Wondering which between the Safety First Grow and Go or Graco Slimfit is better? A closer inspection will make you choose the Graco Slimfit. Here's why.
Grow And Go
5 to 40 pounds
|Rear-Facing Height Limit:|
19 to 40 inches
The top of the child’s head is at least 1 inch below the top of the head restraint
22 to 65 pounds
|Forward-Facing Height Limit:|
29 to 49 inches
27 to 49 inches
|High Back Booster Height Limit:|
40 to 100 lbs
30 to 100 lbs
|High Back Booster Weight Limit:|
43 to 52 inches
38 to 57 inches
Graco Slimfit and Safety 1st Grow and Go share an almost similar set of specifications for rear-facing, forward-facing, and high back or belt-positioning booster mode.
Their differences are the minimum forward-facing height, minimum high back booster weight, minimum high back booster height, and maximum high back booster height.
Although the Slimfit has a lower minimum weight limit than Grow and Go for forward-facing, I believe that parents will prefer to maximize the rear-facing capacity of either seat (40 pounds) before they switch to the forward-facing mode, as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The same principle applies when parents need to decide when they need to switch children to their high back booster seat.
If the body physique and weight of the child are still within the limits of the forward-facing mode, then a parent will most likely still use the harness system of a child restraint rather than hurriedly switch to the vehicle seatbelt.
There is no rush to move right away to the booster mode. In addition, there is a 5-Step Test that the child must pass to use the booster mode of his/her car seat.
I think all these points make no big weight on parents’ decisions on which car seat product to buy except for the maximum high back booster height. Some children become taller faster than they gain weight.
The maximum height that Slimfit can accommodate is 57 inches while the Grow and Go can accommodate up to 52 inches.
This could mean that Slimfit can be of use up to when the child is about 11 years old while the same child can use the Grow and Go for only until he /she is about 9 years old.
This 2-year difference could help parents decide that the Slimfit will be a more practical choice than Grow and Go.
Safety First Grow And Go
Neither of the two can be described to be “really” slim or narrow seats like Diono Radian or Clek Fllo, but the Graco Slimfit will be more preferable to save space because of its unique feature that parents could take advantage of if they want to save space in a car or accomplish a 3-across setup.
We can rotate its 2 cup holders in such a way that it would be folded in half to create additional space of about an inch so parents can arrange the Slimfit in 3-across setup or allow other passengers to have more seating space.
Example combinations of car seats’ placement for 3-across:
- 2 Slimfits forward-facing at the left and at the right + 1 Slimfit rear-facing at the center
- 2 Slimfits at the left and at the right + an infant seat at the center
- 1 Slimfit rear-facing or forward-facing at the left or right + narrow car seat like Clek Fllo or Diono Radian at the left or right + infant car seat at the center
Fit In Cars
- One thing to consider with the Grow and Go is that it can take up a lot of space when installed rear-facing. Safety 1st Grow and Go was installed in an upright position inside a 2011 Acura MDX so the front passenger could enjoy a normal leg space. At a fully-reclined position, the passenger’s knees already touched the dashboard.
Another parent installed the Safety first seat in the center of the back seat row of a 2018 Toyota RAV4 so as not to affect the legroom for the driver and front passenger.
Inside a 2014 Nissan Altima, the front passenger’s seat and the driver’s seat need not be moved.
There were also Amazon customers who said they could install and use the Grow and Go on the seat of airplanes, although they did not specify which Airlines.
- With the slim feature of the Graco Slimfit enabled, many parents maximized the space in their car. At least two parents stated they could install the Slimfit in a 3-across setting in their respective cars: Ford Escape and Ford Edge.
Compared to Graco 4Ever, a mom with a 2014 Mazda CX-5 has said that Slimfit seemed to offer more space when mounted at the center. This car seat was also installed inside a 2014 Chevy Cruze, a 2014 Dodge Durango R/T, and a Mercedes ML350 SUV.
There were parents who shared that they took the Slimfit car seat when they traveled by air. One family flew across the country and noted that the Slimfit was installed well on the seat of the American Airlines plane while the armrest is down.
Another parent said that the Boeing 737-800 plane seat could have a width of 17.5 inches and they installed Slimfit onto the seat with the cup holders turned in.
Safety First Grow And Go
|Do I need to use a pool noodle/rolled towel?|
Yes, allowed according to manual
No, although the manual mentions you can use rolled towels only if needed
|Easy To Install Rear-Facing by LATCH?|
|Easy To Install Rear-Facing By Seatbelt?|
|Easy To Install Forward-Facing?|
|Easy To Uninstall?|
|Lower Anchor Weight Limit:|
One of the most common complaints about Grow and Go is that its LATCH is difficult to tighten, besides its basic J-hook style LATCH connector. Also, many users have found that installation with the seatbelt seemed not secure enough.
The push-on LATCH connectors of Slimfit are well-appreciated by many parents, who also claimed that LATCH installation was easy - same with the seatbelt installation although there were some who have reported they had difficulty in tightening the belt straps.
Choosing between a bubble level indicator and a single line indicator, parents will most likely choose the former, which is found in Graco Slimfit. Slimfit also has more recline settings than the Grow and Go.
Lower Anchor Weight Limit
The higher weight limit for the lower anchors in Slimfit means that you would need to wait until the child weighs 45 pounds before you change its installation using the vehicle seat belt.
With Grow and Go, you will need to do the installation mode switch when the child weighs 40 pounds.
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Safety First Grow And Go
|Country Of Origin:|
|Side Impact Tested:|
|Approved For Airplane Use:|
|Easy To Buckle And Unbuckle?|
Country Of Origin
This is one thing that matters to some people who prefer to buy locally made products. When asked to choose between Slimfit and Grow and Go, these people will most probably choose the latter.
Again, this is one factor that could be a specific preference by some parents. Not because a car seat has no steel frame, it is already insufficient protection for children.
In fact, we could find many car seats with durable plastic frames effective in protecting children from harm.
It is under this sub-category that I find Safety 1st Grow and Go more satisfactory than Graco Slimfit.
It is always good to read testimonials from other fellow parents how a car seat could prevent harm from happening to a child and such testimonials are abundantly available for Grow and Go.
One mother, for example, shared that she and her toddler got into a 45 mph crash incident, but the child slept through it despite the car being totaled.
Safety First Grow And Go
|Is The Material Breathable?|
|Machine Washable Cover?|
Yes (excluding newborn harness)
|Comes With An Infant Body Support?|
|Easy To Remove Cover?|
|Comes With A Cup Holder?|
|Shoulder Harness Has Pads?|
|# Of Crotch Strap Positions:|
The Graco Slimfit is heavier than the Safety 1st Grow and Go because of its steel frame. Yet, some parents could still carry this car seat as a travel car seat for their children.
There is an approximately USD 70 price difference between the Safety First Grow And Go and the Graco Slimfit. The Grow and Go is cheaper.
The Safety 1st Grow and Go has the following features that are worth mentioning.
- It’s made in the USA.
- It is lighter.
- It has a lower harness slot for a newborn (although it is not part of the no-rethread harness system).
- There are a lot of user testimonials you can read regarding how effective it was in protecting children from harm during real-life road accidents despite not having a steel frame.
Graco Slimfit is the finer choice in this comparison. It stood out over the competition because of:
- higher maximum height limit for booster mode so it means a child can use it longer
- slimming feature that will allow 3-across and space-saving installation
- ease of installation in all modes
- more recline settings
- higher lower anchor weight limit
- easy-to-use bubble indicator for levelling
- steel frame
Do You Need More Help To Decide Between
The Safety First Grow And Go Or Graco Slimfit?
What do you think?
I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section below!