Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 ReviewPrice: $110.00 List
Pros: Lightweight, inexpensive
Cons: Hard to install using LATCH, difficult to use
Bottom line: An uncomfortable option that is hard to install and use
Max Passenger Weight: 30 lbs
Max Passenger Height: 30"
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This chart is a comparison of each car seat's overall score. The Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 is shown in blue.
The sections below provide details on how the Classic Connect 30 managed during testing for each metric. Metric results ere used to determine the seat's overall score.
The crash test data we use are sled crash tests designed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards to determine if a seat meets the Federal safety guidelines outlined in FMVSS 213. The Graco 30 exceeds the Federal safety requirements for crash tests by a significant margin, and thus can be considered safe, but its crash test scores indicate that most competing seats we reviewed offer an additional margin of protection when compared to the Graco 30.The charts included here show the test data for the head and chest sensors of the test dummy for the Graco SnugRide 30 (shown in black). We have included the test results from the best scoring products in each test as well for comparison purposes.
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 had the best test results for the head region out of all 15 seats, while the Chicco Keyfit 30 data indicated the best results for the chest. These test results are shown in green.
Ease of Install - LATCH
Graco SnugRide Classic Connect with a 3. The high score is 9, earned by both the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the UPPAbaby Mesa.
Ease of Install - Belt
Evenflo Embrace LX scored the lowest in this metric with a 4, while the Phil and Teds Alpha and Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 tied for the high score of 9.
Ease of Install - Without the Base
Ease of Use
Recaro Performance Coupe and the Evenflo Embrace LX.
All of the Graco buckles are the same and they are not easy to use. They are all incredibly stiff and the buttons are hard to press. Once you do get it depressed (and it might take 2 thumbs), you will need to take each individual side out because they do not disengage on their own.
The chest or restraint clip on the Graco is not too hard to use, but not as nice as the Britax B-Safe 35 Elite or the Cybex Aton 2. It has smaller parts that are harder to squeeze and started to hurt the tips of our fingers in testing. If you squeeze one side harder than the other it will stop the latch from disengaging and you won't be able to get it apart. Unfortunately, the button is uncomfortably stiff and sliding it apart is just as difficult. Putting it together is slightly better, with two sides that are easy to mate up, but buckling it is stiffer than much of the competition.
The harness on this seat is a rethread harness that requires you to remove the straps from the T style splitter, pull the straps through slot holes in the back of the carrier, and insert in different slots. The straps are hard to get back through the padding and into the slots to reattach to the splitter. We think the non-rethread style is easier for adjustment because it doesn't require removing straps and can be done with baby in the seat. This seat has 4 harness shoulder height positions and 2 crotch positions.
The handle catches on the canopy when the canopy is down, which is annoying but not as much as it would be if it caught when up. The handle does sit close to the open canopy, which makes fitting your hand between the handle and the canopy difficult. It isn't as bad as some other products we looked at that were near impossible, but we still think it is a design flaw Graco should address sooner rather than later.
The Graco 30 has built in LACTH storage with small plastic bars located near the head of the base. They do keep the straps out of the way so there is no difficulty in properly seating the carrier onto the base.
The padding and fabric on this seat are about average. The padding isn't very thick and the fabric, while somewhat skin friendly, doesn't feel like it will be durable over time. The shell quality and durability is also not the best when compared to the other products in this review. It scored just 1 point higher in our comparisons than the lowest score for shell quality.
The overall fit and finish of this seat is below average compared to the competition. The fabric doesn't seem to fit the shell well and the padding is not as nice as other products we looked at. It isn't so much that it is bad, just that it really can't compete with the nicer seats like Phil and Teds or the Peg Perego.
While overall carrier weight is an important aspect to consider when making a purchase, we don't think it should be the first thing you consider. Given that most of the seats only vary by a few pounds, and you don't know how heavy baby will be or will get over time, it seems silly to quibble over a pound or two. However, given that there is a significant difference between 7 and 12 pounds, it isn't something to ignore either. We think parents should narrow their choice using the other metrics first, and then use weight as a potential tie breaker in their buying decision.
Some parents might consider this seat because they like the Graco name or have other Graco product they enjoy. Unfortunately, none of the Graco seats did well in this review and we think most parents will be disappointed in the performance and functionality of this seat. While it might be budget friendly, the lower scores overall make it one that has no real best application from our perspective. However, for parents who must have a Graco product, we'd recommend the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 which scored highest out of the Graco seats we looked at, and also offered the best overall crash test results of any seat in this review.
With a list price of $110 this car seat might feel like a good value. However, much like the other cheaper seats in this review, it really didn't score well in most metrics or offer nice useable features that work well. While we understand that budget can be a significant restraint for many families, we still think parents should find a way to purchase a better car seat that likely costs a bit more. Our Best Value pick is the Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air that costs about $60 more, but scored significantly higher overall.
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Most recent review: November 1, 2015
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