Why we love Clek Convertible Car Seats (and you will too)
Why we love Clek Convertible Car Seats (and you will too)
Is your baby nearing that 30 inch mark? Then you’re ready to start looking for the next stage of car seats! The Convertible Car Seat realm is probably the biggest car seat investment you’ll make. Most Convertible Car Seats we carry last from infancy to around 5 or 6 years old. Although there are a few seats that tout their capability of transforming from convertible to a booster, I generally prefer the ones that stick to one thing and do it very well. And if you’ve been doing your research on convertible car seats, it’s nearly impossible for Clek to not be on your radar.
I remember when I first started at Magic Beans, and Eli would drive us back from store meetings or company events, and we always had to unlatch his son’s Clek Olli Booster Seat. Clek’s safety standards had already been drilled into me, but the kicker was knowing that the owner loved their seats so much that he used them with his own kids!
He definitely passed that trust in Clek onto his employees! To their credit, Clek makes it really easy to trust them. So if you’re on the hunt for a Convertible Car Seat, here are a few of the plethora of reasons you should consider Clek.
History & Specialty
Clek were previously car part manufacturers, so they have an intimate working knowledge of the safety technology used in the cars themselves. They try their best to translate it to the child passenger safety equipment they produce now, and they do it in a way that no other company does. Also, Clek has always made one thing and one thing only: Car Seats. They don’t spread themselves thin like larger companies who try to focus on every aspect of baby life. Similar to Bugaboo, they know they do one thing exceedingly well and they stick to it as best as they can.
Clek tests their car seats at higher speeds than the US requires, and they conduct extra testing to ensure their efficacy in a crash. Not only that, but Clek release their test results to the public, so it’s easy to see how well they performed on an actual test (find what tests were performed on the Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat and how they came out here, and the results for the Clek Fllo here). In the US, car seat companies are not required to release the results of their testing, and the NHTSA is only required to release a few random tests that they do each year. I once spoke with a expecting statistician in the store. She detailed their process for me and explained how difficult it was to find (and then translate the raw data!) what the NHTSA releases each year. So what most people find on the internet is Consumer Reports’ testing. To get a good breakdown of why you shouldn’t completely trust consumer reports, see our wonderful partners at TheCarSeatLady.com.
Clek is a canadian company and produces all of their seats in North America with mostly Canadian sourced parts.This ensures high manufacturing standards and shrinks their carbon footprint through less shipping. Most of the convertible car seat companies we sell (exceptions: Peg Perego and Britax) are manufactured in China.
Clek’s biggest update for 2018 is a new warranty policy, making them the industry leader in car seat warranty length. Instead of a 1 or 2 year warranty, which is pretty common, they now have a baseline 2 year warranty that turns to 3 once you register your seat. You may think, what use are warranties with a piece of safety equipment? Don’t they just cover defects? Clek’s warranty gives you unfettered access to their incredible customer service. Company representatives know the ins and outs as well as all the installation and everyday frustrations that can come with a car seat. They can help you pinpoint any problem you’re having and help send replacement parts in case anything gets worn down with usage. They truly care, which is what I love about Clek. One of my favorite little tidbits of theirs is the in-depth YouTube breakdowns they have for installing their seats.
Clek understands safety, and they listen to what experts suggest. They’re one of two car seat manufacturers we sell that use an Anti-Rebound Bar, which helps to substantially limit the upward motion of a car seat in a forward impact collision, but also helps stabilize the seat when properly installed. The anti-rebound bar also pushes the seat away from your back seat enough to keep kids comfortable for extended rear-facing use. This means you can use both the Clek Foonf and Fllo rear-facing until 43 inches, which usually means between 4 and 5 years old.
Clek is the only company we sell that offers a recycling program for car seats that are either past their expiration date or were in an accident. When you send your car seat back, they responsible recycle all parts, and they also conduct testing on the seats to ensure they performed as expected.
Crypton! Clek uses Crypton fabrics which naturally wick away moisture, making it one of the most breathable seats on the market. They also naturally do not allow stains to set for a longer period of time than traditional fabrics do. So any messes can be left a little longer without seeping into your car seat for the long haul.
Foonf or Fllo?
If all of those things reassure you, then Clek is for you! But since they have two convertible seats, I haven’t really answered which one is right for you, have I?
There are a few major and a few minor differences between the two, but what it boils down to is this: the Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat was made for those that plan on installing with the latches, and the Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat was made for those planning on installing with the seatbelt. What this means is that the Foonf Convertible Car Seat has a unique rigid-latch system (one of only a handful in the US) that makes its forward facing installation more stable. It’s also the only type of latch that conforms to the car seat legislation passed in 2015 that forces you to use the seatbelt once the baby AND the car seat weigh a total of 65lbs. This means you won’t HAVE to install it with the seatbelt when its in forward facing mode. These seats test EXACTLY the same in rear-facing, so you only have to worry about forward-facing with this particular instance.
This rigid latch method is called REACT, which is a system that utilizes a magnesium and steel crumple zone to change the way kiddo will move in an accident when forward-facing. Most car seats utilize a drop-motion (the car seat literally drops an inch or two to stem the force on their torso), but Clek’s slide forward, almost eliminating the whiplash effect in an accident.
Clek admits, and you can see in the test results, that the Fllo doesn’t perform as well in forward facing. Their focus on seat belt installation means it’s a little simpler, a little lighter, and a little smaller in profile. So, it works better in compact cars, but they truly want you to use this one rear-facing as long as you can. Where this is most important is middle seat installations. Believe it or not, there are an absurd amount of cars that have no latches for you to use in the middle seat, so you’re forced to install with a seatbelt. Common knowledge says that the middle seat is the safest place to install (you don’t need to worry about side impact protection as much), so Clek made a seat that worked beautifully in that position.
Aside from its size, the Foonf tends to work best in larger cars and the Fllo has a little more room to breathe in terms of fit. However, we still always suggest trying it in your car before buying because, sometimes it can just eat up your passenger seat space or cause a blind spot when trying to look out your rear window. You never know, so you’d rather be safe than sorry!
If you’re still unsure of which Clek (or any Convertible Car Seat) fits your lifestyle, email us at email@example.com or call us at (866) 600-2326.
Mike is a Gear Guru at both our Boston and Brookline locations!
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