Comparing the Graco Contender 65 and the Graco Milestone, the Milestone will win over the Graco Contender 65 for practical reasons. However, there are other aspects regarding child passenger safety seats that can perform better than the competition. Find out what these aspects are so you can determine if they apply to your child’s needs.


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Graco Contender 65*


Graco Milestone*

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Ideal Use


Graco Contender 65 Graco Milestone
Rear-Facing Weight: 5 to 40 pounds
Rear-Facing Height Limit: 1″ below adjuster button on headrest when fully extended the head must be at least 1-inch below the handle
Forward-Facing Weight: 20 to 65 pounds
Forward-Facing Height Limit: Up to 49 inches 27 to 49 inches
High Back Booster Weight Limit: N/A 30 to 100 pounds
High Back Booster Height Limit: N/A 38 to 57 inches


  • Rear-Facing And Forward-Facing

These 2 car seats share a similar set of characteristics for rear-facing and forward-facing. The feedback from parents who have used them are also comparable. For instance, while their minimum rear-facing capacity is 5 pounds, many parents stated that the harness system of these 2 child restraints provide a snug fit for average sized newborns weighing 7 pounds and not for smaller newborns weighing 5 pounds that they were intended for. 

  • Booster Mode

The availability of booster mode in Graco Milestone is what could most likely convince parents to buy it instead of Graco Contender 65.  This allows the Milestone to be possibly used by a child older than 8 years old.


Good All-In-One Car Seats


Will It Fit In My Car?


Graco Contender 65 Graco Milestone
Width 20.75 inches 17 inches
Height 26 inches 18.88 inches
Depth/Length 27 inches 24 inches


  • Dimensions

Width – Milestone has a width that is comparable with well-known 3-across car seats like Diono Radian 3RXT, Clek Foonf and Clek Fllo. Thus, it could be a better choice than Contender 65 for parents looking for something that can be installed side by side with 2 other car seats on a single row of seat inside a vehicle. This is indeed confirmed in a number of product reviews. One parent bought 3 Milestones and said that 2 forward-facing and 1 rear-facing at the center was the configuration they used for their Toyota 4Runner. Another parent shared they installed a Milestone, an infant carrier and a Nautilus in their Ford Edge.

Height – Contender 65 is a lot taller than Milestone so you would need to carefully consider its placement inside a car so it will not block your rear view.

Depth – The depth of these 2 seats could make parents easily convinced that the Contender 65 may be quickly dismissed if the concern is to have as much legroom as possible for the driver and the front passenger. Yet, this concern will also be affected by other equally important factors like height of driver/front passenger, recline angle of the child passenger safety seat and the model/make of the vehicle in which the car seat will be installed. 

For example, Milestone was installed inside a Honda Civic and the parent said she wished that there was more legroom left, but another parent said she was happy with the remaining legroom in her Toyota Prius. Meanwhile, when Contender was installed in a Toyota RAV4 and Volkswagen Passat, parents said there were extra inches of legroom left for the driver and front passenger.

  • Fit In Vehicles

A lot of space is left when Graco Milestone was installed in a Toyota Highlander. It was also easily installed in a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta where it fitted well and left ample space for other passengers. Other cars where Milestone was installed and used include Ford F150, Honda Civic, Jeep Cherokee, 2018 Toyota 4Runner and Subaru.

The Graco Contender 65 had been installed and used in various vehicles such as Toyota Corolla, Dodge Durango and Honda Accord.  In a 2014 Ford Fusion, 2 of these car seats were installed with 1 rear-facing and 1 forward-facing, yet there was plenty of room left for the front passengers. Another parent said that she is a small person, but she did not find difficulty installing this Contender 65 using LATCH in her 2010 Toyota RAV4.


Good Two Way Car Seats




  Graco Contender 65 Graco Milestone
Do I need to use a pool noodle/rolled towel? Yes, indicated in the manual Yes, but the manual mentions only rolled towels
Easy To Install Rear-Facing? Relatively No
Easy To Install Forward-Facing? Relatively No
Easy To Uninstall? No Yes
Recline Position 2 4
Lower Anchor Weight Limit 45 pounds


  • Pool Noodle/Rolled Towels

Milestone’s manual mentions that rolled towels may be placed underneath the car seat and at the crease of the vehicle seat so that proper recline will be used.  Either a rolled towel or a pool noodle can be used with Contender 65 for the same purpose. 

  • LATCH 

The push-on LATCH connector of Milestone is more preferred than the standard j-hook style connector of Contender 65.

  • Recline

Graco Milestone has more recline positions than Graco Contender 65. A ball recline angle indicator is present in both products.

  • Lower Anchor Weight Limit

Both car seats also share the same lower anchor weight limit. This means that when the child occupant’s weight is more than 45 pounds, the car seat installation must then be switched from LATCH to vehicle seatbelt.


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Graco Contender 65 Graco Milestone
Country Of Origin: China
Steel Frame: No Yes
Five-Point Harness? Yes
Side Impact Tested: Yes
Approved For Airplane Use: Yes   
Easy To Buckle And Unbuckle? No Yes

The only obvious difference between the 2 car seats from the table above is that Graco Milestone has steel frame construction while Graco Contender 65 has durable plastic frame. Some parents feel more comfortable having a car seat with a steel frame because they feel that it is sturdier and could better protect their children from harm. Yet, we could see from safety testimonials about these 2 child restraint systems that both have been tried and tested in real life accidents. 

A parent shared that they got into an accident wherein their vehicle hit a guard rail and then flipped over. State troopers who responded to the incident commented that the Milestone car seat did its job in protecting her son’s life.

For the Contender 65, despite not having a steel frame, a parent shared that her child still remained secured despite hanging upside down after their car spun and flipped over. Her son did not endure even a scratch. 


Graco Milestone 3 in 1 Car Seat | Infant to Toddler Car Seat, Gotham
Price: $299.99
(As of: 2022/11/10 1:41 am - Details
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
1 new from $299.990 used
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The Seat


Graco Contender 65 Graco Milestone
Is The Material Breathable? Yes No
Seat Weight: 15.2 pounds 19.4 pounds
Machine Washable Cover? Yes
Roomy? Yes
No-Rethread Harness? Yes
Comes With An Infant Body Support? Yes
Easy To Remove Cover? No Yes
Expiration 7 Years 10 Years
Comes With A Cup Holder? Yes
Shoulder Harness Has Pads? No Yes
# Of Crotch Strap Positions: 2 3
  • Weight – Contender 65 is considerably lighter since it does not have the steel frame of Milestone.
  • Life Span – Graco Milestone is for use by a child beyond 8 years of age so its lifespan is expectedly longer than that of Graco Contender 65.
  • Crotch Strap – Another superiority of Milestone over Contender 65 is that it has more crotch strap positions. Furthermore, it has 2014 IIHS Best Bet rating for booster fit. This means that the car seat can provide a good fit with the seatbelt for almost all kids in practically all vehicles. When switching the Milestone into a booster seat, the harness can be tucked into the shell rather than being removed from the frame.


Check Out The Graco Contender 65 Colors*

Check Out The Graco Milestone Colors*


Compare The Price


Graco Contender 65

Graco Milestone

Check The Latest Price*

Check The Latest Price*




There is an approximately USD 90 price difference between the Graco Contender 65 and Graco Milestone. The Milestone is more expensive.

Graco Milestone has numerous superior qualities over the competition. These include:

  • booster seat mode
  • 3-across installation
  • more recline angles
  • steel frame
  • easier to buckle and unbuckle
  • easy to remove seat cover
  • longer expiration date
  • there’s an included shoulder harness pads
  • more crotch strap positions

For the Graco Contender,

  • it is lighter so it’s good for air traveling
  • the seat cover is made of breathable materials


Do You Need More Help To Decide Between

The Graco Contender 65 and Graco Milestone?

Read My Graco Contender 65 Review

See My Graco Milestone Review

What do you think? 

I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section below!







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