The Chicco KeyFit 30 receives excellent user and professional reviews as an infant car seat that can hold babies up to 30 pounds. In fact, it receives the highest rating in a recent independent test of nearly 30 infant car seats. As with the 22-pound capacity standard Chicco KeyFit car seat (*Est. $180), owner reviews praise the Chicco KeyFit 30 for being easy to install and having good adjustment options.
Parents say the Chicco car seat looks stylish and fits in most vehicles, but there are some complaints that its size reduces front leg room because the passenger seat must be pushed forward. It features an extra storage compartment in the base, an easy-to-adjust harness (although re-threading is necessary) and an ergonomic handle that makes carrying easier. There is a canopy as well, but even parents who love the seat say it's too small.
There are some complaints about the weight, although others contend that extra weight is to be expected with higher-capacity seats. If you don't plan to use your car seat as an infant carrier beyond 22 pounds, consider a lower-capacity model such as the Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite (*Est. $80), which receives excellent ratings for safety and costs much less.
ConsumerReports.org is the usual go-to source for infant car seat ratings because of its independent testing. We also found good information and professional testing from one top baby gear book, Good Housekeeping magazine and Babble.com. We found helpful owner reviews at Amazon.com and Target.com, and consulted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for ease of use ratings.
ConsumerReports.org's latest report on infant car seats includes the Chicco KeyFit 30 along with 27 other models, each of which is evaluated for crash protection, ease of use and fit to vehicle.
Review: Infant Car Seats, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
2. Baby Bargains
No crash tests are conducted, but the Chicco KeyFit 30 is briefly reviewed based on hands-on use and interviews with users and retailers. There is pretty good information here on ease of use and baby comfort.
Review: Infant Car Seats, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition
3. Good Housekeeping
The Chicco KeyFit 30 is one of nine car seats evaluated by Good Housekeeping magazine, which takes ease of use and installation into consideration, as well as fit to vehicle. The Chicco KeyFit 30 earns praise for its ease of adjustment: The harness straps can be easily tightened or loosened, and the angle of the car seat is also easy to adjust. Editors note that the harness straps must be re-threaded in order to adjust for height.
Review: Infant Car Seat Reviews, Editors of Good Housekeeping, May/June 2009
4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The Chicco KeyFit 30 earns an overall ease of use score of 4 stars out of 5. Editors indicate that connectors aren't labeled well, but the car seat is otherwise easy to install.
Review: Chicco KeyFit 30, Editors of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Editors of Babble.com name the Chicco KeyFit 30 the best car seat overall for 2011. Crash test ratings from ConsumerReports.org are also taken into consideration. Editors say the KeyFit 30 is safe, easy to install and adjust, and manageable to carry.
Review: Best Overall Infant Car Seat: Chicco KeyFit 30, Editors of Babble.com, 2011
More than 200 parents review the Chicco KeyFit 30 at Amazon.com, where the car seat enjoys very high ratings. There are some complaints that the seat makes babies uncomfortably warm, and some parents say the seat is large and can cramp leg room in the passenger seat of some cars (because the seat must be moved to its most forward position for the car seat to fit).
Review: Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base, Contributors to Amazon.com
All 40 owner reviews are positive, with most reviewers giving the Chicco KeyFit 30 a perfect 5-star rating. Most reviews are short, but there are a few detailed evaluations.
Review: Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Seat and Base - Adventure (Green/Beige), Contributors to Target.com
The Graco KeyFit 30 tops this listing, although it isn't clear whether the car seat was tested in a formal way. Still, Heather Corley is About.com's guide to baby products and a child-passenger safety technician. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Top 6 Infant Car Seats, Heather Corley