Baby Gear

Chicco KeyFit 35 vs Chicco KeyFit 30 [2020 Comparison]

Chicco is a well-renowned manufacturer that produces all kinds of baby equipment – from toys to nursery fittings, strollers, or even baby clothes. Today we’re going to compare two of Chicco’s most popular car seats – Chicco KeyFit 35 vs Chicco KeyFit 30.

When we’re looking for a perfect car seat for our infant, there are numerous factors to consider. Most of all, we tend to focus on safety, ease of use, and comfort, but we also cannot ignore the price which can differ from model to model significantly. In this comparison, we’ll put Chicco KeyFit 35 and Chicco KeyFit 30 side by side and to see how they stand in regard to these qualities.

Is it really worth upgrading to KeyFit 35, or will you be just as happy with the older and more affordable KeyFit 30 model? Let’s start with a short summary of the key differences between these models.

Main Differences Between Chicco KeyFit 35 vs Chicco KeyFit 30 

The main differences between Chicco KeyFit 35 vs Chicco KeyFit 30 are:

  • Chicco KeyFit 35 is designed for babies weighing 4-35 lbs pounds and up to 32” in height, whereas Chicco KeyFit 30 is rated for babies weighing 4-30 lbs and up to 30” in height.
  • Chicco KeyFit 35 has an anti-rebound bar, whereas Chicco KeyFit 30 lacks this feature.
  • Chicco KeyFit 35 is more expensive, whereas ChiccoKeyFit 30 is cheaper.
  • Chicco KeyFit 35 is slightly heavier, whereas Chicco KeyFit 30 is lighter.

Chicco KeyFit 35 vs Chicco KeyFit 30 – The Car Seats Compared

A car seat is one of the bigger kids-related investments. It’s also one of the most important ones because car seats are designed to literally save our little ones’ lives. Some car seats are so distinctively different that it’s very easy for us to say which one we prefer. But Chicco’s KeyFit 35 and KeyFit 30 have much in common, which makes the decision making quite difficult.

To help you see and understand their strengths and drawbacks, we’ll focus on them one by one.

Chicco KeyFit 35 – In Depth 

chicco keyfit 35

Chicco KeyFit 35 is one of the newest additions to Chicco’s acclaimed KeyFit line (previous models include Chicco KeyFit 22 and the KeyFit 30 we’re also reviewing today). As the producer claims, this is one of his easiest-to-install infant car seats, and it also offers more legroom, headroom, and stability, which makes it especially suitable for extended rear-facing use. (considered the safest position)

Where to Buy?
Chicco KeyFit 35 Car Seat
$249.99
Buy at Amazon.com Buy at ChiccoUSA.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 12/02/2020 08:34 pm GMT

Let’s check KeyFit 35’s most important features and qualities in detail:

Versatility

Are you looking for a car seat that will grow with your baby and spare you from the necessity to buy another, larger model too soon? Chicco KeyFit 35 is designed for infants weighing 4-35 lbs and up to 32” in height, which makes it generously versatile.

Newborn (up to 11 lbs) can fit in it snuggly thanks to the removable ergonomic newborn insert and positioner. Although each child grows very individually, on average, this car seat should work for your kid at least for 18 months. Many mothers claim they were able to use it even longer thanks to the extended legroom and generously adjustable headrest.

Another important factor that largely increases this car seat’s versatility is its wide compatibility with Chicco strollers. You can combine this seat literally with any of the car-seat compatible strollers from the same manufacturer, and thanks to the one-click system, the assembly is very easy and fast. Note that this car seat is also FAA-approved for use in airplanes.

Comfort and design

Chicco is an Italian manufacturer, which might be one of the reasons why their products always sport beautifully sleek and thoughtful designs. KeyFit 35 is no different – it looks modern, elegant, and totally gender-neutral, which adds to the great versatility we’ve discussed earlier.

You can choose from several color variations, all of them combine tasteful shades of gray, black, and mustard orange. It looks fresh and stylish. The design is also beautifully ergonomic with richly cushioned insides.

Adjustable features (such as headrest) allow all babies to find their favorite position and calmly sit even through the longer journeys. Bubble levels help you with setting the right angle. And there’s another nice feature worth mentioning – KeyFit 35’s double-knit canopy that offers full coverage with UPF 50+ sun protection.

Safety

Safety is the most important quality we expect from our car seats. Chicco’s KeyFit 35 might be a bit too new to appear in most of the official rankings and independent crash test evaluations, but its potential is clearly big since its technologies and parameters mostly copy Chicco’s previous successful and acclaimed models from the same line.

This seat has a 5-position no-rethread harness that can also be moved with the headrest to provide more space, comfort, and safety in all positions. It also supports LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children).

Unlike the simpler KeyFit 30, KeyFit 35 has an anti-rebound bar, which is another multifunctional feature that adds greatly to the seat’s safety. The bar fits against the seat behind the car seat and absorbs lots of the impact energy in case of an accident, but it also maximizes seat stability and adds a few inches to the legroom.

This car seat can be used with or without a dedicated seat base thanks to the belt routing designed for baseless installation. But if you plan to use a base, make sure that you’re buying a compatible type (of course, your best bet is the official Chicco KeyFit 35 seat base, although some models are interchangeable).

Reviews

keyfit 35 seat

Chicco KeyFit 35 is one of the newest products of its kind on the market. Most of its owners are now probably just putting their hands on the product for the very first time, so it might take some time until they share their opinions and thoughts online.

However, those of us who have previous experience with some of the other KeyFit Chicco car seats usually agree that Chicco was able to maintain basically all of the strengths and qualities of KeyFit 35’s predecessors while also adding some nice new features (such as the anti-rebound bar).

Although this car seat is relatively bulky, manipulation with it is quite easy and intuitive. Most of those who already have some Chicco gear at home surely appreciate that this car seat perfectly fits into their seat-compatible stroller frame.

Although the anti-rebound bar makes this seat even bigger, reviewers claim that it fits very well even in cars that had difficulties housing some of the other infant seats. Some parents, however, felt a bit unsure about the longer seat base that inevitably hangs off your seat into space. However, this doesn’t negatively affect the car seat’s stability.

Some users were disappointed to learn that this car seat cannot be used with inflatable seat belts that are commonly installed in some car makes. Their LATCH compatibility is also somehow limited – you can only use a lower connector in the center seating position with typical 11” spacing.

Buyers also often comment on Chicco KeyFit 35’s price, which is on average higher than many other models from Chicco or other comparable manufacturers.

Where to Buy?
Chicco KeyFit 35 Car Seat
$249.99
Buy at Amazon.com Buy at ChiccoUSA.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 12/02/2020 08:34 pm GMT

 Chicco KeyFit 35 features:

  • Suitable for weight range of 4-35 pounds
  • Fits infants up to 32 inches in height
  • Inflatable seat belts are not supported
  • Comes with 6 years expiration period
  • Replacement is recommended after any car crash
  • Seat weight: 10 pounds (18.5 pounds assembled)
  • The anti-rebound bar for increased safety, stability, and legroom
  • Harness routing enables baseless installation

Pros:

  • Greater weight and height limits than many other infant car seats
  • The anti-rebound bar for increased safety and stability
  • Compatible with various equipment from the same manufacturer
  • Beautiful gender-neutral designs

Cons:

  • Higher price
  • Cannot be used with inflatable seat belts and various add-ons
  • Relatively heavy and bulky

Chicco KeyFit 30 – In-Depth

chicco keyfit 30

Chicco KeyFit 30 has been around for some time now – in fact, it’s one of the KeyFit 35’s direct predecessors from the popular Chicco KeyFit line. This infant car seat embodies the perfect blend of safety, reliability, sleek design, and user-friendly features when it comes to seats for the smallest babies. It was – and still is – highly rated for both its looks and protective features.

Here are its key features in detail:

Versatility

Just like KeyFit 35, KeyFit 30 is also one of those car seats that grow with your baby. However, its weight (4-30 lbs) and height (30 inches) limits are stricter than with the newer model, which might be a bit discouraging especially for parents of heavier, larger, or particularly fast-growing babies.

Again, this car seat has a removable soft nest for the tiniest babies, which is richly padded and comfortable. It’s intended for kids weighing between 4 and 11 lbs, but its headrest can be used longer if you wish. (although it must be removed once your infant needs to use a harness in some of the higher positions due to the common slots)

This car seat is also compatible with various travel strollers by Chicco. They are very easy to assemble – the manufacturer strived to make the process manageable with one hand only, although heavier construction of the car seat probably makes this a bit difficult. This car seat is also FAA-approved, so you can take it aboard an airplane.

Some limits to this seat’s versatility: it can be used only in a rear-facing position (which, however, is the safest and most recommended position for infants anyway); inflatable seat belts are also not permitted.

Comfort and design

Just like KeyFit 35, KeyFit 30 is also very beautiful and elegant. However, if you compare the two side by side, the newer model 35 looks a bit more attractive and contemporary with its prolonged lines and rounded geometry.

If you like unisex designs, this car seat comes in 11 beautiful gender-neutral variations of gray, brown, black, and silver. My personal favorite is the lovely polka-dotted Lilla design. What makes KeyFit 30 and KeyFit 35 immediately distinguishable from each other is KeyFit 30’s quilted padding. It looks good yet maybe a bit too old-fashioned for some of the younger moms.

When it comes to comfort, KeyFit 30 will surely pamper your little one in many regards. However, in comparison with KeyFit 35, some details (like the limited headrest) could be more thoughtful. Also, the canopy could be a tiny bit bigger to block direct sunlight from more angles.

Safety

Chicco’s KeyFit 30 was announced as the winner in various reliable rankings and tests including the New York Times’ Wirecutter’s The Best Infant Car Seat. This ranking included long hours of research and comparisons, meticulous crash tests performed in specialized labs, and other professional evaluation techniques. Such rigorous researches are really valuable since car seats are not officially required to carry certificates at the sale.

These tests proved that when it comes to the side or front impact protection, KeyFit 30 is safer and more reliable than many pricier alternatives. Unfortunately, this model lacks the anti-rebound bar which was added to the newer KeyFit 35 model – this feature could add it even more stability and protection.

Just like model 35, this seat also has a 5-position no-rethread harness and supports the LATCH system. You can use it with a compatible base (recommended), or without it. Fun fact: Chicco KeyFit 35 cannot be used with KeyFit 30 base, whereas Chicco KeyFit 30 fits KeyFit 35 base.

Reviews

chicco keyfit 30 baby

Chicco KeyFit 30 is praised for its ease of use and many thoughtful features. Parents sometimes state they were recommended this seat directly by nurses or doctors – and many of them are genuinely satisfied with their purchase (the car seat currently has 92% 5-star reviews on Amazon).

Focusing on the downsides, some parents think that the harness straps and buckles could be more gentle and ergonomic to avoid pressure on the baby’s chest or neck. Others claim to have struggled with the car seat’s handle, which can be left in an upward position even when being installed in the car, or the advertised one-click connection with the car seat’s base.

On the other hand, most of the parents are satisfied with the overall quality of the seat and its materials, and they are also pleased with the seat’s reasonable price.

Chicco KeyFit 30 features:

  • Suitable for a weight range of 4-30 pounds
  • Fits infants up to 30 inches in height
  • Inflatable seat belts are not supported
  • Comes with a 6-years expiration period
  • Replacement is recommended after any car crash
  • Seat weight: 9.6 pounds (16.6 pounds assembled)
  • Machine-washable paddings
  • Bubble levelers
  • Harness routing enables baseless installation

Pros:

  • Winner in crash tests
  • Cheaper than many alternative products
  • Travel-friendly and compatible with other Chicco gear
  • Lighter than the newer model

Cons:

  • Lacks anti-rebound bar
  • Cannot be used with inflatable seat belts and various add-ons
  • Straps and buckles can be a bit uncomfortable
  • The canopy could be larger

Are There Any Alternatives?

Looking for some other alternatives? Check out these popular infant car seats:

Chicco Fit4

chicco fit4

If you like Chicco’s car seats but aren’t completely convinced about any of the products we’ve discussed so far, check out Chicco’s Fit4, a convertible car seat that can be used for the whole 10 years in a row. Since this seat can accommodate kids from 4 to 100 pounds in weight, it’s probably the only car seat you’ll ever need.

With a single product you’re getting an infant seat, comfortable child seat for older kids, and fully protected booster seat for the grown-up children. Some of the weaker points: expect the seat to be quite bulky and heavy; the price is also higher.

Evenflo LiteMax 35

evenflo litemax 35

If one of your main concerns is staying on the budget, Evenflo LiteMax 35 is a nicely affordable alternative that sports many of Chicco’s qualities and also looks very good. Parents like this infant seat especially due to its lightweight construction (great for petite mums), easy installation, and high maximum weight limit (35 pounds).

Some of the downsides: some users find this car seat harder to fit in slightly atypical car interiors, it’s also hard to fit this seat in a shopping cart.

FAQs About Chicco KeyFit 35 vs Chicco KeyFit 30

How many years is a Chicco KeyFit 35 / KeyFit 30 good for?

All infant car seats from Chicco’s KeyFit line expire in 6 years. The manufacturer also recommends replacing your car seat with any crash or accident, since it might lose some of its qualities even if you cannot see it. Label with expiration date valid for your product should be attached to the bottom of your car seat or seat base.

Is the Chicco KeyFit 30 washable?

Yes, cushions and fabrics from all KeyFit car seats are machine washable, although removing/replacing them requires some practice and patience. Covers and straps can also be spot-cleaned with soapy or clean water.

Are Chicco KeyFit 35 / KeyFit 30 car seats made in China?

Yes, although Chicco is an Italian company, all their car seats are currently produced in China.

The Verdict: Chicco KeyFit 35 vs Chicco KeyFit 30 – Which one is better for you?

Whether you look at the safety features, design, convenience of use, or versatility, both Chicco KeyFit 35 and Chicco KeyFit 30 prove themselves to be very good and innovative infant car seats.

Understandably, since they both come from the same manufacturer, they have a lot in common. Choosing one or the other therefore mainly depends on how important you find some of the features that make them different – and how much are you willing to invest.

If I had to pick my personal winner, it would be the newer Chicco KeyFit 35. Basically, it copies all the great features of its predecessor while adding some nice novelties, such as the anti-rebound bar, better canopy, and improved design.

Where to Buy?
Chicco KeyFit 35 Car Seat
$249.99
Buy at Amazon.com Buy at ChiccoUSA.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 12/02/2020 08:34 pm GMT

However, if you’re on a budget and you find KeyFit 35 a bit too expensive, you really can’t go wrong with the Chicco KeyFit 30 either. Although this older KeyFit car seat might have some minor bugs when it comes to comfort and convenience of use, it’s currently one of the safest car seats on the market – and it looks very good too.

I hope this Chicco KeyFit 35 vs Chicco KeyFit 30 comparison answered all your questions about these car seats for infants. If you feel like you need more information, check out our recent Chicco KeyFit 30 vs Chicco Fit2 comparison that discusses other popular car seats by Chicco too.

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