The Chicco KeyFit 30 and the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 have both been built with convenience in mind: The two models boast near-identical, detachable bases which can be pre-installed in your car so that you can just ‘click’ the seat portion into place when you want to drive somewhere.
Both of the seats are also very lightweight, and boast full compatibility with their respective manufacturer’s travel systems/strollers, which is great if you’re often on the go, and need an adaptable car seat that doesn’t have to be belted in every time you want to move from stroller to car.
They’re both very well-built car seats in their own right too; offering fantastic, rear-facing protection that meets Federal Standards, and providing plenty of comfort for infants in the 4-30lb weight bracket.
So how are you actually meant to choose between these two, equally fantastic car seats? To help you work out which of the two options is right for you, we’ve broken down all of their features, and drawn up a handy comparison table that’ll let you pick the model that’s best suited to your needs.
Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 Vs. Chicco Keyfit 30[amazon table=”1868″]
Graco Snugride Click Connect 35
Graco’s Snugride 35 couldn’t be easier to use: Once the base is fitted, you can move it from stroller to car in a matter of seconds, and there’s something incredibly reassuring about hearing the seat ‘click’ into place.
We are also really impressed with the overall build quality of the Snugride 35 too; despite weighing a minute 7.5lbs, the actual seat portion is reassuringly well-padded, and crash test data shows that it offers protection that’s well in excess of federal requirements.
Six different angle settings
The seat can be set by way of a very handy red knob on the front of the seat base. This means that you can make sure your baby is reclining at an angle that’s comfortable for them, and that you can easily adjust the seat as your baby grows.
Speaking of comfort, the seat really does live up to its name, offering nice comfy cushioning that’s comparable to much bigger and more expensive 3-in-1 seats. The infant inserts are great too; they’re well padded, and do actually cater for very small/premature babies, which is both unusual and very welcome!
Something that we didn’t like about Graco Snugride Click Connect 35
The seat material doesn’t breathe quite as well as we’d have hoped, which means that your baby may end up sweating on hot days. The canopy is also disappointingly small, and doesn’t pull forward to put your baby in full shade at all times.
Fitting the seat’s base is also a challenge: There’s no spirit bubble, and each of the LATCH connectors have to be tightened individually which means you may spend quite some time jumping back and forth between the different fittings; tweaking straps until you achieve a nice, balanced fit.
Some people have also expressed disappointment at the fact that this seat is only compatible with the newer click connect range of strollers and travel systems too.
Nonetheless, we feel that the Graco Snugride 35 is a great option for anyone that’s looking for a convenient, rear-facing car seat. It’s safe, it’s light, and once the base has been installed, it’s very easy to take the seat in and out of the car.
We were impressed by how robust it felt, and little details like the fully removable seat cover make it a joy to use and maintain.
Chicco KeyFit 30
The Chicco KeyFit 30 is slightly heavier than Graco’s Snugride Click Connect 35; weighing in at around 10.6lbs.
It also suffers from a fair few of the same disadvantages, including the seat covers’ tendency to cause overheating, and the fact that the canopy doesn’t cover quite as much of the of the occupant as we’d have liked.
More side padding
The KeyFit 30 does have some clear advantages though: For starters, it offers slightly more padding on the sides. This means that your little one will benefit from enhanced side impact protection, and a more comfortable ride during those grueling, long-distance drives.
One-pull Harness Adjustment
It’s also much easier to install this seat’s base. While the LATCH straps on the Snugride’s base all have to be individually tightened by hand, the Chicco KeyFit benefits from the addition of a single, unique middle strap that can be pulled to tighten all of the latch connectors simultaneously.
This makes it easy to achieve an even and well-balanced installation, and cuts out all of the arduousness involved in endlessly pulling at straps.
In all honesty, we thought the KeyFit’s base made for one of the most straightforward LATCH installations we’ve ever seen. While easy fitting might not be a huge boon for those of us that intend to ‘set and forget’ the seat base, we think it’s a fairly profound advantage for anyone that is going to switch the base between cars.
More head protection
The KeyFit 30 does outperform the Snugride in crash tests too – offering slightly more head protection at high speeds, which may be an important consideration if you’re very safety conscious.
All-in-all, we think the KeyFit 30 is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a convenient and cost-effective rear-facing car seat. It’s really easy to use – slotting straight into the base with a reassuring ‘click’ – and you do also have the option of fitting the seat without the base too.
We were really impressed with the build-quality, the feel of the fabric and the fantastic little infant inserts, which are fully removable, and make the seat suitable for very small, 4lb babies.
Oh, and the seat cover is fully removable on this model too, so don’t let thoughts of having to spot-clean the seat put you off!
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Both the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35, and the Chicco KeyFit 30 have their fair share of unique advantages;
The Keyfit is slightly more padded, slightly safer, and benefits from the addition of a unique LATCH fitting mechanism that makes the base super easy to install. Meanwhile, the Snugride 35 is a full 2lbs lighter, benefits from a really convenient angle-adjustment mechanism.
- The Keyfit 30 is perfectly suited to the safety conscious parent, and is also easier to fit in the first instance.
- The Snugride 35 is much easier to pick up and carry around on a daily basis, which means it’s probably a slightly better choice for those of us that travel a lot, and need to move from car to stroller many times a day.
If you’re keen to buy a particular Graco/Chicco stroller that’s fully compatible with your seat, the decision making process is nice and straightforward – pick the model that interfaces with the brand of travel system that you prefer. They’re so close to being equal that there is no better way of choosing.
If you don’t have a preferred brand of stroller, pick the model that sounds like it most closely matches your everyday needs. Both are sure to keep your baby safe, and they’re both very easy to use.