Graco My Ride 65: The First Convertible Car Seat to Rear-Face to 40 Pounds!

06/18/2009 at 07:00 AM ET
Flair fashion

There’s been a trend in the car seat field to increase the weight limit of infant car seats to as much as 32 pounds to extend the length of time you use it. Even if you don’t use it outside of the car, manufacturers and the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) want your child to rear-face as long as possible. There’s also a trend to create toddler car seats with higher weight limits as well so they stay in it as long as possible before switching to a booster seat which is less safe. But what about extending the time a child can rear-face in a convertible seat?

Graco’s My Ride 65 ($150), available in store now, is a new convertible car seat that will take your child from newborn to kindergarten or possibly beyond. Taking into consideration the new AAP recommendation that children rear-face until age two instead of one, My Ride 65 allows children to rear-face from 5 to 40 lbs — an all-time high for rear-facing car seats, whether infant or convertible. When the child reaches the weight and height limit, you can turn the seat around and use it forward-facing until your child is 65 lbs. Chances are, your child will be in elementary school when he finally outgrows this seat so theoretically, the My Ride 65 could be the only car seat you’ll ever need to buy.

To give you an idea of how old your child might be when he reaches these weight limits, kids in the 50th percentile for weight will typically hit the rear-facing limit of 40 lbs at age five and hit the forward-facing limit at age nine. If you are successful at convincing your child to stay in the car seat, you’ll never need to buy a booster seat.

According to car-safety.org, rear-facing is safest because it spreads “frontal crash forces over the whole area of a baby’s back, head and neck; they also prevent the head from snapping relative to the body in a frontal crash.” Additionally, the risk of broken legs due to bent knees or feet that touch the car’s seat is much lower than the risk of fatal injury. Crashtest.com cites these statistics for occurrence of crashes: frontal and frontal offset represent 72% of severe crashes, side impact 24% and rear and rear offset only account for 4%.

Other great features of the My Ride 65 include:

  • its side impact protection (SIP) tested for “occupant retention by the harness system” and constructed with EPS energy-absorbing foam
  • in addition to the mandatory National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sticker on the base of the seat, there’s also labels on the side of the seat in an easier to read location that reminds you of the weight and height limits for each set-up
  • there are two LATCH belts (one for rear- and one for forward-facing) so you don’t need to re-thread them when it’s time to turn the seat around
  • when the seat rear-faces, there’s a deep recline so baby’s head doesn’t flop forward
  • the 5-point harness adjusts from the front, something inexpensive car seats typically don’t include
  • infants will be super comfy with the infant insert, while bigger kids will like the toddler headrest and two built-in cup holders

Obviously not as important to safety but still important to parents: the My Ride 65 comes in nine sophisticated fashions. There are three extremely feminine fashions, while the other seven are neutral or lean towards masculine. To see all of the fashions side by side, visit Graco’s flickr page. Aside from the different fashions, all of the seats are exactly the same.

  • Flair (pictured above, pink/purple paisley, lavender and taupe solid) and Bartlett (aqua, taupe and pale blue solid) – available exclusively at Target and target.com
  • Spiral (chocolate same-color spirals, beige and dark taupe) and Sonata (pink and chocolate scribble dots, chocolate and pinks solid) – available exclusively at Babies R Us and babiesrus.com
  • Alma (pink floral, pink and purple solid) and Edgemont Dots (grey palette with same-color dots) – available exclusively at Walmart and walmart.com
  • Streamer (chocolate and chartreuse pattern, chocolate and chartreuse solid) and Patina Bloom (pink butterflies, pinks and chocolate solid) – available exclusively at Baby Depot, independent retailers and online stores
  • Chandler (grey same-color design) – available exclusively at independent retailers and online stores

If you prefer the convenience of an infant car seat, of note is that Graco’s SnugRide 32 not only allows infants to rear-face till they reach 32 lbs, it’s also a larger car seat which means it has a higher height limit than other higher limit infant car seats.

— Danielle

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Showing 45 comments

andrea on

my daughter is in sk and she is 39lbs, i can not imgine her in a rear facing car seat, her legs would be all crumpled up, and i can’t imagine that there would be too many babies that are 40 lbs and short enough that their legs would not be crammed up against the seat.

Dani on

I LOVE this idea. My daugther’s carseat is rear-facing until 35 lbs., and we have been using at such until just this week when she figured out how to unlatch the car’s seatbelts. After a few instances of this, we were forced to turn her around so we could “keep an eye on her”. We were able though to keep her rear-facing until 23 months. I am thankful for each month after 1 because all of her friends were front-facing at 1. I am a firm believer that rear-facing is best, and I am glad to see that carseat manufacturers are allowing additional time in that position (not to mention safe seats that only force you to buy one in a child’s carseat lifetime). That is awesome!

Dori on

The only thing about the “only car seat you will ever need to buy that bothers me is that MANY, MANY people do not know that a car seat has an expiration date. My son’s car seat has a 40lb limit, and I want him in a 6 point for as long as possible, so we just purchased a 3-1, which also makes that claim. If we had bought that for him at birth, the seat would have expired LONG before he grew out of it.

Dori on

* Pardon the typos, my son woke up 2 hours earlier then normal, I am still half asleep, lol.

And that was suppose to say 5-point, not 6.

Lizz on

I love this idea. My son is in a 35 pound limit seat and will stay rear facing until he is 35 pounds. He is 12 months and 23 pounds and I am not turning him anytime soon

Dawn on

I have my 4 year old daughter rear facing . Shes a 105 cm long and 16 kg girl . And shes not crumpled up and are happy and most importantly safe when riding a car . Her euro version Britax multitech seat allows her to be rearfacing up to 25 kg . To accomodate the lack of visul supervison of the child , we have a rear wiev mirror instald that are tested for use in a car . To ride rearfacing is know as best for the child in scandinavia .

Kirsten on

My daughters legs were pushing on the back of the seat, so she really had to be turned. Not sure how they can stay rear facing until they are 2, unless they are really short.

Summer on

Its perfectly ok for them to have there legs folded up rearfacing, they have a MUCH higher risk of head injury forward facing, wouldn’t you rather deal with a broken leg than a brain-injured/dead child if you have an accident?

Keltie on

What is the height limit for this carseat in the rear-facing position? You can’t use the carseat in the rearfacing position if your child exceeds the height limit. Rearfacing is all well and good, but it does no good if you aren’t complying with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

DS was rear facing until 1 month shy of his 2nd birthday but outgrew the height limit.

Tara on

Oooh! I want this seat! It’s so cute!
My 15 month old (27lbs) is still happily rear facing. His seat can rear face until 35lbs, I plan to keep him rear facing until he hits that weight. His feet do touch the back of the seat, but I am not concerned about that. I know rear facing is so much safer for him!

My 4 yo daughter is still in a 5 point harness, and will be for a long time. She is in a Cosco Apex which ,like this new seat, harnesses until 65 lbs. My oldest was harnessed until he was 6 1/2, when he outgrew his seat by height.

I have enough seats, but I still really want this seat! It’s adorable.

jo on

in australia your kid can be forward facing at six months, my 3 year old is in a regular seatbelt in a booster seat.

Jena on

Dani–

Just an idea for the problem with your child unhooking her carseat. A girlfriend of mine put the “pokey” side of velcro over the buttons on her child’s seat so that her nugget was less likely to push down on the buttons, and it worked.

Nic on

Rear facing is not just a matter of what is legal – it is a matter of what is best for your child. Crash tests have shown time and time again that rear facing is absolutely the safest option. There are no studies that show turning a child forward facing has any advantages – it is only a bigger risk on your child’s life. The risk for internal decapitation while forward facing is a very real concern until a child’s spinal column has finished fusing, which doesn’t happen until age 5 or 6. In Sweden children are routinely left rear facing until the age of 4. In the US, it is ‘normal’ to turn our children forward facing at age 1, and as a direct result of that, the most dangerous thing our children do is ride in a vehicle. Rear facing is absolutely the safest option!!!

jo on

thats really good to hear cause i never even new turning the seat around was a safety issue i just thourght it was cause the baby could hold its head so in the future i will really think before turning the carseat around

Jen on

I just bought one of these seats from Wal-Mart when my long boy out grew his SafeSeat. I’m really happy with my purchase.

Sara on

As a Department of Transportation certified Car Passenger Safety Technician, I will say that rear-facing is absolutely THE SAFEST way for your child to be transported as long as possible. The 1 year/20 pound ‘rule’ for turning your child forward facing is simply a legal guideline – not best practice. Best practice would be leaving your child rear-facing as long as the seat manufacturer specifies is safe – in this instance, 40 pounds. Whether your child’s legs are ‘scrunched’ up is irrelevant, and there is no ‘height restriction’ for rear facing children – you should just be sure there is no LESS than ONE INCH of car seat shell above your child’s head when he or she is rear-facing.

Lastly, it is great that the seat goes up to 65 pounds, however, most CPSTs will recommend that children remain in a car seat/booster seat until they are able to pass the 5-step test seen below. It is recommended that parents pay more attention to passing the 5-step test than weight alone.

The 5-Step Test

(1) Does the child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?
(2) Does the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?
(3) Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and the arm?
(4) Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
(5) Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

Katherine on

While I respect the opinion of the AAP, I am not going to keep my child all scrunched up like a ragdoll until she is 2. I have a long child and she screams when she gets in because she’s already all haunched up. In addition, most car seats are good for at least 5 years as long as they are not involved in an accident.

michelle on

This looks so comfy. Can I get one in my size? It would make long road trips so much more enjoyable.

Jenny on

I am also a Child Passenger Safety Technician, and YES, rear-facing as long as possible is the safest way to travel. My 3 year old is still rear-facing, and will be for quite some time. There are a few statements in this article that seem inaccurate though. It is unrealistic that a 9 year old will fit the seat by height. Once the child’s shoulders go above the top harness slot position, the seat is outgrown by height, regardless of whether or not the child has reached the stated weight limit. Also, it says that the seat can be used rear-facing until both the height AND weight limit have been reached, which is misleading. A child fits the seat rear-facing as long as he/she is within the weight limit AND has at least 1″ of hard shell above the top of his/her head. As soon as ONE of these limits has been reached, the child has outgrown the seat in the rear-facing position.

I’d also like to comment on the legs scrunched up misconception. It is a myth. Leg length does not matter. What might look uncomfortable to an adult is not an issue for children… just look at what they do with their legs while playing! There are actually more leg injuries to children in forward-facing seats than rear-facing seats. The risk to a young child’s head, neck and spine is immensely increased in a forward-facing car seat, which is why it is recommended to keep them rear-facing as long as possible.

Kudos to Graco for blazing the trail in 40lb rear-facing seats. 🙂

Keltie on

Sara – I am sorry to tell you, but DS’s old carseat has weight and height restrictions for both rearfacing and forward facing use. I am not going to keep him rearfacing when the carseat is only designed and approved to keep him safest that way until he is 32 inches and however many pounds. I was at a carseat clinic last summer and they told me that once he passes 32 inches, he would have to be forward facing.

Shauna on

I’m very excited about this seat! At first glance, it doesn’t look tall enough to get kids to 40 lbs rear-facing, but I just took my 4 1/2 year old to babies’r’us yesterday to try it out and he’s only *just* outgrown it rear-facing at 40 lbs (head just a smidge under the top of the seat)! He still has about an inch of growing room forward-facing. Which would probably last him until 5 or 6. And this is not a short kid, either. He’s 42″ tall, wears 5T shirts and 4T pants (taller torso, shorter legs). The MyRide has more legroom than most rear-facing seats. His legs stuck out against the test bench at the store, but he didn’t even have to bend them. If they were any longer, he’d simply cross them to fit comfortably.

However, I saw some mistakes in the blog post. You must turn when they reach EITHER the height or weight limit, not both. And this car seat expires after 6 years, so you will most definitely need a booster seat. Most kids will outgrow this seat by height long before they are 9 years old anyway.

Rachel on

This is a great site that discusses the benefits of rearfacing and why it’s important in crashes — http://www.car-safety.org/rearface.html

As for seats having height limits… often a child who outgrows a seat by height hasn’t actually outgrown the seat at all, just as often a child who measures tall enough to be in a seat belted booster isn’t actually tall enough. The reason for this is that the important area of height in a carseat is from the butt to the head. Some children are particularly long legged and fit perfectly in the seat regardless of being over the height limit and still others will outgrow a seat before the height limit because they have a longer torso. The rule of thumb is that there should be an inch of seat above the child’s head when rearfacing.

Caydee will be three in August and while technically she has surpassed the height limit, she still fits perfectly in her Scenera rear facing.

Connor on the other hand has met the height requirements for a booster seat but is nowhere near ready to sit in one.

They’re just long legged kids.

Adele (UK) on

I don’t agree with these seats because my almost 2 year old would have her knees bent & almost up by her face if I tried fitting her in a backwards facing seat. She is still in a 5 point harness seat & will be until the age of 4, but forward facing.

If a car went into the rear of a car where a 3 or 4 year old child is rear facing, they would get extensive leg injured, whereas if they were forward facing, they would not.

BookMama on

I may be getting a My Ride next week,and I’m excited about it! I had to turn my daughter forward-facing last month because she reached the rear-facing weight limit (33 lbs.) of her car seat. Lately, she has been begging me to turn her rear-facing again because she likes it better.

Oh yeah, and she’s 3.5 years old.🙂

Rachel on

Adele… I think you’d be surprised. Rear facing seats do not sit straight up like forward facing seats, but rather sit at an incline (more comfy for napping!) and there’s no way possible that the knees would be anywhere near the face. The feet do touch the back of the seat and often even the knees are bent, but kids do not tend to find it uncomfortable.

Lea, CRST on

Just chiming in as another Certified Child Restraint System tech, who is going to back up the fact that REAR-FACING is by far the safest way for any passenger to ride, but especially a child.

I cannot see the MyRide coming to Canada any time soon (which is where I am), so I have to get by with the 35-lb rear-facing limit seats that are available to us.

And my children have never complained about being “scrunched” when sitting backwards – have you ever watched how a child manouvers themself or sits when playing ? They’re little contortionists when they are young !

Currently, my older children are both in forward-facing 5-point harnessed seats. They are 4 and 6 years of age.

My youngest is HAPPILY rear-facing at 30 months (2½ years) of age and 31 lbs in a seat called the “True Fit” by First Years. It has a 35-lb limit for rear-facing, so I imagine we’ll get to 3 years of age in this seat.

And won’t be turning him around any sooner than I absolutely must – I cannot justify giving up an extra 500% protection for ‘convenience’.

KeriCPST on

My son turns 5yo in one month and is still happy as a clam to ride rear-facing. He’s petite, but leggy. He rides with his legs crossed, legs resting on the seatback or legs slung over the side of the seat. There’s a whole page of cute rear-facing toddlers and preschoolers at http://www.freewebs.com/sacredjourneys/apps/photos/

And as far as leg injury… Broken leg? Cast it. Broken neck? Casket.

Think about it. If the impact would break their legs, what will happen to their spinal cord?

Shauna on

4 1/2 years old, 42″, 40 lbs, and his legs are nowhere near his face! I’ve never actually seen a rear-facing child with his legs by his face. There’s plenty of room to stretch them out, hang them over the sides, cross them, ect. If they put their legs up by their face, it’s because they are being silly.

*Disclaimer: The child in the picture is about 1/2 an inch too tall for this seat and at the weight limit. He would not actually ride rear-facing in this seat. The picture is for reference only.

kmf on

My daughter is 15 months old and still rides rear facing. She is tall for her age, so yes, her feet sit against the seat and her legs are bent a bit, but a. this is all she’s ever known, so she’s comfy in the position, and b. as adults we sit with our legs bent too, so it almost seems as though it would be more comfortable to have something for her to put her feet against.

Our seat (the Evenflo Triumph Advance, also a great seat), only rear-faces I believe to 35lbs, but while she’s long, she’s thin, so I hope we make it for a while til I have to turn her.

Mommyof3 on

I really like the looks of this carseat as well as the saftey features it carries! I have 3 children and they are all in carseats. My oldest daughter is 6 and she is 55lbs (yep, soild as they come) and she has been in a booster for 2 years now. My son on the other hand is tiny tiny tiny, he is 4.5 and only 31 lbs, he is still in a 5pt booster and he will be until he is is in college (haha just an inside family joke)Our youngest is almost 3 and she is in the same seat as her brother but she weighs 4 lbs mroe then he does. In all honesty tho I could NOT see myself switching my almost 5 year old son to rear facing because he would fit this seat…..

Sara on

Keltie – You are referring to your child’s specific car seat. As in any case, and as you did, it is always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when referring to specific seats. When I said there is no ‘height restriction’ for rear facing, I was referring to the fact that there is not a general height deemed ‘unsafe’ for rear-facing children in car seats. Instead, the rule of thumb is that a child has outgrown a rear-facing car seat when he or she has either exceeded the rear-facing weight limit or has less than one inch of shell above his or her head.

Keltie on

My mistake – thanks for clarifying.

My DS is 39.6″ tall and 30 pounds (will be 3 in September). I have him in a Graco Nautilus which will allow him to be in a 5-point harness until he is 65 pounds & I’m not sure how tall. Then it converts to a high back booster and a no-back booster.

I’m sure this seat will become available in Canada…just not for a few months yet. I know the Nautilus became available here in January 2009 but had been available in the US for sometime.

Lindsay on

My daughter is 3 years, 3 months, 28lbs and 36 inches. She comfortably and safety riding rear facing in a Compass True Fit. She usually sits cross legged, or butterfly. She will stay this way to AT LEAST 4 years old, unless she has a sudden growth spurt/weight gain.

The overall heights limits on car seats are merely a guideline. But they can continue to ride RF until there is less than an inch of hard shell above their heads OR they reach the weight limit.

LilNick on

In Ontario, Canada it goes as follows:
How should an infant be secured?
Infants weighing under 9 kg (20 lb.) are to travel properly secured in a rearward-facing child safety seat that meets the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS).

What is the proper way to secure a toddler?
Toddlers weighing 9 to 18 kg (20 to 40 lbs.) are to travel properly secured in a forward-facing child safety seat that complies with CMVSS and must be anchored to the vehicle using the tether strap (usually found on the back of the car seat).

When should I use a booster seat?
Children under the age of eight, who weigh 18 kg or more but less than 36 kg (40-80 lbs.), and who stand less than 145 cm (57 ins. or 4 ft. 9 ins.) must travel in a booster seat that meets the CMVSS. This requirement became law September 1, 2005.

When can a child start using a seatbelt alone?
A child can start using a seatbelt alone once any one of the following criteria is met:

Child turns eight years old
Child weighs 36 kg (80 lbs.)
Child is 145 cm (57 ins. or 4 ft. 9 ins.) tall
(info was taken right from the website: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca)

kgirl on

While I think this is a wonderful product for new mothers, I already have two children in two expensive car seats, and I really don’t want to spend my time feeling guilty that my kids are at a greater risk because I cannot afford to buy them both this latest, greatest product.

PK on

Although this is a great idea, just remember that car seats do expire, so it is unrealistic and misleading that Graco is advertising that you can use the same seat until the child is nine. The limit for a car seat is 6 years (5 years if you live in a hotter climate like Florida). The heat from being in a car is damaging to the seat over time and the seats should be disposed of after their expiration date (found on the bottom of the seat, if the seat doesn’t have one, it’s too old because they’ve been putting expiration dates on seats for over 6 years).

Kat on

Just b/c it says 65 lbs does NOT mean it will last until the child is 65lbs. People (AND CBB) need to stop focusing on the weight limit of these car seats. The MOST important thing is the harness height. Yes, its a great option for keeping your child rear facing but if the top harness isnt very tall then most kids will outgrow it LONG before 65lbs when forward facing. My average 5yr old outgrew her popular Britax 65lb seat long ago and she is 40 lbs.

I just find is irresponsible to CBB to tell people that this seat will last their child to 9 yrs (on average) without even reporting the top harness height.

CBB Danielle on

Neither Graco nor I said you can use this car seat till your kid is 9. I pointed out that you CAN use it for a LONG time as most kids will be 9 by the time they’re 65 lbs. If you have a munchkin like my daughter Anya, who is in the 10th percentile for height and 25th for weight, she’ll likely be in the car seat much longer than the typical kid and definitely a lot longer than the tall kids some of you have so the 65 lbs weight limit is important for families like mine.

Tara on

I don’t understand why people get their panties in a knot about needing their kid to forward face as early as possible. If it’s so important to you for them to do that, stop coming on here and protesting so. You must feel guilty that you’re not doing the right thing even though it’s what you prefer to do. My son is still a baby but I’m going to keep him rear facing as long as I can because I’ve learned from these safety experts that it’s the safest thing to do. Your coming on here telling me your kid is too long or complains doesn’t help me or anyone. It’s like those moms who use formula and always have to pipe up on posts about breastfeeding that their kid is doing just fine on formula. I don’t care! Keep it to yourself and let the rest of us learn from the people who know best – the experts and the ladies at CBB, who try to provide us with the most current and correct info.

Kat on

Again, your focusing on weight. The top slots on this seat are just shy of 17 in. Very few kids would fit in this seat past 5 or 6. Its mostly about torso height, not weight. Sure, on average a 9 yr old weighs 65lbs but very few have a torso of 17in or less….. even the munchkins.

trish on

just to let you know the carseat above is not the flair!! the flair is prettier with gray and a purple and pink center that is the alma there is a link to the flair on the graco website
http://www.gracobaby.com/Search%20Results/Pages/Search.aspx?search=my%20ride#/1831

mom2_4boyz on

The seat is very comfortable I do have 1 MAJOR complaint with it and it’s the buckles, they are not stiff enough and my son was unbuckling himself before he was 2! There really needs to be a recall on the buckles and a different style that is harder for little ones to unbuckle.

Karen on

Any tips on a VERY tall toddler (she just turned 2 this month) who only has about 1-2 inches of height left on the myride? She is all torso, she wears 5T shirts, and so this really is an issue. I would love to keep her in a 5 point harness until at least 3 (well really longer, but I’ll take what I can get), but have never seen a seat taller than the myride (which is why we got it 2 years ago). Weight is not an issue, since she is nowhere near the weight limit. And I will comment on the rearfacing that some of us were forced to turn our kids sooner than we would have liked. My DD outgrew the height for rearfacing in this seat at about 11 months!

Diane on

Having legs crumpled up is usually not a problem for the child. They are so much more flexible than we are as adults. And if a leg gets hurt in a crash, it can be fixed. The spinal cord cannot. Watch some of the forward-facing crash test videos on youtube to see what truly happens to little necks when they are forward facing.

Mike on

Our daughter is 1.5 and we plan on rear-facing her until 4 at a minimum, and 5 if possible. It’s such an easy investment to make in our child’s safety that we’d be bonkers to forward-face early just for our convenience.

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