I thought I'd finally write about our experiences with our new convertible car seat, the Clek Foonf. We've had it since the middle of December, but with all of our travels, I didn't get a chance to sing its praises (and compare it with other seats) until now.
And compare I did! We've also had a chance to try out the Safety 1st Air Protect, Britax Marathon, and the Cosco Apt 40RF due to all of our recent travels. Sometimes renting a car seat is a great way to "test the waters," or in our case, do some compare and contrast!
Easy In: Admittedly I did not do this, and I didn't even help with it, but Hubbs was able to get 'er done with a minimal of problems, judging from the fact that he returned from installing it without any complaints, and in good time. It was definitely easier for him to adjust and install the Foonf than the other car seats, which I *did* help with and which took us an embarrassingly long time (don't ask how long). I thought maybe with the anti-rebound bar, it would be super hard to put into the back seat of our Honda Accord, but Hubbs tells me it was easy peasy.
New Heights: For whatever reason, all of the other car seats we tried like having babies face the car's upholstery. They all sit super low. The Foonf, however, sits quite high when installed in a rear-facing position; it comes with an additional "base" piece that the seat sits on to be more reclined. What that means for Baby L is that, for the first time, she gets to look outside the window and be stimulated by more than just a view of the leather (and the sky). I love this, because I think it's important for her to be stimulated at least a little when she's on a drive, and having something to see also keeps her more entertained (read: less fussy).
Front Friendly: With other car seats, we found that in order to get the seat into a proper recline position, we'd have to shove the front passenger seatback as close to the front dash as possible; this meant that the front seat was virtually unusable for people of any height. The Foonf looked ginormous when we took it out of the box, but when it was installed, we found that the front passenger seat could remain in its normal position. Of course, we drive a full-sized sedan, but when we had other car seats in a Dodge Charger, VW Passat, and Ford Fusion, we noticed that every single time, the space in the front would have to be compromised for the car seat in the back.
Soft, but Firm: I'm Asian. I like my upholstery firm. Whereas other car seats make cushy soft upholstery, the Foonf has read my heart and designed their seats to be firm, with enough cushioning not to be uncomfy. In fact, I think the Foonf is quite comfy, judging by Baby L's ability to sleep in it, and also her willingness to stay in there for more than 10 minutes at a time without tears. The added bonus of a firmer seat (besides promoting good posture) is that it's easier to clean up when Baby L drops her cookie crumbs all over it.
Strappy Happy: I hate untangling straps, particularly when they get all twisted in the buckle. The Foonf doesn't seem to have this problem, and the chair is designed with magnets on each side so that the buckles can rest there when not in use. As with all car seats, however, it's not always easy to loosen those straps. In the case of the Foonf, instead of pressing down on the button to pull out the shoulder straps, you have to press up. That's a little awkward, but whatevs; it's not a huge issue for me.
Pretty, Sleek: I'm a big sucker for aesthetics. An ugly car seat won't go far with me, just like an ugly guy won't, either ;) The Foonf (ours is in Dragonfly, aka yellowy-green) has some nice clean lines on it, and instead of being all dark and black and gray, it's white plus whatever colour you buy it in, so it looks bright and it also doesn't look busy. The back does look a little space-agey with the metal bars and red levers, but as a whole the seat looks really slick.
|She has done this a few times in the seat. LOVE that she can!|
|Just a random cute pic of my girl, who likes to screech now. WHOOOOOOOO!|
Overall, I'm glad we waited for the Foonf, rather than settle for some other convertible car seat. The safety features alone (REACT Safety System) are worth the price of it, but all of the other perks make this a worthwhile buy. I think what I love most of all about the Foonf is that it is not like any other car seat on the market today, and I am very much drawn to items that are just a little bit different than everything else (story of my life, really). Given that the seat will last until Baby L is 65 pounds (which, at the rate she's growing, won't be for a few more years yet), if I average out the cost over the next many years, it makes the purchase even more justifiable.
Have you Foonf'ed yet? What are your thoughts on convertible car seats?