Things I Love About The Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat

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  • Product:
    • Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat
  • Price:
    • $139.99 (retail)
  • Cheapest Place to Buy:
    • The prices change regularly. Buy when less than $115.
  • Patterns available from
  • Patterns available from
    • Arabella, Black Carbon, Charter, Chili Red, Glacier, Sapphire, Stephanie, Steven
  • Patterns available from
    • Brave, Cheer, Glacier, Piedmont, Sapphire
  • Width:
    • 18.5″
  • Expiration:
    • 7 Years
  • Fits a Newborn:
    • Yes
  • My Rating:
    • 9.7 out of 10

graco contender 65 newbornAre you shopping for a new convertible car seat? It can be overwhelming when you start shopping and realize that there are 25+ convertible car seats on the market.

Since you are here, I am guessing that you have read about the Graco Contender 65 convertible car seat and want to know if it might be for you.

Well, you are in luck. I own 5 of these and am here to tell you that they are a great choice when you balance price, usability and features.

Reasons To Choose The Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat

  • Chart from Graco Manual - RF LimitsSuitable for a Newborn:
    • The lowest harness strap position is at 7″ with the infant insert. My third and fourth children born around 7.5 lbs and the straps were comfortably below their shoulders.
  • Suitable for a Toddler:
    • My daughter rose rear facing in one of these seats until she was 3.5 years old (38in tall and 35lbs). This was the point when her head approached 1″ of the red handle. My oldest never rode in this seat, but he was able to fit in it forward facing until just recently. He was 7 years old, 60lbs and 49.5″, so pretty much right at the manufacturer’s maximum limits.
  • Chart from Graco Manual - FF LimitsCost:
    • This seat retails for $139.99. It is available in many different patterns. I regularly see many of the patterns priced below $115.
  • No Re-thread Harness:
    • This seat has a no re-thread harness. This means you can use it for different children at different times. Even if only child uses it, it is very easy to adjust as they grow.
  • Ease of Installation:
    • This car seat is the easiest to install that I have ever had. It is extremely easy to switch back and forth between rear and forward facing.

Reasons Not To Choose The Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat

There aren’t a lot of reasons not to choose this car seat, but in the interest of providing a balanced review, I tried to think of some.

  • Not necessarily suitable for an older child:
    • If your child is already 5 or 6 (and you aren’t expecting more), you may want to read my page about booster car seats.
  • Standard Latches:
    • It doesn’t have premium latches like Graco MySize 65 Convertible Car Seat. If your hand dexterity is lower, you might prefer the MySize 65 instead. This is why my parents own the MySize 65 car seats instead of Contender 65 car seats.
  • 1 Cup Holder:
    • If your child is used to having two cup holders, they might be disappointed that this car seat only has one cup holder.

Yes, I Own 5 Of These Car Seats And I Love Them All

I am still extremely satisfied with this seat, so much so, that I bough another pair for my fourth child who was born in July. This brings me up to three in my van and two in my husband’s van.

If you have a child between the ages of 0 and 5, I strongly recommend the Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat.

Just click on the “Shop Now” button beneath the image on the right to shop for this car seat on


5 thoughts on “Things I Love About The Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat”

  1. Hi Amanda great post. I’ve been looking into a good quality car seat and I like the look of this model. It looks well made with good adjustability. Thanks for the info.


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