Graco is one of the best known makers of products for children. Moms and dads know that Graco makes top quality and well-designed car seats, strollers, and other accessories for babies and toddlers.
For decades, Graco has been setting the standard for safe and smart products for kids. The Graco Nautilus is a great example of Graco’s commitment to bringing new innovative designs to the market.
With the introduction of the Nautilus Safety Surround, Graco has added yet another product to its impressive collection of combination car seats. Parents love these seats because they’re so versatile. They can seat kids who are preschool to grade-school age. That means lots of use out of one car seat.
This new Nautilus/Argos line of car seats is called “3-in-1” because the seats have three distinct modes. They can be used as forward-facing car seats, booster seats with backs, and backless booster seats.
Most 3-in-1 car seats can be used in a rear-facing position for babies and small toddlers. But these are different: the Nautilus/Argos combination car seats are not to be used in the rear-facing position!
This review will cover everything you need to know about the Nautilus Safety Surround so you can decide if it’s the right car seat for your family.
Click here for guidelines on choosing the right type of car seat for your child.
You can choose a topic from the Table of Contents below, or keep scrolling down to read the full review.
Harnessed crash protection - 9.5/10
Overall Ease of Use - 8.3/10
Fit-to-vehicle LATCH - 8.2/10
Fit-to-vehicle - 8.4/10
Crash protection (belt fit booster) - 8.7/10
Overview of the Graco Nautilus Safety Surround
Here are some of this car seat’s great features:
- EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam in the headrest provides extra protection
- There are 3 reclining positions to make your child comfortable & achieve optimum seat angle
- It meets rigorous side-impact testing standards (exceeds US minimum standards)
- The headrest can be adjusted to 5 different positions with only one hand
- The armrests are tall and have a cup holder and storage compartments
- Steel rods strengthen the whole structure and make it strong and sturdy
- The life span is 9 years, so your child won’t need another car seat
- The seat is covered with comfortable fabric that comes in several colors
- It’s affordable, retailing at about $200 (check current price)
What’s the Difference Between Safety Surround and Regular Nautilus?
The Safety Surround has an extra layer of EPS foam in the headrest. This adds extra side impact protection for your child’s head in the event of an accident.
Unfortunately, there is no US side impact safety standard at this time. However, Graco has set its own stringent standard. This car seat meets Graco’s Side Impact Testing Standard and the European Side Impact Standard.
The headrest and harness are not connected, so you can adjust each one separately to get the perfect fit for your child. Getting the correct fit is important for your child’s safety, so please take the time to make those adjustments. You’ll be glad you did!
Fit to Child
The Graco Nautilus with Safety Surround is an amazing car seat that can hold a wide range of children of different sizes.
Small kids weighing as little as 22 pounds, bigger toddlers, and older kids weighing up to 120 pounds can all use these seat. Just be aware that sometimes the biggest kids (especially boys) might have a bit of trouble with the crotch strap and feel like it’s too tight.
Remember, for their safety, children need to stay in rear-facing car seats until they’re 2 years old. Kids younger than 2 should not be using the Nautilus combination car seat! Graco has plenty of other options for the littlest guys.
Installation with Seat Belt
Installing the Nautilus Safety Surround using your car’s seat belt is simple and straightforward. However, if the car seat slopes downward very much, the headrest might touch the ceiling on the highest setting. But, this isn’t going to happen in most cars.
Installation with LATCH
LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) installation shouldn’t be used for kids that weigh more than 45 pounds*. Check your car’s user manual to see what it says the weight limit is. You should go by the lower of the two weight limits.
You’ll find the LATCH straps and connectors in a compartment on the side of the car seat.
Using the LATCH to install the car seat is isn’t hard at all. Just follow the directions in the user manual and you’ll be set up in no time.
By the way, it’s fine to use LATCH when you’re using the Nautilus as a booster seat as long as it doesn’t get in the way of buckling the seat belt.
Once your child reaches 45 pounds, you should switch to the seat belt and tether.
*Lower anchor weight limit is 45 lbs for manufactured after Feb 2015. Older Nautilus seats have varying lower anchor limits, please refer the manual for your seat for specific details.
Non-standard Spacing LATCH Installation
You can install the car seat in the center position using LATCH as long as the lower anchor spacing is more than 11 inches. You should also consult your vehicle user manual to see if it’s safe to install it this way.
It’s important that you use the top tether to secure this car seat. It will reduce the distance your child’s head can move if you’re in a wreck. The less movement, the less likely he’ll be injured.
The tether runs from the top of the car seat to an anchor behind the back seat of the vehicle. It’s easy to do, and it will keep your child from serious harm.
Don’t neglect this step!
Inflatable Seat Belts
If your vehicle has inflatable seat belts, you shouldn’t use them to install the car seat if it’s being used in the harness mode. Instead, use the LATCH to install it. Once you switch to booster mode, it’s fine to use the inflatable seat belts.
Adjusting the recline system is easy to do using the handle on the car seat’s front panel. There isn’t a huge difference between the three positions, and it might not make much difference to your child. But it will help you to get the car seat at the right angle for installation.
Ease of Use
The Nautilus doesn’t come fully assembled. There are a few things you’re going to have to put together, but it’s not hard to do. Just make sure that you follow the instructions, and you shouldn’t have any trouble. It’s only going to take you about 5 minutes.
Using the Nautilus is about as simple as it can get. The new improved buckle makes it easy to get your little one in and out of the car seat. Adjusting the harness front is simple, and the chest clip opens and closes easily.
Over the last few years, Graco has made a lot of improvements in the design of the harness and buckle. It may have been awkward and tricky to use in the past, but now you’ll find the Nautilus is much easier to operate.
Now let’s talk about adjusting the height of the harness.
It’s not super easy like some other seats where the harness just slides along when you raise the headrest. But, it’s not super hard, either.
Here’s how it works:
First, you raise up the headrest and then loosen the harness straps a bit. Working one side at a time, take the strap off of the splitter and pull it through from the front. Stick the strap through the new slot, run it over the roller bar in the back, and put it back on the splitter. There you go. Simple.
Getting the cover on and off isn’t as easy as it might seem. Unfortunately, it’s not form-fitting and it uses a lot of elastic straps to hold it in place. It’s hard to get the elastics through the holes and into the right place. Here’s hoping that Graco will improve this design in the near future.
Converting to Booster Mode
Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 booster mode
When your child is big enough, you can switch the Nautilus Safety Surround from harness mode to booster mode.
The first step is to detach the harness and crotch straps. Then you’ll put the back of the seat down and remove it. Or, if you like, you can leave the back attached and use it as a booster with a back. You just won’t be using the harness anymore.
You can find all the instructions in the user manual. Or, you can always find videos online demonstrating how to make the conversion to booster mode.
The instruction manual is laid out well and easy to follow. There are plenty of illustrations to help you, too.
There is some important information missing in the manual, though.
First, it doesn’t say that you can use LATCH with the booster mode as long as it doesn’t interfere with the seat belt buckle. This is important to know.
Also, it doesn’t mention Graco’s recommendation regarding inflatable seatbelts (see the section in this review).
We did mention these items already in this review. So please take special note if you’re planning to buy one of these car seats. Here is a link to the Nautilus manual – but be sure to check it matches your seat manufacture date.
- Can be easily installed in most vehicles.
- High weight limit (65 lbs) can accommodate children for longer
- Can be used as either a highback or backless booster seat
- Safety Surround technology uses strong EPS foam in the headrest.
- Wide age and size range of children can use it.
- Integrated steel rods strengthen the structure and provide excellent protection.
- Comfortable seat with thick padding.
- Easy to clean — seat cover is machine washable.
- Built-in cubbies and cup holder.
- One-hand adjustable headrest with 5 positions.
- Comfortable tall armrests.
- Goes from harness to a high back booster or backless booster.
- Has a lifespan of 9 years.
- Changing the harness height is time-consuming and tricky to do.
- A heavy and bulky seat (20 lbs)
- The base of the seat is wide — may be difficult with smaller/narrow vehicle seats
- Crotch strap can be uncomfortable for big kids.
- The cover is not easy to take off or put back on.
- Does not come fully assembled.
- The manual is missing some important information about installation.
What Other Booster Seat Should You Consider?
When it comes to selecting a booster seat for your child, there are several options to consider. One popular and reliable option is the Chicco GoFit Booster Seat. This booster seat offers a lightweight and portable design that’s ideal for families on the go. Plus, it features a comfortable, contoured seat and a removable, machine-washable cover for added convenience. Another excellent option to consider is the Graco TurboBooster LX Backless Booster Seat.
This booster seat is designed to provide your child with a safe and comfortable ride, thanks to its padded, adjustable armrests and multi-layer headrest. It also includes built-in cup holders and storage compartments to keep snacks, toys, and other essentials within easy reach. Ultimately, the best booster seat for your child will depend on their age, weight, and height, as well as your lifestyle and budget. By doing your research and considering all of your options, you can choose the booster seat that’s right for you and your family.
Is it easy to clean the Graco Nautilus LX?
Overall, the Graco Nautilus LX car seat is relatively easy to clean. The cover is removable and machine-washable, making it easy to keep it looking fresh and clean. However, some parts of the car seat can be a bit trickier to clean, such as the harness and buckle. It can be challenging to get all the dirt and grime out of the straps, and the buckle mechanism can be particularly difficult to clean thoroughly. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when cleaning these parts to ensure that they are not damaged or compromised in any way.
Overall, while cleaning the Graco Nautilus LX may require some effort, it is certainly doable, and keeping your child’s car seat clean is essential for their safety and comfort.
How Much Does The Graco Nautilus Car Seat Cost?
The Graco Nautilus car seat is a popular choice for parents looking for a quality car seat that will grow with their child. The cost of the Nautilus car seat can vary depending on the specific features and retailer, but generally ranges from around $150 to $300. This price range is higher than some other basic car seat options, but the Nautilus offers additional safety features and a longer lifespan as it can be used for children up to 100 pounds. The Nautilus car seat is designed to be easy to install and adjust as the child grows and has additional features such as a cup holder and storage compartment. Many parents find the cost of the Nautilus to be a worthwhile investment as it can be used for several years and offers peace of mind when it comes to safety on the road.
Overview of the Graco Nautilus 65
The Graco Nautilus 65 is a versatile car seat designed to provide safe and comfortable seating for children weighing up to 65 pounds. It can be used in three modes: a five-point harness mode for younger children, a booster mode for older children, and a backless booster mode for even older children. The car seat offers a recline feature to keep children comfortable during long road trips, and armrests for added comfort.
With the Simply Safe Adjust harness system, parents can easily adjust the harness to fit their child properly, without having to rethread the straps. The headrest can also be adjusted to accommodate different heights as the child grows. The seat belt is integrated into the car seat and is easy to use, which is great for busy parents. Graco calls the Nautilus 65 one of their safest car seats, meeting all safety standards established by the federal government. It’s a great investment for parents who want a durable, versatile, and safe car seat for their child.
Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Car Seat Specs
The Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 car seat is a versatile car seat that can be used in three different modes: front-facing harness mode, highback booster mode, and backless booster mode. This 3-in-1 car seat can accommodate children ranging from 22 to 120 pounds and has a weight limit of 65 pounds when used in the harness mode. The Graco Nautilus 65 is equipped with a 5-point harness system, adjustable headrest, and three recline positions for ultimate comfort and safety.
The car seat also has an easy-to-read level indicator for proper installation and energy-absorbing foam for impact protection. A cup holder and storage compartment provide convenience and make long car rides more comfortable. The Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 car seat is a reliable and safe choice for parents who want to invest in a car seat that can grow with their child from toddler to big kid.
Graco Nautilus 65 Features
The Graco Nautilus 65 is a versatile car seat that can accommodate children weighing up to 65 pounds. It features a five-point harness that can be adjusted to fit the child in harness mode, which is ideal for younger kids. As the child grows, the seat can be converted to a high-back or backless booster using the seat belt installation. The seat comes with a headrest, a seat pad, a buckle, and armrests that can be adjusted in height to ensure the child’s comfort. The seat also reclines, which is great for long trips since it allows the child to rest comfortably. In terms of safety features, the Graco Nautilus 65 has been rigorously tested to meet or exceed federal safety standards. The seat is equipped with energy-absorbing foam, which helps to protect the child in the event of a crash. Overall, the Graco Nautilus 65 is a reliable and comfortable car seat that parents can use for years as their child grows.
Pros and Cons of the Graco Nautilus 65:
The Graco Nautilus 65 is one of the most popular car seats on the market. It is a versatile car seat that can accommodate children from 22 to 100 pounds. One of the advantages of the Graco Nautilus 65 is that it has a five-point harness that can be adjusted as your child grows.
It also has three recline positions, which makes it a comfortable option for long car rides. Additionally, the Graco Nautilus 65 features a headrest and armrests that provide extra comfort and support. However, one of the drawbacks of this car seat is that the installation process can be tricky and time-consuming. Some users have also complained about the difficulty of adjusting the headrest as their child grows.
Another disadvantage is that the Graco Nautilus 65 is relatively heavy, which can be cumbersome when moving it from one car to another. Nonetheless, overall the Graco Nautilus 65 is a great option for families who are looking for a reliable and versatile car seat.
Graco Nautilus 65 vs. Baby Trend Hybrid 3-in-1
When it comes to selecting a car seat for your child, safety and comfort should always be your top priority. Two popular options in the market are Graco Nautilus 65 and Baby Trend Hybrid 3-in-1. The Graco Nautilus is a forward-facing car seat that can convert into a high-back booster and a backless booster, offering a comfortable ride for your child up to 100 pounds. It comes with a 5-point harness that can be used in harness mode for children between 22-65 pounds. On the other hand, the Baby Trend Hybrid 3-in-1 is also a forward-facing car seat that can convert into a high-back booster and a backless booster, accommodating children up to 100 pounds too. However, it only comes with a 5-point harness for children up to 65 pounds. Although both car seats have similar features and accommodate the same weight limit, the Graco Nautilus 65 offers the convenience of harness mode for a higher weight limit, making it a safer and a more comfortable option for your child.
Child size limits for the Graco Nautilus LX 3-in-1
If you are considering purchasing the Graco Nautilus or Nautilus LX 3-in-1, it is essential to know their child size limits. The Graco Nautilus LX 3-in-1 is a convertible car seat suitable for infants weighing 5 to 40 pounds. When they can sit up unassisted, you can convert the seat to a harness mode, which can accommodate children weighing 22 to 65 pounds. After that, you can use the high back booster mode for kids between 30 and 100 pounds, and finally, the backless booster mode for those weighing 40 to 100 pounds. The Graco Nautilus LX 3-in-1 provides an updated harness adjuster that makes it easy to adjust the harness and move the straps to accommodate your growing child. This convertible car seat is an excellent choice for parents who want to ensure the safety and comfort of their children during car rides.
Graco Nautilus LX Is A Comfortable Car Seat
The Graco Nautilus LX is a top-of-the-line car seat that is known for its exceptional comfort. Designed to accommodate children from 20 to 100 pounds, this car seat features a Simply Safe Adjust harness that makes it easy to adjust the harness and headrest in one motion, with no re-threading required.
The Safe Adjust harness ensures a perfect fit as your child grows, while the forward-facing design keeps your child secure during every ride. The built-in armrests provide extra comfort for your child, while the headrest offers extra support and protection in the event of a collision. The Graco Nautilus LX is truly one of the best car seats available, providing a safe and comfortable ride for children of all ages and sizes. Whether you are going on a long road trip or just running errands around town, this car seat is sure to keep your child safe and comfortable every time you hit the road.
Installing the Graco Nautilus LX in Your Vehicle is Easy
Installing the Graco Nautilus LX in your vehicle is a breeze. This car seat is designed for children weighing between 22 to 100 pounds, making it perfect for kids who have outgrown their infant car seats. The Graco Nautilus LX is a versatile and durable booster seat that can be used as a forward-facing seat and later as a high-back or backless booster seat. The LX model comes with a five-point harness system that can be used for children who weigh between 22 to 65 pounds.
Once your child exceeds this weight limit, you can convert it into a belt-positioning booster seat with just a push of a button. The installation process is straightforward and intuitive. The Graco Nautilus LX comes with an easy-to-follow manual and clear labeling on the seat itself, making it easy to install in your vehicle. Whether you decide to use the LX model or opt for the standard Graco Nautilus, you can rest assured that your child’s safety is the top priority. Installing this seat is a straightforward process, and it’s designed to keep your child safe and comfortable on the road.
Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 Car Seat Reviews
The Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 car seat has been one of the most popular car seats on the market for quite some time, and for good reason. With its ability to transform from a forward-facing harness car seat to a high-back booster and eventually a backless booster, it can easily accommodate children as they grow.
Plus, it has a weight limit of up to 100 pounds, meaning it can be used for many years. Many parents have raved about the Graco Nautilus in car seat reviews, commenting on its comfort, ease of installation, and the fact that it is relatively lightweight – making it simple to move from one car to another.
Additionally, the car seat has a 5-point harness system and multiple recline positions, ensuring that children are safe and secure at all times. Overall, the Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 car seat is an excellent investment when it comes to ensuring the safety and comfort of your little ones.
A 3 in 1 Convertible Car Seat That Grows With Your Child
The Graco Nautilus convertible car seat is a versatile and practical choice for parents. This 3 in 1 convertible seat grows with your child and can be used as a harness car seat for toddlers up to 65 pounds, a high back booster for children up to 100 pounds, and a backless booster for children up to 120 pounds. This convertible seat has been designed to provide both safety and comfort for your child.
It has a steel-reinforced frame and a 5-point harness to keep your child secure, as well as a comfortable headrest and adjustable armrests to make long car rides more comfortable. The seat is easy to adjust and can be reclined to provide the best fit for your child. The Graco Nautilus convertible car seat is a great investment as it can be used for many years and will grow with your child’s changing needs.
Graco Nautilus 65 vs Graco Nautilus 65 LX
The Graco Nautilus is a well-known brand of car seat for young children. There are two models available, the standard Graco Nautilus 65 and the upgraded Graco Nautilus 65 LX. The LX model offers additional features such as an extended weight limit and a backless booster mode. The Graco Nautilus 65 vs Graco Nautilus 65 LX debate mostly comes down to whether or not you need the additional features. The standard Graco Nautilus 65 is still a great option, especially for those who don’t need the higher weight limit or backless booster.
The Graco Nautilus 65 LX model is a better choice for those who plan on using the seat for a longer period of time, or for those who prefer the flexibility of being able to use the backless booster mode. Whichever model you choose, remember to follow proper safety guidelines for the weight and height limit of your child and use the seat correctly at all times to ensure their safety.
The Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 and Nautilus 65 LX are time-tested solutions that have been safely transporting children for years. While these models might not be as streamlined or lightweight as some more current designs, lots of parents find a feeling of safety and security in using a car seat with a bit more heft to it.
The strong, steel underbody makes this a solid car seat that feels like a sturdy extension of the vehicle and will last a long time. Parents can trust that installed correctly this car seat provides a comfortable and safe seat for children from when they are toddlers are the way up to youth.
Graco Nautilus 65 Review (2023): 3 Modes Provide Safety for Your Growing Child
The Graco Nautilus 65 car seat is ideal for parents who want a durable, safe, and long-lasting car seat for their children. This car seat features three different modes to provide optimal protection for your growing child: forward-facing harness, highback booster, and backless booster. The forward-facing harness mode is suitable for children from 22 to 65 pounds, while the highback booster mode accommodates children from 30 to 100 pounds. The backless booster mode can support children from 40 to 120 pounds.
The seat’s Simply Safe Adjust Harness System allows you to adjust the harness and headrest with ease, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your child. The car seat also features EPS foam, which absorbs energy during impact and keeps your child safe and protected. Additionally, the integrated cup holder and storage compartment add convenience for parents, allowing for effortless storage of your child’s belongings.
All in all, the Graco Nautilus 65 car seat is an excellent investment for parents looking for an all-in-one car seat that will last through their child’s growth stages.
Who is the Graco Nautilus car seat best for?
This car seat is the perfect choice for parents who are looking for a reliable, versatile and long-lasting car seat. It is designed to accommodate children weighing between 20 and 100 pounds, and it comes equipped with a 5-point harness system that can be easily adjusted as your child grows.
Its also designed to convert into a high-back booster or a backless booster, providing added versatility and adaptability. This car seat is ideal for families who are always on the go and need a car seat that is easy to install and move from one car to the next. Its durable construction and protective features make it an excellent choice for parents who want to keep their children safe while traveling in the car. Additionally, the Graco Nautilus car seat is suitable for families on a budget, as it provides many of the features found in more expensive car seats, at a more affordable price.
Latch Harness Installation Video
A latch harness installation video is a very helpful resource for parents and caregivers who need to install a car seat or booster seat for children. Latch stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, which is a system designed to make installation of car seats easier and safer.
The harness is a crucial component of the car seat or booster seat that secures the child in place during a ride. The installation video typically provides step-by-step instructions on how to attach the harness to the car seat, how to adjust the straps to fit the child properly, and how to secure the car seat to the vehicle using the latch system. It is important to follow the instructions carefully to ensure that the car seat is installed correctly, as this can greatly reduce the risk of injury or fatality in the event of a car accident.
Overall, a latch harness installation video is an educational tool that helps parents and caregivers ensure the safety of children during car rides.
Replacing Harness Buckle Video
Replacing a harness buckle can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and instructions, it can be done easily and quickly. First, identify the type of buckle on your harness and purchase a replacement that is compatible. Then, remove the old buckle by either popping it out or cutting it off. Next, slide the new buckle into place and secure it by either snapping it in or using a hammer to secure any rivets.
It’s important to make sure the new buckle is secure and functional before using the harness again, as it is a crucial component for safety. Watching a video tutorial can be helpful, as it provides visual instruction and can make the process less intimidating. Overall, replacing a harness buckle is a relatively straightforward process that can be completed with a bit of patience and attention to detail.
How safe is Graco Nautilus?
The safety of the Graco Nautilus cannot be understated. It is a highly regarded car seat known for its excellent safety features and performance. The Nautilus has undergone rigorous testing to meet and exceed safety standards set by regulatory authorities. It incorporates a robust five-point harness system and side-impact protection to ensure optimal safety during travel. Additionally, the Nautilus offers adjustable headrest and harness positions to accommodate the growing needs of your child. With its solid construction and dedication to safety, the Graco Nautilus provides peace of mind for parents looking for a reliable and secure car seat option.
Is there a recall on Graco Nautilus 65?
As of September 2021, there were no known recalls on the Graco Nautilus 65. However, it’s always recommended to check with the official Graco website or relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information regarding product recalls.
How many years does a Graco Nautilus last?
A Graco Nautilus car seat typically lasts for approximately 6 to 10 years, depending on the specific model and the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is crucial to follow the expiration date provided by Graco to ensure the continued safety and reliability of the car seat.
Is the Graco Nautilus airplane approved?
The Graco Nautilus is not specifically designed or labeled as “airplane approved” by Graco. However, it is important to note that each airline may have its own regulations and guidelines regarding car seats on airplanes. It is advisable to check with the specific airline you are traveling with to understand their policies and determine if the Graco Nautilus meets their requirements for use during flights.
The Nautilus by Graco has been available for 9 years now. It’s been tried and tested and has proven to be a reliable combination car seat. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
It can accommodate older toddlers to grade school age kids. So once your child starts using it, they will be able to use it all the way through booster mode and graduate onto a regular seat-belt.
The harness is easy to use, so getting your child into the seat is quick and easy. And it’s simple to adjust the incline position and headrest position to fit your child.
Now that Graco has added the extra Safety Surround feature, you can be sure that your child will be as safe, secure and comfortable as can be.
There are different places where you can buy this car seat. We always recommend Amazon because it’s a trusted and reliable online retailer. They almost always have the lowest prices and free shipping, too. And returns are never a problem.
This might just be the car seat you’ve been looking for. Your kid will love it because it’s comfortable, and you’ll love it because it’s easy to use, and it’s affordable.
You can get a great price on a Graco Nautilus Safety Surround today. Just click below to see the current price at Amazon.
Additional Recall Information
If you already own the Graco Nautilus seat, be aware that some of these seats are part of a recall (Spring 2014) for difficulty in dis-engaging the buckle. Check if your specific seat is part of the recall by visiting Graco Recall 2014 website.
Note that the Spring 2014 recall does not affect more recent products available for purchase