As you leave the hospital, you will secure your newborn into your first parenting choice outside of those sterilized walls – the infant car seat. Your baby will spend hours a week, and maybe even per day, in this seat which must keep them safe and comfortable. There are so many options out there, how do you know which one is best for you?
In this review, I will compare the the Chicco Key Fit 30 Zip and Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35. These are both infant car seats, which will be used during the first year of your baby’s life only (from about 4-30+ pounds).
While the Keyfit 30 has some great features and may be the right choice for some, the Snugride is my overall top pick considering everything it provides at a better price point. Read on to see why I recommend the Snugride.
Let’s be honest. Safety and functionality are important, but price does matter, too. The Graco SnugRide is considerably less expensive than the Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip. Though they both have some great perks, the Snugride is a great buy if you are car seat shopping on a tight budget.
The Chicco brand carries a big weight in the child furniture world, so this lends some insight to the price, as well as the zipper and snow boot add-ons. There are some parents who absolutely love Chicco products, and would never consider purchasing anything else.
If you are looking for some of the benefits which the Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip offers and aren’t on a tight budget, though, this may be the better choice for you.
Winner: Graco Snugride Click Connect 35
The Chicco Keyfit 30 has a single LATCH system, making securing the 5-point harness a single action. It can also be installed with the base through a seat belt, or without the base via a seat belt. Click here for a video on how to install the Chicco Keyfit 30 seat with the LATCH, here for the seat belt with base installation, and here for the installation of the seat belt without the base. However, you do have to thread the car seat harness through the back of the seat, which isn’t ideal. The Chicco Keyfit car seat is 10.4 pounds, and 18.4 pounds including its base. It’s measurements are 27.5″ depth x 17″ width x 24″ height.
The Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 has a level indicator for peace of mind when installing. The car seat with base weighs in at 14.17 pounds and 7.5 pounds without the base, making it just over 4 pounds less than the Chicco Keyfit Zip 30. The dimensions are 30.67 inches depth, 18.66 inches width, and 15.59 inches height. The Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 has a level indicator for peace of mind when installing.
Winner: The Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip appears to be easier to install.
Size & Weight
The Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat is 10.4 pounds, and 18.4 pounds including its base. It’s measurements are 27.5 inches depth, 17 inches width, and 24 inches height.
The Graco Snugfit Click Connect 35 car seat with base weighs in at 14.17 pounds and 7.5 pounds without the base, making it just over 4 pounds less than the Chicco Keyfit Zip 30. The dimensions are 30.67 inches depth, 18.66 inches width, and 15.59 inches height.
I have to say that the size and weight are a huge factor for me. You will be carrying this thing around everywhere, and a heavy car seat will really weigh you down. I actually fractured my wrist by applying too much pressure to my arm just below the elbow – where I held my car seat. The Chicco Keyfit is 3 pounds heavier than the Graco Snugfit, which will make a considerable difference.
Winner: Graco Snugfit Click Connect 35
The Chicco Keyfit 30 fits infants from 4 to 30 pounds, and up to 30 inches tall. The Chicco Keyfit 30 also fits with a number of Chicco’s strollers, including the Bravo, Cortina, Cortina Together, Cortina Magic, Keyfit Caddy, Liteway Plus, Neuvo, Urban, Activ3, transforming this car seat into a travel system.
The Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 holds infants from 4 to 35 pounds, and 32 inches tall. The five point harness seat has six recline positions, ensuring that your little one is comfortable. This car seat also can connect with any Graco Click Connect strollers.
Obviously, the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 give you 5 extra pounds and two extra inches, which can go a long way when we are talking about babies. For this reason, the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 is the winner of adaptability.
Our full review goes over the Graco infant car seat weight limit for the Click Connect 35. Follow the link to read!
Winner: Graco Snugride Click Connect 35
Cleaning and Appearance
The shell of the Chicco Keyfit Zip is lined with EPS energy absorbing foam. The seat pad is removable and washable. Plush infant inserts are also washable, and a bottom strap pad is included. The shoe boot, as well as the fabric covering, are removable by zipper and entirely washable.
Chicco Keyfit Zip 30 comes in Isle (an emerald and grey color), Hydra (a teal and gray color), Genesis (black and white), Black/Grey and Avena (a gray pattern. Click here to see each of the colors available.
Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 is also lined with EPS energy absorbing form, and has a removable infant head support cushion. The car seat fabric is not removable, making cleaning a bit more work. It has two available colors: Pierce (a gray and black, with some patterns) and Gotham (a darker gray and black).
Winner: The Chicco Keyfit Zip 30 is the clear winner for both cleaning and appearance. The removable fabric cover is a game changer, and it also comes in a number of fun colors.
Color options for the Keyfit 30 Zip
Color option for the Click Connect 35
Watch: Keyfit Overview
Watch: How to Unzip the Keyfit Zip
Watch: Snugride Overview
The Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip has been tested for side impact protection, but does not have a steel frame. It is, however, approved for airplane use.
The Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 has also been tested for side impact protection, and also does not include a steel frame. It does not appear to be approved for airplane use.
Winner: Though these have similar safety ratings, the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 has an -easy-to-read level indicator for installation. Research shows that the safety of the car seat during crashes does depend a lot on correct installation, so this is a big bonus. Nonetheless, there is no clear winner in this category. Tie!
Everyone loved the look and fabric of the Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip, especially the snow boot and the zippered fabric. Many who purchased the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 noted that they felt they got a great value for the price. They also noted that they loved how lightweight the car seat was.
The regular Keyfit 30 is on our list of the best baby car seats.
More About the Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip
Chicco Keyfit 30 actually has three models – the Regular, Magic and Zip. The Magic has the All-Weather boot attached with velcro and higher quality material. The Zip has the All-Weather Boot with a zipper and the zipper visor extension. Click here for the Chicco Keyfit 30 product instructions.
More About the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35
Click here for the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35’s product instructions. The Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 will fit with all of the Graco Click Connect strollers. Click here for a full list of those strollers.
Ease of Use Ratings
Although safety should always be a leading concern when it comes to our children, you shouldn’t obsess about the safety differences between car seat brands. They are required to pass strict federal safety tests before being sold in the US market.
However, getting the installation or usage of a car seat wrong can introduce safety issues. That is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues ease of use ratings (see below) for each car seat. The easier to use and the clearer the instructions, the more likely your child is to be buckled up properly every time.
The Keyfit 30 Zip received a rating of 4 stars as you can see in the table below.
The Snugride Click Connect 35 also received 4 stars.
Which should you choose?
Though I love the snow boot and zippered fabric cover of the Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip, I would opt for the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 because of a number of factors: weight, price, and height and weight restrictions.
The Graco Snugride weighs three pounds less than the Chicco Keyfit, which is actually rather substantial. Don’t forget – you will be carrying this car seat (with also a baby!) daily. Since car seats are so bulky, this isn’t like carrying a ten-pound dumbbell, it’s a lot more work. You want the lightest available option. I am also not excited about having to thread the back of the harness of the Chicco Keyfit. If you’ve ever had to do this – you know what I’m talking about: p.a.i.n. The price of the Graco Snugfit is also considerably less expensive than the Chicco Keyfit, even though the Keyfit has some nice features like the zippered cover and snow boot. Though I would miss the snowboot, I could buy one separately or use a warm blanket.
The zippered fabric is a big win that I would miss, but I feel the other perks of the Graco Snugride still outweigh that wonderful, I admit, feature. Finally, the Graco Snugride allows a child of two inches taller and five more pounds than the Chicco Keyfit, which would allow me to use it for possibly months longer than the Keyfit. Since a rear-facing infant car seat is the safest mode of car seat, that’s also a big deal to me.
Overall, the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 is a more basic infant car seat that delivers surprising value. The Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip is a great buy with awesome perks, but you cannot beat the benefits of the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 for the price!
So, the big winner is the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35!