Chicco NextFit Review

The Chicco NextFit is the long anticipated convertible car seat offering from Chicco, who brought us the much-loved Chicco KeyFit rear facing only seat. The NextFit delivers in all the same ease of use features we love about the KeyFit, and offers a great option for extended rear facing.

CSFTL Quick Stats

  • Rear facing weight range: 5-40 lbs
  • Rear facing height range: under 49″
  • Forward facing weight range: 22-65 lbs
  • Forward facing height range: 49″ or less
  • Shell height: 26″ tall with headrest fully extended
  • Lowest harness position: 5.5″ with insert
  • Highest harness position: 17.5″
  • Expiration: 8 years
  • Lower anchor weight limit: 35 lbs rear facing/40 lbs forward facing

Features

  • Seat belt lockoffs for rear and forward facing
  • Push button lower anchor connectors with SuperCinch tightening mechanism
  • 9 recline positions
  • Two position crotch buckle
  • No re-thread harness
  • Storage cubbies for lower anchor straps, and slide path to switch lower anchors from rear to forward facing
  • Two position chest clip
  • Newborn insert can be used up to 11 lbs.

Rear Facing Use

NextFit, Chicco, Next Fit, convertible car seat, super cinch, rearfacing, erf, Huggable Images

Chicco NextFit- 7 lbs, 17 inches

 

The Nextfit bottom harness slots measure 5.5″ tall with the infant insert, making it an excellent choice for a newborn. Our Huggable Images newborn doll fit very nicely with the infant insert, with the harness straps positioned below the shoulders and passing the pinch test. The infant insert must be removed when the child weighs 11 lbs.

 

 

NextFit, Chicco, Next Fit, convertible car seat, super cinch, rearfacing, erf

Chicco NextFit- 8 months, 16 lbs, 26 inches

Rear facing, this seat was a great fit for my 8 month old. The harness pads have a grippy material on the back, and they are quite large and stiff. They are required for use and they were a bit bulky on an infant. The combination of the harness pads and the way the harness routes does make it a little difficult to tighten on a smaller child, as well.

 

NextFit, Chicco, Next Fit, convertible car seat, super cinch, rearfacing, erf

Chicco NextFit new style harness covers

 

 

12/2013 Update: Great news! Chicco no longer requires use of the harness pads, and they have updated the style from what is on the seat shown here.

 

 

 

NextFit, Chicco, Next Fit, convertible car seat, super cinch, rearfacing, erf

Chicco NextFit- 5 years, 42 lbs, 43 inches

For fun, I also tried my 5 year old in the seat. At 42 lbs, he has exceeded the rear facing weight limit, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that he would have ample height growing room. The NextFit allows a child to rear face as long as they are under 40 lbs and 49″.  It is possible and likely as the child grows that the crown of the child’s head will exceed the top of the head rest when the harness is placed at or below the shoulders, and Chicco has approved this as acceptable.  It will easily accommodate tall 3-4 year olds rear facing.

The NextFit also offered great leg room for a taller child. My 5 year old is quite leggy and he could comfortably cross his legs or hang them over the side of the seat.

The NextFit can be used in any of the 9 recline positions as long as the recline indicator on the side of the seat is in the required zone. The recline adjusts very easily using a handle at the front of the seat, and can even be adjusted after the seat is installed.

 

Forward Facing Use

NextFit, Chicco, Next Fit, convertible car seat, super cinch, rearfacing, erf

Chicco NextFit- 5 years, 42 lbs, 43 inches

Forward facing, the NextFit was very easy to install and provided a great fit for my 5 year old. The 17.5″ top  harness slots will give him about another year of growth room before he has exceeded the harness in height.

The NextFit also has a recline zone for forward facing, and several of the more upright 9 recline positions can be used forward facing as well, as long as the bubble displays in the correct zone.

The Nextfit has a dual position chest clip with one position for forward facing and another for rear facing, which allows a nice fit on the child. As of 10/1/2013, Chicco allows the chest clip to be used in either position whether rear or forward facing.

Additionally, on the higher harness positions, I experienced no difficulty loosening or tightening the harness like I did with the younger children.

 

 

 

 

Installation

Installation is simple when using lower anchors or seat belt. The NextFit features the SuperCinch tightening mechanism, so once the push button lower anchors connectors are attached to the vehicle’s lower anchors, pull the side marked “pull first,” and then pull the side marked “pull second.” This system makes for a simple installation. To loosen the lower anchor strap, push the orange button and pull out the slack. The lower anchor strap also slides easily from the rear to forward facing belt path when it is time to change the seat’s direction.

 

NextFit Lockoffs

Chicco NextFit lockoffs

 

 

When installing with the seat belt, the NextFit  has seat belt lockoffs for either rear or forward facing. Simply pull the seat belt tight, place the shoulder portion of the seat belt in the lockoff and clamp it closed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important Information: Where to Find

Chicco NextFit FAA approval sticker

Chicco NextFit FAA approval sticker

FAA Approval

The NextFit is FAA approved. The sticker with the approval wording can be found by the angle indicator on the child’s left side of the seat.

 

Chicco NextFit manual storage

Chicco NextFit manual storage

Manual Storage

 The NextFit has an easy to find and use storage cubby on the back of the base for the manual.

 

Expiration  

The NextFit has an 8 year expiration. You will find the date of manufacture sticker on the bottom of the seat.

 

Accessories

The NextFit Zip can now be purchased at various retailers. This includes an exclusive Zip & Wash Seat Pad that can be machine washed. This feature can also be found on the KeyFit Zip and KidFit Zip.

The NextFit Zip and NextFit CX also features ComfortFlex Harness Management with padding and flex-out design that holds both sides of the waist belt up and out of the way during loading/unloading and keeps them in the right spot once baby is ready to be buckled!

 

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Has seat belt lockoffs
  • Push button lower anchor connectors
  • No re-thread harness
  • Fits average newborns
  • Nine recline settings
  • Two position chest clip
  • Two position crotch buckle

Cons

  • Harness can be difficult to tighten on the lower settings

 

Overall Thoughts

The Chicco NextFit fits children small to tall and is compact front to back making it a well-loved car seat. While the price may put the NextFit out of some budgets, for those with smaller vehicles it may be just what is needed. The added features of the Zip and CX may also be the next level of comfort you’re looking for for your Little.

 

Chicco Nextfit

Chicco Nextfit

 

Think the NextFit is for you? You can find the seats on Amazon.com!

NextFit

NextFit Zip

NextFit CX

Neither Chicco nor Amazon sponsored this review; opinions, as always, are all our own!

 

 

Originally written by Emma Douglas. Edits maintained by CSFTL.