Graco Nautilus Review

Mama2J

New member
Overview:
The Graco Nautilus is a forward-facing combination seat that can be used in three different modes. The internal harness may be used for children who are at least one year old, 20-65 pounds, and 27-52 inches tall. It has 4 harness slots: 12, 14.5, 16.5, and 18.5 inches. There are also 2 buckle strap positions: approximately 6 and 7 inches (depth of seat to crotch buckle).

It may be used as a high-back booster for children at least 3 years old, 30-100 pounds, and 38-57 inches tall. The shoulder belt guide is 21 inches high. It may also be used as a backless booster for children at least 4 years old, 40-100 pounds, and 40-57 inches tall. This seat retails at $149.99. For more information, see the manufacturer’s web site: www.gracobaby.com.

Advantages:
This seat has high harness slots and can keep a child harnessed longer than any other combination seat currently on the market. It is a large, versatile seat with lots of room to grow. The harness adjuster is the easiest I have ever used – straps can be tightened in one smooth pull rather than several short pulls like most seats. The headrest has EPS foam for safety and is easily adjustable for height. The seat cover has matching shoulder and belly pads for additional comfort. There is a cupholder on the right side, and storage areas in both armrests for snacks and small toys.

ETA: Graco has approved the use of LATCH (both lower anchors and tether) in high-back booster mode, and expiration has been extended to 9 years for low-back booster use (it is still 6 years for harness and high-back booster modes).

Disadvantages:
It is a heavy seat (20 pounds). The LATCH connectors are clip-style, rather than the easier-to-use push-button. There are currently only three cover designs to choose from, all combinations of gray and black.

Conclusion:
I would recommend this seat to anyone who wants to keep their child harnessed as long as possible, if they can no longer rear-face. It is a great price for a high-weight harnessed combination seat. We are using ours as a secondary seat in my husband’s vehicle, but I would be comfortable using it as an everyday seat as well. We just got this seat a few days ago, so it is still new to us, but I will add any further follow-up comments or concerns that may occur.

Pictures:
The install pictures below were taken in a 2002 Blazer with the Nautilus in outboard passenger position.

This seat must be assembled before use - armrests and headrest easily snap into place:


My 4-year-old has plenty of room to grow - this picture shows the headrest in highest position so you can see all the harness slots:


This is the headrest position we will use since we have the harness in the second to top slots - it is right above the slot:


The date of manufacture is located on the bottom of the seat. There is also a year stamped into the plastic - the seat may be used until December of that year (approximate 6-year expiration in harness and high-back modes):


It looks like it will make a great booster, and the red belt guides make positioning easier (headrest is adjusted to highest position in this picture). The harness will need to be removed to use in booster mode:


Installed with seatbelt - the angle of this buckle made the belt twist a bit at the latchplate, but it is a solid install:
 
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themvans

New member
Thank you for the great review. After reading it, I went out and purchased a Nautilus (BabiesRUs, used my coupon and paid a total of 129.00 for it!). We took my son out of his horrible Eddie Bauer seat and moved him into the Nautilus, and he LOVES it. Very plush, easy to install, easy to get him in and out, and it is silly but he loves the cupholder up front where he can actually reach it. I'm thrilled that he can stay harnessed in for a longer time, as he is a bit of a wiggle worm and I was panicked about him going into a booster.
 

JerseyGirl'sMama

New member
Thank you for the great review. After reading it, I went out and purchased a Nautilus (BabiesRUs, used my coupon and paid a total of 129.00 for it!). We took my son out of his horrible Eddie Bauer seat and moved him into the Nautilus, and he LOVES it. Very plush, easy to install, easy to get him in and out, and it is silly but he loves the cupholder up front where he can actually reach it. I'm thrilled that he can stay harnessed in for a longer time, as he is a bit of a wiggle worm and I was panicked about him going into a booster.

Thats funny... I was looking into the Nautilus as a replacement for my friend's crappy Eddie Bauer too. ;)
 

valleyfam

New member
Please confirm with Graco, but under disadvantages you list it can not be used with latch as a booster, however; it is my understanding that the seat can be latched and tethered when in booster mode. Thanks for the review I know it will help.
 

Mama2J

New member
I'm glad the review was helpful! Thanks for bringing to my attention the issue about LATCH in booster mode. I checked the manual and did not see anything mentioned about it, but I think I had read here when the seat first came out that it was not allowed. I will do a search to see if it was discussed again, and update my review if necessary.

ETA: I have edited the review to include the new info about LATCH and expiration date.
 
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