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Hands-on Gear Review
Chicco KeyFit Caddy Review
Price: $100.00 List | $99.99 at Amazon
Pros: Easy car seat attachment, lightweight, compact fold
Cons: Dual action brakes, harder to push and turn
Bottom line: Best frame stroller with easy car seat attachment and parent console
The Chicco Keyfit Caddy is a great frame stroller, does what a frame stroller should do, and does it well. The Caddy is lightweight, folds flat, self-stands, auto-locks, and rolls while folded. The Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat attaches easily and securely without false connections or any interference. It has a storage bin with a 10 lb weight limit, a parent console, and suspension on all four wheels. While it can't hold its own with the standard strollers for maneuverability or features, as a frame stroller it isn't expected to. This product earned a high score in this review and a Top Pick award for Best Frame Stroller because it gets the job done at an inexpensive price, without the features and frills that only add weight and muddy the waters of a simple no nonsense car seat compatible stroller.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Stroller and Car Seat Combos for 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The chart below is a comparison of the overall scores for the car seat and stroller combos we tested for this review. The blue line shows the Chicco Keyfit Caddy. It is easy to see how this frame stroller earned a Top Pick award.
The following subsections provide additional details on how the Caddy performed during testing. Performance results in each metric were used to calculate the overall score.
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
The Caddy earned a score of 9 of 10 for ease of car seat attachment. The Bugaboo Bee3 Combo also scores a 9 in conjunction with the Chicco Keyfit 30 infant car seat. The Doona earned a 10 as the car seat is permanently attached to the stroller.
The Caddy is compatible with the Keyfit infant car seats made by Chicco. We tested ours with the Chicco Keyfit 30, an award-winning seat from our infant car seat review.
This frame requires no removal of any parts, and there are no adapters needed, which saves money and complexity of the attachment or parts you need to manage. The attachment of the seat is easy and only requires resting the seat into the frame and pressing down gently to ensure connection. It isn't as easy as the Bugaboo options where the seat almost installs itself, but it is pretty darn easy, cannot be done wrong, and we never thought we had it connected when it wasn't.
Weight and Folded Size
Frame strollers are traditionally designed to be lightweight and easy to transport, and the Caddy is no exception. It earned a 9 of 10 for Weight and Folded Size, tying with the other frame stroller options in the group.
The Caddy weighs in at 11.7 lbs without the car seat attached. New moms who gave birth via C-Section, may be unable to lift more than 10-12 lbs making the Caddy a good option as you continue to heal and get your strength back (following doctor's orders of course). The lightest standard stroller is the UPPAbaby Cruz Combo at 14 lbs, which is good for a standard option, but still several pounds heavier than the frame strollers. The Doona is most similar to a frame stroller, but the addition of an infant car seat makes it a bit heavier, but still under the combined weight of the Chicco Caddy and Keyfit 30 at just 16.5 lbs.
The Caddy measures at 7,628 cubic inches when folded, so it is relatively small and flat. It might even fit behind the seat in some cars without the trunk space. The smallest folded package in the group is surprisingly a standard stroller, the Britax B-Agile 3 Combo at 6,416 cubic inches, though it folds thicker than the Caddy.
The Caddy folds with one hand and 2 steps. The process is easy and only requires the removal of the car seat, which you can hold with your free hand. It self-stands, auto-locks, and has a carry strap that makes this product easy to transport, carry, and store in tight spaces. If that isn't enough to sway you, it also rolls when folded in a way similar to rolling luggage, and you do not need to bend to fold this stroller, another perk for the recovering mom. Unfolding the Caddy is one hand and 1 step and is very easy to manage even holding an infant car seat. There is no bending to unfold, and all you need to do is press the release button and lift and shake until it clicks open.
This Chicco earned the second best score for commuting thanks to a smaller size, narrow footprint, lighter weight, and simple fold with folding features. The stroller is easy to transport, works well on public transport and stays tucked out of the way in busy cafes.
One of the only metrics where the Caddy didn't perform well is maneuverability, with a score of 4 of 10. The lower maneuverability score isn't a big surprise seeing it is up against a great jogging stroller (the BOB Revolution) that earned a 9, or full-size strollers with designs more conducive to travel than a simple frame product.
The frame on this stroller flexes enough that it impacts the ability to push the stroller because the front wheels rise slightly off the ground. It is still nicer than the Baby Trend Snap-N-Go, but not by much. This product's design is primarily for flat and hard surfaces. It has trouble with grass and gravel, and you don't want to take it off road unless it is an absolute necessity.
You may need to take it up and over a curb from time to time. The brakes on the frame catch on the toe of the curb and they lock on the way up or hit on the way down. You will have to drag the stroller up with the brakes set if they don't break off first.
Ease of Use
The Caddy has some trouble with ease of use, primarily because by design it is missing some of the key components that encompass this metric, like a canopy for instance.
However, it still managed a 5 of 10 for the metric, scoring higher than several of the standard strollers that offered more features. The high for the metric is 7 for the Chicco Bravo LE and the low is a 3 for the Chicco Liteway Plus Combo.
The Chicco Caddy has a large storage bin that held out extra-large diaper bag inside. There is access from the front and back, but no access from the sides. Because the car seat fits over the top of the storage bin, it is almost easier to put your items in before attaching the car seat and then only removing what you need from the basket a little at a time. Access is still better on this product than that of the Graco SnugRider Elite, a competing frame stroller. The maximum allowable weight for the bin is 10 pounds, which is average for the group and better than either Bugaboo product, but nowhere near the same playing field as the 25-30 pound maximum found in the UPPAbaby options.
The parent console will allow for three more pounds of supplies, but the shallow cup holders and the tiny tray will not hold much of anything anyway, possibly keys and your phone. We don't recommend parents use the cup holders for beverages as most of the items we tested fell out of the cup holders while strolling.
The Caddy has double action brakes, which is not our favorite type of braking system. This type requires the depression of two pedals instead of one to engage the brakes. We worry some parents will forget or skip the second pedal depending on the circumstances and this could result in potential injury or accidents. Despite the double action, the brakes are easy to set and about average to release. They are sandal foot friendly and offer average sliding resistance on an incline with 0.5 inches of play once set.
There is no canopy on the Caddy, so you need to rely on the car seat canopy for protection from the elements. This would be true if you were carrying the car seat by the handle and is also true for several of the strollers we looked at that require the canopy and/or seat removal before using with a car seat.
The metric where the Caddy took a dive, and hurt its overall score somewhat, is quality where it earned a 3 of 10 (the lowest in the group). The high for this metric is 8 shared by the UPPAbaby Vista Combo and the BOB Revolution Flex, which both offer nicer materials and have great attention to detail.
The Caddy doesn't have any fabric components save for the storage bin. The basket is made up of a combination of finely woven canvas for the lower parts and a mesh material for the top portion so you can see inside. Neither material is anything to write home about, but they seems sturdy enough for the limited lifespan of this product, and we weren't able to snag either part during testing.
The frame is metal with plastic components, and while the parts appear to be nice enough, there is a general flex and rickety feeling to the frame that makes it feel like it's missing a screw somewhere when it isn't. Because there are plastic parts that don't come together well and the fabric on the basket has some loose threads, the overall fit and finish isn't impressive and looks relatively sloppy compared to most of the competition.
The wheels are foam filled plastic and have the dual front wheel design we don't like. The dual front wheels are harder to manage and often get hung up on items that cause the stroller to steer off in directions you don't intend. The wheels feel sturdy enough and spin without a lot of resistance, but plastic is plastic and can't compare next to rubber wheels found on a lot of the other products we tested. The Caddy does offer all-wheel suspension which is a nice perk for a cheaper product like this one, but we aren't sure it is enough to make up for the smaller plastic wheels.
Parents who like the Chicco brand or those looking for an easy to fold and transport frame stroller may be interested in the Caddy and with good reason. This bare-bones frame stroller works well with the Keyfit car seats and has ample storage space for even the largest of diaper bags. New moms will appreciate the lighter weight as they recover from childbirth, and baby will enjoy the all-wheel shocks. If you want a frame stroller for car seat transportation, or you are simply looking to buy some time before making your big stroller purchase, the Caddy is a good choice without the commitment of lots of money.
The Chicco Caddy wins a Top Pick for Frame Stroller award in this review with good reason. It is a budget friendly stroller that came in 2nd place overall for car seat and stroller combinations. This product has a list price of $100 and works well with an award winning infant car seat, making it a good value in our book. While there are cheaper options in the group, they come with more complex attachment features and significantly lower overall scores than the Caddy. If you aren't sure what kind of everyday stroller you eventually want to buy, this little option can keep you happy while you decide, without breaking the bank to do it.
The Chicco Keyfit Caddy is a nice frame stroller. What it lacks in performance or features, it more than makes up for by working well with the Keyfit 30 car seat and a price that won't break the bank. This stroller offers easy car seat attachment, a large storage bin, four wheel shocks, a parent console, and an adjustable handlebar. It is bare bones where it needs to be for weight and ease of transport, but it has it where it counts for new parents who just want to push their baby on paved or hard surfaces to get out of the house. We like that the Caddy is true to what makes a frame stroller great; a budget-friendly frame that accepts a quality car seat with easy attachment and gives you time to decide what your stroller habits are and what features you want in your main stroller choice. This product is easy to fold and unfold as well as self-stands, auto locks, rolls when folded, and has a carry strap. You can even hold the infant carrier in one hand while you fold the frame with the other. It's hard to ask for more with a product that has this much for this little.
Other Versions and Accessories
Chicco makes several different types of strollers, and a few were reviewed here including the standard Chicco Bravo LE Combo, the umbrella option Chicco Liteway Plus Combo, and the Caddy frame stroller. The Caddy scored significantly higher than the other two options, but in all fairness the Bravo did earn 4 out of 5 stars in our full-size stroller review, making it one some parents might consider.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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