Reviewing the Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat

Are you currently looking for a new convertible car seat to help keep your child safe as they ride with you? It’s something you have to think about even before your child is born. After all, you are going to have to get that newborn home from the hospital safely not too long after the birth in most cases.

It’s a decision you also have to get right in order to give maximum protection to your child as they ride with you. That is one of the reasons we decided to review the Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat. We have heard nothing but good things about this model car seat.

Why is a Quality Car Seat So Important?

Shopping for a car seat for your child is something that you really don’t want to restrict to just looking for budget models. You want to be sure you buy one of the best convertible car seat models you can regardless of price. Why shouldn’t you buy just any old car seat for your child?

Let’s see what AAA has to say as far as why car seats are so important.

  • Accidents are by far the leading cause of death and injuries among children
  • A proper car seat will greatly reduce the chance of injury to your child and also decrease the risk of death.
  • Properly tested children’s car seats are known to distribute the forces of a crash to the strongest parts of a child’s body and help slow down body movement during a crash to help prevent neck and brain injuries.

That is some pretty powerful considerations to think about when shopping for a car seat for your child.

Taking a Fast Glance at the Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat


  • Can be used as both a front and rear-facing car seat
  • 5-point front adjustment harness
  • Tested side impact protection
  • Made with EPS energy absorbing foam
  • 8 adjustable headrest positions
  • Choice of seat belt or Latch system installation


  • Some users find it slightly difficult to install at first
  • 5-point harness could be padded a little better

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Important Safety Features

The Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat leaves no stone unturned when it comes to safety. It features a reinforced hard plastic shell that also has EPS energy absorbing foam designed into its construction.

The five-point safety harness will keep your child securely in place as you travel too. There is heavy padding found throughout the seat to further help protect your child and keep them comfortable as they ride along with you too.

Everything on this car seat has been designed and crash tested to meet or exceed the strict child safety seat standards found in US FMVSS 213.

This car safety seat model can be used as both a rear-facing car seat for children that range from 5 – 40 pounds and it can also be used as a front facing car seat for children that range from 20 – 65 pounds (1+ year only).

Fit and Adjustability

One of the nicest things this car seat is that the headrest and 5-point harness can both be adjusted at the same time. Graco calls this their ‘Simply Safe Adjust Harness System’. There are 8 different headrest positions and the 5-point harness can be adjusted in several different ways also.

The pillow and some of the other seat padding can be removed so the seat will still fit your child as they grow from infant to toddler and so on.

Ease of Installation

There are two ways you can install this model car seat. One is by securing it with the seatbelt the same way most car seats are built to be secured. The other way is with the built-in ‘Latch’ system that it comes with. The latch system takes a little more time to install but it works great when using this as a rear-facing car seat.


The seat pad on the Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat can be removed and placed in the washing machine without any fear of ruining it. This car safety seat even has a built-in bottle/cup holder that is sure to please your little one too.

What Others Say About this Model Car Seat?

Overall the reviews on the Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat are skewed greatly in a highly positive direction. That’s a very good testament as to how well this product is designed and built.

Was it a perfect car seat model? No, because there were a few minor drawbacks that those who have bought and used it have pointed out. Some users feel the straps on the harness setup could be padded a little more. There are also those that feel it’s a little difficult to install when using the Latch system.

Summing Up Our Thoughts on the Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat

We would have to say this is one of the most impressive convertible car seat reviews we have ever done. The safety and fit adjustment features that are designed into this car seat are very well thought out and show Graco’s commitment to child safety and comfort. The fact it meets or exceeds US standard FMVSS 213 for child safety seats gives us a lot of confidence as to how well this car seat will perform in the event of an accident. We feel this is definitely a child safety seat that you should strongly consider purchasing if you are actively shopping for a new one.

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