Graco SnugRide infant car seat review

Web: GracoBaby.com

Price:
SnugRide Click Connect 30:


SnugRide Click Connect 30 LX: $130
SnugRide Click Connect 35
SnugRide Click Connect 35 LX with Safety Surround: $220
SnugRide SnugLock 30: $140
SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX with 1-Hand Adjustment:
SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX with TrueShield Technology: $219.99
SnugRide SnugLock 35 DLX:
SnugRide SnugLock 35 Platinum:
SnugRide SnugLock 35 Platinum XT:
SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite with Safety Surround:
SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT:
SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35: $317.67

Type: Infant seat.

Limits: SnugRide 30: 30 lbs., 30”; SnugRide 35: 35 lbs., 32”; SnugRide 40: 40 lbs., 35″.

NHTSA ease of use rating: Four out of five stars.

Pros: Lightweight carrier (for the base model), level indicator, canopy, easy to use. Front belt adjuster on some models. Works with many strollers.

Cons: Only one crotch position for some models. Other seats have better side-impact protection.

Comments: Here is the country’s top-selling infant car seat—and it deserves the crown. The Graco SnugRide is an affordable infant seat with excellent features: good crash protection, EPS foam lining, adjustable base (in some versions) and good fit in most vehicles.

It’s good to be the king . .. when it comes to stroller compatibility. The SnugRide’s best-seller status means many other stroller makers have Graco adapters. One caveat: if you plan to use a non-Graco stroller, check compatibility before buying a SnugRide. Some strollers makers have adapters that only work with the older Classic Connect SnugRides (now discontinued; see discussion below).

Graco has had such success with the SnugRide that they’ve rolled out several different versions of the seat over the last few years, keeping the SnugRide name. And that’s where it gets confusing: there are now around 12 different SnugRides. With so many versions, be sure to carefully check the box or online description before buying. Here’s a list of all the options:

SnugRide Click Connect 30
SnugRide Click Connect 35
SnugRide SnugLock 30
SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX with 1-Hand Adjustment
SnugRide Click Connect 35
SnugRide SnugLock 35 DLX
SnugRide SnugLock 35 Platinum
SnugRide SnugLock 35 Platinum XT
SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite with Safety Surround
SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT
SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35

Before we wade knee deep into some specific models, we should note two options Graco uses for SnugRide name suffixes: Click Connect and SnugLock.

The current SnugRide car seats are part of the Click Connect family. Click Connect refers to the way these car seats attach to strollers—they take one step to snap in. (At one point, Graco also sold a version of these seats called Classic Connect which required two steps. The Classic Connect versions of the SnugRide are now discontinued, but may still be sold online.)

SnugLock refers to a newer, three-step installation process using either the vehicle seat belt or the LATCH—this makes for an easier install compared to older SnugRides without SnugLock.

Just to make life somewhat confusing, some seats have Click Connect but not SnugLock. And some have both.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the versions:

SnugRide 30 / 30LX works to 30 lbs., 30”. Graco sells two versions of this seat. Entry-level SnugRide 30’s have rear-adjust harnesses and non-adjustable bases. More expensive versions (LX) of this seat have front-adjust harnesses and adjustable bases (which we prefer). These seats sell for $100-$130. This seat comes in versions with or without SnugLock.

SnugRide 35 LX/35 Elite works to 35 lbs., 32”. Yep, there are two versions of this model—the basic 35 that runs $130-$140. And the 35 LX ($150-$190) which adds a no-reathread harness and base with seat belt lock-offs. The 35 Elite had a Rapid Remove cover making it easier to remove and clean.

• SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35 Infant Car Seat. This is the flagship SnugRide seat as of this writing. Yes, a mouthful we know. The key difference: the SnugRide SnugLock Extemd2Fit 35 has a new four-position extension to increase legroom up to 3 1/2 inches, keeping baby rear facing longer. It also comes with an anti-rebound bar and Simply Safe Adjust Harness System (no-rethread). And, yes, it has SnugLock. The weight for this carrier is 12.3 lbs, which is on the hefty side.

So, which one should you get? The best bet is the SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35 Infant Car Seat. The Extend2Fit originally retailed for a whopping $230 but we’re happy to see it on Amazon for only $317.67 .

Overall, readers give the SnugRide a thumbs up for ease of use and overall quality. The no rethread harness on the 35 LX and Extend2Fit versions are excellent.

Is the SnugRide perfect? No. The low-end SnugRides sold as part of travel systems that have rear-adjust harnesses and non-adjustable bases should be avoided. Those seats also have only one crotch buckle position, which some larger babies can quickly outgrow.

Are there trade-offs between the SnugRide and more expensive seats? Well, with the exception of the SnugRide 35 LX with Safety Surround, most other Snugrides lack extra side-impact protection as seen on Chicco’s seats.

The Graco SnugRides scored “better” in Consumer Reports’ latest crash tests (the rating scale is Basic, Better, Best). Overall, the SnugRides landed in the middle of pack of 30 seats tested, with fit to vehicle with a safety belt scoring below other seats. Our own reader feedback contradicts this, with most parents giving the SnugRides good marks for both ease of use and fit to vehicle.

Overall, the Graco SnugRide family is a winner—good crash protections, excellent ease of use and features. Add in the affordable price and you’ve got yourself a very good car seat. Rating: A