The best car seat is the one that fits your child, vehicle, budget, and lifestyle and has the features important to you. The safest car seat is the one you can install correctly and use properly on every ride! Let us know in the comment section what questions you have about this review of the Graco SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 car seat.
Graco SlimFit3 LX Car Seat Review (USA)
When it comes to choosing the right car seat for your child’s safety and comfort, the Graco SlimFit3 LX emerges as a standout option. This compact and versatile car seat offers a range of features that cater to the specific needs of parents and caregivers. If you’re in search of a car seat that allows you to fit three across or if you have limited back seat space, the Graco SlimFit3 LX could be the perfect choice for you. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key benefits of this car seat, highlighting its unique features and providing essential information for your purchasing decision.
A convertible car seat that can be used rear-facing and forward-facing
After the baby can sit unassisted or after the infant seat has been outgrown
Our recommendation: 6 months+ until the seat is outgrown (average 7/8 years old)
What you need to know before you go.
Rear-Facing Seat Stats
- height limit: 49″
- weight limit: 5-40 pounds
- head height rules: at least 1″ below the headrest adjustment lever
Forward-Facing Seat Stats
- height limit: 49″
- weight limit: 22-65 pounds
- head height rules: ears must be below the top of the headrest
High-Back Booster Limits
- height limit: 43-57″
- weight limit: 40-100 pounds
- head height rules: ears must be below the top of the headrest
Other Seat Stats
- width of seat: 16.7”
- weight of seat: 18 pounds
- crash replacement policy: replace after any crash
- expiration limits: 10 years
- harness: no-rethread
- lock-off: for forward-facing only
- lower anchor limit: 45 lbs
- Washability: fabric is machine washable
✅ Seat is good for you if:
✅ You need to fit 3 across.
If your goal is to fit three car seats side by side in your vehicle, the Graco SlimFit3 LX becomes a top contender. Measuring just 16.7 inches in width, it ranks among the narrowest car seats available in the market today. This makes it an ideal choice for families facing the challenge of accommodating multiple car seats in their back seat. The forward-facing mode has a seat belt lock-off, which can be helpful to get a tight installation in some tight center seating positions. Whether you have triplets, three kids of varying ages, or simply need to make the most of your vehicle’s limited space, the SlimFit3 LX provides a practical and space-efficient solution.
✅ Your back seat space is limited.
✅ Your vehicle has non-removable headrests.
We’ve found that this seat tends to fit well in most vehicles, even ones that have non-removable headrests.
🚩 Use Caution If:
🚩You want to skip an infant seat.
While the Graco SlimFit3 LX offers a plethora of benefits, it’s important to exercise caution if you intend to skip using an infant car seat. We recommend waiting until your child can sit unassisted before transitioning to this seat. The SlimFit3 LX, even in its most reclined position, may not provide the necessary support and comfort for a newborn due to its slightly more upright orientation.
🚩You want this to be the last seat your child ever needs.
While the high-back booster mode has 57″/100-pound limits, there is no child that will fit at either of those limits. The harness mode will last about a year after the harness mode is outgrown as the highest belt guide position is about an inch higher than the harness. You will need another booster once your child outgrows this seat.
️ Stand Out Features:
️ It’s compact rear-facing.
It doesn’t take up a lot of space in the rear-facing mode. We’ve found that it fits well in a lot of smaller vehicles and behind taller parents.
️ Forward-facing lock-off
In the forward-facing mode, the Graco SlimFit3 LX offers a seat belt lock-off feature. In fact, this feature simplifies the installation process, ensuring a secure and tight fit in various car models. It’s especially handy when dealing with center seating positions or tight spaces, providing added peace of mind for parents concerned about installation safety.
A unique feature that sets the Graco SlimFit3 LX apart from other Graco seats is its removable cupholders. These cupholders add a layer of convenience to your child’s travel experience, providing a place to store drinks and snacks. Additionally, when you need to fit three car seats in a single row of your vehicle, removing the cupholders can be a practical necessity, allowing for a snug and secure fit of multiple car seats.
Rapid Remove Cover
You can remove this cover without uninstalling the car seat thanks to the velcro. This means you can wash the padding whenever it’s convenient for you without worrying about having time to install the car seat again. You just velcro the fabric back on once it’s ready to go!
▶️ YouTube Videos
⚠️ Quirks to be Aware Of:
⚠️Similarly named seats
In the world of car seats, it’s important to be aware of similar-sounding models. Apart from the Graco SlimFit3 LX, which is a narrow option, Graco also offers the Graco Slimfit 3 and Graco Slimfit 3 LX, neither of which boasts the same narrow design. These alternatives measure about 19 inches in width, making them wider choices. It’s also crucial to double-check the specific model you’re considering to ensure it aligns with your space requirements. Additionally, keep in mind that Graco True3Fit, a Walmart exclusive, is essentially the same as the slim Graco SlimFit3 LX, offering a narrow profile suitable for fitting multiple car seats in your vehicle comfortably.
✈️ Airplane Use
The Graco SlimFit3 LX is an FAA-approved car seat. Just get a travel cart to maneuver through the airport! Because it can be very compact in rear-facing mode, it will fit in that direction on most airplane seats. It is narrow as well, so you probably won’t even need to put the airplane armrests up to fit it!
If you are traveling internationally, you may be able to get away with installing with the lower anchors if the child is under 45 pounds and if the vehicles you end up in have lower anchors. But we would recommend contacting Graco for a free locking clip in case you need to do a rear-facing seat belt installation since most vehicles outside of the US and Canada will not have locking seat belts. For help on how to install a car seat with a locking clip, check out our video here. The forward-facing installation does have a seat belt lock-off. So no locking clip is needed when the seat is being used in that mode internationally. For help with all things airplane travel and car seats, check out our Wheels Up Course and private Facebook group.
SITS Bottom Line
In conclusion, the Graco SlimFit3 LX stands as an exceptional choice for families seeking a narrow and space-efficient car seat solution. Its ability to accommodate three car seats across and its compatibility with vehicles featuring non-removable headrests make it a versatile and practical option. Additionally, the forward-facing lock-off mechanism and removable cupholders enhance the user experience, ensuring a secure installation and added convenience.
Other Versions of this Seat:
- Graco True3Fit* (US) – Walmart exclusive, but the same as this seat except for the fabric colors available
- Graco Slimfit (US) – not slim, no forward-facing lock-off, no Rapid Remove cover, cupholders are required
- Graco Slimfit LX (US) – not slim, no forward-facing lock-off, cupholders are also required
- Graco Slimfit3 LX* (Canada) – has an anti-rebound bar that’s required for rear-facing, 43″ rear-facing limit
- Graco Slimfit (Canada) – not slim, no forward-facing lock-off, no Rapid Remove cover, cupholders are required
*A SITS recommended seat. Recommended seats are in our Buying Kits because they have ranked high on our vehicle, child, ease of use, and features scale.
Compare Car Seats
Looking to compare car seats and narrow down the best car seat for your family? The Convertible Car Seat Buying Kit walks you through our 7Cs of selection, then on to an interactive quiz, and finally, a recommended car seat list is generated just for you! If you are overwhelmed and sick of spending hours researching and reading car seat reviews like this one, the Buying Kit will guide you to Safe in the Seat’s recommended car seats for you in under 30 minutes!
We check every day for our recommended car seats on sale, and we have all the deals here for you.
What About Seats We Don’t Recommend?
Just like anyone, we have preferences! This goes for car seats, too. If we don’t recommend a car seat, it’s not because it’s unsafe for your little one. All car seats are safe if they’re installed and used properly, are not expired or damaged, and when they’re made and sold by a reputable manufacturer and/or retailer. Click here for our full list of car seats that we do not recommend.
A note about crash-tests
How does the Graco SlimFit3 LX perform in crash tests?
Well, that’s a great question. We know it passes the strict federally required testing for all car seats sold in the United States. But we don’t know exactly how it performs. That data isn’t released by any official sources in the US — not by car seat manufacturers, not by government agencies like NHTSA, not anywhere!
There are a few third-party websites that claim to offer objective crash test data that compares car seats. But we at Safe in the Seat ignore that data for a few big reasons. First of all, third-party car seat crash tests don’t actually give us meaningful data! Car seat manufacturers crash-test their products hundreds, even upwards of a thousand times. They crash test the finished product in every single installation configuration using every applicable-sized crash test dummy, not to mention a whole lot of testing at each stage of the development process too. So one or two crash tests completed by another organization just can’t give the same level of information! One or two crash tests aren’t going to represent the overall average performance of any car seat across its lifespan.
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