It is recommended that parents have their babies in the rear-facing position for as long as possible. The American Academy of Paediatrics gives an age recommendation of 2 years. However, most parents end up advancing to front-facing toddler car seats earlier because their babies outgrow their infant seats.
The Chicco Fit2 is an innovative rear-facing car seat that solves the above dilemma with distinction. It is designed to be used in 2 stages; both in the rear-facing position. The first stage is the infant stage while the second is the toddler stage.
When your little one outgrows the infant setting, you would simply adjust the car seat to the toddler stage using a lever in the car seat base. Once again, the thoughtful design approach of the Chicco brand shines through.
In this Chicco Fit2 review, we look past the innovation and evaluate what this unique car seat has to offer. Here are some basics to give you a general feel of its features.
What’s in the box?
- Chicco Fit2 car seat
- The base
- The detachable canopy
- Head and body support pillows
- Longer rear-facing seating
- Easy to install
- Well-padded seat
- Removable machine-washable covers
- It is a little heavy
- Non-breathable fabric
- 2-Stage base converts from Infant Position to Toddler Position, making it easy to stay rear-facing for the first 2 years
- Provides more upright, spacious seating with adjustability and extended leg room for toddlers 9-24 months - without taking up extra space in the vehicle
- Easiest to install with Recline Sure levelling foot, Ride Right bubble levels, and Super Cinch LATCH tightened. Do not use any Soaps or Lubricants to clean buckle and LATCH hardware
Right off the bat, we can agree that the Chicco Fit2 offers more to ponder on than an ordinary infant or toddler car seat. I must confess it isn’t really a car seat design that I have ever envisioned.
Yet, therein lies its genius; if the infant car seat no longer fits, adjust it instead of replacing it. It addresses a problem that most of us parents had already resigned ourselves to.
Still, as with every new concept, you likely have some questions about some of its features. Right? Let’s run through a couple of them to give you some perspective.
Is the Chicco Fit 2 FAA-approved?
Yes, this 2-stage car seat is approved for use in airplanes. However, you would have to use it without the base. The problem with this is that to enjoy the provisions of the car seat in the toddler stage you would need the base.
If you find yourself in this dilemma I would advise taking out the support cushions to make more room and adjusting the leg rest too to a comfortable setting that suits your toddler.
Which is better, the Chicco Keyfit or the Chicco Fit2?
The Chicco Keyfit is a great entry-level car seat that is affordable, lightweight, and relatively comfortable. That said, I would choose the Chicco Fit2 over it because it offers a higher weight limit and the option to use it longer in the rear-facing position.
How long is the Chicco Fit2 car seat good for?
The Chicco Fit2 expires 6 years from the date it was manufactured. If you time it just right, you might just be able to use it for baby number one and number two (no pressure). It can also only last that long if it is well cared for.
Is the Chicco Fit2 infant car seat suitable for small cars?
Yes. Even with its multiple functionalities, the Chicco Fit2 fits relatively well in most small car models. During installation, the ReclineSure base adjuster will help you find an installation position that is ideal for your vehicle seat size and shape. Overall, its design is also rather compact.
Is the Chicco Fit2 a convertible car seat?
No, and here is why: a convertible car seat is one that can be transitioned from a rear-facing to a front-facing position. In contrast, the Chicco Fit2 can only be used while rear-facing and can be adjusted to better accommodate a toddler who might be uncomfortable in a typical infant seat.
The one thing that makes buying a car seat a bit of a challenge is that it isn’t a pick-and-pay type of item. There’s always so much to figure out. Does it require a toolbox to set up? Is it comfy? On a scale of one to peace of mind while driving, how safe is the car seat?
To save you all that trouble, I took the Fit2 Chicco on a spin to figure out how it works and this is what I found.
We have already established that the Chicco Fit2 infant and toddler car seat is a rear-facing car seat. The entire premise of its extra features is to keep babies riding in the rear-facing position for longer but why is that important?
In a nutshell, the answer to that is inertia. When a car stops suddenly as it does during an accident or emergency braking, the passengers inside are jerked forward by the force of inertia. How far they are pushed forward depends on how heavy they are.
In a rear-facing car seat, the force of inertia is applied to the car seat structure instead of the baby’s body. Whereas if they were riding while front-facing, the car seat would reduce the pull of inertia but they would still feel it because their bodies are unshielded in the front. Therefore, all things considered, a rear-facing car seat is much safer.
In true Chicco style, this Fit2 car seat is a joyful breeze to install. It can be installed using LATCH when using the base and using the Euro belt guide system during travel or in cabs. Either option works great but I am partial to the LATCH installation because it felt more stable although just by the edge of a hair.
The first step would be to install the base as below:
- Place the base on the vehicle seat
- Press the ReclineSure level footing to adjust the base to a level that suits your car
- The RideRight bubble level indicator will move to the center when you have the right angle
- Tag the LATCH release to drop the LATCH connectors and join them to the LATCH ports in the vehicle
- Tag the Supercinch LATCH tightener to ensure the installation is nice and stable
Once the base is in, test it to confirm it is not wobbly. If it does not move more than an inch upwards or sideways, click on the car seat and you are good to go. If you choose to use the car seat without the base, place the seat belt in the Euro belt guide and secure it using the belt lock-offs.
This is a brief installation guide but more than that I wanted to give you a demonstration of how all the installation features work. It takes away the mystery of technical words like ‘bubble level indicators’ or ‘SuperCinch tightener’.
Seat Usage Limit
For an infant, you can use the Chicco Fit2 infant seat setting. The brand recommends it for babies weighing between 4-35 pounds. However, as your little one grows, you may notice them becoming fussier during drives and moving around more or becoming too big for the infant seat spacing. If they weigh about 15 pounds by then, it would be a good time to adjust the seat to the toddler position.
In both infant and toddler seat settings, the maximum height allowable is 35 inches. Nonetheless, babies grow overnight. If you notice that your baby’s head is less than an inch away from the top of the car seat, it means they are outgrowing the Chicco Fit2.
Have you ever been on a long-haul flight with cramped legroom? I would suppose that is what it feels like for babies when they have no room to comfortably stretch in a car seat. The designers at Chicco seem to have heard their cries because the Chicco Fit2 has ample legroom for your little one to kick and stretch out any way they like.
Moreover, they can sit more upright or recline depending on what you reckon would feel cozier for them. Given that a toddler is more aware of sights and sounds, I would recommend the upright seating for them; the distraction could help them keep them calmer.
On comfort, I am impressed that it takes only one tag to adjust the headrest. Better yet, it can be set in 7 different positions which could come in handy for the estimated 2 years for which you would use the Chicco Fit2.
However, during my test runs, I learned that it is essential to adjust the headrest in relation to the body support pillow. If you move the headrest up, be sure to adjust the body positioner accordingly.
On the flip side, while the seat is padded with dual-density foam and stitching is up to Italian standards, the fabric is not breathable. In the summer, it would not wick away moisture and this could be quite uncomfortable for baby.
The Fit2 Chicco has a 5-point no-rethread safety harness. Quite the mouthful that is. To break it down, the 5-point harness will give you room to adjust the harness as your baby grows and you will not have to rethread it each time you adjust it. Speaking of adjustment, the crotch strap too can be moved between 2 positions for proper comfort.
Further, I like that the harness is well padded and draped in fabric. I once had a harness with none of these provisions and as my daughter got bigger I began to notice her discomfort especially at the points where it would touch her neck. This made me realize a padded harness is a necessity.
There is no nice way to say this so, here goes: the Chicco Fit2 infant and toddler car seat is heavy. At over 11 pounds, it can take some effort to lift the car seat even without the baby. Still, in its defense, I have to acknowledge that this car seat has extra components to deliver its extra functionalities. So, between weight and extra features, which is a must-have feature for you?
I recommend lightweight car seats to my friends and family because they are easy to move from one car to the other and convenient for travel. However, for an infant car seat, there are even more complex reasons to consider car seat weight, in my opinion.
Childbirth requires a recovery period and it might, therefore, be difficult to handle a heavy car seat for a while postpartum. If you will not have help around, perhaps it would be best to have this as a secondary seat.
The Chicco Fit2 stroller compatibility is limited to Chicco strollers. The car seat has a one-hand release button to detach it from the base. Once you get it out of the car, all you have to do is place it on the stroller and click it on to form a Chicco Fit2 travel system.
Compatibility aside, I particularly appreciate the ease and silence of the click-on technology. It is unlikely to stir your little munchkin if they are asleep when you are making the switch between car to stroller.
Unfortunately, for other stroller brands, you would need to source adapters to achieve compatibility. Nevertheless, when you find the right kind of Chicco Fit2 compatible stroller to set up the travel system you want, it is smooth sailing all the way.
The seat pad in this 2-stage Chicco car seat is removable and machine-washable. It, however, has to be air-dried.
For little stains and spills, you can always spot clean the fabric with mild soap and water and place it in an airy space to dry. I would equally recommend this method of cleaning for other areas like the handle and other parts of the seat structure except for the LATCH tightener and other parts related to it. Soap could interfere with their grip mechanism.
One of the downsides of the Chicco Keyfit 30 is its inadequate canopy. It just doesn’t stretch forward enough, in my opinion. Fortunately, the Chicco Fit2 has a generous canopy that is both adjustable and removable.
I attribute some of the weight of the Chicco Fit2 to its more solid build. You can tell that it would put up a fight if it faced any impact. Additionally, the frame is lined with EPS foam on the inside to minimize the amount of impact that reaches your baby in the event of a crash.
My favorite safety feature is the stabilizer bar on the base. This is actually an anti-rebound bar with a different name. It rests flush against the vehicle seat and prevents the car seat from being pushed back into the vehicle seat during crash impact or emergency braking. I also think that it being part of the base makes it more effective in terms of stability.
Chicco Fit2 Alternatives That Fit the Bill
Understandably, you may want to compare the Chicco Fit2 to its alternatives and find out if the grass is greener. For that, I would recommend:
The UPPAbaby Mesa is a rear-facing car seat designed for infant weights of 9 to 35 pounds and has a maximum height limit of 32 inches. While it may not have a two-stage setup for infants and toddlers, the higher weight limit could make it possible for you to use it just as long as you would use the Chicco Fit2.
Installation can be done using LATCH or the seat belt system. The UPPABaby Mesa SMART secure system makes the process quite easy. Further, the seat is draped in breathable merino wool fabric that has no chemical flame retardants.
The UPPABaby Mesa would be a great substitute if you would like most of the features of the Chicco Fit2 with more comfort and better structural quality. It does, however, cost about $70 more. Alternatively, you can go through our comparison between the Mesa seat and Nuna Pipa for a closer look.
- The first car seat to pass federal safety standards without the use of fire retardant chemicals
- SMARTSecure system installs in seconds
- Adjustable headrest with Side Impact Protection
The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 is also a rear-facing infant car seat from an Italian brand. It is suitable for babies weighing 4-35 pounds and measuring 32 inches in height. The seat itself is quite lightweight at only 9.5 pounds without the base. Installation can be done using LATCH or the Euro belt system.
The overall build of the Primo Viaggio is superior to that of the Chicco Fit2. Its seat too is draped in remarkable Fresco Jersey fabric which is flame-retardant-free and breathable but can only be washed by hand. On safety, it offers side impact protection, an anti-rebound bar, and its shell is lined with EPS foam.
I would go for the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 not just for its comfort but also for its durability. Plus, it would set you back only $20 more than the Chicco Fit2. You can read our Primo Viaggio review for more info.
- Made In Italy. Rear facing infant car seat for babies 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches tall; Includes a base with an integrated anti-rebound bar
- Dual stage cushion system-first stage for 4 pound and up offers extra support on baby's neck and bottom, second stage correctly supports growing baby, both help to keep baby's head properly positioned and are made of our fresco jersey breathable fabric
- Car seat dimensions: 25.9 x 17.0 x 23.9 inches and base dimensions: 21.6 x 14.6x 11.5 inches . Side impact protection adjusts to six different positions with no rethreading required, protecting baby's head and shoulders at any growth stage
The Cybex Aton 2 is designed for infants that are 4-35 pounds in weight and only 17-30 inches tall. The weight limit matches that of the Chicco Fit2 but the height limit may not accommodate your baby until their second birthday. Nevertheless, this seat is impressively light at 9.5 pounds and compact enough to fit in most cars.
The chest clip in the Cybex Aton 2 has Sensorsafe smart technology and would notify you via your smart devices if it comes loose or if there are other safety issues. The seat is also uniquely designed with a load leg which keeps the car seat and base steady and takes on most of the impact during accidents. It, nonetheless, requires adapters to fit both Cybex and alternative brand strollers.
If you would prefer a stable tech-enhanced infant car seat, check out the Cybex Aton 2. It costs the same as the Chicco Fit2.
- Smart-tech harness chest clip with SensorSafe technology provides alerts when unsafe situations arise
- Ultra-lightweight: weighs only 9.5 lbs. For easy carrying and Installation
- Linear Side-impact Protection system absorbs up to 25% more impact forces in a collision
The Chicco Fit2 enables you to delay transitioning to a front-facing seat much longer than an average car seat. So, is it worth it? I would say it is and not just for the two-stage system but also its numerous functionality and safety features.
As a summary to this Chicco Fit2 review, I would say, get the Chicco Fit2 infant and toddler seat if you:
- Prefer an easy-to-install car seat
- Need an FAA-approved car seat for an infant and or a toddler
- Would like a car seat that you can use for both your infant and your infant
- Require a durable rear-facing car seat
Thoughts about this review? Share them with us in the comments!
Last update on 2021-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API