Finding the perfect car seat for your child can be difficult because there are so many on the market today. This article attempts to explain the pros and cons of the Graco My Ride 65 so that parents can determine if it's the right choice for their child.
Graco My Ride 65: Car Seat Reviews and Essential Information
Finding a car seat can be a difficult endeavor, as there are so many on the market. After so much perusing and weighing of pros and cons, it can be tough to differentiate two car seats from each other. The process can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, you’re in the right place. This guide attempts to help ease you through the specifications on a single model: the Graco My Ride 65.
A basic convertible car seat sold at a reasonable price, the Graco My Ride 65 is one of the best-selling car seats on the market today. This car seat is one of the first of its kind on the market to feature a 40 lb rear-facing weight limit, a claim to fame not taken lightly in the car seat community. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s important to keep children rear-facing as long as you can, as it prevents them from receiving injuries should you happen to get into a serious accident. To that end, the car seat is subjected to rigorous crash tests before it goes to market. These safety regulations assure parents of the car seat’s safety quality, giving buyers peace of mind that their children have protection in case of an accident. In terms of forward-facing weight limits, the car seat holds young children up to 65 lbs.
The Graco also offers a number of specific advantages for using the car seat over multiple years, allowing parents to save money by not buying a new car seat after their child’s every growth spurt. To wit, the seat features a tall shell and relatively tall harness slots, giving kids plenty of room to grow and parents plenty of use out of the car seat before children outgrow it. Its dual cup holders also give ample room for multiple bottles of juice, keeping your child’s snack stash fully stocked. The car seat itself features a deep enough seat to be used by all kinds of children, allowing any child from baby to toddler to use the car seat for years. In fact, children as old as 5 or 6 years old can use this seat, allowing parents like you to get your money’s worth out of it.
Selling car seats can be a competitive industry, and it can be difficult to know the ins and outs of what a good car seat needs. This review offers a number of advantages of this Graco car seat, as well as some customer-specified disadvantages, in order to provide a well-rounded analysis of the car seat. That way, you can have all the necessary information you need to make an intelligent and informed decision on whether the Graco My Ride 65 is the right car seat for you and your child.
What Makes the Graco My Ride 65 Unique
On first glance, many parents may think that all car seats are essentially the same. This couldn’t be less true! There are almost as many different types of car seats as there are different types of babies, it seems, and staying in the know about what features set one seat apart from another can be helpful.
The My Ride 65 retains a number of features that separate it from the rest of the car seat pack.
Rear-Facing Weight Limit
First and foremost, the Graco My Ride 65 is the first convertible car seat that has a rear-facing weight limit up to 40 pounds. Rear-facing car seats are the safest and most recommended way that children should travel. As mentioned before, experts recommend that children should sit in rear-facing car seats for as long as they possibly can. In fact, some studies have shown that children under 5 are up to five times safer when traveling rear-facing than traveling in the forward-facing alternative.
Length of Usage
The My Ride 65 gives parents years and years of extended use, especially when compared to its competition. It features a taller shell, deeper seat, and higher weight limit, allowing you get the most you can possibly get out of this car seat. With the My Ride 65, children have the space and room to grow into the seat, giving you an added three or four years over age-specific car seats. The problem most parents encounter with other car seats is that many children outgrow their forward-facing car seat once their shoulders rise above the top harness slot. But at 17 inches, the My Ride 65 has one of the tallest top harness slots available, allowing your child to continue using the convertible car seat for longer.
Infant to Child Timeline
If you decide to start with this car seat immediately in your baby’s life, instead of using an infant seat, this Graco comes with an infant pad. The pad helps younger babies fit into the car seat, as it can be quite big for freshly birthed newborns. That said, the deep seating area serves as a perfect cradle for infants, in addition to offering older children a comfortable ride.
Sturdy Harness Security
This Graco car seat also features a well-made harness that provides the optimum security for your child. The sturdy webbing prevents the harness from twisting easily like many other brands. Additionally, it’s fairly easy to adjust the harness to accommodate your child. Most importantly are the five harness slot heights. In the rear-facing position, the bottom four slots can be used, with the straps in the nearest slot at or below the child’s shoulder level. When in the forward-facing position, you can use the top four harness slots. Again, these should be at or below the child’s shoulder levels.
It’s standard for car seat manufacturers to boast about their side impact protection. With deep side wings that feature EPS foam linings, the My Ride 65 has undergone testing for resistance in a side-impact crash.
Installing the car seat is easy as well, in both rear- and forward-facing iterations. Both systems make use of seatbelt and LATCH through a series of separated and color-coded belts. To transform the seat into rear-facing, simply unfold or fold flaps along the car seat’s bottom and change its angle. Many customers noted that putting the seat in rear-facing position was especially easy and comfortable for their child. It features a quality reclining angle, even for an infant child. Depending on the vehicle, putting the seat in rear-facing position may require some bolstering support like a pillow or foam noodle. With the support, you can achieve the best reclining angle for your child no matter what age he or she is.
Forward-facing installation, while still easy, is a bit tougher than its rear-facing counterpart. However, once successfully installed, many customers noted similarly that its natural recline angle makes it a perfect seat for low-activity kids, especially if you do not want to spend a lot of money.
The My Ride 65 offers quality EPS foam padding on its inside lining, bottom and back. However, there is less padding along the sides of the car seat. The padding inserts are gray, made of soft polyester, and are machine washable on the delicate cycle.
Inflatable Seat Belt Compatibility
The Graco company has given its blessing for the My Ride 65 to be used with the inflatable seat belts offered in some Ford vehicles. Other, non-Ford inflatable seat belts are incompatible, however.
Adjustable Crotch Strap
Without the infant pad in place, the car seat offers a single crotch strap slot about 6.5 inches from the seat’s back. This allows children ultimate comfort while riding.
This Graco car seat has approval from the FAA for use in an aircraft. However, because the cupholders take up some additional width, the restraint can only really be used with the armrests lifted up.
Specs at a Glance
Seeing the quality specifications of the Graco car seat can be helpful when weighing its pros and cons:
While other car seats may have some of these features, only this Graco model packs them all into a single product.
Compared to other car seats, the My Ride 65 is extremely affordable. The seat comes in at about $100, which is inexpensive to begin with, and it offers many years of use. Every year you use it is more money you end up saving and are able to put in other areas of your child’s life. For families with multiple kids, this Graco can become a rite of passage when it comes to riding in the car.
While most customers enjoyed the My Ride 65 for the features listed above, some disadvantages continued to come up in reviews. Here are a few of them to give a balanced and added perspective to this review.
The car seat weighs about 14.7 pounds. A few ounces shy of 15 pounds, the car seat may not be the heaviest car seat available, but it’s certainly not the lightest. If you travel a lot, transferring the car seat from car to airplane seat to bus to car can be a hassle. Carting the car seat through busy airports can be both physically tiring as well as stressful. Often, people have to use luggage carriers to effectively transport it through busy airports. Additionally, the cupholders can’t be removed and can cause the extended width to be a problem.
Some reviewers noted having issues installing the car seat in a forward-facing position because of the way the car seat naturally reclines. The base of the restraint may sit a bit too far away from vehicle's seat, causing the car seat not to actually touch the backseat of the car. This can vary widely based on whichever vehicle you own, so be sure to test out the seat in both positions before purchasing.
Fragile Recline Feet
The car seat’s recline feet aren’t as sturdy as some of its competitors. The flimsy appearance is due in part to the single screws that keep them in place under the car seat. If your child is particularly active or strong, don’t be surprised if the recline feet come off sooner rather than later.
What We Think
The Graco My Ride 65 is a great product for any parent who wants to keep a child rear-facing as long as they possibly can, and also want their child to stay in a forward-facing harness past the age of four. While other similarly-sized car seats give you more features that make them easier to use, like seat belt lock-offs and no-rethread harnesses, the low price and high safety features of the My Ride 65 are hard to beat. Also, simply reading the instructions on the Graco car seat can allow you to install it with ease, especially in the rear-facing position. With this car seat, Graco offers you a deal that you can use for years with a single child, or up to 6 years with more than one child.
That said, parents wanting a narrow car seat should look elsewhere. The My Ride 65 features a fairly large 22-inch cup holder area, while the base is 12 inches across, which can be difficult for maneuvering around busy cities or airports, as well as in the back seats of multiple cars. The large cup holder area can cause an awkward fit in smaller cars, but usually isn’t an issue in larger ones.
Ultimately, it’s extremely important to test out the car seat in your car before actually purchasing it. The car seat fits differently in different vehicles and ensuring yours works for your child can keep both of you safe and secure for years to come. For a car seat that protects your child from infancy to early childhood, look no further than the Graco My Ride 65.