A Christmas adventure (and a Graco Nautilus Elite review)
This week we took a road trip with a very festive feel, as we visited Christmas Tree Farm in Kent as part of our Graco Nautilus Elite review. The Nautilus Elite is a 3-in-1 convertible car seat, so we thought it would be apt to take it on an actual test drive as part of our final product review with baby brand Graco. And, everyone got to feed animals along the way.
Shock local admission, we’d never been to Christmas Tree Farm before so a week before Christmas seemed like a very apt time to go (it’s a local farm where you can feed animals and also see Santa when he’s in season).
For our drive there and back we decided to test the Nautilus seat out for our nearly five-year-old, with it fully extended in the high-backed booster position.
Like the Graco Milestone, the Graco Nautilus Elite is another convertible seat that grows with your child. The big difference with the Nautilus is that it is stages 1-3 and suitable from 9 months to around 12 years, or around 9-36 kg.
As with all Graco products safety is front and centre of the design and the seat comes with five point harness, side-impact protection and a lot of padding for comfort.
It also comes with clever, integrated features too – it extends by pulling up the head rest so you don’t need to add any parts. And the infant harness can be folded back in to the seat once it’s converted into a high backed booster so you don’t need to worry about losing the harness straps if you take them off.
It’s actually a more suitable seat for us than the Graco Milestone, as we’re well back the stage 0 seat phase so will only use any seat in the later phases. As with the Milestone, this seat doesn’t rearward face, which is something to be aware of if you’d prefer your child to stay rear-facing once they outgrow the stage 0 seat.
A note on installing the Nautilus Elite in your car – watch the installation video rather than reading the instruction booklet as this is much clearer (especially as the seatbelt guides on the seat could be more intuitive). It’s also quite a bulky seat which would make it tricky to use in smaller cars, or if you’re swapping it between cars often.
Again, as with the Graco Milestone the car seat doesn’t come with an ISOFIX fitting, which is something that would make life easier if you drive often and on long distances. When the harness is in use it fixes into the back using the seatbelt threaded through the seat, when it’s in use as a high-backed booster then it’s secured in by the seatbelt that goes over the child.
So what was the verdict from our Graco Nautilus Elite review? At £139 it may seem slightly pricer than more budget car seats, but as you’re paying for what’s effectively a couple of seats it offers value-for-money and is also sturdy and comfortable.
You can also enter to win a Graco product bundle worth £350 and containing a Graco Milestone, a Swivi Seat Booster – which we loved, read our Swivi Seat review – and a Graco Nimble Nook. Visit the Graco UK Facebook page and like this post before midnight on 31st December to be in with a chance to win.
More info on the Graco Nautilus Elite is here. More blog posts…our favourite London parks and how not to leave the house when you have small children