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Old 01-29-2013, 05:49 PM   #1
zactayaus
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My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

Got the Graco HeadWise 70 today. I was very excited because I haven't gotten a new seat in a long time (it's been almost a whole year).

I love the looks of this seat when it's at it's smallest setting but for some reason I greatly despise it's looks when the head rest is fully extended. It just looks awkward looking to me.

I had no problems with tightening the harness in either RF or FF mode with a child in the seat and both the chest clip and the crotch buckle were done up. I'd even go as far as describing it as smooth as butter.

There is literally no padding in the bum area. None. Not sure how comfy having a piece of unpadded fabric stretched across hard plastic would be for long drives.

Tons of EPS foam in the headrest but none anywhere else.

With the headwings adjusted properly for RF I felt like my childs shoulders were being smooshed down.

I was not impressed with the RF leg room at all. I had an extremely hard time getting the crotch buckle done up because no matter where I had Gavin put his legs (flopped over the side, criss crossed, up on the back of the seat) I could not get the darn straps up over his thighs and buckled without having to loosen the harness. So if you have an older child and are looking to ERF past the norm in this seat please practice up on your origami skills first.

Now for a very interesting tid bit. Apparently this seat has an extremely narrow belt path for FF. In my 2000 Chevy Suburban I could not use this seat driver side second row without using a locking clip because once I switched the retractor and put my weight in the seat to tighten the belt would feed too far back into the retractor and unlock. The only other seat I've had this happen to me in this position was the base of the Baby Trend (and we all know how narrow that belt path is). However I did not have this problem passenger side second row because the female part of the buckle is short and ridged and spaced further apart there as opposed to long and floppy on the driver side (and yes I did twist the stalk 3 full twists and still no go).

And now on to the pics!

Austin is 9y 9m about 52" and 54lbs.

In the house with about 1/2" of harness left.


In the car harness was pretty much dead even with his shoulders.








Gavin is 3y 9m about 41" and 40lbs.

FF:




Pretty decent leg support (he wears a size 4t pants).




RF:
I felt like he was eating his knees when he sat like this:















If anyone would like any comparison pics with any of the seats in my siggy just let me know. I will be posting some quick comparisons with the RXT shortly.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:10 PM   #2
Dorothy
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Thanks for the pics and thoughts. I tried DS in this seat at Target today, and I wasn't wowed by it for some reason. Of course, the display had all sorts of tags zip tied to it, which is awkward. Interesting about the short crotch strap. I'm thinking I'm glad I didn't succumb to the new carseat urge.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:11 PM   #3
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I tried ds3 in it today at target and he hated it. With the shoulder straps above his shoulders the headrest was too high and it annoyed him. With the headrest in the normal position where it looked right the straps came from behind his shoulders. It looked like it was squishing him down. He also said it hurt his butt and squished him in the crotch and shoulder areas. The crotch strap was way short and he has no butt and is in undies. I can't imagine it with a kid in diapers, especially cloth. My sister tried it with my 5.5 mo old nephew who is 18 pounds and in cloth. She said the crotch buckle was smashed between his thighs and left marks in the few minutes he was in it. I wanted to like it but couldn't.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:26 AM   #4
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

How much room does your oldest have left in the FR 85?

My HW won't be here until tomorrow and my kid won't be here until Friday afternoon.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:43 AM   #5
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Subbing to hear more opinions. I really wanted to jump on this deal for the tiny 3 year old, but maybe it's a good thing I didn't. :-/
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:45 AM   #6
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

I figure at least I can return it to Target if he hates it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

Quote:
Originally Posted by glockchick View Post
I figure at least I can return it to Target if he hates it.
Yay, I will probably be returning mine. Gavin likes it (cause it's a new seat) but, I'm not in love.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:11 AM   #8
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

Quote:
Originally Posted by glockchick View Post
How much room does your oldest have left in the FR 85?

My HW won't be here until tomorrow and my kid won't be here until Friday afternoon.
I'm not sure he hasn't been in that seat since forever. I may be able to get a pic of him in the FR85 later this afternoon.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:32 PM   #9
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I am quite glad I didn't go and purchase this on sale. I very nearly did. There is so much hype about this seat right now as being the seat for erf for tall kids. But between the buckle and harness issues, not much padding and not enough legroom, I think it would have made me crazy. The price is good, but I do wish this wasn't being recommended so much. I'm afraid that the average user is not going to realize if the harness doesn't tighten down enough.

The origami legs cracked me up though. I could just imagine trying to fold up legs!
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:54 PM   #10
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolinadaisy View Post
I am quite glad I didn't go and purchase this on sale. I very nearly did. There is so much hype about this seat right now as being the seat for erf for tall kids. But between the buckle and harness issues, not much padding and not enough legroom, I think it would have made me crazy. The price is good, but I do wish this wasn't being recommended so much. I'm afraid that the average user is not going to realize if the harness doesn't tighten down enough.

The origami legs cracked me up though. I could just imagine trying to fold up legs!
I completely agree. If you are looking to truely ERF with a larger child in my opinion a Radian is really the only option (just my very own opinion so no flaming please).
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:42 PM   #11
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

Quote:
Originally Posted by zactayaus View Post
Yay, I will probably be returning mine. Gavin likes it (cause it's a new seat) but, I'm not in love.
Dang! I'm hoping to find something narrower than the FR for Caleb. The BLVD fits perfectly - Abigail can buckle her booster and I can slide the other seat for access to the 3rd row. With the FR 85 there, Abi is pushed towards the door and the sliding seat catches the red tab that holds the cover on the FR 85. Plus the base of the FR hangs over the seat a bit and makes it harder for him to get in.

Why did the child have to grow? I his BLVD 70.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:04 PM   #12
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

Quote:
Originally Posted by glockchick View Post
Dang! I'm hoping to find something narrower than the FR for Caleb. The BLVD fits perfectly - Abigail can buckle her booster and I can slide the other seat for access to the 3rd row. With the FR 85 there, Abi is pushed towards the door and the sliding seat catches the red tab that holds the cover on the FR 85. Plus the base of the FR hangs over the seat a bit and makes it harder for him to get in.

Why did the child have to grow? I his BLVD 70.
Well who knows, maybe you'll end up liking it better than I did.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zactayaus View Post

I completely agree. If you are looking to truely ERF with a larger child in my opinion a Radian is really the only option (just my very own opinion so no flaming please).
Definitely no flaming

I have both radians and size4me and regularly use both of them for erfing. The 3 kids right now fights over the size4me and they are all over 3. So I think it depends on the kid.

N who rearfaced mostly in his 5th year (he's FFing now due to weight) and has long legs preferred the size4me hands down. Even though he had more room in the radian. I have no idea why lol. He's in my avatar, the month before he turned.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:31 PM   #14
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

[QUOTE=Carolinadaisy;2453402 There is so much hype about this seat right now as being the seat for erf for tall kids. But between the buckle and harness issues, not much padding and not enough legroom, I think it would have made me crazy. The price is good, but I do wish this wasn't being recommended so much. I'm afraid that the average user is not going to realize if the harness doesn't tighten down enough. [/QUOTE]

I worry about that too. I think I would feel bad if this seat was recommended to me and later my buckle stuck and then I found out that there was an ongoing buckle issue that I was not told about. Or if I bought it and couldn't get the harness tight enough and then later found out that was an issue for some. Maybe recommend but give people a heads up about the known issues???
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:39 PM   #15
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

Quote:
Originally Posted by glockchick View Post
How much room does your oldest have left in the FR 85?

My HW won't be here until tomorrow and my kid won't be here until Friday afternoon.
Got pics!

He was dead even with the slots on the HW and has maybe 1/4" to go in the FR. Weird cause I thought the FR was supposed to have much taller top slots and the seats were both installed in the same exact seating position in the truck.

Here ya go (recognize the seat):





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Old 01-31-2013, 01:58 PM   #16
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

Mine came and are going back too. I'm not even trying the kid in them or trying to install them. The recline mechanism has a hard time locking and unlocking in any position. While the won't matter for my son, my nephew may use it RFing on occasion and not being able to get it to lock into the recline position or out of any position is not ok.

Guess I'm just spoiled by my Britax seats.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:03 PM   #17
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

Quote:
Originally Posted by glockchick View Post
Mine came and are going back too. I'm not even trying the kid in them or trying to install them. The recline mechanism has a hard time locking and unlocking in any position. While the won't matter for my son, my nephew may use it RFing on occasion and not being able to get it to lock into the recline position or out of any position is not ok.

Guess I'm just spoiled by my Britax seats.
Yeah, I noticed that about the recline too. It was hard to lock in and once it was locked in it was a bear to unlock to move to another recline position. Not a deal breaker if you are just going to use it with one child in one car but something to consider if you'd be moving it between children and cars.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:32 PM   #18
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

Did you notice it only seemed to have 2 reclines even though the sticker says 3? I could never get it to that number 3 and if I had, it would have been tipping the kid out forwards.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:00 PM   #19
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

I did get mine to do all three reclines but it was a fight to click into and out of each one. The first recline (most upright) actually worked quite nicely with my vehicle seats. Still not keeping it though.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:32 PM   #20
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Re: My review of the Graco Headwise 70 (pics w/my 9 1/2 and 3 1/2yo's).

Quote:
Originally Posted by glockchick View Post
Did you notice it only seemed to have 2 reclines even though the sticker says 3? I could never get it to that number 3 and if I had, it would have been tipping the kid out forwards.
I could get number 3 and 1 but could never seem to get it to lock on number 2 (but my kiddo is 43 lbs so it didn't matter). I did find that it was easier to adjust the recline when it was upside down. I might have gotten it to lock in number 2 eventually but I didn't play with it long.
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All responses are the opinions of each indvidual, who may or may not have relevant training or familiarity with your vehicle or carseat. It is your responsibility to read and follow the directions in the owner's manuals.  If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician for a FREE CARSEAT SAFETY INSPECTION.  The best child safety seat is one that correctly fits your child, your automobile and can be used properly each and every trip. No registration is required to ask a question! Please read our announcement for details before posting.

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