Chicco NextFit, NextFit Zip & Zip iX: Which To Choose? A Review.
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Chicco NextFit, NextFit Zip & Zip iX: Which To Choose? A Review.

  • Last Updated: March 26, 2019

Being a parent is not as glamorous as the internet would have you believe. Your hair and makeup probably won’t be flawless every time you go out in public. Black circles under your eyes anyone? That’s where the Chicco NextFit Zip comes in.

You can still be chic with a chic looking car seat. Don’t worry, it’s got the safety features and amenities you want too. While you might need another cup of coffee and a whole bottle of foundation, the Chicco NextFit will be looking stunning every single day.

Click here to see today’s best price on the Chicco NextFit on Amazon

Main Features

The first on my list for car seat priorities is, and always will be, safety.

The Chicco NextFit car seats all allow for extended rear facing. Why is that such a big deal you might ask? You definitely want a car seat that is going to allow your child to sit rear-facing until at LEAST two years old. The longer you can keep them that way, the safer they will be.

Steel reinforced frames are a must in car seats now and the Chicco NextFit series does not disappoint. It also incorporates EPS energy-absorbing foam on top of the frame to provide excellent side impact protection.

These car seats also have extended forward facing. For the same reason as the extended rear facing, this is an excellent safety feature. Not to mention that this makes all three of these car seats convertible car seats. Buying a convertible car seat instead of a car seat for each stage saves you money, time, and effort.

Speaking of effort, let’s talk about installation. If you have ever installed a car seat before, you know it can be a bear. In fact, when I installed my son’s first car seat I was about 8 months pregnant with very little patience or mobility. Needless to say it ended in almost tears and a phone call to my husband.

The Chicco NextFit is really easy to install with its Super Cinch Tightener. This basically makes tightening the straps in the LATCH system more safe and easier to do. You are welcome.

Along with the Super Cinch Tightener, these car seats have Recline Sure leveling system. What in the world is that?

The Recline Sure leveling system coupled with the RideRight bubble indicator, allows you to get the right recline every time. You don’t have to worry that your baby is sitting too far forward or your toddler is sitting too far back. The Recline Sure will help you get it right from the get go and not spend another moment worrying.

Finally, we need to talk about convenience. Convenience is a parent’s best friend. The Chicco NextFit, Zip, and iX Zip all have multiple handy features that will have you sighing in relief.

The first is the most obvious, its longevity. The Chicco brand boasts using these car seats from a newborn to a preschooler. That is just phenomenal. Most people buy an infant carrier, a car seat for rear-facing, a car seat for forward facing, and multiple booster seats. That is so much money and so many installations that could end poorly.

The Chicco NextFit, Zip and iX all have very comfortable seats, fun color choices, and easy fit-to-child harnesses. What I mean by that is that they have multiple head rest positions and the harness is a no-rethread with an easy to pull tightening motion.

All of these factors combined with a few extra bells and whistles like the cup holder make the Chicco NextFit, Zip, and iX great choices for a chic, safe, and convenient car seat.

Pros and Cons

PROS:

  • Longevity (up to 65 pounds)
  • Comfort
  • Easy install
  • Top of the line safety features including steel integrated frame and side impact protection
  • Beautifully designed
  • Machine washable covers

CONS:

  • Needs better buckle placement and design
  • It’s very deep, making it hard to get a kid in and out easily
  • Harness buckle can stick when trying to unlatch
  • Pulling the straps tight when your child is in the seat can be difficult

Specs: Weight, Dimensions, and Height & Weight Limits

The dimensions on the Chicco NextFit are as follows: 21 x 19 x 29.2 inches. It weighs in at 25 pounds. That’s not huge but it isn’t a small car seat either.

The height and weight limits are great and contribute to why this seat will last you for many years. The rear facing specifications are: 5-40 pound weight limits (5-11 pounds are with the infant insert) and maximum height is 49 inches. The forward facing specifications are 22- 65 pounds and 49 inch maximum height.

Safety Rating and Crash Test Results

The Chicco NextFit meets all federal requirements for car seat safety. It produced about average crash test results. I do really like that it has extended rear facing capabilities but there are safer car seats on the market if these are below your standards.

How Is The Zip Different From the Regular NextFit?

The only major difference between the Chicco NextFit and the Chicco NextFit Zip is the Zip and Wash fabrics. That means you can just zip off your seat cover and throw it in the washing machine. I really like this feature for cleaning up messes quickly and efficiently.

For example, when my little boy had a blowout in a car seat that did not offer this, it was a disaster. I had to stretch and strain to get the stupid car seat cover off while I had a screaming baby. Then, I had to hand wash all off the mess off. Yuck! This is much easier.

How About The iX?

There are a few upgrades from the Chicco NextFit to the Zip to the iX Zip. The iX Zip has everything the Chicco NextFit Zip does, plus a few more added delights. I really appreciate that Chicco heard the complaints from the NextFit and made changes to the iX Zip.

The easy adjust nine position headrest adjustment really adds to the comfort and correct fit for every child. Next up, the LockSure Belt Tightening system. There were a few complaints on the Chicco NextFit that you just couldn’t get the LATCH system tight enough upon installation. The LockSure Belt Tightening System solves that problem and ensures a tight and secure installation.

The new padded harness system solves a few issues. The first is that the belt does not dig into your child’s legs as much as the Chicco NextFit. Second, you can tighten the harness with one hand making it much easier and more practical for parents.

How does it compare to other car seats?

Chicco NextFit vs Britax Boulevard, Advocate, and Marathon Clicktight

The Chicco NextFit plays hardball with these Britax seats. I would say the biggest difference here is that the Boulevard, Advocate, and Marathon seats have exceptional safety features while staying at a lower cost. I do think the Chicco Nextfit is worth the price but if you are on a budget or want the extra safety features, the Britax seats are worth looking into.

Chicco Nextfit

  • Steel integrated frame
  • Easy install
  • Extended rear facing at 40 pounds
  • Machine washable cover
  • Meets federal requirements for car seat safety
  • More expensive

Britax Seats

  • Steel integrated frame
  • Clicktight makes easy and safe installation
  • Extended rear facing at 50 pounds
  • Cover is not machine washable
  • Safe Cell technology and side impact protection
  • Less expensive

Chicco NextFit vs Diono Radian RXT

The Chicco Nextfit is a top contender with the Diono Radian RXT. The Diono Radian RXT does have a few features the Chicco NextFit does not have including the booster seat capability and higher weight and height limits. However, I do like the Chicco Nextfit conveniences.

Chicco Nextfit

  • 65 pounds max weight limit
  • May be a little more pricey depending where you purchase from
  • 40 pounds max weight rear facing
  • 49 inch height limit
  • No booster seat
  • Steel integrated frame

Diono Radian RXT

  • 80 pounds max weight limit
  • May be less expensive depending on where you purchase from
  • 45 pounds max weight rear facing
  • 44 inch height limit
  • Booster seat
  • Steel integrated frame

Chicco NextFit vs Maxi Cosi Pria

Another great two car seat options here. I like the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 for the extended forward facing weight capacity and machine washable fabric. I do think the Chicco Nextfit has a lot of recline and seating options to keep your kiddo comfortable, though.

Chicco Nextfit

  • 65 pound max weight
  • 5 pound minimum weight
  • Lowest harness position 5.5 inches
  • 5 point harness with one-pull tightener
  • 9 recline options
  • Super cinch LATCH tightener
  • 6 position headrest

Maxi Cosi Pria 85

  • 85 pound max weight
  • 14 pound minimum weight
  • Lowest harness position 9.5 inches
  • Perfect fit one hand harness adjuster
  • 3 recline options
  • Deep rear facing recline
  • AirProtect side impact safety
  • FlexTech safety technology
  • Machine washable fabric and pad

Chicco NextFit vs Clek Foonf

The Chicco NextFit and Clek Foonf are two very different car seats in my opinion. The Clek Foonf is one of the most expensive and safest car seats on the market so it’s tough to compete with that. I do like the Chicco Nextfit price tag but the Clek Foonf is just a little bit better quality.

Chicco Nextfit

  • Less expensive
  • 65 pound weight capacity
  • Rear and forward facing
  • No rethread harness
  • Premium lower anchor connectors

Clek Foonf

  • More expensive
  • 65 pound weight capacity
  • Rear and forward facing
  • Anti-rebound bar
  • Premium lower anchor connectors

Front facing installation

LATCH INSTALLATION

  • Remove tether from storage space.
  • Recline the seat to the most upright position by squeezing recline handle.
  • Put the car seat forward facing on the vehicle seat.
  • Make sure the tether is over the back of the seat.
  • Remove LATCH straps from their storage space and loosen them all the way.
  • Take both ends of the LATCH straps and slide them both through the FORWARDING FACING opening on each side.
  • Close both LATCH storage compartments.
  • Connect both LATCH connectors with the vehicle anchors on either side of the car seat.
  • Pull up on the end of the LATCH adjuster strap until the strap is tight.
  • Pull the Super Cinch LATCH tightener strap to secure the car seat.
  • Attach tether to anchor and tighten.
  • Make sure the car seat is completely secured by checking if it is level, and wiggling it both side to side and front to back. It should not move.

SEAT BELT INSTALLATION

  • Remove tether from storage space.
  • Recline the seat to the most upright position by squeezing recline handle.
  • Put the car seat forward facing on the vehicle seat.
  • Make sure the tether is over the back of the seat.
  • Lift up the Lock Off lever on the opposite side of the vehicle seat buckle to open it.
  • Route the seat belt through the red FORWARD FACING belt path on the side of the car seat.
  • Pull the seat belt up through the opening in the car seat base.
  • Pull the seat belt under the seat padding and behind the buckle strap.
  • Then pull the seat belt down through the FORWARD FACING belt path on the opposite side of the car seat.
  • Buckle the seat belt.
  • Push down firmly on the car seat.
  • At the same time tighten the lap belt by pulling firmly on the shoulder belt.
  • Position the shoulder belt in the vehicle Lock Off area between the tabs while continuing to pull.
  • Close the Lock Off door.
  • Push down on the lever to lock the Lock Off and seat belt.
  • Attach tether to anchor and tighten.
  • Make sure the car seat is completely secured by checking if it is level, and wiggling it both side to side and front to back. It should not move.

Rear facing installation

LATCH INSTALLATION

  • Recline the car seat to the most reclined position by squeezing the recline handle.
  • Put the car seat on the vehicle seat in a rear facing position.
  • Use the bubble level indicator to make sure your car seat is level.
  • Remove LATCH straps from their storage space and loosen them all the way.
  • Take both ends of the LATCH straps and slide them both through the REAR FACING opening on each side.
  • Close both LATCH storage compartments.
  • Connect both LATCH connectors with the vehicle anchors on either side of the car seat.
  • Pull up on the end of the LATCH adjuster strap until the strap is tight.
  • Pull the Super Cinch LATCH tightener strap to secure the car seat.
  • Make sure the car seat is completely secured by checking if it is level, and wiggling it both side to side and front to back. It should not move.

SEAT BELT INSTALLATION

  • Recline the car seat to the most reclined position by squeezing the recline handle.
  • Put the car seat on the vehicle seat in a rear facing position.
  • Use the bubble level indicator to make sure your car seat is level.
  • Lift up the Lock Off lever on the opposite side of the vehicle seat buckle to open it.
  • Route the seat belt through the blue REAR FACING belt path on the side of the car seat.
  • Pull the seat belt up through the opening in the car seat base.
  • Pull the seat belt under the seat padding and behind the buckle strap.
  • Then pull the seat belt down through the REAR FACING belt path on the opposite side of the car seat.
  • Buckle the seat belt.
  • Push down firmly on the car seat.
  • At the same time tighten the lap belt by pulling firmly on the shoulder belt.
  • Position the shoulder belt in the vehicle Lock Off area between the tabs while continuing to pull.
  • Close the Lock Off door.
  • Push down on the lever to lock the Lock Off and seat belt.
  • Make sure the car seat is completely secured by checking if it is level, and wiggling it both side to side and front to back. It should not move.

Is the Chicco Nextfit FAA approved? Can I use it on an airplane?

Yes, the Chicco Nextfit is FAA approved and you can use it on an airplane. Use the seat belt installation instructions. Make sure to leave extra time for security at airports lugging around a car seat.

What colors and fabrics does the Chicco NextFit come in?

The Chicco Nextfit comes in 3 color options: Kuma (stone brown and black), Passion (red and grey), and Matrix (black and grey).

How to clean the Chicco Nextfit

You can either spot clean, hand wash, or throw the cover into the washer. Make sure you don’t use any harsh detergents, just a mild soap and hot water. If you are washing the cover in a washing machine, put it on the delicate cycle and again don’t use any harsh detergents. Make sure to hang dry.

Have there been any recalls?

There have been no recalls on the Chicco NextFit. I would highly recommend that you register your car seat upon arrival. That way, you will be informed immediately if there is a recall.

The Bottom Line

The Chicco NextFit, Zip, and iX are three very similar yet quality car seats. They are going to last from newborn to preschool and remain chic over that time frame. The safety ratings meet all federal regulations and you can fit more than one in your vehicle.

The Chicco NextFit has been rated the #1 Convertible Car Seat in America. There’s a good reason for that. These three seats boast longevity which saves you time, money, and effort. What parent doesn’t want that? Maybe you will even have a little more time to do your hair in something other than a messy bun. Maybe.

Click here to see today’s best price on the Chicco NextFit on Amazon

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