Are you expecting a baby and need a car seat? While there are many Graco SlimFit car seat reviews, read this one for good information about kids’ car seats.
New parents have a lot to learn when they’re expecting a baby. Along with becoming knowledge about feeding schedules, diaper changing, and bonding with their child, they also need to know about car seats.
There is a lot they need to know about car seats, such as what the difference is between a convertible and an infant car seat. Reading information like Graco Slim Fit car seat reviews can explain some of the differences.
Differences Between Infant And Convertible Car Seats
The primary difference between an infant and convertible car seat is how it attaches to the vehicle’s backseat. An infant car seat comes in two pieces, the carrier and the base for the car seat. While the base connects to the vehicle’s backseat and stays in it, parents can remove the carrier from the base, so mom or dad can take the baby when they need to go somewhere.
A convertible car seat comes in one piece which, once installed, stays in the car, and the child is taken out of it when going to visit their grandparents, to the store, or a wellness appointment. Some convertible car seats are usable for years, not a few months as an infant car seat. The higher the weight limit on a convertible car seat, the longer parents can use it.
A convertible car seat is capable of being an infant seat and facing the rear of the car until the infant is large enough to sit in a forward-facing position, which is about 40 pounds. Then, they can use the forward- facing seat until the child weighs about 65lbs. or is tall enough to use a booster seat. Unless the convertible car seat reaches its expiration date, it may be suitable for a second child as well.
How To Install An Infant Car Seat
If your vehicle is a 2002 or newer, it should have LATCH available in it for car seats. Read the manual to make sure it does before attempting to install the seat. Then, place the base of the infant car seat in the middle of the backseat and find the LATCH clips and look to see which direction they need to go. Thread the LATCH belt through the pathway for it.
The car manual should show the pathway and how to thread it. Connect the LATCH clips to the anchors and check the angle indicator to confirm whether the seat is level or is sitting at the correct angle. Afterward, tighten the strap, so the base doesn’t move more than an inch in any direction.
Then, when it’s tight, the carrier can be fit on the base facing the rear of the backseat and then clipped into place. Once again, test the car seat to make sure it doesn’t move more than an inch. When the carrier is in the base, and everything is as tight as it should be, then it is ready for the baby to be put in it and go for a ride.
A convertible car seat installs in much the same way, but it comes in one piece, so the LATCH belt must be threaded through the pathway while the car seat is in one piece. Parents can install the car seat while it is facing the rear of the backseat if the child is an infant or facing the front if the child is older and heavier.
Most one-piece car seats have a tab that releases the seat to expose the belt pathway. Exposing the path makes it easier to thread the LATCH belt through it. After buckling the belt, tighten it and test the movement of the car seat. When it is tight in the backseat, it is ready for use.
What Is The Grace Slim Fit Car Seat And How Does It Work?
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One of the many brands of convertible car seats that parents may consider buying is the Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat. The weight limit on it is 100 pounds, so parents can use this car seat until their child weighs that much or meets other legal requirements in the state in which they live.
For instance, in Kansas, children must be in a booster seat until they are seven years old unless they weigh more than 80lbs., or are taller than four feet nine inches. In California, children must be in a booster seat until eight years old or until they reach four feet nine inches tall. Knowing the state’s law about children and car seats can help parents pick out the right one for their needs.
The Graco car seat can start as an infant seat and face the rear of the car, securing infants from five to 40lbs. Then, the seat can face the front for children who are 22 to 65lbs., for kids between 30 to 100lbs, and it converts into a high-backed booster seat.
This Graco car seat is known as the SlimFit because it has rotating cup holders that rotate to make the seat 10 percent slimmer than car seats from other companies, so it makes more room in the backseat. The dimensions of the car seat are 26.81 x 19.88 x 22.36-inches.
It has a five-point harness system to keep a child secure in the car seat and, when a parent needs to adjust it, the height of the seat adjusts as well. When it is a high-back booster seat, the height goes up to 57-inches.
The SlimFit car seat has an expiration date of 10 years after the date of manufacture. To ensure that a baby or toddler is comfortable in the car seat, it has four reclining positions, and plush supports as well. The car seat is steel reinforced to ensure it is strong, and each model undergoes crash testing to make sure it can withstand a car accident.
To absorb the impact of a wreck the car seat uses energy absorbing EPS, or expanded polystyrene foam, that is rigid and meant to stand up to back-fill and load forces. It redistributes the power of the impact as much as possible to prevent injuries to the child.
What Makes The Graco SlimFit Car Seat Unique?
The unique features of the Graco SlimFit Car Seat include its ability to leave plenty of room in the backseat of a vehicle without crowding the child in the car seat. Since the cup holders rotate away, the child in the seat isn’t bothered, so they can rest comfortably whether they are facing the rear, front, or utilizing the booster seat.
Also, where the average expiry date for car seats is about six years after the manufacture date, Graco’s car seats don’t expire for 10 years after the manufacture date. The longer expiration date allows parents to use it for four additional years, which could be for the same child as they get older or for another child.
The Graco car seat has four reclining positions where most other car seats only recline in three. The additional one allows parents to ensure their child is comfortable on short trips to the store, or road trips when they’re going on vacation.
Two of the four reclining positions work when the car seat is facing the rear of the vehicle, one is for when it faces forward, and the last one when facing forward as a car seat or belt-positioning booster seat.
To buy this car seat, parents-to-be or gift givers can go to the Graco website to purchase it, or it is available at many retailers as well. On Graco’s site, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $229.99. However, the SlimFit car seat is available through some on- and offline retailers for a better price.
Public Perception (Other Graco SlimFit Car Seat Reviews)
- Ease of installation
- Suitability for children from five to 100 pounds
- Four reclining positions
- Rotating cup holders and space-saving ability
- Child safety concerns
- A steel-reinforced frame
- EPS, energy absorbing foam to protect the child in the seat
They only thing they didn’t like about the car seat was the belt was too high in booster mode, and they think the buckle needs improvement.
This safety standard is set by the federal government, specifically the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
How It Compares
Graco has set the standard for car seats for the past 30 years since they acquired the Century company, a car seat manufacturer. Many of the websites that review car seats and other baby products often compare Graco car seats with other Graco models. This is the case with the SlimFit 3-in-1 car seat as there are many comparisons to the Graco Milestone All-n-1 car seat.
When examining the details of the two car seats, they have many of the same features. They are both 3-in-1 car seats that are suitable for babies from five pounds to 100-pound children.
They also have:
- The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System
- A four-position recline for the child’s comfort
- The InRight LATCH system to make installation easy
- They undergo side-impact tests for safety
- A washable seat cover that doesn’t require removing the harness
- A steel-reinforced frame
- EPS, energy absorbing foam to protect the child in the seat
However, the SlimFit car seat has two cup holders instead of one, and they rotate to help make the car seat fit into the backseats of small cars. One blog that compares these car seats, carseatblog.com, noted that the SlimFit made it easier to install three car seats across in a Subaru Impreza and its arm design was also better for their placement.
What We Think
After reading about its features and its high ratings from both review websites and after reading the Graco SlimFit car seat reviews from parents who have experience with it, we recommend this car seat. It allows parents to buy a seat for their newborn and convert it as their child grows older, heavier, and taller.
With a 10-year expiration date, it will not only be suitable until a child grows out of the car seat, but it may also be able to go to a younger sibling. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, IIHS, also gave the SlimFit model a Best Bet rating for safe booster seats to buy for children. They evaluate the booster seats to test their safety features and then assign them a Good Bet or Best Bet rating.
If you don’t want to spend money on an infant car seat and then replace it when they get older, the Graco SlimFit model will grow with your child and protect them until they are tall enough or heavy enough to be belted into the car’s back seat.
Featured image source: flickr