Comparing the Graco Nautilus and Graco 4Ever DLX is like choosing between a car seat that can succeed a previously used car seat, and one that can be ever-present in your child’s growth and development. Money-wise, it would be the 4Ever DLX that will most likely be your choice because it is like your child’s travel companion beginning from birth until well beyond the pre-school years. However, Nautilus 65 can still suit many parents’ needs and circumstances. Keep reading below and find out for yourself why.
Graco 4ever DLX
4 to 40 pounds
|Rear-Facing Height Limit|
the head must be at least 1-inch below the headrest adjustment handle
22 to 65 pounds
|Forward-Facing Height Limit:|
27 to 49 inches, at least 1 yr old
Up to 49 inches
|High Back Booster Weight:|
30 to 100 pounds
40 to 100 pounds
|Backless Booster Weight:|
40 to 100 pounds
40 to 120 pounds
|High Back Booster Height:|
38 to 57 inches, at least 3 years old
43 to 57 inches/ At least 4 Years Old
|Backless Booster Height:|
40 to 57 inches, at least 4 years old
- They share the same forward-facing weight limit, maximum forward-facing height limit, maximum high back booster weight, and height limit, and maximum backless booster height limit.
An ideal situation where you would choose the Graco Nautilus 65 is when you already have an infant car seat for your baby. This means that you can use the infant car seat in rear-facing until it is overgrown by your child and then you can start using Nautilus in forward-facing.
When To Stop Using The Booster Seat? Vehicle seat belts are designed for use by a person weighing 165 pounds so kids are definitely not supposed to use them. Otherwise, these kids could only be injured (and worst die) during a crash if they use the seat belts that do not fit their bodies properly. Seat belts will properly fit a child’s body if they are at least 4 feet and 9 inches tall. This is equivalent to 57 inches, which is the maximum height for the backless booster mode of these 2 car seats. This means that either car seat could help keep children’s bodies secure before they could finally use the vehicle seatbelt.
- Rear-Facing. Only the Graco 4Ever DLX offers features for rear-facing setups. Thus, this product has a more attractive offer since it is something that can be used during your child’s early months as compared to the Graco Nautilus.
- Booster Mode. Nautilus has a lower minimum weight for a high-back booster, but 4Ever DLX has a higher maximum weight limit for a backless booster.
According to this article, it is best to keep a child sitting on a harnessed car seat (forward-facing) until at least they are 4 years old and weighs 40 pounds. Thus from the figures in the table above, it is the recommended use of Graco 4Ever DLX that fits this safety reminder. To keep babies safe, you should probably apply this reminder when using the Nautilus.
Graco 4ever DLX
- At 20/21.5 inches in width, neither car seat will fit in a car 3-across. They are also quite on the bulky side that they might leave little room for other passengers in a compact car.
- Vehicles were the Nautilus 65 has been installed nicely include Honda CRV, 2006 Avalon, Nissan Sentra, 2014 Honda Fit, 99 Dodge Ram, and Ford Pickup. Also, if the vehicle seat has a significant downward slope, installing this car seat in its highest headrest setting could somehow block the driver’s rear-view since the car seat’s topmost part can touch the ceiling of the car.
- From the reviews of Graco 4Ever DLX, you would know that it has been installed inside the 2016 Honda CRV, Toyota Sienna, and Honda Fit with no major issues. Some parents with compact cars and sedans have noted that front passengers did not have much legroom when this car seat was installed rear-facing despite being set up only with the lowest recline setting.
Graco 4ever DLX
|Do I need to use a pool noodle/rolled towel?|
Yes, although not mentioned in the manual
|Easy To Install Rear-Facing?|
|Easy To Install Forward-Facing?|
|Easy To Uninstall?|
|# Of Recline Positions|
|Lower Anchor Weight Limit|
- Both car seats’ feedback about the ease of installation are positive.
- Both also have a lower anchor weight limit of 45 pounds (although earlier versions of 4Ever DLX are said to have lower anchor weight limit of 42 pounds).
- Use of Pool Noodle/Rolled Towel. In the manual of both car seats, there was no mention of the use of aftermarket products to achieve the proper recline angle. Nevertheless, the Q&A portion of Nautilus 65 included an inquiry about what can be done to solve the head slumping problem of one parent. According to the response of Graco Consumer Services to fix this issue, a pool noodle or rolled towel can be placed in the seat bight with the seat in recline position 1.
- Vehicle Seat belt Installation. Car seats with belt lock-offs are preferable over those that do not because having such a feature is easier than to use locking clips in keeping the installed seats firmly in place. Thus, 4Ever DLX has a more attractive bid because one of its new features (versus the classic 4Ever car seat) is the integrated belt lock-off. The Graco Nautilus 65 has no belt lock-off feature, unlike other Nautilus models/versions such as Nautilus 65 LX featuring TrueShield Technology* and Nautilus 65 DLX.*
- LATCH Installation. Graco Nautilus 65 has a j-hook style connector. The 4Ever DLX features an easier to use the push button style LATCH connector.
- Recline. The Graco Nautilus 65 offers only 3 recline positions. According to parents who reviewed the product, they did not find any significant difference among the 3 settings. A more reclined position is necessary only in the rear-facing, which this child restraint system does not allow.
Since Graco 4Ever DLX offers 4 modes of use, it is also expected to offer more recline positions. Positions 1 to 3 are for rear-facing and positions 4 to 6 are for forward-facing. To check if the car seat is at an appropriate level there is a bubble indicator placed at the side of the child restraint.
- Converting To Booster Mode. This video will show you how to convert Nautilus 65 from 5-point harness mode to the high-back booster mode.
If you watch this video for Graco 4Ever, you'll have an idea on how to convert the seat from forward-facing to booster mode.
Here is also another visual demonstration on how to convert the Graco 4Ever to backless booster mode.
Graco 4ever DLX
|Country Of Origin:|
|Side Impact Tested:|
|Approved For Airplane Use:|
|Easy To Buckle And Unbuckle?|
- Safety Features.
Reading the description of Nautilus 65 on the Graco website, you would learn that its safety features include Simply Safe Adjust harness (harness and headrest can be adjusted together), compliance to US standard FMVSS 213, steel frame, EPS foam impact management, and side-impact tested.
The main safety feature of Graco 4Ever DLX is the Protect Plus Engineering from Graco. This is supposed to mean that the car seat has been 2x car seat standard tested, frontal impact tested, side-impact tested, rear impact tested, roll safe tested, and extreme interior temperature tested.
- Real-Life Efficiency of Safety Features.
It should be a reminder to all parents that the efficiency of the safety features greatly relies on how correctly the car seat has been installed.
If you read the reviews for Nautilus 65, you would be convinced that this is one of the car seats you can invest your money on because it delivers its promise to keep your child safe. Parents and grandparents gave this product a high rating on Amazon and other platforms because it protected children during accidents. One example was a grandfather whose car has been totaled. He was amazed by the Nautilus 65 because his grandson did not even endure a scratch from the crash.
Regarding the real-life efficiency of the 4Ever DLX, you might not be able to find a lot of testimonials. However, you could further search online for news about the product and you might find this news article. It is not about a car crash, but about a stray bullet which Graco 4Ever DLX (according to the mother herself) protected the child from.
Incidentally, they (father, mother, and son) were in the car when they heard a loud sound. They initially thought it was nothing, but they eventually found out that there was an interstate chase in the area where the family was at during a weekend trip. Perhaps due to instinct that the parents decided to inspect their car and to their horror and surprise, they discovered a bullet hole on the door next to their son. They opened the car door and further discovered that the stray bullet had pierced through the child’s car seat whose steel frame and padding probably stopped the bullet from actually hitting the child’s arm.
10 Best Convertible Car Seats Of 2021
Graco 4ever DLX
|Is The Material Breathable?|
|Machine Washable Cover?|
|Comes With An Infant Body Support?|
|Easy To Remove Cover?|
Yes (Rapid Remove Cover)
|Comes With A Cup Holder?|
|Shoulder Harness Has Pads?|
|# Of Headrest Positions:|
|# Of Crotch Strap Positions:|
- Both are roomy.
- Both have removable and washable covers.
- Both have 10 years of expiration.
- Both have shoulder pads.
- Cover Removal
For Nautilus 65, you can watch this visual demo on how the fabric cover can be removed for washing.
The Graco 4ever DLX features a “Rapid Remove” cover. In hearing about Rapid Remove Cover, I thought that the process would be much simpler than that of regular Graco covers like in Nautilus. I was thinking of much simpler cover removal such as the Chicco NextFit Zip.
However, when I watched the video below, I saw that there were still elastics to be located and removed. The entire cover could still not be removed as one, which is understandably so because the headrest and the seat itself are made with different fabric covers. I think that the main difference between the cover removal of Nautilus 65 and 4Ever DLX is that the 4ever DLX need not be uninstalled first before you can remove the cover.
Cup Holders and Compartments.
Nautilus 65 comes with 1 cup holder and it also has some little compartments built into the armrest to place their cups and bottles. The compartments at the side offer added storage space for kids’ toys and other travel necessities.
The 4Ever DLX may have 2 cup holders, but it does not have the cubby holes compartment of Nautilus 65. These compartments, in my opinion, can offer more storage space for the children’s stash and necessities (and dirt too!).
The Graco Nautilus and the Graco 4ever DLX are approximately USD 150 apart. The Nautilus is cheaper.
The 4Ever DLX is a child restraint that
- your child could grow with and into because of its capability to accommodate from rear-facing until the child is all set to use the vehicle seatbelt.
- has a higher backless booster weight limit.
- needs no pool noodle or rolled towel for installation.
- makes vehicle seat belt installation more secure with its built-in lock off feature.
- has more recline positions.
- has been subjected to more safety tests.
- comes with infant body support.
- has a Rapid Remove cover.
- comes with two cup holders.
- has more headrest positions.
Yet, with regards to modes of use like forward-facing and booster modes where they intersect, the Nautilus 65 can be described to be at par with the 4Ever DLX. It may not have the extra features of 4Ever DLX, but can do the job pretty well, too.
Many parents have probably bought an infant car seat for their babies even before the child was born and it is at such an instance that the Nautilus 65 will be an attractive next purchase. Within a few months after birth, the baby will certainly outgrow the rear-facing infant car seat and would need the next car seat that will fit the growing child.
With the Nautilus 65, you can have a car seat that
- is a little narrower.
- comes with breathable materials for all colors/fashions.
- is lighter.
- has crotch pads.
- can provide the extra needed space for baby’s necessities through its convenient cubby holes.
- has more crotch strap positions.
Do You Need More Help To Decide Between
The Graco Nautilus Or Graco 4ever DLX?
What do you think? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section below!