Graco Nautilus 65 vs 80

In this article, we take a look at the comparison of the Graco Nautilus 65 vs 80 child car seats. While these seats are almost indistinguishable, there are some differences that certainly set them apart. These differences are important and you should know them before you buy. Below we have outlined everything you need to know about these car seats so that you can make the best decision for the safety of your child.

Graco Nautilus 65 – Click here to check price

Graco Nautilus 80 – Click here to check price

Graco Nautilus 65 vs 80: which stroller to choose …?

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Graco Nautilus 65 vs. 80

Graco Nautilus 65

The Nautilus 65 and Nautilus 80 Elite are both 3-in-1 forward-facing car seats for children, manufactured by Graco. Although they are almost identical to each other, they have a few differences. The Nautilus 65 is available in several color options, four of the most popular options are chandelier, tara, curio and pratt; while more color options are offered for the Nautilus 80 Elite – azalea, splash, chili red, go green, quinley and chase. Many customers have positively rated the availability of several color options for these seats.

They are almost identical with a 5 point harness and both weigh the same at 20.5 pounds and are the exact lady dimensions with a height of 28 inches, a depth of 18 inches, and a width of 20 inches. However, as you will read later, the Nautilus 80 has the ability to accommodate a taller child, which means you get more out of a seat of the same size.


These two car seats are forward facing only. They cannot be installed rear facing. As 3-in-1 car seats, the Graco Nautilus 65 and 80 Elite can be used in three different modes: harness mode, high back mode and backless booster. The Nautilus 65 can be used in 5-point harness mode for a child weighing 22 to 65 pounds or 27 to 49 inches. Harness mode can be converted to a high-back booster seat as the child grows, using it for children weighing 30 to 100 pounds and 38 to 57 inches in height. It can also be used as a backless booster seat for a child 40 to 100 pounds and 40 to 57 inches tall.

The Model 80 Elite shares the same limitations for the high-back booster mode. However, the other two modes can be used for a larger child. Harness mode can be used for a child weighing up to 80 pounds and the backless booster can be used for a child weighing up to 120 pounds. So the 80 Elite can be used longer as your child grows, or for a larger child.


Both of these car seats feature a strong, reinforced steel frame for durability. They have both undergone adequate crash tests to meet US FMVSS 213 standards. They also feature trademark “Safety Surround” side impact technology, which ensures adequate protection for your child’s head. Both of these models feature EPS which is an energy absorbing foam, making them very safe in the event of an impact. They can also withstand extreme indoor temperatures.

However, a common problem with these two car seats that many customers have faced is that their child’s head sags forward when they fall asleep in the car seat (this is common with many car seats on the market). This occurs despite the Safety Surround function of these car seats. Additionally, many customers have reported difficulty adjusting the front buckle for a taller child in the Nautilus 60. This makes it difficult to tighten the seat. A few customers have also noticed the difficulty in tightening the straps of the Nautilus 80 Elite.

Click here for more details on the Graco Nautilus 65

Click here for more details on the Graco Nautilus 80

Additional features

The Nautilus 65 and the Nautilus 80 are both equipped with Simply safe harness adjustment system which allows the harness and the headrest to be adjusted together, without re-threading. This makes these car seats both easy to adjust and comfortable for your child. In addition, they have a 3-position tilt system. This allows you to adjust the car seat according to your child’s needs so that they are comfortable on long trips.

These two car seats also have a headrest that can be adjusted in height with one hand. Both are equipped with open-buckle belt guides that help position your car’s seat belts correctly. They also have a built-in cup holder and a snack storage compartment in their design.

Although the two car seats are similar in characteristics, there are a few key differences. Compared to the Nautilus 65, the Graco Nautilus 80 Elite has a Fuss Free harness feature, which is basically a storage pocket that makes it easy to tie up your child. By stowing the 5-point harness in this pocket, you can make sure the harness is out of the way when you put your child in or out of the seat, making it easier to do.

The Nautilus 80 Elite also focuses a bit more on your child’s comfort by providing fabric-covered armrests. This feature is lacking in the Nautilus 65. Additionally, the Nautilus 80 Elite also comes with additional removable cushions that can be used when smaller children are using the car seat.

Ease of installation

Graco Nautilus 80

According to customer feedback, both of these car seats are extremely convenient when it comes to installation thanks to the hook locking mechanism. However, weighing just over 20 pounds, many customers struggled to move these car seats. Both come with a detailed manual outlining clear instructions for installation. The seats also have a manual slot built into the bottom of the seat where you can store the manual and refer to it in case you need to install the car seat in another car.

However, an additional feature that is seen in the Nautilus 80 Elite is the belt lock, which makes its installation even easier.


The Nautilus 65 and 80 Elite are both well-constructed and durable car seats intended for long-term use with their steel-reinforced frames. They are supplied with an easily removable and machine washable seat cushion. The metal and plastic components of these car seats can be cleaned with mild soap and a cloth. A damp cloth can be used to clean the buckle. The website recommends spot cleaning of the harness straps.

Price and warranty

You will likely find the Graco Nautilus 80 Elite priced slightly higher than the Grace Nautilus 65. Although it is important to note that this could change due to a sale. This is due to the few additional features of this car seat. They are both covered by a one-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.


When you consider all the factors between the two car seats in this comparison, we find that the practical features offered with the Graco nautilus 80 are worth the extra cost (if there is one when you’re ready to buy) . We love the “Belt Lock off” function, the “No worries” harness and the fabric-covered armrest. But if your budget does not allow it, the Nautilus 65 is also a good solution.

Click here for ratings, reviews and more on the Graco Nautilus 65

Click here for ratings, reviews and more on the Graco Nautilus 80

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