There are plenty of parents out there who are a bit confused about the wealth of options they have when it comes to car seats, and many among you might like to know about the comparison between the Graco Tranzisitions vs Wayz. Some models are so different that they’re difficult to compare, while others are so similar that you wonder why they’re sold under separate names.
Fast Side by Side Comparison of the Graco Tranzitions and the Graco Wayz
- Has a 3 in 1 harness booster to keep your child safe as they grow up.
- Has a harness booster for 22 lbs up to 65 lbs.
- Has a high back booster for 30 lbs up to 100 lbs.
- Has a backless booster for 40 lbs up to 100 lbs.
- The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System is there to adjust the height of the harness and headrest in one easy motion with just 1 hand.
- It has a 5 position headrest that is fully adjustable and can be quickly adapted for a child who grows quickly.
- Fully engineered and very thoroughly crash tested so that it exceeds the US standard FMVSS 213.
- Side impact tested for occupant retention with the built in 5 point harness system.
- Has an open loop belt that helps to guide the seat belt into the correct positioning for the child.
- Comes with harness, body support, and seat pad covers that are fully machine washable and provide good comfort.
When you’re comparing these 2 different kinds of car seats, it’s a case of the latter situation (they’re very similar). The two models are essentially the same 3-in-1 car seat; they can both be used as forward-facing harness seats or booster seats with and without backs.
So what’s the key difference when you consider Graco Tranzitions vs Wayz? Let’s just put it in at the top: They’re pretty much the same car seat. The “Wayz” model name is used for the Walmart-exclusive version of the product; when it’s sold through other vendors, Graco calls it “Tranzitions.” Got it?
This is an excellent car seat no matter what name you buy it under, and it’s worth taking a moment to learn about all its great features. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Size and weight of the seat
- Installation and harness systems
- Additional features
- Warranty coverage and expiration dates
- Color options, Tranzitions vs Wayz
- Choosing between Tranzitions and Wayz – which is better?
Car Seat Dimensions
A good place to start talking about the Tranzitions/Wayz is to get a feel for its overall dimensions. The car seats are 19 inches wide, 17.4 inches deep, and 26.5 inches in height. These car seats each weigh a little under 15 pounds – not the lightest things on the market, but not so heavy that moving them around becomes a trial. A Tranzitions/Wayz convertible car seat should be, for the vast majority of parents, easy to install and move.
The Graco Tranzitions and Graco Wayz stand out, dimensionally, by being a little narrower than the average convertible car seat. This helps ensure that they fit in almost all vehicles with a modest footprint. In fact, in a decent-sized car, you should be able to line up three Tranzitions/Wayz seats abreast in the backseat. Granted, there aren’t too many families that have so many children at car-seat age simultaneously, but those that do will find the slim frame of the Tranzitions/Wayz car seats to be life-savers.
Graco didn’t design the Tranzitions or Wayz specifically for portable/travel use. They are still light enough and compact enough to move easily from vehicle to vehicle and even to take on airplanes. Both models are FAA-certified for airplane use with the harness straps. The Tranzitions/Wayz seats fit easily into almost all airplane seats. These car seats are a fair choice for the parent traveling with children.
Limits On Occupant Height & Weight
Occupant limitations are the same for the Tranzitions and Wayz car seats. There are separate height and weight limits for each of the seats’ three modes: forward-facing harness seat, high-back booster seat, and backless booster seat.
- Harness Mode: The weight range here 22 to 65 pounds. The height range goes from 26.5 to 49 inches. As with most harness car seats, the Tranzitions and Wayz seats in this mode are intended primarily for toddlers.
- High-Back Booster Mode: The weight range for the backed booster mode goes from 30 to 100 pounds. Acceptable heights range from 38 to 57 inches. This mode is designed for older children who are getting too big for a harness seat.
- Backless Booster Mode: This mode is suitable for use by children weighing 40 to 100 pounds with heights between 40 and 57 inches. This is a great seat for bigger kids who are almost but not quite ready to ride without a car seat.
It’s important to understand, before you make any purchasing decisions, that the Graco Tranzitions/Wayz seats cannot be used as rear-facing seats. If you’re looking for a rear-facing seat, try a model like Graco’s 4Ever.
Tranzitions and Wayz car seats, like most convertible models, are not suitable for use by newborns or infants.
The right time to introduce a Tranzitions or Wayz seat is when your child has grown into a toddler and weighs at least 22 pounds. The multi-mode design gives these car seats a notably long lifespan, and you can keep using them up to an advanced age – 12 or 13 years.
Remember that, as noted above, only the smallest mode, the forward-facing harness style, is approved for use on airplanes.
Both the Tranzitions and the Wayz come with a pair of built-in cup holders. As supplied by the manufacturer, the cup holders are facing into the interior of the seat. They need to be turned around to face outside and locked in place before use. You can use one, both, or neither of the cup holders depending on your particular needs.
The Graco Tranzitions/Wayz seats can be secured in place with a seat belt or with lower anchors. This makes both models safely compatible with most vehicles, including older models as well as contemporary ones.
The lower anchors can and should be used for any child who weighs 45 pounds or less. The top tether always needs to be attached to an anchor. Industry-standard J-hook connectors are used for both the Tranzitions and the Wayz. The anchor installation process is a little complicated, but it’s not too much for the average parent to handle.
You can use your vehicle’s seat belt instead of the lower anchors if you so desire. On these Graco seats, the belt path is narrower than on most car seats, and it sits higher up than you may be used to. The underside of the seats is also fairly slippery. This makes it important that you expend a little extra effort to ensure that you get a tight, snug fit when you install these seats. Bear in mind that you need to attach the top tether to an anchor even if you’re using seat belts.
A locking clip may be required to install a Tranzitions or Wayz seat securely in a vehicle built before 1996. Graco does not provide locking clips in the package when you by a Tranzitions or Wayz seat, but you can get one by contacting the company’s customer support unit.
The Tranzitions/Wayz car seat is designed using Graco’s proprietary Simply Safe Adjust Harness. This is a valuable feature for every parent because it removes the need to do any manual rethreading. Giving your child a snug, comfortable, secure fit is a snap. Harness adjustments are usually completed in seconds.
The headrests on Tranzitions/Wayz seats are adjustable, offering five different positions. The headrest is fully integrated into the seat’s harness system. Repositioning the headrest and harness height is easy; it can be done one-handed in just one motion.
Your child is secured by a five-point harness. All of the straps are padded for increased comfort and reduced irritation.
When you convert the seat to booster mode, the seat belt will be guided into its proper position across your child’s body by the open-loop belt guides.
Additional Design Features
The two cup holders built into each Tranzitions/Wayz car seat have already been mentioned above. The seats also have very comfortable armrests. Your child may find these a little too short when the seat is set up in harness mode, but they are perfectly positioned for the booster modes, especially the backless booster arrangement.
While the Graco Tranzitions/Wayz models are very budget-friendly car seats, you are not making any compromises when it comes to safety. The seats have reinforced sidewalls that offer extended side impact protection thanks to their impact-absorbent foam padding. Rigorous all-around testing has confirmed that both models fully meet (or exceed!) government safety standards for convertible car seats.
Maintenance is a breeze on Tranzitions and Wayz car seats. Almost all of the fabric pieces (including the harness strap covers) can be removed and run through your washing machine. The plastic and metal parts can all be spot-cleaned using water and mild soap. The seats’ buckles are best cleaned with a damp cloth.
Warranty & Expiration
Graco backs both of these models with a one-year limited warranty covering materials and workmanship. Graco has a reputation for good customer service. Don’t forget that proof of purchase will be required if you want to make a warranty claim.
Note that like most car seat warranties, the coverage for the Graco Tranzitions and Wayz seats does not cover damage from ordinary wear and tear, misuse, or alteration.
These Graco car seats each have a seven-year expiration date. This is a lengthy period for models this affordable; you could generally expect to pay significantly more for a longer-lasting seat. When your car seat passes its expiration date, you are strongly recommended to replace or discard it. After seven years, ordinary wear may have degraded the seat’s quality enough to compromise its comfort and safety.
The Walmart-exclusive Graco Wayz comes in only color scheme: Gordon. This is a sporty look that combines red and black. There are red accent lines on the edges of the seat, armrests, and headrest.
The Graco Tranzitions, sold through a wider range of retailers, also has a wider range of color schemes. It should not be hard to find a look that matches your taste. If you’d like a neutral scheme that goes with practically anything, we recommend the all-black Proof scheme. The other 2 available options are Basin (light blue/light grey) and Kyte (purple/pink and dark grey).
Tranzitions vs Wayz: Final Verdict
The Tranzitions and Wayz car seats are essentially identical, offering the same features and quality throughout. Either seat would provide years of low-maintenance, reliable service. Barring potential price differences due to sales, the Tranzitions convertible car seat is slightly preferable due to its wider range of color choices.