Traffic safety may not be one of the first things that come to a parent’s mind when listing everything they might need for their newborn, but buying the best car seat for your child is a mandatory step you need to take to protect it from serious injuries.
Chico is arguably one of the world’s most famous manufacturers of baby products, and as such, it is an obvious safety seat choice for most parents. I recently bought one myself for our son. The brand produces a wide range of models suitable for toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged kids.
The best Chicco car seats can accommodate children from each of these age groups, which makes them a good solution for parents that don’t want to go shopping for a new car seat every few years. In this guide, I’ll take you through the brand’s top models and show you how to pick a model that has everything your child needs to be safe and comfortable.
Table of Contents
- 1 Bottom Line Up Front
- 2 My Top Picks at a Glance
- 3 Chicco Car Seat Types
- 4 Age, Weight, and Height Limitations
- 5 Harness Systems and Installation Options
- 6 Recalls and Expiry Dates
- 7 Prices and Warranties
- 8 Selection Criteria
- 9 Top 9 Chicco Car Seats
- 10 Chicco Fit2 Air
- 11 Chicco NextFit Zip
- 12 Chicco OneFit ClearTex
- 13 Chicco KidFit Adapt Plus
- 14 Chicco KeyFit 30
- 15 Chicco NextFit MAX ClearTex
- 16 Chicco MyFit
- 17 Chicco KidFit Zip Air Plus
- 18 Chicco Active3 Jogging Travel System
- 19 FAQs
- 20 My Verdict: Which Chicco Car Seat Model is the Best?
Bottom Line Up Front
Chicco isn’t the most-budget friendly brand out there, but despite relatively steep prices, I think the quality and durability of each model make it a premier option for most parents. Chicco KeyFit 30 is, in my opinion, among the best infant car seats on the market, while models such as Chicco NextFit Zip and Chicco OneFit ClearTex are some of the brand’s top long-term safety seat solutions.
My Top Picks at a Glance
|Chicco Fit2 Air
|Up to 35lbs
|Chicco NextFit Zip
|Up to 65lbs
|Chicco OneFit ClearTex
|Up to 100lbs
|Chicco KidFit Adapt Plus
|Up to 100lbs
|Chicco KeyFit 30
|Rear-facing only infant seat
|Chicco NextFit MAX ClearTex
|Up to 65lbs
|Harness + booster
|Up to 100lbs
|Chicco KidFit Zip Air Plus
|2-in-1 belt positioning booster seat
|Up to 110lbs
|Chicco Active3 Jogging Travel System
|Up to 50lbs
Chicco Car Seat Types
I discovered I had much to learn about car seat types when I became a parent. Still, figuring out the differences between infant, convertible and booster seats didn’t take me long. Chico offers all standard car seat options, so the selection process will be much easier if you’re familiar with the characteristics of each car seat type. The brand offers models in the following categories:
- Infant car seats – Chicco has twelve infant car seat models designed for children that weigh under 35lbs. This category only contains rare-facing seats.
- Convertible – The main advantage of Chicco’s convertible models is that they allow you to install the seat in the front-facing and rear-facing positions.
- Booster – Harness + booster seat models are designed to help a child transition from an infant or convertible seat to a booster seat while continuing to use a 5-point harness system. The brand’s seat belt positioning booster models are suitable for older kids that aren’t yet ready to start using the vehicle’s seat belt system.
- All-in-One – These seats replace all other car seat types as they accommodate a child from infancy until it turns ten.
Age, Weight, and Height Limitations
All brand models have weight and height limits which makes it easier to find a car seat your child fits in perfectly. Rear-facing models are designed for kids under three, and their weight limits range from 25lbs to 35lbs.
Most models from this category cannot accommodate kids taller than 35 inches. As I pointed out, convertible seats support installation in rear-facing and forward-facing positions, which makes them a good option for all children who are not yet ready to sit in booster seats.
In most cases, children can keep using convertible seats until their 5th birthday. Chicco’s Harness + Booster seats can only be installed in the forward-facing position, and they can be a good option if you’re looking for a model that can help your child transition from an infant to a booster seat.
The brand also offers a variety of high back and backless options for older kids that don’t have built-in harness systems. The weight and height limitations of all-in-one car seats depend on the mode, so you’ll have to go through the model’s specifications to determine its limits for each age group.
Harness Systems and Installation Options
All Chicco car seats come with powerful safety features that prevent them from moving and ensure the child is safely restrained. Brand’s infant seats are equipped with 5-point harness systems, and they function as carriers you can attach to their stay-in-car bases or use with a compatible Chicco stroller.
Chicco seat bases come with LATCH connectors and SuperChinch tighteners that allow for quick and safe installation. Some models also have RideRight bubble levels that show you the correct base angle and reduce the chances of making a mistake during the installation.
Seat bases utilize the ReclineSure technology that makes it easier to install them at the proper angle. Moreover, they also support vehicle seat belt installation as they have lock-offs that enable you to lock the seat in position effortlessly.
Recalls and Expiry Dates
Chico doesn’t recall its products often. In fact, only one company’s car seat has been recalled in the last twenty years. The brand recalled the Chicco KeyFit 30 model from the Canadian market in 2018 because it didn’t meet the chest acceleration requirements.
However, this model is still in production, and it is available in four variants that meet the highest safety standards. No other Chicco car seat was featured on a recall list since the turn of the century. Most Chico car seats expire after six years, but some models can last for eight or ten years. Hence, you must check the label at the seat’s bottom to determine its expiry date.
Also, the company recommends replacing its car seats even after a minor accident because their safety features may no longer be functioning properly.
Prices and Warranties
I understand that the car seat’s affordability often plays an essential role in the selection process because most parents can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a safety seat.
Chicco’s travel systems, which include an infant seat and a baby stroller, are the most expensive option, as you’ll have to spend between $450 and $650 to get one of these systems. The brand’s all-in-one seats cost between $300 and $400, while prices of convertible models range from $300 to $350.
The least expensive Chicco infant seat costs a bit less than $200, but most products in this category range from $200 to $300. Booster seats are inexpensive as the brand offers ten models that cost less than $100.
All first-time users of Chicco’s safety seat can get a limited lifetime warranty if they register the product within three months after they purchase it. However, the term lifetime can be misleading since the warranty includes a ten-year shell and three-year fabric coverage.
Using quality as the only criterion to pick the best Chicco car seats is almost impossible because all models are made from durable materials. In addition, most seats perform admirably in car crash tests.
I had to consider weight limits, installation options, and other factors to identify models suitable for all budgets. The final selection includes all car seat types this brand has to offer, as well as its entry-level and high-end options.
Rather than focusing on Chicco’s premier car seat solutions, my goal was to find the best models in each price range that can meet the needs of most children.
Top 9 Chicco Car Seats
Chicco Fit2 Air
An infant seat like the Chicco Fit2 Air is a perfect choice for new parents that don’t mind its steep price. The model comes with a detachable two-stage base that allows you to place the seat in different positions. Removable body and head support make it suitable for infants under two, while the seat’s toddler position provides plenty of legroom and space for kids weighing less than 35lbs.
Chico Fit2 Air is equipped with a seven-position headrest and 5-point harness that ensure children are safe and comfortable.
- The seat has an adjustable carry handle
- The base features LATCH connectors
- The model is JPMA-certified
- Vero3D AirMesh fabric is durable
- Kids outgrow this model quickly
- This infant car seat is expensive
Chicco NextFit Zip
Elegant design, a long list of safety features, and low upkeep requirements make the Chicco NextFit Zip an excellent option for kids aged five or younger. The seat has the DuoGuard system composed of a steel frame, and EPS energy-absorbing foam that provides extra protection to the child’s head and torso.
The model is convertible, and you can install it in the rear-facing or forward-facing position, depending on your child’s age and local car seat laws. Please read our full Chicco NextFit Zip review for additional information about this model.
- It’s equipped with the 9-position ReclineSure leveling system
- It has a slide-in path for quick LATCH strap repositioning
- The seat’s headrest is adjustable
- The product is available in several color options
- The seat weighs 25lbs
- This model isn’t compatible with Chicco travel systems
Chicco OneFit ClearTex
As one of the brand’s most affordable all-in-one models, Chicco OneFit ClearTex is excellent for families looking for a seat that gives the child plenty of room as it grows.
The seat has LATCH connectors, and it utilizes the RideRight, LockSure, and ReclineSure technologies to ensure a child is always in a safe and comfortable position. It also has a 5-point harness and a 10-point headrest that protect the passenger in each seat mode.
Its body and head support can be removed to accommodate babies that weigh between 5lbs and 11llb.
- It has foldable cup holders
- The car seat’s weight limit is 100lbs
- ClearTex fabric doesn’t contain harmful chemicals
- The seat doesn’t have a carrying handle
- No backless booster mode
Chicco KidFit Adapt Plus
I suggest considering the Chicco KidFit Adapt Plus if your child is old enough to use the booster seat. This 2-in-1 model has high-back and backless modes allowing you to adjust it to your child’s needs as it gets older.
The 37.5 fabric made of a volcanic mineral keeps the passenger’s body temperature at an optimal level in warm and cold conditions. Like most Chicco models, this car seat has LATCH connectors and SuperChinch harness tighteners that prevent it from moving more than one inch in any direction.
- This model is inexpensive
- Removable and machine-washable fabrics
- The seat’s padding contains two foam layers
- This booster seat is lightweight and easily movable
- It’s only suitable for children older than five
Chicco KeyFit 30
The brand currently offers four variants of the Chicco KeyFit 30 models that come with or without ClearTex fabrics, all-season boot, and 3D AirMesh headrest. All variants have a detachable stay-in-car base and an adjustable handle that enables you to use them as baby carriers that weigh less than 10lbs.
Also, they’re equipped with 5-point harnesses and allow you to remove their head and body support when transporting babies that weigh 4lbs or more. Moreover, each version of the Chicco KeyFit 30 is compatible with the brand’s strollers, and they’re included in all Chico travel systems.
Please read our Chicco KeyFit 35 vs. Chicco KeyFit 30 comparison to find out more about the differences between these infant seats.
- The seat’s shell contains EPS foam
- This model comes with a removable canopy
- It offers several installation options
- The seat is compatible with different Chicco strollers
- It can’t accommodate kids taller than 30-inches
- The seat’s neck support could be better
Chicco NextFit MAX ClearTex
I think Chicco NextFit MAX ClearTex is among the brand’s best solutions for children suffering from respiratory problems. The model has the Greenguard Gold certificate that guarantees low VOC emissions because its ClearTex doesn’t contain supplementary chemicals.
Installing the seat in a rear-facing or forward-facing position is made easy by the RideRight and ReclineSure technologies that help parents level the seat correctly.This convertible car seat has a steel frame capable of absorbing high-intensity impacts, and it utilizes the DuoGuard technology to protect the passenger’s upper body.
- Suitable for all children shorter than 49-inches
- The headrest system is adjustable
- A powerful seat belt locking mechanism
- ClearTex fabric doesn’t contain fire retardants
- This convertible car seat weighs 26.5lbs
Children grow fast, and you must search for other options as they transition from the rear-facing-only seats. Chicco MyFit’s 2-in-1 design makes it perfect for two-year-olds that weigh more than 25lbs.
In time, you can switch to the booster mode and continue using it until your child outgrows its 100lbs limit. The model’s 5-point harness is easily converted to a belt-positing system making the transition between harness and booster modes quick and painless.
- This seat has a 4-position recline system
- It has ErgoBoost seat padding
- Parents can choose from five color patterns
- The seat is bulky, and it isn’t a great fit for small vehicles
Chicco KidFit Zip Air Plus
Despite being one of the most affordable booster seats in the brand’s product portfolio, Chicco KidFit Zip Air Plus is stacked with advanced safety features.
Its torso and head sections are filled with EPS foam, and it has ten height adjustment points that ensure the child gets the same level of protection throughout the years. The seat has three layers of padding that keep kids comfortable during long rides.
Also, you can choose if you want to use the seat in the high back or backless mode.
- This model utilizes the Quick Release LATCH system
- Moving the booster seat between cars is easy because it weighs just 11lbs
- It offers a high comfort level
- An affordable price
- A child must be at least 38 inches tall to use this car seat
Chicco Active3 Jogging Travel System
I know how frustrating moving a child from a stroller to an infant seat can be. That’s why I think Chicco Active3 Jogging Travel System is perfect for parents who don’t want to waste time moving a child from a safety seat to a stroller.
This travel system features a foldable aluminum stroller equipped with a FlexCore suspension system, a swivel lock, and a hand brake. Moreover, you don’t need an adapter to install the KeyFit 30 infant car seat that comes with the system on the Active3 stroller.
- The system is suitable for children up to 50lbs
- Active3 stroller is compatible with all Chico infant seats
- The stroller has a UPF-rated canopy
- Compact and lightweight design
- This travel system is pricy
Question: Do All Chicco Car Seats Have Lifetime Warranties?
Answer: Yes, all car seat models have lifetime warranties if they’re registered three months after the purchase. The warranty doesn’t cover the damage that occurs during normal daily usage.
Question: How Often Should I Clean a Chicco Car Seat?
Answer: You should wash the seat’s removable fabrics once every two to four weeks, depending on how dirty they are.
Question: Are Chicco Car Seat Bases Universal?
Answer: Some Chicco bases are compatible with multiple models, and you can use the same base with the brand’s KeyFit 30 and KeyFit 35 car seat models. Still, you must check if the Chico base and car seat model you’d like to get can be used together.
My Verdict: Which Chicco Car Seat Model is the Best?
Several Chicco’s infant seat models were at the top of my list when I was choosing a safety seat for my son. So, I don’t think opting for any of the brand’s car seats is a mistake, even though some models are slightly overpriced.
The model you choose should have the capacity to accommodate your child for several years. I consider buying the Chicco KeyFit 30 an excellent short-term solution that will also provide you with a carrier you easily mount on a stroller or take with you on an airplane.