It’s finally here! The day we’ve all been waiting for. Clek Foonf’s little sister has arrived, Fllo! The Clek Fllo is just as stylish and modern looking at the Foonf and this Tank color is pretty awesome. The weight was definitely a welcome surprise! Dragging it up the stairs was not the work out the Foonf had been. So let’s dive in!
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Rear facing weight range: 14-50 lbs. (USA) 14-40 lbs. (Canada) and sitting unassisted
- Rear facing height range: 25″ through 43″, so 43.99″ technically
- Forward facing weight range: 22-65 lbs. (2+ years recommended)
- Forward facing height range: 30-49″
- Shell height: 27″
- Lowest harness position: 10″
- Highest harness position : 17″
- Expiration: 9 years
- Lower anchor weight limit: 35 lbs. rear facing and 40 lbs. forward facing
- Two buckle slots: 4 and 6″ with option for longer buckle
- Push button lower anchor connectors
- Steel reinforced frame
- Optional anti rebound bar (ARB) (the ARB is not optional in Canada)
- Crypton fabric is odor, bacteria, and stain repelling (except Drift)
- Seat belt lockoff
The Fllo boasts an amazing 50 lbs. rear facing weight limit. It also has a steel reinforced frame and anti-rebound bar (ARB). Now we have no idea if steel anything actually makes a seat safer, but it sure does look and sound cool. It is important to note that the Fllo has a standing height limit of through 43 inches (so 43.99 inches is ok), so it is likely that most children will outgrow the Fllo rear facing by height well before they reach the 50 lb. weight limit. The Fllo also uses the one inch rule as well, so through 43″ or when the head is within one inch of the head rest when fully extended. Not sure why high rear facing height and limits are important for many children, Why Rear Facing has the answers!
The Fllo has five harness positions, ten head rest positions, two crotch buckle positions, and two harness lengths. All harness positions can be used when rear facing as long as the harness is even with or below the shoulders and the requirements above are met. They can all be used when forward facing as well as long as the harness is above the shoulders. The head rest can be in any position that is comfortable for the child as long as it is above the harness slot the child is currently using and keeping in mind the 1 inch needed above the child’s head when rear facing.
There are two crotch buckle positions. The proper position is the one closest to the front of the child’s body without being in front of it. Either can be used for rear facing or forward facing as long as it’s in the proper position. The Fllo comes with a dual length crotch buckle. The longer buckle position is for use in the outer buckle position. It can be used rear facing if the child is able to use the farthest out position according to the manual. Be sure when switching crotch buckle position you are putting the buckle through the correct opening in the seat cushion as well. The Fllo comes with a crotch buckle pad that must be used for children under 22 lbs. There are also two loops at the end of the harness to adjust harness length. The shorter one is for smaller children and the longer one for older children. If installing the seat without a tether for a child weighing less than 40 lbs., you must use the smaller setting.
Rear Facing Installation
To get the seat ready for use when rear facing, there were a few things that needed to done. To recline the Fllo, it has a recline block that flips forward on the seat. It blends in and isn’t easily seen so you may need to look in the manual again to find the recline foot. It takes a little bit of force to make sure it locks into place in the recline position and to release it from that position as well. You would add the ARB next if you’re using it. Reread the manual here too may help. Once reading the section in the manual, the process was fairly easy. You must remove the seat cushion and lower anchors from their storage in order to get it on properly.
There are two recline lines on the side of the seat. One for children under 22 lbs. and one for children over 22 lbs. Once a child is over 22 lbs, they can use any recline between the two lines as well. This can be important for those stockier, younger babies who still could use the extra recline. Pool noodles are not permitted to be used to change the angle, but a rolled towel is though. Using the ARB to adjust recline tends to work well. Move the ARB higher on the back of the vehicle seat and this will naturally recline the seat more. This tends to work better if you can get behind the seat and push the seat into the vehicle seat, but this can be hard to do because of the sheer size of the seat. In the Town and Country it made the seat want to slip out of the recline that was needed as it was being tightened, so it was a bit tricky. There will be a gap with this method, but this is not a concern if the seat is installed so that it doesn’t move more than an inch side to side at the belt path. If you choose not to use the ARB, there cannot be a gap. It must be filled in with rolled towels, not pool noodles. It was not possible to install the Fllo to the under 22 lb. recline line with the ARB attached, and have the driver’s seat in a usable position, in the Town and Country. This is something to consider if you have a petite child, as Unity didn’t hit 22 lbs. until after 18 months old. Thankfully she is 25 lbs. now and able to use the more upright recline line.
The nice thing about the Fllo is that the ARB is optional and can be removed if needed. This is helpful as the Fllo allows for no overhang when installed. Removing the ARB will give you extra space to move the seat closer to the vehicle seat back. Putting the ARB on and removing it was quite easy too after you do it the first time. Once off, it could have been reclined to the under 22 lb. line on the passenger side of the van, but not the driver’s side. Here is the difference in using the ARB and not using it when reclining it to the over 22 lb. line. You can see it easily gives an extra 2″ more between the Fllo and the vehicle seat in front of it. The Fllo was installed in a 2000 4 door Cavalier as well, didn’t even bother with the ARB, and it was a tight fit. At full recline, the front seat wasn’t usable and you could only use the bottom five head rest positions. In the more upright recline, someone could sit in the front seat but was right up against the dash. The Fllo wouldn’t be recommend for a smaller car if you routinely have a front passenger.
UPDATE: After publishing this review, Clek created a FAQ for the Fllo. The FAQ states, “It is preferable to have infants under 22lb more reclined, such that the upper reference line (infants under 22 lb) is parallel to the ground. However, providing that the ground level falls within the Upper Reference Line for infants under 22lb (40 degrees from vertical )and lower reference line for children 22lb and over (30 degrees from vertical), you can safely use the seat.” This gives more flexibility to parents when using the seat and leaves it up to them to decide which angle between the lines will work for their child and vehicle.
The Fllo can be installed rear facing with either lower anchors or seat belt. The seat cushion of the seat must be removed to access the belt path for installation. Neither installation was difficult though so choose your preference and keep kiddo’s weight in mind. Lower anchors can be used for installation until the child weighs 35 lbs. For 30-50 lbs., the seat belt must be used instead. This seat does also have built-in lock offs for both forward facing and rear facing. This is great if you have an older vehicle or switch vehicles often and don’t want to figure out how each of the seat belts lock. If you do want to know more, Lock It Up! has the information you need.
If you choose to use the lock offs, they are not necessary if your seat belts lock, only one lock off is used. Neither is specified, just whichever gives the better install. In the Cavalier, the lock off closest to the buckle had to be used because of the seat belt button. Remember you’re looking for less than an inch movement side to side at the belt path.
The Fllo only has a tightening mechanism on one side of the lower anchor connector strap, which is fairly typical, but with as large as the seat is, it made it a little harder to get the seat installed tightly. I much preferred the seat belt installation. Upon installing it again, it was easier that time. The latch connector strap may have just been stiff from not being used much and that made it a little harder to tighten.
Forward Facing Installation
The Fllo can be installed forward facing with the same methods as rear facing. Just like rear facing, the Foonf has lock offs for forward facing as well. When using the seat belt with a forward facing install, the lock off must be used. The recline foot needs to be moved back to the forward facing position. Clek recommends the use of the tether whenever possible. The seat requires a tether to be used when installing the seat with a lap belt though and when installing the seat with a lap/shoulder belt for a child over 40 lbs. Using a tether is always the safest option. The seat also requires the belly pad to be used up to 40 lbs. when installing with no tether.
To install the seat forward facing, the lower anchor connector strap must be moved from the rear facing position to the forward facing. You simply remove the strap on the right side of the seat (when facing the seat) and thread it through the forward facing belt path and the belt guides. You can use the lower anchors for installation until the child weighs 40 lbs. From 40-65 lbs. you must switch to a seat belt installation. To use the lower anchors, attach lower anchors and tighten as usual for the less than one inch movement side to side. Attach the tether to the vehicle’s tether anchor and you’re ready to go. The tether must always be used when installing with the lower anchors. With the addition of the belt guides in the forward facing belt path, there is less room to maneuver your hand and with the open back, the belts can be tricky to get all the way from one side to the other.
Fit to Child
Until recently, the Fllo was not able to be used before a child was 14 lbs., 25″, and sitting independently. With the release of the Clek infant-thingy, the Fllo can now be used with babies as small as 5 lbs. and 19″.
This is Unity, she just turned two last month and is 25 lbs. and 32.25″ tall. She’s using the second harness slots from the bottom (almost to the third). As she is over 22 lbs., she doesn’t have to use the crotch buckle pad, and can use the steeper recline level. She does however have to use the closest crotch buckle setting with the shortest crotch buckle. It is a little tight though as she is in cloth diapers.
This is Olivia, she is 5.5, about 49 lbs. and 45.5 in. Olivia is tall for her age, but also has a long torso for her height. While she still barely meets the rear facing weight limit, she is too tall, so we put the seat in forward facing. You can see though, in this picture, that she is right at the top slots so the seat is pretty much outgrown. Once the child’s shoulders are over the top harness position, the seat has been outgrown. She was comfortable in it though and using the farthest out crotch buckle slot with the longer harness buckle.
Integrated into every Clek Fllo is an Aluminum Honeycomb Safety System designed to reduce the forces transmitted to a forward-facing child in a collision. Fllo’s Energy Absorbing Crumple Technology (EACT) transfers forces away from the child and to the aluminum honeycomb deformable cores integrated into the seat base. http://www.clekinc.com/fllo/ Here is the pre and post collision drawings of the honeycomb cores.
The fabric cover of the Fllo is made of Crypton odor, bacteria, and stain repelling fabric; making it easy to wipe down in case of everyday spills. Contact Clek customer service for an email set of instructions on how to fully disassemble the seat if a thorough cleaning is needed. If it is anything like the Foonf, try hard to keep the need for cleaning to a minimum!
Another great feature of the Fllo is that it’s super narrow. The base of the seat measures only 13 inches, which the widest part is 17 inches. This can make it ideal for a three across when needed and the narrow base helps if you need to buckle in boosters next to it. Need more help with three across, Your Guide to Three Across may help. This is the Fllo, Evenflo Sureride, and Evenflo Big Kid in a 2000 4 door Chevrolet Cavalier.
Important Information: Where to Find
FAA Approval The Clek Fllo is FAA approved. While significantly lighter than the Foonf, the Clek Weelee below can still help if you need to take your Fllo on a trip. The FAA sticker is found on the very bottom of the seat when the recline block is back in the forward facing position.
Expiration The Clek Foonf has a 9 year expiration. The sticker with the date of manufacture can be found on the back bottom of the seat, just above the FAA stickers.
You can buy the Clek Drink Thingy (for Fllo or Foonf) and use it both rear facing and forward facing for those sippy cups and water bottles in your life. It’s $19.99 on Amazon.com.
The Fllo is FAA approved and one of the available accessories for the Fllo is called the Weelee. It is Clek’s universal travel bag designed to protect your car seat from damage while traveling. While checking a car seat as luggage, or gate checking, is never recommended, the Weelee bag makes it easy to transport such a heavy seat through a busy airport. It then folds compactly to fit in an overhead compartment on a plane. You can purchase it at Amazon.com.
- High rear facing weight limit
- Water resistant fabric
- Narrow enough for three across
- Optional anti-rebound bar
- Dual length crotch strap
- Crotch buckle is uncomfortable for some kids
- High price
- Does not fit newborns and young infants (minimum requirements: 14lbs and sitting unassisted)
Overall the Fllo is not a disappointment and lives up to the Clek name. It’s sleek, narrow, and fairly easy to use. With the ability to remove the ARB as needed, the Fllo does have some leeway when it comes to making it work for various vehicles. Using the Fllo under 22 lb. recline line, even with the ARB removed, was not very compatible with either vehicle, but could be done if needed. The models found it comfortable and Olivia was sad she couldn’t use it everyday. Overall, it was a hit. While FAA approved for use, it would be bulky to travel with but otherwise moving it from vehicle to vehicle shouldn’t take much work.
Thanks to Clek, we are going to giveaway a Clek Fllo to one of our readers! This is open to both those in the United States and Canada. Can’t wait to see if you win? You can buy the Fllo at Amazon.com for around $379.99.
Giveaway has ended, congrats to the winner Cristina B!
While Clek did provide the seat for this review, I was in no way compensated otherwise; and as always, opinions are all my own.