I must say I am really writing this review because of the self supported canopy. I have seen and used many other strollers and car seats with annoying canopies that latch to the back of the head rest and come out a certain distance. While this is a standard design, I hate it. Unless the canopy is really huge, it is basically useless, because unless you live on the equator, the sun always comes in at an angle. The Graco Snugride 35 has a self supporting canopy frame. So the canopy can be adjusted as far forward as you’d like and still maintain its structure. This is such a great feature to keep sun light, wind, and all sorts of weather off the baby, regardless of what angle it’s coming in at. Sure other car seats let you unlatch the canopy from the back and move it forward, but then the back of the canopy droops down because it has no support.
I love the harness on this seat. First off it has the individual side clips that can be buckled in separately, so there is no fancy finger work trying to get the two sides together and then snap it in. Second, the harness is easily loosened by depressing the clamp and pulling the harness away from the baby. This makes for easier access to the baby. Just in case you were worried, when the seat is snapped into the base, even if you depress the clamp, the harness won’t budge. Safety feature I guess. I had a car seat prior to this one that was just incredibly difficult to loosen the harness, so annoying. I do say the chest plate seems a little large for a newborn, but my 7lb 7ounce son does just fine (he’s now 8lb 4ounces).
I love how long this should last. It seems so stupid to buy a car seat that can only be used a few months. 35 lbs and 32 inches should make life a little easier. However, this feature causes a little more weight, which I will discuss later.
I am coming from and Eddie Bauer car seat to this car seat and owe my, the difference is like night and day. I don’t know what Eddie was thinking, but their base was so wobbly when installed it was like placing the car seat on a took pick and praying it didn’t tip over around a curve (Yes, I put all my weight on it and tightened it real tight). When I installed the Graco Carseat, which was a breeze to do, it felt sturdy before I even gave it a big tightening pull. And to add the security, the base has an angle adjustment knob which causes the plate on the bottom, called the `foot’ to move downward by twisting the knob on top. I did this after I tightened the base in. This increase in height tightened the base even more. That base doesn’t move an inch, or even a millimeter. The only thing I’m worried about, is the nice square imprint the foot will leave on the seat of my car, lol. Oh well, the safety of my child is way more important.
The extra handle position is another plus for me. Most car seats have 2 positions in which the handle snaps. One spot is the carrying position and the other is at the head rest. The Graco Snugride 35 has and extra one in between. It’s not really a big deal, but it’s just one of those things that makes life a little easier. Mostly I like to set it in that position when he’s in the car so that the handle doesn’t block my mirror set up.
Design is awesome, soft and sturdy. My wife loves the print. So do I since it’s pretty neutral and we are planning on having more kids. I love the newborn head rest. It’s seems more plump and effective than others, but I do agree with the other review that it could be plumper as there’s still plenty of room for the newborn head to move around. We just add a small rolled up towel around his head for now. In about a month, I imagine it will be the perfect size.
I love the rubber and the bottom of the car seat. It makes me feel so much more at ease when I put him down on a slick surface. Also it still has a curve to it so you can rock the car seat if you’d like.
This car seat works with the Graco SnugGlider, which I am so happy with right now. My son will cry (sometimes) when I first put into the car seat, but as soon as he’s situated, it’s off to a peaceful sleep. He doesn’t like being still though for very long. So we either place the car seat on the swing or hurry up and get to the car. Not sure why, but car rides put our baby at peace like nothing else. Perhaps it’s the vibrations, I don’t know, but they need to make a car simulator for babies, lol. Anyways, since he sleeps so well in the car, we love the fact that when we get home, we don’t have to take him out of the car seat and wake him up. Instead, we just attach the car seat to the SnugGlider and it keeps the motion feeling going which keeps the baby asleep. The swing does have a vibrating setting on it, I just haven’t used it yet, probably should try that out. Anyways, the ability to turn the car seat into a swing and not have to take out the baby (which usually wakes him) is just so nice.
Well, I put this in the cons area, but it doesn’t really bother me. I’ve read many reviews about car seats, and the one thing people complain about and take away stars for is the weight of a car seat. I tried out a few car seats and determined that these people are stupid idiots. This car seat may be a little bit more then the lightest ones out there, but those light ones won’t hold as much weight as the heavier ones. And my goodness, we are talking about a few pounds difference. If you want to down grade something for weight alone, why don’t you take a star away from your baby for every pound he/she gains. When the baby weighs 25lbs, the weight of the car seat should be a breeze. The best way to make things seem lighter is to do arm curls and work up your muscles, either that order a carbon fiber car seat. But I’m sure there still people who want to know about the weight. At 9.4 pounds it basically doubles the weight of your newborn. Both my wife and I are able to carry it around without much hassle. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go on long walks with the car seat. But carrying it into a store or for a short period of time isn’t a big deal. If he’s gonna be traveling with me, I’ll put him into his stroller.
- Self Supported Canopy (Big plus for me)
- Easy to adjust harness
- Up to 35lbs and 32 inches
- Sturdy Base with adjustable angle
- Extra handle position
- Great design (haven’t seen the other designs, Brunswick and Flint)
- Rubber on base to prevent slippage
- Works with the Graco SnugGlider Swing
- On the heavy side of car seats
This is really a great car seat. I am very glad with my purchase and would highly recommend it to anyone with a new baby.
UPDATE, 17 July:
My son is now 5 months old and we have been using this car seat the whole time. He is almost 18 lbs and 27 inches yet still has room to grow in this seat. I predict we’ll be using it at least another 3 months before it’s time for a new older baby car seat. This makes me so glad I purchased this car seat. Yes there are lighter car seats out there, but my son would already be pushing the limit on most of those. There is no way those lighter car seats could be used as long as this one can.
I also wanted to address one issue I’ve seen arise with this car seat, and that is the width of it. It is a little wider than most car seats which may or may not be a problem for you. We have found, as others have, that it doesn’t fit into those standard wooden highchairs at some restaurants. However, we have hardly found this to be a problem and here’s why; Many restaurants, such as IHop and Applebees, are moving away from the old wooden highchairs and now have new plastic transforming stools or slings, which this car seat works great in. Even when we have ended up at a restaurant that still uses the old ones, we were still able to find another solution and it has never been a big deal. I would not turn down this car seat for that reason. Regardless of the added width, it still fits in any Graco Snugride swing or stroller and many places now have highchairs or swings capable of handling a wider car seat.
Aside from that, my wife and I still love this car seat and are glad we didn’t pick another lighter one, especially since we couldn’t even use a smaller lighter one now. Get better bang for your buck and be willing to lift an extra 2 or 3 lbs.
- Helps protect rear-facing infants from 5-35 lbs. and up to 32 inches
- Top rated by leading consumer magazines and publications
- Rigorously crash tested to meet or exceed U.S. safety standards
- Side-impact tested* (*In addition to meeting or exceeding all applicable US safety standards, the SnugRide® 35 has been side impact tested for occupant retention by the harness system.)
- EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management
- Removable infant head support cushions baby’s head
- Convenient, LATCH-equipped stay-in-car base with one-hand dial adjustment
- Base features integrated belt lock-off for easier seat belt installation* (*versus using the locking clip)
- Easy-to-read level indicator helps eliminate installation guesswork
- 5-point, front-adjust harness helps you get baby in and out
- Compatibility with most Graco strollers lets you create custom-built travel systems