Which Chicco car seat is best?
With name recognition, excellent safety records and reasonable prices, Chicco car seats benefit both children and parents alike. Whether you’re buying for an infant, toddler or older child, you have plenty of options to choose from.
If you’re looking for a car seat to last from the infant stage well into childhood, the Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat is a top choice.
What to know before you buy a Chicco car seat
Types of Chicco car seats
You’ll find a range of car seats available: infant car seats, forward-facing car seats, booster seats and convertible car seats that transform between two or more of these varieties.
- Infant car seats: These are made for babies from the newborn stage up to around 1-2 years old, depending on their height and weight. They’re suitable for rear-facing use only. You can usually attach them to compatible strollers, which some parents find useful.
- Forward-facing car seats: Forward-facing car seats face the direction of travel. They’re suitable for older babies, once they can sit independently, toddlers and little kids. However, it’s safer to keep babies in rear-facing seats as long as possible.
- Booster seats: Booster seats also face forward but, instead of securing kids with a harness, you simply utilize a standard seat belt. High-backed boosters offer extra protection for kids who have outgrown car seat harnesses but aren’t ready to go without a seat.
- Convertible car seats: These convert between two or more modes. Some convert from infant car seats to forward-facing seats and others from forward-facing seats to boosters. You can find options that see children from birth to when they no longer need a booster.
Some Chicco car seats are classed as extended rear-facing seats. They let you keep your child in the rear-facing position for as long as possible. Some accommodate kids in rear-facing mode until they reach 40 pounds, which is the weight of an average 4-year-old.
You might be wondering why you’d want to keep your child facing away from you in the car, but the answer is simple: it’s safer. In the event of a collision, less stress is put on a child’s head, neck, spine and internal organs when they’re in a rear-facing car seat. This significantly reduces the chance of injury.
What to look for in a quality Chicco car seat
Impact protection comes from the combination of a rigid car seat shell and energy-absorbing EPS foam. Some even have steel-reinforced frames for additional protection.
Many Chicco car seats come with bases, which makes seats simpler to remove from cars or switch between vehicles. You can buy spare bases for other vehicles, so there’s no need to remove them once correctly installed. Then you just click the seat into the base to fit it back into place.
How much you can expect to spend on a Chicco car seat
While you can find some options under $200, most cost $200-$300. Expect to pay more for a greater range of features and convertible options.
Chicco car seat FAQ
Can you use a Chicco car seat without the base?
A. Yes, you can use a car seat without the base, instead using either the LATCH points in your car or a seat belt. This is handy when you want to switch between vehicles without moving the base, but it makes sense to use it when you can.
How long can a baby stay in a car seat?
A. When your baby is less than 6 months old, they shouldn’t spend more than 2 hours at a time in a car seat. If you’re going on a long car trip, you’ll need to plan for breaks. Once they’re over 6 months old and have full control of their head, it’s safe to take slightly longer journeys without stopping.
What’s the safest position for a car seat?
A. The safest position is in the rear middle seat of your car. Studies show that, in the event of a collision, babies and children seated in the center seat had a 43% lower chance of injury compared to those in the rear side seats. This is assuming that your car is laid out in such a way that you can get a snug, secure fit in the center seat.
That said, it’s still significantly safer in any rear position than it is in the front seat of a car, since passenger air bags can cause serious injuries.
What’s the best Chicco car seat to buy?
Top Chicco car seat
What you need to know: This convertible car seat switches from rear-facing to forward-facing and is great for infants and toddlers.
What you’ll love: It accommodates infants and toddlers from 5-40 pounds in rear-facing mode and toddlers and kids from 22-65 pounds in forward-facing mode. Leveling and tightening are straightforward. The steel-reinforced frame and energy-absorbing foam offer excellent impact protection.
What you should consider: It’s fairly bulky and unwieldy, especially if you want to lift it out with your child still in it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Chicco car seat for the money
What you need to know: With harness and seat belt options, it’s ideal for toddlers and bigger kids.
What you’ll love: The four-position recline helps keep your child comfortable, while the nine-position headrest lets the seat grow with your child. It’s suitable for toddlers from 25 pounds in the harness mode, while it works as a high-back booster for kids up to 100 pounds once they outgrow the harness.
What you should consider: It doesn’t have the SuperCinch tightening system. It’s fairly hard to clean the straps and padding.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Suitable for babies from 4-30 pounds or 30 inches tall, this is a great choice for those who want a dedicated infant car seat.
What you’ll love: It easily clicks into the stay-in-car base and has several features, such as the RideRight bubble level, to make sure it’s fitted and angled correctly. It also fits compatible Chicco strollers to create a travel system.
What you should consider: The seat is fairly heavy so some people find it hard to lift with larger babies inside.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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