Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat Review

February 2, 2018

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat Review

A parent favorite, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is known for its simplicity and safety. Find out what you need to know about safety, installation and the competition.Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat Review

Upshot: A parent favorite, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is known for its simplicity and safety.

Price: $$

The Chicco KeyFit 30 is one of the most popular infant car seats. Easy to use and install, it gives first-time parents confidence that their baby is safe in the car. With all the other stresses of becoming a parent, this is a huge relief. Of course, nothing’s perfect, and the KeyFit 30 has a few drawbacks too.

Why We Love It

The KeyFit 30 is incredibly easy to install using LATCH (Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children), which is how parents install their car seats most of the time. The seat is thickly padded and lined with energy-absorbing foam for side impact protection.

If you’re looking to snap your car seat into your stroller, the KeyFit 30 has wide compatibility with many popular strollers.

Parents also love the easy pull release from the back of the carrier.

Why We Don’t

One major drawback is the weight. The KeyFit 30 weighs 9.6 lbs. Compared to the Graco SnugRide (7 lbs) or the Nuna Pipa Lite (5.3 lbs), that’s a hefty load. A few pounds might not seem like that much, but once you throw in the weight of your baby and some sleepless nights, it will feel like an extra sack of potatoes.

The KeyFit 30 is also harder to much install without the base! Get more details on that in installation below.

Some parents also complain that the canopy is relatively small and doesn’t have a peekaboo window to check in on baby.

Safety

First off, all car seats sold today meet strict federal safety requirements. According to tests run by Baby Gear Lab, the Chicco KeyFit 30 exceeds the federal standards. These tests measure the force on both the chest and the head caused by a crash and then compare that to the maximum allowed force by the National Highway and Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA, pronounced NIT-sa). The KeyFit 30 was one of the top three performers out of 15 tested car seats.

Installation

Here’s a big surprise: the biggest factor on car seat safety is not the crash test ratings. What is? Correct installation and size-appropriate orientation. So you could say the safest car seat is the one that’s easiest to install and use correctly.

On that front, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is very easy to install correctly using LATCH. These clips are installed in the back seat of cars built after 2002. Once clicked into the LATCH clips, the KeyFit 30 base has a SuperCinch Tightener (see below) that helps you tug the straps tight with just one pull. It also features a spring-loaded leveling base and level indicator on both sides, so you can see that it is properly positioned for your vehicle. Thanks for the peace of mind, Chicco.

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat SuperCinch Tightener Closeup

Even though the KeyFit 30 is simple to install with LATCH, it’s very difficult to install without the base. If you are hopping into rideshares regularly, this might not be the best choice.

NHTSA releases ease-of-use ratings for every car seat. The Chicco KeyFit 30 scores 4/5 stars overall and 4/5 for vehicle installation features.

Depending on your baby’s size, the car seat harness needs to be adjusted so they are right at or below your baby’s shoulder. On the KeyFit 30, this is kind of hard because you have to take off the fabrics and re-thread the harness through the back. You will probably have to do this twice before your baby outgrows the car seat.

Stroller Compatibility

Can you pop this baby into a stroller? The KeyFit 30 is compatible with most Chicco strollers and popular strollers from Baby Jogger, Bugaboo, BOB, UPPAbaby and others with an adapter that must be purchased separately. (Adapters are specific to the stroller you are trying to pair with, so make sure that you get the right one.)

If you are looking for a travel system (a stroller and car seat that come together), Chicco offers three travel systems that come with the KeyFit 30: the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System, the Chicco Viaro Stroller Travel System and the Chicco Cortina CX Stroller Travel System.

User Reviews

From the Babylist Store

“It’s so easy to move between car, stroller and back again without ever having to wake the baby up! The KeyFit 30 is easy and versatile. We loved it so much with our first babe that we bought a second one when we found out we were having twins!” -Whitney

“PROS: Safety ratings were great, fits into middle seat in both our Prius and Saturn Ion, along with my 6’4” husband! Used with stroller to make taking sleeping babe a breeze. CONS: can’t move handle without using both hands, can’t release straps without using two hands, one strap always seems to be loose when we try to tighten it, requiring us to re-snug him a few times to get it right. Having two bases was great for us, different styles have different sunshades—we got one that almost goes to his feet when fully expanded.” -Ulani

“I LOVED this carseat. SO easy to install and easy to tighten. My only wish is that it lasted longer, but luckily Chicco came out with the Keyfit2 that lasts until 24 months (amazing!) So this will be something we consider with baby #2. I loved that I could use it in my stroller and jogging stroller. Relatively easy to clean, but not as easy as the zip off of the new Keyfit2 I would imagine.” -Kristyn

The Competition

Britax B-Safe 35

This is another popular infant seat, known for easy LATCH install and strong side-impact protection in safety crash tests. It’s also about the same weight as the Chicco KeyFit 30. If you are deciding between two, the KeyFit is stronger in crash tests run by Baby Gear Lab. You should also consider stroller compatibility if that’s important to you. While the B-Safe 35 automatically clicks into BOB and Britax strollers, it does not have as much compatibility.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect

The SnugRide is harder to install, but easier on the wallet. It also weighs a couple pounds less than the KeyFit, which some parents really appreciated.

NUNA Pipa

This is a chicer, more expensive car seat that many families love. It’s very lightweight (7.9 lbs), has a no-rethread harness, large canopy and European belt path that makes rideshare installation easy. But all these extras come with a hefty price tag.

Chicco Fit2

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies stay rear-facing until at least two years. Some states, including California, are now making that recommendation law. To keep up with this recommendation car seat makers are rolling out new models.

Enter the Fit2. In 2017, Chicco rolled out the Fit2 which allows your child to remain rear-facing until 24 months. It features the same SuperCinch easy install as the KeyFit 30, an adjustable leveling foot and two clear bubble indicators.

One big concern: The Fit2 has an upper height limit of 35”. This covers most kids, but boys above the 60th percentile and girls above the 75th percentile will outgrow this seat before 24 months.

Versions

Chicco KeyFit 30 Magic

This KeyFit 30 Magic includes a canopy, visor and footmuff to make the car seat just a bit nicer. Some parents really appreciate the extended canopy and visor, and if you are having a winter baby in a cold climate, the footmuff is great to get baby warm. We recommend using footmuffs made by the manufacturer (like this one) to ensure baby’s safety.

Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip

This version of the KeyFit 30 includes the canopy, visor and footmuff like the KeyFit 30 Magic. The Zip also lets you zip it all off, making cleanup way easier and the whole kit-and-caboodle easier to deal with.

Accessories

Newborn Positioner: The Chicco KeyFit 30 (and all its versions) include a newborn insert to help position babies smaller than 10 lbs. You do not need to buy one, and we do not recommend buying anything that is not made by Chicco. Another brand’s car seat insert cannot be guaranteed to be safe in the event of a crash.

Extra Car Seat Base: Your car seat will include a base. Many families opt for an extra base rather than buy a second car seat for a second car. The bases stays in the respective car and the carrier can be popped out of one and into the other.

KeyFit Caddy Stroller Frame: A stroller frame is an alternative to a stroller for when your baby is still in the car seat. There is no seat. It is just a frame with a handle and storage, and your car seat snaps into the frame. Some families swear by this simple alternative. They use it for the first year or so before graduating to a full-size stroller.

Specs

Age of Use: 4 to 30 lbs or up to 30 inches in height

Carrier Weight: 9.6 lbs

Weight with Base: 16.6 lbs

Dimensions: 27.5” x 17” x 24”

Base Dimensions: 20” x 15” x 8”

Care: Machine wash fabrics in cold water on delicate. Line dry. Spot clean the harness and hardware.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content.