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Chicco KeyFit 30 Review

Chicco KeyFit 30 Review
Overall Score
Ease of Install - Latch
Ease of Install - Belt
Ease of Use
Comfort & Quality
Weight & Size

Bottom Line

Chicco KeyFit 30 is an excellent infant car seat that guarantees absolute safety and great comfort for your little one. It fits perfectly well for babies who weigh in the range of 4-30 lbs with a 30-inch maximum height. Considering the quality and the features, its mid-range price makes a sensible investment.

What We Like

  • Superior quality materials
  • Super easy to install
  • Fits well in Chicco strollers
  • Improved safety features

What We Don't Like

  • Very limited height and the weight capacity
  • Straps press against baby’s neck sides

As a new parent, you may be undecided on the best car seat for your bundle of joy. Even experienced parents often find it hard to get the most appropriate seat. However, conducting a little research on infant car seats before buying helps in eliminating doubts. Our experts conducted several product tests and a comprehensive Chicco KeyFit 30 review to help you decide.

Overview of the Chicco KeyFit 30

This car seat from Chicco is creatively engineered for easy installation. It is tailored to provide superior comfort to infants. The seat is unique for its proper angle verification features; the RideRight bubble level-indicators and a ReclineSure leveling foot. 

It comes with LATCH connectors together with a SuperCinch tightener. These ensure that your connection is not only secure but also effortless.

You can alternatively install the seat using the vehicle’s belt. It’s super easy to do this using the integrated lock-offs and the belt routing. We’ll show you how to install it shortly.

There’s no doubt that the KeyFit 30 is tailored for comfort. Its carrier entails a detachable head and body support. Why do we feel this is a great feature? It’s because it enables the seat to accommodate newborns!

For the protection of babies against impact, its carrier shell is lined with EPS energy-absorbing foam.

Things to Consider before Buying a Chicco KeyFit 30

It’s one of the most popular infant car seats in the US. However, it is not meant for all babies. Before buying it, consider the following questions:

  • What’s the seat’s crash test rating?
  • What’s the weight and height of your baby?
  • How old is the baby?
  • Do you need to change cars regularly?
  • Is it easy to install?
  • What’s the seat’s useful period?
  • How convenient is it to clean/wash the seat?

Like buying any other child restraint, you would want to consider safety and comfort before spending your money. It’s a good idea to opt for seats with excellent crash test results to assure its safety.

So, who is the ideal customer for this Chicco seat? If your infant weighs in the range of 4-30 pounds with less than 30″ height, then you’re the perfect customer. You may consider alternatives such as the Evenflo Spectrum for those with babies beyond these specifications.

Although the seat is effortless to install, it’s not fun shifting it from one vehicle to another because it’s a little heavy.

Key Features of Chicco KeyFit 30

The design features of this seat are aimed at ensuring that it is:

  • Simple to install
  • Easy to use
  • Safe and comfortable
  • Easy to clean or wash

Installation and Setup Process

Installing any Chicco seat is as simple as it can be. It comes with a comprehensive, clear, and easy to read user guide with illustrations to help you install it securely. In case you lost your user guide, we’ve got you covered. Simply follow the instructions below, and you’ll install your baby’s seat successfully.

Chicco indeed deigned this seat to ensure that it’s easy to use and safe for your baby. However, this depends on how well you install it.

With Chicco’s KeyFit 30, you can choose any one of the following installation options:

  • Base installation using the LATCH
  • Base installation using
  • Lap-Shoulder Belt
  • Without the base installation using Lap Belt only
  • Without the base installation using Lap-Shoulder Belt
  • Without the base installation using Lap Belt only

Base Setup Using LATCH

These simple and straightforward steps will help you achieve a secure installation:

  1. Release the LATCH and loosen straps to their maximum length
  2. Remove the LATCH connectors them to the LATCH anchor bars
  3. Roll up the LATCH pull strap nicely and put it in its storage slot
  4. Confirm that the installed base doesn’t move more than an inch, either sideways or from the vehicle’s seat.

Base Setup Using Lap-Shoulder Belt

If you choose to install Chicco KeyFit in this mode, you simply have to:

  1. Thread up the seat belt via the belt path located on the side
  2. Pull the belt down via the belt path on the other side of the base then buckle it
  3. Remove the slack in the vehicle’s lap belt by pushing down the base as you pull up the shoulder belt.
  4. Slide the shoulder belt strap firmly into the shoulder belt lock-off on the seat’s side where the belt is buckled. Keep the shoulder belt tight as you do this.
  5. Finally, verify that it’s installed correctly

Base Setup Using Lap Belt only

Follow these instructions for the best installation using a lap belt only:

  1. Thread the belt up via the belt path on the base side
  2. Pull it down through its path that is on the opposite side and buckle it
  3. Remove all slack by pulling up on the lap belt’s loose end as you press down on the base
  4. Confirm the accuracy of installation for the safety and comfort of your child

Once you’re done fixing the base, it’s time to attach the Chicco carrier. But how do you fix the carrier correctly? If the base is installed well, fixing the carrier is very easy. These three short steps will do it quickly and accurately:

  1. Position the carrier into the installed base
  2. Push it down and ensure that it locks onto its attachment hooks.
  3. Confirm that it is securely fixed

Installing without the Base Using Lap-Shoulder Belt

If you wish to install the seat without the base, follow these steps:

  1. Thread up the belt and slide it through the belt guide on the side of the child restraint
  2. Pull it down and then slide it into the belt guide on the opposite side of the restraint
  3. Buckle the belt and pull out all the shoulder belt’s webbing
  4. Activate the belt’s locking mode and ensure that it locks, otherwise install on another seat
  5. Remove the slack from the lap belt by pulling up the shoulder belt while holding down the carrier
  6. Check to confirm your work – your infant’s head should never fall forward

How to Install without the Base Using Lap Belt Only

This option is simple, short, and quick. This is how you’ll do it:

  1. Thread the belt up and then slide it into the belt guide on the side of the child restraint
  2. Pull it down, slide it into the belt guide on the opposite side then buckle it
  3. Remove the slack by pulling up on the vehicle’s lap belt while pushing down the child restraint
  4. Verify your installation.

Age Range

This Chicco car seat is ideal for infants and toddlers. It can accommodate newborns and infants of any age as long as they meet the height-weight requirements.

If your infant is just a year but weighs more than 30 lbs., you should discontinue using this seat. Similarly, if your baby weighs below the recommendation but is taller than prescribed, don’t use Chicco KeyFit 30. The bottom line is that age does not matter so long as the baby meets the specifications.


Chicco designs its baby car seats to provide excellent comfort for babies and convenience for parents. We can’t emphasize this enough. This is the reason why it’s KeyFit 30 is the most popular infant seat in the US. Its most notable design features include the following:

Its 2-position carry-handle provides a comfortable grip while its one-hand release makes it simple to remove the seat. The adjustable ReclineSure leveling foot helps you to achieve a proper angle of the base.


How do you know that you have set the correct angle? The RideRight bubble level indicator on the base will help you to verify the accuracy of the base angle.


For the LATCH connection, the force-multiplying SuperCinch tightener there for you! It’s designed to help you achieve a secure and tight fit without a struggle.


The seat’s body and head support are conveniently removable. This enables it to accommodate the Chicco newborn positioner for newborns or smaller infants. In case the sunshine is a little too much, the canopy will adequately cover your baby. The canopy is also removable, just in case you don’t need to use it.

Chicco KeyFit 30 is designed for your convenience in moving around with your infant. This is great, especially during the first six months. It’s compatible with most Chicco strollers. It easily clicks in and out of the strollers, making it convenient for travel system usage.

It also features a 5-point harness with a single-pull tightener. It’s designed to help you keep your baby secure. It also gives you or your nanny an easy time to get the baby in and out of the seat.

For better protection, the Chicco carrier is lined with energy-absorbing foam. The lining protects infants against hard impact in case of a car crash.

Most Chicco seat fabrics are machine-washable while other parts such as pads, plastics, the harness, and LATCH straps can easily be hand-washed or wiped clean.

Cleaning and Washing

We mentioned that before buying any car seat, it helps to ask yourself how convenient it is to clean it. Regular use of an infant seat means that you should clean it often. Therefore, if you purchase one that stressful to clean, it will soon turn ugly!

This one is a relatively simple car seat in terms of cleaning. Its headrest pad and the fabrics are hands and machine washable; you don’t have to strain to clean them.

So, how do you go about washing and cleaning it?

If you choose to machine-wash, use cold water and mild detergent on a delicate cycle. But in case you opt to hand-wash them, use water and mild soap.

However, with the shoulder pads, you don’t have an option. These ones are not machine-washable. Fortunately, it’s not hard to hand-wash them using water with mild soap.

As for the plastics, clean them using mild soap and warm water; then wipe them dry with a clean towel.

To clean the harness and LATCH straps, use a sponge with mild soap and warm water then air-dry them. You should never machine-wash them.

Finally, clean the buckle and the LATCH hardware using a sponge with warm water only.


Chicco products exceed the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 213 and 302. It has an excellent crash test rating compared to others. In case of an accident, it provides protection beyond what Federal standards prescribe. This is enabled by the EPS energy-absorbing foam that lines the carrier.

Even though it scores highly in a crash test, this alone is no guarantee for safety. The Chicco infant car seat will still fail to provide adequate safety if you install it improperly. It’s helpful to ensure that you follow the seat installation instructions carefully.

In our product reviews, we discovered that many parents install infant seats wrongly because they can’t get the angle accurately. Chicco addresses this problem by incorporating the ReclineSure leveling foot and RideRight bubble level-indicators in its car seats.

The ReclineSure will help you to get the proper base angle. The RideRight bubble level indicator enables you to verify the correctness of this angle.

The SuperCinch Tightener is a force-multiplying tightener for the LATCH that ensures a secure seat fit. On the other hand, the 5-point harness is excellent in providing safety and comfort as you strap your baby in the car seat.

To guarantee maximum security for your baby while using this car seat, Chicco recommends the following tips:

  • Read the user guide before installing or using the seat
  • Follow all instructions in the user guide
  • Before using the seat, always make sure it is installed correctly and tightly secured
  • Always try to lift the carrier just to ensure that it’s properly fixed
  • This particular child restraint must never be used in forward-facing mode
  • Ensure your baby fits the child specifications – don’t use it for premature infants
  • Discontinue its use once the baby outgrows the specifications
  • Recline the seat properly to avoid risk of serious injury to the baby
  • Always ensure that the harness straps are securely fixed to the splitter plate; they should never be twisted
  • In case your newborn is 4 – 11 lbs, always use a Chicco infant insert to achieve a better fit.
  • Never use the seat without its seat pads

Chicco KeyFit 30 Price

You can purchase the seat directly from Chicco, Amazon, or any other retailer. Its price is on the mid-range, neither on the extreme lower nor the super higher end. It will cost you anywhere in the range of $199 – $220. Given the premier service that the seat offers to your infant, the price is reasonable for many families.

Our review established that it’s cheaper than similar Chicco models like KeyFit Zip and KeyFit Zip Air. The two are more expensive by about $29 and $40, respectively.

Chicco KeyFit 30 Specs

  • Baby weight range: 4-30 lbs
  • Baby height limit: 30 inches or below
  • Age: Newborns – 1.5 years (doesn’t matter as long as the baby meets the height-weight restrictions)
  • Product Name: KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
  • Product Brand: Chicco
  • Assembled dimensions: 27.5” X 17” X 24”
  • Weight without base: 9.6 lbs.
  • Base dimensions: 20” X 15” X 8”
  • Base weight: 7 lbs.
  • Harness Mode – Rear-facing: 40-30 lbs.
  • Harness Mode – Forward-facing: N/A
  • Booster Mode – High back: N/A
  • Booster Mode – Backless: N/A
  • LATCH Connection: SuperCinch
  • Seat Belt Installation: LockSure
  • Recline Positions: 5
  • Total Harness Slot Height: 9″
  • Product Interior Width (Shoulder): 10″
  • Product Interior Width (Hips): 10.5″
  • Product Interior Seat Depth: 14″
  • Product Max Seated Height: 19.5″
  • Assembled Product Maximum Seat Height: 16″
  • Product Depth (Footprint): 22″
  • Height Adjustment Positions: 3
  • Crotch Positions: 1
  • Color: Oxford, Orion, Eucalyptus, Papyrus, Lilla, and Moonstone
  • Expiration Date: 6 Years from Year of Manufacture
  • UPC: 049796606461
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Carton Dimensions: 17.32” X 14.96” X 27.95”
  • Carton weight: 20 lbs.

Competition: Chicco KeyFit 30 is a Top-rated Seat for Safety, Comfort, Easy Installation, and Average Price

In the world of infant car seats, Chicco KeyFit 30 is the number one rated seat in the US. It’s best known for its super comfortable for babies, and superior crash test results. Besides, its ease of installation attracts many parents.

Additionally, it beats similar Chicco brothers in terms of price. Here are a few alternative seats:

Chicco KeyFit Zip – This car seat is similar to KeyFit 30. However, it comes with a warm cover to protect infants from extreme cold. If you come from warmer regions, this model may not be a good choice for you. Besides, it will cost you about $29 more!

Chicco KeyFit Magic – This one is more or less like the Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip. But instead of a zipper, it has a Velcro blanket. It’s perfect for keeping the little ones extra-warm, making it an excellent choice for cold regions. Unfortunately, the Velcro blanket makes this car seat slightly more expensive than the other models.

SnugRide SnugLock 30 – If you love cheap stuff, this is the most attractive infant seat on the market. You’d be understandably tempted to grab. It’s cheaper than the rest, yet its infant height and the weight limit is the same as for the Chicco.

However, you’ll be disappointed in this car seat because its fabric is a bit noisy. Its carrier is a little uncomfortable and less safe because of the weak harness straps. Its crash test rating is a little lower than the two at 7. Also, the SnugRide SnugLock has a thin and tiny infant insert. Chicco KeyFit 30 beats it in terms of comfort and safety for your infant.

UPPAbaby MESA – MESA car seat offers a quick, simple, and accurate installation because of its unique technology. It makes use of self-retracting LATCH connectors and a tightness indicator. Its headrest is also lined with EPS foam for impact protection. Its weight and height restrictions are slightly higher than the KeyFit. It best fits babies 4-35 lbs babies with a maximum height of 32″.

However, UPPAbaby MESA is suitable for high-end users since it’s quite costly. You have to spend anything in the range of $320-$350 to buy it. Additionally, it’s a bit uncomfortable for infants because of its steeper side inclinations making babies feel too much restrained. Ironically, the MESA doesn’t have an impressive crash test rating at 6!

The Final Verdict: Chicco KeyFit 30 Review

Whenever you go shopping for an infant car seat, certain considerations are key. The safety and comfort of your baby are the top considerations. For your child to be safe and feel comfortable, you must install the seat properly. Most safety and comfort issues arise out of poor seat selection and improper installation.

In our considered review, Chicco KeyFit 30 is the best infant car seat. It’s not only easy to use but also super comfortable and safe for your baby. With excellent crash test ratings, its mid-range price makes it affordable for most families. Its compatibility with Chicco strollers makes it convenient for taking your little one around.

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