Chico NextFit Zip Built-To-Grow Convertible Car Seat

Last updated: March 17, 2023

We looked at the top Convertible Car Seats and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Convertible Car Seat you should buy.

Product Details

In our analysis of 88 expert reviews, the Chico NextFit Zip Built-To-Grow Convertible Car Seat placed 11th when we looked at the top 18 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Engineered with innovative safety and convenience features, the Next Fit is the easiest convertible car seat to install simply, accurately and securely. Now with an exclusive Zip & Wash Seat Pad, Next Fit Zip is the easiest-to-care-for convertible car seat with a pad that zips out from shell for convenient machine washing. Next Fit Zip also features Comfort Flex 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! Next Fit’s exclusive Recline Sure 9-position Leveling System provides the most recline options to accommodate a wider range of vehicles, and the Super Cinch LATCH tightener uses force-multiplying technology to help achieve a SUPER tight and secure vehicle fit with a fraction of the effort! Just like the Key Fit, two Ride Right bubble levels accurately indicate correct seat angle in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes. And, when you’re ready to move to forward-facing, an integrated slide path makes it easy to re-position the LATCH strap without re-threading! For use with children from 5-40 Pounds in rear-facing mode, and from 22-65 Pounds in forward-facing mode.

Expert Reviews

What reviewers liked

Zip-off machine-washable cover, Decent overall weight range (5-65 pounds), Easy to use and innovative LATCH system, Wide adjustment range, Easy installation, Out-of-the-way no-rethread harness design...
Ease of use: Our judgment of how easy each seat is to use including the clarity of labels and instructions, adjustments of clips and buckles, the transition of the seat from rear facing to forward facing and installation features such as LATCH connections and top tethers.
The Chicco NextFit Zip has a steel frame to offer extra protection in the event of an accident.
It’s almost guaranteed that they will still be able to fit in this seat in the rear-facing position. For this reason, the NextFit is a very popular choice for extended rear-facing.
The Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat has an adjustable positioning system and bubble level indicators to ensure both a proper fit in your vehicle and the safest placement for your baby. The infant insert and six-position headrest keep newborns snugly in their seat. As they grow, the headrest and shoulder strap positions raise and widen to reach the proper, secure fit. Its steel-reinforced frame and energy-absorbing foam also provide extra protection.
The NextFit Zip has a steel-reinforced frame, and exceeds all the safety specifics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It’s more like a pulley system than a tug-as-hard-as-you-can system. The zip-off seat pad makes the Chicco NextFit Zip one of the easiest convertible car seats to clean.
The biggest advantage to the Chicco NextFit car seat is the steel frame. This makes it sturdier for use with additional children as well as providing stability in an accident. It also makes the seat sturdier to better stand up to some abuse that comes with travelling, so if you are going to fly with the seat or you are going to take longer road trips, this might be the best option. It is also quite easy to clean because the seat cover is machine washable. The SuperCinch latch tightener makes proper installation a breeze.
Installing this car seat was SO EASY. My husband verified that the ease of installation was indeed credited to the Netfit Zip’s features. The LATCH connectors push on and Chicco’s SuperCinch technology makes it, funnily enough, a cinch, to tighten and adjust. The bubble-level let me know the seat was angled just right, and works for rear-facing and front-facing positions. So, there you have it, installation so easy a mom that can’t even put a Melissa and Doug easel together can do it.

What reviewers didn't like

Very heavy, Very large, Rear-facing limited to 40 pounds, No booster mode, Difficult to use cup-holder, Poor crotch-buckle positioning, Bucket style seat difficult to get into and out of, Very expensive (about $350).
There is no way to properly secure the seat with the seat belt. The seat has very bad lateral support when held with the seat belt.
In its rear-facing position, it is difficult to get to the straps.
Due to LATCH weight limits you must switch to a seatbelt installation once the child weighs more than 35 lbs. rear-facing or more than 40 lbs. forward-facing.
A big complaint about the NextFit is how hard it is to remove the cushion.
The steel frame does make this a bit heavier (25 pounds) and bigger than your traditional car seat, so it’s better for those who don’t need to switch cars often. It will fit in smaller cars, but it won’t leave much room. There is no cup holder or booster mode with this seat.
I loved all the buckle features on the Nextfit Zip but you know what I didn’t love? This car seat is super heavy at over 26 pounds. If I really think about it, the weight contributes to the safety but since I had to drag this from the house to the car and then to my friend’s house and to her car, I had a lot of experience in how much of a pain (literally and figuratively) a heavy car seat can be.
View our Convertible Car Seat buying guide for in-depth advice and recommendations.

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