If you like your KeyFit infant seat, you’ll love the Chicco NextFit Convertible seat. It remains one of our favorite convertible car seats of all time. At present, there are 4 different models to choose from — enjoy our 2020 Chicco Nextfit Review!
This seat is large and heavy (see specs below). But shockingly, it fits in medium-sized cars fairly well, thanks to the nine recline positions, while still offering a decent amount of legroom for rear-facing toddlers and preschoolers (especially the “Max” version).
- Car seat weight: 25 lbs
- Car seat width: 19”
- Rear-facing limits: 40 lbs (50 lbs for Max version)
- Forward-facing limits: 65 lbs
Installation is where the Chicco NextFit seat really shines. Car seat techs joke that it’s a “marriage saver” (they are only partially kidding).
You know how on most seats, you have to get inside the thing, press down with your body weight and wrangle it like a rabid dog? With the NextFit, you can forget about all that: the SuperCinch LATCH tightening system IS, in fact, the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a self-ratcheting system, and I swear you’ll never go back to anything else. Even if you’re petite, you’ll be able to tighten this seat with ease. Other seats that offer this include the Nuna Rava and the Evenflo Everystage.
Because of the easy installation, it’s a great convertible seat for grandparents, although the seat itself is quite heavy to get in and out of the car. I do not recommend this seat for people who need to transfer it in and out often. Nay, this particular seat wants to be installed and left alone. It’s just so darn heavy (25 lbs).
The height adjustment is a smooth, no-rethread harness, like in most high-end seats. This is an ideal car seat if you’re using it for multiple children of different ages and sizes and need to adjust the height frequently on the fly. Easy peasy.
The 2020 Chicco NextFit comes in 4 different trim packages this year. Note they have dropped the “iX” labeling on this year’s lineup.
Chicco NextFit Car Seat Lineup:
NextFit Sport ~ $249, entry level seat: the Sport model does not include an infant insert cushion, so it’s not suitable for newborns. In fact, the starting weight limit on this model is 12lbs. The Sport comes in 3 dark, sultry colors, though I am partial to the “shadow” color — a dark, pretty blue/green (below). Is that gorj or what? This is all you need if you aren’t using it for a baby.
NextFit Zip ~ $299, the next level up: the Zip model adds an “EZ zip & wash” cover, perfect if your kiddo yacks a lot, or if ease of removing the cushion is something you value (you are diligent about washing it regularly or whatnot). It also comes with an Infant insert for babies 5-11 lbs, so it can be used for a newborn.
Comes in 6 fancy “duo-tone” colors.
NextFit Zip Air ~ $329, features the brand’s “breathable 3D Air Mesh” backrest, which is designed to help regulate body temperature, keeping your baby cooler and less sweaty. This is ideal for those of you who live in hot climates — Texas and Florida, looking at you!
It also has ComfortFlex hip strap covers and comes in 2 different “racing stripe” patterns, as shown below:
Chicco Nextfit Zip Max ~ $369, the Big Daddy seat for extended rear facing
This is the grand poobah of the Nextfit lineup and was designed with extended rear facing in mind, especially for people with taller children. This model offers 25% more legroom than the versions above. Though not technically necessary for extended rear facing, this extra legroom gives older/taller kids some extra space. The space is created by the front of the seat’s shell extending out, and also provides additional calf support for children who ride forward facing.
One complaint you see a lot is that the harness is hard to tighten in the rear-facing position due to the strap being too close to the seat (and thus, offering no leverage/room to pull it). Please check this right away if you buy this seat, and if it’s a problem for your car, return it!
My second warning is that the sidewalls on this thing are higher than most, so some parents find it difficult to get toddlers in and out in the rear-facing position if the car doorway opening is on the smaller, narrower side. You’ll be threading the needle trying to get your toddler into the seat if the doorway doesn’t offer much room, like with a small hatchback or sports car.
Overall, there are very few complaints about this seat — it’s a solid all around. (Unless you really care about the lack of cupholders, which you’d need to purchase separately.)
Bottom Line: If you loved your Chicco Keyfit, you’ll be equally thrilled with this convertible seat from the same brand. Though heavy, the NextFit is SUPER easy to install (especially with LATCH), has a no-rethread harness, and many recline positions to give the front seat passenger added legroom. It’s perfect for those with a medium-sized car (or larger) who appreciate a super easy LATCH installation (it’s not our favorite seatbelt installation). Check out the Max version for those with taller kids looking to do extended rear facing. Enjoy!