Graco SlimFit Car Seat Review  – Compact Design for Small Cars
Table of Contents
What makes the Graco Slimfit car seat to stand out from the rest of Graco models is its slim design with the great consideration for small cars and to be able to fit three car seats in the back seat. Additionally, it features two removable cups that can be rotated to save 10% more additional space (becomes 17.91 inches in width).
On the other hand, it is an all-in-one car seat your child can use for the next 10 years, meaning you can use the slimfit 3-in-1 in;
- Rear-facing – 4-50 lbs.
- Forward-facing – 22-65 lbs.; and
- Highback belt-positioning booster seat – 40-100 lbs.
Continue reading on to learn more about the Graco Slim fit 3 in 1 review, the height and weight limits, safety rating, crash test, the Slimfit3 LX 3-in-1 model, PROS and CONS, and what other parents have had to say about the seat. Is it worth the money? Does it meet expectations? And other alternative comparisons available.
Basis Of This Graco Slimfit 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat Reviews and Why You Can Trust the Assessment
One of parents’ biggest considerations when buying a car seat is asking, ‘will it fit in my car?’ ‘When does the car seat expire?’ ‘What is the safety rating of the seat’ and ‘how easy it is to install the car seat’ among many other questions.
Deciding on a car seat can be a daunting process based on these considerations and requires a lot of research, especially for first-time parents and even old-timers who may have bought a seat a while ago.
Well, I have written this Graco Slimfit 3-in-1 car seat review to take off that stress from you. This review is based on several hours of extensive research that covers those basics –
- Safety ratings,
- Ease-of-use features,
- How-to-install and more based on what other parents have said about this car seat beyond just what the manufacturer says about the seat.
Graco SlimFit Car Seat Reviews
A quick insight into my review on this car seat if you are in a hurry to know what my assessment is, here are the PROS and CONS of the Slimfit car seat.
Pros and Cons
Unbiased Asessment of the Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat
The Graco SlimFit car seat takes away the worries of fitting three car seats in the backseat of a vehicle without compromising on safety, comfort, and ease of use.
On the downside, the SlimFit features four recline positions, limiting how much comfort you can offer your child as with other Graco models.
On the other hand, the car seat is easy to install, comfortable, easy to use, and budget-friendly.
Graco Slimfit 4-Recline Positions
The Graco Slim fit car seat supports recline at four angles in rear-facing and forward-facing, providing more comfort for your child as they grow.
- Recline position 1 – rear-facing;
- Recline position 2 – rear-facing
- Recline position 3 – forward-facing;
- Recline position 4 – forward-facing;
- Recline position 4 – Highback booster mode
Table 1: Graco SlimFit All-in-1 Specifications
21.5D X 25.5H X 19.9W (inches) (Slimfit 3-in-1)
19.47 lbs. (Slimfit 3-in-1)
Recommended Weight Range
5 – 100 lbs.
Recommended Height Limit
Rear-facing Weight Limits
min. 5 lbs.;
max. 40 lbs.
(enough room for growth)
Rear-facing Height Limits
19 - 49 inches
Forward-facing Weight Limits
min. 22 lbs.;
max. 65 lbs.
Forward-facing Height Limits
Highback belt-positioning Booster Seat Weight Limits
min. 40 lbs.;
max. 100 lb.
Belt-positioning Booster Seat Height Limits
min. 43 in.;
max. 57 in.
Life span (expiration)
10 years from the date of manufacture
(label on the side of the seat)
(extra value for money)
Graco Slimfit 3-in-1 Safety Rating and Ease-of-Use Rating
As a fact, all car seats in the US are made to pass stringent federal safety requirements before being sold in the market. As such, you are guaranteed every car seat is safe.
However, some manufacturers go overboard to include more safety features and even pass more rigorous tests in different car crash impacts – frontal, rear, side, and rollover.
One important thing to note is that, no matter how high a car seat rating may be, you may not experience the true benefit if the car seat is not correctly installed.
According to NHSTA, two complaints on the Slimfit car seat were reported on November 23, 2021, and January 10, 2022 (as at the time of writing this review – July 2022). Both complaints were about the harness straps.
The ease-of-use rating for this Slimfit car seat in rear-facing, and forward-facing according to NHSTA is provided in the table below.
IIHS rates this car seat “BEST Bet” in booster seat mode.
Notwithstanding the complaints on NHSTA, the Graco slim fit is rigorously tested for frontal, rear, side, and rollover crashes to ensure it protects a child. This Graco test is called the Graco® ProtectPlus Engineered™.
Read on to learn more about the Slimfit features, including safety.
|Ease-of-Use rating||Rear-facing||Forward-facing||Booster seat||Booster seat (IIHS)|
Graco SlimFit 3 In 1 Crash Test
Graco is known to carry out extensive crash tests on their car seats using the Graco ProtectPlus Engineering, a crash testing system that involves the following crash tests
- Frontal impact
- Rear impact
- Side impacts
- Rollover crash
The Graco SlimFit has been extensively crash tested to sustain these impacts while keeping the occupant safe.
Table 2: Graco SlimFit All-in-1 Seat Features
Ease of use
Comfortability for a Child
Longevity and Suitability
Who is it best for?
New parents and growing families who need an all-in-one car seat that is compact and slim for more fit in a car.
Key Factors When Deciding on a Convertible Car Seat
Earlier, I mentioned how daunting it can be when deciding on a car seat to buy.
To make it more straightforward for you, here are key factors to look out for that will help you.
- Installation features: to ensure a car seat protects a child during a car crash, such a seat must be properly installed in the vehicle. Therefore, a car seat should have features that ease installation or be moderately easy if it does not have such special features.
- Compatibility with a vehicle: depending on the size of your car, you need to check that the car seat you are buying will be compatible with your vehicle. You can easily decide this by checking the car seat dimension and matching it with the available space in your vehicle’s back seat. A car seat should occupy at least 80% of the vehicle seat.
- Size: convertible car seats are generally bulky and heavy; as such, you can’t use them as a carrier. Moreover, they don’t come with a carrier handle and are designed for permanent use in a vehicle. If you’re a first-time parent and will be carrying your infant more frequently, you may want to consider an infant seat.
- Ease-of-use: as much as a car seat is designed to protect your child in a crash, it should also be easy to use. Some car seat models ignore this aspect but give premium features to high-priced cars, while some brands generally make all their models relatively easy to use. Ease-of-use features include removing the seat pad easily, easy to wash cover, easy to get out your child, and other features.
- Comfort and growing room space: when getting a convertible car seat, one of the goals is to use it for a long time. As such, such a seat should offer enough growing room space, especially when rear-facing, and should be comfortable at the same time. You should look out for a car seat that includes newborn inserts; this offers more comfort for tiny babies.
- Weight and height requirement: according to many states’ car seat laws, a child is to ride in different seats for modes up to certain weight and height limits. It varies per state. However, most states recommend following the car seat manufacturer’s instructions. You want to be familiar with your state’s laws and the limits the car seat you’re buying offers.
- Safety features: this is the least consideration as all car seats are safe. All car seat manufacturers are made to meet stringent federal safety standards before a seat is sold. However, you may want to look out for additional safety features a manufacturer may include in a model.
Table 3: Comparing the Factors Above with What SlimFit Offers
|Key Decision-making Factors||SlimFit Features||Verdict|
Compatibility With Vehicle
Excellent for small cars
Ease of Usage
Comfort And Growing Room Space
Weight And Height Requirement
Other Graco SlimFit Models
The Graco Slimfit model has another series – the Slimfit LX (Graco® SlimFit3™ LX 3-in-1 Car Seat).
What you have been reading so far has been on the Slimfit 3-in-1 series; however, there is not much difference between these two.
Table 4: Graco Slimfit 3-In-1 VS Slimfit LX
The major difference between the Slimfit 3-in-1 and the Slimfit3 LX 3-in-1 is the dimension. The Slimfit3 LX is more compact (by 3 inches) and lighter than the Slimfit 3-in-1. That means the Slimfit LX will fit 3 car seats across the backseat perfectly.
|Features||SlimFit 3 in 1||SlimFit LX|
Also known as
SlimFit™ All-in-One Car Seat
True3Fit™ LX 3-in-1
21.5D x 25.5H x 19.9W (inches)
20.7D x 24.5H x 16.7W (inches)
Fit 3 across in the Backseat
yes (when cups are rotated)
not rotatable (still fits 3 across)
Extra model features
Breathable Mesh Airflow channels to improve ventilation
Detailed Insight Based on the Features – PROS and CONS
It is not enough to make a buying decision from just what the manufacturer claims, irrespective of brand. Some people would be the first set to use a product after launching; however, they would set the path for others to know what to expect from the product by providing feedback.
In this section of the Slim fit review, I shall be giving a detailed insight on the PROS and CONS of this car seat based on feedback from other parents – unbiased and unfiltered.
PROS and CONS
Earlier in this review, in the safety rating section, I mentioned that there were 2 complaints about the seat, and it was based on the harness straps. Well, let’s see what we have here from other parents under safety.
The only way to be certain a car seat is truly safe is to be involved in a car crash; however, we don’t pray for such an unfortunate incident.
Unfortunately, some parents were involved in different car crashes with their child strapped in the slimfit car seat in the vehicle. Fortunately, their children were saved in the Slimfit car seat they were secured in without a scratch, bruise, or injury and other seat models and brands (for parents who reported other car seats that were in the vehicle).
The most common challenge with any car seat, irrespective of brand, is the installation difficulty.
However, Graco considers this and includes the InRight LATCH attachment that makes installation using the LATCH method very easy.
The SlimFit LX features an additional feature, the integrated belt lock-off, which makes installing with the safety belt easier.
Many parents report that the Graco Slimfit 3 in 1 car seat is very easy to install.
Parents have reported the Slimfit car seat to be well cushioned with enough cushioning effect in the head and sitting regions making it very comfy for a child. The newborn inserts make it extra comfortable for a tiny baby (minimum weight of 5 lbs.) and can be removed as a child grows.
However, the recline is just available for 4 positions which many parents complain about. Many parents wished it was 5 or more, as with other Graco models. The impact of this is that you can give your child that extra comfort as you’d have had if it were the extend2fit or 4Ever DLX.
Ease of Use
The slim-fit car seat is quite easy to use – it is easy to adjust the harness, headrest in 10 positions and easy to get a child out, clean, and with other accessories (cup holders).
The major reason any parent might want this Slimfit car seat is for its compact design that fits for small cars. Many parents have many positive feedbacks to report regarding their small cars’ compatibility – in many make of cars.
The Graco SlimFit is truly compatible with small car seats, and three fits well in the back seat.
On the other hand, Graco extensively tests their car seat in a Fit to Vehicle analysis to see that they fit well across different models and make of car.
Graco SlimFit Installation & Review Videos
Installing any car seat can be challenging. However, a brand like Graco includes special installation features for both the LATCH system and seat belt to make installation easier.
You must ensure you properly install your car seat in the vehicle. A car seat should not move more than 1 inch.
The SlimFit features two installation methods – the LATCH system, which comes with an additional InRight™ LATCH attachment that allows an easy installation, and the seat belt method (the SlimFit3 LX comes with an additional integrated belt lock-off system).
Here’s a guide on how to install Graco car seats.
The instruction manual should be your first point of call for any information pertaining to your car seat which includes; car seat registration, date of manufacture, installation, and maintenance.
You can find the expiry dates for all Graco car seats here.
Frequently Asked Questions for the SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat
Is the Graco SlimFit Car Seat FAA Approved?
Yes, the Graco SlimFit car seat is FAA approved. The car seat should be used with the internal harness system and only on forward-facing airplane seats. The Slimfit can only be used in rear-facing and forward-facing modes and not as a booster seat because airplanes do not have shoulder belts.
Are Slim fit Car Seats Safe?
Slim fit car seats are safe as they meet and exceed federal safety standards. Graco Slimfit car seats are also rigorously tested for frontal, rear, side, and rollover crashes. Slim fit rigorous crash tests follow the European Rear-impact Crash Pulse and the European rollover testing procedure guidelines.
How long is Graco SlimFit good for?
Graco Slimfit car seat has a lifespan of 10 years from the date of manufacture. That means the Graco Slimfit is good for 10 years.
Does Graco SlimFit have base?
The Graco SlimFit car seat does not have a detachable base as it is already attached and is not removable. Graco SlimFit is designed for permanent use in the vehicle, meaning it does not fit as a carrier like an infant seat. You don’t need to buy a separate/additional base.
Close Rivals to the Graco Slimfit and Alternative Comparisons
As with any product, there are always close rivals and alternatives that meet or beat them in terms of quality and features.
The closest rivalry amongst Graco car seats and other brands to the SlimFit are the Extend2Fit, Triride 3-in-1, and Diono Radian car seats.
These car seats (Extend2Fit & Triride) are comparatively slim (19″) and may fit 3 in the back seat depending on the size of your vehicle.
Graco SlimFit vs Diono Radian – The biggest rival brands in the world of slim convertible car seats. The Diono brand has around seven different models of 3-across all-in-1 car seats, some of which include the popular 3RXT, 3RXT Safe+, and the most advanced of the variants, 3QXT. However, they all have the same dimensions and measure 17″ at the width.
Graco Slimfit vs Extend2Fit – The Extend2Fit features an extended usage in rear-facing (4 lbs. – 50 lbs.) and a 4-position extension panel for extra legroom as your baby grows.
Graco SlimFit vs Triride – the Triride 3-in-1 car seat is a close call to the Slimfit albeit budget-friendly. However, the car seat lacks some ease-of-use features which you may be able to do without, notwithstanding.
The SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 is the slimmest design amongst the Graco car seat lines. Designed with compatibility for small cars in mind, this car seat is ideal for families who need a truly compact car seat without compromising on safety and comfort.
On the other hand, the SlimFit 3-in-1 gives you the same benefit when you rotate the cup holders. You save 10% more on space (17.91 inches).
Many parents give this car seat credible feedback with a high rating for ease of installation, comfort, and ease of use, and ultimately as a space saver across different makes of cars, including small ones.