The Chicco trifecta is now complete with the addition of the KidFit booster! We have always loved the KeyFit infant seat, we adore the NextFit convertible and now we have the KidFit booster to complete the series.
The Chicco KidFit Booster is a dual mode product which means that it can be used as a highback booster until the back portion is outgrown and then you can continue to use the bottom portion as a backless booster until your child can pass the 5-Step Test and safely transition to using the adult seatbelt. There is also a KidFit Zip version that has easy to remove zip-off panels for easier cleaning.
KidFit Specs & Features
- Highback: 30-100 lbs.; 38-57” tall; at least 4 years old and can sit relatively still and properly in a seatbelt at all times
- Backless: 40-110 lbs. and all other requirements listed for highback mode
- 10 height positions
- Lower LATCH anchor attachments
- 2-position backrest to match vehicle seat position/contour
- Headrest fully lined with thick EPS foam
- Dual cupholders made of flexible rubber material
- Unique shoulder belt guide design
- 8 year lifespan before expiration
Lower LATCH anchor connectors – premium push-on LATCH connectors attach quickly and easily and you tighten both sides of the strap simultaneously by pulling on the central adjuster strap at the front of the base. They refer to this feature as “SuperCinch” but it does NOT have the force-multiplying system found on the NextFit convertible. In this case “SuperCinch” is purely a marketing term being used to describe Chicco’s patented center-pull LATCH adjustment.
Using the lower LATCH connectors is optional. If you’re not LATCHing the KidFit, pull the strap to retract the connectors as much as possible so they don’t get in the way.
Shoulder Belt Guide – the opening to place the shoulder belt into the guide is situated at the top, so the belt won’t slip out of the guide unintentionally as your child is trying to buckle. It’s the little things like this that you really appreciate, especially if you’ve ever had a booster where the seatbelt constantly came out of the guide.
Cupholders – the flexible rubber sides can be pushed in if you need the space more than your child needs the cupholder. This is such a great feature if you need to place another carseat or booster next to the KidFit! And they are easily removeable so you can toss them in the dishwasher! This is a major bonus – if you’ve ever had a carseat or booster with cupholders you know what nasty little germ pots they quickly turn into!
- 10 height positions: lowest 13.5″; tallest 19.5″ (measured to bottom of shoulder belt guide)
- Depth of seating area: 15″
- Width of seating area: 11″ wide at back; 12″ wide near the cupholders
Always adjust the height of the booster so the shoulder belt guide is positioned at or slightly above the child’s shoulders. Once your child’s shoulders are above the shoulder belt guide in the top height setting – the back has been outgrown and you should remove it and use just the bottom portion. The KidFit isn’t the tallest booster so it might not be the best choice if you have a very tall or long-torsoed child who needs to use a highback booster for a long time.
I found excellent belt fit on all of my models in both highback and backless mode. In each case the lap belt was low – touching the tops of the thighs. In highback mode, the shoulder belt crossed the center of the child’s shoulder when the headrest was in the correct height setting. For older, taller kids (who are too tall to use the back), the shoulder belt also fit perfectly.
7 years old, 50″ tall, 56 lbs.
8.5 years old, 53″ tall, 50 lb.
The KidFit does come with a shoulder belt positioning strap/clip that can be used if necessary when using the seat in backless mode. The strap/clip is neatly stored on the underside of the base. In my experience you will rarely, if ever, need to use this strap because most kids are tall enough not to need it by the time they transition to backless mode. Still, it’s nice to have – just in case.
The KidFit booster is not particularly wide or narrow. The LATCH connectors are easy to attach and tighten so the seat doesn’t move around when your child is getting in and out. Chicco requires standard LATCH spacing with this booster so using the KidFit in the center seating position of most vehicles will mean not being able to take advantage of this feature – unless you are lucky enough to have a dedicated set of lower anchors for the center position. Fortunately, LATCHing the booster is optional so you can still use it even if you can’t take advantage of this feature. The shoulder belt guide is wide open and ideally situated where it should work well with the belt geometry in many different vehicles and seating positions.
Interference with the vehicle head restraint – no gap allowed.
Check that the head restraint of the vehicle seat does not interfere with the Headrest of the Booster. If the vehicle head restraint pushes the Booster Headrest forward, raise or remove the vehicle head restraint, if possible. If it is not possible to move the vehicle head restraint out of the way, try a different seating position or use the booster in the Backless mode. Ensure the child is the proper size to use the Backless Booster.
I want to mention that Chicco states in the KidFit manual that if the booster is being used in highback mode, secured with the LATCH connectors and unoccupied – that they still recommend that you buckle the seatbelt over the booster [when no child is sitting in it] to keep the back of the booster from rotating forward in a crash. The back portion won’t break off and become a projectile but it will move forward if the shoulder belt isn’t buckled across it to prevent that. If you’re using it in backless mode then the lower LATCH connectors will be enough to keep it in place when unoccupied. I know that most of us parents with kids in boosters would rather not have to worry about remembering to do that. We just want to set it and forget it. However, I would imagine that this potential movement of the back portion when unoccupied in a crash would happen with any 2-piece (dual mode) dedicated booster that had lower anchor attachments but no tether strap.
Cover & Comfort
The cover is well padded and the fabric is neatly tucked into the shell which gives the KidFit a very polished appearance. There is an additional piece of comfort foam that is secured in a pocket underneath the bottom cover. Tuck the extra flap attached to the bottom pad under the cover when using the seat without the back. The cover is somewhat difficult to remove and replace. Actually, getting the bottom portion of the cover off and reattached is easy. The back portion is more difficult but that part of the cover rarely needs to be removed for washing so that isn’t a big disadvantage. The cover can be machine washed in cold water on delicate cycle using mild detergent or hand washed using mild soap and water.
- Proper belt fit on children of different ages and sizes
- Relatively easy for older kids to buckle themselves in
- Easy-to-use lower LATCH anchor attachments keep the booster stable as your child gets in and out
- Converts to backless booster when back is outgrown
- Premium fabrics with extra padding for comfort
- Thick energy-absorbing EPS foam in the headwings
- Two recline positions for better fit to vehicle
- Shoulder belt guide design makes it difficult for seatbelt to slip out of guide unintentionally
- Doesn’t require support from a vehicle head restraint
- Cover is machine washable
- Cupholders are removable and dishwasher safe
- Smooth bottom base won’t damage vehicle upholstery
- Instruction manual is clear and very well-written
(In fairness, these aren’t necessarily problems but I list them here to inform potential consumers of specific KidFit issues)
- Not as tall as other highback boosters currently on the market
- Can’t use LATCH attachments in center seating positions with non-standard LATCH spacing
- When unoccupied it is recommended to still secure booster with seatbelt (even if LATCHed) when used in highback mode
- May not be compatible with vehicles that have head restraints that cannot be adjusted or removed
- Minor assembly required
- Made in China
The Chicco KidFit Booster is a welcome addition to the current booster market. It’s sturdy, well-made, comfortable, easy to use correctly and has great features. It also won’t break the bank – or your budget – with a $99 price tag. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not as tall in highback mode as some of the competition but it’s tall enough to be competitive and it does turn into a backless booster once your child outgrows the back portion. While all carseats and boosters have specific advantages and disadvantages, overall the Chicco KidFit is a keeper and I have no reservations about recommending it!
Thank you to Chicco USA for providing the KidFit sample used in this review. No other compensation was provided and the opinions and comments are entirely those of CarseatBlog.
For more info please see the Chicco webpage: http://www.chiccoshop.com/KidFit/KidFit.html
CarseatBlog Experts Rating
Recommended: Chicco KidFit
Just curious if anyone knows the back base measurements of this seat. I’m trying to find something that slimmer in the back of the base to fit between two seatbelt stalks.
It’s roughly 15″—hard to take a measurement.
Yep, mine too on the KidFit Zip, but not the regular KidFit. I have tried contacting Chicco, but never got anywhere. I may try again since I paid more for the optional panels and could have just gotten two of the regular KidFit seat. Other than this problem, I love the seat. But the headrest cover not staying on (it’s like it’s too small), causes my daughter to lean out of her seat – dangerous!
Do you know if this seat is compatible with the back seat of the 2015 BMW X1? Other seats I’ve tried are a fraction too wide on the external measurement, sitting almost on the buckle box, and I can barely insert the buckle clip as a result. Thanks!
Hi Patricia, I’m really not sure. Do you have a Target nearby where you can buy it and return it easily if it doesn’t fit? Amazon offers free returns as well. What other seats have you tried? If you tell me what seats you have already tried, I might be able to predict whether KidFit will work in your situation.
We just bought and installed our kidfit. I’m concerned that there’s is no ‘latch’ connecting the back piece to the headrest or back of the seat of the car. The base is secure, but the back can move forward. Is that correct?
Hi Kelly, that is correct. There is no tether for the back portion of the booster. This is normal and all other “latchable” dedicated boosters are the same.
I have had the Chicco Kidfit for about 6-months now and love it. My daughter just turned 7 and is around 42 pounds. The seat fit her very well and the belt does not come out of the guide which is great. She has a britax pioneer in our second vehicle where has been using the 5-point harness but since that seat’s booster mode is horrible, we are getting her another Chicco Kidfit.
Can’t find latch connectors in my 2001 Pathfinder! Help!
Many 2001 vehicles do NOT have LATCH connectors. Auto manufacturers started phasing them in during the 2000-2001 model years. They were not required on all passenger vehicles until a few years later. Installing with seatbelts is still just as safe if you can get a good installation. Plus, you will not have to worry about the ridiculously low LATCH weight limits that force you to switch to seatbelt for older kids.
Hi Miki. As Darren pointed out, your ’01 Pathfinder does not have lower LATCH anchors. Using the LATCH connectors with the KidFit booster isn’t necessary so don’t sweat it. A booster seat doesn’t get “installed” like a carseat does and most booster seats don’t even have LATCH connectors. “LATCHing” a booster that has LATCH connectors (like the KidFit) just adds stability when your child is getting in and out of the vehicle. It isn’t considered a significant safety feature. HTH!
I wanted to comment that I purchased two of these seats for my children, ages 4 & 6&1/2. They puzzle piece perfectly with the britax marathon G4 rear facing for my 1yr old son! I have a very small back seat in my 2005 Subaru Forster. These Chicco seats fit just right so I am even able to install them with the latch anchors. The britax marathon is installed with belt path in the center seat.
I apologize- my middle child is 5, not 4.
I have a little boy that just turned 5 this past April (45 lbs & 45 inches tall going to Kindergarden in the Fall). He is currently forward facing in a Orbit g3 toddler seat that we love. I have a 11 month old that is about to switch from his infant seats to a rear facing combo seat. In this transition to where my little one will be using the oldests combination seats, we were thinking our 5 year old is ready for a back booster seat? We were looking at the Chico kid fit zip or the Clek oorb. What is your suggestion? Thank you for your time.
I just bought this seat and installed it i can not get it is sit back on the seat (2011 chevy tahoe) middle seat latch used and no headrest the top part of the seat is pushed forward. should i loosen the straps on the latch? when i pick up the seat if sort of pops ( reclines??) i think if i “recline” it, it can fit, but I can not find that in the instructions. Would having my son sit in the seat push the back straight? i am new to the booster non harnessed world, I almost want to buy a higher weight harnessed seat. Son is 6yrs 52lbs 47″ tall. thank you for the help
Hi Sheena, the recline feature is meant to accommodate the different contours of various vehicle seats. If you place the booster in the recline position, then attach the latch strap but don’t tighten it too much – that might solve your issue. Sometimes you have to play around with things to find what will work best. Having your child sit in the seat might solve the issue too. If it pops into the recline position when he leans back, that’s okay! HTH!
Any word on the Chicco KidFit Zip Air?? I see it on the BRU website, but no reviews to be found anywhere. Wondering if the new material and detachable foot rest are worth the higher price. Only listed as a $10 difference from the regular Zip, however, from what others deals I’ve found on the regular Zip, it really works out to a $40 difference being a BRU exclusive. Any thoughts on this version? I see little of it mentioned online.
Hi Suzanne, it’s brand new so we don’t have a review yet but we should have a sample in the near future. You are correct that this is exclusive to BRU. Only you can decide if the “upgrades” are worth the additional cost but the leg cushion extension is cool and unique!
My kiddo pulled the cover off the top of the headrest and for the life of me I can’t figure out how to get it back on correctly. Any suggestions?
We are having the same problem with our headrest, only our child didn’t pull it off, it simply won’t stay. Suggestions for resolving this please!!!!
I’m trying to picture what’s happening. Is is that the cover on the headrest isn’t staying neatly tucked into the shell?
I’m having the same problem with BOTH of my kidfit boosters! The top portion of the headrest cover will not stay tucked in! It’s extremely frustrating because it comes loose constantly on both seats. My kids are 7 and neither are tugging or pulling on the cover either. I love everything else about it, but the cover just simply won’t stay on!
The best advice I can give anyone having this issue is to call Chicco customer service, if you haven’t already. Explain the issue, send them pictures or video and see what they say. They must be getting this complaint from others too so hopefully they have a solution.
I bought this seat a few days ago, but I’m having trouble with the recline function. It won’t stay reclined–when I use LATCH to attach it, it pops back into the upright mode. Am I doing something wrong?? In the upright position, it leaves a gap of about 1″ between my vehicle seat back and the back of the KidFit. I drive a 2004 Honda CRV and the seats are as upright as they will go. Thanks!
Hi Nolan – I’m sorry to hear that you’re having issues. I didn’t need to use the recline position in any of the vehicles I tried the KidFit in so I didn’t run into this problem. My first suggestion would be to loosen the LATCH strap a little bit to see if that helps it to stay in the reclined position. If that doesn’t work – call Chicco customer service for suggestions. Good luck! Let me know how you make out.
Great review! Did your 53″ model not fit the back? If this booster was only taller, I would get one. 🙁
I bought and returned the Kidfit after using it a week. My nearly 6yr old is 54lbs and 49″. She is pretty broad shouldered and found there was no room side to side. The seat is really narrow internally. She looked like she was wearing the seat. Also, because the headrest and backrest are all one piece, she didn’t like how it felt when adjusted properly. The manual says that the adjuster should be positioned at or just above the shoulder. When adjusted that way, she complained it hurt. The only way it was comfortable was with the adjuster way above her shoulder. I wanted to love the seat so bad, but was really disappointed.
Hi Jacky – I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. For what it’s worth, it’s not unusual for parents to have to try a few different seats before finding the one that works best for their child and their vehicle. The KidFit is not a narrow booster, comparatively speaking, so I’m a little surprised to hear that she was squished. But the good news is that you have other choices so hopefully you can find something more accommodating. None of my models complained about comfort when the headrest was positioned at the correct height. Was she able to articulate what the problem was?
I have such a crush on this seat <3. I can't wait till we sell it at BRU 😉
Did you happen to measure the widest (exterior) part? I’m wondering if this is good for 3 across, as the collapsible cupholders might help that!
jjordan – I will get measurements for you asap. Stay tuned…
I don’t think this seat will be great for 3-across but it might work in certain situations.
Have you had a chance to get the widest measurement on the possibility of fitting three across? I’m curious also.