Every parent has their thing. Some parents are concerned about GMO's while others are concerned about vaccines, while still others are concerned about their child learning their numbers and letters before pre-school. Well, my thing (okay, ONE of my MANY things) is car seat safety. I remember being pregnant and searching endlessly online and in stores for car seat information. What was the best brand? What brand had the most or least recalls? Was it easy to install? HOW do you install a car seat? What will last the longest? The list goes on and on and on.
I was so obsessed because for me, personally, I knew I would never be able to forgive myself if I did not purchase the safest car seat I was able to afford and my daughter were injured in a car accident. So I did all of the research. I searched the internet hi and low and then came across the Clek Foonf and Fllo car seat in mid-August 2015 (loooong before The Baby Cubby even brought them in!). As you will soon find out, I was more than impressed.
Recently, I was able to meet with one of Clek's reps as part of a training. He described how Clek's philosophy is different when it comes to car seats. While other manufactures are concerned about selling points for parents (convenience features and fluffy padding) they are concerned with one thing: the safety of your child.
One of Clek's mottos is, "We make tanks, not recliners." As such, every inch of their car seats are designed to protect your child. In fact, since the co-founder made his career in the auto manufacturing industry, these car seats are actually patterned after your vehicle and its safety features. Now how cool is that? Want to know some other truly amazing facts about Clek?
- They are the ONLY car seat manufacturer that publishes their crash test results for you. Usually us parents have to hit up Consumer Reports or search endlessly for blogs containing any sort of crash test information. Clek, on the other hand, is 100% transparent. You can see everything that they know about their car seat right on their website!
- Because their car seats are manufactured here in North America you as the consumer are getting FULL USE of your car seat before its expiration date. Most consumers receive their car seat within a few weeks of it even being manufactured. Where other car seat companies are manufacturing their car seats overseas it can take anywhere from 3-8 months for them to ship here - cutting into your precious car seat expiration date!
Foonf, There It Is!The Foonf Convertible Car Seat is truly "in a class all of its own," just as Clek says. There is absolutely no other car seat like it on the market. Lets take a look at its list of features from their website:
- Designed to international best practices for extended rear-facing use (up to 50 lb) and comes standard with a steel anti-rebound bar (ARB) for enhanced safety performance.
- REACT (Rigid-LATCH Energy Absorbing Crumple Technology) safety system delivers rear-facing safety performance in a forward-facing seat. This aluminum honeycomb technology absorbs the energy from a collision, reducing the forces transmitted to the child.
- Rigid-LATCH system makes proper forward-facing installation effortless, allowing you to remove and install your seat in seconds and with peace of mind.
- Advanced side-impact protection protects the child in a side-impact collision with its adjustable structural headrest with deep side wings, energy absorbing foam layers and complete metal substructure.
- Tailored in GREENGUARD Select Certified CryptonSuper Fabrics, which provide permanent protection against stains, moisture and odor-causing bacteria. They are also free of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants (excluding the leather models).
- Best-in-Class width under 17 inches, Foonf provides space that makes 3-across seating possible in most cars.
Now, what do these all mean?
Why is an Anti-Rebound Bar or "ARB" Important?
Did you know that in an accident a rear-facing car seat can rotate as much as 20 degrees in a downwards motion? Can you guess what happens after it reaches the pinnacle of that movement? It snaps back. That snap back is what causes many of the head and neck injuries that we hear about all too often when it comes to car seat safety. You see, that snap back can be so forceful that it can bring your child so far towards the back of the seat that the car seat is installed on that their head can come into contact with that.
An ARB prevents that. By sitting up against the back of the seat of the car it stops that snap back motion from extending too far. It should be noted that on most car seat brands an ARB is an optional accessory available for purchase after purchase of the car seat.
However, Clek believes that because these seats are created to keep your child safe and sound no matter what they provide it to you right off the bat!I've Heard of LATCH, but What is a Rigid LATCH? A rigid LATCH is basically the best LATCH system you can currently get on a car seat. Instead of a tether holding onto the LATCH anchor, a rigid LATCH is a full metal bar with LATCH connectors on the end.
What does this mean for you and the safety of your child? For you it means an easier install. No tightening involved - just click it into place and adjust the seat all the way to the back of the seat of your car. In terms of safety it means less twisting in a car accident. Think about it - what allows more movement - a tether or a metal bar? A tether by far.
If you get in an accident and your child has a rigid LATCH on their car seat they are not going anywhere. As well, within the rigid LATCH is what is referred to as a "crumple zone." Think domino effect, but faster. This crumple zone allows the force of impact to get slowed down as it makes its way through the zone.
*Note that the rigid LATCH is only available when the Foonf is in forward facing mode.
Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat - Aura
Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat - Pitch Black
What On Earth is a REACT System?
The REACT system on the Clek Foonf is the name they have given their aluminum honeycomb technology in the base of both the Foonf and Fllo car seats. This honeycomb system takes the brunt of the impact and does its absolute best to create an accident experience similar to when the car seat is in rear-facing mode.
Essentially, the car seat moves down and forward in a sort of sweeping motion. This downward and forward motion extends the amount of time that it takes your child to come to a complete stop during an accident (remember: the faster the stop in an accident, the more force that is exerted on your body). By extending this stop time the Foonf is allowing less force to be exerted on your child and essentially mimicking the crumple zones that you can find in modern cars.
EPP vs. EPS Foam
All of Clek car seats feature EPP foam as opposed to EPS foam. The difference for those of us that have no idea what those acronyms mean? Where EPS foam is stiff and less dense, EPP foam is dense and pliable.
This means that as the force of an in impact hits the foam it will be able to absorb the impact more efficiently and will not break if the impact is harder in one area versus another. How cool is that?
Extended Rear-Facing Mode
The Clek Foonf is one of the only car seats on the market that allows you to keep your child rear-facing until the age of 4. This is due to it's incredible rear-facing limits of 43in. in height and 50lbs in weight. If you haven't heard yet, keeping your child rear facing is up to 5 times safer for them up to age 4 years!
This is because until that point their necks are not developed enough to withstand the force of some impacts and when rear-facing their necks and spines are much more protected from the force of an impact.
Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat - Cloud
Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat - Thunder
You will NOT be sorry about checking out this car seat. It is truly one of the safest car seats on the market and, we would say, the most transparent company when it comes to their products. As well, from personal experience, their customer service team is perfecto! If you have any problems after purchase they will be right there to help you out!
[…] the Fllo isn’t quite the fit for you but you are loving Clek, then you can read up on the Foonf in this post. It is definitely stressful figuring out who, and what, to trust with your children. At The Baby […]