Graco restraints and car seat protectors



I have been browsing the forums and noted that in general seat protectors are discouraged from use. The primary reasoning is that these are not "manufacturer provided" and as such may impact the safety of the restraint.

Does anyone have any opinion on the fact that Graco _actually suggests_ you use a protector? In particular, page 43 of the snug ride manual reads:
DAMAGE TO VEHICLE SEAT. Use an infant restraint mat, towel
or thin blanket to protect upholstery.

I called their customer service to confirm, and they said the same thing.

I've looked around and found two protectors that seem to be quite thin thereby 1) protecting the seats while 2) not impacting safety. Again, I appreciate any comments



New member
Graco does allow using seat protector mats and all of their harnessed seat manuals have that statement. There is also the statement in their manuals saying not to use anything that didn't come with the seat so it's a little contradictory. If you really feel you must use one, I would buy the Graco brand. It's more likely to have been tested with their seats.

That being said, I'm not a big fan of anything that goes between the child restraint base and vehicle seat as a whole. Seat protector mats can interfere with getting a tight install or mask a loose one. There are no standards for aftermarket product manufacture or testing- they are wholly unregulated. Even if the marketing says crash tested, that doesn't mean a whole lot and it's pretty unlikely that they have been tested with all seats on the market. There's really no way to know for sure how it will perform with your seat in a crash.

If you do choose to use one with your Graco seat, make sure that you can get a proper installation without the mat before adding it to the equation.


New member
It is true that as a rule we do not recommend that someone uses a seat protector. As PP mentioned, Graco does make that statement in most of their manuals. If you called, and costumer service affirmed the statement, and you feel it is necessary, then it would be an acceptable decision AS LONG AS you are still able to get a proper install.

Now to clarify a few of those statements. First I said if you feel it is necessary, because many of the Child seats have a rather flat bottom to them. Any dents that I have ever gotten in a seat "pop out" rather quickly. Second if the child is still in an infant seat, then the chance of them spilling, etc. on the seat is slim. So there really might not be much a need for the protector. Have you tried it without it? Have you tried a thin towel instead? Might still work and save a few $$.

Lastly, as I mentioned, you need to be able to still get an acceptable install IF you choose to install with the mat. Less then 1" of movement side to side and front to back at the belt path. Many seat protectors make it difficult to keep the seat from sliding.

So the short answer is that it is a parental decision. If you do want one, try to find a very thin one that still allows for a good install.

i have the seat protctors under my seats. however i installed the seats without them and marked on the latch strap where it tightened to then loosened the seat and put the mat and reinstalled the seat making sure i got them to the same point. it was very hard and i had to have by 250lb husband push the seats down for me. however they do not move and the mats do not move. i had to as the bottom of my seats were making permanent markson my leather vehicle seats.


New member
I personally have never seen a seat protector that I think is thin enough to put under my seats.:twocents:

However, I do have a thin flannel receiving blanket under our MA in my car. It is on very thin layer, and I only use it because it was starting to rip my upholstery.


New member
Personally I think it is MUCH better to install a seat w/o adding anything and Graco's statement is only there to cover their butts so they don't have people creating lawsuits against them for damaged seats! *eyeroll*

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