The Graco Slimfit lacks the backless booster mode in the Graco Nautilus 65, but Nautilus 65 has none of the rear-facing capacity found in the Slimfit. You might have a hard time determining which of the two you ought to buy for your child just by considering this. Keep reading below to know more about what other features the Graco Nautilus and Graco Slimfit have that could help you decide which will best suit your needs. 

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ideal use


Graco Nautilus
Graco Slimfit
Rear-Facing Weight:
5 to 40 pounds
Rear-Facing Height Limit:
The head must be at least 1-inch below the handle
Forward-Facing Weight:
22 to 65 pounds
Forward-Facing Height Limit:
27 to 49 inches
High Back Booster Weight Limit:
30 to 100 pounds
High Back Booster Height Limit:
38 to 57 inches
Backless Booster Weight:
40 to 100 pounds
Backless Booster Height Limit:
40 to 57 inches, at least 4 years old
  • Rear-Facing

Although the harness system of Graco Slimfit could provide a secure fit for babies starting at 7 pounds (instead of a specified minimum weight of 5 pounds), the car seat is still worth your consideration because Graco Nautilus 65 has no rear-facing capacity. Nautilus 65 could be your absolute option if you already have an infant car seat for your newborn baby.

  • Booster-Mode

These 2 child restraints share a similar set of features for forward-facing mode so parents would most likely just skip this feature and instead focus on their booster capability. Slimfit only has high back booster mode, while Nautilus 65 has high back booster and backless booster modes. Nevertheless, both can accommodate a child up to 100 pounds only.  

A high back booster seat is said to offer more safety than a backless booster because it has side impact protection and offers a physical reminder to the child passenger on how to sit straight on the car seat. Still, a child who is taller than most children of the same weight range will most likely be safer on a backless booster than with no booster at all.

will it fit in my car?


Graco Nautilus
Graco Slimfit
20 inches
19.88 inches
28 inches
25.5 inches
18 inches
16.25 inches
  • Dimensions 

As seen from the dimensions of the 2 car seats, the Nautilus car seat is bigger and bulkier than the Slimfit. Yet, it is one that could likely offer more room and space for the child that will use it.

Width – Obviously, Graco Slimfit can help save space in a car since it is a tad narrower than the Graco Nautilus 65. Moreover, it has a slimming feature, which are the swivelling cup holders that can reduce its total width by about an inch and can allow parents to use Slimfit in a 3-across setup of child restraints. 

Possible 3-across configurations with Slimfit include: 

Slimfit forward-facing on the right and left + Slimfit rear-facing at the center

Slimfit forward-facing on the right and left + infant car seat

Slimfit + 2 truly narrow car seats  (about 17 inches in width) like Clek Foonf and the Diono Radian 3RXT.

Height – Nautilus is a tall car seat so you need to carefully choose where to place it inside the vehicle so as not to block the rearview.

Depth – Parents are apprehensive with seats that are longer than most products because they worry that it will eat up space for the driver and front passengers when the car seat is fully reclined for younger children. Nautilus might be one of these longer than usual seats, but the good thing is it has no rear-facing capacity that requires it to be completely reclined to give head and neck support for the younger passengers.

  • Fit in Vehicles

The 3-across set-up was achieved for the Slimfit in cars such as Ford Edge and Ford Escape, although parents reviewers did not mention what other car seats were used in the configurations.  The fit was perfect for the Slimfit in cars like the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze, Mercedes ML350 SUV, and 2014 Dodge Durango R/T. A mother who installed this in the middle seat of her 2014 Mazda CX-5 also compared it to Graco 4Ever and she said that Slimfit offered a bit more space for other passengers. This was also taken as a travel car seat by a family who flew by air via American Airlines. Another parent shared they have installed this on the seat of a Boeing 737-800 plane seat.

A father shared that he had installed the Graco Nautilus 65 on the seat of a Single Cab 99 Dodge Ram. It was also reported to have been mounted well in other vehicles that include Ford Pickup, 2014 Honda Fit, 2006 Toyota Avalon, Honda CRV, and Nissan Sentra. While the Nautilus has airplane use approval, you might be off-put to carry this with you on your travels due to its size. If you decide to take it as a travel car seat, be sure to first check with the airlines if it will fit on the plane seat.  Be sure to also check if you are allowed to use it as a booster seat if you plan to do so. In most instances, high back boosters are allowed, but not backless boosters. 

Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 Convertible Car Seat | Infant to Toddler Car Seat, Saves Space in your Back Seat, Darcie
Price: $219.99
(As of: 2022/08/02 2:48 pm - Details
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
2 new from $219.990 used
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Graco Nautilus
Graco Slimfit
Do I need to use a pool noodle/rolled towel?
Yes, although not mentioned in the manual
No, but the manual mentions that rolled towels may be used 
Easy To Install Rear-Facing With LATCH?
Easy To Install Rear-Facing With Seat belt?
Easy To Install Forward-Facing? 
Easy To Uninstall?
Recline Position
Lower Anchor Weight Limit
45 pounds
  • Pool Noodle/Rolled Towel

The use of a rolled towel is mentioned in the manual of Graco Slimfit, while the use of cut-to-size pool noodles is mentioned in a Graco Consumer Service response to an Amazon product inquiry. One reviewer said that their 2016 Volkswagen GTI has a sloped seat and a recessed seating area so aftermarket products were needed to install the Slimfit to an appropriate recline.

The manual of Graco Nautilus 65 does not mention anything about pool noodles and rolled towels. However, you could find on Amazon that Graco Consumer services replied to an Amazon product inquiry that such items can be placed on the seat bight.


The Latch connector of Slimfit is easier to use because it is a push-on style connector.  The connector found in Nautilus is a j-hook style.

  • Recline

Slimfit has more recline settings than Nautilus 65 and it even comes with a bubble recline/level indicator. Such features are of greater importance with rear-facing set-ups. The 3 recline settings of Nautilus 65 are viewed by many parents as insufficient and they feel bad when their children’s head slumps when they fall asleep during car rides. However, many also stated that since this is a forward-facing car seat and the specified users are those that already have control of their heads and neck. Although the difference in the recline settings is almost unnoticed, these parents explained that head slumps when the child is asleep could be handled by the presence of the headrest. 



Graco Nautilus
Graco Slimfit
Country Of Origin:
Steel Frame:
Five-Point Harness?
Side Impact Tested:
Approved For Airplane Use:
Easy To Buckle And Unbuckle?

These 2 Graco child restraint products share similar safety features. Thus, parents would possibly just look at what users could testify about the efficiency of these safety features in real-life scenarios.

Many parents claim that Slimfit safely protected their children during accidents. Yet, I did not find detailed testimonies that are rather plentifully available for Nautilus 65, at least as of writing this review. These reviews, for me, are more reliable since parents shared just how the accident happened and the physical condition of their children after the mishap. 

A 5-star rating was given to Nautilus 65 by a father who said they had a major accident in a freeway that involved 6 other cars. His son remained secure on the car seat and came out of the accident without any injuries. In another review, a grandfather shared that their car was totaled from a side impact hit. He was so thankful that the Nautilus saved his grandson from harm so they bought another one to replace the one that was involved in the accident.

Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Harness Booster, Landry
Price: --
(As of: 2020/10/12 6:12 pm - Details
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
8 new from $169.990 used
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the seat


Graco Nautilus
Graco Slimfit
Is The Material Breathable?
Seat Weight:
20 pounds
19.5 pounds
Machine Washable Cover?
No-Rethread Harness?
Yes (except for the Fern* and Garnet* Fashion)
Comes With An Infant Body Support?
Easy To Remove Cover?
10 Years
Comes With A Cup Holder?
Yes, 1
Yes, 2
Shoulder Harness Has Pads?
# Of Crotch Strap Positions:
  • Weight – Graco Slimfit is lighter than the Graco Nautilus 65 although by just 0.5 pounds.
  • Harness System – all color variants of Slimfit come with a no-rethread harness system, while Nautilus 65 incidentally has a couple of color variants that have the manual threaded harness. Thus, if you ever decide on getting this car seat, be sure to first check if your chosen color variant has the convenient-to-use no-rethread harness.

Another thing that you might like about Slimfit is that it has an IIHS Best Bet Booster rating. With this, you can have your 4-8 years old child seated in a car seat with a good fit using the seatbelt of almost any vehicle such as an SUV, minivan, or car.

  • Cup Holders – Slimfit comes with 2 cup holders. While these collapsible cup holders prove to be a useful feature in maximizing the space of a car for 3-across setup, this means that the available space that a child would require for storing his/her stuff like cups and bottles would be reduced. Meanwhile, if you like a car seat that can provide the extra space for keeping kids’ stuff, then you might give more consideration to the Nautilus 65 because it has these cubbyhole compartments in its armrest, despite having only just 1 cup holder.

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There is an approximately USD 80 price difference between the Graco Nautilus and Graco Slimfit. Slimfit is more expensive.

With this comparison, I think that the Graco Slimfit will be a more practical product to buy if you need 

  • one that can truly grow with your child starting from birth and until he/she is ready for the vehicle seatbelt.
  • something that can be slimmed down to save space in a car and possibly allow 2 other car seats to be installed in a single row.
  • more recline positions.
  • more headrest/harness positions. All its color variants have no-rethread harnesses.
  • a seat cover that is easier to remove for washing.
  • 2 cup holders.

There are instances, however, when the Graco Nautilus 65 will be a better choice.

The Graco Nautilus And
I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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