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Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35

Our Verdict on the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Car Seat

Spoiler alert: the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 didn’t perform well in our tests. In fact, it’s one of the worst infant car seats that we’ve tested.

The Graco 35 is lightweight and affordable. It also takes less space once installed in the back of your car. But that comes with many flaws. It will be uncomfortable for your baby and impractical for you to use (more on that below).

The SnugRide Click Connect 35 might be a good infant car seat for some parents, but we think that the majority of parents should look elsewhere. If you’re looking for the overall best value car seat, we recommend the Chicco KeyFit 30. If you prefer a budget option, the Evenflo LiteMax 35 will be perfect for you. And if you just want the best of the best, take a look at the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio.

Still interested in learning more about the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35? Continue reading and let’s see if it might be a good fit.

Our Rating: 7.5 / 10

Summary

We like:

We don’t like:

  • The canopy can’t be used with the handle at the same time.
  • LATCH attach are hard to fix, tighten and remove.
  • The infant insert is smaller and less comfortable than the competition.
  • The harness requires rethreading to adjust the height.

Who is it for:

The SnugRide Click Connect 35 should only be considered if you want a lightweight infant car seat that will only be used infrequently. Every other car seats in our tests performed better, so it’s hard to justify the Graco to any parent.

Where to buy it: check price on Amazon

Alternatives:

  • The Chicco KeyFit 30: the best infant car seat of the year for the same price than the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 (check price). You should only pick the Mico Max 30 over the KeyFit30 if you already have a compatible stroller with Maxi-Cosi.
  • The Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30: perfect if you already have a compatible stroller from Maxi-Cosi, Cybex, Nuna, Silver Cross or Quinny. Same price than the KeyFit 30 and very similar performances (check price).
  • The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio: the best infant car seat if you can stretch your budget. It comes with a European seat belt lock when used without its base. Perfect if you’re often taking taxis or Ubers (check price).
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 review - Baby Gear Essentials

Overview: Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Car Seat

 
 
 
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 car seat review - Baby Gear Essentials

Features: Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Car Seat

 
 
 
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 car fit - Baby Gear Essentials

Our Hands-on Review of the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Car Seat

Let’s start by acknowledging a few things. Many parents might be drawn to Graco for their reputation of great value for money.

Graco has a long tradition of producing baby products for an excellent price. The company was originally founded in 1942 in Philadelphia and has been producing baby car seats since 1998. Graco was actually the first company to design a car seat that could be installed on a stroller for easy transportation.

But like many other companies, the production of Graco’s baby product has been moved to China and the quality of their products has slowly degraded over the past few years.

Graco’s claim of always being good value for money just doesn’t hold true anymore. That’s certainly the case with the SnugRide Click Connect 35.

The infant car seat does have a few good things going for it. And, just like every other car seat sold in America, it’s fully compliant with all the latest safety standards.

After our tests, we think that the Graco could be a good fit for a few parents with very specific requirements (see below) but the vast majority of parents will be better served by looking elsewhere.

At the end of the day, it really depends on what you’re expecting from an infant car seat. The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 reviews on Amazon and other popular retailers are usually divided between people who are perfectly happy with the seat and others who hate it.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 seat installation - Baby Gear Essentials

SnugRide Click Connect 35 Safety Ratings and Crash Test Results

Every infant car seat sold in the U.S. complies with Federal safety standards. BUT, this won’t help you if your car seat isn’t installed properly. It’s unfortunate, but we’ve seen too many parents install their infant seat incorrectly, thus putting their baby at risk in case of an accident.

Often times, parents install their car seat improperly because they can’t tell precisely if it’s at the right angle with the road.

The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 fails to address that problem effectively. Its base is very poorly designed and makes it hard for parents to safely install the infant seat in their car.

The SnugRide Click Connect 35 base, that comes bundled with the car seat if you purchase it on Amazon here, just doesn’t seem to have been well thought through.

Helpful Note

We use the official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ratings and crash test data under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard to determine each car seat safety ratings in our reviews.

Learn more about how we evaluate car seat safety ratings.

How Comfortable is the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35?

The SnugRide Click Connect 35 is the least comfortable seat that we’ve tested for babies. The fabric on the inside of the seat is heavy and coarse. It might easily irritate your baby’s skin. It’s also the least breathable fabric that we’ve tested, resulting in our baby overheating and sweating heavily.

The cushion inside the seat is very thin and doesn’t provide enough padding to be comfortable.

Overall, the seat doesn’t give us the impression to have been well designed and manufactured. The edges where two pieces of plastic meet are often rough and unpleasant to the touch.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 comfort - Baby Gear Essentials

How Practical is the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35?

The handle is easy to adjust. You can move between four different positions by pressing the buttons on each of its side. That said, it’s not possible to use the handle with the canopy open at the same time. There just isn’t enough room for you to hold the handle without pressing down the canopy.

It’s another indication that Graco doesn’t seem to have fully thought through the design of this seat. They could easily lower the canopy or extend the handle a little higher.

The KeyFit harness is below average in terms of easiness to use. The buckles are relatively stiff and hard to release. The shoulder height adjustment is a rethread system with four different height positions, so you can extend the belt as your baby grows. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to adjust as no-rethread harness (see how practical it is in the next section). There are also an easily adjustable forward-facing crotch strap belt.

That said, the SnugRide Click Connect 35 is the lightest infant car seat that we’ve tested. The weight of your infant seat shouldn’t be the primary deciding factor in your purchase, but if you expect to often carry the seat by hand, it’s certainly a plus. The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 weighs 7.5 lbs (3.4kg).

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 review - Baby Gear Essentials

Installation Instructions

If you buy your SnugRide Click Connect 35 from Amazon here, it will come together with the Graco base. We’ll review first how to safely install the car seat with the base, before talking about the installation without the base.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Installation with the Base

Beside the poor design of the seat itself, our biggest concern with the SnugRide Click Connect 35 is its base. It’s simply the worst that we’ve tested.

To install the base in your car, you need to follow these 5 steps:

  1. Place the Graco Click Connect base on your car rear seat.
  2. Adjust the recline angle of the base appropriately.
  3. Attach the base with the LATCH connectors.
  4. Tighten the LATCH strap.
  5. That’s it. When done correctly, the base should move less than 1 inch from side to side.

The SnugRide Click Connect 35 base comes with standard LATCH anchors but you can also attach it with your seat belt if your car doesn’t have the LATCH system.

Helpful Note

LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. The LATCH system is mandatory for both car seat and vehicles built since 2002. LATCH greatly facilitate the safe installation of a car seat and should be preferred over other installation methods.

Learn more about how to securely install your baby in a car seat.

If your car has the necessary LATCH anchors, we recommend that you use them instead of the seat belt to safely install the seat. Don’t try to use both systems at the same time though. The base isn’t built for it and it won’t make the installation safer.

The LATCH system is supposed to facilitate the safe installation of an infant car seat. The Graco’s base design, however, completely fails to accomplish that result. It’s mostly because of the very difficult clip anchors that you need to attach to your car.

They are hard to attach correctly and extremely difficult to remove. You’ll need to push the clips forward, disengage them from their anchor and twist them sideways while pulling out to detach the LATCH clips. This will be a frustrating experience if your LATCH anchors are buried deep inside your car’s rear seat.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 base LATCH - Baby Gear Essentials
The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 LATCH clips.

One attached, it’s also very hard to adjust the length of the LATCH straps to fully secure the seat in your car. The only way to tighten the straps is to adjust the length just next to the clips that will be buried inside your seat.

Here’s an instruction video showing exactly how to install the SnugRide Click Connect 35 safely with its base:

You can purchase the base separately from Amazon if you want. It’s very handy if you want to keep a base in two vehicles at the same time so you don’t need to reinstall it each time your baby changes car.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 base recline - Baby Gear Essentials
The recline level indicator on the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 base.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Installation without the Base using the Seat Belt

If you’re taking a taxi or an airplane, you also have the option to attach the SnugRide Click Connect 35 without its base, using just a seat belt. It’s not as quick and easy as clipping the seat on a pre-installed base, but it’s not very complicated and still complies with all the safety regulations.

The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 does not come with a European belt path. That means that you’ll need to pass your car’ seat belt only through the front of the seat. The European belt path provides an extra level of safety by also attaching to the back of the seat, so it’s our preferred method, but only one infant car seats in our tests had that option (the
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio (check price).

Helpful Note

Read our guide on how to securely install your baby in a car seat to understand the American belt routing method versus the European belt routing method.

We prefer the European method as it adds an extra connection at the back of the seat, but it isn’t required by the NHTSA in the U.S. at the moment.

Follow these 6 steps to attach the SnugRide Click Connect 35 without the base:

  1. Place the infant car seat rear facing in your car.
  2. Recline the seat appropriately by following the level line indicator on the side of the carrier. You might need to place a towel between the car seat and your car to achieve the right position.
  3. Pass the seat belt through the belt path on both sides of the seat and fasten it.
  4. Pull the seat belt as tight as you can then lock it in (depending on your car’s model, you might have to fully extend the seat belt or give it a sharp pull to trigger the locking mechanism).
  5. Feed as much of the seat belt back as possible to keep it very tight.
  6. That’s it. When done correctly, the infant car seat should move less than 1 inch from side to side.
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 installation without base - Baby Gear Essentials

Installing the SnugRide Click Connect 35 without its base is actually easier than with the base. Passing the seat belt through the belt path is straightforward and smooth. You should rapidly get used to it. If you’re often travelling in taxis and without the base, we recommend the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio or the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 that are both better options in that regard.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Weight Limit

The SnugRide Click Connect 35 has a weight limit of 35 lbs (15.8 kg). It’s in the upper end of the other infant car seats that we tested but it doesn’t really matter because your child will most probably reach the height limit before they reach the weight limit.

The height limit of the SnugRide Click Connect 35 is 32 inches (80cm). That’s about average compared to the other seats.

On average, children weight about 24 lbs by the time they’ve reached 32 inches. That’s usually around 15 months old.

When Can I Remove the SnugRide Infant Insert?

The SnugRide Click Connect 35 that’s sold here on Amazon comes bundled with an infant insert. The insert is an extra layer of cushion protection for babies who weigh between 4 and 11 lbs (1.8 kg to 5 kg). Unfortunately, the infant insert on the Graco is very thin and doesn’t provide enough padding compared to the competition.

Premature babies, in particular, might need to keep the insert for a little longer until they reach the weight limit. But some full-term newborns don’t even need it if they are already above 5-6 lbs.

As a rule of thumb, just make sure that your baby is both securely fasten and comfortable with enough room once installed in the seat.

In addition to the infant insert, the Maxi-Cosi also includes covers for both the buckle and the harness strap to protect your baby.

Maintenance and Washing Instructions

The more time your baby spend in the seat, the more often you’ll need to clean it up. That’s why we think that maintenance is a very important factor to consider when buying a infant car seat. If you can’t easily take off the cover to wash it, it will become a ongoing annoyance after a month or two.

Graco does not say anywhere in its user manual if the seat cover is machine washable or dryer safe. The harness covers, however, must be washed and dried by hand to avoid damaging the velcro.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 red - Baby Gear Essentials

What Colors are Available?

Five different color combinations are available for the SnugRide Click Connect 35. They range from black and gray to bright red and purple:

  • Gotham (a combination of gray)
  • Jodie (a combination of gray and purple, part of the new collection)
  • Chili Red (a combination of gray and red, part of the new collection)
  • Tangerine (gray and orange, currently out of stock)
  • Pierce (gray with some patterns)

Which Strollers are Compatible with the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35?

Graco is a well-established trusted brand, so you’ll be able to use the car seat with most of the big stroller brands. You can use it with more than 50 different stroller models (see the full list below).

First off, the SnugRide Click Connect 35 is compatible with all the Graco strollers. It’s very easy to use. You just need to place the car seat on the stroller and it will safely clip itself on it. Just press the detach lever at the back of the seam to remove the seat from the stroller (the same way you would do to detach the seat from its base in your car).

If you don’t already have a stroller, we recommend that you get one of their a bundle on Amazon to save money. We recommend the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System.

Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System - Baby Gear Essentials
The Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System.

When it comes to other brands, you’ll just need to get the necessary adapter to pair the KeyFit 30 with your stroller. It can be tricky to find the adapter that’s right for your car seat, but we’ve done all the legwork for you.

Here’s the complete list of strollers and adapters that are compatible with the SnugRide Click Connect 35:

Stroller brand

Stroller model

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35

AustlenEntourage FrontNot compatible
AustlenEntourage RearNot compatible
Baby JoggerCity Select, City Select Lux and City PremierUse this adapter
Baby JoggerCity Mini and City Mini GTUse this adapter
Baby JoggerCity Mini Double and City GT DoubleUse this adapter
Baby JoggerCity Tour LuxNot compatible
Baby TrendExpedition Jogger, EspyNot compatible
Baby TrendSnap N Go, Snap N Go Ultra TandemCompatible by default but only for the rear seat
BabyzenYoyoNot compatible
BOBRevolutionUse this adapter
BritaxB AgileUse this universal adapter
BritaxB Agile DoubleNot compatible
BritaxB ReadyUse this universal adapter
BugabooDonkey Mono and Donkey 2 MonoNot compatible
BugabooDonkey Twin and Donkey 2 TwinNot compatible
BugabooFox and BuffaloNot compatible
BugabooCameleon3Not compatible
BugabooBee3 and Bee5Not compatible
BumblerideIndie and SpeedUse this adapter
ChiccoBravoNot compatible
ContoursOptions Elite, Options and CurveUse this universal adapter
CybexPriam and MiosNot compatible
GBZuzuCompatible by default
GracoBreazeCompatible by default
InglesinaQuad and TrilogyNot compatible
JOOVYCaboose, Big Caboose and Caboose TooAdapters included
Mamas & PapasArmadillo FlipUse this adapter
Mamas & PapasUrbo, Urbo2, Sola and Sola2Use this adapter
Maxi-CosiDana and DanaFor2Not compatible
MimaXari and ZigiNot compatible
Mountain BuggyCosmopolitanNot compatible
Mountain BuggyMB mini and SwiftUse this adapter
Mountain BuggyTerrain and JungleNot compatible
NunaDemi Grow, MIXX2, PIPA and PEPPNot compatible
Peg PeregoBook Pop-UpNot compatible
Phil and TedsNavigator, Dot, Classic and SportUse this adapter
Phil and TedsPromenade and Smart LuxUse this adapter
Silver CrossWaveNot compatible
StokkeXplory, Trailz and ScootUse this adapter
QuinnyMooddUse this adapter
ThuleUrban Glide 1, Urban Glide 2.0, both single and doubleUse this adapter
UPPAbabyVISTA and CRUZUse this adapter
UPPAbabyMINUNot compatible

You can check our ultimate Car Seat and Stroller compatibility guide for more details.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 back seat - Baby Gear Essentials

How Long is the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Good For?

Wondering how long is your Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 is good for? Just check the back of the seat to find its expiration date, it’s stamped on the actual seat.

The SnugRide Click Connect 35 is good for 7 years from the manufacturing date.

Important to Know

Infant car seats have an expiration date. You should never use a car seat that is passed its expiration date as the safety of your child will NOT be guaranteed.

Always check the label on your seat to make sure that it’s still good to be used. You can also read this article to understand why infant car seats expire.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35: What’s in the box

Wondering what’s in the box? Here’s everything that will be included in the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 on Amazon:

  • 1 x Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 infant car seat
  • 1 x Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 infant car seat LATCH base
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 infant car seat insert base - Baby Gear Essentials
Click Connect 35 car seat, with base and infant insert.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Price

You can buy the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 on Amazon. That’s the best deal that we’ve seen online.

Alternatives

By Graco:

  • The Snugride 30 is a slightly scaled-down version of the SnugRide Click Connect 35. The weight limit is lower, as is the price, but the seat is essentially the same ($$$).
  • The Snugride 35 LX, on the other hand, is a significant upgrade. We recommend the 35 LX over the 35 if you want to buy from Graco.

From other brands:

  • The Chicco KeyFit 30: the best infant car seat of the year for the same price than the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 (check price). You should only pick the Mico Max 30 over the KeyFit30 if you already have a compatible stroller with Maxi-Cosi.
  • The Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30: perfect if you already have a compatible stroller from Maxi-Cosi, Cybex, Nuna, Silver Cross or Quinny. Same price than the KeyFit 30 and very similar performances (check price).
  • The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio: the best infant car seat if you can stretch your budget. It comes with a European seat belt lock when used without its base. Perfect if you’re often taking taxis or Ubers (check price).

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Car Seat: Most Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question: Does it come with the Click Connect base?
    Answer: Yes. This model comes with the base in the package. You can also purchase the car seat and the Graco base separately if you prefer.
  • Question: Do you have to use the base with the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35?
    Answer: No. You can also install the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 without its base if needed. Just the seat belt as described above. The base will make it more secure and convenient if you’re installing the seat in your own car, however.
  • Question: Is the Graco SnugRide 35 Click Connect?
    Answer: Yes, the Graco SnugRide 35 is equipped with the Click Connect technology. Click Connect is a secure one-step way of attaching the infant car seats to all Graco’s Click Connect compatible strollers and car seat bases. Just place the car seat into a Click Connect stroller or the included car seat base and you’ll hear a ‘click’, letting you know it’s securely attached.
  • Question: Can the Graco be installed on an airplane seat?
    Answer: Yes, the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 is FAA approved. You can install the seat alone or the seat with its base on a plane seat using the lap seat belt. You can check that your car seat is FAA approved by looking for a sticker that says “This Restraint is Certified for Use in Motor Vehicles and Aircraft.” Flight attendants are trained to look for these stickers when someone is boarding the plane with an infant or toddler car seat.
  • Question: How much does the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 weight without the base?
    Answer: The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 weighs 7.5 lbs (3.4kg) without the base. It’s relatively light compared to other infant car seats that we reviewed.
  • Question: How many years is the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Good For?
    Answer: 7 years. The Graco infant car seats made after 2011 have an expiration date of 7 years from the manufactured date. Car seats produced before 2011 have a 6 years expiration date. You can see the expiration date on the label at the back of the seat.
  • Question: Can I attach the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 seat on a grocery cart?
    Answer: No, and you shouldn’t try to do that with any car seat. Placing an infant carrier on top of a shopping cart can be very dangerous. The safest place would be in the cart itself, facing towards you and reclined appropriately for your child to be comfortable.
  • Question: Has the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 ever been recalled?
    Answer: For recall information, call the U.S. Government’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.NHTSA.gov.
  • Question: What is the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 warranty?
    Answer: The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 comes with a one years warranty, that’s more than most of the competition. We recommend you contact Maxi-Cosi if you experience any issue with your model after purchase. You can call them during normal office hours or email their customer support team. Their response time is relatively quick.
  • Question: What is Graco’s customer service number?
    Answer: If you’re calling from the US, you can contact Graco by phone: 1-800-345-4109. Their email support center should get back to you within 24 hours.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Manual and User Guide

You can download the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 infant car seat user manual from here. You should also be able to find one stored within the car seat base.

About Graco

Graco was originally founded in 1942 by Russell Gray and Robert Cone as a metal fabrication shop manufacturing car parts in the United States. Graca later ventured into baby products. You can read more about Graco’s history here.

Further reading recommendations about Maxi-Cosi and infant car seat safety

We used several authoritative sources to help with our review of the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30. We recommend that you read them if you want to learn more about car seat safety in general. These are also great resources if you want to understand a particular aspect of child safety or want to stay up-to-date with the latest research.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Child Passenger Safety Board have excellent in-depth resources on car safety for children. We recommend you start there:

If you want to explore car safety even further, we recommend the following resources that were used when writing this article:

Images by Baby Gear Essentials and Chicco.

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