Ever since the little Man was 8 months old he had outgrown the height capacity for his infant car seat (30 inches). Thus began the hunt for a convertible car seat. If you’ve ever looked for a convertible car seat, or any car seat for that matter, you know the possibilities are endless. We looked online, polled our friends, and went to look at them at stores. The most important feature for us was safety, followed by the little man’s comfort, and of course the price. When I set my eyes on the Foonf, aptly named ‘the mother of all car seats’ by Clek I knew it was different. The more we learned about the Clek Foonf, the more I fell in love. As far as safety standards go, the Foonf blows the competition out of the water, having been tested for impacts in every direction, and passed with flying colors. Aesthetically, the Foonf is modern and streamlined which appeals to both the Mister and myself. We knew we wanted to stay away from anything that was too bulky. But the best part has been the fact that the little Man no longer fusses when we place him in his car seat. This was a huge issue anytime we placed him in his infant car seat, as he isn’t a fan of anything that confines him in one spot. The Foonf’s elevated position and narrow frame allows him unhindered views, which keeps him entertained, and put an end to all the fussing.
- Extended weight – 50 lbs in the rear-facing position, & 65 lbs in the forward-facing position
- REACT safety system – functions like the crumple zone in cars, absorbing the energy of a collision and minimizing the transfer of that energy to your child
- Anti-rebound bar – minimizes whiplash in the rear facing position
- 100% recyclable – I love a product with a small footprint
- Solid construction – the Foonf is built with a steel and magnesium sub-structure frame
Construction: With a steel & magnesium sub frame, the Foonf is one solid and sturdy car seat. It features a headrest with deep side wings, that don’t obstruct the little Man’s view, which attaches to the frame and provides maximum protection in the event of a crash. The foam layers are comfortable and also absorb energy in the event of a crash. The Foonf is the only car seat we saw that features an anti-rebound bar. What’s an anti-rebound bar? It limits movement of the seat, in the rear-facing position, basically preventing whiplash. Overall, you can feel the quality of the Foonf in all its parts; even the plastic parts are solid and not flimsy.
Fit: The Foonf is tall, measuring 28.5 inches in the rear-facing position, and narrow, at its widest point, the Foonf measures 17 inches. You can actually fit 3 Foonfs in the backseat of a car, so transporting 3 babies is no longer a reason to buy a minivan. Anyone with more than one child in a car seat can tell you, backseat space is a rare commodity. My biggest concern with the Foonf when I first saw it was the padding. Being so streamlined and narrow, I couldn’t imagine it being comfortable, especially compared to its wider counterparts. Thankfully this is not the case, Clek managed to manufacture a narrow, safe seat, with all the padding and comforts of its counterparts.
Safety: The Foonf has been tested for forward and rear facing crashes as well as side impact crashes. The REACT Safety System was a huge reason we purchased the Foonf. They managed to recreate the crumple zone technology we adults have in our cars, and apply that to a carseat. In the event of a forward facing crash, the honeycomb structure absorbs the energy, minimizing those forces on your child. In the event of a rear-facing crash, the anti-rebound bar, minimizes the movement of the car seat and your child, protecting their head. In the event of a side impact crash, the deep winged headrest protects the child’s head, while the foam layers both inside and outside the steel frame absorb the energy from the crash. Another benefit of the Foonf is the extended rear facing option that goes up to 4 years or 50 lbs. I can’t guarantee the little Man will let me keep him rear facing for that long but I’ll take what I can get. Finally, for those of you traveling with a car seat, the Foonf is also FAA certified.
Installation: The installation of the Foonf in the rear-facing position with the anti-rebound bar, allows for an easy, tight installation. Our infant car seat always ended up moving slightly after several uses and we’d have to re-install it. As we have an older car, we had to use the seat belt installation method for both forward and rear-facing positions. I am not a fan of the seat belt method, based on previous experiences with our infant car seat, but with the Foonf it was so easy. In the forward facing position, the Foonf does have a rigid latch system that easily and safely secures the seat in place. Once your child is over 35 lbs they recommend using both the latch and the seat belt installation methods.
Fabric: Hello Crypton! I’ll just preface this with the fact that my little Man is a messy drinker (and eater, although we’ve yet to let him eat in his car seat). I cannot tell you how many times I have cleaned spilt milk in his infant car seat. Now that he’s onto sippy cups I’m sure it won’t be that big of a deal, but if he does spill anything, clean-up will be a breeze. Foonf comes in a variety of fabric color options, and most are Crypton. Crypton fabrics offer protection against moisture, odor-causing bacteria, and stains, a no-brainer when it comes to messy toddlers.
The price tag on the Foonf is pretty hefty. With cheaper options out there it was a tough decision for us. The basic model starts at $35o and with fabric choices can be as high as $500. I will say with a 9 year life span (that’s without a crash) the Foonf could be used for multiple children; I chose to think of it as an investment.
Weight – Weighing in at 36 lbs (including the anti-rebound bar), this is not a car seat you’ll want if you have to transfer between cars often, unless you want a good workout.
Assembly is required, and with all those sturdy parts, it requires some elbow grease.
Getting the little Man into the car seat is comparable to doing a little dance. We either go in butt first and adjust, or head first and then twist. We have an SUV and there isn’t that much room from the top of the door frame to the top of the car seat, which requires a little maneuvering to get him into and out of the car seat. If you drive a minivan, I can’t see this being an issue.
All in all, I’m in love with this seat, and so is the little Man. Most importantly I feel confident that in the event of a crash, he’ll be as protected as possible.