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Chicco Nextfit Vs Nextfit Zip Car Seat: Ultimate Comparison

by  Katie- Last updated on October 6, 2020

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Once you’ve got a child, and you have to start driving them places, you’ll suddenly realise how ill-suited cars are for infants.

There’s no way that they can fit in a regular seat-belt in the back, and they just aren’t secure there. Nope, what you need is a car seat. But which one to get?

There are so many brands out there, and different models of the same brands. How do you know which ones to trust, and which is the best option for you? And what are you meant to look out for?

Well don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We are going to use this article to lay out the similarities and differences between the Chicco Nextfit car seat, and the Chicco Nextfit Zip car seat.

Not just that, but we’ll be going through their key features, which should help you to learn what it is that you need to look out for, as well as some of the advantages that these two car seats bring with them.

Having a child is time-consuming. You don’t have the time to work out all the minutiae of picking out the best car seat for them. Luckily for you, we’ve done the work for you. So read the article below, and by the end you should know everything you need to know about which car seat is the right one for you.

Chicco Nextfit Vs. Chicco Nextfit Zip at a Glance

If you don’t have enough time to read the whole article, then we’ve got your back. Just take a look at our comparison at a glance here.

Chicco Nextfit Advantages:

  • 9 position levelling system
  • 6 position headrest
  • Super cinch LATCH tightener

Chicco Nextfit Disadvantages:

  • Can’t remove the cover to wash it

Chicco Nextfit Zip Advantages:

  • Easy to remove the cover for washing it
  • 9 position levelling system
  • Comfort flex harness management

Chicco Nextfit Zip Disadvantages:

  • More expensive

Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is the Chicco Nextfit Zip car seat.

What’s the Difference Between Them?

These two car seats have a lot of similarities. The Nextfit Zip is sort of an upgrade on the Nextfit car seat, so there aren’t too many differences between them.

So, we are going to go through the main features of these two car seats, and we’ll highlight the differences between them, where they exist, as we go.

Size and design of the car seat

First up, let’s take a look at the size of the car seats. The Chicco Nextfit has a slightly smaller design, so if you’ve got a small car and need all the space you can get, this might just be the better option for you. It measures in at 20.5 x 19 x 26 inches.

In contrast, the Chicco Nextfit Zip is 21 x 19 x 29.2 inches. Okay, so there really isn’t much in it, but if you need the space then it is a little bigger.

In terms of the design, the Chicco Nextfit has a steel-reinforced frame, which is lined with energy-absorbing foam. This means that it holds its shape really nicely, but the seat is still super comfortable for the child.

The Chicco Nextfit Zip has what it calls a Superior Duo Guard protection, so it has a deep rigid shell as well as a steel-reinforced frame, plus then it has the EPS energy-absorbing foam for the seat. Again, although it is really sturdy, it remains very comfortable as a seat for your child.

They also both have in-built thermal insulated cup holders with a pocket. So if you need to keep your child’s milk at a certain temperature, it’s got it covered.

Verdict:

If a smaller size is what you’re after, the Chicco Nexfit is the better option for you, but otherwise, with its Superior Duo Guard protection, the Chicco Nextfit Zip is the better option in terms of design.

Size of the child

Okay, so we’ve taken a look at the size of the car seat, but what about the size of the child that can use it. Well, both car seats have the same specifications for this, so we’ll just give you a quick run-down.

Firstly, both car seats recommend that they should be used for children under the age of 18 months. But in case you’re worrying, wondering if your child is the average size for this age range, don’t worry. They’ve got different size recommendations weighed out, so you can be sure.

Now as you probably know, both these seats are 2-in-1 convertible car seats, which means they work both for forward-facing and rear-facing. If you are putting the seat rear-facing, then it can take a child from 5 – 40 lb.

In contrast, if you put it forward-facing, it can take a child that weighs 22 – 65 lb. It’s worth mentioning that if the child weighs 5 – 11 lb, there is a removable infant insert, to make sure they can still fit. This is a great feature that comes with both car seats.

Verdict:

The two car seats have identical specifications for this round, so they are both equally good.

Strapping in the car seat

In terms of strapping the car seat into the car, the two car seats again have identical designs. This is a sign of how great the design was for the Chicco Nextfit as they didn’t alter anything about it for the upgrade for the Chicco Nextfit Zip.

Both car seats come with an exclusive, Super Cinch LATCH Tightener. What this means, is that once you’ve strapped the car seat in, when you would normally struggle to get it tight enough to the seat so that it doesn’t rock backwards or forwards, especially if there is sudden breaking, this car seat won’t have the same issues.

Why? Because the Tightener helps to achieve a tight and secure fit for the car seat, and all with just a fraction of the effort. Plus, they both come with an integrated slide path. This means that it is easy to reposition the LATCH strap when you’re converting the car seat from rear-facing to forward-facing.

However, the Chicco Nextfit Zip does have an extra feature here. It has been upgraded so that beyond being secured with the Tightener, it also has a LockSure belt system. This is a system which has integrated lock-offs for the installation with the vehicle seat belt.

Verdict:

The two car seats are both really well-designed in terms of making it easy to strap them into the car, however the Chicco Nextfit Zip wins this round for being just that bit more secure.

Adjustable back

A key feature which both the Chicco Nextfit and the Chicco Nextfit Zip car seats share, is the Recline Sure 9-position levelling system.

The Chicco Nextfit pioneered this system, providing more recline options than any other convertible seat on the market. You might be wondering what the 9-position levelling system is, because it sounds pretty high-tech, but it’s actually really simple.

It just means that the seat can recline to a total of nine different positions, which gives it a more accurate fit with a wider range of vehicles. The cool part of this technology comes with the two Ride Right bubble levels.

These bubble levels give a clear indication of how the seat needs to be angled, providing a range of possibilities for both when it is forward-facing and rear-facing. It will make the seat safer and your child will be much more comfortable.

Verdict:
Both the Chicco Nextfit and Chicco Nextfit Zip have this awesome bubble technology, so again they are equals when it comes to the adjustable back features.

Also Read: Graco Nautilus 65 vs 65 LX Comparison

Adjustable headrest settings

As your child grows, they’ll leave their old clothes, toys and mannerisms behind them. They’ll grow out of all sorts of tastes and belongings. But luckily, they won’t grow out of the Chicco car seats too quickly. That’s because of the height-adjustable headrest.

The headrest has six different height positions. This will allow your child to remain comfortable over the months, rather than gradually having a headrest digging into their back. And that’s not the only feature that adjusts.

As the headrest is adjusted for height, so too is the harness. Where the harness attaches at the top will move up with the headrest, to ensure that your child stays comfortable and secure, even though they are shooting upwards.

Verdict:

The two car seats both have the same adjustable headrest and the same automatic harness adjustment that goes alongside it, so they are identical for this round.

Harness

Okay, so we’ve taken a look at the adjustable aspects of the car seat, but what about the harness itself? Well, both car seats offer a 5-point harness.

This means that it straps over both shoulders, down over the chest, then it comes around both upper thighs, as well as up through the middle of the legs.

This keeps the child safe and secure on all points. As the headrest moves up with them too, their head remains cushioned on both sides. Plus the sides of the car seat rise up high to protect their legs too.

Here there is a slight difference. The Chicco Nextfit Zip has been upgraded a little. It now has a comfort flex harness management, which makes it even more comfortable for your child than the Chicco Nexfit.

Verdict:
Although the two car seats are almost identical, the Chicco Nextfit Zip just has the edge on this round, for being that bit more comfortable.

Machine washable?

Okay, so here is the big difference between the two car seats. This is the difference that has given the new line of Chicco car seats their name: Zip.

The Chicco Nextfit Zip has a machine washable seat pad, with an easy zip-off design. Yes, that’s right. Gone are the days of trying to find a way to remove the cover. Or of just having to wash the various stains where it is.

The Chicco Nextfit Zip car seats can simply zip off and be thrown in the washing machine. It is such a time-saver, plus it makes the seat so much cleaner for the children. It really is an excellent feature.

Verdict:
There’s no doubt about it. The Chicco Nextfit Zip is the clear winner for this round, no question.

Price

You may have guessed it, but as the Chicco Nextfit Zip is an upgrade of the Chicco Nextfit, and a more modern version, it is also more expensive. The prices of the two seats tend to vary, but the Chicco Nextfit Zip tends to cost around $50 more than the Chicco Nextfit.

Of course, for that price you get the machine-washable, zip-off cover, the comfort flex harness management and the Superior Duo Guard protection on the seat. But it is more expensive.

Verdict:
While the Chicco Nextfit Zip offers some great features for the extra money, it does cost more, so our winner for this round is the Chicco Nextfit.

Conclusion

These two car seats are both great options for children. Not only can they face both forwards and backwards, but the systems are really well integrated to make it super easy to do either. They strap in easily and securely, and have sturdy, protective designs.

They adjust to fit the car, and to adapt for a growing child, plus they are super comfortable for the child.

Although the Chicco Nextfit Zip costs a bit more, it is that bit more modern and offers just that little bit more. So for that reason, our favourite is the Chicco Nextfit Zip car seat, although both are great options.

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