Chicco KeyFit 30 Review

(Last Updated On: April 14, 2020)
KeyFit, Chicco, Key Fit, infant car seat, Premie car seat, carseat, preemie

Chicco KeyFit features

The Chicco KeyFit is a key item in the rear facing only car seat market. It’s a time-tested seat that’s proven over and over again that it’s easy to use and fits most babies well from day one. When a KeyFit comes into a seat check event, we approach the car with a sigh of relief because the KeyFit presents almost no installation challenges!

CSFTL Quick Stats

  • Weight range: 4-30 pounds
  • Height range: up to 30 inches or when the top of the child’s head is within one inch of the top of the seat’s shell
  • Shell height: 21 inches
  • Lowest harness position: 7 inches
  • Weight (carrier only): 9.5 pounds
  • Expiration: 6 years
  • Handle position: any locked position

Features

  • Seat belt lockoff
  • Adjustable recline foot
  • Push button lower anchor connectors

The Chicco (say it “key-coe”) KeyFit 30 fits babies who weigh between 4-30 pounds and are up to 30 inches tall. Canadian versions of this seat fit babies who weigh between 4-22 pounds and are up to 30 inches tall.

Why do I love it? Let me count the ways!

Installation

Installation with the Base

Chicco KeyFit Lower Anchor Release

Chicco KeyFit Lower Anchor Release

Installing the KeyFit using the lower anchors is pretty simple.  The premium lower anchor connectors use a push button to engage or release them.  They tighten with the pull of a single strap of webbing on the center of the base.

Chicco Keyfit Seatbelt Installation

Chicco Keyfit Seatbelt Installation

Installing the KeyFit using the seat belt is also a simple proposition in most vehicles, thanks to the seat belt lockoff that’s built into the KeyFit’s base.  Simply pull the seat belt tight across the lap portion of the base, then slide the shoulder belt into the orange clamp to secure the base in place.

Recline Angle Adjuster

Chicco KeyFit Recline Adjuster

Chicco KeyFit Recline Adjuster

The recline foot on the KeyFit’s base has a wide range of adjustment.  This means it’s easy to achieve the proper recline in any car without having to use a noodle.  This is a good thing because Chicco does not allow for a pool noodle to adjust the angle with this seat.

A bubble level indicator lets you know the recline is in the correct zone for your baby.

Installation Without the Base

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Chicco KeyFit baseless installation

Although the base is a cinch to move between vehicles, the KeyFit can also be installed without the base – very convenient when traveling or taking a ride with Grandma or a friend. The recline line for baseless installation is on the side of the seat.

Infant Insert Rules

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Chicco KeyFit insert needs removed at 11 pounds

The KeyFit includes a substantial newborn insert that can help the smallest babies achieve a proper fit.  This insert must be removed when baby weighs 11 pounds, but the headrest can stay in until the child’s shoulders are using on the top harness position.

Handle Position

The carry handle is allowed in any locked position in the vehicle – space-saving and convenient! In fact, the KeyFit is one of the shortest infant seats in terms of front to back space.

Fit to Child

Newborn

Chicco KeyFit 6 weeks old, 9.5 pounds, 22 inches

Chicco KeyFit 6 weeks old, 9.5 pounds, 22 inches

The 4 pound minimum weight and 7 inch bottom harness position make this seat an excellent fit for preemies through average sized newborn babies.  Our 6 week old model weighed 9.5 pounds and was 22 inches long here.  The harness fits her well and she’s got plenty of room to grow in this seat.

11 Months Old

Chicco KeyFit 11 months old, 16.5 pounds, 28 inches

Chicco KeyFit 11 months old, 16.5 pounds, 28 inches

This kiddo is 11 months old.  She weighs 16.5 pounds and is 28 inches tall.  She’s got a bit of room to grow in the KeyFit, but not much.  We’d expect this seat to last roughly a year for most children, so she’s right within that range here.

18 Months Old

Chicco KeyFit 18 months old

Chicco KeyFit 18 months old

This 18 month old kiddo is on the tiny side at 21 pounds and 30 inches tall.  But here she is, fitting into the KeyFit!  She’s at the very top of the height limit but she does fit in the seat.   That’s a rare thing for a rear facing only car seat.

Important Information: Where to Find

Chicco KeyFit FAA Approval Sticker

Chicco KeyFit FAA Approval Sticker

FAA Approval: the airline approval language is the red text on the large sticker on the left side of the base.  Note: like most rear facing only seats, the KeyFit is only approved for airline travel in baseless mode.

Chicco KeyFit Manual Storage

Chicco KeyFit Manual Storage

Manual Storage: The manual stores in the handy compartment at the front of the base.

Chicco KeyFit Expiration Sticker

Chicco KeyFit Expiration Sticker

Expiration: A 6 year expiration means that the KeyFit can be passed down through several Littles.  The expiration date and date of manufacture are printed on a sticker on the top of the base.  Another identical sticker is on the bottom of the seat itself — note that sometimes, the base and the seat itself will have different manufacture dates.

Pros

  • Front adjust harness
  • Fits preemies well
  • Push button lower anchor connectors
  • Seat belt lockoffs
  • Allows handle in any locked position

Cons

  • Seat is a bit heavy

Overall Thoughts

Is there anything I don’t love? The canopy is on the short side, and the harness straps like to try to fold/twist at the hips sometimes. Other than that, the KeyFit is easy to use, easy to install, a sure fit for tiny newborns on up through infancy.

ChiccoKeyfitIs the KeyFit for you? You can find it on Amazon: Chicco KeyFit 30.

Chicco did not provide this KeyFit for review and gave no compensation for the review. As always, the words are always our own.