Let me preface this review by saying “Finally, something that Consumer Reports and I can agree on!” In case you missed it – they recently rated the KeyFit and KeyFit 30 as the two best overall infant carseats among the models they tested. Now, if you follow this blog, you’ll understand how unusual it is for me to completely agree with Consumer Reports on anything related to child restraints. However, the KeyFit is a well-thought-out, well-designed and well-constructed infant carseat and CR was right to load heaps of praise upon it.
The KeyFit and KeyFit 30 are infant carseats from Chicco (pronounced KEEK-koh). The original KeyFit model (aka the KeyFit 22) is generally only sold with the Chicco Cortina stroller as a “travel system” while the newer KeyFit 30 model is usually sold separately but can be paired with any compatible Chicco stroller (Cortina, Cortina Together Double, Trevi, or S3 All-Terrain) to create a travel system, if desired. The brand new Chicco KeyFit Caddy is a great option if you want a snap-n-go type product that has many of the same great qualities found in a full-featured stroller.
The original KeyFit is rated for babies from 4 to 22 pounds and 30” or less in height. The newer KeyFit 30 model is rated for babies from 4-30 lbs and 30” or less in height. Both seats are the same size and shape – the only differences at this point are the maximum weight limit, cover options and a small price differential. With either model, you should discontinue usage once the child reaches either the weight limit OR the 30” height limit OR if the top of the child’s head is less than 1” from the top of the restraint. Current models of both the KeyFit and KeyFit 30 utilize the same base. These bases have a sticker on the side indicating that they can be used with either the 22 lb or 30 lb models. If you happen to own an older, original KeyFit model, you cannot use that base (meant only for the 22 lb model) with a newer KeyFit 30 carrier. The original bases are NOT compatible with the newer KeyFit 30 seats.
The model I have is the KeyFit 30 in the “Romantic” pattern. This demo model is strictly for training purposes and was provided by Chicco for use in our local Child Passenger Safety Technician certification courses. The fabric is 100% polyester in a nice, neutral black/gray color scheme. It’s not a soft fabric like a cotton or plush microfiber but it does seem like it would be fairly resistant to frequent spit-up. This particular model comes with a seasonal boot cover, which is easy to snap on and off. It also comes with a newborn insert, a head support insert and harness strap covers. The KeyFit 30 retails for around $179.