PROS / The Chicco NextFit Zip has a steel frame to offer extra protection in the event of an accident.
CONS / In its rear-facing position, it is difficult to get to the straps.
VERDICT / The Chicco NextFit Zip has some excellent safety features, but it may be too big for a small vehicle or if you need to use it with a stroller.
The Chicco NextFit Zip is a durable baby car seat that you can convert from a rear-facing seat to a front-facing seat as your child grows. Its steel frame protects your child during an accident, while the cushioning keeps your child comfortable. This model of the NextFit comes with machine-washable fabric that you can easily unzip and throw in the washer. Like all convertible car seats, the NextFit Zip stays in your car at all times, so if you need a stroller for your infant, you'll have to buy a separate travel system.
Also, the steel frame makes the car seat among the heaviest we reviewed, at just under 31 pounds. The NextFit Zip is among the best convertible car seats we reviewed, but it isn't convenient if you have a small vehicle.
Like all retail car seats sold in the United States, the NextFit Zip meets federal crash safety requirements. The seat keeps your baby safe with its energy-absorbing foam, side-impact protection and steel frame. In the event of an accident, the car seat will stay sturdy and secure, so your baby will not be rocked around too much. The seat can secure a newborn as light as 5 pounds, but it's not great for preemies, who are usually born under 5 pounds. You can keep the seat in its rear-facing position until your baby is 40 pounds. The front-facing position supports a baby from 22 to 65 pounds.
The seat itself has nine reclining angles and a leveling guide to help you find the correct angle for your baby. It includes LATCH connectors and instructions for seat belt installation. In its rear-facing position, the NextFit Zip is a large car seat, so it is not a great option if you have a small vehicle. It is also difficult to adjust the harness when it's in the rear-facing position.
The Chicco NextFit Zip is a durable baby car seat that will keep your baby safe and secure in an accident, thanks to its energy-absorbing foam, side-impact protection and steel frame. It is heavier than any other convertible car seat we reviewed, but its machine-washable fabric is convenient. Like all convertible car seats, though, it isn't a great option if you have a small vehicle or hope to use your car seat with a stroller.