In the following article, we are going to compare the features and quality of two convertible car seats from Graco that are quite affordable. They are Graco Contender 65 vs My Ride 65. These two models have similar weight ratings, but Graco Contender 65 is a bit more expensive than Graco My Ride 65. So, which one is actually better?
Below, we will discuss further about:
– The size and weight of each model
– The suitable uses of each model
– The installation system on each model
– The features and safety of Graco Contender 65 vs My Ride 65
– Why Graco Contender 65 is more expensive and more valuable
– Whether Graco My Ride 65 is still a good option or not
– The available color choices for these convertible car seats
First, let’s begin by comparing the overall size and weight of these convertible car seats. This is important because you need to make sure that the unit will actually fit inside your car. However, the dimensions of Graco Contender 65 and Graco My Ride 65 are actually quite similar.See also: Britax Marathon vs Graco Extend2Fit.
Graco Contender 65 measures 20.8 inches x 26 inches x 27 inches. Indeed, this model is pretty bulky. It is still easy to fit inside most cars, but it won’t allow you to fit three units across the backseat. If you have a particularly small car, you need to put it on the middle seat if you want to scoot the driver’s seat back. Otherwise, you need to find a more compact alternative in order to save some leg room.
Meanwhile, the weight is about 15.2 lbs. So, although the overall shape is pretty bulky, it is not too heavy. You can bring it along when traveling. As a note, it is FAA-approved for airplane use, but you still should ask the airline office to make sure whether you are allowed to bring the car seat into the airplane.
Graco My Ride 65 measures 20.8 inches x 26 inches x 27.8 inches. This model is also pretty bulky, and it is a bit taller than Graco Contender 65. So, it follows the same rules – it won’t allow you to fit three units across the backseat, and it must be on the middle seat if your car is particularly small and you want to scoot the driver’s seat back.
The weight of this model is about 15.8 lbs. It is a bit heavier than Graco Contender 65. It is still a viable option for traveling. However, there is no clear statement whether Graco My Ride 65 is FAA-approved for airplane use or not.
Both Graco Contender 65 vs My Ride 65 are two-in-one convertible car seats that can serve as rear-facing car seats as well as forward-facing car seats. There are just slight differences in their weight ratings.
Graco Contender 65 is suitable for an infant between 5 – 40 lbs in the rear-facing mode. There is no exact height limit for this mode, except that the child’s head should be at least one inch below the top of the seat. However, since the car seat does not recline, it is not suitable for a newborn or a small baby.
It is suitable for a toddler between 20 – 65 lbs when used in the forward-facing mode. The maximum child height limit is 49 inches. So, Graco Contender 65 can be used for a fairly long time before you need to switch to a booster seat.
Graco My Ride 65 is suitable for an infant between 4 – 40 lbs in the rear-facing mode. The slightly lower minimum weight will allow you to start using it a bit sooner. However, this model also doesn’t recline, so it is not for a newborn or a small baby. You can use it in the rear-facing mode as long as your child’s head is at least one inch below the top of the seat.
In the forward-facing mode, Graco My Ride 65 is suitable for a toddler between 20 – 65 lbs, and the maximum child height limit is 49 inches as well. You will be able to use it for a few years before you need to switch to a booster seat.
Both Graco Contender 65vs My Ride 65 are budget-friendly models, so it is not surprising that they lack some advanced features. For example, both of these models only have basic connectors. Neither of them has the company’s proprietary InRight LATCH installation system – this awesome feature is only found in the more expensive models.
So, for the installation, you need to use either the standard latch connectors or the seatbelt. Some people are fine with the standard latch connectors, but some others find them hard to tighten. If you are facing the same problem, just use the vehicle’s seatbelt to install the car seat. The seatbelt installation will allow you to set up a solid and secure car seat fairly easily.
Of course, the primary difference between Graco Contender 65vs My Ride 65 is the harness system. Graco Contender 65 is a little bit more expensive than Graco My Ride 65 because it is already equipped with the company’s Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.
Graco Contender 65 is very easy to use once it is properly set up. You can adjust the fit of the harness very quickly and easily, thanks to the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System. This is a proprietary mechanism that allows you to adjust the headrest and harness position with a single hand without having to do any re-threading.
Of course, nobody likes spending so much time and effort for re-threading the harness, so this is a great feature. In use, it is indeed very quick and practical. It has 8 selectable headrest positions to adapt to your growing child throughout the years.
Graco My Ride 65, on the other hand, doesn’t have the no-rethread harness system. It only has a standard harness system that requires manual re-threading when you want to adjust the fit. That is not an impossible task; you just need to dedicate some time to fit the harness properly on your child. At least, the harness can keep the fit without getting loose, so it can secure your child properly.
Also, Graco My Ride 65 does not have an adjustable headrest. The back of the seat is pretty much flat. You can put a small pillow to enhance the comfort for your child.
Graco Contender 65 is very easy to clean and maintain. All of the fabrics and pads are removable and machine-washable. So, when dealing with spills and stains, you don’t need to worry. You only need to release the fabrics and pads, throw them into your washing machine, and let them air-dry before putting them back on the seat. It will look pretty much brand-new again!
Note that Graco Contender 65 only has one cup holder – not bad. You can put your child’s milk bottle there. Having two cup holders would be great, but having one is already better than having none.
Graco My Ride 65 has a removable, machine-washable cover, so it is still pretty easy to clean. However, the cover is somewhat difficult to remove. This model comes with two cup holders, which are handy for putting your child’s milk bottle and your own water bottle or some snacks.
For sure, both Graco Contender 65 and Graco My Ride 65 are highly safe and secure. Both models have been tested to meet or exceed the US safety standard FMVSS 213. In addition, both models have also passed the company’s crash test standard which uses impact forces approximately 2X higher than the government car seat standard. This is to ensure that the car seats are truly durable and capable.
Both models have been side impact tested, too. So, they should be able to provide adequate protection in the case of a crash from any direction. Both models can withstand extreme temperatures inside the car without compromising the structural integrity or durability. However, as mentioned above, Graco Contender 65 is FAA-approved for airplane use, whereas Graco My Ride 65 doesn’t have a clear statement whether it is FAA-approved or not for airplane use.
Finally, let’s see the available color choices of Graco Contender 65 and Graco My Ride 65. They both provide some options, so that you can choose one that suits your preference.
Graco Contender 65 is available in 3 color variants. There are Glacier (black), Sapphire (blue), and Chili Red (gray with red lines).
Graco My Ride 65 is also available in 3 color variants, but the colors are different. There are Sully (gray and light blue), (grayish brown and green), and Sylvia (gray and pink).
Graco Contender 65 vs My Ride 65
In general, Graco Contender 65 is more recommended. It has the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System, which will allow you to adjust the fit of the harness easily without re-threading. It is also easier to clean, as the fabrics and pads are all removable and machine-washable.