Chicco Keyfit 30 vs Britax B safe 35
If price is a big consideration for you when you’re buying baby gear, you’ll be pleased to know that there are some really affordable and safe car seat options on the market right now. The fact is that every car seat has to pass some pretty rigorous safety testing, but some have more features than others, including safety features.
The Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Britax B Safe 35 are two car seats worth your consideration simply based on price alone. They are an excellent choice for anyone with a budget of no more than $300, but which one should you get?
Chicco Keyfit 30 vs Britax B safe 35
What We Like About the Britax B Safe 35
The Britax B Safe 35 is used as part of Britax's travel system which you can read more about here Britax B Agile and B Safe Travel System Review.
There’s plenty to like about this Britax model, not least of all the excellent safety ratings that it has garnered from official sources. Here’s what really caught our critical eye:
First and foremost, if you’re looking for safety, you can’t go wrong with the Britax 35. It has passed all of the safety tests with flying colors. This means that it is even more highly rated than some of its higher priced competitors.
The other thing we love is that it incorporates something called Safe-Cell technology. This is a honeycomb structure inside the car seat that will crumple and absorb the impact during a collision. Safety tests confirm that this does have a positive effect during crashes and will slow down the rate of impact and decrease the severity of whiplash.
If you’re drawn to visuals, the good news is that the Britax B Safe 35 comes in a really nice range of colors, including meadow, red, sapphire, and more. It may not be high on everyone’s priority list, but this just adds a little more icing on the cake when it comes to this specific car seat model. Some of the colors really did catch our eye!
3. Space Saving Base
You might not think about it much when you’re buying a car seat, but size does matter for many families. The good news here is that the Britax has a slimmer base than lots of competing models. This means that if you have multiple car seats in the car, it’s easy enough to fit two or even three in the back seat without too much of a hassle.
Britax B Safe 35: What We Didn’t Like So Much
Of course, no single car seat is perfect in every way, and the Britax is no different in this respect. This car seat is heavier than lots of competing models at 10 pounds. That might not sound like a lot, but when you’re a tired parent and you’re taking the car seat in and out of the car, it all adds up to extra fatigue.
We don’t mind this so much and here’s why: the extra safety features, such as a durable construction and the honeycomb inclusions in the base, add to the weight. We think that’s a very worthwhile trade off, but your mileage may vary.
The other thing to note is that some customers report that the tightening strap is a bit difficult to use. This is because of its location in the center of the seat base. That may or may not be a problem for you, depending on how well you get along with the tightening strap. It’s a minor thing from our point of view, but some people will definitely get sick and tired of fiddling with it on a daily basis, and that’s what really counts in the end.
It’s also interesting to note that this model was recalled by the manufacturer between 2014 and 2015 because of a potentially defective carrying handle. This may be of some concern if you’re buying one second hand or one that has been on the shelf for a while.
What We Like About the Chicco Keyfit 30
The Keyfit 30 is the car seat that Chicco use in it's baby travel systems which you can read about here Chicco Viaro Travel System Review and Chicco Broavo Trio Travel System Review and the comparison of both systems Chicco Bravo vs Viaro.
Being similarly priced, the Chicco is also well worth a look at this mid-range price point. Here’s what really caught our eye:
1. Easy to Install
The truth is that even the most expensive car seats can be a real pain to install in the car correctly. They may have tightening straps that are tough to use, or lack levelling systems. Luckily, this is no problem at all with the Chicco Keyfit 30.
What we really love most about this is how easy and convenient it is to install in a car every single time. It’s also really easy to install it correctly, unlike many more expensive car seats on the market. It has two bubble level indicators so that you can be sure it’s all in correctly and also features a snap in locking system and the familiar LATCH system.
A proper car seat installation is crucial for the safety of any child in a car seat. If it’s not straight or locked in correctly, it may move around during transit and could certainly come loose during a collision. The ease of installation is a big deal on car seats and this one gets a big tick of approval from us.
2. Lots of Colors
Just as with the Britax 35, the Chicco also comes in plenty of attractive colors, including rainfall and papyrus. Of course, safety and other features are going to be more important, but some parents do like to look good when out with baby, and if the Chicco offers this, then why not?
3. Safety Features
The fact that the Chicco car seat is made in China will likely put some people off buying it, but we think this is superficial. The fact is that lots of very good products come out of China, and all car seats need to pass safety testing before they can even be sold.
That being said, the Chicco isn’t offering anything out of the ordinary in terms of extra safety features. Where the Britax 35 offers internal collapsible honeycomb, the Chicco doesn’t even offer a steel frame. To put it into context, lots of car seats don’t offer any more than the basics in terms of safety features.
What we do like is that it does have good side impact protection. All of this sounds negative, but the simple matter is that the Chicco has been rated highly in terms of its safety. It may not have the extra stuff, but as a car seat there should be no safety concerns at all.
Chicco Keyfit: What We Didn’t Like So Much
Once again, no car seat system is perfect, so here’s what we think could be improved upon:
- Though the Chicco can accommodate growing infants up to 30 pounds, you’ll have to take the time to retread the Keyfit safety harness every time they grow big enough for it to move to the next slot. It’s easier on lots of other car seat models, including the Britax 35 and the Britax 35 Elite.
- The car seat base here is wider than on the Britax and that could be an issue if you need to install multiple car seats in a smaller car.
Conclusion: Which One Should You Buy?
There’s a lot to like about both of these car seats, and seeing as they’re in the same affordable price bracket they will appeal to lots of new parents. But which one is right for you?
If you want the absolute best in safety features, the Britax 35 is definitely the one to buy. That’s not to say that Chicco has skimped in this area, since it has also passed the safety tests, but out of the two, the Britax offers more.
Of course, those extra safety features come at the cost of making the car seat slightly heavier, at 10 pounds. The Chicco is 9.6 pounds, so the difference is pretty negligible, but may add up over the course of a long day of driving.
What you might want to think about if you’re close to a buying decision is the manufacturer recall on the Britax. Whilst the issues will have been sorted out on most of them, some might have slipped through.
The Chicco, on the other hand, has not had any manufacturer recalls so far. This may or may not weigh heavily on you, especially since Britax car seats and strollers tend to have a higher incidence of manufacturer recalls.
So, which one should you buy? The two car seats are certainly tempting at their price points and we think it’s hard to go wrong with either of them. Any manufacturer recalls aside, the Britax clearly offers some extra safety features at the expense of being slightly heavier. We also like the fact that you don’t have to take the time to retread the harness every time your child grows.
In the case of this review, we slightly favor the Britax 35, but it’s a really close call to be perfectly honest. We think most people would be happy with either one of these top safety rated car seats.