The 8 Best Slim Car Seats Suitable for Vehicles with Limited Space
If you have children that are relatively close in age, you might need to install multiple car seats. And, it can be a headache if you can’t fit them in your vehicle because they are too big. Also, not forgetting to mention that ease of installation is important too. If you want my advice, you should always look for the slim car seats, even if this is your first child.
But how do you make sure that you are indeed getting the best slim car seats? Research of course! Luckily for you, this article will be a one stop shop of sorts.
I’ll guide you through every feature consideration you need to take into account and give you an overview of some of the best slim seats available today.
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List of Best Slim Car Seat
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*For more information about NCS (Net Customer Satisfaction) grade, click here. (Price range: $ = $1 - $75 / $$ = $76 - $150 / $$$ = $151 - $250 / $$$$ = $251 - $350 / $$$$$ = $351 - $500)
Why Slim Car Seat?
One of the biggest problems with car seats are that they are difficult to install. In fact, over 90% of parents install or utilize their child’s car seat incorrectly. That is a gigantic amount of people, and that’s under the best conditions.
It gets even worse once you try to jam in several car seats at a time, especially if they aren’t the correct fit for your vehicle.
That’s why it’s best to hedge your bets and purchase the slim car seats immediately. It will save you from hours of frustration and aggravation, or even worse, having to buy another car seat!
Type of Car Seat
Since we are talking about planning for the future here, I am going to focus on convertible car seats, since they can be used from infancy all the way until your child doesn’t need a car seat anymore. In this way, you can save yourself a ton of money since you’ll only need to buy one seat per kid, instead of multiple seats for everyone.
It is best to have your child rear facing in the car for as long as possible to help combat injury in case of an accident. Which is why there are so many states changing laws to help guarantee this, as well as parents changing their attitude towards the seating position that they put their little ones in.
With that in mind, you need to have the wherewithal to get a brand of slim convertible car seat that will allow you to fit three across car seats regardless if you have one or more than one of them in a rear facing position.
That way, you’ll guarantee that you can get all the seats in correctly, and keep your babies safe.
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Key Features to Look for in the Best Slim Car Seats
Just like when you are purchasing any big ticket item, there are several key features that you need to keep in mind.
There are two basic methods to install any car seat. You can utilize the LATCH system, (which will only work with newer cars), or you can use a seatbelt. You should never install a car seat with both installation systems, as they will work against each other.
It is also important to note that you can only use the LATCH system to a certain weight limit or position in your car. Some cars can only use the LATCH or anchor system on the sides, while others allow for it any seat in the back. Otherwise, you will have to use the seat belt.
As I stated above, you need to be sure that you can install the car seat safely in the seat you are putting it in. All car seats will recommend the backseat center as the safest possible spot, but that won’t always work.
I would recommend that you place your older children in the center seat since they will be able to get in and out with less help than an infant or young toddler.
You are not going to have to worry about size too much if you drive a SUV or minivan. On the other hand, if you have a smaller car, then you will want to make sure that you purchase the best compact car seat available to ensure that it will fit without any issue.
Also, if you have an older vehicle, you will probably have to install the seats using your car’s seatbelts, as anchors for car seats didn’t begin to be standard until 2002.
Ease of Use
Have I mentioned that installing car seats is really difficult? The best car seats are going to be ones that are easy to install, adjust, and clean. If you are looking into one and you can’t answer yes to all three of those categories, don’t waste your time with it!
The seat should also be easy to remove and install into another vehicle quickly and easily without too much work. This is important if you are going to use the car seat in an airplane. You don’t want to spend a bunch of time struggling to uninstall and install the seat while everyone is waiting for you.
Top 3 Slim Car Seat Reviews
Graco Milestone All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
While this seat might not look like much, don’t let its bare bone image deceive you. It is actually one of the most highly sophisticated slim car seats out there.
It can be used as a rear facing seat up to 40 pounds, forward facing up to 65 pounds, and then it converts to a booster seat for children up to 100 pounds. And to think, it can do all this while only measuring a trim 21 x 17.5 x 21 inches.
It is also an extremely safe seat, which has been tested thoroughly. It comes with a five point harness and has been side impact tested. The reinforced steel and aluminum frame is lined with energy absorbing foam, which is designed to keep your little ones safe and sound in the case of an impact.
The final cool feature for this seat is that it is super easy to install and uninstall. It folds up flat for easy transport, which is a unique feature for a car seat.
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Graco Size4Me 65 Rapid Remove Convertible Car Seat
Perhaps your child is someone who likes a bit more cushioning and squishier feel. Then look no further than this Graco car seat!
This baby car seat is a relatively small seat, measuring 18.5 x 22 x 23.4 inches, though you might have some trouble fitting three of them across in a smaller sized vehicle.
It is easy to use, adjust, and clean. In fact, unlike most seats, the straps can be adjusted just by the pulling of a lever at the top of the seat. This makes sizing a breeze, since you don’t need to disassemble the whole seat to get to the straps.
The 65 Rapid is also extremely safe, as it comes with a five point safety harness and has been side impact tested.
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Britax Marathon G4.1 Convertible Car Seat
What if you want an in between kind of a car seat? One that has a bit of padding but will still easily fit three across in most vehicles.
Well, it’s your lucky day!
The Britax Marathon measures 21 x 18.5 x 26 inches, which is completely workable in all but the smallest sized vehicles. It has plenty of padding but doesn’t overdo it, which saves a bit of space.
Much like the Graco seat featured above, this Britax slim car seat is easy to adjust, use, and clean. I especially like the strap adjustment system here as well, since it is easy to utilize quickly.
Rating / Grade
We go through hundreds of products listing at Amazon and also study the ratings left by previous buyers to find the best slim car seats for you. Besides that, we also calculate the overall net customer satisfaction (NCS) grade because we want to see how happy is the previous buyers with their purchase of the product.
From our finding, we can say that Dono Radian, Graco and Britax are the best slim car seat brands. These brands are popular and received many excellent ratings for their products.
Also, the Graco Milestone, Graco Size4Me 65 Rapid Car Seat and Britax Marathon G4.1 Car Seat score favorably for the ratings as well as the NCS grade compare to the rest. We believe that you would find these slim car seats a good buy too.
The Best Slim Convertible Car Seat
After carefully considering lots of different options out on the market, I have come to the conclusion that the Diono Radian R100 Car Seat is simply the best slim convertible car seat that I have ever seen.
It is incredibly small, yet incredibly safe, which is much more important. It has a bare bones appearance to it, but if you need to fit a bunch of car seats into a car at once, it will do the job quite nicely.
See now, aren’t you glad that you stopped by and got all of this wonderful information? Don’t you feel so much more prepared to go out there and face the world of slim car seats, confident in your ability to make the best selection for your family? I sure hope so! Best of luck in your search and have a great day!