The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 infant car seat first joined the extensive Graco family of child restraints back in 2005.
Since that time it has been through several iterations, one of which was to lower the minimal weight range from 5 to 4 pounds to better match preemies.
The newer seats also have a longer expiry (7 years instead of 6) to allow for extended rear-riding (to 2 years old) according to the AAP’s recommendation. The ClickConnect technologies were created to make it easy to attach to both a stroller and base with a single step.
It’s on the top range in costs one of the other Graco SnugRide models, but it’s still a pretty reasonably priced seat in contrast to similar models of other brands. While not a huge investment for most families, you still want to get what you pay for.
Is the Graco SnugRide Clicking Connect 35 worth the investment, and is it a secure and trustworthy seat for your baby? Let us break down the stats so that you can decide for yourself.
Key Features of the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat
- 4 colour Choices
- 7-year lifespan
- FAA accepted
- Can install without the base
- 2 locations to adjust harness length
- 3 harness height positions
- One crotch strap/buckle position
- Flexible base
- EPS foam during the entire upper shell
- Machine washable covers (drip dry)
- Large, rotating duplex
- Carry handle could be left upright in the car
What are the child-size limits for the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35?
The 35 in the product title applies to the maximum weight range with this particular seat — 35 pounds. That’s getting a fairly standard Max weight in car seats, but there are still versions such as the SnugRide 30 that max out at 30 pounds. But 35 pounds does allow for extended rear-facing to age 2 or older.
Weight range: 4 – 35 pounds (rear-facing only)
maximum Height range: Up to 32 inches (or till the head is 1″ below the top of seat)
Though the SnugRide 30 has fitting weight and height amounts of 30 pounds and 30 inches, the height limitation of this SnugRide 35 tops out in just 32 inches. Some parents noted that the infant insert from the SnugRide 30 and 35 didn’t seem to have sufficient head support for newborns.
There is yet another version called the SnugRide 35 LX having an infant insert which better limits head movement. So in case you are going to be driving on bumpy, curvy streets, the LX version could possibly be a better choice for your newborn.
How big is the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 and will it fit in your vehicle?
- Carrier weight: 7.5 pounds
- Weight w/ base: 14.17 pounds
- Seat depth: 30.67 inches
- Seat width (outer): 18.66 inches
- Seat height: 15.59 inches
- Seat width (inside): 11.75 inches
- Lowest harness slot: 6 inches w/ infant insert
- Harness slots without insert: 7 inches, 9.5 inches, 11.5 inches
- Width of the base at belt path (width needed in the back seat): 9.5 inches
The very best thing size-wise is that this seat will probably fit in the backseat of the majority of compact and other small cars. The only real issue with dimensions we found involved the weight of the seat.
Some parents noted that a weight discrepancy from Graco’s reported weight for the carrier. While they record the SnugRide 35 as 7.5 pounds, parents reported that the weight as 9 — 9.5 pounds. It is uncertain if this comprised the infant insert or any additional accessories.
A few pounds difference is not much until your baby is approaching 10 pounds. Some parents found this to be the case. You may find your arm getting very tired if you try to tote the carrier around for quite long.
Purchasing this seat as part of the Graco Aire3 Click Connect Travel System would be a good idea if you would like to use the carrier beyond the car. The stroller is a slender profile, lightweight (only 22 pounds) three-wheeled version. It will hold your kid well when they outgrow the car seat, up to 50 pounds.
How safe is the Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 35?
This car seat has been crashing tested to meet and surpass US federal car seat safety criteria. Graco includes its own safety testing centre in Georgia and also a program called SafeSeat Engineering, together with criteria that meet or surpass government evaluation requirements.
Furthermore, they focus on 3 key areas: catastrophic crashes, extreme environments, and side effects.
Graco seats are constructed with materials that could perform differently in different temperatures. Most security tests are performed at room temperature, but they also test at temperatures of 0 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, many parents noted that the SnugRide 35 was not as flexible as other versions, so their child’s back ended up quite sweaty on hot days.
Real-life crash experience: In 2015, a mother reported that her car went off the street and rolled down a hill. Her 6-month old infant was unharmed while riding in this seat.
What we noticed from several reports was that there seem to have been changed in quality management because of the pre-2011 versions (those who had minimal 5-pound weight). Parents who owned the earlier versions and also the more recent ones have stated the new versions of the SnugRide 35 feel more economical overall, with less padding and lower quality cloth.
Possible design defect: Some parents noted that the seat frequently got stuck when trying to eliminate it in the base, so they weren’t always able to utilize the carrier. Also, a few parents found that just because they heard that the”click” when placing the seat in the base didn’t always signify the base was attached. Therefore don’t depend on hearing the”click” — always check the seat is connected by pulling straight up on it.
How easy is the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 to use and install?
This seems to depend on who you ask. Many parents who have been new to car seats thought the seat was easy to install and use. However, parents who had used prior versions of this seat or other car seat brands noted various flaws in both design and installation.
The LATCH system may be more difficult to use than it ought to be. The clip-style LATCH anchors are hard to attach to U-shaped vehicle anchors and removing them (especially in the event that you have anchors that are heavy in the backseat pillow and difficult to see) is a pain in the neck.
Once you have the LATCH clips attached, it may be hard to tighten the straps enough for your seat to feel protected.
Another difficulty some people had was with the canopy. Oftentimes, it couldn’t be properly used with the carrier manage still up. This could be a pain on very sunny or rainy days, particularly in summer when it is too hot to cover the baby with a blanket.
One good thing to note about installation is that the adjustable recline feature on the base. There’s a colour-coded guide that will assist you to get the ideal angle to the seat for baby’s age (newborn to 3 men & 3 mon +). That is a rather distinctive feature among infant car seats.
Possible design defects: depending upon your backseat, you may still need to use rolled-up towels to accomplish the proper angle, especially for a newborn with little to no head/neck control. We were surprised that this can also be recommended in the user guide, which isn’t something car seat makers usually recommend.
Additionally, it would seem that the SnugRide 35 does not possess a no-rethread harness, which means you’ll have to remove the harness straps from the slots and rethread them into greater slots because your child grows. While maybe a minor annoyance, it’s worth noting.
Drsufisparenting final verdict
- Fairly Inexpensive
- Fits in most tiny vehicles
- Adjustable recline feature
- Allows for extended rear-facing (around 35 lbs )
- Large canopy
- Machine washable cover
- FAA Approved
- Fits with all Graco Click Connect strollers
- Infant insert may not offer Decent head support
- Carrier may be thicker than product specs list
- The canopy cannot easily be utilized while the handle is upward
- Carrier may get stuck in the base
- “One-click” base attaches may be undependable
- Harness requires rethreading for height adjustment
- LATCH system may be difficult to use
- Fabric may not be breathable
The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 is proving to perform securely in the two crash tests and real-life crashes. Regrettably, it is a bit of a disappointment with some design and setup features.
When you’ve got a preemie, the infant insert that includes this seat may not offer enough head assistance. Using after-market inserts is not something we would recommend, but you could call Graco and see whether they’ve got an alternative infant insert.
The SnugRide 35 will probably fit in your car or truck, which is a large plus. Based on the angle of your backseat, however, you may need some rolled-up towels under the base to get it to the right angle.
The LATCH installation (and removal) may be a pain if you have an older vehicle with concealed LATCH anchors. It shouldn’t be an issue with newer versions of cars, however, you are able to install the seat securely with only the seat belt.
The cost is decent for this particular car seat, and in case you have a newer, smaller car, the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 could be a fantastic option for you. Otherwise, it might be a good idea to look around before deciding on this one.
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