I Researched Thoroughly Before Purchasing This
I am the kind of person that has to research all of my options out thoroughly, before making an important purchase. I spent literally hours pouring over product videos, reading reviews, looking at different styles of seats, contacting companies about their car seats to see which ones are steel reinforced, visiting countless web sites to compare prices, looking at product comparison charts, etc., etc..
In the end, I decided on this seat for my little one, and I'll tell you why. This seat is not only steel reinforced, it is quite literally an all inclusive seat. It grows with your child from birth through the end of their booster seat days. It comes with an included base that stays in the car, and adjusts from infant rear facing (rear facing to 40lbs), to toddler w/harness front facing (harness to 65lbs), and is then easily removed for the child front facing booster seat usage position (booster to 100lbs). This seat is also extremely easily adjusted with one hand (you squeeze and then pull up) for each growth setting stage that your child has. So there's never any tedious re-threading of the harness, like all other seats (to my knowledge) have.
There is a level mark on this, which makes knowing if the seat is positioned correctly, very super easy. I also like the extra padding, which makes it a comfy ride for baby or child. This seat sits a bit more upright than an infant car seat does, so my small toddler can see out of this a lot better than the infant car seat allowed her to.
I do agree that this is a very large seat, and that if you have a small vehicle, you may not like this. But if you have even a midsize car, this should work for you. We have a Dodge, Journey, and though the passenger seat is forward halfway, it really isn't a big deal. On the flip side of this being large, it is also very heavy, so I know that it's durable and will stand the test of time. The heaviness isn't an issue for us, since this seat stays in this one vehicle. The only time it will come out, is when we flip the base to forward facing.
The only thing that I don't like about this seat is the super huge shoulder pads that it comes with. My small toddler is buried in them, but it seems to bother me more than her. If these annoy your child, they are easily removable.
Overall I am VERY pleased with this purchase, and would recommend this seat to everyone. I think Graco really hit a home run with this seat.
ProsBirth to 100 pounds, so no other car seats necessary.
ConsVery large car seat.