The Chicco NextFit was 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
- 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.
This Model is Discontinued
However, the NextFit family now includes a range of options! Here’s a handy chart of those seats.
|Car Seat Name||Rear Facing Weight Limits||Rear Facing Height Limits||Forward Facing Weight Limits||Forward Facing Height Limits||Lower Anchor Weight Limits||Items to Note||MSRP||Infant Insert|
|NextFit Sport||12 to 40 pounds||Up to 49 inches tall *later models have a different limit, please confirm your model’s limit in the manual||22 to 65 pounds||Up to 49 inches tall with the harness straps at/above the shoulders and the tops of the ears contained in the headrest||40 pounds||Basic cupholders||249.99||No|
|NextFit Zip||5 to 40 pounds||Up to 49 inches tall||22 to 65 pounds||Up to 49 inches tall with the harness straps at/above the shoulders and the tops of the ears contained in the headrest||40 pounds||Updated cupfolder, EZ zip and wash||299.99||Yes|
|NextFit Zip Air||5 to 40 pounds||Up to 49 inches tall||22 to 65 pounds||Up to 49 inches tall with the harness straps at/above the shoulders and the tops of the ears contained in the headrest||40 pounds||Updated cupfolder, EZ zip and wash, ComfortFlex, 3D Air Mesh||329.99||Yes|
|NextFit Zip Max||4 to 50 pounds||Up to 49 inches tall||22 to 65 pounds||40 pounds||Updated cupfolder, EZ zip and wash, ComfortFlex, 3D Air Mesh, Integrated leg extension, 2 position chest clip to help with preemie and newborn fit||369.99||Yes|
Rear Facing Use
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.
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.
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.
- Directions to remove old style harness covers can be found here.
- All seats made after 10/1/2013 will have new style harness covers, which have a velcro strip and are much softer.
- You may purchase new style covers from Chicco’s replacement parts store here.
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
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 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.
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
The NextFit is FAA approved. The label with the approval wording can be found by the angle indicator on the child’s left side of the seat.
The NextFit has an easy to find and use storage cubby on the back of the base for the manual.
The NextFit has an 8 year expiration. You will find the date of manufacture label on the bottom of the seat.
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!
- 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
- Harness can be difficult to tighten on the lower settings
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. Check out the Chicco Nextfit family of car seats on Amazon.
Our opinions, as always, are all our own!
Originally written by Emma Douglas. Edits maintained by CSFTL.