2021 Chicco Fit4 Review *Pic Heavy*
Chicco has a solid reputation for making carseats that are safe, easy to use and exceptionally easy to install. I’m happy to report that they continue this legacy with their newest seat, Chicco Fit4, an All-in-One that’s full of the thoughtful details and ease-of-use features that you’ve come to expect from Chicco!
Fit4 is available at Amazon, BuyBuyBaby, Target, and directly from the Chicco USA website. MSRP is $349.99.
2021 Fit4 Fashions:
There are a total of six Fit4 fashions to choose from but some of them may be exclusive to certain retailers. The review sample that I have is in the “Element” fashion which is currently available at BuyBuyBaby. Amazon carries Onyx, Carina & Stratosphere fashions. Target also carries those fashions plus one called Altitude.
You’re probably wondering what makes Fit4 stand out in a crowded field of All-in-One carseats? For starters, the 4-stage “FitKit” system features a series of inserts that provide optimal fit and comfort for each stage of your child’s growth and development. From infant to toddler to preschooler to big kid, Fit4 offers your child optimal comfort and protection as they grow.
The next major advantage of Fit4 is longevity – this seat is TALL which means more growing room before your kids outgrow it! Last but not least, the SuperCinch force-multiplying system makes it possible for anyone, even an elderly caregiver, to get a rock-solid installation using LATCH.
Chicco Fit4 Specs & Features:
- Rear-Facing: 4-40 lbs., up to 43″ tall
- Forward-Facing: 25-65 lbs.; 54″ or less; at least 1 year old
- Booster: 40-100 lbs., 38-57″, at least 4 years old
- 10-year lifespan before expiration
- “FITKIT” System – a series of inserts that provide optimal fit for each stage
- SuperCinch LATCH tightening system with premium push-on LATCH connectors
- No-rethread harness (10 height positions)
- 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
- 2-position chest clip
- Lockoffs for rear-facing and forward-facing installations with seatbelt
- 9 recline positions
- Liquid bubble level indicator (for RF, FF & Booster mode)
- Harness, chest clip and buckle all store in the shell for booster mode
- Steel-reinforced frame
- Energy-absorbing EPS foam lines the sides and the headwings
- Smooth bottom base with won’t damage vehicle upholstery
- Flexible “CupFolders” are removable and dishwasher safe
- Machine washable fabrics
- QR code that links to instructions for the 4 stages
- Made in China
- MSRP $349.99
Infant: Rear-facing 4-16 lbs.
Toddler: Rear-facing 12-40 lbs. (remove the Stage 1 infant insert)
Preschooler: Forward-facing 25-65 lbs. (remove the Stage 2 inserts which are only for rear-facing)
Big Kid: Booster mode 40-100 lbs. and at least 4 years old (store the harness and the buckle, put the shoulder belt pad on the seatbelt).
- Lowest harness height setting: 6.5″ with Stage 1 insert (measuring is subjective); 8″ without insert
- Tallest harness height setting: 18.5″ – 19″ (depending on how you measure)
- Shoulder belt guide max height (for booster mode): 21″
- Crotch strap positions: 4″, 6″
- Seat pan depth (legroom/thigh support): 14.5″
- Seat width at widest point: 19″
- Weight: 25 lbs.
Installing Fit4 with LATCH:
Fit4 comes out of the box with the LATCH connectors in the rear-facing beltpath and they are visible, not hiding in their latch storage compartment, which is smart. Getting a rock-solid installation with LATCH takes very little effort thanks to the SuperCinch force-multiplying system. Note – when you are tightening the “pull 2nd” latch strap on the SuperCinch side, you can either pull straight up or straight down. I find that in taller vehicles like pickups or large SUVs that it’s easier for me to tighten the latch strap by pulling it straight down. However, in vehicles that are lower to the ground, it’s generally easier for me to pull the strap straight up to tighten it.
Latch Comments: Weight Limits & Other Stuff You Need to Know
Rear-facing – the rear-facing LATCH weight limit is 35 lbs. Once your child reaches 35 lbs., you should install your rear-facing Fit4 with seatbelt using the lockoff.
Forward-facing – you can use the LATCH system in your vehicle (lower anchors and tether) to install the Fit4 forward-facing until your child reaches 40 lbs. If your child weighs between 40-65 lbs., install with the seatbelt using the lockoff. Always use the top tether strap if you have a tether anchor for that seating position.
Center LATCH installations: Fit4 does NOT allow center latch installations with “Non-Standard Spacing” so you can only take advantage of the easy LATCH installations with SuperCinch if you are installing in a dedicated LATCH seating position with standardized spacing (11″).
Moving the LATCH strap from the rear-facing beltpath to the forward-facing beltpath: Open the LATCH storage compartments on the sides of the seat. Make sure both sides of the latch strap are fully lengthened. Shimmy and slide the latch strap into the forward-facing beltpath. Shut the latch storage compartments.
Installing Fit4 with seatbelt:
If you aren’t using the lower LATCH connectors – store them in the little compartments on the sides of the seat.
Rear-facing installation with seatbelt is a little more challenging than using LATCH simply because you have layers of padding on top of your beltpath. Getting your hand underneath all of that and threading the seatbelt through the beltpath isn’t horrible but it takes a little patience. Having small hands definitely helps. Once your seatbelt is buckled, you pull it tight and slide just the shoulder belt portion of the seatbelt into the lockoff. If you are using the lockoff (and you should always use the lockoff if you are installing with a lap/shoulder seatbelt), locking the seatbelt at the retractor is optional. It’s not necessary (as long as you have used the lockoff correctly), but it’s not bad or wrong to lock the seatbelt at the retractor in addition to using the lockoff on Fit4. Note: in the picture below I removed the cupholder so you can see the seatbelt in the rear-facing lockoff better.
Forward-facing installation with seatbelt and tether is relatively easy which is good news because you can’t install Fit4 using the lower LATCH anchors once your kid weighs more than 40 lbs. The lockoffs on Fit4 aren’t really obvious so make sure you understand what and where they are. Again, after sliding the shoulder belt portion of the seatbelt into the lockoff, locking the seatbelt at the retractor is optional.
Fit4 in Booster Mode:
When your child is ready to transition to booster mode, you store the harness, chest clip and buckle under the cover in little cubbies made specifically for this purpose. Next, you can attach the lower LATCH connectors and the tether (this is optional but if you are using the Fit4 in a seating position that has LATCH then you probably should take advantage of this option). Adjust the height of the booster to optimally fit your child, adjust the recline angle to make sure your bubble level is in the right zone for Stage 4, then add the shoulder belt pad to your seatbelt. Easy peasy! Honestly, it’s easy enough that it wouldn’t be a problem to switch back and forth between harness and booster modes if you were using one seat for different kids.
Fit4 installs very similarly to a Chicco NextFit and this is excellent news because the NextFit installs well in almost every vehicle. Fit4 doesn’t take up a lot of room rear-facing as long as you don’t need the maximum recline angle required for stage 1. For older babies and rear-facing toddlers, Fit4 can be installed more upright in the rear-facing position which then creates more legroom for the adult sitting in the front seat.
I did run into some issues installing Fit4 in the center of my Hyundai Tucson with seatbelt, but I can’t blame the carseat for that. The center seating position of that small SUV is very narrow and has a detachable seatbelt that comes from the ceiling. It’s a problematic seating position. However, in the outboard positions of my Tucson, as well as in my minivan, it was all sunshine and rainbows.
I’ve tried multiple children ranging from 14 lbs. to 75 lbs. in the Fit4 and every kid fit beautifully. Even the 4 pound, 17″ preemie doll fit really nicely with the stage 1 insert and the chest clip in the more narrow position.
Preemie Doll – 4 lbs., 17″. Great fit! Pictured with Stage 1 newborn insert.
3-month-old, 14 lbs., 23″. I tried him with and without the stage 1 newborn insert and he definitely fit better without it. Pictured below with just the stage 2 inserts and the chest clip in the more narrow position.
15 months, 22 lbs., 31″ with Stage 2 inserts and chest clip in wider position.
2 years old, 28 lbs., 34″ with Stage 2 inserts
4 years old, 39 lbs., 41” with Stage 2 inserts
6 years old, 37 lbs., 43″ in Stage 3
50 lbs., 48″ tall in Stage 4 – Booster Mode
75 lbs., 55″ tall in Stage 4 Booster Mode
QR Code/Crash Replacement/Inflatable Belts/FAA Approval:
- The QR code label is awesome! Just scan it with your phone and it automatically takes you to a site with info, links to videos and links to the online instruction manual.
- Chicco seats should be replaced after any crash (call customer service if you have questions about your situation)
- Installation with inflatable seatbelts (found in some Ford/Lincoln/Mercedes Benz vehicles) is NOT allowed. Use LATCH if possible or move Fit4 to a different seating position that does not have an inflatable seatbelt.
- FAA-approved for use on a plane with the 5-point harness (you can’t use any booster seat on an airplane). The FAA approval language is shown below (in red) and can be found underneath the seat along with the label that lists the model number, date of manufacture and expiration date.
Fit4 & NextFit Comparison:
Fit4 is obviously taller and has lower sides because it’s designed to be used as a booster, unlike the Chicco NextFit which is just a convertible seat. Other than that, the seats are pretty similar. They are both about the same width and they both install easily in most vehicles.
- Fits a wide range of children very well – from small newborns to big kids in booster mode
- 2-position chest clip provides optimal harness positioning on small babies and big kids alike
- Great seat for extended rear-facing (for kids under 40 lbs.)
- Very tall top harness height setting should get most kids to the point where they are big enough and mature enough to transition to a booster
- Super easy installation with LATCH using SuperCinch
- RF & FF lockoffs for seatbelt installations
- 9 recline positions practically guarantee a perfect recline angle in almost any vehicle
- Easy to tighten and loosen harness straps
- Harness straps are not prone to twisting
- It doesn’t take up a lot of room rear-facing (especially if you don’t need the full recline for a newborn). This makes it a good option for smaller cars and for tall parents who may need to have the front seat all or most of the way back.
- Premium fabrics with extra padding for comfort
- Harness and buckle store in the seat when Fit4 is being used in booster mode
- Can use LATCH in booster mode
- Cover and inserts can be machine washed in cold water (delicate cycle, mild detergent, hang to dry)
- Smooth bottom base won’t damage vehicle upholstery
- Instruction manual is clear and well-written
- QR code links to concise information
(In all fairness these aren’t necessarily problems but I list them here to inform potential consumers of specific Fit4 issues)
- Heavy & bulky
- Due to regulatory LATCH weight limits, you must switch to a seatbelt installation once the child weighs more than 35 lbs. rear-facing or more than 40 lbs. forward-facing (not a big deal since you have lockoffs for easy seatbelt install but not quite as easy as using LATCH with SuperCinch)
- Rear-facing installation with seatbelt is not as easy as a LATCH installation. It’s harder to thread the seatbelt through the beltpath with the Stage 1 & Stage 2 inserts in place. And since Chicco does not allow center LATCH installations with non-standard LATCH spacing, you will likely need to use the seatbelt to install Fit4 in the center seating positions of most vehicles (unless you are lucky enough to have dedicated lower anchors for the center).
All-in-One carseats continue to be an extremely popular choice with parents so I wasn’t surprised when Chicco launched the Fit4. I just crossed my fingers and hoped that the Chicco wizards had worked their usual magic. Thankfully, the wizards did not disappoint and I hope they all get a raise, a new wand, and an extra week of vacation time for their efforts.
For parents who prefer to skip the infant seat but are worried that a convertible won’t be a good fit if their newborn is small or arrives early, Fit4 will offer peace of mind. Even if you are using, or plan to use, an infant seat first and then transition to a convertible once the baby is a little older – the longevity, ease of use, and easy installation features of Fit4 make it a great option.
It’s hard for me to pick my favorite Fit4 features because there are so many things about this seat that are awesome but I do love a seat with a smooth and easy harness adjustment “like buttah” and Fit4 definitely earns that badge. It’s also nice that you have recline options in each stage (as long as you stay within the zone of the angle indicator). Even in booster mode, you are able to have Fit4 reclined a bit as long as you are within the range dictated by the angle indicator. Also, there is one feature that you probably won’t appreciate until you transition from rear-facing to forward-facing. That’s the point where you will shed the Stage 2 inserts that basically cover the entire seat. And when you peel off that layer, you will have a beautiful, clean, like-new seat underneath! If you don’t have kids yet, you might think that’s not a big deal but trust me after a couple of years of use, it’s going to be a significant bonus to have that fresh start with your trusty Fit4. 🙂
We have a video here comparing the Fit4 to the Chicco NextFit Convertible:
For more information on Fit4, check out the official Chicco webpage: https://www.chiccousa.com/fit4/
Thank you to Chicco for generously providing this Fit4 sample for review. The opinions and comments are entirely those of CarseatBlog.
CarseatBlog Experts Rating
Editors’ Pick: Fit4
Can you tell me if the Chicco fit4 is bigger front to back rear facing or the clek foonf?
Trying to find the right seat for a 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Want to make sure the passenger doesn’t have to sit with their knees to their chest.
Hi Christina. I haven’t played with a Fit4 yet unfortunately and Kecia doesn’t have a Foonf to compare the two seats side-by-side. Because of the Foonf’s requirement that it use the anti-rebound bar, it will take up more front-to-back space than the Fllo, which is the same body as the Foonf, but has a different base. The Fllo doesn’t have rigid LATCH for forward-facing and we have comparison charts in both of our reviews: https://carseatblog.com/31754/clek-fllo-convertible-carseat-review-cool-hip-dare-i-say-royal and https://carseatblog.com/25386/clek-foonf-review-modern-style-meets-advanced-safety-features. The Graco Extend2Fit (https://carseatblog.com/37437/graco-extend2fit-convertible-carseat-review-the-shut-up-and-take-my-money-is-here) is a seat that is compact as is the Britax One4Life (https://carseatblog.com/48860/britaxone4lifereview).
What are the crash test reports on this seat? I can’t find that information anywhere.
Hi Nicole, the reason you can’t find anything is that crash test data isn’t public information. All seats sold in the U.S. are required to meet or exceed all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. If they don’t, that would trigger a recall. Just as an FYI – Consumer Reports has its own crash testing program that differs from the federal government safety standards but the CR ratings are only available to subscribers and at this point they haven’t released any info on the Chicco Fit4.
How would you compare the Chicco Fit4 all-in-one to the Britax One4Life? The Chicco Fit4 wasn’t on your list of ones to compare.
Hi Beth, thanks for the reminder to get the measurements uploaded to the comparison tool. I’ll try to get that done in the next few days. Unfortunately, I don’t have a Britax One4Life so I can’t offer any meaningful comparisons but both are great seats and you really can’t go wrong with either one!
You have the Nextfit Zip as recommended and not this one. Would you pick this one over that one? The graco 4ever is the only 4 in one on your recommended list.
Hi Amanda, the Fit4 is too new for us to include it on our Recommended Carseats list. We like to have additional time to have some practical experience with new models and also enough time for feedback from colleagues as well. It is definitely a contender to a future update of our list, as are some other all-in-one models like the Britax One4Life.
I’m considering buying the NextFit Max for the extra (25%) leg room in rear facing position. Does the Fit4 have extra leg room compared to the regular next fit models?
Hi Essie, the interior seat pan depth on the regular NextFit models is 13.5″. Zip Max is 16.5″ and Fit4 is 14.5″. So yes, Fit4 offers more rear-facing legroom than the NextFit Sport or Zip models but Zip Max has the most. HTH!
How does the Fit4 compare to the Britax One4Life? When FF does one allow the child to sit in a more upright position and does one allow more room in the hips than the other?
Thank you for proving the information regarding the Chicco Fit4 car seat. Although, I was noticing that their are a few pictures with the front passenger seat touching the back of the car seat. If you look at the pictures under installation you’ll see the passenger seat very snug up against the car seat this is not recommended by the car seat maker or by any other car seat maker. I also see the car seat position the same way where their is a picture of a two year old child. I own a Chicco NextFitix and I refer to the manual for proper installation and use. I understand this is a different car seat, but I’m sure the installation features apply to the Chicco Fit4 as well. If you are able to move the passenger seat up and away from the car seat that might be a safer and better choice in updated pictures in this blog for consumers.
Hi Melissa, thank you for your comments. First, I would like to address your concern that the rear-facing Fit4 pictured in our review was making contact with the back of the vehicle’s front seat. I realize that the camera angle can make it appear that it’s touching but I assure you that it wasn’t. I will usually position the front vehicle seat close to the rear-facing car seat after installing the seat properly, simply to keep it as “real world” as possible. Also, just FYI – not all car seat manufacturers prohibit light touching of their RF seats. There is no industry consensus on this practice. We have confirmed that Chicco does actually allow their rear-facing seats (KeyFit, Fit2, NextFit & Fit4) to make *light* contact with the front seat after being properly installed. However, this is not stated anywhere in the Chicco manuals or on their website. Therefore, we suggest you call Chicco customer service yourself to confirm this information since we aren’t able to provide you with a direct link to this allowance. For more information on rear-facing carseats making contact with the vehicle front seat, please see our article on this topic: https://carseatblog.com/41237/mythbusters-can-rear-facing-car-seats-touch-front-vehicle-seats/
I compared the Chicco fit4 and the Graco 4ever safety surround side by side for over an hour today and here’s what I found.
The Chicco fit4 when installed rear-facing in stage2 it is very inconvenient to try to slip your thumb or finger through the stage2 insert. I’ve already thought about cutting the hole bigger. I would essentially cut the square out between the two slits in the insert.
Also, the Chicco 2 position chest clip seems very weak and flimsy compared to the Graco. I would want to replace it with something else.
Hope this helps someone that is trying to compare models
Hi Casey, thanks for your feedback! I agree that the slit in the stage two insert above the harness release button could be a bit bigger to allow better access for your thumb. You could probably remove some of the leatherette trim (carefully) to facilitate that. Just keep in mind that the trim fabric around the slit was probably put there to reinforce the opening so the fabric doesn’t start to fray around the edges. As for the 2-position chest clip, I don’t find it to be flimsy but I also know that a chest clip doesn’t provide any crash protection (its purpose is only for pre-crash positioning of the harness) so even if it was flimsy, I wouldn’t sweat it. Definitely do NOT swap it out for another chest clip unless you get specific approval from Chicco Customer Service to do that. HTH!
How are the dimensions on the inside of the seat, is a larger child going to be crowded in the hips and shoulders in it, what about the crotch buckle? How is it compared to the NextFit, myfit or one of their high back booster?
Hi Jenna, I’ve tried multiple children of different sizes in this seat and haven’t run into any issues with fit. The crotch strap/buckle length is generous and it has 2 positions (it’s exactly the same as the crotch strap/buckle on the NextFit). The seat was specifically designed to provide an ideal fit for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and big kids and yet it’s impossible for every seat to fit every child perfectly since kids come in so many shapes and sizes. You can see how Fit4 compares to NextFit in this video here: https://youtu.be/LrLLiORPRo4
Just wondering have you done the fit to child bit yet please, as I want to buy one for the daughter, and wonder how she’s going to fit it.
Hi Trevor, the Fit4 review has been updated to include pictures of various children in the seat. HTH!
Does the cover come off as easy as the zip models?
Hi Genell – the Stage 2 inserts (which basically cover the entire seat) are super easy to remove with a few snaps and throw in the washing machine. The main cover underneath (which will be exposed only once the child is forward-facing) is not as easy to remove but hopefully by the time your child is forward-facing the cover won’t need to be washed as often. HTH!