Graco Nautilus Snuglock Grow
Graco Nautilus Snuglock Grow
Forward-Facing Combination Car Seat
Forward-Facing Combination Car Seat

The best car seat is the one that fits your child, vehicle, budget, and lifestyle and has the features important to you. The safest car seat is the one you can install correctly and use properly on every ride! Let us know in the comment section what questions you have about this review of the Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow combination car seat.

Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow Car Seat Review (USA)

Selecting the right car seat for your child can be a daunting task, especially when your vehicle comes with its own set of unique challenges. If you’re grappling with non-removable headrests or seeking an easy installation, the Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow might just be what you are looking for! This combination seat stands out for its ease of installation and innovative features. It also features one of Graco’s newest innovations, which is their Grow technology. With this feature, the backrest widens as the headrest rises to accommodate your growing child. Let’s delve deeper into what makes the Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow a standout choice in the world of car seats.


A combination car seat with 3 modes: forward-facing, high-back booster, or backless booster


Preferably after your child has outgrown their rear-facing convertible car seat, but can be used from 2+ years


Our recommendation: 2 years+ until the seat is outgrown (average 9/10 years old)

What you need to know before you go.

Forward-Facing Seat Stats

  • height limit: 49″
  • weight limit: 22-65 lbs
  • head height rules: ears must be below the top of the headrest
  • Highest Harness Height: 18.75″

High Back Booster Seat Stats

  • height limit: 43-57″
  • weight limit: 40-100 lbs
  • head height rules: ears must be below the top of the headrest
  • Highest Shoulder Belt Guide: 20″

Backless Booster Stats

  • height limit: 43-57″
  • weight limit: 40-120 lbs
  • head height rules: ears must be below the top of the vehicle headrest

Other Seat Stats

  • width of seat: 19”
  • weight of seat: 21.5 pounds
  • crash replacement policy: Replace after any crash
  • expiration limits: 10 years
  • harness system: no-rethread
  • lock-off: yes
  • cup holders: dual cup holders that are required

✅ Seat is good for you if:

✅ you have a car with non-removable headrests

When it comes to vehicles with non-removable forward-tilting headrests, it can be difficult to find a forward-facing car seat that works well with them. The Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow happens to be one of the best-fitting car seats in the combination seat category for vehicles that have those kinds of headrests!

✅ you want a car seat that’s easy to install
Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow
Source: Graco

This seat features Graco’s SnugLock technology to help you get a tight seat belt option, so if you want a seat that has a hassle-free installation, this could be a great option for you!

✅ you want a car seat with a seat belt lock-off

The SnugLock lock-off helps you get a tight installation. This is especially nice in the center seating position of most vehicles, as lower anchors are not an option generally. This would also allow you to use the Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow in vehicles made before 1996, which would not have locking seat belts. Or you could use it in international vehicles, which would also have non-locking seat belts.

🚩 Use Caution If:

Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow
Source: Graco
🚩 you need to fit three car seats across in the back seat

This seat is 19″ wide so unless you have a Ford Expedition or a truck with a full-sized back seat, this is unlikely to work in a 3 across configuration. We recommend checking out these seats instead.

⭐️ Stand Out Features:


This seat has a seat belt lock-off, so as mentioned previously, it can be a good option in vehicles older than 1996 that non-locking seat belts or need to be installed in international vehicles. This lock-off does help you get a tight installation and it is a true lock-off, so there is no need to lock the vehicle seat belt.

Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow
Source: Graco

✈️ Airplane Use

The Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow has FAA approval if you would like to travel with it. But at 21.5 pounds, it is not one of the lightest options. If traveling internationally, this seat has a belt lock-off, so it will work well. For help with all things airplane travel and car seats, check out our Wheels Up Course and private Facebook group.

SITS Bottom Line

In the realm of car seat selection, finding the perfect balance of convenience, ease of use, and compatibility is essential. While it may not accommodate three seats across in most vehicles, its standout features, including the lock-off mechanism, make it a compelling choice for those navigating the intricacies of car seat selection. Whether you’re taking the kids to school, embarking on a cross-country road trip, or jet-setting across continents, the Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow ensures that your little one rides securely and with comfort wherever the journey takes you.

Other Versions of this Seat:

Graco Nautilus 2.0 LX* (US) – no SnugLock

Graco Nautilus 65* (Canada) – no SnugLock, 20″ wide

*A SITS recommended seat. Recommended seats are in our Buying Kits because they have ranked high on our vehicle, child, ease of use, and features scale.

Compare Car Seats

Looking to compare car seats and narrow down the best car seat for your family? The Forward-Facing and Booster Buying Kit walks you through our 7Cs of selection, then on to an interactive quiz, and finally, a recommended car seat list is generated just for you! If you are overwhelmed and sick of spending hours researching and reading car seat reviews like this one, the Buying Kit will guide you to Safe in the Seat’s recommended car seats for you in under 30 minutes!

Recommended Car Seat Sales

We check every day for our recommended car seats on sale, and we have all the deals here for you.

Shopping in Canada? Find today’s seat sales in Canada here.

What About Seats We Don’t Recommend?

Just like anyone, we have preferences! This goes for car seats, too. If we don’t recommend a car seat, it’s not because it’s unsafe for your little one. All car seats are safe if they’re installed and used properly, are not expired or damaged, and when they’re made and sold by a reputable manufacturer and/or retailer. Click here for our full list of car seats that we do not recommend.

A note about crash-tests

How does the Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow perform in crash tests? 

Well, that’s a great question. We know it passes the strict federally required testing for all car seats sold in the United States. But we don’t know exactly how it performs. That data isn’t released by any official sources in the US — not by car seat manufacturers, not by government agencies like NHTSA, not anywhere! 

There are a few third-party websites that claim to offer objective crash test data that compares car seats. But we at Safe in the Seat ignore that data for a few big reasons. First of all, third-party car seat crash tests don’t actually give us meaningful data! Car seat manufacturers crash-test their products hundreds, even upwards of a thousand times. They crash test the finished product in every single installation configuration using every applicable-sized crash test dummy, not to mention a whole lot of testing at each stage of the development process too. So limited testing completed by another organization just can’t give the same level of information! One or two crash tests fail to represent the overall average performance of any car seat across its lifespan.

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