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Friday, January 30, 2009

Update to Graco Nautilus Review

As you might recall, we were rear-ended back in November and needed to get new car seats. I first tried the Sunshine Radian and hated it because I couldn't get it to fit right.

I ended up with two Graco Nautilus seats, which I liked. But after less than one month, the belt on one of the Nautilus seats began to fray – and since it was the belt that you pull to tighten the harness, it would get stuck and the belt would be impossible to tighten or loosen. In other words, the seat became unusable. (See photo.)

If this had been my only Nautilus seat, or if the problem had happened with both seats, I probably would have demanded a full refund from Graco so that I could go purchase a Britax Regent.

But since the other Nautilus has been fine, I was willing to give Graco the benefit of the doubt and assume the problem was unique to the car seat that we'd bought. I contacted them through their web site, explained the problem, offered to send photos, and asked for a replacement seat. The next day, I received a response requesting the photos. The day after I sent the photos, I received an email stating that the replacement parts had been sent.

Since I had asked for a new seat, I wasn't exactly sure what "parts" to expect. But I'd forgotten that the Nautilus isn't just a car seat, it's convertible to a booster. So what arrived was the booster part of the seat, and all I had to do was remove the back from the old booster seat and attach it to the new one. I just followed the instructions that were in the manual. It took me less than 30 minutes to remove the seat from the car, replace the booster, and reinstall the seat. Not bad.

While I was less than pleased to have the frayed belt problem in the first place, I must say that Graco's customer service handled the problem exactly as I would have hoped. And while I don't love the Nautilus the way I love the Marathon, it's almost as easy to install and use. So if you're looking for a five-point harness seat that looks like a high back booster, I continue to recommend the Nautilus as a more affordable option than the Regent (though I look forward to personally trying out the Regent at some point).

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  • At 1/30/09, 11:55 AM, Anonymous Lindsay Lebresco (Graco) said…

    I'm so glad to hear we met your expectations. (well not me- I had nothing to do with it :) Of course, I wish it hadn't happened in the first place but I'm glad we were able to fix it for you.

    If you've gotten sucked into Twitter by your other blogger friends :) we're on there providing product info, customer service, car seat safety tips, etc. @GracoBaby

    Hope the Nautilus and Graco keep you happy in the future!


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