Blinded by the light
As first time parents, my wife and I chose the best rated car seat with the highest safety rating, which was the Chicco Keyfit 30. Thankfully, we have not had the opportunity to critique the crash worthiness off the car seat and hopefully never will. We have, however, had ample time to get to know the Chicco Keyfit 30 in day to day operation. The car seat is fairly easy to install, whether you are using the base or not. There is a built in bubble level on the base to take out some of the guess work during installation. Adjusting the straps is very easy, literally at the touch of a button. Beyond that I can't find anything good to say about the product. My biggest gripe about the car seat is the "sun shade." Right out of the box, I scoffed at it. Fully extended, it doesn't even reach the midpoint of the seat. If you can get it to stay fully extended, that is. The position locking mechanism is chintzy and if it ever held position, at the 3 month mark it is laughable. If you plan on going out during the daytime with your baby and value you baby's eye sight, I would consider other car seats. The carrying handle is sturdy and I feel confident holding it with one hand in all kinds of orientations. After using it for 3 months, the two hand operation on the handle adjuster has worn out it's novelty. It is rare two have two hands free now a days, and even for me, 6'4" tall, reaching over into the car to depress the lever on the other side simultaneously had gotten old. The last issue I have had, or more accurately, my wife had had, is the position of the base release. In our vehicle, we have captain's chairs in the second row. The base is installed on one of the captains chairs. When I drive I have my seat slid back almost as far at is will go. The base release on the car seat is positioned right behind baby's head and therefore squished up against the driver's seat. I, being taller, have not had as much of a problem getting the car seat out. My wife, who is 5'4", simply cannot. Whether it is the lower angle or close proximity to the carrying handle when she is trying to lift the seat out, I don't know. It is a problem for her. She does not have the same problem when SHE drives and the driver's seat is farther from the car seat. Maybe we should just put the car seat behind the passenger seat. I hope this helps in your decision to buy.
* This product review was collected by the manufacturer.