We agree that your little one needs extra safety while traveling.

Keeping that in mind, the Graco Contender 65 might be the best car seat for your child that provides high safety, good quality and affordability.

Hence, in this post, we will review Graco Contender 65.

We’ll have a look at its features, pros and cons. Along with that, we will discuss the top 2 alternate products that you can use instead of Graco Contender 65.

You will find Graco Contender 65 to be one of the best and well-built car seats out there. The features of this car seat as well as its functionality are good enough reasons to get your hands on it.

Alternate #1

We found this to be the top-selling combo harness and booster seat. Its top-rated safety, quality and comfort will please you with the purchase.

Alternate #2

The biggest advantage we found was to easily change the seat covers. Along with that, they are machine washable and dryable.

Review of Graco Contender 65

Graco baby products are loved by many. And you will find the Graco Contender 65 Convertible car seat to be no exception.

After our research, we found out that this car seat has seemingly great features. Safety, adjustability, durability, and comfort might be considered as some of the good features. 

However, other features, like the size, the latching and the reclination may not prove to be as good as they might seem to be.

Along with its long list of features, this car seat also comes in a variety of colors and patterns for you to choose from.

Moreover, the Graco Contender 65 was astonishingly easy to clean and maintain compared to the other car seats we’ve reviewed. 

Because of its amazing quality, you can use it for over a lifespan of 7 years. However, the company Graco highly encourages you to replace the car seat in case you get involved in any crash.

Because of its light weight, it was no shock to find out that this car seat is FAA Approved for air flights. So, whether you’re on a road trip or travelling through an airplane, you will be able to take the Graco Contender 65 along without any worries.

Basic Features of Graco Contender 65

1. Weight of Car Seat (Graco Contender 65 Reviews)

We found the weight of the car seat of the Graco Contender 65 to be around 14.7 pounds. This proved that this car seat is much lighter than the other car seats you will find.

2. Height of Car Seat

The highest harness position has been noted to be 17.5 inches. You will notice the rear-facing height to be 1 inch below the headrest button and the forward-facing height to be up to 49 inches. 

3. Maximum Child Weight

You will find that the Graco Contender 65 has the capacity of carrying 5-40 pounds rear-facing and 22-65 pounds front-facing. 

4. Reliable Support

The design of the seat will provide your little one with a full head-and-body support system. You will find it easy to remove and put back in place. This system will ensure that your child is always comfortable. However, if your little one does start to get a little uncomfortable, you can simply make more room by taking out the head-and-body-support without having to dismantle and rethread the harness.

5. Provision For Conversion

Another great feature that you will find in this car seat, is that it has the ability to transform from rear-facing to forward-facing. For us, buying this car seat was like purchasing two seats in one, because of this conversion feature.

6. Easy In And Easy Out

We agree that getting your child in and out of the car seat can be a major hassle. However, the Contender 65 has made it extremely easy for you with its 5-point front adjustable harness.

Additional Features

Now, let us have a look at some additional features of the Graco Contender 65 to see if it really will make a good purchase as a car seat for your child. 

1. Easy Installation

We found the installation of the Graco Contender 65 to be quite easy. The installation can be done either by using a latch system, or a seat belt. While installing it in the rear-facing position, the level indicator helped us to get it just right.

2. Conveniently Placed Cup Holder

One feature that both you and your child will love is the cup holder in this car seat. Your child will be able to grab the cup himself/herself when he/she is thirsty. That is because,  the cup holder is built right into the car seat. Moreover, you will notice that the clever design of the cup holder reduces spills, which indeed, will save you from a lot of trouble.

An In-Depth Analysis Of The Reported Issues

Just like any other product, we have found out that the Graco Contender 65 also has been reported to have a couple of issues.

1. Doesn’t Recline

The flap thing in the car seat that is used to switch the rear facing to forward facing works just fine. However, sometimes the seat doesn’t recline enough according to your needs.

2. Hard To Push Anchor Buttons

You will find that this car seat has old style anchor buttons. Moreover, they might not be the easy push button release ones. This is something that annoyed us very much when we were in a hurry and the latch strap didn’t emancipate.

  • High safety
  • Good quality
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Machine washable
  • Easy to switch from rear to forward facing
  • Easy adjustment
  • Cup holder
  • Good for car rides and flights
  • Durable
  • Doesn’t recline
  • Hard to push anchor buttons

More Recommendations!

1. Britax G1.1 Frontier Review

If you plan to keep the car seat in one vehicle most of the time, then this might be a great option for you. However, we will not consider it the best option if you’re looking for a small, light and compact car seat.

The clickTight technology will make the car seat an easy installation for you. Also, reviewers have been found out to say that this car seat will easily fit in an economy airplane seat for your child.

We found this to be amongst the top safest car seats available. Moreover, it has been proven that it will protect your child during a crash.

Features of Britax G1.1 Frontier

  • Weighs 29 pounds
  • High 20-inch harness height
  • Outer width is 19 inches
  • Two crotch buckle position at 6.5 inch and 9 inch
  • Comfortable
  • High-quality
  • Easy to use
  • Top-rated safety
  • Convertible
  • Easy to clean
  • Heavy weight
  • Expensive
  • Difficulty in tightening harness
  • Bad head support

2. Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max Review

We were interested to find out that the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max has been designed to last from newborn to booster age. It is a 2-mode convertible car seat. Moreover, you will find the high quality fabric used in the car seat to be breathable and easily washable.

You will have 6 different colors and patterns to choose from if you decide to go for this car seat. In addition, you will find that unlike all-in-one-convertibles, there is no booster mode.

After testing it, we would consider this car seat to have one of the highest weight limits for a harnessed forward-facing seat.

Features of The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max

  • Weigh 17.5 pounds
  • Magnetic ClipQuik chest clip
  • Height is around 26 inches
  • 3 recline settings
  • 1-year warranty
  • Comes with an infant positioning wedge and body pillow
  • Machine washable
  • Easy on/off cover
  • Integrated cup holder
  • Push-on latch connectors
  • Moisture-wicking cool fabric
  • Straps may be hard to tighten
  • Fairly expensive
  • Magnetic chest clip can be tricky to use

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Is Graco Contender 65 A Good Car Seat?

We, as discussed before, consider Graco Contender 65 to be a good car seat. This car seat will provide you with the facility to support your child in a rear-faced position as well as a front-faced position. We found out that this car seat can stay with your child for up to eight years. However, every time you use it, you might have to wrestle with the buckles and straps to tighten them or loosen them up.

What is the Price For Graco Contender 65 ? 

The price of the Graco Contender 65 is a little over $100. You may check out the price of the product at Amazon by simply clicking here.

Can I Use A Secondhand Graco Contender 65 Car Seat?

When it comes to using secondhand car seats, we would highly suggest you not to do so. The experts also advice against this practice. The main reason is that your child’s safety matters the most. And you might never know what a secondhand car seat has been through. It could be broken or worn out and you might not know about it till later. However, if you feel you can replace the broken parts, you might use a secondhand one. In the end, it comes to your personal preference. 

Will I Have to Replace The Graco Contender 65 When My Infant Grows Older?

The Graco Contender 65 can carry kids with weights up to 65 pounds. Now, you might be wondering what that means. It means that you will be able to use this car seat from the time your child is an infant until he’s ready for a booster seat. You will not find this car seat like an infant carrier that needs to be replaced once your baby grows older.

Is The Graco Contender 65 Suitable For Air Travel?

The Graco Contender 65 is FFA approved for aircraft use. Hence, you may take it with you to the airplane while travelling with your child.

What Type of Car Seat Is The Graco Contender 65?

You will find the Graco Contender 65 to be a convertible car seat. A convertible car seat provides you with the feature where the rear-facing position can convert into a front-facing position.

How Can I Fix The Latching/Unlatching Problems With The Latch Belt in Graco Contender 65?

We also faced a problem with latching and unlatching of the belt in this car seat. However, Graco’s customer service proved to be most helpful when we contacted them regarding this matter. While they explained to us that the belt was not defective, they confirmed to us that this particular latch belt model was more difficult to operate than others. To our surprise, they offered to send us a free replacement of the latch belt that was easier to latch/unlatch. So, to find any solution to the problem you are facing while using the Graco Contender 65, you may contact their customer service.

Final Thoughts?

graco contender 65 reviews

So, that concludes our review on the Graco Contender 65. In the end, we would highly recommend you to keep your child’s safety the top priority while buying any kind of car seat.

We experienced the Graco Contender 65 to be fairly better in price than its alternatives and competitors. Moreover, this car seat will provide your child with high-level safety. Other features of this car seat, including the ease of use, and ease of cleaning, might take off a lot of stress out of your life. However, the reclination and the difficulty in pressing the anchor buttons might become tedious for you sometimes as they did for us.

With that said, we have also provided you with a few alternatives to look at. They might be a better option for you but they can be expensive as compared to Graco Contender 65.

You can head over to Amazon and purchase the Graco Contender 65 by simply clicking here.

Do let us know if this article proved to be helpful to you. Happy parenting!