It's incredibly difficult to find a convertible car seat that is the total package. Great safety, easy installation and adjustment, easy to clean, comfortable for kids, and with a long useful life that makes the investment worth it. Many of the safest car seats are difficult to install or difficult to clean, or the most convenient car seats feel light and flimsy... it's hard to find a good balance.
The Chicco NextFit Zip may just be that perfect car seat. The NextFit is an early model, but has been refined and relaunched over the years, and every time it improves on the features that parents need most in a car seat.
Who is the Chicco NextFit Zip most suitable for?
The Chicco NextFit Zip is an excellent car seat, and will be a good choice for nearly any family.
The innovative SuperCinch tightener multiplies force when pulling on the LATCH straps, and that makes this car seat an excellent choice for people who have struggled with pulling LATCH straps tightly enough in other car seats.
For older family members who may have arthritis or other conditions that make the heavy pulling of a typical installation difficult, the Chicco NextFit Zip will be much easier to install, giving them greater peace of mind. This is a car seat that installs, adjusts, and can be used with less stooping, pulling, pushing, and bending.
For families who need a convertible car seat that is grandparent friendly, or for people who simply struggle to install a typical car seat, the Chicco NextFit Zip is an excellent choice.
Pros and Cons of the Chicco NextFit Zip
Overview of the Chicco NextFit Zip
The Chicco NextFit Zip is a convertible car seat that protects children from 5 – 65 pounds and up to 49 inches in height. It has advanced safety technology, and an innovative cinching system that simplifies installation. It has a good range of harness, headrest, and buckle positions, with no rethreading. The seat cushion zips out easily for cleaning, and is machine washable. In other words, this convertible car seat has all the most popular and convenient features, backed by quality and safety.
What are this model’s NHTSA ratings? Every car seat sold in the United States must meet strict federal safety and crash test standards, so the NHTSA does not rate car seats for safety. Instead, the NHTSA provides ratings for overall usability.
The Chicco NextFit Zip has earned (for the forward-facing installation):
The Chicco NextFit Zip also has 4/5 star ratings from the NHTSA in the rear-facing position, for similar reasons.
- Side impact protection? Yes
- Energy-absorbing base? EPS energy-absorbing foam
- Metal frame? Yes
Ease of Use
Ease of Installation
Comfort and Quality
Video Overview of Chicco NextFit Zip
Chicco NextFit Zip Specs
Rear-facing height limit
up to 43 inches
Rear-facing weight limit
5 – 40 pounds
Forward-facing height limit
up to 49 inches
Forward-facing weight limit
22 – 65 pounds
Car seat weight
Car seat dimensions
21 x 19 x 29.2 inches
Car seat life span
Chicco NextFit Zip Features
Ease of use
Quality and comfort features
What's included with the Chicco NextFit Zip?
The Chicco NextFit Zip comes with a removable newborn insert pillow.
Chicco NextFit Zip installation
Chicco has produced a number of helpful videos for the NextFit Zip, that include installing it in all the installation methods and modes, and removing the fabrics for cleaning. The easiest way to navigate these videos is on the Chicco website for this car seat, and they can be found here: Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat - Juniper.
Chicco NextFit Zip manual
The Chicco NextFit Zip owner's manual can be found here:
Chicco NextFit Zip vs. Britax Advocate ClickTight
Both the Chicco NextFit Zip and the Britax Advocate ClickTight are excellent convertible car seats, for very similar reasons. They are both extremely safe car seats, and both rated for children of the same height and weight. They are both easy to install, easy to adjust, and easy to clean. In fact, there are just a few slight differences.
Britax Advocate ClickTight Advantages:
Britax Advocate Disadvantages:
Depending on your upholstery choices, both car seats are very similar in price, but the Britax is somewhat more expensive. The Britax has an extra layer of side impact protection, and a slightly easier installation system. It's also bigger, heavier, and less convenient, without a cup holder and without machine washable fabrics.
Both of these are excellent car seats, and some parents will want to spend a little more for the extra protection of the Britax. Some parents need a car seat that is smaller and lighter, and don't want to spend more money for a car seat that is harder to clean. However, there is no clear winner between these two car seats, and they are both great choices.
Baby Gizmo's Chicco NextFit Review
This is one premium safety seat that may be a bit too expensive for what it offers. The Chicco NextFit Zip builds on the original design of the first generation NextFit with a redesigned look that offers push-on LATCH connectors and SuperCinch tensioning technology that makes the NextFit seat make LATCH installations easier to navigate and Zip versions of the NexFit make cover removal easier.
Consumer Reports gives the NextFit Zip its best crash protection rating. With Push button lower anchor connectors, a No re-thread harness, and nine recline settings, this really is the Lamborghini of infant seats.
Chicco NextFit Zip (click image for more info)
The steel-reinforced frame, easy installation, and amazing safety features mean you can’t wrong with this seat that is on the heavy side.
It’s important to note that every seat on the American market must pass certain safety standards and crash tests so the price of the NextFit zip doesn’t mean it is safer than lesser priced seats. However, this seat does have what are best called indirect safety features; these don’t protect your child in the case of a crash, but they do enable you to install the seat correctly and secure your child with more ease.
With two kids of my own, I’m passionate about child safety! I’m a research nerd who’s on a mission to make the world a safer place for kids – starting with car seats!
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