All for One and One for All: The Only Chicco Fit4 Review You Need to Read

My friends always come up to me and ask me how I saved so much money on baby gear? It's really easy, I say.

All you need to do is shop smarter-not harder.

It's no secret that car seats are one of the most expensive investments you will make as soon as your baby greets the world.

You will need to get one seat for the infant stage, toddler, preschool, and a booster until your kid is ready for seatbelt use.

But, why would you buy all those car seats when you can purchase one car seat and solve the problem?

This is where the Chicco Fit4 comes in and saves your budget in the long run!

This is one of the most popular all-in-one car seats, and I am here to discuss all the features you should know before investing in it.

Quick Summary

The Chicco Fit4 car seat is a multi-mode model which beats the competition to the core! It's packed with safety features, and it's suitable for up to 10 years of use!

In addition to being user-friendly, this car seat comes with excellent safety ratings that every parent values.

You can use it as soon as you get home from the hospital up until your kid is ready for a backless booster!

1. Ease of Use: 5/5

The Chicco Fit4 car seat offers a great user-friendly design.

With the option of a QR code, you can quickly scan how to transition from one stage to another and quickly get the job done.

2. Comfort: 5/5

Excellent comfort with the plush padding.

The steel-reinforced frame is there to offer stability, while the two layers of side impact protection offer comfort all around.

Your kid can comfortably nap in his new car seat, but the smart design does not allow for head droop.

3. Durability: 3.5/5

Despite promising to last up to ten years, Chicco Fit4 has minor design flaws. For some of the customers, the car seat fell apart due to summer heat.

This was not the issue in all of the purchased car seats, but you should still purchase with caution.

4. Travel-friendly: 4.5/5

The Fit4 is FAA approved to use in harness mode only. You can take it on air travel, but the bulky design will make the trip challenging.

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Price: Under $400

What I Like
  • EPS energy-absorbing foam
  • Convenient latch system
  • Can be installed with vehicle seat belt
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Easy to transition between stages
  • Bubble angle indicator
  • Accommodates height as child grows
  • Offers optimal fit
  • Machine-washable
What I Don't Like
  • Heavy
  • Bulky design
  • Non-detachable infant car seat

Bottom Line

As a 4-in-1 convertible car seat, Chicco Fit4 is a perfect model for parents who want to save their budget in the long run.

It has four stages you can use from day one until your child is ready for its big kid booster.

Although its bulky and heavy design will stop you from easy portability, it's great for installing three across in the back seat.

It's relatively narrow, so the space-saving design will allow other passengers to sit in the back as well.

The comfortability is found in every layer of this car seat, which delivers the utmost kid comfort.

Chicco Fit4 4-In-1 Convertible Car Seat - Stratosphere | Grey*
  • Designed to deliver premier child fit and comfort at each unique stage, Fit4 makes it easy to correctly secure your child from birth through big kid booster for ultimate comfort, convenience and peace...
  • 4-Stage FitKit System provides optimal fit and comfort through multi-staged construction and easy-to-remove layers, providing more room to grow through each unique stage
  • Easiest all-in-one car seat to install correctly, thanks to Chicco-exclusive installation features including ReclineSure leveling system, RideRight bubble levels, force-multiplying SuperCinch LATCH...
  • DuoGuard offers 2 layers of protection with a steel-reinforced frame and EPS energy-absorbing foam that surround the head and torso, while a best-in-class 10-position headrest accommodates maximum...

Overview of the Chicco Fit4

As a CPS technician, I tested out my fair share of child car seats. But, one of the brands that stood out the most was Chicco.

They always seem to deliver the finest products with a few flaws then and there (hey, nobody's perfect, right?).

Nonetheless, Chicco is one of the few brands that offer an extensive line of car seats, boosters, and other baby gear fit for every age and stage!

Of course, you may know about their most popular rear-facing car seats - the KeyFit and Fit2. No big deal, they are only one of the best infant car seats on the market.

But, as many parents can't afford to shop for a new car seat every year their kid gets a bit bigger, their best solution is getting a 4-in-1 car seat.

These kinds of car seats that offer multi-stage use have become increasingly popular over the years.

Not just for the comfort of the kids but their parent-friendly design as well.

You ask, and Chicco delivers.

The Chicco Fit4 offers four multi-modes you can use. It can be installed in the rear-facing position for infants and toddlers and a forward-facing position for preschoolers.

The fourth stage is a booster mode suitable for older kids who can be secured via a seat belt.

Specifications

Infant seat: from 4-16 pounds

Rear-facing toddler seat: from 12-40 pounds

Forward-facing: from 25-65 pounds

Big Kid Booster mode: from 40-100 pounds

How Do You Install the Chicco Fit4 Car Seat?

chicco fit4 safety review

Source: Youtube

I have to be honest; installing the Chicco Fit4 was no field trip for me. I found that a lot of other parents struggled with the installation as well.

But did you know there is a QR code you can scan?

That's right, the code is located on the side of the seat, and it leads directly to the QR code Assist Website.

This is something new I have seen with Chicco, so I was pleasantly surprised that they cared for parents who cannot deal with written instructions.

As I am one of those and appreciate visual presentation instead, the videos were helpful and explained in detail.

Chicco gives you two fantastic options: installing the car seat with the car's seat belt or using the LATCH connectors. Both of the alternatives offer secure installation, so it's up to you to pick.

The installation features the ReclineSure option. With it, you can adjust the car seat's nine recline positions!

For me, this worked marvelously when I used the car seat in the rear-facing installation with infant mode.

One more thing that the installation features for utter comfort are the RideRight option for ensuring the correct position of the seat.

It also includes a bubble angle indicator so you can know if you achieved the desired recline angle of your car seat.

Lastly, you will love the SuperCinch Latch lower anchors.

I want to make sure my car seat is correctly secure each time I install it in the vehicle, and this is where the lower anchors helped me the most.

They are marked, so you know which one to pull first without using excessive strength.

The installation video also offers easy stage transition instructions, so you won't have to go through the trouble of figuring it out by yourself.

The car seat includes easy-to-remove layers, so you will have to take them off and on again when you transition to a new stage.

Also, each of the pads has a label on it, so you can quickly tell the difference between them.

Is Chicco Fit4 Car Seat Safe?

is chicco a good car seat brand

Source: Amazon

Chicco is among the safest car seats currently in the industry. So, what makes this particular car seat so safe?

Thanks to the DuoGuard, you will not get one but two layers of side impact protection.

Most car seats include only frontal and rear impact protection, but Chicco thinks about overall safety.

In addition, this car seat is built from a steel-reinforced frame, so it's stable once installed and incredibly durable.

Like other car seats, Chicco includes the EPS energy-absorbing foam that absorbs all the crash impact.

If you like to travel, the Chicco Fit4 is FAA approved to be used in air travel with harness mode only. But, of course, you cannot use the car seat as a booster in the airplane.

Since we are on the issue of safety, let's talk a bit about the harness system and the belt-tightening system Chicco offers.

For starters, the car seat has a two-position chest clip that is no stranger to those acquainted with Chicco.

The harness mode fits those who ride in rear-facing and forward-facing installations. However, it is a bit tighter on bigger kids.

Next, the crotch buckle is slightly different than with other Chicco car seats.

For instance, some of the Chicco car seats like NextFit will give you a headache with the crotch buckle as it's difficult to attach. But not this one.

The convertible car seat has a slide-on-and-off crotch buckle that works with ease.

Another thing that this convertible car seat offers that others lack is theater storage. Behind the car seat's shell, you can store the top theaters.

You can also use the 4-in-1 convertible car seat with an inflatable vehicle seat belt but only in a big kid booster seat.

It's not allowed in rear-facing facing mode or forward-facing installations with a harness.

What About Comfort of Chicco Fit4?

I cannot count the times our trip was cut short due to the lousy comfort of the car seat. 

But, I tell you, nothing is throwing your mood off than the screaming child in the back seat while you try to focus on the road ahead.

For this reason, you must pick a seat that will be comfortable just as it would be safe. Naturally, those go hand in hand, so it's time I tell you a little bit of the comfort Chicco offers.

Among fabric, design, and other features that make this child's car seat so comfy, I have to say that the recline positions are the best ones!

In addition, the Chicco Fit4 car seat has the best leveling system I have seen and multiple seat positions you can adjust as the child grows.

In addition to the seating position, the car seat also includes ten headrest positions so your kid can remain seated correctly.

The show's true star is the thermo-regulating fabric. Chicco includes the 37.5 technology. What in the world is that?

The fabric of the seat is always designed to keep the humidity level at 37.5%.

When it's in the vapor stage, the breathable mesh forbids the sweat built up. This is a terrific feature for those who live in humid areas!

Nothing beats the comfort of your kid during hot and cold days.

In that manner, the fabric reflects and recirculates the heat to keep the baby warm during wintertime.

As for the material, it's soft and made from a dark gray jersey.

Layers for the Win

The multi-staged construction car seat has a great feature for parents who cannot keep all the transition stages!

I mentioned this earlier, but Chicco has a seat pad for every stage.

Therefore, you will be getting a toddler pad, infant pad, and many more! But, if you are ever confused about which one goes first, you can always scan the QR code.

I have to say, this feature saved me from trying to find the manual each time I needed to switch between positions! QR code for the win!

Lastly, all layers are machine-washable, which is excellent since they are used in the early life stage.

But, let's be honest; you won't be that lucky to avoid diaper leaks and spit-ups in the new car seat.

What About Other Features?

I told you that the Chicco Fit4 convertible car seat is packed with features that will make your road trips so much more manageable.

But, what you didn't know is that this car seat includes a few hidden features. Those have a seat pan which is located beneath the thighs.

So, what does this do, you wonder?

It generally adds to the kid's comfort whether they are in extended rear-facing mode or forward-facing mode.

Additionally, it will deliver more room and leg space as it additionally supports this area.

The seat pan can be extended up to two inches, so it will deliver all the necessary space a child needs over time.

Chicco Fit4 convertible car seat includes well-known cupholders.

However, unlike the NextFit version of the seat that provides for only one cup holder, this Fit4 model includes two.

Plus, they are both foldable, giving you some space when installing other car seats in the back.

Chicco Fit4 vs. Britax One4Life

If you want a high-quality alternative for Chicco Fit4 car seat, then it's the Britax One4Life.

Let's start with what Britax has to offer.

Right off the start, you can notice that Britax offers a wide range of features that Chicco does not have.

For instance, the weight limit is much bigger with Britax as it's suitable for children between 5-120 pounds. In addition, if you want a car seat you can use for longer than ten years, Britax takes the lead.

It also gives you the option of 15 position headrest adjustments. It's just as easy to keep clean as Chicco because both car seats have removable padding.

However, it's five pounds heavier than Chicco, so it's not a lightweight seat at all!

One of the biggest flaws of Fit4 lies in the heavyweight so that you can imagine the situation with this one.

On the other hand, the Chicco has a smaller weight limit, which is not suitable for big and tall kids. It does support extended rear-facing, but you have to look at the bigger picture here.

Chicco Fit4 vs. Graco 4Ever DLX

The Graco 4Ever DLX is another fantastic option if you are looking for an alternative. It's a four-in-one convertible car seat but with a twist.

You see, Chicco offers four stages of use, but in the end, you will still have to purchase the backless booster seat.

Well, with Graco, you won't have to!

It has four stages-infant, toddler, big kid booster mode, and backless booster mode.

That being said, it has a bigger weight limit than Chicco as it supports kids up to 120 pounds.

Moreover, the design does deliver a premier child fit with comfortable fabric and plush padding.  Plus, it's a few pounds lighter than Chicco, so it will be easier to transfer it from car to house and vice versa.

But, if you want a car seat that is narrow and can allow for three across installations, go for Chicco.

Shortcomings of the Chicco Fit4

As much as I am impressed with this 4-in-1 convertible car seat, it does have a few flaws.

Chicco is like that; they will deliver a perfect design but always have something customers complain about. 

For instance, this convertible car seat is hefty! If you are looking for a lightweight option you can use for carpooling, don't bother with this model.

I learned the hard way that this is not the car seat you want to transport from vehicle to vehicle. My husband and I often switch cars, but I always keep the Fit4 installed in one of them.

Luckily, the car seat's design is pretty narrow, so it offers a great vehicle fit in smaller cars that allow for extended-rear facing use.

Also, I have to be honest that installations were not a breeze. I struggled a while getting to remove all the layers and then put them back on.

But, this may only be not easy on the first few tries; after that, you'll get used to the system and the color-coordinated layers.

On another note, you cannot use the Chicco Fit4 with any stroller. This is a significant drawback for those who plan on purchasing one car seat only!

As you can see, it does not offer a detachable rear-facing infant seat that you can attach to the stroller. Therefore you cannot create a travel system.

I always love a good budget deal, but this is not the one I would recommend if you don't plan on buying more baby gear.

It's suitable for everyday use, but other than that, you will need to get a separate backless booster seat and a rear-facing seat for infants you can use with strollers.

Some of the parents have complained about durability, which was one of my biggest concerns. For some reason, the car seat fell apart, leaving it unsafe and not fit for use.

I have had my model for a few years now, and luckily nothing like this has happened, but I would still advise you purchase with caution.

Considering all the good and the bad things, I still think that the Chicco Fit4 is a fantastic car seat. It has more pros than cons, so it's a great find for those who want to save up.

FAQs

How do I clean my Chicco Fit4?

The Chicco Fit4 is easy to clean as it has removable seat pads. Each of the seat pads can be machine-washed or spot cleaned if it has minor stains.

Other parts such as the buckle, shoulder belt, chest clip, or others can be cleaned with cold water with mild detergent.

Don't use any harsh chemicals. They can damage the material as well as put a major risk to the child's health.

Make sure you dry all of the pads flat to remain in their original shape after washing.


How wide is the Chicco Fit4?

chicco fit4 base

Source: Amazon

The Chicco Fit4 is 19" wide. The total dimensions are 21.5 x 19 x 27 inches.

Due to its size, Chicco Fit4 won't fit in everyone's vehicle. But, it's relatively narrow, so it will fit in most cars that allow for three across installations.

In addition, this convertible car seat has a space-saving design that offers foldable cupholders that you can also remove to install more car seats.

It will cost you valuable space if you plan to install more than one car seat in the back.


How do I recline my Chicco Fit4?

One of the coolest features Chicco Fit4 offers is the nine recline positions.

Thanks to the ReclineSure and RideRight options with the bubble level indicator, you will master the leveling system in no time!

For the desired recline angle, all you need to do is squeeze the recline handle and pull forward.

This will rock the car seat back, and you can easily reach whichever of the nine positions you want.


How do you loosen the straps on a Chicco Fit4?

Loosening the straps on the Chicco Fit4 is a relatively easy process.

First, press the 'harness release' button on the car seat, and it will immediately pull out the harness straps.

After that, if you want to remove the harness completely, unbuckle the crotch buckle and the chest clip.


Chicco Fit4 vs. NextFit: What's the difference?

Both Chicco Fit4 and Next fit are convertible car seats.

However, the difference is that the NextFit has only two stages of use, whereas the Fit4 is a four in one car seat.

Additionally, with the Fit4, you will be investing in the long run as it can be used from day one to booster seat mode for big kids.

Besides the weight limits, these convertible car seat models are a lot alike.

They both have machine-washable pads you can easily keep clean and up to nine recline angle options.

In addition, they are easy to install thanks to the SuperCinch latch system and are made from steel-reinforced frames.

Bottom Line

So, what do you think? Is the Chicco Fit4 a good fit for you and your kid, or will you consider the alternatives?

For me, it has worked well for years. But, it still has a long road ahead before I say goodbye to it.

Convertible car seats like this one have become a huge hit over the years as they are parent-friendly and easy on the budget.

Chicco Fit4 may not be the most affordable one on the market, but it will save you a few bucks over the years.

Regardless, this is one of the easiest all-in-one convertible car seats to install due to its color-coded layers and latch system that always works.

Easy installation, kid comfort, and long-term use are a win-win situation for all parents!

Chicco Fit4 4-In-1 Convertible Car Seat - Stratosphere | Grey*
  • Designed to deliver premier child fit and comfort at each unique stage, Fit4 makes it easy to correctly secure your child from birth through big kid booster for ultimate comfort, convenience and peace...
  • 4-Stage FitKit System provides optimal fit and comfort through multi-staged construction and easy-to-remove layers, providing more room to grow through each unique stage
  • Easiest all-in-one car seat to install correctly, thanks to Chicco-exclusive installation features including ReclineSure leveling system, RideRight bubble levels, force-multiplying SuperCinch LATCH...
  • DuoGuard offers 2 layers of protection with a steel-reinforced frame and EPS energy-absorbing foam that surround the head and torso, while a best-in-class 10-position headrest accommodates maximum...
Avatar of Kathy Warner

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here