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Accident Data Center's Favorite, Safest, Eco-Friendliest Child Car Seat
When you're a new mom or dad, buying a car seat for your baby is a Big Deal. When you read and write about fatal car crashes all day long, buying a child safety car seat is an Existential Crisis. But, you'll be glad to know that I survived my quest to find a seat I feel great about putting my toddler in. In the interest of saving you some time and anguish, I will now reveal Accident Data Center's favorite child safety car seat on the market. Now you can have the benefit of research from a highly paranoid safety writer without having to log thousands of incidents of death and loss. Yay?
Four factors were very important when I chose the car seat I'd use for my children:
1. It had to be well-rated by people who are car seat safety experts (we're big fans of The Car Seat Lady here)
2. It needed to accomodate extended rear-facing for toddlers. Like, really, really, really extended rear-facing. (Why? Because rear-facing is FIVE TIMES safer than forward facing).
3. I really wanted to avoid toxic chemicals from flame retardants commonly sprayed on car seat fabric.
4. It had to be cheap.
Before you get too excited, I'm going to tell you that I was not 100% successful in finding my ultimate car seat dream, but three out of four ain't bad. I probably don't have to tell you that #4 was probably hoping for a bit too much. This sucker isn't exactly thrifty, but it was so great in every other way that I didn't mind the hefty price tag. Much. Maybe I can sell it and put the resale money in a college fund. *sigh*
ANYWAY, the car seat I went for was...drumroll please...the Clek Foonf! No, I did not just have a minor seizure. That is actually what it's called. Here's how the Clek Foonf (seriously) stacked up with my above criteria:
1. It's one of the Car Seat Lady's favorite seats and is considered one of the safest ever.
2. It's the leader in extended rear-facing, accomodating kids up to 50 pounds/45 inches (put simply, your kid can rear-face until their 4th birthday).
3. It's free of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants.
4. It's insanely expensive.
OK, so the Clek Foonf costs a couple hundred dollars more than I was hoping to spend, but think about how much you spend on your car! It's a relatively small amount considering that it's the thing that you put in your car to make it so that your baby can go places with you. Plus, the Clek Foonf impressed in several more ways, such as:
5. Once you turn the seat around, it's good for up to 65 pounds!
6. It is made in North American and is fully recyclable (eco-friendly!)
7. It's very, very, very easy to clean.
8. It looks super cool and we get compliments on it all the time.
9. Its trim design means that you can fit three of them side-by-side in the back seat of your car (or it means that you can one, and two people can still sit sans car seat).
10. If you buy an Infant-Thingy insert, it's the only car seat you'll need until your child is ready for a booster.
One thing you should note: the Foonf is HUUUUUGE. You'll really want to measure before going ahead with it, although it fit great in our Volkswagen Jetta, so you're probably fine. If it's too big, Clek makes another model, the Clek Fllo. No, I wasn't gagging. That's what it's called.
I couldn't be happier with the Clek Foonf, and I'm planning to buy one for my second child. Neither I nor Accident Data Center was compensated for this product review, and my opinion is given freely from my heart (but Clek is totally welcome to send me a free one if they want. It'd be cool to have both a car seat and food).