In this Chicco NextFit review we will cover everything you need to know about Nextfit Zip and Nextfit Sport convertible car seats.
Any mom knows, it is pretty rough to buckle a toddler or baby into a convertible car seat. However, with the Chicco Nextfit, it’s about as easy as it’s going to get. The bucket-style seat naturally accommodates the child and the thick harness straps are extremely reliable.
Chicco Nextfit Height Limit
The height limit is 49″ (1.245 m). Only use the product if the child meets the weight and height requirements. Chicco Nextfit rear-facing weight ranges from 5 to 40 lbs. The tallest harness height setting is 17.5″ and the lowest harness height setting is 5.5″ with newborn insert and 7.5″ without insert.
- Seat pan depth (leg room/thigh support): 14″
- Crotch strap positions: 3″ with insert; 4″ or 6″ without insert
- Internal seated height room (highest position): 26″
Chicco Nextfit Weight Limits
The forward-facing latch weight limit is 40 lbs. In other words, you can use the Latch system (tether and lower anchors) in your car to install the seat if your child weighs 40 lbs. or less. If rear-facing, you can install using the lower Latch anchors as long as the child weighs 35 lbs or less. Install the seat facing to the rear with seatbelt using the lock-off if your child weighs between 35 – 40 lbs.
If rear-facing, install using the lock-off with the seatbelt if your child weighs between 40-65 lbs. If you have a tether anchor for that seating position, install with the seatbelt using the lock-off.
If you are installing in a dedicated LATCH seating position with standardized spacing (280 mm), you can only take advantage of the easy installations with SuperCinch. NextFit does not allow center LATCH installations with “Non-Standard Spacing”
The Chicco Nextfit’s best features are ReclineSure®, which fits a wider range of vehicles in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes, SuperCinch® and LockSure®.
LockSure offers integrated lock-offs and clear routing for installation with a vehicle seat belt. The wide straps will not shift on you. The padding holds the bottom buckle in place, saving the child from getting burned by hot metal or pinched and you from a search.
- Easy to clean seat pad
- Steel-reinforced frame
- DuoGuard® side-impact protection
- Multiple position easy-adjust headrest
- One-pull harness tightener
- Padded, no-rethread harness
- Dishwasher-safe CupFolder
- Removable newborn positioner
Reclining is important because it helps children get to sleep faster and parents rest. This is critical on occasions like a long car ride. The Nextfit Zip reclines in nine different positions, which is a record for a product in this category. Parents with a mini-van or SUV will love this feature. In a sedan, it gets a bit more challenging because with the front seats in the way, you can’t use more than four positions.
The harness pads are thick and full, which is nice for the toddler. This feature is also available on the Nextfit IX, which we’ll discuss shortly. When you’re strapped down for a lengthy period of time, the right padding can be crucial. The padded headrest and harness are easy to adjust.
Chicco NextFit Zip Max Convertible Car Seat
The ReclineSure & RideLight
The name ReclineSure should come in the top of the list when it comes to the safety features of the Chicco NextFit. Basically it’s a leveling system and perhaps the most advanced one fitted inside a child safety seat that every parents must care.
It will allow a full proof installation of the safety seat in your car. With this special feature the car seat can becomes ready to accommodate itself in any car. Moreover there was another feature called RideLight equipped on both sides of the seat just to make sure that it’s leveled and sitting firmly.
This precise level installation really makes the seat ready to face the slightest of the bumps on the road. These two features were dedicated for the restraining of the convertible car seat and for restraining the child snugly Chicco has introduced SuperClinch tightening for the LATCH.
SuperCinch is a one-pull tightening system. With this revolutionary system, you can gain huge tightening force with a slight pull. This is not only a safety feature for a better restraint but also it reduces a lot of hassle that you have to face while installing the seat.
This feature ensures you a tight fit attachment of the child with the seat. It can also secure you a good fit with very little effort. It is true that we don’t have to use our whole body and its force to get the convertible seat in a tight position. There is an easy slide path in this convertible seat. This feature can help you to make it easy for re-positioning the strap if it is necessary.
We know that toddlers and babies grow very fast. That’s why the seat was designed to be as adjustable as it could be. The headrest in the Chicco comes with a 9 reclining positions. And not only is the headrest the most adjustable feature in the car seat.
There are 2 position chest clips in this convertible car seat. This feature also does the same activity. The harness of the seat can be adjusted by one pull. This feature is easy to adjust the harness in a car for the growing up child.
When it comes to restraining a child from 5 to 65 lbs, you just can’t deny these adjustable straps. Adjusting on this scale sometimes may cause problems. That’s why we are recommending you to be extra careful while you are tightening the straps.
- Heavy and a bit bulky for some vehicles like sedans
- You will have to air dry the inside material (for the Zip)
What We Don’t Like
Hard To Clean
The problem, in this case, is that you have to air dry the Nextfit Zip’s pad. That means you’ll have to wait and can’t use the seat in this time. It might take days to air dry depending on weather conditions. If the child spills something or throws up, you’ll have to clean the buckles and straps by hand, so you might as well do the inside too.
On The Heavy Side
The car seat weighs more than 26 pounds, making it really, really heavy. While the weight helps with safety, having to haul it back and forth between your house and your car or, even worse, a friend’s car can be exhausting.
If you are switching cars often or an air traveler, do take this into account. If not, you don’t need to worry about it because convertible car seats normally stay put once installed. This bulkiness makes this seat very heavy. The car seat won’t recline fully when it is facing to the rear in a mid-sized vehicle.
The Zip Air and Zip Max, among other Chicco models, have never been recalled. The Chicco Keyfit was recalled in Canada for non-compliance.
Chicco Nextfit forward-facing weight ranges from 22 to 65 lbs. The child must be at least 1 year old. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all children use rear-facing seats until they turn 2 or until they reach the weight or height limit of the seat. Chicco Nextfit has been FAA approved for use on aircraft, but given its bulk, you’d better think again.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Type of Seat is Chicco Nextfit?
Chicco Nextfit is a convertible car seat that is easy to install and designed with superior protection in mind. This seat will last you through preschool and beyond. 5 lbs. is the minimum weight rating on this product, but it fits 4 lbs., 17″ quite well. You can use a convertible right from the start this way, skipping the infant seat.
How long is a Chicco NextFit Good For?
The Chicco car seat has a lifespan of min. 6 years. When in doubt, check the expiration date. It is printed on a label located on the base and seat.
What’s the difference between Chicco NextFit Sport and Nextfit Zip?
The latter is the newer model. Consequently, it has a few improvements. These include more positions. The iX has a LockSure belt system and a force-multiplying harness tightener.
Let’s go into these in more detail. Both models have adjustable headrest positions, but the newer model comes with 9 adjustable headrest positions, while the older one comes with 6 adjustable headrest positions. The more positions, the more options for your child to feel comfortable and rest well.
The older version of the Chicco NextFit is not equipped with the LockSure belt-tightening system. This system helps you install the seat securely with the vehicle seat belt. With this system, it’s easy to place, tighten and lock the belt.
Force-Multiplying Harness Tightener
The previous model doesn’t have the easy-pull force-multiplying harness tightener. The easy-pull force-multiplying harness tightener helps the child fit properly and be safe with less effort.
The similarities between the two are many more than the differences. For example, both models have ReclineSure with RideRight Bubble Indicator. ReclineSure is a 9-position leveling system that makes sure that this car seat fits in the vast majority of cars. Both models have the dual bubble level indicator installed, which lets you know whether you are installing the car seat at the right angle.
Machine Washable Seat Pads
It’s easy to clean both the NextFit iX and the NextFit thanks to machine-washable seat pads.
Removable Cup Holder
Both seats have a removable cup holder, which helps your child access a drink during the ride easily.
At the beginning, the Chicco NextFit iX’s price was similar to that of Chicco NextFit. However, it depends on the retailer. Some retailers charge more for the Chicco NextFit iX because the model is newer. Others offer discounts on the older model.
Is the Chicco NextFit ZIP worth it?
The whole interior part of the convertible car seat is machine washable and unzips from the shell. This makes cleaning up very easy. You’re going to appreciate this a great deal. As you probably know by now, car seats can get downright filthy. There is spit, food debris, barf, spilled drinks, leaky diapers among other issues. The immense benefit of being able to zip the fabric, padding and all, off and throw it in the laundry machine comes at a price. This is why the Zip costs more than other models.
So, is it worth it? It depends on who you ask. Lots of people would pay tens of dollars for a car seat that’s easy to clean. It is a small investment worth making considering that the child will use the seat for several years.
The Pricing Issue
The zip feature is worth the extra cash if you are a neat freak, but you can forgo it if you’re the type of person who doesn’t clean their car out more often than once a year.
We won’t lie: the price tag will come as a shock because most people associate the Chicco brand with affordability. They expect a safe, reliable, robust product at a good price, like with Graco products. The Chicco NextFit Zip is in the same price category as Peg Pegero or Clek.
So, why does this convertible car seat is one of the top-selling models despite the hefty price tag?
People who are willing to spend more on a super-safe car seat are also looking for something in the way of aesthetics, which Chicco does not provide. They have not done much to produce exciting color combos or anything like that. On the other hand, people who want to pay less normally don’t make the visual appeal of a baby car seat a priority.
The Zip & Wash
Have you already faced the pain of cleaning your infant seat? Then you know how it feels and how tiring it can be. To redeem that hassle of yours Chicco has introduced the zip cover in the Chicco NextFit Zip, which is perhaps the most prominent feature of the whole seat.
If the seat gets messy with spills and food shred or dust or anything else, what you have to do is take out the cover by unzipping it. Then you can directly throw it inside a washing machine. To clean the covers use a soft detergent and don’t wash it for too long.
While the cover is being washed inside you can take a wet piece of cloth and clean the inner part of the seat by gently wiping it. This way the seat will be clean inside out. If you want you can deodorize the zipped open seat with an alcohol-based perfume that will prevent any sort of bacteria formation and leave a nice smell.