- What Is the Difference Between Graco SlimFit And Graco 4Ever?
- Specification Comparison: Graco SlimFit VS 4Ever DLX
- NHTSA Ease-of-Use Rating
- General Features Comparison – Differences And Similarity Highlight
- Detail Analysis of Both Seats – Which is the Winner? – Helping You Make a Decision
- Final Thoughts: Decision-Making Points
What Is the Difference Between Graco SlimFit And Graco 4Ever?
There is a marginal difference between these Graco car seats as one is a bulky high-end regular seat packed with premium features and for use in regular-size vehicles, while the other, SlimFit, is lightweight and designed with vehicle compatibility in mind.
Both seats are ultimately safe and rigorously crash tested, comfortable, and feature nearly similar ease-of-use features.
If you have a regular-size vehicle and don’t intend to have more kids in the near future, the Graco 4Ever is a good investment. But if you presently have two or more kids or expecting a newborn anytime soon and need to fit three car seats across the backseat, the Graco SlimFit is your best bet or a mix of both.
Continue reading to learn more about the difference and similarities in the Graco SlimFit vs Graco 4Ever comparison and key decision-making factors based on the following:
- Ease-of-use rating
- Safety and crash tests
- Pricing and other parents’ feedback assessment
Specification Comparison: Graco SlimFit VS 4Ever DLX
|Product dimension (inches)||Slimfit 3-in-1 – 21.5D x 25.5H x 19.9W|
Slimfit3 LX 3-in-1 – 20.7D x 24.5H x 16.7W
|20D X 24H X 21.5W (wider)|
|Product weight||SlimFit 3-in-1 19.47 lbs.|
SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 19.2 lbs.
|23 lbs. (heavier)|
|Seat modes||3-in-1 |
including backless booster seat
|Recommended weight range||5 – 100 lbs.||4 – 120 lbs.|
|Recommended height limit||57 in||57 in|
|Rear-facing weight limit||min. 5 lbs.; max. 50 lbs.||min. 4 lbs.; max. 40 lbs.|
|Rear-facing height limit||min. 19 in.; max. 40 in.||min. 19 in.; max. 40 in.|
|Forward-facing weight limit||min. 22 lbs.; max. 65 lb.||min. 22 lbs.; max. 65 lb.|
|Forward-facing height limit||min. 29 in.; max. 49 in.||min. 29 in.; max. 49 in.|
|Highback booster seat weight limit||min. 40 lbs.; max. 100 lbs.||min. 40 lbs.; max. 100 lbs.|
|Backless booster seat weight limit||❌||min. 40 lbs.; max. 120 lbs.|
|Booster seat height limit||min. 43 in.; max. 57 in.||min. 43 in.; max. 57 in.|
|Price||Check on Walmart||Check on Walmart|
NHTSA Ease-of-Use Rating
The National Highway Transport and Safety Agency (NHTSA) provides a simple evaluation of car seats based on how easy it is to use different features in different modes. There is an overall ease-of-use rating for each seat to help you make a quick and informed decision.
This rating is based on four categories:
- Evaluation of Instructions
- Vehicle Installation Features
- Evaluation of Labels
- Securing the child
- 5 Stars = Excellent features
- 4 Stars = Above-average features
- 3 Stars = Average features
- 2 Stars = Below-average features
- 1 Star = Poor features
- N/A = Does not contain any features that require a rating
|Rear-facing – overall rating||not provided||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Forward-facing – overall rating||not provided||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Booster – overall rating||not provided||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
General Features Comparison – Differences And Similarity Highlight
|Side Impact Protection||✔||✔|
|5-point Harness System||✔||✔|
|Exceeds federal safety standards||✔||✔|
|Crash tested||✔ || ✔|
|IIHS rating for Booster seat mode||✔✔ Best Bet||✔✔ Best Bet|
|LATCH/LUAS/ISOFIX system||✔ + InRight™ LATCH attachment – easier installation with LATCH||✔ + InRight™ LATCH attachment – easier installation with LATCH|
|Safety seat belt||✔|
the SlimFit3 LX features the
|✔ + Integrated belt lock-off – easier installation with belt|
|Fits 3 Across Back Seat||✔||❌|
(to hold harness back while getting your child out of the seat)
|Only for the SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1||✔|
|Harness adjustment||✔ Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System||✔ Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System|
|No-rethreading of harness||✔||✔|
|Car seat cover||✔ Easy to remove|
✔✔ the SlimFit3 LX features the
|✔✔ Rapid Remove cover (easier)|
|Headrest adjustment||10 positions||10 positions|
|Recline positions||4 positions||6 positions|
|Recline Level Indicator||Bubble||Bubble|
|Rear-facing recline position|
Forward-facing recline position
|Booster seat recline position|
|Removable cups||2 (rotatable)||2|
Comfortability of a Child
|Soft plush fabric||✔||✔|
|Removable newborn inserts||2||2|
|Breathable Mesh AirFlow||Available (SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 ONLY)||❌|
Longevity, Suitability, and Compatibility
|Longevity & Suitability features||SlimFit||4Ever|
|Expiration||10 years (from Date of Manufacture)||10 years (from Date of Manufacture)|
|FAA Approved (RF & FF only)||✔||✔|
|Suitable country by law||USA||USA|
|Vehicle compatibility||Compatible with small, compact, mid-size, full-size, vans and SUVs vehicles||Compatible with mid-size, full-size, vans and SUVs vehicles|
|Country of Origin||China||China|
|Body framework||Steel-reinforced frame||Steel-reinforced frame|
Detail Analysis of Both Seats – Which is the Winner? – Helping You Make a Decision
Having gone through the table, you’ll discover that there are significant differences in both seats. Deciding on one will come down to those differences and what your needs are.
The significant differences which should guide your buying decision include:
- Dimension – the SlimFit (SlimFit LX 3-in-1; 16.7 inches) is 4.8 inches slimmer than the 4Ever (21.5 inches), which is an incredible amount of space saved, while the SlimFit 3-in-1 (19.9 inches) is barely 1.8 inches slimmer, but when the rotatable cups are turned in, a further 1.79 inches (total of 3.59 inches, 10%) is saved. This makes a significant difference when you ride a small car and would need to fit three seats in your vehicle.
- Seat Modes, Weight, and Height Limits – the SlimFit 3-in-1 features three seat modes as rear-facing, forward-facing, and highback booster seat (40 – 100 lbs.), unlike the 4Ever DLX 4-in-1, which features an additional backless booster seat mode (40 – 120 lbs.).
This implies you only need a single car seat through your child’s growing stage until they don’t need a car seat anymore. The case is different with the Slimfit, especially if you reside in a state that requires your child to continue riding in a booster seat long enough before transitioning to the vehicle safety belt.
Other differences are covered in detail below:
Car seat specification covers every aspect of product dimension/size, weight, seat modes, weight & height limits.
As mentioned earlier, the product dimension is one of the major differences between the SlimFit and 4Ever. The SlimFit, coming in two configurations, measures less in width and will fit three across the backseat depending on the vehicle, unlike the 4Ever DLX.
This difference should influence your decision-making when you consider the size of your vehicle and your future need if you plan to have more children. If you have a small car, you should go for the SlimFit, and if you plan to have more children, you should still go for the SlimFit or mix.
Unlike the comparison between the SlimFit vs Extend2Fit, where both seats were nearly similar in width and weight, it is different here between the SlimFit and 4Ever.
The Graco 4Ever (23 lbs.) weighs considerably more than the SlimFit (19.2lbs./19.47lbs.) which is relatively lightweight with a margin of nearly 4 lbs. This is a significant difference when you consider switching car seats between vehicles frequently.
Although they have the same installation configuration, which makes the installation process easier and could compensate for your energy in carrying the bulky seat from one vehicle to another, switching vehicles regularly is more likely to bore you out soon enough.
Seat Modes, Weight and Height Limits
This is a second major difference between these car seats, as highlighted earlier. Another difference here is that the 4Ever has a rear-facing weight recommendation of 4 – 40 lbs. unlike the Slimfit with 5 – 40 lbs. That means the former is more friendly for a preemie.
This section covers the following essential car seat features; safety, installation, ease of use, comfortability for a child, and durability.
As an emphasis, all car seats are safe. All car seats are manufactured to meet stringent federal safety standards before being sold; as such, you can be guaranteed that any car seat you buy, irrespective of the brand, is safe – as long as it is not recalled.
However, manufacturers go overboard to improve the safety standards by including more safety features or passing more rigorous crash tests. Graco has a safety procedure check carried out on all their car seats, trademarked the Graco® ProtectPlus Engineered™. Their car seats are crash tested for frontal, rear, side, and rollover crash impact.
Both seats are crash tested and are assumed safe in any crash type. On the other hand, parents who have used either seat had reviewed that their kids were protected without a scratch when they were involved in a crash.
As a highlight, the following are the common safety features for both seats:
- Both seats feature Side Impact Protection,
- Include 5-Point Harness System,
- Exceed Federal Safety Standards,
- Are rigorously Crash Tested in all crash types (frontal, rear, side, and rollover crashes), and
- Both have the same IIHS Rating for Booster Seat mode – BEST Bet.
To ensure a car seat performs optimally in protecting your child in a car crash, the seat must be correctly secured (how to install Graco car seats). Graco makes installing their car seats as easy as possible by including an additional feature – the InRight™ LATCH attachment, which makes installing with the LATCH system easy. Both seats feature this attachment.
However, when installing with the seat belt, the 4Ever beats the Slimfit 3-in-1 by having the integrated belt lock-off system. Notwithstanding, the SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 features this system.
Unexpectedly, for the price of the Graco 4Ever, you would expect a significant difference in the ease-of-use features; however, they are a close call. Both seats feature no-rethreading of harness; it is easy to adjust the harness and headrest; easy to wash the seat covers, which are also machine washable; have 10 adjustable headrest positions. Nonetheless, the following are where the slight differences lie;
Rapid Remove Cover: a feature that allows you to remove the seat cover easily in under 60 seconds without uninstalling the car seat is absent in the Slimfit 3-in-1 car seat configuration, unlike the Slimfit3 LX 3-in-1 and the 4Ever. However, the seat cover is still easy to remove from the former but will require uninstalling the car seat, which shouldn’t be much trouble.
Recline Positions: Reclining a car seat allows the seat to fit according to the available vehicle space and offers extra comfort for your child according to the recline position chosen. The Slimfit offers you just 4 recline positions, unlike the 4Ever, which offers additional 2 positions (6-position recline).
Some parents who have used other Graco models with more recline positions notice a big difference with the Slimfit.
Removable Cups: while this is a negligible difference, it is worth mentioning. Both seat cups are round; unlike the square cups in the Extend2Fit, the SlimFit 3-in-1 cups are rotatable, which further saves 10% (becomes 17.91 inches in width) more space in the back seat.
However, the purpose of the cup becomes defeated when you have to rotate them.
Comfortability of a Child
Both seats are super comfy for a child. Many parents report the same for either seat; hence no winner here. Both seats have two removable newborn inserts (head and body support), are well padded, and have soft plush fabric.
Nonetheless, there is a notable difference: breathable mesh airflow channels to provide improved ventilation for your child. This feature is only present in the SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 model. This does not really influence the comfort but it’s just a plus to keep a baby cool in the car seat.
All Graco car seats are structured with a reinforced steel frame to improve the strength and durability so you can get a valuable, useful life of 10 years. That is, both seats expire after 10 years from the date of manufacture. No winner here either.
You must stop using a car seat once it expires or when involved in a car crash.
Learn more about why car seats have expiry dates here.
The 4ever and the slim fit are approved for use on an aircraft as long as it is used on forward-facing aircraft seats and in rear-facing or forward-facing mode. Both seats are not approved for use as booster seats as aircraft do not have shoulder belts.
Final Thoughts: Decision-Making Points
When I reviewed the Graco 4Ever DLX, I rated the seat 9.0/10 for its premium features which come at a premium price, while the SlimFit had an 8.0/10. These rating are based on individual car seat features and has no influence in the comparison here and should not influence your call as well.
The significant takeaway from this Graco Slimfit vs Graco 4Ever comparison should be to highlight the major differences between both seats, which are vehicle compatibility and the seat modes and other slight differences and the other similarities as well.
Deciding on which car seat to choose will come down to personal preference and what your needs are.
- If you have a mid-size vehicle and don’t plan on having more kids in the near future, you can go for the Graco 4Ever DLX.
- If you have two or more kids and will be expecting a newborn in the near future, you can have a mix of both seats so that when one child is outgrowing the highback booster seat (slimfit), the next child using the SlimFit can switch to the 4Ever.
- However, if you’ll be switching between vehicles more often, you can choose the SlimFit since it is lightweight.
- If you are constrained by budget, then the SlimFit will make the better choice.
On the other hand, if you will consider similar compact car seats for small cars, the Safety 1st Guide 65 (read the review – 2-in-1 car seat; 18.5 inches wide) and the Safety 1st Continuum 3-in-1 (read the review; 19 inches wide).
Cheers to Parenthood!