My review is going to be a little different than most people's because I'm not using the Graco SnugRide as a car seat, but rather as a carrier. When my husband and I were looking at car seats, we were trying to decide between an infant car seat like this one and a convertible car seat. We ultimately decided to go with a convertible because it was more cost effective in the long-run (since they don't use these infant ones for very long) and they were rated much better on safety in Consumer Reports.
We currently have a Graco Convertible car seat installed in each of our cars and have been very happy with them. The only drawback is that we don't have the convenience of being able to carry our little guy around in something portable if we want to go into a restaurant or something (because eating with him in the Baby Bjorn on the front of me isn't really an option). So we started looking into perhaps getting an infant car seat like this one for the sole purpose of carry him around. Thus, when I got the option to receive this one for free in exchange for a review, I jumped at it. So what we do is put our son in the convertible car seat that's installed in our car and then when we get to wherever we're going, we unbuckle him, take him out, set him in the Graco SnugRide, buckle him in, and go. It's been great to have a place to set him down comfortably while dining out, attending church, getting together with friends over coffee, etc. So now onto the review of this product...
I've been happy with all of the Graco products I've used, and this is no exception. It's lightweight and yet seems quite sturdy. He looks comfortable in it and there's plenty of room for him to continue to grow while using it, which makes me happy because that means we'll get a lot of use out of it. (Our son is a little guy weighing in at just 10.5 lbs at 9 weeks.)
One criticism that I have is that the head padding seems more like a pillow than a support. It's flimsy and basically just provides a little extra cushion behind the head, unlike some other models that I've seen (or like our convertible car seat has), which serve to protect the head from moving side to side in a collision. This padding has a cityscape-like pattern, but when remove it the car seat is entirely black (in my case, I appreciate that, but if you're looking for something really decorative you'll probably want to select a different pattern).
This is more of a base model in the Graco line-up, which means that it doesn't have the convenient extras like a ball level, easy adjust strap heights, LATCH strap clips, etc. Instead, it has a line to level the car seat, straps that have to be re-threaded to adjust the height, and LATCH strap hooks. While that doesn't make it the most convenient of models, it doesn't make it any less safe and presumably is how they're able to offer this model at a lower price than some of their other options. Whether or not you want to pay more for these conveniences is up to you. In my case many of these items don't matter because I'm not actually installing the base in my car, so I don't mind at all. Plus, the reality is that you won't use those items that often anyways (just during the initial installation and then periodically as the baby grows and you need to make substantial adjustments).
All in all, this seems like a pretty great product!