A car seat is a necessary accessory for new parents on the go, but with so many options on the market it can be hard to find the best one for your family. At first glance, comparing the Chicco KeyFit 30 vs. Britax B-Safe 35, they’re similar in their design and performance, with both using a detachable base system and interior padding that’s safe for newborns.
Once you dig deeper into the specs, though, the Chicco KeyFit 30 comes out as the overall winner from a safety and versatility standpoint (>>> Check on PishPoshBaby.com). Let’s look at the major differences so you can see how they compare.
Chicco KeyFit 30 vs Britax B-Safe 35 Side by Side:
The Britax B-Safe 35 uses a high-quality steel frame with SafeCell technology to absorb energy in the case of an impact. It performs acceptably in crash tests, providing a standard level of head and neck protection.
Where the B-Safe is acceptable, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is exceptional. Its use of EPS-rated foam in the shell improves its energy absorption. In crash tests, it provided the best protection for the head and neck of any tested car seat, reducing the total G forces on crash test dummy sensors.
Better impact protection: Chicco KeyFit 30
This is where these car seats are the most similar. Both the B-Safe 35 and the KeyFit 30 use a LATCH installation system on the base, which includes a level indicator and adjustment lever for easily getting the right angle. Once the base is installed, adding or removing the seat takes just seconds, and it locks into place securely.
While it’s easy to install both bases, it’s a bit quicker to both install and uninstall the B-Safe 35. The B-Safe is also slightly easier and safer to use without the base, making it the better choice for those who use multiple vehicles or public transportation.
Easier installation: Britax B-Safe 35
The Britax B-Safe 35 attaches securely and easily to Britax-brand strollers like the B Agile and B Ready models. Using adapters lets it fit into BOB-brand single and dual strollers, though you’ll need to purchase those adapters separately.
Like Britax, Chicco has a line of strollers, and their KeyFit car seats are designed to snap right in. Those are definitely not your only options, though, and the KeyFit 30 offers the most compatibility with other brands, including popular brands like BOB and UPPAbaby, among others.
Widest stroller compatibility: Chicco KeyFit 30
The Britax B-Safe 35 harness is easy to position, with a smooth buckle mechanism that’s quick to secure and remove. It’s not as easy to tighten as other models, though, and adjusting the height of the shoulder straps requires removing and re-threading the harness. This gives you a good range of positions, but makes it a hassle to adjust.
The Chicco KeyFit 30 uses a 5-point harness with a Super Cinch tightening mechanism. Adjusting the height of the shoulder straps still requires re-threading, though the process is overall easier than with the B-Safe 35. It’s also easier to tighten quickly on the go, and can be adjusted and secured one-handed.
Better harness design: Chicco KeyFit 30
The Chicco KeyFit 30 is one of the safest car seats on the market, and this is the main point in its favor. Its foam-filled carrier shell provides excellent impact protection from the rear or side, with removable supports for the head and body of newborns. The advanced harness system is a factor here, too, letting parents get a snug fit with one hand.
Like the B-Safe 35, the base of the Chicco KeyFit 30 has a reclining foot and level bubble to make sure it’s installed at the right angle. It’s easy to install the base with the LATCH system, though less so using a seat belt, and we wouldn’t recommend using it without the base. We also appreciate that the seat makes an audible click when it’s in place on the base or a stroller so you can be sure it’s secure before you go.
The fabric of the KeyFit 30’s interior is a bit rough compared to other models, though both the interior and the harness straps are well-padded. The removable canopy is another nice touch for baby comfort, keeping the sun out of their eyes when you’re on the go.
- Excellent impact protection
- Harness tightens with one pull
- Base is easy to install using LATCH system
- Removable newborn supports
- Durable, easy to clean fabrics
- Difficult to install using seat belts
- Interior materials aren’t very soft
Britax B-Safe 35
The Britax B Safe 35 is a stylish and well-made car seat for modern parents. The interior padding is flexible and soft, if a bit thinner than the padding on the KeyFit 30, while the included infant pillow provides additional comfort and protection for babies under 11 pounds. We’re especially impressed by the sun canopy, which is larger and more durable than those with other car seats and provides full UPF 50+ protection.
The base of the Britax B-Safe 35 has a similar design to the Chicco KeyFit 30, using a base with push-button anchors that firmly attaches it to the seat. This base has a reclining foot and a level indicator so you can get the angle perfect the first time. Once the base is installed, it’s a breeze to snap the seat in and out. It’s not as secure without the base, and this isn’t the recommended way to use it, but it’s easier to use in this format than the KeyFit 30 for those using public transportation or other vehicles where the base isn’t a possibility.
One feature we do prefer on the B-Safe 35 is its carrying handle, which is more comfortable to hold and easier to install than most. However, make sure you check whether your model has the safety support additions that were added—some B-Safe handles were recalled because of cracking concerns.
- Durable reinforced steel frame
- Infant pillow for newborns
- Well-designed sun canopy
- Easy to install using LATCH system
- Compatible with Britax travel systems
- Heavy to carry, especially with base
- Harness isn’t as easy to adjust
Chicco KeyFit 30 vs. Britax B-Safe 35: The Verdict
This style of car seat is best for those with one main vehicle where you can install the base. The B-Safe 35 does have a faster, easier installation, and is slightly easier to use without the base—but, to be honest, if you want a lightweight, bus-friendly car seat, neither of these models is the best choice.
The Chicco KeyFit 30 performs better in crash tests, has a better harness design, and is compatible with a wider array of strollers (>>> Find on Amazon). While some details are better on the Britax B-Safe 35, like the interior fabric and the sun canopy, the KeyFit is the winner on the points that really matter to most parents.