Chicco Nextfit 65 Chicco Nextfit Zip
The Chicco Nextfit Range of Convertible Car Seats
There are now 3 seats in the Chicco Nextfit range of convertible car seats:
Although the shells on these 3 seats are pretty much identical and their main safety features are exactly the same, there are some interesting comfort and convenience differences that you will need to appreciate and consider prior to deciding which model is most suited to your needs and to your budget.
The purpose of this Chicco Nextfit 65 vs Nextfit Zip comparison review is to help you to discover the most important similarities and differences between these 2 great premium convertible car seats.
Chicco Nextfit Seats in Small Vehicles!
Aside from the safety and convenience features themselves, one of the best selling points of the 3 difference Nextfit car seats is that they are all great for those who don’t have massive vehicles. Although there are some differences between the seats, their shells are the same size.
Not everyone has a massive SUV with 3 lovely wide rows of seats, and finding a premium convertible car seat to fit properly in your small sized (or even normal sized) vehicle can be a frustrating experience.
The other common situation that cries out for a convertible car seat with a smaller shell like the Nextfit seats is if you or someone else that will be sitting in the seat ahead of the car seat is tall and needs extra leg room.
If you are one of these people, and before you rush off to buy a bigger vehicle, give some serious consideration to the Chicco Nextfit range of seats.
You can read my comparison review of the Chicco Nextfit 65 and Nextfit CX seats here.
Chicco Nextfit 65 Vs Nextfit Zip – The 6 Important Similarities
#1 Child Weight/Height Limits
The Nextfit 65 and Nextfit Zip seats both have identical child weight and child height limits.
As for weight limits, they are rated as suitable for use Rear-facing between 5 and 40 lbs and for use Forwards-facing between 22 and 65 lbs.
Although you can use these seats in the forwards-facing mode from 22 lbs, it is strongly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that you rear-face for as long as possible within the seat’s limits. They suggest a minimum age of 2 years for forwards-facing.
As for height limits, they are both rated as suitable for use Rear-facing so long as the harness straps can be positioned at or below the top of the shoulders.
The Forwards-facing height limit requires that the top of your child’s ears remain must below the top of the shell (with headrest in maximum position). The harness straps must be positioned at or above the top of the shoulders, and your child’s height must not exceed 49 inches.
Note: Some sources on the internet state that the maximum height limit is 50 inches, but the February 2017 version of the User manual clearly states 49 inches.
#2 SuperCinch Latch System
Both seats can be installed using Chicco’s SuperCinch Latch system.
This new system uses a force-multiplying technology to enable you to get a safe and secure installation with the minimum of effort.
Since the correct installation of any child car seat is fundamental to ensuring that any child using it is afforded the maximum possible protection in the event of a collision, this innovative SuperCinch Latch system has become very popular amongst parents and Car Seat Safety Technicians.
Anything that makes the task of installing a child car seat easier and more foolproof is a great thing and there is no doubt that the Chicco Nextfit range of car seats are amongst the easiest to use properly.
It is much easier to demonstrate this installation system rather than explain it in words, so here is a very useful video created by “The Car Seat Lady”:
… and here is a video from ChiccoUSA:
#3 EPS Foam and Side Impact Protection
All Chicco Nextfit models come fitted with energy-absorbing EPS foam around the sides of the seat and within the head wings.
This extra padding provides essential protection in the event of a side impact collision.
Watch the videos below to learn more about the Chicco Nextfit Side Impact Protection System.
#4 Multiple Recline Positions (9) & Dual Level Indicators
All Chicco Nextfit models can be adjusted to one of nine different recline positions.
What’s more, parents have the benefit of an easy-to-use system of dual level indicators to tell them when the seat is reclined in a safe and suitable manner.
You use the “red” bubble level indicator lines when your child is seated in a forwards-facing position.
You use the “blue” bubble level indicator lines when your child is seated in a rear-facing position.
This system really is very simple to understand and totally foolproof.
Chicco have even included a simple diagram on the seat to highlight the appropriate (and different) shoulder strap heights for forwards-facing and rear-facing travel.
#5 Multiple Adjustment (6) Headrest with “Auto Harness”
All Nextfit seats come fitted with a headrest that can be adjusted into 6 different positions to accommodate your child as they grow.
The headrest adjustment method is very simple. You just press down the yellow button and pull upwards or downwards until the headrest clicks into the desired height position.
What’s more, when you adjust the height of the headrest, the width of the shoulder harness is “automatically” adjusted to accommodate your growing child too!
Here is a video demonstration …
#6 Multiple Chest Clip Positions (2)
The Chicco Nextfit seats come with a unique “2-position” chest clip mechanism that adapts to the changing safety needs of your child.
Obviously, a 1 year old is very different to a 4 year old when it comes to chest clip placement and Chicco have recognised this by inventing a single chest clip that can be used in 2 ways.
When your child is in the rear-facing position, there is a chest clip retainer that causes the shoulder straps to fit closer together. When your child is forwards-facing, there is an alternative chest clip retainer that causes the straps to come together in a slightly wider manner.
Watch this Child Installation/Chest Clip Video …
Some Other Similarities …
In addition to the similarities described above, the following features are also found on both the Chicco Nextfit 65 and Nextfit Zip seats:
- Built-in Lockoffs for Belt Installation
- Removable Cup Holder
- Infant Insert for use between 5 and 11 lbs
- 2-position Crotch Strap
- NEW removable shoulder pads
- NEW longer crotch strap for easier tightening
- Integrated LATCH storage compartments
- Lifespan of 8 years
- Certified for Air Travel
Chicco Nextfit 65 Vs Nextfit Zip – The 2 Big Differences
#1 Removable “Zip & Wash” Seat Cover?
The removable “Zip & Wash” seat cover is what gives the Chicco Nextfit ZIP its name.
This feature simply means that you can quickly and easily remove the cover using the zip and wash it using your washing machine.
Anyone that has tried in vain to wipe seats clean without removing them will appreciate just how useful this feature is to busy parents!
Here is a video demonstration …
#2 Shoulder Harness – Comfort & Flex?
Although both the standard Nextfit and Nextfit Zip seats come fitted with the 6-position adjustable headrest with automatically adjusted shoulder pads, the actual shoulder pads themselves are different.
The standard Nextfit shoulder pads have been vastly improved on the current models and are perfectly good.
The Nextfit Zip model, however, comes with an improved “ComfortFlex” system for added convenience. Essentially, the padding and flex-out feature means that both sides of the waist belt are held up and out of the way when you are trying to get your child buckled in and out of the seat.
More Videos of the Chicco Nextfit Seats
Here is a 2014 User Review of the Chicco Nextfit:
Here is the Chicco Nextfit Zip Promo Video:
Here a great review of the Chicco Nextfit Zip:
Where to Buy Chicco Nextfit 65 & Nextfit Zip Seats
If you remain undecided, you can read more user reviews of these seats here:
After purchasing any child car seat, you should always read the User Manual thoroughly before using it. It is also advisable to visit your local Fire Department or NHTSA Child Car Seat Inspection Centre to ensure that the seat is definitely suitable for your child’s specific requirements and that you have installed it correctly. These services are usually provided free of charge.
You can find your nearest NHTSA Centre here.
Get in Touch
If you have any comments to share or questions to ask about my Chicco Nextfit 65 Vs Chicco Nextfit Zip comparison review, please leave a comment in the box below or send me an email.