The Graco SnugRide infant car seat is a popular car seat that comes in a wide array of styles and colors. Parents say that, at 7.5 pounds without the base, the Graco SnugRide is easier to carry than most infant seats. It's also compatible with many different strollers and travel systems. One limitation is that the Graco SnugRide accommodates babies only up to 29 inches tall and 22 pounds. In a recent independent test, the Graco SnugRide scored a good rating for crash protection, which is adequate.
However, many other car seats received very good or excellent ratings. As a result, it fails to earn a recommendation in this test. The Graco SnugRide 30 (Est. $90) is a better bet. It receives a very good rating for crash protection and it can accommodate babies up to 30 pounds. The Chicco KeyFit 30 (Est. $190) is the best-reviewed infant car seat overall.
For infant car seats, two reviewers are consistent standouts: ConsumerReports.org and "Baby Bargains," a baby gear book. ConsumerReports.org rates the Graco SnugRide alongside nearly 30 other infant car seats according to how well they perform in laboratory testing for crash protection, ease of use and fit to vehicle. "Baby Bargains" takes these results into consideration, along with parent feedback and long-term performance history. We also consulted user reviews at Target.com and Amazon.com, although it's difficult to tell which specific model is being discussed in some cases, as review sites tend to group similar models together.
Editors test 28 models in its latest report on infant car seats. Each car seat, including the Graco SnugRide, is independently tested for crash protection, ease of use and fit to vehicle.
Review: Infant Car Seats, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
2. Baby Bargains
The popular baby gear book "Baby Bargains" covers a good range of infant car seats, including the Graco SnugRide. Ratings are based mainly on parent feedback, but authors also say they consider independent crash test ratings.
Review: Infant Car Seats, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition
3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The Graco SnugRide earns a middling score of 3 stars out of 5 for overall ease of use. Editors evaluate clarity of instructions, fit to vehicle and ease of installation. While it earns 4 stars out of 5 for installation features, the SnugRide loses points for its harness adjustment, which isn't labeled.
Review: Graco SnugRide, Editors of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May/June 2009
More than 60 reviews on Target.com give the Graco SnugRide an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Parents are enthusiastic about the SnugRide's broad selection of fabrics and patterns, as well as its convenience, ease of use and overall value.
Review: Graco SnugRide Infant 22 lbs Adjustable Base - Tan, Contributors to Target.com
More than 40 parents have posted reviews here for the Graco SnugRide car seat, which receives an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Feedback is mainly positive, with some varied complaints about the fabric and handle design.
Review: Graco SnugRide Infant Car Seat, Contributors to Amazon.com
While no formal objective testing is apparent, Heather Corley is About.com's guide to baby products and a child-passenger safety technician. Corley rates the Graco SnugRide second in this list of top six. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Top 6 Infant Car Seats, Heather Corley