Happy Monday y’all! We are starting the week off with a review I have been working on for quite some time and one I am super excited to share with you. Maybe it is the nature of having this blog about baby products but I have never been more excited to review a piece of baby gear than the Clek Foonf convertible car seat. Praveen reviewed the previous model of the Clek Foonf and today we are taking an in-depth look at the Clek Foonf 2015 Convertible Car Seat, Tank. Let’s jump right in to the ingenious features of the Foonf.
As with all convertible car seats the Foonf can be used in rear facing and forward facing mode (that is what makes it a convertible car seat). One pretty big difference between he Foonf and other seats on the market is that the seat is used differently in rear vs forward facing mode. It isn’t as simple as just flipping the seat around which is a GOOD thing. Very good thing in our minds. We were so enamored with the outstanding features of the Foonf, we put together a video review demonstrating these features.
To recap, here is what we LOVE about the Foonf:
Incredible safety features. The REACT system is a unique honeycomb like structure embedded in the seat that itself absorbs crash forces not only slowing them down but actually eliminating force felt by your child in the event of a crash. The structural headrest is connected to the seat using steel rods which provides maximum protection in a side impact collision. The headrest as well as seat it self is lined in every possible place with layers of energy absorbing foam. The anti rebound bar used in rear facing mode provides additional stability in the event of a crash, actually limiting rotation of the seat, protecting your little one’s head.
Speaking of rear facing, the Foonf is actually designed for extended rear facing use. Studies have shown children are 5 times safer rear facing vs forward facing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends turning a child no earlier than 2 years old but the Foonf allows you little one to ride rear facing up to 4 years old pending they meet height (43″) and weight limits (50 pounds!). We see people turning their little ones around wayyyy to early. If you are one of those that is worried your child is uncomfortable, our experience has found that the way the Foonf sits in the car allows for extra leg room in rear facing mode. It sits up higher than other seats and our daughter, Margaux at 15 months (90th percentile for height) is very comfortable with ample leg room. She hasn’t always been the happiest camper in car seats but has never been happier in her Foonf.
The rigid LATCH connectors used in forward facing mode are made of metal and are used in place of the nylon LATCH connectors used in rear facing mode. Installation is truly a breeze with these LATCH connectors as they nearly install themselves. They have a handy indicator on top which switches from red (unlocked) to green (locked) when they are locked in place. With the use of the rigid LATCH connectors and top tether the seat hardly moves in forward facing mode creating a safe and secure place for you child to ride up to 65 pounds and 49 inches. The top tether should always be used in forward facing mode and provides additional stability and safety.
It is scary to even have to think about these features ever coming into play in your life but you can tell by touching and feeling the Foonf (it is heavy 32 pounds in forward facing / 36 in rear facing) that all of these features make it an incredibly safe place for your most precious cargo to ride. I will go on about many more features I love about this Clek Foonf but none are more important to me than these incredible safety features.
– Ease of install. The #1 reason children are hurt in a crash? Improper install of car seats, not unsafe seats. I found the Foonf to be very easy to install which is not only appreciated by me on a personal level but also as editor of The Wise Baby, I appreciate it for all you parents out there.
– The fabric is luxe, soft and made of virtually indestructible crypton. I can personally attest to this because the first day Eloise rode in her seat she had a blow out (the girl has maybe had one other blow out in her LIFE!). Any mess was super easy to clean from the seat and it is as good as new. Not to mention, the Foonf comes in fun but “classy” colors. Both my girls love their pink seats. Major bonus is the fabric is Greenguard certified.
– Size. While the Foonf is very heavy, at its widest point is only about 17 inches allowing for three across installation. Or just ample room for other passengers.
– Comfort. As mentioned, we now have two of the seats and have been using them in both rear and forward facing mode for a couple months. Both of our girls are very comfortable with no fussing when getting in the seat (this is huge because Margaux used to have total meltdowns riding in the car). Parents, you can attest to the miracle of the latter, right? I wish I could pinpoint exactly what it is that makes it so comfortable for them but I think it is a combination of soft, supportive fabrics, comfortable recline positions and just the general way the Foonf sits in the car. I mentioned before it sits up higher than others on the market giving them a great view out the window. I read many other reviews online and the comfort was a common theme among other parents’ praise.
As far as negative points, as I mentioned in the video review, there really aren’t many. It is expensive. Retailing for around $450, it is an investment. But with the long useful life and incredible safety features, it is an investment our family felt worthy of making. The seat is heavy making it less than ideal for air travel although the width (17 inches) does allow it to fit nicely in an airplane sit. Lastly, when used in rear facing mode, in the furthest recline position it can take up quite a bit of room (33 inches) so may not work in that exact mode in smaller type cars. We suggest always measuring before purchasing an car seat.
All in all though, the minor negatives outweigh the incredible positives for us. If you are in the market for a convertible car seat, the Clek Foonf deserves some serious consideration.
What convertible car seat are you considering? If you’re having trouble starting, check out our how to choose a convertible car seat post but be on the look out for the latest and greatest in convertible car seats coming up next week!