graco tranzitions 3-in-1 harness booster seat review

Graco transitions 3-in-1 harness booster seat is a popular car seat from one of the nation’s leading manufacturers. We will discuss how to decide on the right car seat for your family in this Graco Tranzitions review and give our impressions and recommendations.

There is a lot to learn about choosing a car seat. As a new parent, you may be overwhelmed by the variety of models, manufacturers, and features available. Thanks to our reviews of the best car seats on the market, we can make it a little easier. Today, we will share our review of the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1.

Baby gear brand Graco is one of the most popular. They have focused on car safety since they were founded. In addition to industry-required testing, Graco works to ensure that its car seats are comfortable and convenient for parents and kids without compromising safety.

We’ll discuss the features of the Graco Tranzitions car seat, what to look for when shopping for a car seat, and conclude with our recommendations and impressions. After we’re done, you’ll be able to decide whether this car seat is right for your child and you.

Graco Tranzitions 3 In 1 Harness Booster Seat

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Front side of the seat
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is graco-transition-car-seat-back-side.png
The backside of the Graco 3-in-1 harness booster

Graco transitions overview

  1. This car seat features three different seating modes: a harness booster, a belt-positioning booster with a high back, and a belt-positioning booster without a back.
  2. Children between 22 and 100 pounds can be accommodated.
  3. Safety features and crash test results have been highly rated.
  4. With numerous easily adjustable features, it provides a comfortable and safe ride for your child.
  5. The validity period is seven years.
  6. Pads and covers can be machine washed for easy cleaning.

Installation

My 2002 Ford Wind star installed the Trekitions in all seating positions with both LATCH and the vehicle’s seat belt, which has a lightweight locking latch plate (found in older vehicles).  

The retractable belt of our Saturn 2002’s back seat is switchable, and the harnesses did not fit well. The installation of this seat is hit or miss; be sure to keep your receipt and the box in case you need to return it if it doesn’t work out.

An installation with a seatbelt

  • There is no digging around or scratching on the belt path.
  • To make the car seat back flush with the vehicle seat, you may need to remove/raise the headrest.
  • Either a lap-only or a lap/shoulder seat belt may be used for harness installation.
  • When installing in harness mode, always use the top rope.
  • You must wear a lap/shoulder belt when using Tranzitions in booster mode.
  • If your vehicle does not have locking seatbelts, contact Graco for a locking clip; refer to the instruction book.

Installation with LATCH

  • A child weighing up to 45 pounds can be fitted with a Transition in harness mode using LATCH. To install in harness mode, you must use the vehicle seat belt and rope for a child weighing more than 45 pounds.
  • When installing in harness mode, always use the top rope.
  • To make the car seat back flush with the vehicle seat, you may need to remove/raise the headrest.
  • LATCH can secure the seat with a high back booster seat (while the child is securely fastened with a seatbelt).   
  • When not in use by the child, secure the booster seat with either a LATCH system or seat belt since a loose car seat can be dangerous to other passengers in a crash or sudden stop.

Latch Weight Limit:

The harness mode is 45 lbs.

No weight limit for belt-positioning boosters. While the child is restrained using the seat belt, the lower LATCH strap can be used to secure Transitions.

Installing the LATCH center with a non-standard spacing:

If your vehicle manufacturer specifically permits it, Graco does allow center LATCH installations with lower anchors wider than 11″. For information regarding the LATCH positions, consult your vehicle owner’s manual.  

Seat belts that inflate

According to Graco, the Tranzitions can be installed on Ford vehicles with inflatable seatbelts. Inflatable seat belts of other types are incompatible with the Tranzitions. It is not problematic to use the seat as a belt-positioning booster.

Safety

The majority of car seats on the market meet a pretty rigorous set of safety standards. Still, some genuinely go above and beyond that level by adding extra features that provide parents with the peace of mind they deserve when traveling with an infant. There are a few features you should look for, including FAA approval, which guarantees an airplane seat will fit, and side-impact testing, which is not currently required by US law.

In addition to impact protection shields, you may want to consider whether the bike helmet is made of foam, which can help absorb impacts better than many other materials. Also available on some seats, but not all are performance chest pads, lateral headrests, and pitch control systems.

Multiple harness holes allow your child’s harness to grow with your child, as well as removable pillows for kids who tend to be on the smaller end of the car seat’s weight and height requirements. Multi-recline positioning is also a helpful safety feature because it allows children to remain comfortable and fit their harness correctly.

Good fit for your child

The Tranzitions can accommodate children weighing 22-65 lbs and 27-49 inches in height with the harness mode. The seat fits smaller children well, but keep in mind that kids under two should be rear-facing. It is a great fit now and will grow with your child if your child exceeds the age of 2 and outgrows their rear-facing convertible car seat.

It is incredibly convenient to have a no-rethread harness, as you do not need to remove the car seat to raise the harness straps as your child grows. You can adjust the headrest, side wings, and harness strap heights by pulling the red adjustment lever at the headrest.

My favorite feature of the Tranzitions car seat is how narrow it is, allowing multiple seats to be positioned across a row. Despite the narrow footprint, this car seat rivals many high-end brands at a much more affordable price. Despite the narrow width of the shell (17 inches at the narrowest point of the base), the interior width of the seat (at its narrowest point) is comfortable at 11 inches. A harness can be worn by my four-year-old, and my older children can use a booster.

In high-back booster mode:

Can convert this forward-facing seat into a high-back booster for children 38-57 inches tall. Suitable for children weighing 30 to 100 pounds. In booster mode, a child must be at least this weight and height. As long as possible, children should use the 5-point harness.

How to convert the seat to booster mode?

Can easily convert the 5-point harness into a high-back booster once the child outgrows it. Unthread the harness straps from the back of the seat through the slots to the front of the seat, and then unhook them from the splitter plate on the harness adjuster strap. The metal H clips should be inserted into the two slots near the child’s hip and pulled to the front of the seat through their hips. You can also remove the crotch strap by pulling the metal anchor up from under the seat to the top of the seat. It is not possible to store these items on the seat, so find a place to store them for future use.

Transitions have an open-loop shoulder belt guide that is bright red and impossible to miss. It is tricky for my kids to use but not too tough for an adult to do. Because the guide keeps the seat belt in place between uses, I can thread it once for my kids, and it will be ready for them each time.

In backless booster mode:  

The backless booster from Graco is rated from 40 to 100 pounds for weight and height. It fits children between 40 and 57 inches tall. Your child doesn’t need to move into a booster class because they have reached the minimum requirements. As long as the seat is equipped with a five-point harness, children are most safe. If your child is ready, you can easily convert this seat into a backless booster. To convert the high-back booster to a backless booster, fold it toward the ground and lift it out of the seat gutter.

Transitions can be made two inches deeper by taking the back off, which will provide more thigh support to long-legged children. Can comfortably adjust the vehicle seat belt across the child’s chest and shoulder by removing the removable shoulder belt positioning clip (if necessary).  

Ease of use

Except for the body cushion, the fabric components of this seat feel like wetsuits. It is easy to wipe clean since it is smooth, but velcro easily catches on it.

All covers are machine washable if you need to do more than wipe them with a wet cloth or sponge. The fabric can easily be taken off and thrown in the washer (later, reattached).

 In the main seat cover, there are only two snaps for attachment and two hooks for attachment to the seat’s shell. Fabric covers can be washed with cold water on the delicate cycle and dripped dry in the washing machine. Drying in the dryer or bleaching is not recommended.

FAA-APPROVALS/LIFESPANS/CRASH GUIDELINES

Transitions can be installed in airplanes when used in harness mode. As an airplane booster, it cannot be used without a lap/shoulder belt.

The warranty is valid for seven years from the date of manufacture.

In the event of a crash, Graco must be replaced.

Expiration Date and warranty information

It expires seven years after manufacture. Located on the bottom of the seat is a label with the date of manufacture. The 7-year limitation is imprinted in the plastic directly below the label. The warranty is valid for seven years from the date of manufacture.

Pros

  • It is relatively inexpensive
  • With cup holders removed, it measures 18 inches wide at its widest point.
  • Rethread-free harness
  • Three-in-one car seat: a forward-facing seat with a 5-point harness, a high-back booster, and a backless booster
  • High-back boosters can be secured using LATCH and tether
  • There are two removable cup holders (it’s nice that you can choose between space and storage).
  • Side wings and an adjustable headrest
  • Covers for the body cushion and harness straps for added comfort and easy cleaning
  • Material that can be machine washed (smooth fabric allows for small spills to be wiped up)
  • The FAA has approved manual instruction storage on the seat  
  • Instruction manual storage on the seat

Cons

  • Installs improperly in some vehicles
  • When not installed, can easily remove the back from the base
  • The instructions seem to have been thrown together quickly
  • Produced in China

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Graco Tranzitions a good car seat?

Despite not being perfect, the Tranzitions 3-in-1 is still an excellent option for moving your child from rear to forward-facing and beyond. It should be quite easy to use it as a harnessed seat, as long as you get a good installation and use a well-compatible vehicle.

Is the Graco Tranzitions 3 in 1 FAA approved?

Only when it is used in harness mode is the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 FAA-approved. The FAA does not approve other booster modes (including high back boosters and backless boosters).

Does Graco Tranzitions have a steel frame?

The Graco Tranzitions do a great job, despite the lack of steel reinforcements in the frame. Despite not being tested in this accident, it does provide side impact protection. In addition, the 5-point harness ensured her safety.

Can Graco Tranzitions be used rear-facing?

Transitions are marketed as a 3-in-1 car seat, but they cannot use them rear-facing, which is confusing for many parents who think a 3-in-1 car seat can use rear-facing, forward-facing, and as a booster.

How tight should a rear-facing car seat be?

The DMV recommends that the car seat not move more than an inch when you push, pull, or wiggle it. That’s quite a standard! Therefore, the straps must be tight. In this case, I will not go into detail about why this is important.

Conclusion

With this Graco transitions 3-in-1 harness booster seat review, I generally agree with the statement that the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 does not have a lot of bells and whistles. Still, it is an affordable and safe car seat that is perfect for active families. There do seem to be some parents who have difficulty installing these seats, but it is apparent that the problem is related to the type of vehicle. 

The Tranzitions is a great choice if you need a seat to keep up with your busy life. 


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About Me

Hi! I’m Aliza , the voice behind Car Seat Traveler. I am a world traveller and Child Passenger Safety, consultant. I love helping people to travel more, better, and easier…Read More

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