We recently published our complete review of the SnugRide 40 Click Connect, which I proclaimed “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 SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect 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 seven (Yes, SEVEN) different SnugRide models. For the sake of clarity, I’m going to list them all here just because I think it’s important for parents to understand what the differences are.
“Classic Connect” Graco SnugRide Models (compatible with older Graco strollers & with new Graco “Classic Connect” strollers)
- SnugRide Classic Connect [Original]: 5-22 lbs, up to 29″ tall; 2 sets of harness slots; no lock-off on base; available with front harness adjuster or rear harness adjuster
- SnugRide 30 Classic Connect: 4-30 lbs, up to 30″ tall; 4 sets of harness slots; no lock-off on base; available with front harness adjuster or rear harness adjuster. See our full SnugRide 30 Classic Connect Review here.
- SnugRide 35 Classic Connect: 4-35 lbs; up to 32″ tall; 3 sets of harness slots; base with lock-off; front adjust harness. See our full SnugRide 35 Classic Connect Review here.
“Click Connect” Graco SnugRide Models (compatible only with new Graco “Click Connect” strollers)
- SnugRide 30 Click Connect: 4-30 lbs, height 30″ or less; 4 sets of harness slots; no lock-off on base; front harness adjuster
- SnugRide 35 Click Connect: 4-35 lbs, height 32″ or less; 4 sets of harness slots; no lock-off on base; front harness adjuster
- SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect: 4-35 lbs, height 32″ or less; no-rethread harness with 15 height adjustments; base with lock-off for simple seatbelt installations; front harness adjuster.
- SnugRide 40 Click Connect: 4-40 lbs, height 35″ or less; no-rethread harness with 15 height adjustments; unique SR40 exclusive base has 8 recline positions, lock-off for simple seatbelt installations and best-in-class legroom for older babies and toddlers. See our full SnugRide 40 Click Connect Review here.
The Graco SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect model is available at Amazon, Kohls, BuyBuyBaby & select specialty retailers. The model I have for this review is the “Coco” fashion. This particular model comes with an optional newborn body support insert (only for babies less than 12 lbs.) and optional harness strap covers. The SnugRide 35 LX is also available in “Rittenhouse” and “Cascade” fashions.
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).
Extra LX Click Connect bases (with lock-off) are available for $49 -$59. This carrier can also be used with the standard 30/35 click connect base (the Click Connect base without the lock-off). The Click Connect carseat models cannot be used with any “Classic Connect” Graco bases.
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)
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.
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.
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
- Current buckle style is difficult to buckle and unbuckle but by the end of this year the seat should be shipping with updated buckles that are more user-friendly
- Not compatible with older Graco strollers
- Made in China – but to be fair, so are most other infant carseats
The Bottom Line:
The Graco SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect 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.
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.