Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat Review – In 1958, Pietro Catelli, an Italian discoverer of medical devices, founded Chicco after his first son was born. He has grown while then to 120 countries and offers gear for all things baby, counting toys, nursing products, clothes, shoes, and more. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat brand still honors their Italian heritage with a concentrate on quality and style.
Their headquarters aren’t far from Milan, which certainly is the world’s fashion capital. Chicco’s fashion experts travel far and wide to look for all the new trends in baby products, with a concentrate on safety, comfort, and style trends. They consider chic and functional go hand in hand.
The Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat with Base fits the bill with both fashion and function. We’ve compared it to other products on the market, and as it has a few flaws, we think it’s a great option for your baby. If you’re getting ready to welcome a little one into the world, or if you’re simply looking for an extra car seat or an option, here’s why you should consider this car seat.
- Why pick an infant seat and not a convertible (all-in-one) seat?
- What makes the Chicco Keyfit 30 different?
- What are the size restrictions for the Chicco Keyfit?
- How big is this seat, and will it work with your vehicle?
- How safe is the Chicco Keyfit?
- Possible flaws:
- How hard is it to install?
- Possible flaw:
- Optional accessories
- Best Car Seat Hub’s Final Verdict
Why pick an infant seat and not a convertible (all-in-one) seat?
With all the combo car seats out there, you may surprise why you should bother with a separate infant seat. The convertible seats can switch from forward to stern-facing until the child is about 40-80 pounds. An all-in-one seat can bear a child from an infant until she no longer needs a booster. And they’re not horrible products by any means, but an infant seat is intended for just that – carrying infants.
Most safety experts consider that newborns 20 pounds and under are safest in a rear-facing infant seat. With an adaptable seat, the harness straps could be so long, it’s impossible to find them tight enough for a small baby. The harness slots might be positioned too high as well – if they’re not at or faintly below her shoulders, they may not proffer as much protection as with an infants seat.
Don’t forget the expediency factor. Infant seats tend to be lighter and smaller than all-in-one or adaptable seats. They fit cozily in a base in your car, and can usually snap on a stroller so you won’t upset her if she’s sleeping.
What makes the Chicco Keyfit 30 different?
As one of the most fashionable infant car seats in the USA, the Chicco Keyfit 30 has several things going for it.
- 5-point harness
- EPS foam to absorb impact in case of an accident
- simple-to-use buckle
- Easy-to-attach LATCH connections
- Easy-to-adjust LATCH strap
- Bubble level on the base to make sure proper angle when installing
- Can leave handle up while in vehicle
- Machine-washable covers
- Works with friendly strollers
- Good fit for premature infants
Note the Chicco Keyfit 30 infant car seat can also be bought like a part of the Chicco Bravo stroller as a travel system. We rated it 9.6 out of 10 in our travel system reviews.
What are the size restrictions for the Chicco Keyfit?
- 4-11 pounds with the newborn insert (integrated)
- > 11 – 20 pounds without the newborn insert
Note that there is also a modified model named the KeyFit 30 Magic that has a higher weight limit (30 pounds) than the unique (20 pounds). Be aware when ordering online that some colors are special to the KeyFit 30 and vice versa.
How big is this seat, and will it work with your vehicle?
If you’re looking for a light, simple to transfer seat, you’re probably in good shape with this one. It won’t take up a ton of room in the backseat at only 17 inches wide, but for smaller, fuel-efficient cars, it could be a little bit, particularly if you need more car seats in the back.
- Weight – 9.6 pounds – mid-variety compared to others on the market
- Dimensions – 17 x 27.5 x 24 inches
- connect slots with newborn insert: 7, 9, and 11 inches
- Connect slots without newborn insert: 8, 10, and 12 inches.
Helpful tip: buy an extra-base to store in a second vehicle for quick click and go transfers when you require switching vehicles.
How safe is the Chicco Keyfit?
Crash test results have been brilliant for this car seat. It ranked in the top 5 for crash testing compared to other top brands, and for head injuries, checked higher than federal safety standards. Energy-absorbing foam and lots of head and body support help protect even very small babies in case of a crash.
In fact, NICU nurses suggest the Keyfit because of the infant insert which provides an extra layer of safety for premature or small infants. The seat is also FAA compliant, so you can simply switch from ground to air and back again.
Several design features work toward the largely safety of the Keyfit. No two models of cars are the same, but the spring-loaded ReclineSure leveling system aids you to adjust the fit in the varied back seat designs for lots of different vehicles. Bubble levels on each side of the base aid remove any doubts that you may have the seat at an improper angle. The SuperCinch LATCH tightener makes sure a secure, firm fit in just a pull.
Some reviewers have had a problem getting the shoulder straps tight enough. Also, one reported that just hearing one click may not mean the car seat is strongly in the base. This user had to press down harder until a louder click was heard. Thus be aware that you can’t depend on a click alone. We suggest you always pull up on the seat to make sure it’s fine and snug in the base before driving.
Other reviewers have found the cloth on the seat interior doesn’t breathe well enough, contributing to excess sweating. They’ve also found the shade didn’t cover well, leaving the baby somewhat exposed to the sun. Be sure not to dress your kid too warmly when riding and use car window shades and/or thin blankets to remain the sun off and avoid overheating. They have reported that the Keyfit 30 Magic has a better canopy so it may not be an issue with that model.
How hard is it to install?
For parents of newborns, particularly first-time parents, making sure the car seat is just right can be an added stress in an already tense time of life. The overall design of the Chicco Keyfit is intended to help parents to accurately install the car seat the first time, every time.
When you hear a definite click, you know the seat is attached tightly to the base. If you apply the bubble levels and ReclineSure system, you can relax assured that your baby’s seat is safe and secure, yet if you’ve never installed a car seat before. Be sure to always refer to your owner’s manual for inclusive instructions on how to install. Baby product models are regularly changing, so the manual should be your first stop when installing.
If you have a pre-2000’s vehicle with no LATCH system, you can apply the seat belt to secure the base.
As the KeyFit can be used without a base, installing it to the correct angle and tightness without the base has proved hard for some users. You’ll need to use the red line on the sticker/label to aid you to find the right angle. Rolled-up towels may be used to help level it out.
Like most infant travel products, some accessories can be used with the KeyFit to make baby’s trip (and yours) a little better. Here are a few you might desire to try, a couple of which we’ve mentioned already:
Chicco Keyfit and Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat Base – Works for both the unique and 30 models. Ensure you have at least two bases if you’re going to be transferring the car seat from one vehicle to another. It’ll keep time and you won’t have to worry about the exact installation of the base every time.
Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System – You’ll be wanting a stroller too except you’re a complete hermit, so why not invest in a 3-for-1 package? This system qualities the Keyfit car seat and a sturdy stroller. Keep your baby asleep in her car seat as you snap it to the stroller’s frame. When she’s older, ditch the seat and allow her to ride in the stroller style.
Chicco Keyfit Caddy Stroller Frame – If you previously have the Keyfit car seat, you can opt for this stroller frame. Just click the car seat (with infant) on the frame and go. It folds up with one hand and fits properly into your vehicle’s storage. The parent tray with cup holders and a big storage basket make it ideal for a nice shopping trip or day at the park.
Skip Hop Baby Pronto Portable Changing Station – It certainly not fails. You’re strolling along at the playground, and oops, baby’s filled the diaper and there’s no changing room near. Take along this little travel changing station, and you’ll keep baby fresh and dry everywhere you go. It holds up to 4 diapers with wipes and can removable your wrist or your stroller. A zippered pocket holds your keys, wallet, phone, etc.
Baby Car Mirror for Back Seat – Keep an eye on your rear-facing infant with this handy mirror. It goes right on your headrest with straps that keep it cozy and secure. You can look at your preemie or older baby and know if they’re in urgent need of care.
Best Car Seat Hub’s Final Verdict
Let’s review a few admirers and criticisms for the Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant car seat.
Quality– A top-rated infant seat from a famous company
Secure fit– Good fit for preemies and extremely small babies that otherwise might not fit well in other models of car seats
Easy installation– some features designed specifically for right the first time installation – bubble levels, adaptable recline angles and one-pull latch tightener
Compact– Sized for smaller vehicles, no mini-van needed
Easy cleaning– detachable, machine washable covers.
Travel-friendly– Conforms to FAA regulations; clicks on compatible strollers; comparatively lightweight
Made in China – Most things are these days, but know about recalls, inspect all parts before use in case of injury or poor construction, and know the return policy of the seller
Not breathable – Fabric on inner may not be breathable enough; watch for overheating and excessive sweating, particularly in hotter months.
Less sun protection – Canopy may not stretch far enough to cover infant for complete sun protection
Strap tightness – Some reports of trouble tightening the straps
Weight – At 9.6 pounds, it may be challenging to bear a bigger baby around in it without the aid of a stroller or baby carrier.
Not as safe without the base – You can use without the base, but some users had a hard time getting it to adjust just correctly
As this seat isn’t perfect (none are), it has a lot of things going for it. For families with preemies that have a tough time finding the right-sized products, this car seat is your friend. From 4 – 20 lbs., it’ll keep baby snug and protected until she’s ready for an upgrade.
The sister model, the Chicco Keyfit 30 Magic will delay to 30 lbs. It acts very well in crash tests and has many head support and side-impact foam for protection in case of a crash. The best thing about it maybe its simple installation. Which would be huge for new parents or caregivers that aren’t familiar with car seats. Having a second base is highly suggested if you’ll be switching vehicles often.
Before you buy, there are some issues to take into consideration. It’s made in China, and while that doesn’t essentially affect quality, shipping long distances can increase the likelihood of damage. Always check your car seat parts before use, and that goes for any car seat.
If you’re been worry about your baby overheating, or live in hot weather. Take note that the fabric may not breathe with other models and dress your baby accordingly. Plan for extra sun safety too with car window sun shades or thin blankets since the canopy may not extend completely enough.
the Chicco Keyfit 30 seems like a great starter car seat, particularly if you have a preemie or infant. Buying an extra-base or as part of a travel system with a stroller will make sure more convenient travels for families always on the go. If you’re getting ready to have a baby, but this seat on your registry list.
- Want to know how we choose the best car seat strollers for you? Read here.
- Have twin baby? Read here about the best car seats for twins.