my husbands Nissan Maxima.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My husband and I both have one in our cars and we love them. Great Car Seat. Great Price.



answers from Boston on

WE had one for our older daughter and just bought a second for our son. I also have a Britax marathon and a britax roundabout and I prefer the graco. I am not sure why people are saying it was hard to install, especially if you have a newer car with the LATCH system. I had mine in my car in about 5 minutes and I had them double check it at our police station just to make sure I had it correct. Also, someone posted that they could use the Britax Frontier 85 and that they would be able to use that longer than the Graco, I don't know how that is possible as teh nautilus converts from a Harness (up to 65 lbs) to a full back seatbelt booster, and then to a backless booster. WE will be using this until we are out of boosters all together. I suppose that you can use the frontier as a harness carseat for an extra 2o lbs, but quite frankly if you can find me an 85 lb child who is still in a harness I would be pretty suprised. Most kids are 6 or 7 al least at that weight and are unlikley to be comfortable in a harness style carseat. I did a lot of research before buying the nautilus and it is very highly rated for safety and the price is great. YOu can find it just about anywhere but I have noticed that the price is very different in different places. WE just got our at and used the "ship to store" and payed $142.00 with no shipping or tax. I wish I had bout the nautilus before my britax seats as I feel like I wasted a lot of money on them.



answers from Boston on

We bought one after having our second daughter and needed our older girls carseat! I love it! It is extremely easy to put together and install! I did it all myself and I am a 105 lb woman. I just followed the instructions and thought it was pretty straight forward. My daughter also loves it b/c of the pink color and the cup holder and cubbies for her things. She also finds it very comfortable - she used to complain that her old carseat hurt her back, and hasn't complained once about this seat! I can't wait to get another for my other daughter when she forward faces! Highly recommend!



answers from New London on

I don't have the Nautilus 3 in one, but it is a Consumer Reports best buy and got the highest ratings in it's class. I plan to buy this one as a second car seat for the other car and it's reasonably priced.

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