Graco Milestone Car Seat

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In a nutshell

Hoping to be 'the only car seat you'll ever need to buy' this car seat is great value for money, comfy and long-lasting, but not great for rear-facing for longer

  • Pros

    All stage - from birth to 36kg, comfortable, sturdy, easy to clean, cupholder, combined harness and headrest adjustment, quick installation

  • Cons

    Non ISOFIX, quite wide so makes back seat a bit tight if using more than one car seat, buckle cover a bit obstructive, slightly heavy

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Our review

The Graco Milestone is one of those car seats that more and more parents are now seeking – one that goes all the way from birth to 36kg or around 12 years.

In short, the only car seat that you will ever need for your child. I was most excited about it because with 4 children between the ages of 1 and 11, it meant that I could use it for all of them from time to time.

Made by Graco – a big name in the car seat and stroller market – you expect a certain level of quality from the outset.

The Milestone is a cheaper version of the Graco 4Ever seat. Although not outstanding in its design, it has a functional, unisex look about it. 

This car seat stands out for its reclining feature, the fact that you can adjust the headrest and harness in one swoop. 

Although Group 0+/1/2/3 seats are becoming increasingly popular, there are currently only two on the market, the Graco Milestone and the Joie Every Stage car seat

However, when you look further afield, you can compare the Milestone to other multi-stage, combination car seats like the Diono Radian V, Be Safe iZi Plus, Cybex Sirona or the Recaro Zero.1 Elite.

If you’re thinking of buying this seat, you can get it at Toys R Us

The Graco Milestone is a Group 0+/1/2/3 chair, is there much difference between the stages?

Having four children under the age of 12, I don’t always have the same children in the car with me so it was great to know that I had a car seat that is suitable for all of them.

But how easy would it be to adapt the seat for each one on a normal day? Again, I was mighty relieved to find out it was simple.

Since I was using the forward-facing position with all four children, I can simply pull up the headrest adjustment and there you have it!

The harness system allows you to adjust the headrest and the harness with one simple movement which made it oh-so-simple.

The 5-point harness is to be used until at least age 4 and for older children, you can simply hide it behind the cushion pad – no fiddling about unthreading it as I was forced to do with other car seats.

The multi-height headrest and harness system has 10 positions and the fact that you can do it so easily with one hand is definitely appealing.

I found it much easier to continue using the 5-point harness for the Group 2 stage as well as you don’t have to refit the seat, simply raise harness and headrest and off you go.

We've got more multi-stage car seats here...

How long can you sit your children rear-facing?

The Milestone has been sanctioned under the current  ECE R44/04  European safety standard legislation, meaning it can be used forward-facing from around 9kg (9 months).

However, the seat can be used as a rear-facing seat until your child is 13kg, around 12 to 15 months.  But as you know, all kids are different and 13kg happens to be 2-and-a-half-years for my daughter. 

My little one is only 10kgs but 22-months-old and she preferred to be forward facing so she could see what was going on more clearly, although the car seat is higher than most others so babies should still be able to see out of the window.

Tell us about the recline features

There are four recline positions in total, all of them are good enough to support a sleeping baby.  However, I had some trouble with the recline early on. While pulling the recline handle, it seemed that the whole seat seemed to be moving forward too.

But once you have secured the car seat belt tightly enough and this doesn’t happen, it is an invaluable feature.

No more heads lolling over to one side when kids fall asleep in the car. It allows you to drive the car in peace rather than worrying about your child flopping forward while asleep.

The headrests also act as good support for a sleeping or resting baby even when the recline position is more upright.

How is strapping your little one in?

Strapping in a young child is easy although I found the harness cover a little fiddly (it uses poppers).

I also found the cushion pad around the buckle of the 5-point harness kept rising up or twisting around, meaning it was getting in the way and making it hard to buckle the child in quickly.

Without the cushion pad though, there is a danger that you may pinch your child’s skin when using the buckle.

Is Graco Milestone comfortable?

I didn’t have any complaints as far as comfort went – the Milestone is comfortable for younger children due to the nicely padded seat and the cup holder is also a great feature – perfect for baby’s bottle!

The older children also liked it as it is fairly wide (19”) and the headrests are comfy too. It is also quite a high car seat so little ones can look out of the window without leaning forward or straining. 

How portable is it to get in and out of the car?

It is very easy to get in and out of the car, although at 19lbs, it is not the lightest car seat around.

The seat is fairly wide though, you could only get two into my car and even then, the middle seat becomes very congested for someone to sit in. It is also less bulky and heavy than my previous car seat, I used to have to rethread the harness belt each and every time with my old seat, but this one is much easier to use.

Is the Graco Milestone ISOFIX compatible?

No, it’s not.  It’s Universal fit, which means the chair has to be installed in the car with an adult seat belt.

Graco confirmed that its UK version of the Milestone doesn’t have ISOFIX. Latch connectors and latch anchors are the standard attachment points for child safety seats in the US, not the UK. The UK version of the Milestone is only Universal, meaning it fits with a seat belt.

Other things that differ from the UK and US versions are:

The UK version does not have the Simply Safe Adjust harness system, it’s only US seats.

The soft parts, like covers on the UK version are attached with poppers and not Velcro, like the US ones.

And the 10 year guarantee of the seat is only available in the US.

Is the product value for money?

Yes, at around £179 (or £150 on some sites) it represents good value because the car seat will grow with your family so will be used enough to warrant the outlay.  

When you actually work out the figures it’s downright cheap, if you use it as your one and only car seat you’ll pay £12.50 per year or 0.03p per day!

It is robust and sturdy, and easy to maintain. Plus no additional extras are needed, however, it's worth noting it only comes with a 2-year guarantee in the UK.

Saying that, for me, it is worth the money simply because of ease of headrest and harness adjustment for all my children.

If looked after well and cleaned regularly (you can machine wash the cushion pads), there is no reason why the car seat won’t go the distance.

What’s the difference between the Graco Milestone and the Joie Every Stage car seats?

On the surface, they are very similar car seats, both being suitable from birth until 36kg.

But probably the most marked difference is the rear-facing features of the seats; the Milestone can be used in the rear-facing position from birth until little ones weigh 13kg, which is about 2-and-a-half years.  The Joie Every Stage can be used from birth to 18kg, which is roughly 4 years, which is better if you’re a parent who prefers rear-facing car seats for longer. 

Size-wise the Milestone is lighter (8kg) than the Every Stage (8.24kg) and has smaller dimensions; L40.5cm x W50cm x H64cm compared the Every Stages D54cm x W52.6cm x H85.5cm

Then there’s the recline options, the Milestone has 4 positions and the Every Stage has 5.  The one feature that the Milestone has, which the Every Stage lacks is a cup holder. 

Find out everything you need to know about the latest car seat laws

What’s in the box when the car seat is delivered?

A car seat that is ready assembled - one of things that I always need to know before purchasing any item!

I heaved a sigh of relief to know that I didn’t have to do anything except lift it out of the packaging, take the baby seat pad off (since my youngest child is 22 months) use the car’s seats belts, which is again straightforward.

The instructions tell you all you need to know, they are basic and straightforward - simply choose which age child the seat will be used for and adjust accordingly.

Made For Mums Verdict:

I just loved the one-step headrest and harness adjustment, plus the easy installation. It looks safe, is comfortable and I won’t have to buy a new car seat every three-four years. What more could a busy mum want?

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