Chicco Nextfit iX Chicco Nextfit iX Zip Air
The New Chicco Nextfit iX Range of Convertible Car Seats
There is a new range of Chicco Nextfit Convertible Car Seats on the US market. They all have “iX” as part of their model names and there are 4 different iX versions to choose from in addition to the original Nextfit 65 seat, which still remains available to buy.
The 4 new Nextfit iX models are:
Although the shells on the newer iX seats are very similar to the original Nextfit version, there are some important upgrades to be found on the various iX models and I am going to discuss them so that you can make a fully informed purchasing decision.
So, the purpose of this Chicco Nextfit iX vs Nextfit iX Zip Air comparison review is to help you to discover the most important similarities and differences between these 2 premium convertible car seats.
Chicco Nextfit iX vs Nextfit iX Zip Air – The Similarities
#1 Child Weight/Height Limits
The Nextfit iX and Nextfit iX Zip Air seats both have exactly the same minimum and maximum child weight and child height limits.
The child weight limits are:
- Rear-facing: 5 to 40 lbs
- Forwards-facing: 22 to 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 keep your children rear-facing for as long as possible. They suggest a minimum age of 2 years for forwards-facing unless your child has already outgrown the maximum height or weight limits for that mode of use before that age.
For both seats the child height limits are a little more complicated. Chicco state that the seats should be used as follows:
Rear-facing: You can use this mode for as long as the harness straps can still be positioned at or below the top of your child’s shoulders.
Forwards-facing: You can use this mode for as long as 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 fantastic user-friendly system uses a force-multiplying technology to enable you to get a safe and secure installation with the minimum of physical 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.
When your child’s weight exceeds the maximum permitted for LATCH installation (Check User Manual), you will need to re-intall the seat using the vehicle seat belt.
Here is a video demonstration of SuperCinch created by “The Car Seat Lady”:
… and here is a video from ChiccoUSA:
#3 Steel Frame, EPS Foam & Side Impact Protection
All Chicco Nextfit iX seats come fitted with a steel reinforced frame and premium energy-absorbing EPS foam around the sides of the seat and within the head wings.
This extra seat strength and padding provides essential child protection in the event of a side impact collision.
#4 Multiple Recline Positions (9) & Dual Level Indicators
All Chicco Nextfit iX seats can be adjusted to one of nine different recline positions. The big yellow recline adjustment handle is conveniently positioned at the bottom of the front of the seat and is very easy to operate.
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 Headrest with “Auto Harness”
The older Nextfit 65 seats only had 6 headrest positions to choose from. The newer Nextfit iX seats have 3 extra headrest positions to ensure an even better fit for your child as they grow.
The Nextfit iX and iX Zip Air seats both come with a total of 9 different headrest positions.
The headrest adjustment method remains the same and is very simple. You simply press on 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!
#6 Chest Clip Positions
The original Chicco Nextfit 65 seat comes with a unique “2-position” chest clip mechanism. One of the positions was used for smaller children and the other when they reached a certain size later on.
For some parents, this was a very welcome extra feature but for others it simply added another unnecessary thing for them to worry about and i’m sure that lots of kids travel around to this day with the wrong chest clip option selected.
As a result, the newer Nextfit iX and iX Zip seats come with a single chest clip position that can be used whatever the age and size of your child.
#7 Locksure Belt Tightening System
The LockSure Belt Tightening system that is found on all Nextfit iX seats makes it even easier to enquire a correct, snug, and safe installation when using the vehicle seat belt rather than the LATCH connectors.
Watch the BabyCubby video below for more information about the Locksure Belt Tightening System.
Some Other Similarities …
In addition to the similarities described above, the following features are also found on both the Chicco Nextfit iX and Nextfit iX Zip Air seats:
- Built-in Lockoffs for Belt Installation
- 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
- Steel re-inforced frame
- Lifespan of 8 years
- Certified for Air Travel
Chicco Nextfit iX vs Nextfit iX Zip – 3 Big Differences
#1 Removable “Zip & Wash” Seat Cover?
The removable “Zip & Wash” seat cover is one of the main features that explains why the seat is called the Chicco Nextfit iX ZIP Air.
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 iX and Nextfit iX Zip Air seats come fitted with the adjustable headrests with automatically adjusted shoulder pads, the actual shoulder pads themselves are different.
The standard Nextfit iX shoulder pads are perfectly acceptable.
The Nextfit iX Zip Air seat, however, comes with an improved “ComfortFlex” harness 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.
This makes loading your child into the seat a little easier than with a normal harness.
#3 3D Air Mesh Seat Fabric
The Nextfit iX Zip Air comes with Chicco’s unique 3D Air Mesh seat fabric in the backrest.
This is a breathable fabric with air channels to provide much better air flow through the seat in order to keep your child cool in hot climates.
Chicco Nextfit iX vs Nextfit iX Zip Air – Videos
Here is the “Baby Cubby” review of the Nextfit iX Zip:
The Chicco Nextfit iX seat comes with all of the features in the video apart from the “Zip & Wash” and “Comfort Flex Harness Straps”.
The Chicco Nextfit iX Zip Air comes with all of the features in the video plus the extra 3D Air Mesh Seat Fabric.
Chicco Nextfit iX vs Nextfit iX Zip Air – My Verdict
Whilst all of the main safety features on the Nextfit iX and iX Zip Air seats are the same, there are some interesting comfort and convenience upgrades on the iX Zip model.
Both seats have excellent premium safety features and you will simply have to decide whether or not you want to pay a little extra for the upgraded features on the iX Zip seat.
For me, the Zip & Wash feature alone makes the iX Zip Air seat worth buying instead of the iX model, but if my budget was very tight I would be perfectly happy with the Nextfit iX seat. All of my kids have tended to get sick on even quite short journeys and so the ability to remove the seat cover for cleaning purposes is a major plus point.
The 3D Air Mesh is not such a big issue for me since I don’t live in a very hot climate, but if you do, its definitely worth considering.
Chicco Nextfit iX Vs Nextfit iX Zip Air – Color Options
These seats come with different fabric color options and here are some of my favorites.
Nextfit iX Zip Air
Where to Buy Chicco Nextfit iX & Nextfit iX Zip Air Seats
If you are still a little unsure about which one to choose, you can read more user reviews of the Nextfit 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.
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