As a parent, one of your most fundamental roles is to protect your child at all costs, including baby proofing your home, purchasing appropriate bedding, and putting them in the safest sleeping position. Out of all the things you purchase before your child arrives, a car safety seat might be the most critical. Considering most births take place in a hospital, your baby will be put in danger on the road within the first few days of making an entrance to the world.
With that in mind, purchasing the right safety seat can be an overwhelming decision. The market is flooded with different brands, colors, shapes and sizes. Is a car seat carrier better for a newborn? Do you really need to get a convertible car seat? What is this LATCH system you keep reading about? How long does your baby need to be facing the back seat?
With so many questions and uncertainties, it can be easy to become paralyzed by this critical decision. That's where we come in. We take some of the guesswork out of the buying process. We have sifted through research and reviews to bring you the most up-to-date and pertinent information on child safety restraint systems. This article will focus on the Graco My Ride 65 Convertible car seat. If you're looking for a great product at a budget-friendly price, then continue reading to find out more information on this particular option.
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The first thing we look at when doing any kind of review of a product is the company who manufactures it. In case you don't know anything about Graco, we would like to provide you with some basic information.
How It Compares
We took a look at how the My Ride 65 measured up to similarly-priced products available on the market. We feel it's important to give you products you can compare to this product.
The My Ride 65 has all the essential features to ensure your child stays secure and safe in your vehicle at all times. One secret to its ability to hold children rear-facing and front-facing so long is that the plastic shell is very deep. When it comes to holding a newborn, this deep recess allows the baby to be cradled and therefore feel more comforted and secured, as babies like this swaddling feeling. On the flip side, a larger child will also sink further back into the unit, thus allowing more leg room and protection. It is side-impact approved as are all car seats are in the United States.
This brings us to an important note. All car seats being sold in the United States at the time of writing this have passed the standard and necessary safety tests. This means they are good enough to hold up to the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA) crash test standards. The data used to collect this information consists of the proper installation of a car seat with the inclusion of crash test dummies of varying heights and weights. The sensors in the dummies measure the amount of force a child will sustain in an accident. The force is typically measured at the head and chest area. We believe you should be aware that every car seat sold has to pass these safety regulations. The differences don't lie in safety insomuch as in additional safety features or other bells and whistles.
- Ease of Installation
- Ease of use
- Comfort and Quality
How you install a car seat determines its functionality in an accident. You can purchase the highest-rated unit on the market, but if it isn't secured properly, it will do nothing when you're involved in an accident. You should, therefore, place a lot of thought into how difficult or easy it is to install correctly. It really can mean the difference between safety and harm.
My Ride 65 has two standard installation techniques: The LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) system and vehicle seatbelt. The LATCH system, in this case, is a pair of hooks on straps that lock into the metal anchors found recessed in your vehicle's seats. These are typically located near the seat belt receptacles in the back seat and third row (if applicable).
Installing the My Ride 65 with either system is relatively straightforward. The LATCH hooks are easy to get locked in, and if the seat is secured tight enough, very difficult to remove. This system is good for the safety of your child as it doesn't allow for much wiggle room. It's only bad for you if you need to move the seat.
Utilizing the seat belt path on the car seat is relatively simple. The pathway is easy to find and color-coded, so you know which to use for rear-facing and forward-facing installation. The holes can be a bit on the petite side, so larger hands may have a more challenging time feeding the belt through. However, once the belt is through and latched, make sure you secure the belt with the built-in clip. This clip keeps the seat belt from loosening and causing the car seat to slide around.
Placing this seat at the proper angle is easy in most cars. There are flaps located under the seat at the base that makes positioning it at the correct angles fairly simple.
Once you have the seat in your car, it is relatively easy to use. There are a few features to note that can be more difficult if you don't pay attention to the directions.
The first is the harness adjustment. The My Ride 65 requires the harness to be removed and rethreaded. The good news is that the slots are color coded, so you can be sure to feed each strap through at the same level. The bad news is that this can be a complicated process. Not only should you follow the directions, but we recommend taking a picture of the back of the webbing and under the seat. This way, you'll be sure to weave the straps under and round some of the elements of the shell in the same order.
The second, more difficult element is the lever that tightens and loosens the harness. This action is critical as it should be adjusted every single time your child gets in or out of the seat. When the seat is rear-facing, it can be harder to reach the adjustment lever as it is at the very bottom foot of the unit. Be confident you can easily access this area before belting the seat to the car. Get the angle right so you can get to it.
One feature that is extremely helpful is that the straps are made to resist twisting. If you've ever dealt with a car seat or stroller where the straps had become twisted, you will appreciate this feature in the My Ride 65.
This product is a primary car seat and doesn't have some of the extra features other competitors have. However, it does have a decent amount of padding and foam, so your child should be comfortable. There is an infant insert that you install for the littlest of children. This insert is nice and keeps the baby in a good position for the duration of a vehicle ride. You don't want to look back in your rear mirror and see your baby crammed over to one side or the other.
There are also cup holders that cannot be removed. Cup holders are great as children get older and can stash a sippy cup on one side and maybe some snacks in the other. However, it dramatically widens the unit adding 10 inches to the footprint, which isn't so great if you need to get another car seat or other people in the same row.
Now that you have a good overview of the My Ride 65, we'll get into the necessary specifications.
- Maximum rear-facing weight: 40 pounds
- Maximum forward-facing weight: 65 pounds
- Maximum forward-facing height: 49 inches
- Weight: 15.8 pounds
- Width: 12 inches at the base (22 inches at the cup holders)
One feature the SizeForMe 65 has is an adjustable headrest which makes changing the level of the harness incredibly easy. No rethreading required. This seat has also been side-impact rated, which is above and beyond the standard. The cover can be removed to wash without taking the whole unit out.
Pros and Cons
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We know how important this decision is, and in order to further help we wanted to give you every opportunity to the have some necessary information at your disposal. Below are the pros and cons for the My Ride 65, keeping in mind the other products we've compared it to above.
Keeping your child secure in a vehicle can weigh heavily on your mind. We hope that we helped make the decision easier by giving you the most relevant information on the Graco My Ride 65 Convertible car seat. If you're looking for a pretty basic, good-quality car seat for your child that will take him or her from birth to seat belt, this should be a product you consider. Even though the harness can be challenging to rethread and adjust, and the unit is very wide, it is a good option. At this price point, it is an affordable car seat that is relatively simple to install and use, and it performs well in crash tests.