|Graco SnugRide32 in Lemongrass|
The infant car seat that almost everyone has now has a higher weight and height limit. The SnugRide32 Car Seat ($150-190) now holds babies up to 32 pounds and 32 inches.
We always called our SnugRide “the Baby Bucket.” Ours was used by our two boys plus a friend’s child and shows little wear and tear. You’ll see SnugRides wherever you go. They’re just a staple for parents everywhere as they are one of the most highly safety rated and reasonably priced.
We don’t have the facilities to run our own crash tests (though the SnugRide consistently earns high ratings) but we certainly can give a parent’s perspective on usability and convenience. The SnugRide, like all car seats, can be a challenge to install the first time. It’s always a good idea to take your car to a certified installer to ensure that you did it right. But after you get the base locked in correctly it’s a snap to pop the seat in and out. Definitely install it before that first contraction!
The SnugRide infant car seat ($80-180) safely accommodates children from 5-22 lbs and 29 inches tall. The seat without the base weighs 7.5 lbs. The SnugRide32 ($150-190) works up to 32 inches tall and 32 pounds.
The larger seat is good if you have big babies, but I can’t imagine carrying a 22+ pound baby outside of the car in the seat. The SnugRide32 seat weighs 9.5 lbs without the base, so you would carrying more than 40 pounds! We switched ours to a rear-facing convertible seat at around seven months or 18 lbs when it just got too difficult for me to lug him around in the bucket. Carrying heavy babies in the seat can be awkward but it’s nice to not have to wake a sleeping infant by unbuckling him every time you stop the car.
Many parents don’t realize that the SnugRide does not require the base at all. It can be safely installed with the seat belt across the top of the car seat (by following the directions to the last detail, of course). The only drawback to this installation is that you have to buckle it back in each time. Additional bases are available if you’re installing the seat in Daddy or Grandma’s car frequently.
The SnugRide comes with a removable sun shade and a seat cover that can be machine washed. Choosing among all the models available can be challenging, but the design of the seat is the same. In addition to the added capacity of the SnugRide32, they come in different fabrics (you’ll pay more for the luxe versions) with different features like a winter foot muff or infant head support.
Many brands of strollers are compatible with the SnugRide, though some require adapters. All Graco strollers are compatible and you can even purchase a Graco Travel System that include a stroller and the SnugRide. (Check out our review of the Quattro Tour Travel System here.)
The Verdict: The SnugRide Infant Car Seat is affordable, safe and reliable.
Check out our other reviews of Graco products:
- Graco AirBooster: More car seat cushy for your big kid’s tushie
- Graco’s imonitor Digital Baby Monitor: Can You Hear Me Now?
- Graco cleo Stroller: Luxury at a lower price point
- Graco’s Ipo Stroller: A great affordable umbrella stroller