If you are looking for a front-facing harnessed car seat that can convert into a booster seat, you may be interested in either Evenflo Maestro or Graco Tranzitions. Both models are quite affordable and budget-friendly. So, which one is better for the money? Read the comparison of Evenflo Maestro vs Graco Tranzitions below to find out.
We are going to discuss further about:
– The available color options on each model
– The size and weight of each model
– The suitable uses and weight/height limits on each model
– The installation of Evenflo Maestro and Graco Tranzitions
– The features and safety of Evenflow Maestro vs Graco Tranzitions
– Which car seat that is generally more recommended
First of all, let’s take a look at the color choices available on these products. You probably have a particular favorite color. You are perhaps looking for a car seat that can match the look of your car. Unfortunately, both Evenflo Maestro and Graco Tranzitions don’t have many color options. See also: Evenflo Maestro vs Graco Nautilus.
Evenflo Maestro is a little bit better in this aspect because it comes with more options. This booster car seat is available in 3 colors, which are Wesley (black and gray with red lines), Thunder (black and blue), and Taylor (black and gray with pink lines). The car seat generally looks cool and sporty. Nevertheless, the varieties here are nice, and they can match many styles.
Graco Tranzitions, on the other hand, is only available in two colors. So, there aren’t many varieties to choose from. The first variant is Basin, which is colored in light gray and light blue. The second variant is Kyte, which is mostly pink and black. Although the car seat is pretty wide and bulky, with a very nice headrest design, the overall look is not exactly sporty. Still, it can look great if it matches your car’s interior.
Size and Weight
Whenever you are thinking about buying a new car seat, you must consider the dimensions of the product. This is also the case in choosing between Evenflo Maestro vs Graco Tranzitions. Car seats that are compact and lightweight are generally easier to install and to carry around. If you need to use multiple car seats, then you need to look for a slim car seat that doesn’t take too much space.
Evenflo Maestro is somewhat wide and bulky, as it measures 19 inches wide and 20 inches deep. However, it is not as tall as Graco Tranzitions, as its height is only about 27 inches. So, it will require some space in the car, but it is less likely to bump to the ceiling. You may be able to use up to two car seats simultaneously in the same row in your car, but fitting three units inside will be difficult.
In addition, Evenflo Maestro is actually lighter at just 12.7 lbs. In fact, this is among the lightest models available in the market. So, despite the slightly bulky body, it won’t require so much effort to bring around. It is suitable for traveling; it has been approved by the FAA for use in an airplane flight, but only in the harnessed mode. Note that the width may make it difficult to use on a narrow seat.
Graco Tranzitions is quite slimmer. It measures only 19 inches wide and 17.4 inches deep. Thanks to the efficient design, you will be able to set it up fairly easily inside your car. However, this model is much taller, with a maximum height of 33 inches. It may bump to the ceiling of your car.
Most people consider Graco Tranzitions lightweight and fairly portable. The weight is only about 17 lbs. So, you can bring it along with your when traveling. The harnessed mode is approved by the FAA for use in an airplane flight, but the booster mode is not. You can use it on an average-size seat by lifting the arm rests, but the width may make it difficult to use on a narrow seat.
One big difference between Evenflo Maestro vs Graco Tranzitions is the built-in modes that they have. Evenflo Maestro only has two modes, but its maximum weight limit is actually higher. Graco Tranzitions has three modes, but the maximum weight limit is lower.
Evenflo Maestro can function as a five-point harnessed car seat for a toddler that is between 22 pounds – 50 pounds. The maximum height limit in this mode is 50 inches. Once your child has grown to be big enough, you can switch to the belt-positioning booster mode, which will allow you to use it with your car’s seat belt.
As a belt-positioning booster seat, Evenflo Maestro is suitable for a child between 40 pounds – 110 pounds. The maximum height limit in this mode is 57 inches. So, you can use this car seat for a long time. Unfortunately, Evenflo Maestro can’t be converted into a backless booster seat, so it is not recommended for a child with a large physicality.
Graco Tranzitions can function as a five-point harnessed car seat, a high-back booster seat, and a backless booster seat. Many users agree that Graco Tranzitions can be used for a longer time due to having the backless booster mode, even though the weight limit is slightly lower. In this mode, the car seat usually can accommodate a larger child.
In the five-point harnessed mode, the car seat is suitable for a child between 22 – 65 lbs, but the maximum allowed height is 49 inches. In the high-back booster mode, it is suitable for a child between 30 – 100 lbs. In the backless booster mode, it is suitable for a child between 40 – 100 lbs. The maximum allowed height is 57 inches in either booster mode.
Evenflo Maestro is equipped with LATCH straps to secure the upper and lower parts in place. Unfortunately, the LATCH straps aren’t as nice as they sound. Some users have complained that these straps are very difficult to tighten. Even after you throw your full weight onto the car set to tighten it, the seat still wiggles around. These straps are also difficult to release.
On the good side, Evenflo Maestro can be installed with just the seat belt. Installing the car seat with the seat belt is generally easier, and actually more secure and reliable. It also makes the car seat compatible with both newer and older vehicles. Keep in mind that you should not use both the LATCH straps and the seat belt installation simultaneously.
Graco Tranzitions, similarly, comes with the LATCH connector. However, some parents have also complained that the LATCH connector is difficult to tighten. It requires huge effort to be tightened properly until it reaches the recommended minimal movement of less than one inch from the center.
Don’t worry; Graco Tranzitions can also be installed using the seat belt. In fact, you need to switch to the seat belt installation once your child is at least 45 lbs. The seat belt installation is much easier and more straightforward. It is also solid and secure. It prevents the seat from moving around too much, so that your child will be secured in place in case of a crash.
Evenflo Maestro comes with a removable and machine-washable seat cover, so the maintenance is easy and convenient. Whenever you need to deal with bread crumbs, spills, or stains, you just need to throw the seat cover into the washing machine and then let it dry. The car seat has two cup holders that are equipped with elastic bands. So, the cup holders can easily accommodate water bottles of any size.
Graco Tranzitions also comes with a removable, machine-washable seat cover, so it is also easy to clean. The metal and plastic parts on the unit can be cleaned easily using cold water and some mild soap. The car seat comes with two cup holders that can be partially inserted to save space.
Safety and Durability
In terms of safety, both Evenflo Maestro vs Graco Tranzitions are excellent. They have been designed to pass the government’s standards, so they can provide decent safety and protection. Both models have durable steel frames and impact-absorbing foam pads. Although Evenflo Maestro is good enough in shielding your child from debris particles, Graco Tranzitions is a bit better due to the enveloping shape of the headrest.
Evenflo Maestro has a five-point harness system to secure your child’s vulnerable body parts. It has 4 harness positions and 2 buckle positions to provide the ideal fit for your child. Unfortunately, the adjustment process requires manual re-threading, which is impractical and usually takes a long time.
Graco Tranzitions also has a five-point harness system, but it is much easier to adjust, thanks to the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System. With this feature, you can adjust the headrest and harness position in one simple motion without any manual re-threading. There are 8 harness positions available, so you can choose the one that fits your child best as your child grows.
Evenflo Maestro vs Graco Tranzitions
All in all, between these two models, Graco Tranzitions is more recommended! It is compact, lightweight, and quite portable. It can be used for a longer time, as it can convert into a backless booster seat. It has an impressive harness system that can be adjusted easily without any manual re-threading.