Customer Reviews: Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base, Adventure (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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on March 31, 2008
Please ignore the reviewer who rated the seat one star due to the rebound issue. I am a certified child passenger safety technician and this is NOT a safety concern. Almost all rear facing seats will rebound in a crash. The only ones that won't are infant seats with rigid LATCH (the only one currently available in the US is the Baby Trend Latch-Loc with rigid LATCH) or one with an anti-rebound bar like the Britax Companion and convertible seats that tether rear facing (all Britax convertible seats, Sunshine Kids Radian, etc). As long as your seat moves less than an inch in any direction AT THE BELT PATH (i.e. on an infant seat with a base, right at the seat crack where the other poster said it was tight) it is safe. The Chicco KeyFit is a very good seat. It is without a doubt one of the best on the market currently. It installs like a dream and fits small babies very well. As a tech of seven years, I would not hesitate to recommend this seat or use it for my own child.
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on July 15, 2008
I did a lot of research on infant and convertible car seats before my daughter was born. We have a small two-door car, so I needed a narrow car seat that wasn't going to take up a huge amount of space. The Chicco Key Fit 30 fit the bill! (Although I did purchase the Extreme pattern, not the Adventure) It is a wonderful car seat, easily comes in and out of our small back seat and my daughter loves it. She is also a tall and slender baby, so the 30" height limit is great, as she would have grown out of other infant car seats already (at 6 months she's 25 inches and just 14 lbs). We were also involved in a car accident just a few weeks ago and the car seat kept my baby amazingly safe. While the rest of us were in pain from the accident, my baby was all smiles. Sadly we have to replace the original seat, but will be buying the exact seat again. If you have a small car and want a well made, safe car seat, the Chicco Key Fit 30 is the one for you!
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on March 15, 2012
I have to get this message out because we have all grappled with which car seat to buy and let me tell you about how happy I am we chose the Chicco Keyfit 30. My husband and I were walking out of the doctor's office yesterday, pushing our baby in her Baby Trend Snap N Go Stroller with car seat in place, when we were suddenly struck by a Tahoe that decided to accelerate out of a parking space. We were thrown to ground and I witnessed my sweet preemie's car seat detach from the stroller, fly in the air, flip once, and slam to the ground. It was horrifying!!! We were all rushed by ambulance to a trauma center. My baby doesn't have a single scratch and is perfectly fine. It saved her life! Had she been held in my arms or in an umbrella stroller, she could have easily been killed. We are in a lot of pain from our own injuries but are absolutely thrilled that our baby survived this terrible ordeal. Just needed everyone to know how this car seat held up.
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on March 20, 2013
This is my first baby so I researched car seats like crazy and liked this one the best. This is great car seat, safely brought my little one home from the hospital. Very easy to install. I had my husband re-install this car seat about 4 times because I kept changing my mind on where I wanted it (middle or outboard) and how it was secured (latch or belt). We ended up using a middle install with the belt for about 2 months but it was too difficult to get out of the car with out waking up the baby, especially once he exceeded 10 pounds. It eventually got moved to the passenger side. Either way my husband was able to install it (both belt and latch) within 10 minutes. The bubble level on the base and self leveling base makes proper installation extremely easy.

The seat itself has a nice cushy pad, and its easy to tighten the harness. I felt my son was very safe in the seat. The additional head and body support are great for newborns. The seat is slightly heavy but I think that's a good thing safety wise. I've had to wash it twice. The seat is very easy to remove, it washes well, and can easily be placed back on. Instead of getting the travel system, I just purchased an extra base for the second car and the Keyfit Caddy which is awesome to use as a small, light weight stroller (great for errands and shopping). Many people give this seat bad reviews because it cannot fit on top of grocery carts BUT it is very dangerous and not recommended to do that anyway...thats why the caddy is great. Chicco Keyfit Caddy Stroller Frame

Three things worth noting:
- The canopy/ sun shield is barely covers the baby's head and face. Chicco needs to improve this, its a huge flaw. This was such a big deal for me because my son was born in June and I felt like the hot sun was always in his face.
- Second, the seat gets hot. In the summer I had to blast the air conditioning in the car just to keep him from sweating in the car seat, meanwhile I'm shivering in the drivers seat. My son is now 9 months old and even over the winter (Massachusetts) I couldn't put a heavy blanket over him because he would sweat in the seat.
- Lastly, I wish I had saved a couple of bucks and just gotten the Keyfit 22. Reason being, my son at 9 months old is no where near the 30 pound weight limit (he is 18 lbs) but he has pretty much outgrown the seat by height at this point (28.5 inches). The seat has a 30 inch height limit, and I can tell he is getting uncomfortable in the seat.

I really didn't pay attention to height limits at the time of purchase otherwise I would of gotten a keyfit 22 or maybe the Graco snug ride 35. You really can't predict how tall or wide your baby will grow to be. So, I am now looking at convertible car seats. I will save this seat for the next little one though and be happy to use it again (except for the sun visor) :)
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on July 23, 2010
**Update at 8 Months** ... Babies may outgrow this long before 30 pounds! My son is 18 pounds, and 29 inches tall, and is now too tall for the seat (It is rated for 30", or when his head is 2" from the top).

This has been such a great car seat, I am so sad he outgrew it so quickly that we now have to buy a convertible one. After a 5-day drive cross-country and several plane trips, it still looks new.

*********original review, 6 months ago*********

2 months along I'm pretty happy this was the biggest splurge in our baby purchases, and that we rearranged our budget for it (pricey car seat, secondhand baby clothes) rather than buying a cheaper car seat. Considering how long we'll use it, and that it's so highly rated for safety and ease of use, it made more sense than spending a lot elsewhere.

The pros:
-- Highly Rated by Consumer Reports
-- Easy to use
-- LOVE the newborn insert for babies under 10 lbs, since most aftermarket car seat additions for floppy newborns compromise the safety of the seat.
-- The Adventure fabric is indeed more breathable than some others
-- It is easy to rock the baby to sleep in it (not in the car of course).
-- Little One seems very comfortable in it.
-- We've had no problems with his head flopping around (from the size of 8.5 lbs, 21")
-- Pops into the base easily
-- Comes apart well for washing
-- The handle is very comfy over the arm, being rounded. I have noticed a lot of car seats have handles with square edges.

The cons:
-- He does get a little bit sweaty in the seat (even though we ordered Adventure, which Chicco's customer service had said is a more breathable fabric). We combat this with a burp rag flat behind his back for one thin layer of wicking, and with a cloth (cotton) diaper with a wool cover (no synthetics). He gets very uncomfortable in it, with a disposable diaper or a PUL diaper cover.
-- The canopy does not pull up or down well
-- It's immensely annoying to have to push buttons on both sides of the handle, to move the handle
-- No slot to set it on a grocery cart. True that's not the safest spot for the car seat but it'd be nice to let parents choose.
-- It is heavy
-- The base is frequently out of stock so take care to get the spare well before you need it
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on June 30, 2012
Documentation on this seat reflects the high safety standards it meets, so I won't comment on that. I like the ease of installation of the base, and how easy this seat is to use over all. It looks great and I love the Adventure color. But I have a few gripes:

- The fabric simply isn't breathable. Baby gets hot. Many people have had this issue. I ended up removing the infant body insert for my 5-week old, and leaving the head support in. This seems to have helped a lot.

- Hate that I need two hands to unlock/move the handle. It's a pain.

- The location of the release button, to remove the seat from the base, is ridiculous. If you have a vehicle in which the seat buts up against the back of the car's front seat, the release button can be a pain to get to.

- The canopy is USELESS. It simply doesn't offer enough coverage and it's pretty much a joke.

Seat is high quality, but for $170 or so I am just not 100% pleased with ease of use. Chicco can't help that some babies run hot, but the fabric isn't something I'd want to sit in for any length of time, and the other issues are ease-of-use complaints.
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on January 5, 2012
The model I have is actually the Chicco Keyfit30 Magic (referred to from here on out as "Magic") which is in essence the same as the original Keyfit30 car seats (referred to from here on out as "Original")but with a few improvements. But even with the improvements, I rated the Magic 4 stars because there was one issue that wasn't addressed and could be an issue depending on your child.

But I compared the two models side by side at the local Babies R Us and decided on the Magic model and here is why:

1. The Canopy on the Magic is larger than on the Original(even when the extra sun visor on the Original is extended) plus it has an extendable mesh section on it as well.

2. I've read other reviews where they had problems with the canopy on the Original not staying in place and this was fixed on the Magic model as well.

3. There was also another review here that said there was piping on the car seat cover that left a dent in their son's head and that issue was addressed on the Magic as well - they removed it altogether.

4. The material felt breathable (but only time will tell as my son is not here yet)and much more plush/cushiony overall. Even the infant inserts felt thicker, which may or may not be a good thing (again, my son is not here yet).

The only con that Chicco did not address in this new model is that the crotch strap/latch is not adjustable so it only has the one position/length. (Or if it is adjustable, I haven't figured it out yet.)I know that some reviewers had issue with this but I guess that would vary from child to child.

So far the only place that I have found this new model is at Babies R' Us and it's only available in one color scheme which wouldn't have been my first choice (I really liked the Midori colors) but I opted for the improvements over 1st choice in color.

Anyway, I hope this helps those who are still searching for a car seat.

*****UPDATE 3/29/13******

I'm really happy with this infant car seat and am glad I bought it!

The canopy with the extension was the perfect size and I liked the mesh extension - it came in handy down here in Houston. No real issues with my son getting too hot and sweaty (I really don't think there is any car seat that can keep your child completely sweat free during the Houston summers). The cover is easy to remove and wash and no problems with the crotch strap being too short and my son was in the upper 90th percentiles for weight and height.
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on June 2, 2008
I bought the Chicco Keyfit 30 carseat for my daughter who was born last August. Out of all the seats at Babies R Us, this seat got my attention b/c it's such a great looking seat and it had more padding than any of the other ones. It was super easy to install using latch and my daughter fit into it well. At first, it seemed worth the hefty price.... Then, after only a few weeks, I started noticing a chemical smell in my car. I finally discovered it was this carseat and replaced it with a spare seat I had on hand. I immediately called the company to inquire about the toxic smell. The customer service rep. agreed to send another seat out to me and said that sometimes the fire retardants used in manufacturing can cause the smell. I decided I didn't want another Chicco seat and was able to return it to BRU for a refund. The covering on the Chicco Keyfit is more "plasticky" and not cotton fabric like the Snugride I used with my son 3 years ago. I know some people prefer that type of fabric for easy clean up etc... but in my opinion, cotton is much safer. I'm not sure what the deal was with my particular seat, maybe the heat in the car caused the off-gassing of the chemicals.. Toxic fumes, whether from the fire retardants or the plastic materials can be very toxic and hazardous for infants especially. You all should research what's in conventional crib mattresses too and you'd be surprised. Everything else about this carseat was great...but not worth the risk b/c of the chemical smell.
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on April 10, 2013
I did tons of research online before buying this carseat and initially was very satisfied with the purchase. With a newborn baby, the flexibility of being able to click her in and out of the car and stroller was great. However, within a few weeks as she grew bigger, it became really uncomfortable schlepping this thing around with a baby in it. The seat alone is not light, and with our now 6 month old, 17 lb baby it's a real back-breaker.

Other cons:

- As another reviewer mentioned, the straps are too short. If they were just an inch or so longer, you could prop them open on either side to gently place the (sometimes sleeping) baby in the middle. As it is now, they always end up falling under the baby as you're seating her...she cries, you have to dig them out from under her, she cries some more...
- Sweaty, sweaty, non-breathable fabric means even on cold days my daughter is hot and sweaty in this thing.
- Maybe it's just my kid, but my daughter hates the carseat and cries every time we put her in it. Not sure if it's just car seats in general, or that this particular one is uncomfortable.
- The sun shade is a joke - not nearly big enough and extremely flimsy.

It's really been fine in general, but these little annoyances add up when you're dealing with this thing multiple times per day.
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on October 22, 2010
Lets face it folks. The likelihood of your child hitting 30 lbs without growing out of this seat is VERY narrow.

This seat is the epitomy of a First Time Parent purchase.

The styling is excellent.
The italian name is exotic
The latch system is convenient
But the price, while expensive, is still affordable.

But lets face several issues this product falls short in:

1st - Its a very, very large seat. When sitting level, it will hit the backs of my seat (im 6' and need legroom) of my durango, and my wifes endeavor. That is a fullsize and a midsize SUV this hits. Sedans usually have more space, since they sit at angles.

2nd - The base needs to be able to extend more to help you create a level surface. We had to cut a foam "Noodle" to help level the base out. the adjustment was too small.

3rd - It is too narrow. Base should be AS WIDE as carseat. Many SUVs have sectional bench seating. 60/40, 40/20/40; etc. Depending on where exactly the latch is, you may combat trying to place this carrier on a crack when placing the seat in the middle (which you will do if you are buying this most likely. Most parents purchasing this seat will use for 1st child)

4th - Height. Being it is a 30 lb seat. It is much taller (which causes clearance issues). It also makes it all that harder to adjust pacifiers, toys, etc.

5th - Must use two hands to adjust the bar. You are supposed to keep the bar in a forward position when driving (vs leave the handle up). You need two hands to do this. So that means crawling in your back seat to reach over. No simple one handed operation

6th - Now this may or may not be a con. Not all shopping carts or portable carseat holders in restaurants are safe and solid. So this is at your discretion. You cannot set this in the top of a cart. This makes grocery shopping impossible or comical. I have been seen at local supermarket pushing a stroller AND pulling a cart. Or walkinbg around with a bulky carry while my son was in the crook of my arm and i was buying groceries. Now the stability could be argued. However, when you first go into the store, all you have to do is buy that pack of water, soda, etc ,and throw on the bottom of your cart. You can also think that your spouse will be there to help. I am a dad. My wife is tired. She needs a break, especially since we were all learning this. Us leaving to grocery shop so she could nap is what happened. This seat was a huge pain in the ass.

Now for the pro's.

The straps NEVER bunched up. This is HUGE. I hate my friends/family car seats that did this.

The 5 pt harness was really spaced well. Our son was small. Some carseats have a vertical track that doesnt take into consideration that at 7 lbs the babys neck/shoulders is MUCH smaller than at 15lbs

The Latch system was EXTREMELY easy to use

The belt system was EXTREMELY easy to use. This ease of use is training grandparents how to use the system. They get it in 1 demonstration, it is considered EXTREMELY easy to use.

The material NEVER faded. It still looks new after countless cleanings of diaper blowouts, spitup, snack mess

The material was incredibly easy to clean

The handle had very easy to maintain your grip rubber. This is a godsend in winter. Bare plastic is stupid with gloves on. I have actually slipped on ice (being in Northern US in winter) and i never lost grip on this thing.

The material was free of stupid logos, seams, and labels where newborns stick their soft/sensitive heads

The padding was soft enough for comfort, especially bouncing around in my SUV, but still very secure.

The color choices will literally make ALL female staff flock to your carrier. My wife couldnt believe how much I abused that privelidge. As some woman would be ga-ga-gooing over my child, I would say, thanks, by the way my hands are full, could you please go get X, Y, and Z for me and my little man?

....Awesome :)

Perhaps we shouldve bought more expensive. Many of the shortcomings I have seen in this seat are present in other seats in its pricerange and below. So if we narrow those issues out as a general problem with almost all seats, you can sum this review up as:

1) It needs to be able to go into shopping carts, especially if single parents unless you dont mind asking for a staff member to push a cart for you.

2) Chicco needs to come up with a 1 handed option to release latch on BOTH sides. on handle (not a evenflow wierd push down, which is demostrated when its on a floor, not in the middle of your car, and you have to lean against wheel wells and running boards filled with dirty slush to get to it :) )
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