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Review (2021): Everything You Need To Know About The Graco Milestone All-in-1

Updated on 13 July 2021 • 8 minute read
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Overview

Graco has been a household name for many baby products like strollers, high chairs, and of course, car seats.

For over 60 years, they’ve established their reputation as a developer and manufacturer of safe and quality products.

This is why many Graco products are considered by many as one of the most sought-after car seats in the market.

For this article, we’ll zero in on the Graco Milestone All-in-one car seat to give you a detailed summary about this product if you’re considering it as one of your options for an infant car seat.

 

Key Features 

Price:

$219.99 – Graco also offers a 4-installment payment plan of $55.00 through Afterpay (account setup required).

 

Material:

Plastic, metal

 

Weight with base:

19.8 lbs

 

Dimensions:

Seat depth: 21.5 in

Width: 19.7 in

Height: 25.5 in

 

Color:

Gotham (black and gray tones)

Ayla (black, pink, and off-white)

 

Additional features include: 

3-in-1 Car Seat

This is one convertible car seat that grows with your kid from stage to stage.

The car seat starts as a rear-facing infant seat for babies 5 to 40 lbs. The infant pillow inserts are useful to keep your baby snug and safe.

It can then be converted into a forward-facing harness for babies 20 to 65 pounds. You can then remove the pillows at this stage. Then, install the seat such that it’s facing the front of the car.

When your child is big enough or is at 30 to 100 lbs (the weight limit), you can set it up into a belt-positioning booster car seat mode. Then, you simply have to remove the harness and extra padding and adjust the recline.

Experts recommend a rear-facing position for kids in their car seats until they’re 40lbs. Graco Milestone allows your kid to do that. This is also one of the main reasons why a lot of parents choose this car seat.

All these reflect Graco’s support to the guidelines provided by AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

 

ProtectPlus Engineered

Graco has combined the most rigorous crash tests to help protect your little one from crashes on all sides: front, side, rear, and even rollover crashes.

They claim to meet federal safety standards. In addition, Graco has its own crash-test facility in Atlanta, Georgia, that allows them to run tests for all their car seat products.

They have technicians who are trained by Safe Kids Worldwide, an international organization dedicated to protecting kids from injuries.  

It’s also tested for hot and cold temperatures. This test ensures the durability of their material in extreme temperatures and provides added protection for your child.

 

Safety Surround Side Impact Protection

Your child gets extra protection around the head and sides, at every stage.

 

No-Rethread Simply Safe Adjust Harness System

Their no-rethread harness system allows you to adjust the headrest and harness in one motion with an audible click cue. It eliminates your need to rethread the buckles constantly. 

It has ten different positions, so it’s easy for you to get the right fit for your child. All you need to do is squeeze the red adjustment handle, then move the headrest to your desired height.

Harness covers that are easy to remove are also included with the car seat. 

 

Choose Headrest Height 

Get the safest fit for your child as he or she grows with the car seat.

 

Four-Position Recline

This keeps your child comfortable and helps for better installation.

Positions 1 and 2 (the reclined positions) are for rear-facing mode. Positions 3 and 4 are for forward-facing mode only.

 

InRight LATCH System

This is their easy one-second latch attachment feature. You can also easily remove it with a push of a button.

LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) is a way to secure the car seat in the vehicle with straps or bars that can be connected to the car’s anchors. 

You can choose to use this LATCH system or the seat belt to install the seat in booster mode with the Milestone.

 

In-built Harness Storage

You have a place to keep those harness straps when you don’t need them. It eliminates the problem of misplacing them when they are once again needed.

 

Plush Inserts

This is to ensure that your child is secure and comfortable at the same time. It’s also machine washable

 

Shoulder Belt Guide

The belt guide is easy to access and makes threading the belt easier. 

 

FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Approved

Love to travel? You can easily bring the Graco Milestone with you wherever you go as it’s approved for air travel. 

(Note: This approval is only for the 5-point harness mode. It isn’t for the booster mode because airplanes have no shoulder straps.)

To prevent problems when flying, make sure to check for the FAA sticker. You can also call Graco if it’s missing.

 

10-Year Expiration Date

Its steel-reinforced frame provides strength and durability for ten years of use. It is also sturdy enough to pass down to your younger kids.

 

Crotch Buckle Adjustment

The car seat has three crotch buckle positions. Graco also made it easy to adjust it by simply sliding the buckle between positions.

 

Easy-to-read Level Indicator

The recline bubble eliminates the guesswork for the right angle of the car seat in your vehicle.

 

EPS (Expanded Polystyrene)

EPS is a widely used crushable, energy-absorbing foam for effective impact management.

 

Movable Cup Holder

The cup holder may be placed on either side of the car seat. This feature is especially useful when you need the extra room in your backseat

 

Comfortable and Machine-washable Seat Cover

You can easily remove the padding and throw them into your washing machine.

 

Pros

Practicality.

The convertible feature of this car seat makes it a practical buy. With its 10-year expiry and ability to hold up to 100 lbs of weight, your baby will be able to use this at every stage well into their early school years. 

Its ability to work as a rear-facing car seat until your child is probably 4 or 5 makes this a great option if you don’t want to throw away money on car seats as your child grows.

This also costs less than the Graco 4Ever car seat.

 

Comfort and safety for your child. (With the exception of flame retardants.) 

The pillow inserts are especially useful and comfy for infants, and you can simply remove them when you don’t need them. 

There are four recline positions to ensure that your child feels comfy.

 

Ease of use.

The easy latch system will make it easy for you to install and remove the car seat from your vehicle.

The audio click cue will easily let you know if the seat is buckled securely.

It can also be easily converted to a highback booster just by tucking the harness and adjusting the headrest.

The clear labeling found all over the car seat can easily help you with the proper use of the seat.

Consumer Reports rated the Graco Milestone car seat as very good for ease of use.

 

Safety.

This car seat has a good track record in terms of safety.  

All U.S.-made car seats must pass or exceed strict federal safety and crash test standards. With its combined crash-tests and temperature testing, it ensures superior safety. 

The last recall incident for the Milestone involved a side sticker misprint that was not life-threatening. 

 

Useful compartments.

The harness straps can be placed in a compartment when you don’t need them, like in booster seat mode.

 

It can be installed with inflatable seat belts.

There are inflatable seat belts that can be used with the Milestone like those found in some Ford vehicles.

 

Affordability.

The Milestone is a more affordable option compared to the Graco 4Ever

 

Cons

Contains fire-retardant chemicals.

Like most car seats in the market, the Graco Milestone still uses fire retardant chemicals which are known to be carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and developmental toxicants.

 

This car seat is not portable.

You can’t place it on strollers either. 

The Milestone may be heavier than the Graco 4Ever, but its weight won’t make it that hard for you to transfer it from one vehicle to another.

 

Less legroom for small cars.

If you have a small car, like a compact car, having the Milestone in rear-facing mode could be a tight fit. However, this may mean having less legroom for the passenger/s in front.

 

Tiny particles or small crumbs may loosen shoulder straps.

Food crumbs that may get into the harness tension latch may loosen the shoulder straps while in use.

So it is important to clean this part often.

 

A problem with big seat belts.

In booster mode, the hole for the seat belt may be too small for some car seat belts.

 

Limited recline modes.

The 4-position recline has only two rear-facing recline modes.

 

UK version is not ISOFIX compatible.

ISOFIX is the international standard in the car seat fitting system. It automatically secures the car seat onto the ISOFIX fixing points (two metal clips) between your car seats.

This means that the UK version of the Milestone only fits with a seatbelt.

 

Not much head support.

Especially when your child falls asleep.

 

Fixed backrest.

The backrest is not removable. It can’t be converted to a backless booster.

 

No level indicator for rear-facing installation.

This would have been helpful in finding the right angle for the car seat in rear-facing mode.

 

What Customers Are Say About The Milestone

Positive reviews

It saved a child’s life.

“This car seat saved my son’s life. Yesterday we flipped five times after being run off the road into a guard rail, the state troopers say the car seat did exactly what it was supposed to! He just turned one but I’m a believer in extended rear-facing & that also played a role in him coming out of this without a scratch!” (Reviewer on Amazon)

 

It fits well in a small car.

“I was looking for a second car seat for a second small car, and the Milestone is perfect in my small Mercedes. The only issue I’m having is the latch system is a little tight to install. I was debating between the Graco Slimfit and Milestone, but I read in multiple articles and reviews the Slimfit is wider than the Milestone. I am very happy with my purchase. It has lots of padding and a cup holder that can go on either side.”  (Reviewer on Amazon)

 

It’s still their choice for their second child.

“I like that you can remove and add the cup holder, I have a Jeep, and sometimes my space is limited, so removing the cup holders allows for more storage! I bought another for my second one on the way! Plus, the quality is really nice on the chair!” (Reviewer on buybuybaby.com)

 

Negative Reviews 

It’s not washable.

“I bought this car seat a year ago and washed it twice since then. The second time I washed it, the pad was ripped open, and no replacement parts are available.”(Reviewer on buybuybaby.com)

 

Foam pieces are falling off.

“This car seat was purchased for my almost 3 yr old when she was a baby. She has been using it for almost 2 yrs now. I have always loved how easy it is to remove the cover if she were to have a potty accident, but yesterday I removed all the coverings and discovered that all the foam pieces surrounding her head are falling off. I would give this a five * but I can’t with this issue.” (Reviewer on buybuybaby.com)

 

It did not work well for their daughter.

“It works well forward-facing, and it wasn’t a bad seat to take on a plane. But rear-facing is a pain! There are only two recline settings for rear-facing, and neither setting reclines far enough back for an infant, in my opinion. There’s also not a lot of leg space for when your child grows, and you’d still like to rear face. Another issue I have is that you can only tighten the latch straps on one side, making it awkward to install. We have the hardest time getting the level indicator in the right spot but also tight enough. It also sits very low on the seat, so our daughter can’t see out the window (something that helps her severe motion sickness)” (Reviewer on Amazon)

 

Summary & Recommendations

The Graco Milestone all-in-one car seat was released in the market in 2014. 

Consumer Reports gave the Milestone better marks over the Evenflo Symphony.

 

Why this may not be the car seat for you:

  1. You care about the potentially harmful chemicals your baby is exposed to 
  2. You frequently switch vehicles.
  3. You want a portable car seat.
  4. You don’t have a big space in your back seat.
  5. You are looking for more recline settings.

 

Why you might be interested in this car seat: 

  1. It’s superior in safety and durability.
  2. It has one of the longest-lasting rear-facing seat features.
  3. It’s more affordable. This is in comparison with the Graco 4Ever car seat.
  4. It’s easy to install.
  5. It’s easy to clean.
  6. Its FAA approval makes it useful for travelers with a baby in tow.

 

The Graco Milestone All-in-one car seat is recommended if you’re looking for an affordable, long-lasting option and don’t mind that it contains flame retardants. It meets basic safety standards, with the exception of containing questionable chemicals. 

Some parents might appreciate the more affordable price. 

The company provides customer services which you can call on weekdays.  They also have a technical support line available 24/7. You can also request support by sending them a message through their website.

 

                                    

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