Chicco Keyfit 30 Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip
This is my side-by-side comparison review of the Chicco Keyfit 30 and Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip infant car seats.
The original Keyfit 30 infant car seat has been on the market for many years and continues to be very popular with parents, other caregivers, and car seat safety technicians. Whilst you can still buy the original Keyfit 30 seat, and there are currently no signs of Chicco discontinuing it, there are 2 other more recent options for parents to consider.
Although all 3 of these seats share the same fundamental safety features, there are some differences between them for you to consider before making a purchasing decision.
Chicco claims that the Keyfit 30 series of seats are the number 1 rated infant seats in America and I have no reason to doubt this claim – if it were false I suspect that they would have been fined by some consumer protection agency by now and, to my knowledge, they have not!
The fact that the original Keyfit 30 seat remains available to buy after so many years is testament to the fact that it remains popular and still boasts high-end safety and convenience features.
So, what are the main similarities and differences between the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip, and which model is best for you and your child?
Chicco Keyfit 30 vs Keyfit 30 Zip at a Glance
|Feature||Keyfit 30||Keyfit 30 Zip|
|Child Weight Limits||4 - 30 lbs||4 - 30 lbs|
|Child Height Limits||up to 30" (see below)||up to 30" (see below)|
|Infant Insert||Yes (4 - 11 lbs)||Yes (4 - 11 lbs)|
|Seat Recline System||ReclineSure||ReclineSure|
|Bubble Recline Indicators||Yes||Yes|
|LATCH Installation||Yes (Supercinch)||Yes (Supercinch)|
|Belt Installation System||Built-in Lockoffs||Built-in Lockoffs|
|Conforms to FMVSS 213||Yes||Yes|
|Seat Expiration||10 years||10 Years|
|FAA Approved for Flights||Yes||Yes|
|Price||Check Latest Price||Check Latest Price|
Chicco Keyfit 30 vs Keyfit 30 Zip – Similarities
As I have already mentioned, and as you can see from the comparison table above, the Keyfit 30 and Keyfit 30 Zip infant seats share a lot of features.
What are those important common features?
1. Child Height & Weight Limits
Both seats are suitable for use between 4 lbs and 30 lbs. The lower weight limit of 4 lbs means that the Chicco Keyfit 30 range of seats is particularly good for undersized babies as many of its competitors start at 5 lbs or higher.
The Keyfit 30 seats also come with an infant cushion insert to help you get a more “snug” fit when your child weighs between 4 and 11 lbs.
Although the maximum height limits on both seats is 30 inches, there is another issue that you need to take into account when assessing whether or not your baby can continue to use the seat safely. In addition to being no taller than 30 inches, there must be at least an inch gap between the top of your baby’s head and the top of the headrest.
2. Seat Installation Methods
If there are LATCH anchor points fitted to your vehicle, you have the option of installing these Keyfit 30 seats by either using the LATCH connectors or the vehicle’s seatbelt.
Either way, you are in fact installing the seat’s base into your vehicle rather than the seat itself. Once the seat base is correctly installed, the seat just clicks in and out when necessary. When you are not travelling with the seat in a vehicle, it can also be clicked into a stroller unit and can form part of a car seat travel system.
You can install both the Keyfit 30 and Keyfit 30 Zip seats into your vehicle using the SuperCinch “one-pull” LATCH tightener system.
Basically, the SuperCinch mechanism is designed to achieve a very tight fit without you needing to overexert yourself in the process.
If you do not install the seat base using the LATCH connectors, the belt-installation process is also very simple thanks to the built-in lockoffs.
You can see both installation methods demonstrated in this video …
3. The ReclineSure Seat Levelling Foot
The ReclineSure Seat Levelling Foot is a spring-loaded mechanism that allows you to adjust the angle of the seat base when it’s installed in your vehicle.
If you look at the video above, you can see some bright orange oval-shaped buttons on either side of the seat base. In order to adjust the base to the desired angle, you simply press on those buttons and it will come up towards you.
The main purpose of this mechanism is to help you get a safe angle in a wide variety of vehicles, all of which come with differently designed passenger seats.
4. The RideRight Bubble Level Indicators
The RideRight Bubble Level Indicators work in conjunction with the ReclineSure mechanism.
The seat base comes with indicators on both sides and you simply need to adjust the angle of the base (using the ReclineSure mechanism) until the bubbles are positioned between the lines that are marked on the indicators.
This is a great foolproof way to ensure that your child is being carried in an infant seat that it positioned at a safe angle and most cheaper seats won’t come with this sort of guidance.
5. EPS Energy -Absorbing Foam
Both seats have interiors that are lined with EPS energy-absorbing foam to provide added protection to your baby in the event of a collision.
In addition to helping you to get a proper fit with a baby weighing between 4 and 11 lbs, the infant insert also contains extra padding to reduce the risk of injury to the head, neck and back areas in a crash situation.
6. Other Shared Features
Both of these seats also come with the following features:
- Adjustable multi-position canopy
- Stroller compatibility
- Smooth Underside of base to protect car seat from damage
- FAA Approved for use in aircraft
Chicco Keyfit 30 vs Keyfit 30 Zip – Differences
There is only one functional difference between the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Keyfit 30 Zip seats, although it is broken down into 3 parts.
The Keyfit 30 Zip seat gets its name from the fact that, unlike the original version, it comes with a very handy zip-off canopy, zip-on visor, and zip-around boot.
These “zip” features are pretty self-explanatory and you can see them (and other things) in action if you watch the last video below.
In short, there is an extra visor to zip-on if you want extra coverage for your baby, a zip-off canopy for when you don’t need it or want to clean it, and a zip around boot for times when you need to keep you baby warm and snug in their seat.
This last option is my favorite since I live in a cold climate and having to wrap a blanket around your baby’s feet area is awkward. Babies have a tendency to kick them off and you are constantly worrying about them dragging the blanket upwards towards their face area.
Chicco Keyfit 30 vs Keyfit 30 Zip – Video Reviews
Chicco Keyfit 30 vs Keyfit 30 Zip – Color Options
The Chicco Keyfit 30 and Keyfit 30 Zip seats come in different fabric color options.
Here are my favorites …
The Chicco Keyfit 30 seat also comes in Keyfit 30 Air and Keyfit 30 Zip Air models. The “Air” versions are much more expensive, but include Chicco’s new 3D AirMesh fabrics for improved seat ventilation.
Chicco Keyfit 30 vs Keyfit 30 Zip – My Verdict
The Chicco Keyfit 30 series of infant car seats all provide you with some great safety and convenience features and it is easy to see why they are so popular amongst parents, other caregivers, and car seat safety technicians.
Your decision when choosing between the original Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip seats will quite simply come down to whether or not you want to pay a little extra for the convenience of the “Zip” features.
You might also be swayed by the different fabric color options that each seat comes in.
After purchasing any child car seat, you should always read the User Manual thoroughly before using it. It is also advisable to visit your local Fire Department or NHTSA Child Car Seat Inspection Centre to ensure that the seat is definitely suitable for your child’s specific requirements and that you have installed it correctly. These services are usually provided free of charge.
You can find your nearest NHTSA Centre here.
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If you have any comments to share or questions to ask about my Chicco Keyfit 30 vs Keyfit 30 Zip comparison review, please leave a comment in the box below or send me an email.