Chicco Corso travel system review (2021)

Chicco has long been a trusted brand for car seats, most notably for their extremely popular Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat. In this Chicco Corso review, you’ll find out what makes the Chicco KeyFit 30 one of the best infant car seat options around, the pros and cons of the Chicco Corso stroller, and whether or not you should buy the Chicco Corso travel system. I’ll also offer a few alternative travel systems at the end to help you make the right choice for your family’s needs.

Corso Modular Travel System in Silverspring Fashion | Chicco

Chicco Corso travel system review summary

Corso Modular Travel System in Silverspring Fashion | Chicco

Key stats:
-Car seat fits 4-30lbs, up to 30″
-Stroller can be used up to 50lbs
-KeyFit 30 snaps directly into to stroller with included adapter

-Car seat fits newborns well and is easy to use
-Parent- and forward-facing stroller options
-Stroller frame can be used for car seat without toddler seat

-Stroller isn’t as nice as some competitors
-Car seat lacks “advanced” safety features and extended height/weight limits

What’s included with the Chicco Corso travel system

The Chicco Corso travel system includes the following components:

Optional Chicco Corso accessories

Chicco Corso travel system versions

There are versions of the Chicco Corso travel system, “regular” and LE. The Chicco Corso LE travel system is different enough that it warrants its own review. This review will cover the regular version, which comes in Silverspring (light blue-gray) and Hazelwood (tan with black accents).

Corso Modular Travel System in Silverspring Fashion | Chicco
Corso Modular Travel System in Hazelwood Fashion | Chicco

Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip infant car seat review

KeyFit 30 Zip Infant Car Seat in Black | Chicco

There are two factors that make the Chicco KeyFit 30 one of the best infant car seats for so many American families: it fits most babies well and it’s extremely easy to use correctly. We owned the KeyFit 30 for both of our kids, so I can vouch for both of those being true!

The KeyFit 30 is rated for infants from 4-30 pounds and up to 30″ tall. To help it fit tiny babies better, the KeyFit 30 comes with a newborn insert that can be used up to 11 pounds – at that point it must be removed. There’s also a head insert that’s always option but can be used as long as your baby’s harness straps are in one of the two lower slots (you need to put the head insert through the slots above the harness). Whenever your child is rear facing, you want to make sure the straps come from at or below her shoulders (and there’s really not thing as “too far below” unless the straps are slipping off).

Important note: You should only ever use inserts provided by the manufacturer. Inserts made by other companies aren’t regulated or tested with your car seat.

As babies grow, they also need to have 1″ of the car seat shell above their heads (also known as the “one inch rule”). The KeyFit has a nice wide area for babies, so they won’t feel cramped in the shoulders as they approach their first birthdays. Most babies officially outgrow their infant car seats by height (either the 1″ rule or standing height limit), but with some other seats parents feel compelled to switch their babies to a convertible car seat sooner since their babies look squished. You certainly won’t have that problem with the Chicco KeyFit!

The Chicco KeyFit 30 car seat weighs 9.5 pounds, which used to be about average for an infant carrier but is a little heavier than some popular options these days. The Chicco Corso travel system comes with the Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip car seat, which has two nice additional features.

First, the cover zips off easily in case baby has an accident in the car seat. Second, the canopy has a zip-open mesh extension near the back and another extension in the front to give excellent sun coverage for baby. One of our KeyFits had a similar canopy and it made a real difference during sunny walks! The Chicco KeyFit Zip also comes with a zip-off winter boot – we never used ours but if you live in a cold region this is a safe option for keeping your baby warm in the car seat.

Installing the Chicco KeyFit base in your car is usually extremely simple. Use the adjustable pop-out foot on the base to change the installation angle so that the bubble is in the center of the recline indicator on the side of the base. For LATCH installation, clip in the easy push-on connectors and then pull the tightening strap.

Note that you can only use LATCH for this car seat with standard spacing of 11″ – if you want to install in the center, you are not allowed to “borrow” from the side seats if the anchors are farther apart. In our Camry we had to install in the center with the seatbelt (which was no big deal).

If you do need to install with the seatbelt, the KeyFit base makes it really easy. Run the seatbelt through the belt path of the base, pull out the slack while you push on the base with your other hand, and then slide the shoulder belt into the orange slit (called a “lock-off”) on the side away from the buckle. I promise it’s not hard once you do it a few times!

You can also install the Chicco KeyFit 30 without the base. Just buckle the seatbelt and run the lap belt through the little arms on either side of the car seat near your baby’s legs. Pull the shoulder belt alllllllll the way out until it won’t come any further, then slowly let it feed back in to the car; you should hear a little clicking sound as it ratchets back in to the retractor. We call this “locking the seatbelt”. Once you have most of the slack back in, look for the level line on the side of your KeyFit and make sure it’s parallel to the ground (the bottom of the window frame is a handy reference point). Get it nice and level, then feed the last of the seatbelt’s slack in.

No matter how you install the Chicco KeyFit (or any other car seat), you’ll want to test it to make sure it’s secure enough. The only place you should check for movement is along the belt path, where the seatbelt or LATCH connectors are and close to the vehicle seat back. Using your non-dominant hand, give it a firm handshake back and forth and make sure it moves less than 1″ from side to side.

Overall, it’s easy to see why the Chicco KeyFit 30 is one of the top infant car seats in the US!

There are two potential downsides of the KeyFit 30. First, it tops out at 30lbs, 30″ or 1″ of shell above the head. A few years ago that was right in line with nearly every competitor. Today, it’s on the lower end as many infant car seats now go to 35lbs and 32″. Second, the KeyFit 30 doesn’t have any “advanced” safety features like a load leg, anti-rebound bar or side impact pods. It still passes all Federal testing but new seats are adding those features and they should improve crash performance in many situations.

Chicco has now released the Chicco KeyFit 35 to fill those gaps: it features higher weight and height limits, an anti-rebound bar and a no-rethread harness all while retaining Chicco’s top-notch ease of use and fit to child. Even better, you can get the new KeyFit 35 as part of the premium Chicco Corso LE travel system! In addition to the upgraded car seat, it also has better wheels for easy strolling and fancier materials.

Chicco Corso stroller review

The new Chicco Corso is a really strong effort on Chicco’s part to compete with premium strollers like the UPPAbaby Cruz – but at a fraction of the price. For comparison, the Chicco Corso travel system MSRP is $500 while the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 starts at a whopping $650 (and that’s before you’ve purchased an infant car seat or an adapter – budget another $200 or so for that stuff). I’m not saying these two strollers are equivalent, but it’s the difference between Toyota and Lexus. Both great, solid cars but the Lexus offers some fancier features and also higher end fit and finish.

Ok, so what can the Corso do? You have the option to use it in four different modes: choose from the car seat or the toddler seat, and either of those can face out to the world or face the care giver. To use the infant car seat, remove the toddler seat and click in any Chicco infant car seat with the included adapter.

For walks around the neighborhood, the toddler seat offers plenty of great adjustments. If your infant is snoozing, you can recline the stroller seat all the way back, pull the canopy down for lots of coverage and even adjust the leg rest for their comfort. Speaking of the canopy, it has several different settings available including a zip-open mesh panel. Since it is a deep seat (as all similar strollers are) you’d need to purchase the optional Chicco Corso infant insert to use the stroller seat from birth.

If your toddler (up to 50lbs) is awake and ready to see the world around her, it’s quick to flip the seat around to face out and put it upright. She can even hold on the included bumper bar for fun. Unfortunately there’s no snack try for the Chicco Corso stroller and it doesn’t sound like Chicco plans to make one. We went through about 10 strollers and never had one, so personally I don’t think it’s a deal breaker. We just gave the kids these and attached them to the stroller frame with something like this.

The Chicco Corso has a pretty nice basket, with easy access from whichever side doesn’t have the toddler seat leg rest. There’s no parent console so you may want to add one of these. We found it extremely functional and it’s soft enough to fold with the stroller. It may get scraped up if you opt to stand the Corso on its handlebar when folded, so just keep that in mind.

At 23.5 pounds with the toddler seat attached and 17 pounds as a stroller frame, the Chicco Corso isn’t going to win awards as an ultra-light. But it’s very much in line with strollers offering comparable (or fewer) features. The Baby Jogger City Mini GT is 22.5 pounds and the Uppababy Cruz V2 weighs 25.5 pounds.

The biggest complaint about Chicco strollers in the past has been that they don’t feel very high end in their construction or handling. The EVA wheels aren’t as nice as air- or foam-filled tires but they’re still an upgrade from standard plastic wheels. When paired with the Corso’s adjustable suspension system they offer a much smoother ride, though still not as nice as you’ll find on high-end strollers or even the upgraded Chicco Corso LE that features rubber tires.

Petite parents may find the handle bar a little high, and unfortunately it isn’t adjustable. That’s disappointing considering the Chicco has been able to include this feature on its less expensive Chicco Bravo Trio travel systems.

Disadvantages aside, the price really is tough to beat. For an MSRP of $500 for the stroller (and then take $30 off when you sign up for Chicco’s email list), you get a $200 car seat and a stroller that’ll take you you from birth through toddlerhood! Many families choose a travel system because it works out cheaper than buying the car seat and stroller separately.

Should you buy the Chicco Corso travel system?

If I were buying a travel system today, the Chicco Corso would be a serious contender! It comes with a wonderful infant car seat and is a major upgrade over the typical travel system strollers of the past. It’s not ideal for serious hiking trails or lightweight travels, but for everyday walks around the neighborhood it represents a great balance of value and performance.

Where to buy the Chicco Corso travel system

You can buy the Chicco Corso travel system from the following stores:

Similar travel systems and strollers to consider

If you love the idea of the Chicco KeyFit 30 for your infant car seat (and you should!) there are a few other travel systems and stroller combinations to consider.

Chicco Corso LE travel system
Chicco has majorly stepped up its game with the new Corso LE travel system! Compared to the regular Chicco Corso travel system featured in this review, it includes the brand new Chicco KeyFit 35 infant car seat and also has nicer stroller wheels and upgraded aesthetic accents on the stroller. See more details and save $30 here.

Chicco Bravo Trio travel system
If you love the idea of the “matched set” and have just a little more room in your budget, the Chicco Bravo Trio travel system is even more flexible. It also comes with the Chicco KeyFit 30. You can use the stroller in three modes: stroller seat + car seat (the canopies come together for full coverage), stroller seat, or car seat frame stroller. If you know you won’t need the stroller seat with you for a given excursion, you can leave it at home and click the car seat on to the frame. You can even do that with the canopy attached. The downside is that the Chicco Bravo Trio stroller doesn’t offer a parent-facing option. The base Bravo Trio travel system comes with the regular KeyFit30, the Bravo Trio LE comes with the KeyFit30 Zip (same as the Corso travel system) and the Bravo Primo Trio is paired with the upgraded Chicco KeyFit 35. See more details here.

UPPAbaby Cruz V2 + Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip + adapter
If you love the idea of a stroller that allows toddlers to face their parents or the world and have more room in your budget, you won’t be disappointed with the new UPPAbaby Cruz V2. It offers a ton of flexibility for growing families. You can use it with the UPPAbaby SnugSeat in the stroller seat from birth or you can “go big” and buy the stroller paired with the bassinet (and you can use the bassinet for safe sleep in your home with the stand). If you have another child down the line, the Cruz offers a piggyback board for your toddler to stand on while you push the new baby. See more details.

Graco Modes LX travel system
Graco offers a dizzying array of travel systems, especially in their higher end Modes lineup. The Graco Modes LX travel system has a similar feature set to the Chicco Corso travel system in that you can use it with the car seat or the stroller seat and the stroller seat offers both parent- and forward-facing options. The Graco has two advantages: a much lower price point and the ability to use the stroller seat from birth without an extra insert since the seat lays out completely flat. It also weighs a little less. Unfortunately Graco puts very cheap wheels on all of the strollers and there’s no suspension, so it won’t push nearly as nicely as the Chicco Corso outside of the grocery store and the mall. See more details.