by maipham

May 1, 2020

Chicco vs Graco car seat

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Choosing a car seat for your baby is tough. It needs to be safe, durable and suitable for your baby for quite some time. Especially when a car seat is not cheap. 

There are thousands of different types of car seats out there, which one best suits your baby?

You might have done your research and you narrowed it down to the 2 top rated car seat brands: Chicco and Graco. You heard they got great feedback and highly recommended by their previous users.

Then you frown again.

Among tens of different car seat models for each brand, which one should you go for?

We feel you mami.

We were confused and hesitant because it is a safety device after all. It will ensure your child’s safety while you are busy looking at the street and focus on driving. It is not a 5 dollars sippy cup for you to just shrug your shoulders and go for the most visual one, and switch to another after a few days.

So in this post, we are going to compare Chicco vs Graco car seat, between some of their most popular and top rated items, just to give you at least something to refer to, when it comes to choosing the best car seat for your baby.

Ready? 

Let’s dive in.

What defines a good car seat?

A specific car seat may be good for one person but not good for the other. So even using the same car seat, the definition of “good one” still varies. The variety is due to your car, your baby’s age, weight and conditions.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding what a good car seat is.

Your car and a clear instruction

Car seats can be attached to your car by 2 different ways: seatbelt or LATCH system.

Make sure you read the instructions of your car clearly to decide which way you want to attach the car seat to your car, then you decide which car seat to go for.

Some car seats are relatively big and might not fit your car. Measure your back seat to know how much room there is for a car seat. Cross-refer to your baby’s age and weight and take notes to compare with the car seat that you are targeting.

Your baby’s age, weight and size

The car seat needs to be compatible with your baby’s age and weight.

  • Rear-facing seats are suitable for newborns and infants.
  • Forward-facing seats are for children at least two years old.
  • Booster seats are for children over 40 pounds and younger than eight years old.
  • Once they are older than that, then they should be able to use the adult seatbelt without the need of using a booster.

Your budget

How much money you plan to invest on the car seat greatly impacts on choosing the right one. You can consider getting a convertible car seat, so that it grows with your baby. A convertible car seat can face the rear of the car at first, and turn toward the front later.

Always get a new car seat - safety comes first

The most important feature of a car seat is its safety. Nobody cares about how pretty it is if it doesn’t guarantee the safety of your baby. All car seats on the market have been tested and approved for the current safety standards.

The safety technology also changes quickly. Make sure you check the JPMA stamps on the box and get a brand new car seat.

Ease of cleaning

The car seats should be cleaned easily to reduce the workload of parents while offering comfort to your little one. Get a car seat that is made of smooth fabric, so you can wipe it more easily than a textured fabric.

Additional features

For car seats that are generally cheaper (less than 200 dollars), choose a car seat with 5 point harness, inside-impact protection and compatibility with a LATCH system. 

For premium car seats (more than 200 dollars), look for the additional features, such as the anti-rebound bar at the foot of the seat, cushier fabrics and accessories.

The straps of the car seats need to be adjusted easily as your baby grows so they can always offer comfort.

How long can you use one car seat?

If you don’t buy a convertible car seat, you will need 2 car seats in your baby’s childhood: an infant car seat and a toddler car seat. Once your baby is big enough to grow out of the car seat, a booster seat is optional to provide your baby with some comfort during the ride. 

If you buy a convertible car seat, you only need 1 car seat for your baby’s childhood.

Therefore, choosing a car seat is an important decision. Make sure you do your research and pick well.

Chicco vs Graco car seat: best infant car seat

Chicco and Graco both mark their names with many infant car seat models. But their top rated and most famous are Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 and Chicco Keyfit 30. In each model, they diversify it into a few more products, ranging from affordable to premium one. 

In this comparison, we will be comparing some of their top rated products back to back.

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat vs Chicco Keyfit 30

Below is the quick comparison of some key features between these two.

FEATURES

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX

Chicco Keyfit 30

5-point harness

inside-impact protection 

compatibility with a LATCH system

Infant insert for smaller babies

Adjustable, multi-position canopy

Easy-to-read level indicator

1-Hand Adjust handle

One-Pull Harness

Can build into a travel system

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

What we like:

  • Great for premature infants
  • Simple installation with the Recline Sure leveling foot, Ride Right bubble levels, and Super Cinch LATCH tightened
  • Compact so may fit in some two-door cars.
  • Easy to clean

What we don't like:

  • Insufficient sunshade: The sunshade is not large enough and will not stay in place.
  • Materials and padding tend to make a baby too warm
  • Seat offers a tight fit so some parents say their babies outgrew the seat quickly.
  • The carry handle angle requires the use of both hands which can be inconvenient at times

GRACO SNUGRIDE SNUGLOCK 35 LX

What we like:

  • Ultra-lightweight infant car seat
  • Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System is safe & simple with a one-hand harness & headrest adjustment
  • Easy to clean

What we don't like:

  • NA

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat vs Chicco Key Fit 30 Zip Infant Car Seat

FEATURES

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite

Chicco Keyfit 30 zip

5-point harness

inside-impact protection 

compatibility with a LATCH system

Infant insert for smaller babies

Adjustable, multi-position canopy

Easy-to-read level indicator

1-Hand Adjust handle

One-Pull Harness

Can build into a travel system

CHICCO KEYFIT 30 ZIP


What we like:

  • Great for premature infants with premium inserts
  • Simple installation with the Recline Sure leveling foot, Ride Right bubble levels, and Super Cinch LATCH tightened
  • Removable boots
  • Zip Accent
  • Easy to clean

What we don't like:

  • Materials and padding tend to make a baby too warm
  • The carry handle angle requires the use of both hands which can be inconvenient at times
  • The zip doesn't appear to be very useful

GRACO SNUGRIDE SNUGLOCK 35 ELITE


What we like:

  • Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System is safe & simple with a one-hand harness & headrest adjustment
  • Includes the SafetyCore which absorbs crash forces in the event of a frontal crash
  • Easy to clean

What we don't like:

  • Quite heavy for new mama

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Platinum Infant Car Seat vs Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip Air Infant Car Seat

FEATURES

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Platinum

Chicco Keyfit 30 zip Air

5-point harness

inside-impact protection 

compatibility with a LATCH system

Infant insert for smaller babies

Adjustable, multi-position canopy

Easy-to-read level indicator

1-Hand Adjust handle

One-Pull Harness

Can build into a travel system

CHICCO KEYFIT 30 ZIP AIR


What we like:

  • Great for premature infants with premium inserts
  • Simple installation with the Recline Sure leveling foot, Ride Right bubble levels, and Super Cinch LATCH tightened
  • Removable boots
  • Zip Accent
  • 3S Air Mesh, keeping your baby cool
  • Easy to clean

What we don't like:

  • The carry handle angle requires the use of both hands which can be inconvenient at times

GRACO SNUGRIDE SNUGLOCK 35 Platinum


What we like:

  • Strong and lightweight
  • Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System is safe & simple with a one-hand harness & headrest adjustment
  • Silent Shade canopy adjusts without disturbing baby
  • Easy to clean

What we don't like:

  • NA

Chicco vs Graco car seat: best convertible car seat

Chicco NextFit Zip Max vs Graco Extend2Fit

FEATURES

Graco Extend2Fit

Chicco NextFit Zip Max

5-point harness

inside-impact protection 

compatibility with a LATCH system

No of headrest positions

10

9

Weight range

5 - 65 pounds

4 - 65 pounds

Easy-to-read level indicator

1-Hand Adjust handle

Number of recline position

6

9

Chicco NextFit Zip Max


What we like:

  • Breathable 3D air Mesh backrest, soft zip-off seat pad, and comfort Flex waist belt
  • Remarkably easy installation with a 9-position recline Sure levelling system, super Cinch LATCH tightened and lock Sure seat belt locking system
  • 2 dishwasher-safe, space-saving cup folders. 2 Crotch Positions

What we don't like:

  • Push-release button is tricky to access because it’s hidden by the fabric
  • Very big car seat, might not fit a small car

Graco Extend2Fit


What we like:

  • A child can remain rear-facing until they reach 50 pounds, 10 pounds more than that of Chicco
  • The seat features Simply Safe Adjust, In Right Latch for a one-second Latch attachment and Fuss Free harness storage
  • Adjusts to provide an extra 5 inches of legroom so a child can stay in the safer rear-facing position for longer

What we don't like:

  • Tightening the straps can be difficult at first.
  • Warning labels are printed onto the fabric and can get very hot in the Sun

Chicco Fit4 4-in-1vs Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1

FEATURES

graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1

Chicco Fit4 4-in-1

5-point harness

inside-impact protection 

compatibility with a LATCH system

No of headrest positions

10

10

Weight range

4 - 120 pounds

4 - 100 pounds

Easy-to-read level indicator

1-Hand Adjust handle

Number of recline position

6

9

Chicco Fit4 4-in-1


What we like:

  • Can be converted into 4 stages, fit babies from infant to 10 years old
  • Includes ReclineSure leveling system, RideRight bubble levels, force-multiplying SuperCinch LATCH tightener and LockSure belt-tightening system
  • 9 recline positions

What we don't like:

  • Rear-facing installation with seatbelt is not as easy as a LATCH installation
  • Heavy & bulky

Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1


What we like:

  • Can be converted into 4 stages, fit babies from infant to 10 years old
  • Can use LATCH in highback booster mode and can be installed with Ford/Lincoln inflatable seat belts
  •  6 recline positions
  • Harness doesn’t need to be removed for booster use

What we don't like:

  • Tricky to tighten harness when rear-facing

Chicco vs Graco car seat: best booster seat

Graco TurboBooster Highback vs Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster Car Seat: the most affordable option

Graco TurboBooster Highback


What we like:

  • 2-in-1 seat easily converts from a highback booster to backless booster for years of use
  • Multi-layer headrest, Padded, height-adjustable armrests and hide-away cup holders with open-loop belt guides.
  • Weight range: 40 - 100 pounds
  • Very affordable price

What we don't like:

  • No LATCH system

Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster


What we like:

  • 2-in-1 seat easily converts from a highback booster to backless booster for years of use
  • SuperCinch LATCH attachment and one-pull tightener, ErgoBoost double foam padding, movable 2 space-saving cup holders which can be fold away when not in use
  • Weight range: 30 - 100 pounds
  • Affordable price

What we don't like:

  • Non-replaceable LATCH straps

Final thought

There you go. You have it now. 

Above is our monster review of the most popular car seats of Chicco and Graco based on your baby’s age and weight. 

The rest is all yours.

Pick the one you think is the best for your baby. Watch him closely to make sure he is comfortable with it. 

Both of you deserve some good time while driving.

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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