For the price, the Graco My Ride 65 is a good value for parents who want to keep their kids in a car seat longer in both the forward- and rear-facing positions. The seat performs well in crash tests, and most reviewers say it is well padded. However, it does take up a lot of seat space, and reviewers say pricier seats offer easier rear-facing installation and more easily adjustable harnesses. It has also been involved in a recent recall.
Good crash-test ratings, but some kids can unbuckle themselves. The Graco My Ride 65 performs just as well in crash tests as more expensive models. The seat offers side-impact protection with foam padding. The My Ride's top tether only stabilizes the seat in the front-facing position and not in the rear-facing position. The seat has clip-on LATCH connectors, but Graco requires seat-belt installation once a child reaches 48 pounds. Parents should note that some vehicles cap LATCH use at lower weights, however. The seat has a five-point harness with a chest clip. Several reviewers have said their toddlers were able to unbuckle the chest clip on their own, posing a safety risk.
On February 11, 2014, Graco recalled nearly 3.8 million convertible car seats due to an issue with the buckle that makes it difficult to remove a child from the seat, increasing the risk of injury when an emergency exit from the vehicle is required. This recall includes the Grado My Ride 65 manufactured between January 2009 and July 2013. If you own this seat contact Graco for a replacement at 800-345-4109 or at or firstname.lastname@example.org. This does not affect the crash safety of the seat, and it can continue to be used until the buckles are replaced. If you decide to buy a My Ride 65, be sure it has the new style of buckle by visiting www.gracobaby.com.
Rear-facing installation can be tricky. Some of the Graco My Ride 65's features aren't as easy to use as those on higher-end car seats, reviewers say. The seat attaches to the car's LATCH anchors with older hook-on clips rather than newer, easier-to-use push-button connectors. Because the LATCH anchors are hidden between the seats, this can require digging, especially to remove the straps. The My Ride also lacks a quick harness-height adjuster; you must remove the car seat and rethread the harness from the back to change the harness height. The cover is machine washable, and reviewers say it is easily removable. Some reviewers have complained that the seat's harness buckle can be difficult to unlatch, with reports of some parents cutting the straps off their children. Graco has redesigned the My Ride's buckle as of summer 2013, but customers should note it may be an issue on older models.
Comfortable enough, but bulky. The Graco My Ride 65 is a wide seat with a good amount of padding to keep kids comfortable, though reviewers note that pricier seats feel plusher. Other back-seat passengers may not appreciate the seat's bulk, and it may be harder to fit multiple car seats into one row. While children enjoy the seat's built-in cupholders, they aren't easily removable for cleaning and add to the seat's width. The My Ride also comes with a removable infant insert to keep small babies snug. Its upper weight limits of 40 pounds rear-facing and 65 pounds forward-facing are the real value here, and experts say the relatively tall shell will help keep children rear-facing longer than some other models. The forward-facing height limit is 49 inches.
Solid service reviews. The Graco name is ubiquitous in baby and child equipment. Reviewers report generally good responses when contacting the company. The My Ride has a limited one-year warranty and expires six years from the date of manufacture. The manual can be easily downloaded from the Graco website. Graco advises customers to replace their car seat after any crash, no matter how minor.
Our Sources: Graco Car Seat Reviews
1. Baby Bargains
"Baby Bargains" covers the Graco line in general and the Graco My Ride 65 specifically. Authors Denise and Alan Fields consider performance, ease of use and the brand's track record to come up with their overall rating.
Review: Car Seats: Picking the Right Child Safety Seat, Denise and Alan Fields, Tenth Edition, 2013
This thorough review covers the Graco My Ride 65's safety, installation, dimensions, comfort, maintenance and pros and cons. It links to customer reviews, too, although there are no specific car-seat recommendations.
Review: Graco My Ride 65 Convertible Car Seat Reviews, Editors of MommiesLike.com, Not Dated
ConsumerReports.org tests 27 convertible car seats. The ratings are reliable and unbiased, and they include editors' highs and lows for each seat -- helpful for parents who want a quick summary of each seat. However, there are a couple of discontinued models listed, and it's unclear when the tests were performed.
Review: Convertible Car Seat Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
4. Good Housekeeping
The Graco My Ride 65 is one of nine car seats reviewed in Good Housekeeping's Convertible Car Seat Reviews. The review is detailed and thorough, and includes pros and cons. Reviewers note ease of use and adjustability as pluses, but angle and rethread harness as cons.
Review: Convertible Car Seat Reviews, Editors of Good Housekeeping, 2012
5. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The Graco My Ride 65 earns 4 stars out of 5 for overall ease of use in the NHTSA's tests. It's one of only a few seats to rate this high. Rear-facing installation can be tricky, testers note, but it's still considered very easy to install overall.
Review: Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings, Editors of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, As of February 2014
More than 830 owners review the Graco My Ride 65, giving it an average of 4.1 stars out of 5. It gets high marks for being comfortable, durable, safe, stylish and easy to install, but many owners point out that it is heavy and bulky.
Review: Graco My Ride 65 Convertible Car Seat, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of February 2014
Heather Corley, About.com's guide to baby products, names the Graco My Ride 65 to her list of the best convertible car seats. She tests the seat's ease of installation and does a thorough job of pointing out its pros and cons.
Review: Graco My Ride 65 Car Seat Review, Heather Corley, Not Dated
The Graco My Ride 65 is included in this roundup of 17 convertible car seats that allow you to keep your child rear-facing longer. Rosen calls the My Ride 65 "a solid performer" that can fit well in many vehicles and offers safety at a reasonable price. The short review does not note any cons.
Review: 17 Convertible Car Seats with Extended Rear Facing, Melanie Monroe Rosen, Not Dated
Wynne picks the Graco My Ride as one of six seats that offer bang for your buck. She details the seat's basic specs and links to a more in-depth review, but does not review the seat herself.
Review: Top Convertible Car Seats Under $150: 6 Picks, Angie Wynne, Feb. 8, 2013