As your baby grows into a toddler, a lot of changes occur. Your bundle of joy is now walking, talking, and interacting with their world like never before. At some point, they will outgrow their rear facing car seat, and you will then be turning them around to face forward in the car. This change can improve car rides as your child may enjoy riding in the car more after the switch. Depending on which car seat you have been using, you may be in the market for a forward facing car seat.
|Name||Image||Weight (lbs)||Weight Capacity (lbs)||My Rating|
|Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat||18 lbs||Forward facing 22-65 pounds/ High back booster 30-100 pounds||4.9|
|Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car Seat||17.6 lbs||Rear facing 5-40 pounds/ Forward facing 20-55 pounds||5|
|Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat||13.2 lbs||Rear facing 5-40 pounds/ Forward facing 22-40 pounds||4.8|
|Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat||18.7 lbs||Rear facing 5-40 pounds/ Forward facing 22-100 pounds||4.6|
Like most parents, you likely do not enjoy car seat shopping as it can feel overwhelming with all the different styles and options. By learning about your options, you can reduce your anxiety and confidently choose a car seat that suits your needs and budget. Purchasing a front facing car seat for your toddler can be easy if you do your research and prepare for the purchase before you enter the store. This right of passage can be exciting and the transition can be positive for both you and your child.
What is a Forward Facing Car Seat?
- 1 What is a Forward Facing Car Seat?
- 2 Different Types of Forward Facing Car Seats
- 3 Things to Consider When Choosing Forward Facing Car Seats
- 4 Top Forward Facing Car Seats
- 4.1 Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat
- 4.2 Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car Seat
- 4.3 Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat
- 4.4 Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
- 5 Which Car Seat is Right For Your Family?
With the new recommendations, you may have a few questions:
- What are the forward facing car seat weight recommendations?
- What is the proper age for forward facing car seat to be used?
- What is the best front facing car seat?
In the past, children remained rear facing for a year and then they were faced forward. However, new research has proven that rear facing is safer for children under two. The weight recommendation depends on the weight limit of your car seat as you are supposed to switch your child forward facing once they reach the weight limit of the rear facing orientation of their car seat.
Car seats vary in which age they cater to. Some are made for infants while others are made for big kids and the ages in between. A front facing car seat is a car seat that has a five point harness and faces the front of the vehicle. The AAP recommends children to remain rear facing until their second birthday or until they outgrow the weight limit of the car seat. Due to many factors, such as the weight of your child, the age at which you place them in a forward facing car seat can vary. It is always a good idea to allow a child to remain rear facing for as long as possible. Once they are big enough, they can then be switched to the front facing position.
Different Types of Forward Facing Car Seats
Forward facing car seats are typically available in combo car seats. This means that a forward facing option is typically in combination to a different orientation.
All in one car seats convert to three orientations, one of them being forward facing. Forward facing is also available in convertible car seats that transition from rear facing to forward facing. Also, some booster seats have a forward facing harness option. If your child is young, you may consider a convertible seat that transitions from rear facing to forward facing. If your child is older, you might consider a convertible seat that transitions from forward facing harness to a booster seat.
Each child varies, so the forward facing car seat age will differ with each child. As a child ages, they will go from rear facing, to forward facing, and eventually to a booster seat. It is recommended that your child remains in each position for as long as possible because each orientation position decreases in safety as the child grows bigger. Depending on the size and age of your child, only you will know when to face car seat forward. If you do decide to switch your child to forward facing, it is important to consider many factors when shopping for a new car seat.
Things to Consider When Choosing Forward Facing Car Seats
The forward facing car seat requirements vary for each child as well as each seat. The recommendation is that your child should remain rear facing for as long as possible before you switch them to a forward facing position. Once your child reaches the age for forward facing car seat, it is important to try to find the safest forward facing car seat that suits your lifestyle and your budget. Consider the size of your child as their weight can determine which car seat suits your family best. Also consider the accessories available and the comfort of the seat itself. There are many factors to consider when choosing a car seat but the most important thing to consider is the safety of your child. The five point harness of a forward facing car seat is much safer than a regular seat belt which is why the front facing car seat requirements state that your child should remain in the five point harness for as long as possible. When shopping for a forward facing car seat, there are many questions to ask yourself:
- What is the weight of my child and are they ready to switch orientations?
- Do I want a car seat that caters to multiple ages?
- How long do I want my child to remain in a five point harness?
These questions, as well as many others, will help you narrow down which car seat is best for your child. The car seat forward facing recommendations take the child’s weight as a more important factor than the age of the child, so your first step should be to weigh your child on a scale before shopping. With this information, you will know when to switch to forward facing car seat orientation. Let’s see if we can find the best forward facing car seat for your family.
Top Forward Facing Car Seats
Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat
This Graco forward facing car seat provides a safe and comfortable ride for your little one. With both a front facing harness position and a high back booster position, this 2-in-1 car seat can serve your child for multiple years. A machine washable cover makes it easy to clean the car seat and two cup holders provide an area for your child’s drink and snack. Padding on the harness and headrest provides a comfortable ride for your little one.
Forward Facing Harness: 22-65lbs
High back booster: 30-100lbs
- With two orientations, this seat can meet your child’s needs for multiple years.
- Simply Safe Adjust Harness System allows you to adjust the headrest and harness at the same time making it easy to get the right fit for your growing child.
- Built for safety, this seat meets or exceeds federal safety standards.
- Integrated harness storage system making it easier to tuck the harness away when your child gets in or out.
- No rethread harness making it easy to adjust the straps without having to remove the harness.
- Open loop belts allow your independent child to buckle themselves.
- While this seat does allow for two orientations, it does not convert to a backless booster seat.
- With a weight limit of 100 pounds, your child will outgrow this seat sooner than other seats that go up to 110/120 pounds.
Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car Seat
This Britax forward facing car seat allows for two orientations; rear facing and forward facing (which acts as a high back booster seat). With this car seat, your child can remain rear facing until they are 40 pounds. Once flipped around, this rear and forward facing car seat will hold your child up to 55 pounds. Complete with deep energy absorbing shell shields, this seat is built for comfort and made for safety.
Rear Facing: 5-40 lbs
Forward Facing: 20-55 lbs
- This rear and forward facing convertible car seat is equipped to accommodate your infant as well as your toddler.
- A tangle-free five point harness prevents the harness from getting tackled which will make it easier to get your child in or out.
- Easy LATCH connectors clip in without hassle making installation easy and safe.
- Includes SafeCell steel frame which makes the car seat strong and sturdy.
- Two position buckle to fit your growing child.
- This seat does not convert to a booster seat so you will have to purchase another seat once your child outgrows this one.
- With a low rear facing weight range, your little one will have to flip around sooner than they would if they were in other available car seats.
Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat
This Evenflo forward facing car seat is a convertible which means it is suitable for both infants in the rear facing position as well as toddlers in the forward facing position. This seat allows for your child to grow with four harness positions as well as two crotch buckle positions. The cover and foam padding is machine washable should there be a spill and the seat reclines for rear facing use.
Rear Facing: 5-40 lbs
Forward Facing: 22-40 lbs
- This rear and forward facing convertible car seat allows for infants and toddlers.
- Meets or exceeds all applicable safety standards.
- With Side Impact Test Standard for Structural Integrity, this seat is tested at twice the federal energy levels in side impacts.
- Multiple shoulder harness positions and two buckle positions allow for the seat to grow with your child.
- Easy up front harness adjustment which makes it easy to fit the seat to your child.
- Energy absorbing foam provides both comfort and safety.
- This seat has a low rear facing weight limit which means your little one will have to forward face sooner than other car seats.
- With a low forward facing weight limit, your child will outgrow this seat sooner than other available car seats.
Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
The car seat forward facing recommendations state that you should allow your child to remain in a forward facing position until they outgrow this seat and this seat allows for forward facing up to 65 pounds which means that your child can remain in the harness for longer than other seats. This seat offers three different orientations; rear facing, forward facing and a belt positioning booster seat. As a 3-in-1 seat, this car seat could be the only car seat you ever buy.
Rear Facing: 5-40 lbs
Forward Facing: 22-100 lbs
- This seat is like 3 car seats in 1 as it caters to infants, toddlers and older children in a booster seat.
- With a high weight limit for rear facing and forward facing, this seat allows your child to remain in the safest position for longer than other available seats.
- This seat includes foam padding and side impact protection which will keep your child safe in the event of an accident.
- Harness holders keeps the harness open which makes keeps it out of the way when getting your child in or out.
- The QuickFit harness allows you to adjust the headrest and harness in one smooth motion.
- For easy cleaning, the foam padding and machine washable cover can be easily taken off and it is also dryer safe.
- With a low price, this seat is budget friendly.
- The booster weight limit is only 100 pounds while other seats may go up to 120 pounds.
- This seat does not recline.
- While this seat does offer extended leg room, it does not include a leg room extender which would make the seat more comfortable for your little one.
Which Car Seat is Right For Your Family?
As each car seat varies, different car seats can be suitable for different children. If you have a younger child, purchasing a car seat that offers rear facing may be a good idea. If your child is older, a car seat that offers a booster position may be optimal. Keeping your child rear facing for as long as possible should always come first as well as keeping them in the harnessed forward facing position. Let your child outgrow the weight limit before changing the orientation. Each car seat is different and when purchasing a car seat consider your budget, the safety of the seat and the weight limit for each orientation.