Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat vs the Graco Snugride 35: Two reasons to choose the Snugride

by Amy Sylvestre |

There some items you must buy before your baby arrives.  For example, your baby will need a safe place to sleep so a crib or bassinet will be important right away. But, an infant car seat is an absolute must as you cannot even leave the hospital with your infant without a valid, federally approved car seat.

With so many options to choose from, we have taken some of the research out of the equation for you by comparing The Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat to The Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat.

This review is designed to help you decide on your baby’s first car seat.

The Graco SnugRide 35 car seat is my overall preference because it is lightweight and because of its price point.

The Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat

Image of the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion

Specifications

Car Seat Weight: 17 pounds
Product Dimensions: 27.5 x 17 x 24 inches
Minimum Weight Recommendation: 4 pounds
Maximum Weight Recommendation: 30 pounds

Pros

  • Because of the suggested weight limits, it is great for premature infants.  In fact, many neonatal intensive care unit nurses prefer this car seat because of the supportive infant cushion insert.
  • Simple installation with the Recline Sure leveling foot, Ride Right bubble levels, and Super Cinch LATCH tightened
  • Compact so may fit in some two-door cars.
  • Adjusts easily when that baby starts growing from infancy and up to thirty pounds
  • Easy to transfer in and out of car
  • Easy to clean because of the removable, machine washable cushions
  • Great padding for a comfortable fit for baby
  • Longevity, durability, and safety
  • One year warranty

Cons

  • It is heavy compared to other infant car seats which will be especially difficult right after delivery or a c-section with weight restrictions for mom.
  • The height limit is 30″ tall which means the seat will last only until about 9-14 months.
  • Insufficient sunshade: The sunshade is not large enough and will not stay in place.
  • Materials and padding tend to make a baby too warm.  The cushions do not breathe, so your baby might sweat if in the seat for a while.
  • Seat offers a tight fit so some parents say their babies outgrew the seat by four-five months.
  • The carry handle angle requires the use of both hands which can be inconvenient at times.  It would be so much better if it had a one hand release on the handle.

Image of the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion

Notable Features

Safety

Like all infant car seats on the market today, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is crash tested and meets federal crash-test safety requirements.  It also offers extra side-impact protection.  It has a sturdy design and ample head and body support for your precious cargo.  This carrier is equipped with the five-point harness for the safety and security of your baby.  If you have a premature or small child, you will certainly appreciate the infant insert.  It offers additional support while keeping your baby secure in your vehicle.  When necessary, the insert is easily removed for your bigger baby.  This seat works very well with small children.  This seat will work for your family until your baby outgrows it at not more than 30 pounds and no longer than 30 inches.  These are the safety recommendations by Chicco.

Thankfully, this car carrier is also airplane compliant.  Your baby will be safe traveling by car or airplane.

The LATCH connectors on this infant carrier make it secure as they tightly secure it into place.  This to prevent any movement in the case of an accident.

Image of the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion

Installation features

The KeyFit 30 Car Seat is engineered with features that make it simple and easy to accurately install.  This particularly important for your baby’s first car seat because you will likely take the seat in and out of your vehicle each time you leave home.  The stay-in-car base that secures the infant car seat features a ReclineSure and two bubble level-indicators to help the parent achieve and verify proper angle in the vehicle seat. The base was designed with easy belt routing and lock-offs for a secondary way of installing the seat with vehicle seatbelt.

For more car seats with great infant car seat installation, take a look at our best car seat article.

Newborn Features

This seat carrier includes supports that are ergonomic for your infant’s head and body.  These supports that can be easily removed as baby grows. A five-point harness with one-pull tightener helps keep baby secure, and the carrier shell is lined with EPS energy-absorbing foam for improved impact protection. An adjustable canopy provides shade from the sun.

Image of the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion

Extras

The KeyFit 30 is part of a separate travel system of specific Chicco strollers which are sold separately from the car seat. You will know the carrier secures easily and properly to the base and also to strollers with an audible click.  The one-hand release makes is easy and extra convenient to remove.  The seat also has a two-position carrying handle with an extra comfortable grip.

Price

The KeyFit 30 Car Seat is sold at approximately double the price of the Graco Snugride 35.

Extra Note

Several reviews made it clear that there was some confusion on the Ombre color choice. The Ombre may run at a lower price than the others but the problem is they were not the Keyfit 30, but actually the Keyfit. So there is a misunderstanding among some parents to be aware of for this specific car seat in the Ombre color.  Read the whole description to be sure you select the exact seat you prefer.

The Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat

Image of the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, Gotham

Specifications

Car Seat Weight: 7.5 pounds
Product Dimensions: 28 x 18.7 x 15.6 inches inches
Minimum Weight Recommendation: 4 pounds
Maximum Weight Recommendation: 35 pounds

Pros

  • Ultra-lightweight infant car seat and is easy to transport.
  • Budget-friendly: approximately half the cost of the Chicco Keyfit 30.
  • Easy Installation
  • Click Connect system provides a one-step secure attachment to the carrier base and to Graco strollers. 
  • This seat is part of the travel system as it connects to all Graco Click Connect Strollers.
  •  Easy to assemble the straps while your baby is growing.
  • A simple way to tighten and loosen the harness straps.

Cons

  • You may need a newborn insert. The one provided may not be supportive enough to keep your baby’s head from rocking back and forth.
  • Not sufficient padding for infant
  • Not perfect for smaller babies or preemies.

Image of the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, Gotham

Notable Features

Safety

The Graco infant car seats are rigorously crash tested to, at the minimum, meet and even exceed US safety standards.  Hopefully, this reassures safety-conscious parents.  This carrier is SafeSeat Engineered.

The Graco SnugRide 35 is excellent seat to protect your infant from four to thirty-five pounds and up to thirty-two inches.  These are the safety recommendations for this seat from Graco.

Be sure that you install your car seat properly. It has been noted that it is necessary to check that the car seat has fully clicked into the base.  This car seat has been known to make a clicking noise even when it is not completely attached to the base or stroller. Be sure the seat clicks in securely on both sides before driving to keep your baby completely protected.

Click System

The Click Connect system provides a secure, one-step attachment between infant car seats not only to the base in your car but also to all Graco Click Connect Strollers.  This easy to use click system creates ease as you move your sleeping baby from your vehicle to home or to your stroller.  Purchasing the Graco Snugride 35 with a Graco stroller will create your own custom travel system. You will know the seat is securely attached as you place the car seat into either a Graco Click Connect stroller or into the included infant car seat base and you hear an audible click. I love this system!  It takes the guesswork out of installation. It makes it so much easier to move your baby from place to place without having to move them out of the seat or unbuckle connectors or seat belts.

Image of the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, Gotham

Price

The Graco Snugride 35 is a great choice for a mom or dad looking for a safe infant car seat that is also budget friendly.  It is approximately half the cost of the Chicco Keyfit 30 with similar features.

Read the full review of the Graco Snugride 35 infant car seat and you’ll see why it’s the winner.

Conclusion

The Chicco KeyFit 30 is a convenient, compact baby car seat that will fit in most vehicles including some two-door cars.  The positives of this car seat certainly outway the negatives and it is well-liked by moms and dads alike.  The main downside that I have come across time and again is the insufficient sunshade. Others were also concerned that the material does not breathe well so so your baby might get sweaty during rides and be uncomfortable. If your baby is on the smaller side or you have a preemie, this might be the best pick for your little addition. It is sold at nearly double the price of the Graco Snugride 35 but has also won multiple awards as one of the best infant car seats on the market.

The Graco SnugRide 35 is a top choice, both by parents and by many leading consumer publications. This terrific Graco infant car seat’s base is designed to make installation straightforward and easy for all parents. One main challenge with this seat is that it may not be best for smaller babies or preemie babies.

Overall, the Graco SnugRide 35 car seat is my preference for a few reasons. One is that this car seat is significantly lighter than the Chicco Keyfit 30 which means you can carry it much more easily with your growing child. I also love Graco’s Click Connect System and I have used their car seats and strollers for over four years without any problems or complaints. It is simple to use and is secure for your child.  I also have chosen the Graco over the Chicco because of the price point.  The Graco SnugRide 35 is great for a family who needs a safe, mom-approved, economic, compact, lightweight, and versatile car seat.

Amy Sylvestre
Amy is a writer, mom, and southerner living in the suburbs of Chicago. She has also worked for several large non-profit organizations. Amy is married to her hunky pilot husband, and they have two sons, Graham and Hudson. Graham is a hilarious, talkative, four and half year old. After a strong fight with congenital heart disease, Hudson passed away at eight months old. Amy is also in the process of growing her family through adoption.

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