Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat: A Breeze to Install

06/24/2009 at 10:00 AM ET

The Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat can be purchased separately ($160-170 for 22-lb capacity, $180-190 for 30-lb capacity) or as part of the Cortina Travel System ($300).

The KeyFit infant car seat is a breeze to install. After hassling with other brands I recognize the value of a well-thought-out system.

The KeyFit base installs with LATCH or the car’s seat belt. When using LATCH, a simple tug on one center strap cinches the two buckles tight. Two clear-as-a-bell levels show you that it’s installed flat, but be sure the car isn’t parked on a slope! A recline feature in the base makes it easy to get the slant just right.

Wide openings let the seat belt pass through easily and will save your manicure from all the reaching and tugging some seats require. The base even has a storage compartment for the instructions, which should always be close at hand.

Though the seat is available in two weight capacities (22 and 30 lbs), I really cannot imagine carrying a 30-pound baby in an infant carrier. By the time the baby is 18 or 19 pounds, that carrier gets heavy and most parents start to think about moving the child into a convertible (front or rear-facing) car seat but you can stretch the life of the seat by leaving it in the car instead of removing it when you take the baby out.

The seat snaps easily into place and can even be installed without the base. This is a great feature if you’re only using it occasionally in Grandma’s car or when traveling. (It must be strapped in every time you take the child out, though.)

The handle on the carrier is rubberized for comfortable carrying and the base is curved so the carrier can rock. Snap the handle down all the way and it stops the rocking.

The Coventry fabric we tested is a cute pinstripe with pale blue and orange trim. It reminds me of my husband’s business suits. Very sophisticated for a little baby! The seat is well padded and easy to clean.

Like most infant car seats, the sun shade on the KeyFit is poor. It only covers about 10 inches from the top of the seat and doesn’t even reach the handle.

Of course the KeyFit infant seat snaps right onto the Cortina stroller and the two sun shades meet for total coverage.

Pros: Easy install and cute fabrics.
Very small sun shade doesn’t cut the mustard for me.

The Verdict: The Keyfit infant seat is easy to install, carry and clean, but you’ll have to put a blanket over this seat when you’re hanging out in the park.


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Showing 11 comments

Carrie Montag on

I love the Chicco. It is light-weight, easy to use, and snaps in and out of the base really easily.

Nicki on

I have the travel system for my son and I have to say it was the best purchase we have made! It’s really is very simple to use, you can transfer the base from one car to another in probably 2 minutes flat and it’s safe! The stroller is also wonderful if you are interested in the whole kit and koobodle.. the only complaint i have about it is that the seat is so insulated that it gets really warm quickly which has been a problem in the summer so far. So if you are traveling to a park or someplace where it is hot, you may want to take your child out cause he or she will get really hot quickly.. Other than that, I highly recommend it too!

JMO on

I don’t know, maybe I am in the minority but I think the Chicco carseats are VERY heavy!

tannit on

I love mine, but I wish they’d thought it out better – unlike other bucket seats, it doesn’t fit in a shopping cart!

Lacey on

In 2007, I was on the waiting list at two of of local Babies r us. 10 weeks and 38 weeks pregnant, later, I finally got it. I was afraid I was going to have to get something else, and I glad I didn’t. I loved these seat! I fit in our Urband Advantage stroller, shopping carts and was easy to install and load. The carrier was a bit heavy, but my husband did that and the baby shouldn’t spend a long time in it anyways.

purplemama on

JMO, I agree, I think this car seat is very heavy compared to others we’ve used. My son is 19+ lbs, and it’s hard to lug him from the car to the house, even!

Nicki, my son overheats a lot in this car seat, as well. Even during the winter months, whenever I took him out, he’d have sweaty-head. I have to make sure he’s not covered up, or I’m afraid he’ll overheat.

We had to buy this new car seat because our old one expired (manufactured in 2000). I miss that one (Fisher Price Stay in View, which they don’t make anymore), but I do like the features of the levels on the sides, and I like how easy it is to install.

Nic on

tannit – that wasn’t an over site, the seats were designed not to fit on carts / high chairs. The fact that that other seats fit is a very very poor coincidence, and VERY dangerous. You should NEVER put an infant bucket on top of a cart. Carts are not weighted properly and can (and have) tipped over as a result.

Christina on


I had no idea! Thanks for sharing that KEY piece of info.

JMO on

I never stick babies in carseats on top of the cart I always stick them inside the cart. I always think they look so dangerous on the shopping carts. Plus I’m short so once I put the carseat in the cart I can’t see lol.

I was looking at the Maxi Cosi carseats that claim to be quite safe but much lighter. I’m not currently pregnant yet but I always keep my eyes out for certain products. But Graco is fine with me too (and it’s affordable).

dlock on

I love chicco products especially the car seat. I will be getting this car seat but in orange so I will be able to use it with more than one child (depending on the life of the car seat). I wasn’t sure if I was going to still get it because I learned that its not compatible with the bugaboo frog. But, I learned babies shouldn’t be in a car seat for more than an 1hr or so. So, I will just use the bassinet for long stroller rides and a snap and go stroller frame for quick outings with the chicco car seat.

For all those complaining about the weight of the car seat, just take the baby out n carry your baby or use a baby carrier, or even a stroller. I would want to use it for as long as possible. And, all I am concerned about is safety, and to me this is where its at! 🙂

Elisabeth on

I 1000% agree with JMO, car seats should never be placed in the seat part of a cart it is not at all safe, especially when carts can tip so easy. The keyfit 30 car seats have a better sun visor than its sister the keyfit 22.

We’ve had several travel systems/car seats and this one is clearly the best for us.