Graco snugride 35 2010

The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 infant car seat first joined the extensive Graco family of child restraints back in 2005. Since then it’s been through a few iterations, one of which was to lower the minimum weight range from 5 to 4 pounds to better fit preemies.

The newer seats also have a longer expiration (7 years instead of 6) to better allow for extended rear-riding (to 2 years old) according to the AAP’s recommendation. The ClickConnect technology was designed to make it easy to attach to both a base and stroller with one step.

It’s on the upper range in prices among the other Graco SnugRide models, but it’s still a pretty affordable seat compared 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 Click Connect 35 worth the investment, and is it a safe and reliable seat for your baby? Let’s break down the stats so you can decide for yourself.

Key Features of the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35

  • 4 color options
  • 7 year lifespan
  • FAA approved
  • Can install without the base
  • 2 places to adjust harness length
  • One crotch strap/buckle position
  • 3 harness height positions
  • Adjustable base
  • EPS foam throughout entire upper shell
  • Machine washable covers (drip dry)
  • Large, rotating canopy
  • Carry handle can be left upright in the car

What are the child size limits for the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35?

The 35 in the product name applies to the maximum weight range for this seat – 35 pounds. That’s becoming a fairly standard max weight in car seats, but there are still models like 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)
  • Height range: Up to 32 inches (or until head is 1″ below top of seat)

While the SnugRide 30 has matching weight and height numbers of 30 pounds and 30 inches, the height limit of the SnugRide 35 tops out at only 32 inches. Some parents noted that the infant insert in the SnugRide 30 and 35 didn’t seem to have enough head support for newborns.

There is another version called the SnugRide 35 LX with an infant insert that better restricts head movement. So if you will be driving on bumpy, curvy roads, the LX model may be a better option for your newborn.

How big is the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 and will it fit in your vehicle?

The best thing size-wise is that this seat will likely fit in the backseat of most compact and other small cars. The only real issue with size we found involved the weight of the seat.

A few parents noted a weight discrepancy from Graco’s reported weight for the carrier. While they list the SnugRide 35 as 7.5 pounds, parents reported the weight as 9 – 9.5 pounds. It’s unclear if this included the infant insert or any other accessories.

A couple of pounds difference isn’t much until your baby is approaching 10 pounds. Some parents found this to be the case. You might find your arm getting really tired if you try to tote the carrier around for very long.

Buying this seat as part of the would be a good idea if you want to use the carrier outside the car. The stroller is a slim profile, lightweight (just 22 pounds) three-wheeled model. It will hold your child well after they outgrow the car seat, up to 50 pounds.

Note: Customers have reported that this seat will only attach to Graco Click Connect strollers and not older Graco strollers.

How safe is the Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 35?

This car seat has been crash tested to meet and exceed US federal car seat safety standards. Graco has its own safety testing facility in Georgia and a program called SafeSeat Engineering, with standards that meet or exceed government test requirements. Additionally, they focus on 3 key areas: catastrophic crashes, extreme environments, and side impacts.

Graco seats are constructed with materials that can perform differently in different temperatures. Most safety tests are performed at room temperature, but they also test at temperatures of 0 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, several parents noted that the SnugRide 35 wasn’t as breathable as other models, so their child’s back ended up really sweaty on warm days.

Real-life crash experience: In 2015, a mother reported that her car went off the highway and rolled down a hill. Her 6-month old baby was unharmed while riding in this seat.

What we noted from several reports was that there seem to have been changes in quality control since the pre-2011 models (those that had minimum 5 pound weight). Parents who owned the earlier models and the more recent ones have said the new versions of the SnugRide 35 feel cheaper overall, with less padding and lower quality fabric.

Possible design flaw: Some parents reported that the seat often got stuck when trying to remove it from the base, so they weren’t always able to use the carrier. Also, a few parents discovered that just because they heard the “click” when putting the seat in the base didn’t always mean the base was attached. So don’t depend on hearing the “click” – always check that the seat is attached 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 were new to car seats thought the seat was easy to install and use. However, parents who had used earlier versions of this seat or other car seat brands noted various flaws in both design and installation.

The LATCH system may be harder to use than it should be. The clip-style LATCH anchors are difficult to attach to U-shaped vehicle anchors and removing them (especially if you have anchors that are deep in the backseat cushion and hard 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 the seat to feel secure.

Another issue some people had was with the canopy. Oftentimes, it couldn’t be used with the carrier handle still up. This could be a pain on really sunny or rainy days, especially in summer if it’s too hot to cover your baby with a blanket.

One good thing to note about installation is the adjustable recline feature on the base. There’s a color coded guide to help you get the right angle on the seat for baby’s age (newborn to 3 mon & 3 mon +). That’s a fairly unique feature among infant car seats.

Possible design flaws: Depending on your backseat, you may still have to use rolled up towels to achieve the proper angle, particularly for a newborn with little to no head/neck control. We were surprised that this is also advised in the user manual, which is not something car seat manufacturers usually recommend.

It also would seem that the SnugRide 35 doesn’t have a no-rethread harness, which means you’ll have to remove the harness straps from the slots and rethread them in higher slots as your child grows. While perhaps a minor inconvenience, it is worth noting.

Best Car Seat Hub’s final verdict

  • Fairly affordable
  • Fits in most small vehicles
  • Adjustable recline feature
  • Allows for extended rear-facing (up to 35 pounds)
  • Large canopy
  • Machine washable cover
  • FAA Approved
  • Fits with all Graco Click Connect strollers

  • Infant insert may not offer good head support
  • Carrier may be heavier than product specs list
  • Canopy cannot easily be used while handle is up
  • Carrier may get stuck in base
  • “One-click” base attach may be unreliable
  • Harness requires rethreading for height adjustment
  • LATCH system may be difficult to use
  • Fabric may not be breathable

Final thoughts

The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 is proven to perform safely in both crash tests and real-life crashes. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a disappointment with some design and installation features.

If you have a preemie, the infant insert that comes with this seat may not offer enough head support. Using after-market inserts is not something we’d recommend, but you could call Graco and see if they have an alternative infant insert.

The SnugRide 35 will most likely fit in your vehicle, which is a big plus. Depending on the angle of your backseat, however, you might need some rolled up towels under the base to get it to the right angle.

The LATCH installation (and removal) can be a pain if you have an older vehicle with hidden LATCH anchors. It shouldn’t be an issue with newer models of cars, but you can install the seat securely with just the seat belt.

The price is decent for this car seat, and if you have a newer, smaller car, the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 could be a good option for you. Otherwise, it might be a good idea to shop around before deciding on this one.

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Graco buckle recall: Find out if your car seat is among 1.9 million recalled

DETROIT

Graco Children’s Products is recalling 1.9 million infant car seats, bowing to demands from U.S. safety regulators, in what is now the largest seat recall in American history.

The recall, announced Tuesday, comes after a five-month spat between Graco and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Earlier this year the company recalled 4.2 million toddler seats because the harness buckles can get stuck. But it resisted the agency’s demand to recall the infant seats.

Buckles can get gummed up by food and drinks, and that could make it hard to remove children. In some cases parents had to cut harnesses to get their kids out. The agency says that increases the risk of injuries in emergencies.

Graco argued that infant seats are used differently, and in an emergency, an adult can remove the whole seat rather than using the buckle.

When Graco announced the initial recall in February, NHTSA sent the company a sternly worded letter questioning why the infant seats weren’t included. The agency said parents have filed complaints with the agency and the company about stuck buckles on the infant seats.

The letter also accused the company of soft-pedaling the recall with “incomplete and misleading” documents that will be seen by consumers. The agency threatened civil penalties.

But Graco, a division of Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid Inc., told The Associated Press at the time that rear-facing infant seats weren’t being recalled because infants don’t get food or drinks on their seats. Graco had agreed to send replacement buckles to owners of infant seats upon request.

In a June 27 letter to NHTSA, however, Graco said that further investigation showed a “higher than typical level of difficulty” in unlatching the infant seat buckles.

The company says there have been no injuries reported because of the problem. Spokeswoman Ashley Mowrey said in a statement that Tuesday’s move, which brings the recall to 6.1 million seats, comes after months of sharing data and research with NHTSA. The company said the recall “is in the best interest of consumers and underscores our shared commitment to child passenger safety.”

Infant-seat models covered by Tuesday’s recall include the SnugRide, SnugRide Classic Connect (including Classic Connect 30 and 35), SnugRide 30, SnugRide 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40, and Aprica A30. They were manufactured between July 2010 and May 2013, according to NHTSA.

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Graco will replace the buckles for free. Graco also is offering to send free replacement buckles to any customer, even those with seats not being recalled.

The company says owners can check to see if their seats are included by going to www.GracoBuckleRecall.com or by calling (877) 766-7470.

When we published our review of the , I proclaimed it “King” of all the SnugRide models in the Graco Kingdom. And while it’s good to be King, sometimes being Queen is just as good, or even better. I like to think of the as the Queen of the SnugRide Kingdom.

You might be wondering how many SnugRides there are in Graco Land? By my last count there are now 8 (Yes, EIGHT!) different “Click Connect” Graco SnugRide infant carseat models. If you want to understand the differences between them – see our SnugRide comparison guide here:

The Graco SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect model is available at Amazon, Kohls, BuyBuyBaby & select specialty retailers. This particular model comes with an optional newborn body support insert (only for babies less than 12 lbs.) and optional harness strap covers. 2016 SnugRide 35 LX models are available in several fashions including “Harris“, “Studio” and “Rittenhouse” .

Base Compatibility:

The SnugRide® Click Connect™ 30, 35 and 35 LX infant car seat carriers are only compatible with the standard SnugRide® Click Connect™ infant car seat base (no lock-off) and the premium SnugRide® Click Connect™ LX infant car seat base (with lock-off).

for $49 -$59. This carrier can also be used with the (the Click Connect base without the lock-off). The Click Connect carseat models cannot be used with any “Classic Connect” Graco bases.

Stroller Compatibility:

Click Connect SnugRide infant carseats are compatible with all . Just as the name implies – the car seat clicks securely into the compatible Graco stroller to create a “travel system”. The Graco SnugRider Elite is a great option if you want a lightweight snap-n-go type product.

If you need a double stroller that can accommodate one or two SnugRide click connect infant carseats, the and the can both get the job done nicely.

SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect Specs & Features:

  • Rear-facing only: 4-35 lbs, 32″ or less and top of child’s head at least 1″ below top of headrest
  • No-rethread harness (15 height positions)
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle position
  • Energy-absorbing EPS foam lines entire headrest and sides of shell
  • Adjustable base (6 positions)
  • Lock-off on base for installations using seatbelt
  • Can be installed without base
  • FAA approved for use in an airplane
  • 7 year lifespan before expiration

The SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect has all the important bases covered when it comes to features. In addition to everything mentioned above, it has the following convenience features:

  • Easy to attach and remove carrier from base
  • Handle can be in any locked position while in the vehicle
  • Generous canopy
  • Thick harness straps aren’t likely to twist
  • Adjustable crotch strap length for smaller babies and preemies
  • Click Connect technology provides one-step secure attachment to all Graco Click Connect strollers
  • Machine washable cover (wash separately in cold water, delicate cycle, mild detergent – drip dry)

How to shorten the crotch strap length for smaller newborns: Start with the crotch strap in the inner-most position; take the metal anchor from the back of the shell and route it up into the opening for the 2nd buckle/crotch strap position.

SR 35 LX Click Connect Measurements:

  • Lowest harness slot height with lower body insert: 7″
  • Tallest harness height setting: 12″
  • Crotch strap/buckle positions: 4.5″ and 6″
  • Internal shell height when head rest fully extended: 21″
  • Width of carrier at widest point: 18″
  • Width of base at beltpath: 8.25″
  • Width of base at widest point: 14.5″
  • Length of footprint on base: 18″
  • Carrier weight: 10.0 lbs (according to my digital bathroom scale)

Fit-to-Child Comments:

The low bottom harness slots combined with the inner buckle position and the adjustable crotch strap length help this new SR35 LX model fit the vast majority of newborns and even preemies very well.

The lower body support insert is optional but probably helpful for smaller newborns. Discontinue use of the lower body insert once the baby weighs 12 lbs. The harness strap covers are purely optional and remove quickly and easily because they have Velcro on one side. For what it’s worth, I almost always remove the harness strap covers on a newborn (if they’re optional) because they just tend to get in the way more than anything else.

4 lbs., 17″ preemie doll with crotch strap length shortened (body insert used, harness strap covers removed):

Tip: In order to lower the headrest all the way you will need to fold back the flap that goes behind baby. If you don’t fold it back and tuck it under it may prevent you from moving the headrest all the way down to the lower height settings.

20″ Newborn-Sized Doll: No inserts needed; crotch strap not shortened

Older Babies & Toddlers: (Headrest fully extended to max height position)

11 months, 24 lbs, 28.5″ tall

14 months, 25 lbs, 30.5″ tall

Even though both of these children are far from the 35 lbs. max weight limit you can see that both are getting close to outgrowing the seat by height. It’s hard to gauge exactly how much time and growing room each of these toddlers has left in this particular seat but she may hit the 32″ stated height limit first and he may outgrow the seat by the 1″ rule before he reaches the 32″ limit.

Installation Comments:

If you read and follow the instruction manual – the SR35 LX Click Connect is generally easy to install properly regardless of whether you are using your vehicle’s lower LATCH anchors or the seatbelt. FYI – only use one method of attachment. Do not install the base with both LATCH & seatbelt.

Finding the correct recline angle in your vehicle:

The base angle adjusts to 6 different positions. Turn the red knob to change positions. The base adjustment setting you need will depend on the slope of your vehicle seat cushion. Vehicle seats that are very flat will require a different recline setting on the base than vehicle seats that are very sloped. For a newborn you want the most reclined position you can achieve without seeing any orange in the indicator window. If you start off with the maximum recline (foot on base extended all the way) and you see a bit of orange in the indicator window then back track (one notch at a time) until you see only see light blue in the indicator window. If you see any dark blue in the window, the seat is too upright for a newborn and you need to adjust the recline position. For older babies and toddlers with good head and neck control the angle can be adjusted so the child sits more upright. Most older babies and toddlers prefer a more upright position.

Base installation using lower LATCH anchors:

The SR35 LX has basic, hook-style lower LATCH anchor connectors. The LATCH connectors are stored on the sides of the base when not in use – the hooks don’t actually click shut when attached to their storage location but they seem relatively secure anyway.

To install the base using the LATCH connectors – make sure the base is adjusted to the appropriate recline angle before you begin the installation. After connecting the hooks to the lower anchors in your vehicles, check that the LATCH strap isn’t twisted and route the loose tail end of the LATCH strap back through the belt path into the center of the base before pulling to tighten. The LATCH strap goes OVER the closed lock-off.

Installing the SR35 LX in the center seating position of your backseat using LATCH: use of lower LATCH anchors in the center seating position with non-standard spacing (more than 11″ apart) is allowed only if your vehicle owner’s manual specifically allows it. If your vehicle manufacturer doesn’t allow a LATCH installation in the center seating position then install the base with the seatbelt instead. Seatbelt installations are just as safe and just as easy with this base.

Base installation using seatbelt:

The SR35 LX base can be installed quickly and easily with a seatbelt thanks to the sturdy lock-off device. Using the lock-off is required if installing this base with seatbelt. See the video below for my installation techniques that will help you to install this seat quickly and properly with either LATCH or seatbelt.

Inflatable Seat Belts
Graco has determined that the SnugRide 35 LX cannot be installed with inflatable seat belts found in some Ford, Lincoln, and Mercedes vehicles, and in some airplane seat belts. Install the base using the LATCH strap instead.

However, Graco DOES allow the carrier only to be installed without the base using Ford Motor Company inflatable seat belts. Follow your instruction manual and do not thread the shoulder belt through the belt path.

Installation without the base:

The SnugRide 35 LX can also be installed safely without the base. The carrier is secured directly to the vehicle with the seatbelt. This is very handy if you’re traveling by taxi or airplane. No need to lug the base around with you! However, you have to know how to lock the seatbelt in the vehicle that you’re going to be in because there is no lock-off on the carrier itself. On an airplane it’s easy because you have a lap-only belt with a nice locking latchplate. All you do is thread the seatbelt through the guides and pull it tight. Easy peasy!

A taxi is a little more complicated because you will have a lap/shoulder seatbelt that you will need to use to install the carrier. In my vehicle (pictured below and also used in the installation video), the lap/shoulder belt has a switchable retractor which I use to lock the seatbelt so the carseat stays installed tightly and cannot wiggle loose. Not all vehicle seatbelts have switchable retractors but most do.

When the lap/shoulder belt is routed correctly – it will look like this:

SnugRide 35 LX Advantages:

  • Fits a wide range of baby sizes
  • Extended usage thanks to a larger-than-average carrier combined with generous weight & height limits
  • Easy to install properly with base (seatbelt or LATCH installation)
  • Center LATCH installation with non-standard spacing allowed as long as vehicle manufacturer specifically allows
  • Base with lock-off for quick and easy seatbelt installation
  • Easy to use correctly
  • No-rethread harness with 15 height positions
  • Energy-absorbing EPS foam lines sides of shell and adjustable head support
  • Generous canopy
  • Cover is machine washable – cold water, delicate cycle, no bleach, drip dry
  • Quick and secure attachment to all Graco “Click Connect” strollers

SnugRide 35 LX Disadvantages: (In all fairness, these aren’t necessarily problems but I list them here to inform potential consumers of specific SR35 LX issues)

  • Can take up a lot of real estate in the back seat
  • Lacks premium push-on LATCH connectors
  • Carrier isn’t lightweight but 10 lbs. is reasonable for such a large infant seat
  • Harness straps can’t be removed or replaced because of the way the no-rethread harness is designed and attached
  • Not compatible with older Graco strollers
  • Made in China – but to be fair, so are most other infant carseats

The Bottom Line:

The offers many safety and convenience features at a reasonable price point which is why it’s on our list of Recommended Seats! The no-rethread harness on the carrier combined with the lock-off on the base set the LX model apart from the regular SnugRide 35 Click Connect. The carrier on this model is almost identical to the SnugRide 40 carrier. The main differences between the SR40 Click Connect and the SR35 LX Click Connect are the weight & height limits and the different bases.

Just keep in mind that this is not a compact infant seat. If you drive a smaller vehicle and/or if you’re tall and need lots of leg room up front – please make sure you try before you buy! Actually, that’s our standard sage advice for any carseat purchase. If try before you buy isn’t possible – at the very least hold onto the box and the receipt until you’re sure this seat is going to fit in your vehicle.

The Graco SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect is on our updated list of Recommended Carseats! Since it fits preemie and low birthweight babies well, the SR35 LX is also on our separate list of Recommended Infant Carseats for Preemies & Multiples.

Thank you Graco for generously supplying the SnugRide 35 LX for this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are those of CarseatBlog.