- What is the Difference Between Graco Triride and Slimfit?
- Quick Insight into the Benefits and Drawbacks of Each of the Car Seats
- Graco TriRide VS Graco SlimFit Specs
- NHTSA Ease-of-Use Rating
- General Features Comparison: Highlight on Differences and Similarities
- Detail Analysis of Both Seats – SlimFit vs TriRide – The Winner?
- Final Thoughts and Recommendations
What is the Difference Between Graco Triride and Slimfit?
The Graco Triride, a more budget-friendly model, released in 2021, and the Graco Slimfit are both 3-in-1 convertible car seats that can be used in rear-facing, forward-facing, and high-back booster seat modes over ten years of its lifespan.
Despite being similar in seat modes, both models (Graco Triride vs Slimfit) have distinct differences in specs, dimensions, and features.
The TriRide 3-in-1 is relatively lighter in weight (17.2 lbs < 19.47 lbs.) than the SlimFit 3-in-1 and is more budget-friendly but lacks some essential “ease-of-use” features when compared with the Slimfit.
On the other hand, the SlimFit3 LX, as the name implies, is very slim (16.7 inches wide) and will fit three perfectly across the back seat of many vehicle models. However, both seats are compatible with mid-size and small cars.
Read on to learn more about the difference between Graco Slimfit and Graco Triride, which covers the following;
- Ease-of-use rating
- Crash tests
- Other parents’ feedback assessment
This detailed comparison of the Graco Triride vs Slimfit will help you decide easily between both seats. This comparison also includes the SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 car seat.
Quick Insight into the Benefits and Drawbacks of Each of the Car Seats
TriRide 3-in-1 – PROS & CONS
- Relatively lightweight – 17.2 lbs. (can easily switch between cars)
- Easy to install
- Features 6 recline positions. It has two removable easy-to-clean cup holders
- Easy-to-read recline level indicator
- Soft plush fabric and well padded – for comfort
- 2 Removable newborn inserts (head and body support)
- 2 removable easy-to-clean cup holders
- FAA Approved
- Lacks ‘some’ easy-to-use features that are present in many other Graco models (still very easy to use, nevertheless)
- It does not feature the inRight LATCH system that makes installing with the LATCH easier and quicker (typical with other Graco models)
- It does not feature the integrated belt lock-off system (which makes installing with seat belt easier)
- It does not feature a harness holder, which makes getting your child out of the car seat easier.
- ONLY certified for use in the USA
SlimFit 3-in-1 – PROS & CONS
- Slim and compact design – saves space
- Suitable for small and compact cars
- Super easy to install and secure (the level indicator is also easy to read – vital)
- Four recline positions (1-2 positions for rear-facing and 3-4 for forward-facing)
- Very comfortable – well-padded, cushioned, and soft plush fabrics
- 2 Removable newborn inserts (head and body support)
- FAA Approved
- The car seat has to be uninstalled before removing the car seat cover (Slimfit 3-in-1)
- Four recline positions (other Graco models have more positions)
- ONLY certified for use in the USA
Graco TriRide VS Graco SlimFit Specs
|Specifications||TriRide 3-in-1||SlimFit 3-in-1||Verdict|
|Product dimension (inches)||20D X 23.25H X 19W||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
|The SlimFit3 LX is the slimmest and will fit 3 across the backseat.|
While the others will fit well as a third car seat if that is what you need.
|Product weight||17.2 lbs.|
|SlimFit 3-in-1 19.47 lbs.|
SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 19.2 lbs.
|The TriRide is lighter than the SlimFit (note this if you’ll be switching often between cars).|
|Seat modes||3 modes|
|Recommended weight range||5 – 100 lbs.||5 – 100 lbs.||similar|
|Recommended height limit||57 in||57 in||similar|
|Rear-facing weight limit||min. 4 lbs.; max. 40 lbs.||min. 4 lbs.; max. 40 lbs.||similar|
|Rear-facing height limit||min. 19 in.; max. 40 in.||min. 19 in.; max. 40 in.||similar|
|Forward-facing weight limit||min. 22 lbs.; max. 65 lb.||min. 22 lbs.; max. 65 lb.||similar|
|Forward-facing height limit||min. 29 in.; max. 49 in.||min. 29 in.; max. 49 in.||similar|
|Highback booster seat weight limit||min. 40 lbs.; max. 100 lbs.||min. 40 lbs.; max. 100 lbs.||similar|
|Booster seat height limit||min. 43 in.; max. 57 in.||min. 43 in.; max. 57 in.||similar|
|Price||Check on Walmart||Check on Walmart||–|
NHTSA Ease-of-Use Rating
A simple evaluation of car seats based on their ease of use according to their different features in different seat modes is provided by the National Highway Transport and Safety Agency, NHSTA.
The rating helps you make a quick and informed decision about how easy it may be to use a car seat.
The rating is based on four categories across car seat features:
- 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||⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Forward-facing – overall rating||⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐|
|Booster – overall rating||⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
General Features Comparison: Highlight on Differences and Similarities
|Side Impact Protection||✔||✔|
|5-point Harness System||✔||✔|
|Exceeds federal safety standards||✔||✔|
|IIHS rating for Booster seat mode||✔✔ Best Bet||✔✔ Best Bet|
|LATCH/LUAS/ISOFIX system||✔ – standard J-hook LATCH system||✔ + InRight™ LATCH attachment – easier installation with LATCH|
|Safety seat belt||✔ – standard method||✔|
the SlimFit3 LX features the
integrated belt lock-off system
|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||✔ Easy to remove|
|Headrest adjustment||10 positions||10 positions|
|Recline positions||6 positions||4 positions|
|Recline Level Indicator||Ball||Bubble (easier to read)|
Rear-facing recline position
Forward-facing recline position
|Booster seat recline position|
|Removable cups||2||2 (rotatable)|
Comfortability of a Child
|Soft plush fabric||✔||✔|
|Removable newborn inserts||2 (head & body support)||2 (head & body support)|
|Breathable Mesh AirFlow||❌||Available (SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 ONLY)|
Longevity, Suitability and Compatibility
|Longevity & Suitability features||TriRide||SlimFit|
|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 mid-size, full-size, vans and SUVs vehicles||Compatible with small, compact, 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 – SlimFit vs TriRide – The Winner?
From the Graco Triride vs Graco Slimfit specs table and other comparison tables above, you’d have seen all the similarities and differences between both seats. This can now help you make a buying decision.
As much as they share nearly the same similarities in specifications, they differ closely.
However, which car seat wins across the board?
Determining this will be more of a personal choice as each difference is not so significant when your buying decision is based on budget. Nonetheless, each seat is as good as the standard requires.
The major differences between the Triride vs Slimfit are in the product dimensions and weight.
- Product dimension – the SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 (16.7″) – is slimmer than the Triride (19″) by about 3 inches, while the SlimFit (19.9″) is just about wider than the Triride by less than an inch (0.9″). Nonetheless, both seats will fit nicely in mid-size vehicles. On the other hand, the SlimFit3 LX will fit three across in most small cars.
- Product weight – the TriRide 3-in-1 weighs lesser than the SlimFit. At 17.2 lbs., the TriRide is relatively lightweight than the SlimFit, which weighs 19.47 lbs. and 19.2 lbs. (3-in-1 and LX 3-in-1, respectively). Notwithstanding, these weight differences are negligible when compared to other convertible car seats and can be easily switched between cars
All about the dimensions, weight, seat modes, recommended weight, and height limits are highlighted here.
Product Weight, Dimension
On the aspect of dimension, the SlimFit3 LX is the slimmest of the three seats compared in this article.
This should influence your decision if you need three seats across in your vehicle, be it small or mid-size.
However, if you are limited by budget and still need three seats, you should go for the two triride and one slimfit3 lx.
On this, the SlimFit3 takes the win.
Seat Modes, Weight, and Height Limits
Both seats have the same three seat modes, recommended weight, and height limits.
Therefore, no seat takes the win here.
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that the Triride is more budget-friendly but lacks some essential “ease-of-use” features compared to the Slimfit.
This is where other significant differences lie, which may influence your buying decision.
As a constant reference in every article about car seats, all child safety restraints sold in the market and not recalled are safe.
This is because every car seat sold in the US market is made to pass very stringent federal safety standards.
Nevertheless, many car seat manufacturers go over and above to improve the safety features of their models.
The Triride and Slimfit, being products of the same brand, are made with the same high safety standards as all their car seats, irrespective of other features and pricing. The Graco Protect Plus engineering is a safety standard across all Graco car seats, including Graco’s RollSafe™ Testing, based on the European rollover testing procedure.
Based on this, there is no winner.
The common safety features in both seats are:
- Side Impact Protection,
- 5-Point Harness System
- Exceeds Federal Safety Standards
- Rigorously Crash Tested (front, rear, side, and rollover crashes)
- IIHS Rating – BEST Best for booster seat mode in both seats
This is one feature where the Graco Slimfit vs Triride seats differ.
What makes a car seat serve its purpose optimally is how it is installed in a vehicle.
While some parents may overlook an unsecured installation thinking a car seat has been installed correctly, it may be a result of a difficult installation.
The SlimFit car seat features the Graco inRight LATCH system, which makes installation with the LATCH/ISOFIX system very easy. The Triride, on the other hand, features the conventional J-hook LATCH system.
For the seat belt installation, the SlimFit3 LX features the integrated belt lock-off system. In comparison, the others use the standard seat belt method.
Notwithstanding, the standard J-hook LATCH and seat belt methods (only one method must be used for installation) can get the seat securely installed.
However, when it comes to convenience, SlimFit wins here.
Other ease-of-use features such as harness holders, recline level indicators, and recline positions make other differences in both seats, while other features are available in both.
The Triride 3-in-1 safety seat lacks the harness holder, a feature that makes getting your child out of the car seat somewhat easier.
The harness holder holds back the harnesses while getting your child out of the car seat.
The SlimFit3 LX has this feature.
The Triride 3-in-1 seat has more recline positions than the SlimFit 3-in-1; the Triride allows reclining in six positions, while the Slimfit has four positions.
This means the Triride will fit better in more vehicles and provide more comfort when rear-facing (three positions in triride, two in slimfit).
While this is a miscellaneous feature that shouldn’t influence your buying decision, it is worth mentioning to be aware about it.
The SlimFit comes with a bubble indicator which is easier to read than the ball indicator in the Triride during installation.
Other similar features in both seats include;
- Harness storage
- Headrest adjustment – 10 positions
- Harness adjustment
- No rethreading of the harness required
- Easy to remove and machine washable car seat cover
- Soft plush fabric
- Two removable newborn inserts
- Two removable cups (slimfit’s is rotatable)
Comfortability of a Child
Both seats are comfortable for a child.
One of the standard feature across Graco car seat models is the use of soft fabrics which give a child that cozy feel.
Due to their reinforced steel frame structure, Graco car seats are made to last ten years from the date of manufacture.
Both seats will expire after ten years.
The Slimfit and Triride child seats are approved for use on airplanes as rear- or forward-facing.
Their labels are found on the side of either seat.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
Choosing between these two seats may be a close call because of their similar features.
However, one major factor that should influence your decision is your budget.
The Graco TriRide 3-in-1 car seat is budget-friendly while packing as many features as a child restraint should have without compromising safety and comfort.
- If you need three car seats across and can afford the latter, then you are good to go. But if you are constraint by budget, here’s my recommendation:
- Buy two Triride seats and a SlimFit3 LX. This gives you a total width of 54.7″, which is just about the interior distance, door to door (shoulder room) of most compact and mid-size vehicles. The Slimfit3 should be in the middle, rear-facing, while the Triride on the sides, forward-facing.
- If you often switch between cars, you may want to be biased in your choice. The TriRide saves you some energy lifting the seat often from car to car, even though it’s barely 3 lbs less.
- If you are a new parent getting a car seat for the first time, you should consider the SlimFit car seat. This is because of the more ease-of-use features it is packed with, such as the installation features, level indicator, harness holder, breathable mesh airflow, compatibility with smaller cars, and more color choices.
Beyond these, you can make your decision based on your personal preference, albeit understanding the comparison of the Graco Slimfit 3-in-1 vs Triride 3-in-1 car seats.