Graco Snugride 35: A real mom’s review

snugride 35

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There are (approximately) a gazillion car seats on the market these days. We chose to use the Graco Snug Ride 35 and never looked back. It clicked all of the boxes for us: easy to install, easy to use, and safe. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the Graco Snug Ride 35.

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Graco Snugride 35 Pros & Cons



Why I chose the Graco Snugride 35 Click Connect carseat system

With this car seat, Graco solved the problem of waking up the baby to move them.

My youngest sister is 7 years younger than I am, and I remember my parents agonizing over moving her from the car seat to the stroller when she fell asleep en route– she’d almost always wake up. Plus, it had to be secured with the seat belt every single time we would get in the car, and that took a while.

Fast forward 20 years and I saw the Snug Ride 35 in action after my cousin had her baby. I was hooked.

You just pull a handle and then the car seat clicks right out. Then, you can click it right into the stroller. Whoot!

It's safe and suitable for infants-- even if you have a preemie.

The Snug Ride 35 has been safety tested for infants who are 4 pounds and up.

Many car seats have a 5 pound minimum limit, but almost 10% of babies born in the US are preemies— and you often don’t know if your baby will be one. I wanted to be able to use my car seat right as soon as my son was able to leave the hospital— no matter what his size. I went into preterm labor at 35 weeks and my son could have been a preemie.

In the end, my son was born at 40 weeks so the minimum weight limit wasn’t an issue for us. But, it brought me peace of mind that we wouldn’t have had to buy another car seat if that had been the case.

We used this car seat to bring my son home from the hospital, and continued to use it until he hit the height limit for it, right before he turned 2. He’s on the upper end of the growth curve, so some children could fit in it for even longer than that.

Is the Graco Snugride 35 safety tested?


The Snug Ride 35 is JPMA Certified and ASTM Certified, so it safety tested and meets US federal safety requirements.

What are the weight & height limits of the Graco Snugride 35?

Height limit: 32 inches. Weight limits: 4-35 pounds

Magic Mom Hack

Note that it’s well advertised that children need a larger car seat when they exceed 35 pounds. For some reason, the height limit isn’t as well displayed for some reason. Be on the look out for that.

Is the Graco Snugride 35 easy to use?


That’s why I went with this Click Connect system. It simplified the whole car seat/stroller experience for us. I liked that the base was already installed in my car, so I just had to make sure it was clicked into the base and it was ready to go. Sometimes, the base gets wiggly and I would tighten the seat belt that secures it, but that was much less work than dealing with the seat belt every single time.

Plus, I loved being able to click the car seat into the stroller when my son was a newborn, too. Everything is such a production when you have a newborn, already, and this Click Connect system really simplified being out of the house for me as a new mom.

Can you use the Graco Snugride 35 without the base?


The base is super useful, but it’s not essential. If you need to, say, hop into a Lyft or if you are traveling– you do not need the car seat base. You can also securely attach it with the seat belt.

Magic Mom Hack

You can register for multiple bases on your baby registry!

We got 3 Click Connect bases– this one is compatible with all Graco car seats. We used one for my car and two for the grandparent’s cars. My husband installed the bases in their cars and then it was easy to just click them in, wherever we were.

Is the entire Click Connect system for the Graco Snugride 35 worth it?


We opted for the Graco Click Connect travel system, which comes with the car seat, base, and corresponding stroller. The infant car seat clicks right into the top of the stroller, so you don’t have to take your baby out of the car seat every time you get him out of the car.

If you’re looking for a light-weight stroller, the Graco Nimblelite Travel system could be your winner. 

Even once Eddie outgrew his infant car seat, we were able to use the stroller until he was 2 and a half years old. It’s lightweight, easy to fold, and has decent storage. We opted for this system because I wanted something that was extra portable for travel.

If you’re looking for a stroller that you can use through toddler-hood, the Graco Modes Travel System could be your winner. 

This set comes comes with a larger stroller that can hold a child up to 50 pounds.

graco snugride 35 stroller with a toddler eating snacks
We opted for the lightweight stroller option. Even when our son was a toddler, he fit in it with enough room to bring a stuffed friend.

Are there any major downsides to the Graco Snugride 35?

I didn't find any deal breakers.

Sometimes, I had to pull the lever to release the car seat two or three times because I couldn’t get the angle right. But that was really just a user-error issue.

Graco Snugride 35 car seat accessories

We decided to add a few car seat accessories. Note that, as explained by Heather Marcoux in Motherly, “Aftermarket, third-party accessories can void car seat warranties and, even worse, make babies less safe.” The accessories below aren’t actually for use while driving, but instead for convenience when out and about.

Carseat cover

I used an original car seat canopy from Canopy Couture. Even though my son has outgrown his infant car seat, I still keep this thing in the car as a blanket. Note that they do have full sets that have pieces that you put in the actual car seat itself. I don’t recommend these, since they are considered after market additions and could be unsafe for your little and affect your car seat safety.

These do come with a hefty price tag, but there are often online coupons for them that can make them more affordable.

snugride 35

Magic Mom Hack

I purchased a stretchy car seat cover (in addition to the blanket-style one shown above) that was supposedly also a nursing cover. For me, it was a waste of money. I didn’t like that it went around the entire car seat, and it was much too small in my experience to actually work as a nursing cover.

Babies will start tracking objects with their eyes very soon after birth. As explained by the American Optometric Association, newborn’s “primary focus is on objects 8 to 10 inches from their face or the distance to parent’s face.” Putting other items in this range can give them extra practice utilizing their growing optic muscles. I loved this spiral one for the car seat, and this one was great because I could also use it on the stroller.

If you’re interested in other infant toys that can actually be used by newborns, check out my comprehensive post here.

Car seat toys are a great way to promote healthy development! If you push them back when the car is in motion, they won't bump your little one in the face (wanna know how I learned THAT one)?
Our stroller and car seat set was the first “big purchase” we made when I was pregnant. I’m glad that the Graco Snugride 35 worked so well for us– we were besides ourselves with excitement when it came, looking at it in our living room while my baby was growing in my belly.

*big happy sigh* Cheers, to parenthood and all of the kid accessories that come along with it.

If you’d like to check out my other favorite Mom-Tested baby products, click here for more.

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