Clek Foonf Makes Extra Room in the Car, but Costs $470

Clek-foonf-3
When Baby No. 3 is on the way, most parents find themselves in the market for a larger vehicle. The addition of that third child-safety seat normally means buh-bye sedan and ugh-hello minivan (or three-row SUV).

That is no longer the case, thanks to some new child-safety seats. The Foonf by Clek is one of them. It's a convertible car seat that's making some big claims. One is its narrow width of only 17 inches makes installing three child-safety seats across in a smaller car's backseat not entirely out of the question.

While the Foonf's suggested retail price of $470 may have some crossing it off their list right away, its safety features might cause them to reconsider. Clek took some cues from the automotive industry and designed crumplelike zones into the Foonf.

Clek-foonf-4
It's also designed with extended use in mind, especially in the rear-facing position. The federal government recommends that children ride in rear-facing child-safety seats until age 2, but the Foonf takes it even further. A child can sit in a rear-facing Foonf until he or she is 43 inches tall, 50 pounds or 4 years old. In the forward-facing position, the Foonf can accommodate a child up to 49 inches tall and 65 pounds.

After hearing about the Foonf, I was itching to get my hands on one to test with my girls. Of my three daughters, Naomi, age 4, is by far the pickiest. Even though the Foonf has modern lines and there isn't a flower/rainbow/princess to be found, she still approved of its looks but couldn't ride in it. While she is only 45 pounds, she's too old to use it.

My 2-year-old daughter, Ellis, would ride in a wooden crate as long as she could buckle herself up. She was the first of my kids to ride in the rear-facing Foonf, and she was not a fan. Though she's well within the height and weight limits for the rear-facing safety seat, she had no legroom, which is a concern voiced by many parents since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now recommends children remain rear-facing until age 2.

Ellis had to dangle her legs over the rear-facing Foonf's sides or sit cross legged. Another problem was the seat's crotch strap was too short, pushing the buckles into her thighs.

Clek-foonf-2
My third daughter, Mei, is 7 months old. Clek recommends that the baby be able to sit upright independently before using the Foonf, so she just made the cutoff. Of my two testers, she appeared to be the most comfortable in this rear-facing seat.

After I got over the shock of how heavy the Foonf is, it was easy to install. At more than 36 pounds, the Foonf weighs more than double what the average convertible car seat weighs. We have the Foonf's steel and magnesium substructure to thank for that. If you rarely switch your child's safety seat from car to car then the weight won't be an issue. However, if you're like me and often play musical chairs with your safety seats, it's something to consider.

There is a lot to like about the Foonf, and I am looking forward to using it in my future car reviews. I'm hoping its slim profile helps my family of five squeeze into that sporty sedan that we'd otherwise be saving for date night.

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By BreAnn Ahara | February 25, 2013 | Comments (10)

Comments 

Jeni

Can you please cite the age limit for rear-facing? The only age limit I am aware of in the Foonf is 6 months minimum age to use the seat.

BreAnn

Clek recommends under the age of four for rear-facing.

Yeah that seems pretty cool and comfy for the kids.

Sarah

Clek recommends under age four to rear-face, but they do not mean a child over age four cannot rear face. You are interpreting it wrong. If your oldest child is under 43" and 50lbs she can RF. The Foonf also forward faces.

The child in the top picture has a ton of legroom, she looks like she is in a recliner in her living room.

I'm not going to pick apart your article, but there are MANY things said that are very inaccurate.

I am very happy that I found this website. One can be more informative as this. It is very convincing and will definitely work,Thank you for sharing it with us.

BrentF

I have the Foonf, and I'm investigating options for the short crotch-clip. So far, this is my only (but serious) problem with the seat. My daughter is average H/W, and is 2 YRS 4 MOS. Yet, the crotch clip seems to emerge just in front of her groin, and the harness clips attach reflectively low into it. This is huge, as I worry about my kid's growing size and a potential need to attach the clip beneath the groin (?). As a thread on the Foonf FB page seems to indicate that Clek is looking into producing a longer groin clip (with no scheduled release date), I have to question how this could not have been forseen. One of the biggest draws for this seat is ability to extend FR, but if a 3+ YO is too thick to easily clip into the seat, what does it matter if the seat overall is tall enough/deep enough/weight tolerant enough for RF? Even if Clek makes a longer groin clip there remains the problem that the most-forward groin-strap port is not forward-enough. Effectively, using the second seating position, its still a fairly tight fit. As long as you're cool with your kid wearing a carseat thong, I guess there isn't a problem...

Leez

I totally agree with BrentF and wish that this crutch strap was dealt with prior to releasing this seat. My son is a smaller 26 month old and his poor groin rubs against the strap. He had been complaining and his groin is So red im going to have to switch my 8 month old to the clek and put my 2 year old
Back in the britax. I'm so upset that there are no current alternative options right now. Hope there's an option to fix this clek default!

Mary

Hi, I'm looking at this seat and I'm wondering why your 4 year old is too big too old to use it? Do you mean rear facing?

Hazel

There is no 4 yr old age limit. Clek just recommends RF to AT LEAST 4...meaning don't FF before 4, not that you have to turn them at 4. If your 8 yr old is under 43" and 50bs then she could rear face!

mandy

Hi, I just received my Foonf. I love it but I am a little concerned about the comfort. Is anyone experiencing fussiness with the their wee-one in this seat. Although the safety far outweighs comfort I would like to know if there might be some sort of padding insert I could use.

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