Baby Gear

Chicco KeyFit 30 vs UPPAbaby Mesa – Which One is Better?

One of the most important and useful purchases you will make for your new baby is the infant car seat. You will need to buy a car seat before your little one is even here, usually between 6 and 8 months into your pregnancy, as most hospitals won’t let you leave without one for safety reasons. Regardless of whether or not you have a car of your own, you will definitely need a baby car seat, as they can be used in taxis, public transport, airplanes and on a stroller.

We all know that safety can’t be compromised on when it comes to babies, and luckily there are strict standards in place to ensure that whichever car seat you choose, your baby will be safe. To help you decide which one to choose, we are going to compare two of the best infant car seats on the market: The Chicco KeyFit30 vs the Uppababy Mesa. We are going to compare these two models to help you decide which one is best for you and your baby.

There are a few things you need to consider when you are buying a car seat, so we are going to take a look at the safety features, price, weight, and style of both the Chicco KeyFit 30 and the UPPAbaby Mesa, as well as whether they can be fitted to a stroller with adaptors for convenience when you are out and about. There are three different types of infant car seat available, depending on your needs and the age of your child.

The Different Types of Infant Car Seat Available

  1. Baby, or ‘Infant Only’ Car Seat. These types of car seats are suitable from birth until between 22-35 pounds, depending on the model. These are suitable for even the tiniest of babies, as they normally come with a removable ‘infant insert’ which can be taken out as they start to grow. Baby car seats must always be rear facing, and if you need to have them in the front of your car, the passenger air-bag must be switched off.
  2. Convertible Car Seats. These are suitable for both infants and toddlers and can be used in a rear-facing position for babies, and a forward facing position for toddlers once they have reached the required weight. It’s important to keep your baby in a rear-facing position for as long as possible, so make sure you check the weight limits of your chosen car seat and know the weight of your baby.
  3. Booster Seats. These are for older children who have outgrown their toddler car seat. The car seat belt can be used with these booster seats, as the booster seat and back will position the belt safely for your child, and the back of the car seat will provide head support.

The Main Differences Between the Chicco KeyFit 30 and the UPPAbaby Mesa

  • At $199.99 The Chicco KeyFit 30 is quite a bit Cheaper than the UPPAbaby Mesa, which starts at $299.99 for a basic fabric, and $349.99 for the Merino Wool option
  • The Chicco KeyFit 30 is 2.9lb lighter than the UPPAbaby Mesa
  • The UPPAbaby Mesa is available in Chemical Free, naturally flame retardant material (Merino Wool)
  • It has a higher maximum weight and height limit, meaning it will last a little longer than the Chicco KeyFit 30
  • The UPPAbaby Mesa is easier to fit and use

The main differences between the UPPAbaby Mesa and the Chicco Keyfit 30 are the quality of materials used, the weight and the price. Weight could be an important factor for some if the car seat needs to be moved in and out a lot. The price difference between the two is large, between $200 and $250 depending on the materials, but with the UPPAbaby Mesa, you are paying extra for the quality of materials and the innovative technology.

Chicco KeyFit30 vs UPPAbaby Mesa – Which one should you choose?

Both the Chicco KeyFit30 and the UPPAbaby Mesa are Infant-only car seats made by well-known brands, and both models come with an installation system with a base that attaches to the chassis of the car. Having the car seat on a base rather than secured with a seatbelt is very convenient, as you can install the seat with one click and know it’s secure, rather than struggling to correctly install the car seat with a seatbelt.

We have taken a detailed look at both of these car seats, looking at the features of each, such as the weight, size, safety features and style, as well as the pros and cons of each, and reviews from other parents to help you decide which one is right for you and your baby.

Chicco KeyFit 30 Car Seat

The Chicco KeyFit 30 is the Number One rated car seat in America and is packed full of useful features to make it easy to install and use. It comes with removable newborn inserts, and is suitable for babies from 4 to 30 pounds, or 30 inches in height, and can be used as part of a travel system with compatible Chicco strollers.

Innovative installation features mean that the Chicco KeyFit30 is a breeze to install in your car giving you the peace of mind that everything is installed safely and correctly. The ‘ReclineSure’ leveling foot lets you keep the car seat at the correct level of recline, regardless of the size and shape of your car seats, and the ‘RideRight’ bubble level indicator lets you know when you are at the correct level.

One of the best things about the Chicco KeyFit 30 is how lightweight it is. At around 7lb, it can easily be carried by most people. It is also nice and compact in size, measuring just 17 inches wide, 27.5 inches deep, and 24 inches in height, so it doesn’t take up too much space in the back of the car. The size and weight of the Chicco KeyFit 30 mean that it is great for travel and holidays, it can either be clicked onto the base of a compatible Chicco stroller or used on an airplane, as it is airplane compliant. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.

Accessories for the Chicco KeyFit 30

The Chicco KeyFit 30 comes as a package with the base, so it’s a great value! You can also purchase some additional items to go with the car seat:

  • Seat Cover, Canopy and pads set
  • Cup holder
  • Rain cover

Features

  • Five-Point harness system
  • Removable newborn head and body support
  • Removable canopy for shade
  • Side Impact protection
  • Energy-Absorbent Foam
  • LATCH connectors
  • Level indicator
  • Airplane Compliant
  • Maximum Weight Limit of 30lbs
  • Minimum Weight Limit of 4lbs
  • Maximum Height Limit of 30 inches
  • Smooth underside to protect car seats
  • 2 position carry handle with comfort grip

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Exceeds safety ratings, with excellent crash test results
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Simple to install and adjust
  • Airplane compatible so great for travel
  • Stylish, and available in a range of colors
  • Smooth underside won’t damage leather car seats
  • Machine Washable Covers
  • Works as a travel system with compatible strollers, or works with adaptors for other popular brands such as UPPAbaby
  • Compact Size

Cons

  • Small Canopy
  • Made in China
  • Straps can be difficult to tighten
  • Tricky to install with a seatbelt

Parents Opinions on the Chicco KeyFit 30

We’ve been looking at the reviews, to see what parents views are on the Chicco KeyFit 30:

  • Easy to install and use
  • Comfortable for long journeys
  • The sunshade is not well designed and can catch on the handle
  • Fits onto other strollers such as the UPPAbaby with adaptors
  • Easy to get in and out of the car
  • Worth the money for the peace of mind
  • The fabric isn’t very breathable and babies can get sweaty in the hotter months

The Chicco KeyFit 30 has an impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with over 250 five star reviews in total. It’s clear to see that parents love this car seat, with most of the negative reviews being about the sunshade.

UPPAbaby Mesa Car Seat

The UPPAbaby Mesa is an Infant car seat packed full of technology designed to maximize safety and ease of use for parents. It’s so easy to use in fact, that it was awarded a 5-star NHSTA rating, for the highest government-rated ease of use! Their ‘SMARTSECURE’ installation system is an industry first, making it almost impossible to make a mistake fitting the car seat, utilizing a light system that turns green once the base has been secured correctly.

An adjustable headrest with Side Impact Protection provides added protection in the case of a side impact collision, keeping the infant’s head stationery. The MESA also features a unique ‘no-rethread’ harness, meaning you do not need to remove and rethread the harness as your child grows. This gives the added peace of mind that the harness is always correctly installed, regardless of the size of the infant.

The UPPAbaby MESA lining is made from a chemical free, soft, breathable fabric that keeps babies cool in the warmer months, and both the seat fabric and the UPF25+ canopy are removable and washable, perfect for those inevitable spills that can happen with little ones! Like the Chicco KeyFit 30, the MESA also features a smooth finished base which won’t damage leather car seats, and level indicators, so you know your baby is always reclined at the correct level. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.

Accessories for the UPPAbaby MESA

The UPPAbaby MESA can be purchased either with or without the base, however, the base makes installing and using the car seat incredibly easy, so we would recommend purchasing the car seat and the base together.

  • LATCH system base
  • MESA Travel bag
  • Cabana (all weather and bug protection)
  • Rain Shield

Features

  • Suitable for infants from 4-35lbs
  • Suitable for infants up to 32 inches in height
  • Weighs under 10lbs
  • Seat lining is made from soft, breathable fabric
  • Adjustable headrest
  • No-Rethread harness
  • Two crotch buckle positions
  • UPF canopy
  • Removable seat lining and canopy
  • Fits onto UPPAbaby strollers, and other strollers with adaptors to create a travel system
  • Available in five different colors to coordinate with UPPAbaby strollers

uppababy mesa pros and cons

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fairly lightweight at 9.9lbs
  • Beautiful design
  • Finished base to protect car seats
  • Very easy to fit and use
  • Spill-resistant, machine washable fabrics
  • Different fabrics and colors available and The ‘Henry’ model it is only car seat available made from Chemical free Merino Wool
  • Easy to install even without the base
  • Natural flame retardant material

Cons

  • Heavier than other car seats
  • Expensive

Parents Opinions on the UPPAbaby Mesa

Let’s hear what parents have to say about the UPPAbaby Mesa:

  • Well crafted and very sleek
  • Incredibly easy to install
  • Easy to clean the seat covers
  • A little heavy
  • Really soft Fabric
  • Worth the high price
  • No chemical flame retardants

With 4.4 stars out of 5, this is another clear favorite with parents. Some of the negative reviews said it was quite heavy, but for a car seat this safe, we feel the extra weight is a small price to pay.

The Verdict

The Chicco KeyFit 30 and the UPPAbaby Mesa are both excellent infant car seats, so it was really hard to choose a winner from these two. Both options are available with a LATCH system base for easy and quick installation. Safety wise, both of these car seats reach a very high standard, so with either choice, you can be sure that your little one is as safe as possible.

When it comes to price, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is around $100-$150 cheaper than the UPPAbaby Mesa, which is a lot for a car seat, so if the price is a factor for you then the Chicco KeyFit 30 is the obvious choice. However, when you pay a bit for the UPPAbaby Mesa, you are getting a lot more quality which you can see in the design and the materials, such as the Merino wool seat covers.

The Chicco Keyfit 30 is 2.9lbs lighter than the UPPAbaby Mesa, weighing in at just 7lbs, which means carrying it or moving it around is quite easy compared to other models, so it would be great for traveling and taking on holiday.

Overall we have chosen the Chicco KeyFit 30 as the winner! Although both of these car seats are excellent quality, the Chicco Keyfit 30 came out tops because of the price, weight, and stylish finish, making it an affordable and excellent choice for parents, without compromising on safety.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Chicco KeyFit30 and the UPPAbaby Mesa

What strollers does the UPPAbaby Mesa work with?

The MESA can be attached to the VISTA and CRUZ strollers without the need for adaptors. Other brands of stroller will need adaptors which you can usually purchase from the manufacturer of your stroller brand.

When do I use the infant insert?

The infant insert is recommended for infants from 4-8lbs.

Can I install the Mesa without the base?

Yes! The Mesa can easily be secured with a normal seat belt for everyday convenience when you are not with your own car, such as in when you are traveling in a taxi, or when you hire a car on holiday. Please refer to the user manual for the instructions on correct installation with a seat belt.

Does the Chicco KeyFit 30 come with a base?

Yes, the KeyFit 30 model does come with a base, but additional bases can be purchased for families with more than one car.

Is the Chicco KeyFit 30 forward or rear facing?

The Chicco KeyFit 30 is rear facing only.

Can my baby wear a winter coat in the Mesa?

Children should never wear bulky padded clothing when in car seats, as the padding interferes with the effectiveness of the restraints. To keep your child warm in the winter, secure the harness over their clothes as normal, and cover them with a blanket.

How long will the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant car seat last?

A new KeyFit 30 car seat will last for 6 years, and you will be able to find the expiration date printed on both the seat and base.

Why aren’t car seats recommended as a resting place for long periods of time?

It is recommended that infants do not spend more than two hours at a time in car seats, due to the fact that they do not lie completely flat, and are resting at an angle. A bassinet attachment for your stroller is the best place for a new baby to sleep when you are out and about.

Final Thoughts on the Chicco KeyFit 30 and the UPPAbaby Mesa

Both the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the UPPAbaby Mesa are great quality car seats that exceed government safety standards, so you can be sure that your little one will be safe regardless of which one you choose. The winner for us though has got to be the Chicco KeyFit 30, as it is great value for money, has a stylish finish and is intuitive and easy to use. It is also lighter in weight than the Mesa, making it an excellent choice for holidays or occasions where a car seat may need to be carried around a lot, such as through airports and on public transport.

If money is no object, then the UPPAbaby Mesa is a great choice, with beautifully soft, chemical-free Merino wool seat covers to keep your baby cool in the hot weather, and an easy to use – base with innovative light indicators so you can be sure the car seat has been correctly attached every time.

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