A fine fit forward-facing in the minivan,
installed with seatbelt.
Installed forward-facing with LATCH in Honda
The "kick stand" at the back of the seat engaged for forward-facing
Rear-facing, it may be hard to achieve a 45
degree angle, as here in a Honda Accord.
Rear-facing: Where are the adjustment
Both shoulder straps of the harness share the same slot on the
plate--a tight fit.
The ComfortSport side-by-side with a Britax Marathon.
Extra deep seat, with two strap positions.
Priced to move...
but does it travel?
The Graco ComfortSport enters the
market at around $80, and ranges up to $120
depending on possible upgrades--including "Gracopedic" memory
foam liner and better fabrics, both of which could prove well worth
it depending on how many miles you plan to put on this seat.
Regardless of external upgrades, all models of the ComfortSport have
an EPS energy-absorbing liner for that added measure of safety.
The ComfortSport at a glance:
- Rear-facing 5 to 30 lbs.
- Forward-facing 20 to 40 lbs. or 40"
- FAA-certified for flying
- Weighs 11.5 lbs.
- 17" W x 26.5"H
The ComfortSport's shape is very
similar to the Britax Roundabout or Britax Marathon, with a
streamlined body and deep side wings (even slightly deeper). It also
sits high like the Britax seats, with a total height of 26.5"
-- falling in between the Roundabout (25"H) and Marathon (28"H).
the Roundabout and ComfortSport share an upper height limit of 40"H,
while the Marathon can be used for children up to 49"H. Like the
Roundabout, this seat bears a maximum weight limit of 40 lbs.
If you are leery of car seats that
leave children slumped in a C-shape when facing forward, or that sit
them up almost painfully upright, you will also appreciate the
subtle recline this seat offers even when in the forward-facing
Lightweight: The ComfortSport,
however, is not only much lighter on the wallet than the Britax
seats, it is also lighter in the hand at only 11.5 lbs fully
equipped (Roundabout is 13.5 and Marathon is 17.5 lbs).
Narrow base: At only 17" W
(with cup holder removed), this car seat should easily fit in any
airplane seat when forward-facing (the flight-friendly Roundabout is
18"W). The narrower base and high positioning also make it easier
than some seats to install--and remove--the seat when using with
Padded side wings: The deep,
padded wings may also provide some support and comfort while dozing
in this car seat in the forward-facing position.
Cup holder: The cup holder
easily pops off when not needed (during flights), but gives children
a place to rest that sippy cup during the long drive.
Deep seat: The seat is
actually much deeper from front to back than most car seats in the
40 pounds category. While that means it takes up more space than
some others may, possibly decreasing the older child's leg room, it
gives babies and small toddlers an extended leg rest--also a plus if
you'd like your child to
ride rear-facing longer (up to 30 lbs in this seat).
High ride: Since the seat sits
higher, it's easier for the child passenger to see out the windows than
it may be in
some other car seats--a plus for keeping them happier longer, and
possibly even preventing carsickness.
Forward-facing, I found the seatbelt installation quite easy, with a
roomy path to feed the safety belt (and hand) through in the
back--about as simple as it gets. Rear-facing, the belt passes under
the seat cushion, though the openings to feed the belt through on
each side were accommodating of the belt buckles and it was fairly
simple and straightforward.
Ready LATCH: The hook-style
LATCH belt remains in place through the belt path when not in use,
with "place holders" for the connectors to hook through underneath
at each side, so you won't have to keep track of extra pieces or
have LATCH clips dangling in your way as you travel. This keeps
things simple and efficient in transit when going from airplane to
rental car, using safety belt and then LATCH.
Rear-facing fit: As when
traveling with any convertible car seat used rear-facing, the car
seat height should be taken into consideration, and also the age of
your child at the time of travel. When positioned at a 45 degree
angle as required for an infant, a taller car seat such as this may
not fit on some rows in coach or in the back seats of some
cars--especially economy class rental cars. Once your child is older and
has already developed good control of her neck muscles, less of a
recline is necessary in the rear-facing position.
Before testing the seat for myself, I
had read some parent reviews complaining about difficulty adjusting
the harness straps--and keeping them tight once adjusted. At first,
I had no trouble lengthening or shortening the harness straps, and I
thought it may have been a fluke or user error that led to the
handful of parent complaints I had seen. After I changed the height
of the harness straps, however, I had some difficulty adjusting the
I eventually found that "the trick"
seemed to be pulling the strap adjustment tab (shown at seat front
as gray rubber tab)
straight down, while it seemed more natural to pull it out at an
angle--especially when the seat was installed rear-facing and there
was barely any room to pull downward. I did manage with the
captain's seat in the minivan, but I noted it was more difficult
with the firm bench back seat. I didn't have a problem with
the straps self-loosening on the seat I used.
I was a little concerned to see the
plate used for the harness straps, which forces both shoulder straps
onto one metal strip which requires them to gather slightly (see
photo). It's a little awkward to get both straps onto this properly.
Anyone moving the straps on this car seat will want to be sure the
straps are completely over the rounded end to keep them from
slipping off. When done properly, it shouldn't be a problem. It just
seems like this plate isn't nearly as user-friendly as others where
each strap has its own space.
Also, I wish the harness slots
were a little closer together, as they are on Britax seats, which
makes it easier to maintain a good fit as the child grows. These harness
slots are a full 3" apart.
Ultimately, this is a great
for air travel and use in rental cars
(and by no means should it be overlooked for everyday use as well). As
a rear-facing car seat, it may be best for road trips in your own
vehicle, or when your child is old enough to ride rear-facing at
less than a 45 degree angle. Those who (understandably) fear lugging
their Britax Marathon through the airport or squeezing it into an
airplane seat may want to consider the ComfortSport as a second car
seat for travel.
Find it online at:
Babies R Us
For others you might consider, see
For a rear-facing convertible car seat for travel, you might prefer
It runs about $100 more than the ComfortSport, but may give you a
better fit for air travel and in rental cars, and will also provide
additional features you may appreciate, like seatbelt lock-offs and
a two-position adjustable recline your child can still enjoy when
forward-facing later on. The LATCH attachments are also a little
easier to use. The Roundabout may also be used rear-facing up to 33
lbs (3 lbs more than the ComfortSport). Plus, the Roundabout has a
simple push-button harness adjustment system that is easily accessed
even when the seat is rear-facing.
'N' STROLL: If you're looking for a good option for travel both
rear-facing now and forward-facing down the road, you might consider
the Sit 'n' Stroll car seat and stroller in one. At 21"H, it's an
easier fit rear-facing, though you may need to add your own Sit Rite
leveler or rolled blanket for enough recline with an infant (no
recline adjustment). It is also 18"W and installs very easily with seatbelts and
gives you the convenience of wheels when needed--plus a shade canopy
that now comes standard. All for a price comparable to the
Roundabout. Click here to
see our Feature Review of the Sit 'n' Stroll.
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