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Graco Nautilus 65 Harness Booster Car Seat Review

Editor rating

4.9/5 on July 11, 2019

User's rating

3,827 reviews


It is not overly priced as compared to the features it provides.
The seat installation is easy.
It has a lifespan of 10 years
The double pads provide extra ordinary safety to your little one
Comes with an effective energy absorption management.


Parts comes separately so you need to assemble the seat


Graco Nautilus is over all a great choice if you are looking for a top convertible booster car seat. If you’re on a budget, it is definitely the best choice available for you. The seat is durable and has also been around for quite some time, since it was introduced in 2007. If you are on a tight budget but also want a seat that is tried and tested and safe for your little kid, Graco Nautilus is a very good choice. It’s cheap, safe and for the most part very comfortable. My vote is definitely in the favor.

Introduction of Brand and Model

Graco is one of the best companies that offer best quality baby products and best baby essentials. We have listed their best convertible car seats and now this is a review in which we are going to list down the features of the best selling booster seat. Graco Nautilus Harness Booster is the definitely the all in one package to adjust to every stage of your kids’ growth. The child weight specification ranges from 20 to all the way up to 120 pounds. So this is a good choice for those parents who are looking for the best 5 point harness booster seat for over 40 lbs. This is really the product that is going to keep your friend company throughout his/her childhood. So, this model will last until your child doesn’t need it anymore.

Graco Nautilus 5 Point Harness to Booster Seat Review

Graco Nautilus 65 LX is one of the top products from Graco. While the company boast about all the different modes of usage which grabbed my attention, what I liked more about this durable car seat is its longevity and level of safety it provides that is the main concern of all the parents.

Key Features of Graco Nautilus 65 LX

While this is a great booster seat, and has a lot of good features as well, there are also some issues that may concern a potential buyer. I’m going to address all the good and the bad features of this model. So keep on reading to know more.

Three usage mode to keep your child company from his/her toddler days to their elementary school days. These modes include harness booster mode, high back booster and backless booster mode. Safe adjust harness system to easily adjust the harness and headrest without any hassle. Tested for crash safety. Durable and strong. Although Graco provides a weight and height guideline about which mode to use for your baby, my recommendation is that you should also read the AAP and NHTSA recommendations as well to be absolutely clear about which mode to use.
Machine washable parts are definitely a great feature. Older models came with hand washable parts, which was definitely painstaking. Crash tested for safety and side impact crash testing. Remember that almost 25% accidents are sideways impact collisions. These make it one of the safest booster car seats from Graco. One of the features that make it an ideal safest booster seat is its 10 years’ expiration age. Which is definitely longer than 7 to 8 years’ expiration age of a typical car seat. And here is a list of things that might be an issue for you

One of the bad features is the recline system. Although three recline positions are available, they are not that far apart. It’s hard to get a comfortable recline angle for your kid. And sometime, the kid’s head would roll forward. This is definitely a bit inconvenient but not a deal breaker. Headrest has only 5 adjustable positions. Other brands can offer up to 10 or even 14 adjustable positions. It is definitely not a major issue, but for those of you who are looking for a bit more freedom with the adjustment options, you might have to buy a slightly more expensive model from Graco, which offers a lot more features. Remember again that if you are looking for an affordable safest booster seat, this is the one of the cheap booster seat under 200$ range that is easily available online.

Usage According to Height and Weight of Baby

You can use it in three modes as mentioned below. When you decide that your child has out grown the harness mode, you can convert it to booster mode. Just remove the crotch and harness straps. If you like, you can also remove the back as well. Or you can leave the back as it is and use it as high back booster mode. It’s entirely up to you. Now let me discuss the three positions that you can use in this booster car seat.

Forward facing

Your child weight should be between 22 to 65 pounds and his/her height should be 27 to 49 inches. For Nautilus 80 Elite, these limits increase to 22 to 80 pounds and 27 to 52 inches.

High back booster

The minimum and maximum weight is 30 to 100 pounds and the height limit is from 38 to 57 inches. So if you are looking for the 5 point  best harness booster seats for over 40 lbs child, you can rely on this booster seat. This model is also best high back booster and really an affordable option for you in the market.

Backless booster

Kid’s weight should lie in between 40 and 120 pounds and the height limit is 57 inches. The highest harness position available in Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster is 18.5 inches and the highest belt position is around 19.5 inches. The lower anchor weight limit is 49 pounds.

Graco Nautilus 5 Point Harness to Booster Seat Installation

The best thing about Graco Nautilus safest Booster car seat is that it comes with multiple installation modes. You can install it with the seat belt and also with latch connectors. I am going to briefly go over both of them.

Seat belt Installation

Seat belt installation is very easy. All that you have to do is to pass the seat belt through the color coded holes and attach the seat belt. That’s just it. Make sure that the seat belt is tight enough and you are good to go.

1. Latch Installation (Lower Anchor Tether for Children)

Using the latch straps for installation is also no brainier at all. Just open the secret compartment on the side of the seat to find the latch straps.

2. Non Standard Installation
If the lower anchor spacing is less than 11 inches, you can use the latch connectors to install the seat in the center position. Be sure to check your vehicles manual first, though. The American Highway Traffic Safety Association recommends that when the child’s and seat’s combined weight is 65 pounds, you have to use the seat belts for installation. Manufacturer recommend that the children weight should be less than 45 pounds as of February 2015. The Latch weight limits can vary depending upon the older models. So if you’re going to use Latch connectors, make sure to check for the weight limits of your model.

Important Notes for Installation

Inflatable seat belts

DO NOT use the inflatable seat belts for installation in the harness mode. Once you decide to use the booster mode, then it’s fine. But before that please use the latch connectors.


To reduce the risk of the head injury, it’s important that your child’s head moves as less as possible during the crash. To reduce the head movement, use the top tether. Connecting it is really easy. Use the tether at the top of the head rest and connect it to the connecting handle behind the back seat of your car. This provides a little bit of extra security. This step is important because even as much as half an inch difference in forward flexing during the crash can mean the difference between life and death.

Graco Nautilus 5 Point Harness to Booster Seat Design and Specifications

Well, moving towards the most important aspect of the Booster car seat and that is its design and the specifications. The engineers who designed this model, worked really hard to provide such a design that can bear the weight of a child up to 120 pounds. Keeping in mind the comfort and security, this is the best convertible booster car seat in terms of its slim and secure design. We all want a seat that is safe and secure for the baby but at the same time, is consistent with the modern fashion standards. The color combination is very good. You can choose from a variety of color combinations. Most of the colors are dark.

The design is also very compact. It does not take the extra space you might be worried about. If you are looking for the best booster seats for small cars, then this is a good choice for you. You can use it in big cars as well, because it will leave ample space for you to put in your stuff on the other seats. Even the other passengers in the back seat can travel with full comfort as they have a lot of space to adjust in. The seat is built to last till your baby doesn’t need to sit on a car seat. So it grows with your little one and stays with you until you don’t need it any more.


The seat is 28 inches in highest mode, 20 inches wide and 18 inches in depth. Please keep in mind that if you have a small car, the seat might tough the ceiling. This should not be a problem in a normal to big size car though.

Comfort of Baby

Every mother wants to give ultimate safety and comfort to their precious ones. This is parent’s responsibility to provide their little ones with full comfort and the best of all. Keeping this in kind, the engineers of Graco Company have paid special attention to design the best toddler booster seat. If you love to go on long travels and on long drives, then this is the most comfortable car seat for your baby. Your little one can sleep easily in rare facing position and in the forward facing position as well.

It has double cups, and you can put in the favorite snakes and drinks in the cup holders, so your toddler can enjoy the long drive. So, it is correct if I say that this is the best toddler booster seat for eating. The washable option is an additional feature, so you should not be worried about the mess your baby creates during long drives.

Safest Booster Seat

The safety features of Graco Nautilus are definitely out of question. The plastic parts combined with reinforced steel frame provide a solid frame that is definitely going to protect your kid in case of a crash. But there is one down side though, Although the steel frame is definitely one of the biggest safety features, it also makes the seat a bit bulky. Almost as heavy as 20.5 pounds. But compared to the safety of your kid, I’m sure we can ignore this minor inconvenience. So this is the best option and the safest car seats for 4 year olds, in the forward facing position.

The foam used in the car is EPS foam. The one used in the motor cycle helmets. It helps absorbs the impact to keep your child out of the harm’s way. At the same time, it provides the level comfort your child deserves. In case of a side impact, this is definitely going to be a difference between safety and injury for your child.

Graco Nautilus exceeds all the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s safety standards. The seats are crash tested over and over to ensure that your loved ones are always safe and sound. The product was also test at NCAP (New Cars Assessment Program) at national standards two time. All this should clear any doubts you might have about the safety of Graco Nautilus LX 65 booster seat. Overall, this is a good option that grows with your child; hence it is considered as one of the best harness to booster seats. The safety is assured in all three positions i.e. rare facing, forward facing and the booster mode. The seat is crash tested and even safe to use in airplane, so if you’re one of those people who travel by air, you don’t have to buy an extra seat.

Best Convertible Booster Seat Under 200$

I have already discussed the most important features above. Now, this is time to discuss about the features and their overall worth. You must be thinking that is it a good choice within your budget or not? According to the other options that are available in the market, this is really an affordable 5 point harness booster seat for over 40 lbs. The other brands are also offering these all features but they are bit expensive. So if your budget is low, then this is the best convertible booster seat under 200$.

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