The Graco Extend2fit and the Graco Contender 65 are both from the same line of Graco convertible car seats, so they naturally share some common characteristics. Yet, in the real world where parents would like to use something better for their children, the differences between these two (apart from the price) will indicate that the Extend2Fit is a more preferable option. See why below.

 

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Graco Extend2fit*

Vs

Graco Contender 65*

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Ideal Use


 

Graco Extend2fit Graco Contender 65
Rear-Facing Weight: 4 to 50 pounds 5 to 40 pounds
Rear-Facing Height Limit: Up to 45 inches 1-inch below the adjuster button on headrest when fully extended
Forward-Facing Weight: 22 to 65 pounds 20 to 65 pounds
Forward-Facing Height Limit: Up to 49 inches

 

Similarities:

  • We can use both convertible car seats in the rear-facing and in forward-facing modes.
  • They also share a forward-facing maximum weight limit of 65 pounds. Both could well accommodate average sized children up to 4 or maybe 5 years old.

Differences:

  • Extend2Fit has a higher rear-facing weight limit than Contender 65. However, neither of the two could provide a snug fit for smaller babies and preemies.
  • Extend2Fit is designed to accommodate a child up to 50 pounds of weight in-rear facing. Thus, this offers a better deal in terms of extended rear-facing use. It offers a better price point if you want a cheaper alternative to other extended rear facing car seats such as Clek Foonf or Diono Radian 3RXT.
  • With rear-facing accommodation, Extend2Fit is superior to Contender 65 because of its “leg extension panel.” It is a tray that can be extended up to 5 inches in 4 positions (Position 1, however, is the default fully retracted position).

 

Good All In One Car Seats


 

Will It Fit In My Car?


 

Graco Extend2fit Graco Contender 65
Width 19.2 inches 20.75 inches
Height 22.1 inches 26 inches
Depth/Length 25.2 inches 27 inches

In terms of dimensions, both car seats share the characteristic of being wide, so they would not be suitable in 3-across car seat setup.

The Graco Extend2Fit compromised considerable space in a mother’s Toyota Corolla, yet it fitted well in her Toyota Rav4.

A mother who recommended purchasing the Graco Contender 65 said that she was able to still have plenty of room after installing it in her 2014 Ford Fusion.

Both might also take up considerable space when installed in rear-facing but could fit well in any car when front-facing.

With the leg panel of the Graco Extend2Fit fully extended, a front passenger (especially a tall person) in a small vehicle might have a slight decrease in leg space. This will not be a problem if we install the child restraint in a larger vehicle like an SUV or a truck. Otherwise, check your vehicle manual to see whether the back middle seat can be a suitable location to install this car seat where the leg space for the driver or front passenger will not be compromised.

Looking at its dimensions, if you install the Graco Contender 65 and recline it in rear-facing, your only option is to move the vehicle seat across it towards the front, particularly if your car is small. Big and bulky are the two words that will describe this seat, so if you are looking for a space-saving child restraint, the Contender 65 is not what you are looking for.

 

Good 2-Way Car Seats


 

Installation


 

Graco Extend2fit Graco Contender 65
Do I need to use a pool noodle/rolled towel? No Yes
Easy To Install Rear-Facing?

Yes, by LATCH

No, by the seat belt

Relatively
Easy To Install Forward-Facing?

No, by LATCH

Yes, by the seat belt

Relatively
Easy To Uninstall? Yes No
Recline Position

6-position recline:

1 to 4 for rear-facing;

4 to 6 for forward-facing

2-position recline:

1 for rear-facing

1 for forward-facing

Lower Anchor Weight Limit: 45 pounds

 

Similarities:

In the manual of both car seats, it is indicated that a rolled towel can be placed under the seat to achieve a better recline angle. However, many have claimed that they no longer needed the towel or a pool noodle for installing Extend2Fit.

Both have a lower anchors weight limit of 45 pounds although older versions of the Contender 65 have 40 pounds limit. This means that if you ever decide to initially install either of them using the LATCH, you have to be mindful of the baby’s weight in order to not exceed the lower anchor weight limit. Once the limit is reached, you need to change installation using the vehicle seat belt so that you are assured that the car seat safety features will still work if anything unfortunate happens.

Both feature a straight-forward installation using vehicle seat belts. However, installing Extend2Fit in rear-facing could be a bit tricky. The rear-facing belt path is smaller compared to the forward-facing belt path so you must spend a bit more time threading the belt in rear-facing.

 

Differences:

These seats differ from one another in terms of their LATCH feature and Extend2Fit is more preferable.

Extend2Fit is equipped with the InRight LATCH system that makes the easy 1-second LATCH attachment/removal possible.

Contender 65 features the basic j-hook connectors for the lower anchors. They attach these connectors on the side.

Extend2Fit is a better choice in terms of recline positions. It has 6 recline angles while Contender only has 2. This is one of the reasons why a pool noodle or a towel is not necessary when installing Extend2Fit.

With Contender 65, however, using the 2 recline positions is clear-cut that you need not resort to any guessing since there is just one position for rear-facing and another for forward-facing.

 

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat | Ride Rear Facing Longer with Extend2Fit, Davis
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Price: $169.99
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Safety


 

Graco Extend2fit Graco Contender 65
Country Of Origin: China
Steel Frame: Yes No
Five-Point Harness? Yes
Side Impact Tested: Yes
Approved For Airplane Use: Yes
Easy To Buckle And Unbuckle? No

 

Similarities:

  • These two products from Graco are side impact-tested, federal crash-tested and both have EPS foam that absorbs energy during common accidents.

Differences:

The main difference between the two safety-wise is that Extend2Fit has a steel frame, while Contender 65 has durable plastics. Nonetheless, both seats have been proven in real life crash scenarios to be effective in keeping children passengers safe and unharmed.

Extend2Fit has been reviewed and given high ratings by parents who have unfortunately experienced mishaps while in their cars. In one review, there were two children aged 1 and 3 sitting in their car seats. One was seated rear-facing and the other in the forward-facing. When the car rolled over 6 times at 70 mph, the children remained safe and uninjured. Another was just a minor accident, but an accident nonetheless that might result in grave harm. Yet, thanks to the Extend2fit that was given as a gift to the mother and child, the baby remained safe and asleep throughout the incident.

Take note, however, that the warning label of Extend2fit is directly screen printed on the seat cover at the spot where the child’s back would be when seated on this seat. Parents took note that in hot weather, this may cause the child’s skin to be burned.

Graco Contender 65 may only have plastic as a frame, but it has also been proven efficient in protecting a child during accidents. One parent claimed that they had a freeway passenger side impact accident at 60 mph, yet the child endured no harm. A father said that their Contender 65 held up quite well when their truck was clipped in its rear bumper at 60 mph. Even though they were knocked off on the road, slid down at about 20-foot ditch, hit two trees, his daughter emerged with not even a scratch.

Regardless of which car seat you choose, be informed that both have mixed reviews from parents. Low ratings are basically from the experience of parents who found problems with tightening, access to the harness buttons and difficulty in buckling/unbuckling the child. These cases could be rare, but it is still important to be informed since you would need to deal with these features on a daily basis. A well-installed car would be useless if the child is not properly secured in the child restraint.

 

Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat, Glacier
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The Seat


 

Graco Extend2fit Graco Contender 65
Is The Material Breathable? No Yes
Seat Weight: 18.5 pounds 15.2 pounds
Machine Washable Cover? Yes
Roomy? Yes
No-Rethread Harness? Yes
Comes With An Infant Body Support? Yes, body pads Yes, Removable head and body support
Easy To Remove Cover? No
Expiration 10 Years 7 Years
Comes With A Cup Holder? Yes, 2 Yes, 1
Shoulder Harness Has Pads? Yes No
Crotch Pads? No
# Of Headrest Positions: 10 8
# Of Crotch Strap Positions: 2

Similarities:

Both have covers/fabric cushion that is machine washable.

These two car seats from Graco feature the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System. This 5-point harness system can be adjusted along with the headrest even with just one hand.

Both are roomy and have infant support accessories.

These two have no crotch pads. This means that you would need to dress up your child with long pants or something that will cover the legs to avoid any bruises or cuts, especially during long drives.

Both have 2 crotch adjustment settings.

 

Differences:

You would want the Contender 65 over Extend2Fit if you are considering how comfortable your child would be while sitting on their car seat. Parents complimented Contender 65 for having padding and a cover that makes children cool and comfortable while parents criticized Extend2Fit for making children sweat a lot.
 

Check Out The Graco Extend2fit Colors*

Check Out The Graco Contender 65 Colors*

 
Contender is much lighter than the Extend2Fit so you might want it as a travel car seat, provided that you have acquired the skills to install this properly and easily.

Even though both have machine washable covers, you would shy away from the Extend2Fit after reading rants from parents who claim they had difficult moments from removing the cover from the frame. Small elastic bands hold the cover to some parts of the frame. The cover of Contender 65 is much easier to remove than the regular Extend2Fit. If you really want Extend2Fit, you could opt for a costlier version with RapidRemove* cover.

If you like 2 cup holders for the child to use, the Extend2Fit is a good choice. Yet, be aware that its cup holders are squarish so it might not be able to fit cups and bottles with larger diameters.

Extend2Fit has longer expiration than Contender 65.

Extend2Fit has more headrest positions to use. It has 10 positions, while Contender 65 only has 8. Take note though that the highest and the lowest positions are the same — 17.5 inches and 7.5, respectively.

 

Compare The Price


 

Graco Extend2fit

Graco Contender 65

Check The Latest Price*

Check The Latest Price*

 

Conclusion


 

The Graco Extend2fit is approximately USD 60 more expensive than the Graco Contender.

Graco Extend2Fit would be your chosen child restraint system instead of Contender 65 because:

  • you can definitely make use of it in extended rear-facing (until the child weighs 50 pounds and there is even a leg panel where the children can place their feet)
  • it can eliminate the need for towel/pool noodle because it has more recline settings
  • it is easier to install with InRight LATCH in the rear-facing mode
  • it is easier to install by the seat belt in the forward-facing mode
  • It is easier to uninstall
  • it is more sturdy with its steel frame
  • It has a more generous expiration date
  • it has 2 cup holders
  • it has shoulder pads
  • it can provide more snug and less awkward fit with 10 headrest positions

However, there are instances when you would prefer the Contender 65 instead of the Extend2Fit. Basically, it is a decently priced option and

  • if you want a comfortable and breathable car seat for your child
  • if you want a lightweight travel car seat or extra car seat
  • If you want a car seat with an easy to remove the seat cover

 

Do You Need More Help To Decide Between

The Graco Extend2fit And The Graco Contender 65?

 

Read My Graco Extend2fit Review

See My Graco Contender 65 Review

 

What do you think?

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

 

Cheers!

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The Graco Extend2fit And The

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