Graco Contender 65: Safest Car Seat for Your Child

Last Updated: 22 April 2021
Graco Contender 65

We all want to make sure that our kids are safe and comfortable. And this is especially important when we’re talking about car safety since car accidents are one of the leading causes of child deaths. This grim statistic just cements the fact that having only the best car seat for a child is essential in order to ensure maximum protection for your little one. After all, the data clearly shows that child safety seats have reduced fatal injury by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers.

However, the process of choosing the best car seat can be very overwhelming, given so many options in the market. Thus, we’ve decided to investigate and see - which is the safest and best model parents can choose?

As it turns out, the Graco Contender 65 has been the parents’ favorite choice in America. It is a budget-friendly product, used as a rear-facing seat for children of 5-40 pounds and forward-facing for children of 20-65 pounds. The Graco contender 65 convertible car seat is secure for your baby and offers maximum comfort and protection. In order to educate you more about this great car seat, we’ve decided to investigate further and share with you what makes this car seat so good.

Graco Contender 65 Overview

Is the Graco Contender 65 the Best Suited for You?

The Safe Engineering label of the Graco convertible 65 says Safety always comes first! It is also affordable in terms of price, it is neither very heavy nor very small, and not at all fragile. Hence, it ensures the safety of your kid with its fabulous EPS foam and two buckle positions. Only very few brands, including Graco, are side-impact tested. Plus, the Graco Contender car seat has been tested twice by NHTSA safety standards. Other notable parameters are:

Feature Description
Graco Contender 65 weight limit Forward-facing child weight: 22-65 pounds; Rear-facing child weight: 5-40 pounds
Graco Contender 65 height limit Forward-facing child height: 49 inches; Rear-facing child-height: 1 inch below the handle
Weight 15.22 pounds
Graco Contender 65 Dimensions 26” high x 20.75” wide x 27” deep
Car Seat Expiration 7 years


The Latch System

Safety is the most essential aspect when it comes to car seats, and Graco Contender 65 is definitely among the best convertible car seats. All because it’s made with consideration of all the important aspects of what makes a safe car seat. There are 3 major aspects that make the Graco Contender 65 the safest seat there is, according to a lot of Graco car seat comparison, and tests:

  • The Simply Safe Adjust harness system automatically adjusts harness and headrest height with your child’s growth.
  • The side-impact protection guarantees the all-time safety of your little one.
  • EPS foam ensures seat stability and keeps your baby safe and secure.

NHTSA Ratings

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has tested the Graco Contender 65 convertible car seat, and gave it the following ratings:

  • Labels: 3/5 stars. The label does not explain the use of Latch attachments and illustration restraint in a rear vehicle seat is not depicted. Otherwise, it’s fairly comprehensive.
  • Instructions: 4/5 stars. The owner’s manual does not provide details about the Latch attachment removing technique from the storage. The label on illustrated pictures is missing for some of the installation methods. However, the installation process is very simple.
  • Securing the child: 5/5 stars. The most important function of a car seat is safety. The Graco Contender 65 comes with Safe Seat Engineering and EPS foam which can withstand a crash.
  • Installation features: 2/5 stars. During belt routing, it’s possible to experience interference between the crotch buckle and the belt. Latch attachments have to be removed by twisting from vehicle anchors as there are less than three levels of recline.
  • Overall ease of use: 4/5 stars. This seat is durable, easy to install and wash and it has comfortable padding.

So the Graco Contender 65 safety rating is 3/5 stars because of its forward-facing installation, amazing latch system, EPS foam, easy installation, and most importantly absolute safety guarantee.

The Latch System

You can install Graco Contender 65 using the Latch system or belt path as per your preference. Just don’t use the latch system if the weight of your child and the seat combined, exceeds 65 pounds.

The Graco Contender 65 convertible car seat also comes with an easy-to-read indicator, which shows whether the seat is rightly reclined.

Notable Features

Notable Features
  • Cup holder: On the side of the Graco Contender 65, there is a fixed cup holder, which can be used for bottle storage while rear-facing. While forward-facing it has regular cup storage.
  • Removable support: If you have a new-born baby, you are expecting sufficient padding. While writing these convertible car seats reviews, we found out about the excellent quality padding and why you do not need to worry even a little about your baby’s comfort. You can take the padding out later at your wish.
  • Cleanable: Ease of cleaning is always a plus for every parent. The removable pads of the Graco Contender 65 convertible car seat are very easy to wash in the machine. Though the straps and buckle cannot be put into a washing machine, Graco provides easy instructions on how to keep them clean.

Other Important Features You Might Want to Know

  • Side-impact tested for occupant retention
  • Installation made easier with level indicator
  • Front adjustable strap
  • Simply Safe Adjust harness system
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Overall Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Cupholder makes long trips easy
  • Removable infant padding, when kids get bigger
  • Cleanable infant car seats. The rear cover is removable
  • Tightening of Latch straps might be a problem
  • Does not come with a recline option
  • Lack of customization. Might not give the comfiest ride for the little older kids

Useful Accessories for Graco Contender 65

Travel Bug Baby Toddler 2-in-1 Head Support

Travel Bug Baby & Toddler 2-in-1 Head Support for Car Seats, Strollers & Bouncers
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Travel Bug Baby & Toddler 2-in-1 Head Support for Car Seats, Strollers & Bouncers
  • GROW WITH ME: Easy-to-install and easy-to-use. Double up with both supports for smaller babies. Remove the inner support as baby grows and needs a little more head room.
  • COMFORT AND SAFETY: Plush padding and soft fabrics help to comfortably support the baby's head. The plastic snaps keep the supports securely in place and work with both 3-point and 5-point harness systems found in most car seats and offers reinforced openings for seat-belts.
  • INCLUDES 2-PIECE DUO HEAD SUPPORT: In fun colors and prints this two-toned support measures (19.3" Long X 9.5" Wide) to fit most car seats and bouncers. The larger outer support can be used with smaller inner support or by itself. Recommended from birth and up.
  • EASY CARE: Fasten all fasteners before washing. Machine wash cold on gentle cycle. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low. Do not iron.

Correct head support provides safety from neck injuries, major brain damage in an accident. This product is designed for babies as they grow and are perfect for car seats, strollers, and bouncers. It comes with the most comfortable plush padding and soft fabrics. This product comes with 2-piece duo head support, recommended from birth and older.

Nuby Car Seat Reversible Strap Covers

Nuby Car Seat Reversible Strap Covers 2 Pack
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Nuby Car Seat Reversible Strap Covers 2 Pack
  • SUPER SOFT FABRIC: Padding and Soft Fabric is Gentle and Comfortable Against Baby's Sensitive Skin And Protects Child from Seatbelt Strap Irritation
  • MULTIPLE USES: Easy to Use Velcro Closure Makes the Car Seat Strap Covers Easy to Adjust and/or Move from Car Seat to Stroller to Bouncer
  • UNIVERSAL SIZE: Seat Belt Covers Fits All Car Seats, Strollers, Bouncers, and More and are Machine Washable
  • REVERSIBLE DESIGN: Choose From one of our Two Beautiful Blue Designs by Just Flipping the Carseat Strap Cover Around
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: Shop Happily knowing we Strongly Stand Behind these Strap Covers with Our Exclusive 100% money back guarantee. If this Product Does Not 100% Satisfy Your Needs, Just Let us Know so we Can Fix It.

It will fit all types of vehicles, with easy adjustment for the adjustable closure. Comes with a fantastic fabric and padding, it is very easy to wash. The color design helps children in developing attention and sight.

OxGord Car Seat Sunshade Covers

OxGord Car Seat Sunshade Covers
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OxGord Car Seat Sunshade Covers
  • DIMENSIONS: 38.8”L x 27.5”W inches
  • SUN PROTECTION: Child car seat cover will keep your child’s booster seat cool in the heat and prevent seat belt burns by using a reflective surface and breathable materials to bounce heat away and lower the temperature of the car seat – Protects car seat from solar UV ray damage
  • CAR SEAT SHADE COVER: Slip on design is quick & easy to install and remove - Folds to a small size for storage – A better sun blocker than mesh screen shades, windows tint, sun visors, blinds, a canopy or an umbrella
  • UNIVERSAL FIT: Sunshade cover uses elastic sizing to fit most child car booster seats - Best for babies, infants, toddlers, and young kids who still ride in a car seat – Great for a convertible as well as regular cars, trucks, vans, SUV’s, and RV’s
  • GUARANTEE: Includes a one (1) year limited warranty

It keeps the seat protected from the sun and helps in preventing seat belt burns using breathable materials and a reflective surface. The product ensures UV ray damage protection. The elastic sizing helps in the easy fitting and simple installation.

Baby & Mom Back Seat Baby Mirror

Baby & Mom Back Seat Baby Mirror
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Baby & Mom Back Seat Baby Mirror
  • Wide Angle Convex Mirror - Always have full sight of your precious infant and surroundings with the Extra-Large Wide angles this mirror provides.
  • New Design - After various revisions and tests, we have designed our new mirror with our customer's feedback. It comes fully assembled, with an unbreakable pivot attachment and stays in place when setup!
  • Shatter-Proof Glass - When we design our products, the one thing we have in mind as our top priority is YOUR precious baby and its safety. That is why we have designed this mirror with a shatter proof acrylic glass surface so it can withstand any impact anytime. Have a piece of mind knowing your precious cargo is safe at all times.
  • 360-Degree Adjustability - The mirror is connected to a pivoting backrest attachment which allows for full maneuverability in all angles of your vehicle so you are comforted with the ease of viewing your rear facing baby car seat
  • Best Bang For Your Buck: Easily The Best Value Baby Seat Mirror One Can Buy, You Will Love Our Baby & Mom Products! Learn more about Baby & Mom, our offerings, and our growing brand by searching for us.

You can keep an eye on your baby and surroundings constantly with this wide-angle convex mirror. It comes with an unbreakable pivot, shatter-proof acrylic glass surface that has a 360-degree adjustability.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I install the Graco Contender 65?

How can I install the Graco Contender 65

Detailed instruction for installation is provided in the owner’s manual. There are different ways of installation, so each method must be correctly studied. The latch uses the anchor base. Also, according to a lot of Graco Contender 65 convertible car seat reviews, you need to follow the leveling indicator on the side. That will show whether the installation has been correct.

How can I remove the Graco Contender 65 for cleaning?

  1. Remove the cushion and wash it in the machine.
  2. Use mild soap, water for cleaning all the metal and plastic parts.
  3. Spot clean the harness straps.
  4. Use a damp washcloth for the buckle.
  5. Air dry cushion cover since there is no mention about whether or not to use a dryer.
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A Final Overview

So overall, what can be said more Graco Contender 65? Thanks to its removable cushion, adjustable headrest, and buckle positions there is no denying that this car seat focuses on the security of your little angel.

And according to our research and a lot of Graco Contender 65 reviews 2021 we can clearly say that this is the safest and best car seat, compared to the other types. So this is a perfect choice for anyone that wishes to ensure their baby is enjoying a safe and good ride!

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