The zip-off seat pad makes the Chicco NextFit Zip one of the easiest convertible car seats to clean.
Chicco (pronounced KEE-KO) is most known for their infant car seat the KeyFit, and the NextFit Zip is a convertible seat for your baby to graduate to around one-year-old when they outgrow their infant seat. (You can also start with the convertible car seats and skip the infant one altogether. Make an informed choice.)
Since your child has to stay in a convertible car seat until they are four years old, the NextFit Zip ranges from 5 – 40 lbs in the rear-facing position and from 22 – 65 lbs in the forward-facing position and up to 49” tall. The NextFit Zip has a steel-reinforced frame, and exceeds all the safety specifics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It features a “super cinch” strap on the LATCH anchors to make installation easier. It’s more like a pulley system than a tug-as-hard-as-you-can system. Around two years old (once your child is more than 35 lbs for rear-facing or 40 lbs forward-facing), you will have to re-install the car seat using your car’s seat belts. This process isn’t as straightforward as the LATCH because the belt goes under the seat cover where you can’t see exactly what you’re going. Most convertibles have issues around this, too, so if you’re into Chicco that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
At 19” this seat is on the wider side, so if you have a narrow back seat or need to fit three kids, you’ll want to consider narrower options from Clek or Diono.
The NextFit Zip is very similar to Chicco’s NextFit, but it’s $50 more because the seat cushion unzips and can be removed for easy cleaning. A big complaint about the NextFit is how hard it is to remove the cushion. In addition to crumbs or sand, your baby will throw up in their car seat at some point, so that could be fifty bucks well spent.