To Foonf or not to Foonf: Clek makes a kick ass seat!

This is probably the most requested review of all times. And for a good reason.

Clek’s Foonf has been the most hyped and anticipated release of a juvenile product in 2012 and 2013.

I cannot tell you how excited and honored I am to be one of the bloggers to be able to try it out and give you guys my opinion.

As my long time readers already know, our car seat experience has been “interesting”, to say the least. If you’re interested in reading our story of the first few months of constant car screams and our solution, read this post.

To be completely honest, while I was absolutely psyched about trying out Clek’s Foonf, I just couldn’t see how there could be a car seat that would be significant better than our trusty Maxi Cosi.

And it took me a good few months to truly appreciate what sets Foonf apart from all other car seats.

I could spend hours writing about the technical specs of Foonf, talking about the unparalleled safety and the technology behind the seat. It is truly one of a kind convertible seat that can arguably be called “BEST FOR BABY” without being melodramatic.

FOONF

You can read all the features of the seat on Clek’s website:

  • dive into the revolutionary REACT safety system that mimics the crumple zones of cars to reduce the collision forces,
  • find out about an easy FF* installation,
  • the extended rear facing installation up to 4 years of age (that’s for all of you, car seat safety geeks)
  • the steel and magnesium reinforced sub structure
  • the cool anti-rebound bar that improves stability
  • their recycle program (the seat is 100% recyclable)
  • you can even read about the testing that it had to undergo and how the results are WELL below the Federal Limit
  • that it goes up to 50lbs in RF* and 65 lb in FF*

And I will actually touch on a few of these in this post, but the point is that anyone can go and read the specs and discover that this seat is amazing, but what I want my review to be is about HOW it lives up to the hype in real life and use.

So after you have studied the specs and the features of the Foonf here, you can read about what, in my opinion, really makes it special. A hands-on feature, if you will.

Before I go into the PLUSES and MINUSES of the seat and how it compares to our old Maxi Cosi ( the convertible seat we had before Clek) let me say this:

I didn’t fall in love with the seat immediately once we installed it,  it was over weeks of use that I learned to appreciate the genius behind Foonf.

{note: these are my personal thoughts and notes, some other people’s experience might be better or worse or different than mine}

THE GOOD:

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QUALITY OF CONSTRUCTION: If there is one thing that you notice right away after unpacking Foonf is the quality put into every single part of the car seat. The seat is just SO solid, “big and strong”, the plastic parts are not flimsy and the steel frame commands attention. It weighs a heck of a lot and is incredibly tall. It is the kind of seat that you are confident your baby will be safe in. The only way I can give you an idea of what it looks/feels like  is  if you imagine those old wooden roller coasters and how it feels to ride them and the brand new steel coasters that harness you in so tight that you can’t move a muscle. Clek is the steel roller coaster  You have no doubt about its safety, the  construction of the seat or how well it’d held up in an accident. When installed, it towers over the other seats and looks like nothing can get it to move an inch. This is SUCH a selling point for me. When I look at other seats, they looks like plastic toy seats in comparison..

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ANTI-REBOUND BAR: This thing makes the installation in RF so tight and unmovable that I have no doubt that in case of a car crash the seat wouldn’t move an inch. Installed with a seat belt method in the side backseat, it is so stable due to the anti-rebound bar that I have never felt so safe putting Lexi in the car. That same anti-rebound bar requires a lot of strength to install it, but it’s well worth it. The middle seat is not as steel-tight as the side seat, but it’s still tighter than our previous seats.

SEAT BELT INSTALL:  I loved how absolutely tight the seat belt install was. I was always terrified of installing a car seat with the seat belts  because it seemed so… unsafe. We have LATCH, we should use it, I thought. But since installing it in the middle seat (it’s 40% safer there) means we cannot use LATCH, we had to go with the seat belt install. I was surprised at how tight the install was. We also tried it in a side seat with seat belt install and it can’t be moved a tenth of an inch there.

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EXTENDED RF: I personally do not know how long we will be rear facing. The current recommendation is 2 years of age or when the child has outgrown the limits for the seat, however the longer you rear face them, the safer they are in a car crash. I definitely want to RF till 2 or longer, that’s no question, but I also know how unpredictable babies can be and that Lexi might something else in mind. If I had to guess, whether she was going to be in a RF position longer than 2, my answer would have been very different before we had the Clek seat. Why? Read in the next paragraph

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HEIGHT: By far, my favorite feature of Foonf when it comes to Lexi’s comfort.

As you know, she isn’t a fan of car seats, or anything that requires her to sit still and be strapped into. It’s been an issue we’ve managed since day 1.

Switching to a Maxi Cosi seat made her a much happier car baby, until she started walking supported. That’s where we started having newborn flashbacks of screams and cries in the car seats. She started refusing carriers, strollers and hated riding in the car. I figured it would eventually pass but boy was I unhappy about it. She was fine as long as she was entertained, but when I am the only one driving, she can only be entertained by books and soft toys for a few minutes at a time and it takes at least 15-20 minutes for us to get anywhere in town.

To make a long story short, switching to Clek stopped her boredom. How? THE HEIGHT!

The seat sits at almost double the height of our Maxi Cosi. She was bored out of her mind, surrounded by car upholstery and all of a sudden, she was lifted up and could look out of the side and most importantly back window. Voila! The cries stopped. She still doesn’t like being in a car seat for too long, and it took some time for her to get to terms with being stuck in one after she started walking, but the change was unmistakable  You should have seen her mesmerized by the cars and the lights and the landscape she was seeing. For the first time in a long while she was suddenly content to just stare out of the window.

This height is what I hope will ensure that we keep Alexis RF for a while. Being able to look around should keep her happy with the RF position till she is at least 2 years old or maybe more.

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COMFORT and FABRIC: These two features of Clek had to grow on me. Picking out our first convertible seat, I put a big emphasis on comfort, padding and the seat fabric. I knew Alexis was incredibly uncomfortable in her infant seat partially due to those three things, so the key was to get a seat that is the least irritating. Maxi Cosi has that part down pat  with nice padding, cool and soft fabric of the seat. When I first got the Foonf, I was a bit turned off by the fabric, it felt…scratchy, compared to Maxi Cosi. ( you’re probably wondering why this is in the PLUSES category. Hang in there!). The padding seemed minimal and the seat felt hard.

Fast forward to now: I LOVE the seat and the fabric. Aside from the fact that Alexis doesn’t display signs of being one bit less comfortable in the seat, I have learned to appreciate the genius of Crypton Super Fabrics.

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First off, Alexis is a messy eater. She is a normal one year old who drops her beans and peas and broccoli while eating them in the seat. She squeezes her puree pouches a bit too much. All that results in one dirty stained seat. Besides the fact that the fabric of the seat repeals water, it’s crazy easy to clean. A wet paper towel is all I needed to clean up days old puree and stains of the seat. It’s almost magical, like you keep looking at where the spot was trying to figure out where it went.

Despite  minimal padding the seat feels solid and sturdy and comfortable, at least the way it looks to me and based on how Alexis acts. I haven’t actually sat in it myself. It’s sort of how luxury fancy armchairs feel- taut fabric that makes the padding underneath feel harder than it really is.

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TOXICITY: I hate hate hate the fact that car seats get drenched in fire retardants. Babies are “encapsulated” in those seats as it is, and then to pummel them with Bromine fumes… Yuck! Clek’s fabric is GreenGuard certified. To my knowledge that is the only car seat that has such certification.

WEIGHT/HEIGHT LIMIT: Having a girl who has consistently been off the charts (over 100%) in height and recently got back in the chart at 95% in weight, car seat weight/height limits get reached sooner than one would expect. With a seat that has ridiculously high weight and height limits for both rear facing (43 inches and 50 lbs) and forward facing positions (49 inches and 65 lbs) ensures that Foonf is the only seat she will need and that she will stay safe for the longest time possible.

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 THIS: {Slow motion capture of Foonf side-impact collision testing} Notice how the head cushion barely moves!

AESTHETICS: Looks, colors and dimensions. Aside from it being the coolest looking seat I’ve seen in best colors I’ve seen, it’s so THIN that you can fit 3 of them in a row. Families with 3 children: Say goodbye to minivans!

 

 

THE IFFY

ASSEMBLY: The seat has to be assembled before it is installed. I didn’t assemble it myself but I watched my husband “work” on it. He cussed a few times and had to follow the instructions closely but all was done within 2 hours, I believe. The installation took less time. In fact, he now easily installs and re-installs the seat at will. You have to have the strength to install it properly, to get the anti-rebound bar and the seat tight with the seat belt option. But I guess it’s no different than any other seat in that aspect.

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STRAP MAGNETS: I was VERY excited about this feature. It was so annoying to have car seat straps always fall behind Alexis when trying to get her into the seat. Unfortunately, I do not find that the magnets are strong enough to make a difference. Usually, I am always running late somewhere and don’t have the time to pull them out and stick them to the magnets before I get Lexi into a seat. That might be different for someone else, but for us, they are useless.

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SEAT PADDING: Like I said before, the padding is minimal and while I was concerned with it at first, after using it for some time, I’ve definitely gotten to appreciate the feel of the Foonf and Alexis doesn’t seem to mind. But I am just including it in the IFFY, because some people might have an issue with that ( like with anything else).

THE BAD

WEIGHT: This seat is HEAVY! I know it is rated for airplane use, but I can’t imagine dragging it to the airport. Yikes!

CROTCH STRAP AND SHOULDER PADS: Lexi is big and the crotch strap on the furthest setting ( 2 settings total) is right up her you-know-what. Luckily, the pad that comes with it keeps her comfortable, but I am hoping that she doesn’t expand down there to the point where she outgrows the strap. Shoulder pads are a joke, they are small and irritating. Very minor things, but I felt I needed to mention them.

foonf

 

SUMMARY

I’ve gone through all 4 stages of the typical review process with this seat, beginning with the excitement and awe  and minor research upon its release, initial scrutiny during its use, slowly building love for its features, its looks and its feel and finally utter respect upon doing further research about all the safety aspects for this review.

As advertised, it is truly one of a kind seat on the market that has your baby’s safety in mind beyond anything else.

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I feel that I have mentioned everything I could in the review, except for one thing.

THE PRICE.

The price is steep compared to some other seats ($499 direct, $399 on Amazon), however it is well justified when considering the SOLID steel construction, the size, the quality of materials going into the seat and the safety features. Those are not the things to scrimp on in a car seat.

With every review that I write, I ask myself:  “Self, knowing what you know and having tried this already, if you had to actually purchase this item rather than get it for review, would you do it? Would you pay the money?” In this case, the answer is an unequivocal yes!

Before I had tried the seat, I might have justified buying something cheaper, because I simply would not know what I’d be missing. But at this point, yes, I would most definitely drop $400 on this seat if I had to. In fact, if we ever do have another kid, I know just the car seat to buy.

What I would recommend in terms of pricing is that when you’re looking at purchasing a convertible seat for your baby, take into account your baby’s percentile, your baby temperament and the alternative seat you would buy. See how far off it is price wise from the cheapest Clek Foonf in Drift (without the Krypton fabric or magnets) priced at $349 on Amazon right now. The price difference could be so little in the end that it would make sense to invest into the  safety of your baby. If you have a baby that hates car seats, the high profile of Clek’s Foonf might really help you out there.  It’s all about balance and what’s important to your family. Consider asking your family members to send you amazon gift cards to offset the cost of the seat if you have a birthday coming up. I think you can definitely find ways to make the cost of the Foonf manageable, if you want the  seat for your child.

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And finally (because I know I will get asked this question), if Foonf is just out of your price range or you need a seat to take your baby from birth and beyond, Maxi Cosi’s Pria 70 is still a great alternative that, while it doesn’t offer the same safety features and quality of construction, is still an excellent convertible seat from the comfort standpoint.

Notes:

*FF- forward facing
*RF – rear facing

Foonf is not suitable for newborns. This is a convertible seat that is used AFTER your baby outgrows her infant seat or can at least sit up and fits Foonf’s requirement weight and height wise. (Please see Clek’s website for those requirements)

We’ve had Clek seat installed in both side seats and middle seat using seat belts. The car we use it in is Mercedes ML350 SUV.

This review is COMPLETELY unbiased and based on months of use. I am not a car tech or certified in any way to be giving car seat installation advice, so please do your own due diligence and remember that this is purely my opinion based on the information and knowledge I possessed at the time of writing.

The Foonf was sent to The Art of Making a baby for review, no monetary compensation has been received in exchange for this write up, all opinions are purely our own.

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81 Comments

  • Reply
    Melody
    May 16, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Hey just so you know seat belt and latch are equally as safe. When used properly neither is safer. And since latch has a weight limit I find I like seat belt more as I don’t have to worry when he’s getting close.

    Also I WISH the foonf rf to 50lbs in Canada. Ours is only 40lbs. Dram eh since my son is also huge and I would like the extra weight. Oh well we have the diono radian rxt and it gets us to 45lbs

    Cool seat and if I had another right now I would consider this one

  • Reply
    Tarynkay
    May 16, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    It’s certainly very cool looking. And it does look easy to clean, though you surprised me with Alexis eating beans and broccoli and squeezy pouches back there!

    You must have very tall seats in your car though. We just have a plain old Britax convertible seat and our son can see out the back window just fine. We drive a VW Golf, so probably that has something to do with it. We are keeping him rear facing till age two. But I am really excited to get to turn the seat around b.c having it rear facing means that the passenger seat has to be pushed all of the way forward, which is not very comfortable for the passenger.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      Yeah our seats are very tall. For example, you almost would not see our Maxi Cosi from the back in the picture where you can see Alexis.

      What do you mean by “you surprised me with Alexis eating beans and broccoli and squeezy pouches back there!”? 🙂

      • Reply
        Alyssa
        May 16, 2013 at 11:32 PM

        I think she was surprised because those could be messy to eat. I thought the same thing, especially cause beans can be pretty small! 🙂

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          May 17, 2013 at 9:14 AM

          They are messy to eat but we don’t give her puffs or anything of that sort so her snacks are usually vegetables and fruits which are all messy to eat.

  • Reply
    Krista
    May 16, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Just curious if Lexi’s diaper is part of the reason the seat belt clip is all up in her grill. I only ask bc we had to return a stroller for the same reason. It was too tight in the crotch/ the crotch strap was way to short for her. My daughter is very tall (she’s 2.5) as well and I’m interested in this seat. She’s potty trained now though & sometimes the lack of diaper does make a difference.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      I am sure that is a part of it. Anything in that crotch area that has padding will leave less room. Plus Lexi’s thighs are still pretty chubby. Clek told me they are working on it. I don’t think it’s an issue as long as Lexi doesn’t suddenly expand outwards but continues growing vertically instead. It’s fine now and you can tilt the crotch strap away from her to allow for more room.
      The seat is definitely made for bigger babies, I am not sure why they only had two crotch strap settings.

  • Reply
    Mrs Loquacious
    May 16, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    We love our Foonf so much that we bought a second one for my in-laws’ place! We got the Dragonfly for our own use, and the spare one is in the Hawk Julius colour to match my in-law’s vehicles.

    The fabric has also grown on me, especially since Little L has been squeezing her Squooshis all over the seat. I just use baby wipes and it gets the stains out. I even got out a three-day-old chocolate stain without any effort!

    We haven’t tried middle-seat-install at this point, mostly because I’m concerned that it reduces the space for me to sit in the back with her. Do you have a bench or bucket seats in your SUV? Ours is an Accord and even though it’s a beast of a car (2008 model), I still find the Foonf quite space-consuming.

    Agree with this post totally. I cannot stop telling people about the Foonf. It’s too bad that the price point is so high; I cringe when I hear of parents buying a cheaper (less safe?) car seat because the Foonf is so costly.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Not sure what bench/bucket seat is 🙂 Lol. We have two side seats and then a smaller seat in the middle that also pulls down into a cup holder separator thingy, that’s probably what you’re talking about. When she’s in the middle, I actually get to sit in a normal side seat with her which is more comfortable and safer for her. Right now we still have it installed in the sideseat since we haven’t had the chance to move it after we had to install Maxi Cosi alongside with it.

      I am glad that Foonfs price went down and you can get it almost at the affordable price point of $399. I definitely think $399 is reasonable for the quality of the seat.

    • Reply
      Melody
      May 16, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      Every carseat has to pass the same safety standards. There is no way to know the more expensive seat performs better than a cheap one. For all we know the $40 seat at Walmart is safer. A high price is just more bells and whistles and extra padding. Please don’t state false claims about a cheaper seat being less safe, as that is 100% untrue. That comes from MANY carseat techs.

      • Reply
        Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
        May 16, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        I agree with what you’re saying Melody, but I think she was referring to the fact that Clek has some revolutionary safety features (similar to crumple zones) as well a sturdier construction. Not all car seats are the same, and they are not made the same, there is just no way to know which is safer because they don’t release that information (which I think is an oversight because parents like to be informed)

        • Reply
          Melody
          May 16, 2013 at 3:24 PM

          Ya and believe me I have a diono radian rxt so I did buy an expensive seat but it was because my son is tall and heavy and I needed to extra rf weight.
          I just don’t like when parents make bold statements that arent backed by anything, since yes the safety standards aren’t released (I agree they should be but there are soo many little details that 99% of parents wouldn’t understand. There has been a massive talk about this in the car seat tech world). I don’t want moms and dads feeling bad and that their child is unsafe in a carseat that didn’t cost $400. The clek is an amazing seat and seriously would consider it next time but is it safer? That we will never know.

          The SAFEST seat is one used correctly, installed correctly and fits the child.

      • Reply
        Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
        May 16, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Oh and one more thing, while sometimes it’s true that “A high price is just more bells and whistles and extra padding”, I can tell you this is DEFINITELY NOT the case. It has very minimal features that don’t pertain to the car seats safety and those features don’t cost that much. What costs a lot, i bet, is the workmanship, the materials and the technology behind it.

      • Reply
        Mrs Loquacious
        May 16, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        http://wemakeitsafer.com/mproductsearch.php?cst=Carseats-Child-Seats-Recalls

        Despite meeting minimum safety standards, obviously not all car seats are equal or equally safe. I dare say that one usually does get what one pays for.

        Having used several other convertible car seats from rental companies in the past year, I really don’t think there is any way to compare the Foonf with these other seats. The Foonf is sturdy and built like a tank relative to other seats, and once installed it is not moveable. Other ones I’ve tried do budge at least a little. But unless you’ve tried a Foonf, it is hard to conceive of its heft and sturdiness.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          May 16, 2013 at 11:23 PM

          I think that last sentence “But unless you’ve tried a Foonf, it is hard to conceive of its heft and sturdiness” sums up all of it.
          I do not think it is possible to judge from the pictures how impressively sturdy the seat is. Whether that equates to being actually safer- I don’t know. But it definitely “FEELS” safer because of the construction.

      • Reply
        Dave
        November 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM

        Emily you are right that all car seats have to pass the same tests and that the only tester published result is a pass/fail. But you could not be more wrong when you claim that means all car seats perform the same.

        Let’s take the example of academic test results in school. Any letter grade from D on up is a pass. Now let’s say the school board only releases pass/fail results publicly. In school number one, everybody actually received a D grade. In school number 2 everybody actually received an A+ grade on the same tests. Just because the school board only publishes pass/fail results does NOT mean that the performance of students at both schools was the “same”.

        One has to wonder why full results of official car seat tests are not published. Perhaps due to pressure from the very limited number of car seat manufacturers. If they can all ensure a pass/fail system, then they can all build cheaper, inferior “D grade” seats that just barely pass. Why build an “A grade” car seat that passes with flying colors when a car seat that just BARELY passes gets the same pass rating as a more expensive, vastly better designed and built car seat?

        Clek is to be highly commended for NOT limiting actual car seat quality to the lowest common denominator.

        Check their website. They are the ONLY manufacturer I know of that publishes relative results of their crash tests. Their seats EXCEED minimum pass safety standards by 40 to 60% based on category. That is HUGE !!!!

        They also publish videos of their own side impact crash testing.

        Really makes you wonder why other car seat manufacturers do no do this. Which manufacturer should you trust to actually have the best interests of your child in mind, One that stands behind their product by providing actual test numerics or one that builds the most dangerously unsafe seats allowed by law, and yet claims their seats perform as well as any other, due to the “pass/fail” system?

      • Reply
        LeighAnn
        February 23, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        All food sold in the US has to pass the same standards as well. That definitely does not mean that all foods sold in the grocery stores are equally “safe”. The minimum standard for a car seat to “pass” and be marketed isn’t good enough for my child.. and I would assume that most parents feel the same way. Watch different crash tests. Not all seats are created equal in the safety department.

  • Reply
    April
    May 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    I would guess because it’s not generally recommended that you allow babies to eat in their car seats. If they choke you cannot always get to them fast enough. I was surprised to see that too!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      Actually that is not why Taryn was surprised, but either way I cannot imagine anyone giving their 1 year old food they can choke on without someone being in the seat next to them. Even food they can’t choke on. I am always right there with her when she eats. 🙂

  • Reply
    April
    May 16, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Relieved to hear that! 🙂

  • Reply
    Stef
    May 16, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    When/why did Lexi start using a pacifier?

  • Reply
    Lauren
    May 16, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Excellent review…I really appreciate your honesty and sense of humor!! I am going to force my hubby to read it as we (meaning I) research car seat options for #2.

  • Reply
    Irina
    May 16, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    I did cringe a little at the commenter that states that the parents are buying cheaper seats that are somehow less safe… I think that even the reduced price of $399 is very high. This price puts it out of range for many parents. I, for one, am very happy with our $189 Priya (your other car seat) and according to consumer report it has a very good safety record. At the time I was buying the seat, Foonf was not available or had just come out and was way expensive. It looks like the “modern” approach to the car seat engineering and I hope that this technology/approach eventually becomes more affordable. I am also curious if such a high car seat is obstructing the view of the driver. I happen to be somewhat vertically challenged, so a towering car seat in the back of my car will likely limit my view of the road… You are tall, so this probably not even a consideration 🙂 tho…

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      Honestly, Pria is an awesome seat! I think back when we both got it, Foonf wasn’t out yet, they were only talking about it.
      But I gotta tell you, there’s a marked difference in quality of construction ( and there better be with that price difference).
      I do hope that Clek manages to somehow make the seat more affordable, kind of like they did with their Drift model at $349, maybe get rid off all the bells and whistles and leave just the structural integrity. I am sure as time goes buy, it will go down in price.

      As far as the height, like someone pointed out we have particularly high seats, but we are also tall. I haven’t noticed any issues and you can raise the seat in most/some cars. I really cannot advise you on that one, sorry 🙁

  • Reply
    Lola
    May 16, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Do you ver wonder if you are inhibiting Lexi’s own self soothing skills if you are right beside her, all day, every day, for every single thing? Which means you are jumping in and doing rather than letting her discover on her own. Just curious to your view.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      Good question and the answer is no. I have done enough reading to be absolutely confident in the way I parent Alexis ( and I continue to educated myself on all aspects of child development as she grows).
      Being close to her does not equate to doing everything for her or jumping in. She is a very independent and opinionated girl when it comes to how things should be done when it comes to her, so I wouldn’t exactly get a chance to do them for her even if I tried.
      Self soothing and independence come with time and based on security and trust that children receive from their parent WHEN they are ready, not by forcing them and leaving them alone to figure the world out for themselves.

      She is perfectly fine making mistakes and exploring under my watchful eye when I can be there to watch.

      • Reply
        Michelle
        May 28, 2013 at 11:09 PM

        I don’t think there is such a thing as too much love for
        Your child or spending too much time with them. Once they get into kindergarten that attachment to you will iron itself out as they become more into school, friends and activities. When my son was a year I stayed home with Him until he was 2 and finally when back to work once I felt comfortable to put him In daycare. My beliefs are children should spend as much time with parents as possible and bond, at lexi’s age she is fine and if you set up play dates, she will social fine and still learn skills from other kids.

  • Reply
    Julia
    May 17, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    I love your answer to this. Attachment does not equal dependence & you sited the differences perfectly.

    I was curious, you mentioned in the post you linked above (“interesting car experience”) that you considered a diono radian seat. From the research you did on it, is there anything about it that sticks out to you that is better than the foonf & anything that is worse? If you remember, of course, as I realize that post is from quite a while ago. Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 17, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Julia, without having tried a Diono seat I can’t really tell you. I very much doubt there’s a seat out there that would be comparable to Foonf’s construction (it’s really that impressive). I do remember that Diono doesn’t do fire retardants on their seats but I can’t for the life of me remember any safety aspect, just that it was one of my top choices before Foonf.

  • Reply
    Mrs Loquacious
    May 17, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    Uh… Can’t “reply” to the comment directly on my phone ..
    @Irina – I am only 5’2″ and I haven’t had any visibility issues with the Foonf in my ’08 Accord, although ours is currently installed in the LATCH on the passenger side. Not sure what it would be like if it was installed in the middle seat though.

  • Reply
    Kath
    May 17, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    So glad you posted this!! We’re still debating between the seats. If the price were the same, I’d get the Foonf in a heartbeat. But I think your review sold me on it.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 17, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      I think if one can afford it, then there’s no question which seat to get. It only becomes complicated when money is a bit tight.

      • Reply
        Kath
        May 18, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        Going to get it!

  • Reply
    Irina
    May 17, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    thanks, good to know!

  • Reply
    Julia
    May 17, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Weird, I can’t seem to reply to my comment above^ but thanks for responding.

    I was also wondering if you would consider writing a post on your approach to teaching Alexis two languages. Or just your experience so far since at this age there isn’t really a lot of teaching going on.

    Since my daughter is the same age & we also speak Russian & English in our home, I am very curious about your experience & your plans for the next year or so. Mostly about whether you are focusing on one language or both at the same time, but really anything you could share here or in a post would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 17, 2013 at 10:30 PM

      Yes, I’ll add it to my list of posts to write. Honestly, I am totally winging it. I read a bunch of book on bilingual upbrining but aside from listing a few methods ( we’re using OPOL), it doesn’t have anything other than encouragement, benefits and what to expect. Maybe I need to re-read those materials to see if I am forgetting things.

  • Reply
    Julia
    May 17, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Same with us, though sometimes I find myself slipping into English for the benefit of my husband. Teaching reading & writing concerns me as the languages have such different rules but there is still some time to figure that out. Anyway, I’ll be looking out for the post, thank you.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 18, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      Yes I do that all the time and am very unsure about how to handle it otherwise.
      I want my husband to participate in conversations.

  • Reply
    Irina
    May 18, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    for some reason I can not “reply” to a comment…

    Anyway, we are multi-lingual household as well. I speak exclusively Russian to my child, my husbands speaks to her only in Portuguese, and she is exposed to English at daycare. Children are perfectly capable of figuring out who speaks what language and are smart enough to learn. One language is going to be dominant, as in our case it will be English, because that is where she spends the most time (sadly, but we gotta work, so such is life). She understands everything I say in Russian and is learning a lot of Russian words (she is not forming sentences yet, as she is only 17 mo), she understands English and knows a lot to English words and forms very few basic sentences like “no, stop it” or “help me” or “this is ….” that she learned/memorized in the daycare. As my husband is home less, her Portuguese exposure is the least prevalent, however, she understands what he says and can follow simple instructions and repeats words back to him. When they interact, she does try to “speak” back to him in Portuguese. She is not yet “talking” in the traditional sense of the word, of course, but she is expanding her vocabulary with words from all languages consistently and is trying to use the appropriate language with the appropriate person. It is imperative to be consistent with communicating with the child, if we are together with her, I never reply in English and neither does my husband, although me and him communicate in English among ourselves (I do not speak Portuguese and he does not speak Russian). We never address her in English, and always translate all she tries to say to us in English into our respective languages when replying. It is now a second nature, although it was a little tough at first, I actually catch myself addressing other kids in Russian, as I am now conditioned 🙂 I am not a practicing linguist (ironically, I am a graduate of what is called the linguistic university, but never educated myself on childhood language learning beyond that), but I am convinced that consistency is the KEY to multi-language learning at the young age. All my friends who consistently practiced this, ended up having children who speak multiple languages. Now, literacy is a completely different area, I think that I would need to enroll my children in some kind of organized learning (like Russian school on weekends, etc) and supplement at home. It is all possible, but it does take a lot of dedication. Good luck with your language teaching/learning with your babies!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 18, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      I wish my husband spoke another language. I always wanted Lexi to learn three languages with OPOL plus English method.
      Sounds like you’re doing exactly what we are, plus one language.
      I love that she’s learning at least two. I wonder if I ever get around to teach Spanish as a foreign language to her.

  • Reply
    Julia
    May 18, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Irina, thanks for sharing that, that actually gives me some direction. I think I really need to start just maintaining the Russian 100% of the time with my daughter & translate for husband. I see her getting a bit confused sometimes, like she is thinking about what I am going to say in russian but then I say it in English & she has no idea what just happened.

    Elena, why not? I’m considering a French tutor for my daughter if we homeschool & French-immersion school if we don’t. Surely you have something similar to increase her exposure to the language.

    Ack, all this language talk is making me so excited for these little babies! So many possibilities will be open to them 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 19, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      I hadn’t thought about actually getting a tutor or sending to a School. The initial plan was to speak spanish with her on the weekends, but it’s proofing to be a little too hard. So I guess once she’s a bit older (pre-school) I’ll try doing spanish as a second language, and hopefully french as a third ( or technically 4th)

  • Reply
    Corinne
    May 23, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    @Mrs.Loquacious:
    We have the Evenflo Triumph 65 and love it! It was $170 and the reviews (both safety and consumer) are amazing. Not everyone can afford $400+ for a carseat but they shouldn’t be made to feel less concerned with their child’s safety because of it. There are plenty of seats out there that have terrific safety features and are very reasonably priced. If you can afford the higher price of the Foonf, that’s fantastic! But if you need to buy a less expensive (NOT necessarily less safe) seat, then find the one that works for your family and budget and just make sure it’s installed properly. But don’t make parents feel like they’re not doing right by their child for not buying the more expensive Foonf.

    • Reply
      Mrs Loquacious
      May 24, 2013 at 11:46 PM

      LOL. I’m wondering where I said that all other non-Foonf car seats are unsafe? Or that parents should feel bad about their carseats? Cuz, y’know, I didn’t. What I said was that it was too bad the Foonf is so pricey because there are some other ones out there, like the ones we rented before, that were definitely flimsier and less safe-feeling! And the heft of the Foonf plus its safety features make it a superior product to others out there. Superior to all other car seats? Maybe, maybe not; that’s a matter of opinion (and we are all entitled to ours, even if they are on opposite ends of the spectrum). And IMHO, the Foonf is definitely superior to the crappy ones I’ve used in the past. Safer, too.

      Seriously, it amazes me how some people apply their own baggage into the interpretation of my comments. If you love your car seat, good on you. My comments shouldn’t make a difference to your consumer confidence in the product. And you shouldn’t feel bad about buying the one you did. But if my opinion makes your panties knot up or go on the defensive, then perhaps I’ve hit a nerve because you do lack confidence in your purchasing decision. That’s not my issue to work through; it’s yours. 🙂

      I don’t apologize for my opinions on the Foonf vs other carseats, and to read into my comments beyond what is stated is your business. I can’t make anyone feel bad any more than I can make it rain outside. *shrug*

  • Reply
    Rachel
    May 24, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Question, in the picture under the Seat Belt Install line, it looks like there are small tears or rips in the fabric. Are these purposeful slots for something or actual rips? I am just curious as to the quality of the fabric as I would expect a $400 seat to have sturdy fabric. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 24, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      The fabric is very sturdy. They are def. not rips because they are stitched around but I have no clue what they are for. Will have to find out.

      • Reply
        Elizabeth Gaudette
        January 27, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        Idk whether or not you found out but the holes are for the cup holder 🙂

  • Reply
    Mrs Loquacious
    May 24, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    They look like button holes to me. Maybe there is/will be some attachment that is affixed via buttons? I

  • Reply
    Corinne
    May 25, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    **; I cringe when I hear of parents buying a cheaper (less safe?) car seat because the Foonf is so costly.

    This is the comment I’m responding to. All im saying is cheaper does not equal less safe. I am completely confident in the safety of the seat we bought for our daughter. And you’re right, everyone is entitled to their opinions. (I also didn’t say “if it’s not Foonf it’s not safe”, just that the lower price tag does not mean less safe.)

    No panties twisting here, don’t flatter yourself. :]

  • Reply
    Mrs Loquacious
    May 26, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Note the ? in my original comment. Are you familiar with its uses? Because that indicates that it’s not a statement of fact, but rather an interrogative (eg. “is it maybe less safe?”). Cheaper doesn’t always mean less safe, but it might depending on which car seats we are talking about. It might not be the case with yours, but I would suggest that it is definitely so with the ones on the recall lists, or the ones that I’ve rented for my little girl.

    And obviously I *have* hit a nerve, or else you wouldn’t have been compelled to include the “don’t flatter yourself” comment. Those are not polite and respectful words, but antagonistic ones that reflect an emotional reaction. The smiley face at the end doesn’t negate the antagonistic tone, either; anyone who uses them in social media knows that. So my point stands.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 26, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      Oh break it up, girls! 🙂

      Mrs L, as soon as you express your person opinion where it can be read by thousands, you open yourself up for a lot assumptions, misinterpretations, pent up feelings from others. It’s the fact of blogging/commenting world and I’ve learned to simply ignore it, because it’s not worth it my time to argue and try to tell them that “Omg that is so not what I meant” lol 🙂
      It never gets you anywhere. I knew what you were saying and what you meant and from the second I read it I didn’t think you were saying anything other than that.

      Corinne, everyone has the right to their own opinion and if that makes other people feel bad or bring up certain feelings or feel unsure about their carseat decision, that’s just their problem. There’s no reason to read into Mrs L’s comment, just take it at face value, exactly the way it was written, not what you think she was trying to say.
      The point of her comment was not that “ew, it’s so awful when people buy cheaper seats, because they are less safe”, but that “it’s just too bad that Foonf is so expensive because I would love to see other parents use this seat with its state of the art technology when it comes to safety”. That’s how I read it and that’s what it sounds like she meant based on her follow up comments.

  • Reply
    Corinne
    May 27, 2013 at 7:01 AM

    I was simply reiterating what Melody had said. Elena, you agreed with it there (and you also helped interporate mrs l’s comment there, too).

    That’s all.

  • Reply
    Sara
    May 30, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    So honestly, if you had to choose between your current Maxi Cosi and this one, which would you go for?? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      June 2, 2013 at 12:55 AM

      It’s really a tough question to answer because it all depends on your budget. If i had 400-500 to spend on a seat, I would go for Clek without hesitation. It’s truly the best seat on the market. My situation was a bit different, because we HAD to switch Lexi from an infant seat at 4 months, but Clek doesn’t allow babies under 6 months in it. So we couldn’t have gotten Clek at that time even if it was out.
      If i were buying a new seat for a baby over 6 months, it’s Clek’s Foonf all the way.
      For a lower budget seat, Maxi Cosi is still amazing though.

  • Reply
    Sara
    June 2, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Thanks so much

  • Reply
    Mike
    June 28, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Someone mentioned the slots in the fabric that can be seen in the seat belt picture. They are for the cup holder that you can buy as an accessory. I also love my foonf

  • Reply
    Sara
    August 4, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    I wanted to thank you for this post. It’s been a while, but I came back to it because we are getting ready to move my 3 1/2 year old to a booster seat. We originally went with the Orbit Baby system and we loved it. The Toddler Seat will accommodate him for a long time! But with traveling a lot we wanted something we could take along and not have to move our car seat each time. As he is very tall & nearly 40 lbs it seemed like a good time to start looking for something. Thanks to this, I found the Clek Oobr. My husband & I were sold on the high safety standards & the clean lines. Plus I love that you can hard latch it in! Since my Orbit system weathered our son so well for nearly 4 years now, I will be able to use it again & I am confident that child number two will also be using the Clek when they are ready. I really do appreciate all the research you’ve done.

  • Reply
    Kely
    August 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    I was wondering if the Clek fabric is cool and breathable like the Maxi Cosi? We live in Florida too so it is an important feature. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      August 14, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      The fabric feels more rough to touch ( not smooth like Maxi Cosi) but it is just as cool. I only noticed once when Lexi came out sweaty and i think that was because the air was turned off in the back.

  • Reply
    April
    December 3, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Thabk you for posting this! My girl sounds quite similar to yours! 90th percentile for weight, 99th for height, and SO active. (She mastered crawling and pulling herself up to standing before 6 months. Hates to be still, whether we’re holding her, wearing her, or she’s playing on the ground – she prefers to be in motion). We couldn’t be more proud!

    So I was wondering, between the Max Cosi and Foonf, which seems more comfortable for a wiggly, active girl? And which seems to have a more comfortable recline position for a child who is constantly trying to sit straight upright?

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 16, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      Clek is definitely more upright and much taller. Maxi is perfect for the fat little infant 🙂 But I think as babies grow Clek is a lot more roomy for them. Maxi does have more pleasant to touch fabric.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    December 16, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Hello! I came across this review and your Maxi Cosi review when I was searching for a great convertible carseat. We are looking for a second seat for our son. What really drew me in was your Maxi Cosi review which is EXACTLY the experience we had with our baby. He hated the Peg Perego, although, I never tried another carseat until he was a year and switched to his convertible. Reading that review was so eye opening. I wish I would’ve thought to try something else. We are now expecting a second baby and I’m seriously considering the Maxi Cosi as our second seat in case the baby also hates the Peg Perego. Car rides seriously had me in tears regularly. The Clek has been on my wishlist for a while, but I do love that the Maxi Cosi works for much younger lighter babies all the way up to 70 pounds. Tough decisions ahead. Thanks so much for these great reviews.

  • Reply
    harv
    January 23, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Moms and Dads please read, you might want to stay away from the #clek #foonf #carseat. Bought one, the seat came covered in metal drill shavings! When I contacted Clek I was told told they knew about it, and that it was easy to just pick the metal filings out of the seat by hand!! Is this the response you want when you just spent $450.00 dollars on what is supposedly the safest car seat.. Is this the response you want when you just bought something for an infant who could easily put a piece of metal in his/her mouth if you missed it. They told me they were contacting retailers about it but they are obviously still selling them, putting the onus on the purchaser to remove the metal scraps from an infant seat. Another fine #Canadian #fail

  • Reply
    Ash
    February 23, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Love our foonf! So sturdy. I do believe Clek sells a crotch strap in a longer length for 2103 models. $9.99 on the website. From reviews I read, that solves the crotch strap issue. Just FYI. Thanks for the detailed review. This post was one of the main reasons we purchased the foonf after nearly importing a Swedish car seat to provide our daughter with the safest and longest rear facing car seat we could locate. And kudos to Clek for actually disclosing the results of the car seat crash testing! Thanks for a helpful post.

  • Reply
    Erica
    April 21, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    Thanks for this great review! One thing I’m curious about, and maybe you can help: did Lexi get really warm in the seat? You had mentioned this as a problem with her infant seat and it’s the same problem for our little boy. So now I’m looking for a great seat, for long car rides and as we’re approaching summer, I want him to be cool and comfortable. Thanks a lot!

  • Reply
    susan
    May 21, 2014 at 1:08 AM

    Hi,
    I have a kiddo that is prone to getting carsick. Have you had to clean barf off of this seat. I love everything about it,but would be pretty devestated to have a very nice carseat that is unusable due to a smell that I just can’t get out. My older daughter is in a Britax Marathon and the cover is removeable and washable.
    Any insight into this is greatly appreciated!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 21, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      I haven’t cleaned up barf, but did have to deal with pee during potty training. The barf wouldn’t permeate the fabric too much (it’s very tough fabric), so I can see how it would be easy to clean up, but it’s definitely not machine washable.

  • Reply
    ASh
    May 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    We recently had the misfortune of baby barfing in the Clek midway through a four hour car ride. It was a LOT, and very difficult to clean up. The seat cushion came off and we washed after arriving at destination, but I can still smell it when I’m really close to the fabric on the sides and it’s hot out. Smell came out of the bottom after washing.

    If your babe is prone to getting car sick, I would advise against the Foonf in this case. Which is a shame, because I’m a huge Foonf fan!! Wish the sides came off to clean…I’ve heard it can be done but it sure does not look easy. If anyone has suggestions on getting the smell out, it would be appreciated!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      I think saturating it with soap and water and then using diluted essential oils to mask the smell? I don’t really have any other ideas? 🙁

  • Reply
    Ash
    May 23, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Yes, I think had I saturated with more soap and water we may have had better luck. I sprayed (and resprayed) eucalyptus essential oil (diluted) to mask…it helped for sure!

    Clek is still the car seat I recommend, and would definitely purchase again. But I do wish they would rethink the sides and wash factor. But we love our Foonf!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      I wonder if tea tree oil would be good too since it’s anti bacterial so it would kill the odor causing bacteria.
      Oh also I often use rubbing alcohol in conjunction with soap for disinfecting properties so I bet that helps kill the bacteria that’s causing the smell.

  • Reply
    McFelix
    May 29, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    I have the same car as you and just bought the Maxi Cosi Pria, although I was debating getting the Foonf. We haven’t installed the Pria yet, but when my husband was working on it over the weekend, it seems like a pain. Question – when you have the foonf in the middle seat, do you have to push the front seats up to accommodate it? Right now, our infant seat is behind the passenger seat and we have to push the seat up quite a bit to accommodate it, and I am wondering putting the convertible seat in the middle instead would make a difference with how far back the front seats can go. Thanks for your feedback!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      May 30, 2014 at 5:22 PM

      I haven’t installed it in the middle… I think I can’t remember now. WOW. We have it behind the passenger seat and we have to pull the seat out but not as much as maxi as I remember. Don’t is so thin id imagine we wouldn’t need to move the seat in the middle position. We need to move it there. It’s the safest place anyways

  • Reply
    Giovanni Farinacci
    June 1, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    I have been researching the Clek Foonf, my son is 6 months and seems to be outgrowing his Peg Perego infant car seat. He may only have a couple of more months of use in it. I’m glad I came across this review of Clek Foonf! The Clek seems like the best choice for safety and durability. The ease of cleaning is a big plus. Researching child products is my new hobby since my son was born. Thanks again for the awesome review, I will be buying the Foonf this weekend.

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