Updated Auguest 17, 2018
The Snugride line of Graco car seats has over 15 different models with a confusing range of convenience and safety features. They include the SnugRide Click Connect 30 and 35 series, the SnugRide SnugLock 30 and 35 series, and tons of different versions of these. These versions are called things like XT, LX, DLX, Platinum, Platinum XT, Elite, Elite with Safety Surround, Platinum with TrueShield, and more. It's enough to confuse anyone trying to find baby gear for their new little one!
The good news is that we're here to help. We've done tons of research on the Graco car seats, and built a series of Snugride comparison charts to help you understand what you're getting with each model. The Graco Snugride line is not only daunting to figure out, but also the best-selling line of infant car seats on the market for several years in a row. That's because they're lightweight, safe, and have features and price-points that can match anyone's needs. Want the modern InRight LATCH system? How about the SimplySafe no-rethread harness and headrest? Or do you really care about the SafetyCore, Safety Surround, or True Shield technologies?
Our buying guide can help you figure out exactly which Graco snugride car seat is perfect for your needs and your budget. If you're looking for our overall best-rated infant car seats for the year, see our best infant car seats buying guide here. Feature for feature, the top of the line Graco Snugride (the Snuglock 25 Platinum XT) is about $250. In our opinion, for that high of a price you'd be better off with the Chicco Fit2 or the Britax B-Safe 35 Elite. But you're here because you want a Snugride, so let's get to it!
First, let's review the Graco Snugride models. The below comparison chart tells you the large differences between the four primary Snugride models. Note that the Snugride Click Connect 40 was discontinued, so it's not included in this comparison table:
Next, we'll review the 7 various types of Graco Snugride SnugLock 35 versions: Base versus XT versus DLX versus Elite versus Elite with Safety Surround versus Platinum versus Platinum XT. Before we get into the more specific comparison charts, here is a list of Graco Snugride features, so you know what it all means.
- What is the Graco Click Connect System? The Graco Click Connect system means that the car seat can fit into any Graco base or stroller that also uses Click Connect. This makes it much easier to find compatibility between the car seat, different bases, and different strollers (both Graco ones and non-Graco ones). Speaking of which, click here to see our reviews of the best strollers.
- What is the Graco SnugLock System? This is Graco's answer to Britax's ClickTight system. The SnugLock system makes it easier to know when you've got a good seat belt or LATCH install. It adds a lever to the base: you put the car's seat belt or the LATCH system through as usual, tighten up the slack, and then close the SnugLock system down and listen for the "Click" to make sure you've got it properly tightened. Easy!
- What is the Graco InRight LATCH System? All of the Snugride infant car seats, including the Snugride Snuglock and Snugride Click Connect, and both the 30 and 35 models, include the LATCH system and connectors. But only the models with the Inright LATCH system use modern easy-to-use LATCH systems, while the other ones use the old-fashioned hook-style LATCH. The newer LATCH systems are much more user friendly (using a push-button release) and make it easier to switch seats in and out of different vehicles.
- What is the Graco SafetyCore System? On these systems, at the bottom of the base there is a blue ridged plastic energy absorption area, which is designed to minimize the energy absorbed by the baby during a frontal crash.
- What is the Graco Simply Safe Adjust System? This basically means that the car seat has a no-rethreading harness. You adjust the height of the harness and headrest all at once, by raising or lowering it. That makes life much easier when your baby is growing and you need to move it up (and don't want to spend 30 minutes rethreading the harness straps from the back!).
- What is the Graco Silent Shade System? This is a thicker and better canopy with more coverage, that adjusts without making any noise. It uses a zip-out mesh extension for better coverage from the sun.
- What is the Graco 1-Hand Adjustable Handle? This is an easy one, it means that when you want to adjust the handle between the up (carrying) to down (riding in car) positions, you only need one hand to do it. Most Snugrides are a bit of a pain in this regard, requiring you to push the red button on both sides of the handle in order to adjust it.
- What is the Graco Rapid Remove Cover? This means that the entire car seat cover and infant insert is quickly removable and machine washable. It saves a couple minutes relative to the usual cover.
- What is the Graco All-weather Boot Cover? This is a thick cover to keep the elements (snow, rain, sun) off your your baby's feet. Keeps things cozy in the winter, and dry in the rain.
- What is the Graco Safety Surround? This is adjustable side impact protection that you can slide up and down to make sure it is perfectly positioned to the sides of your baby's head and shoulders. All of the Snugride car seats have side impact protection, but this is a bit thicker and also adjustable.
- What is the Graco True Shield System? This is a more robust side impact protection that extends from the head down to the hips. We are not aware of any data showing that it is safer than any other side impact protection.
- What is the difference between Safety Surround and True Shield? The primary difference is really which store is allowed to sell these two versions. Target sells one, and Babies R Us sells the other. Realistically, Snugrides all use side impact protection up near the head, but the Safety Surround is nice and thick and adjustable around the head, while the True Shield is nice and thick from hips to head, but not adjustable.
Yes, it's a lot of information, but hopefully it will help you read through the Snugride Snuglock 35 comparison table (and the Snugride Click Connect chart down below)! Need help? Send us a message on Facebook!
Here is the Graco Snugride Snuglock comparison table:
Graco Snugride Snuglock comparison chart
Next, let's review the various types of Graco Click Connect 35 versions: Base versus LX versus LX with Safety Surround versus Platinum with TrueShield versus and Elite. Surprise, the features are different even though the model names are the same! Here is the Graco Snugride Click Connect comparison chart: