2024 Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Review – Everything You Need at a Great Price!


The Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX is the budget-friendly infant car seat that’s easy to love. Graco has used the SnugRide name for multiple infant seats over the past 20 years, and it’s clear that they knows how to create car seats that are easy to install and use correctly. The “SnugRide Lite” is Graco’s most basic infant car seat but it still has everything you need and you won’t find a better infant car seat for the price.

SnugRide 35 Lite LX Specs & Features:
  • Rear-facing only: 4-35 lbs.; 32″ or less and head must be 1” below top of seat
  • 4 harness height positions
  • Euro beltpath routing allowed when carrier is installed without the base
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
  • Thick energy-absorbing EPS foam
  • Easy to remove cover is machine washable
  • 4 recline position base
  • FAA-approved for use in an airplane
  • 7-year lifespan before expiration
  • Graco ProtectPlus Engineered™
  • Compatible with all Click Connect and SnugLock bases
  • Made in China
  • MSRP $119.99 (currently on sale for 25% Off)

SR 35 Lite LX StudioSR 35 Lite LX HaileySR 35 Lite LX Brody

There used to be 2 versions of the SnugRide 35 Lite but the base model (which was only available at Walmart) was discontinued last year and now only the “LX” model continues to be available.

The “LX” version SnugRide 35 Lite LX, reviewed here, has nicer soft goods, such as a separate head and lower body insert, and an easy-to-read recline angle indicator on the side of the base.

The base model SnugRide 35 Lite (non LX) version, which was only available at Walmart, is discontinued. The differences were that it didn’t have a lower body infant insert and the recline angle indicator on the base was just a red level line on a sticker label.

It was always worth getting the LX model and now it’s the only option so that’s good news for parents!

If you need an extra base, SnugRide Lite bases are available for $69.99, BUT for just a few dollars more, I highly suggest buying a SnugRide SnugLock base. The SnugRide 35 Lite will fit on the SnugLock base and the SnugLock base is easier to install because of the belt-tensioning lockoff.

SnugRide Lite Base

SnugRide SnugLock Base

SnugRide 35 Lite LX Measurements:
  • Harness slot heights: 6 ¾”, 8 ¾”, 10 ¾”, 12 ¾”
  • Lowest harness slot height with body insert: 5 ¾”
  • Crotch strap/buckle positions (without insert): 4”, 5 ½”
  • Internal shell height: 20”
  • Width of base footprint at belt path: 13 ¾”
  • Length of base footprint: 17” (80% must be on vehicle seat)
  • Width of base at widest point: 14 ½ ”
  • Width of carrier at widest point: 17 ½”(outside of handle)
  • Carrier weight: 7.4 lbs. with insert; 7.0 lbs. without insert

Recline angle indicator – There is a recline indicator on the side of the base. Use the adjustable foot on the base (there are 4 positions to chose from) to achieve the correct angle in your vehicle. The light blue wheel should line up in the center of the indicator.

Installation with LATCHThis is our preferred method of installation with the SnugRide Lite base because this base doesn’t have a lockoff. Our experience is that it’s easier to get a good, tight installation if you use the LATCH strap instead of the seatbelt (don’t use both).

Loosen the LATCH strap first by pressing and holding the gray button on the strap while simultaneously pulling the webbing until it’s long enough to easily reach both LATCH anchors in the vehicle. Route the latch strap through the beltpath on the base and then attach the 2 hooks on either end to the lower LATCH anchor bars in the vehicle. Hooks should always attach to the LATCH bars with the hook opening facing down, never up.

Next, take the loose tail end of the latch strap back and bring it back into the center of the belt path. Pull the strap to tighten while also pushing down on the base. SnugRide bases have always been easy to install rock-solid with LATCH once you know the trick about pulling the latch strap towards the center and not from the side.

Important note: Graco latch straps can be very difficult to loosen if you get them super tight so don’t go crazy tightening the latch strap. Just get it tight enough so that the base doesn’t move more than 1″ from side-to-side when you check for tightness at the beltpath.

Installation with seatbelt – The SnugRide 35 Lite LX can be installed with a seatbelt; however, this seat does NOT have a built-in lockoff so it’s very important to understand how your seatbelt locks if you’re going to install with seatbelt instead of with lower LATCH anchors (remember – pick one method or the other but don’t use LATCH and seatbelt together).

All vehicles made after 1996 have seat belts that can lock in some way to hold a carseat tightly in place during routine driving. Most vehicles have “switchable retractors” which means the seatbelt locks if you pull the shoulder belt all the way out until you reach the end. It’s important to understand how these features work before you install this carseat with a seat belt. See your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific information on how to install a carseat in your vehicle using the seat belt.

Center LATCH installation with non-standard spacing:

All Graco SnugRide Lite bases allow LATCH installation in the center seating position if the vehicle manufacturer allows it and if the lower anchor spacing between the 2 anchor bars is 11” or greater.

Inflatable Seat Belts

Graco has determined that NONE of their infant seat bases can be installed with inflatable seat belts found in some Ford/Lincoln vehicles. You must use LATCH to install a SnugRide base in a seating position that has an inflatable seatbelt. However, if you choose to install your SnugRide without the base, you may use a Ford/Lincoln inflatable seat belt to do so.

Installation without base – The SnugRide 35 Lite LX can be installed safely without the base using the typical belt routing method OR the Euro routing method. If using the standard method, the carrier is secured directly to the vehicle with the lap portion of the seatbelt (do NOT also place the shoulder belt through the belt path). 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 in which you’re going to be riding.

With the Euro belt routing method, the lap belt goes through the belt path, to the buckle and the shoulder belt routes behind the back of the seat. This usually ensures a very stable installation and can be beneficial in a frontal crash.


These are the only models I could scrounge up at the moment. And I’ve basically given up on the couch cushion. Lol.

Head and Body Support Inserts:

The lower body support insert (which goes under the baby’s bottom) has a weight limit and must be removed when your child reaches 12 lbs.

As you can see in the pics below, the SnugRide 35 Lite LX fits the preemie doll well with a rolled washcloth in the crotch area to prevent sliding down. Blankets or other padding should NEVER be added behind a child, no matter what. It also fits average newborns well, like Romeo, my facial-haired 20″ doll pictured below as well.

When using the bottom two harness slots, the harness must be attached to the metal splitter plate using the UPPER loops, which makes the harness shorter. When using the top two harness slots, the harness must be attached to the splitter plate using the bottom loops, making the harness longer for older children. The labeling on the bottom of the carrier is very clear—so awesome!

Cover/Ease of Use/Maintenance:

The SnugRide 35 Lite LX cover is shower cap-style, but you will have to slide the harness straps through the slots to remove it. I suggest taking a pic with your phone of the splitter plate on the back of the seat so you remember how to put the harness back on when it’s time to rethread the harness. No need to remove the canopy—just shove it all the way back. Machine wash gentle cycle on cold and air dry. If you’re in a hurry, roll it in a towel and place in front of a fan and it shouldn’t take too long. Follow the same instructions if your canopy needs to be cleaned.

The cover harness slots don’t line up with the harness slots in the shell, which can lead parents to route the harness through the wrong slots in the shell as they re-thread the harness. As long as you are cautious when re-threading the harness, this shouldn’t be a problem.

To clean the harness, wipe with a wet washcloth and lay flat to dry. DO NOT wash in the washing machine or use chemicals on it.

FAA-Approval/Lifespan/Crash Guidelines:
  • FAA certified for use on airplanes
  • 7-year lifespan before expiration
  • Must be replaced after any crash
Stroller Compatibility:

To find a stroller compatible with the SnugRide 35 Lite LX, head on over to the Graco website and follow the Products link to Strollers. All Graco strollers that can be paired with a car seat will work with the SnugRide 35 Lite.

Adapters are available for use with certain strollers from Baby Jogger, phil&teds, Mountain Buggy, BOB, Joovy, Bumbleride, and Contours. Some parents prefer not to create a travel system from the start and use a stroller frame, putting off buying a bigger stroller until their child is older, which isn’t such a bad idea. This allows you to spend more time researching your likes and dislikes and hear from parents who have spent the big bucks on their strollers already to realize that spending over $300 may not necessarily be such a bad idea (wish I had put more money into a stroller when my kids were young!). The Graco SnugRider Elite is a stroller frame that is compatible with all Graco infant seats.

Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Advantages:
  • Very lightweight carrier
  • Fits small newborns well
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
  • 4-position base
  • Euro belt path allowed when installed without the base
  • Compatible with all Click Connect and SnugLock bases
  • Large canopy
  • Easy to remove cover
  • Cover is machine washable
  • Compatible with many premium brand strollers

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

  • Lacks a no-rethread harness—which really isn’t a big deal for a rear-facing only infant seat, it just means that you have to detach the harness from the splitter plate and route the straps through the next set of harness slots as baby grows. The trade-off is that the harness is very easy to tighten and loosen, and the carrier is lightweight.
  • Infant inserts are not substantial
  • Lacks lockoff device for easier seatbelt installations
  • Basic hook-style LATCH attachments and the LATCH strap can be very difficult to loosen
Basic Infant Seat Safety

Infant seats are so commonplace that parents often copy what other parents are doing with their seats. I know my husband and I did and that can be dangerous, especially when misuse rates top 90%. I’ve already covered some of the basics above regarding fit to your vehicle and child. So what do you see at the grocery store that you shouldn’t copy yourself?

  • Don’t put the carrier on top of a shopping cart
  • Whenever the child is in the carrier, always buckle the entire harness and tighten it
  • Don’t leave the child in the carrier to sleep

Graco has been making the SnugRide for decades and has it down to an art with their rear-facing only seats. The carriers are lightweight and the base is easy to install correctly, especially with LATCH. The harness adjuster is smooth and reliable and it’s likely that you can find a stroller to meet your needs to use with your SnugRide 35 Lite LX if you desire a travel system. The Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX is a great rear-facing only infant seat that provides excellent features for a fantastic price.

For more information on the Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX, visit Graco’s website: https://www.gracobaby.com/en-US/Infant-Car-Seats/snugride-35-lite-lx

Thank you to Graco for providing the SnugRide 35 Lite LX sample for this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are those of CarseatBlog.

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