While many baby items are essential to the upbringing of your baby, nothing compares to the importance of a car seat. Whether you are traveling the country or taking a short trip to the grocery store, a car seat is required. In the past, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended a rear facing car seat for the first year of a child’s life, however, recent research has changed this recommendation. Which orientation is safer? Research has shown that rear facing for children 0-23 months is safer than forward facing. Because of this research, the AAP recommends a rear facing car seat until two years of age or the child outgrows the weight limit of their car seat.
|Name||Image||Weight (lbs)||Weight Capacity (lbs)||My Rating|
|BOB B Safe 35 Infant Car Seat||19 lbs||Rear facing 4-35 lbs||5|
|Britax Marathon G4.1 Convertible Car Seat||19.5 lbs||Rear facing 5-40 lbs/ Forward facing 20-65 lbs||5|
|Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat||24 lbs||Rear facing 4-50 lbs/ Forward facing 22-65 lbs||4.8|
|Evenflo Nurture Infant Car Seat||10.3 lbs||Rear facing 5-22 lbs||4.6|
What Is a Rear Facing Car Seat?
- 1 What Is a Rear Facing Car Seat?
- 2 Different Types of Rear Facing Car Seats
- 3 Things To Consider When Choosing Rear Facing Car Seats
- 4 Top Rear Facing Car Seat Reviews
- 4.1 BOB B Safe 35 Infant Car Seat
- 4.2 Britax Marathon G4.1 Convertible Car Seat
- 4.3 Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat
- 4.4 Evenflo Nurture Infant Car Seat
- 5 Which Car Seat is Right for Your Child?
A rear facing car seat is a car seat that faces the back of the car, the safest position. The new recommendation has prompted many parents to purchase a rear facing convertible car seat which converts from a rear facing position to a harnessed forward facing position. This style of car seat can be ideal as typically they are extended rear facing car seats which means that they have a higher weight limit when compared to infant carriers that may only go up to 22 pounds. A rear and front facing car seat can suit a child until they are old enough for a booster seat.
Different Types of Rear Facing Car Seats
Rear facing car seats come in three different styles. The first style is an infant seat which is designed to hold infants only. This type of seat is convenient because you can carry your child around in it and they often hook onto strollers making traveling simple.
Another style is a convertible seat which transitions from rear facing to forward facing. These seats often have a higher weight limit for rear facing which means your child can remain rear facing for longer. It is also convenient to have a combo seat for when your child is older.
The third style of this seat is an all in one seat which offers three phases often a rear facing seat to a forward facing harness and then to a booster seat. These seats typically have higher rear facing weight limits. It is convenient to have three car seats in one as it prevents multiple purchases and in some cases, it may be the only seat you buy.
The goal of a car seat is the safety of the child. However, some children grow quickly. Some car seats have higher weight limits which allow them to remain in the safest position possible for longer. For example, your child may be 30 pounds and too large for an infant seat, but convertible car seat may allow for rear facing up to 40 pounds. Purchasing extended rear facing car seats can be overwhelming and frustrating; however, with the right information, you can easily find the best rear facing car seat.
Things To Consider When Choosing Rear Facing Car Seats
There are two options when considering a rear facing car seat. The first option is an infant seat which is typically more convenient. You can unhook the seat from the car and easily carry around a sleeping infant without having to disturb them. It is also convenient to have somewhere to put the infant when you are out in public and many infant seats easily clamp onto a matching stroller.
The other option is purchasing a convertible car seat instead of an infant car seat. Convertible car seats usually have extended rear facing which means your child can stay rear facing for longer. Once your child is old enough, you can turn the seat around to a forward facing position. However, you cannot remove the seat and carry it around like you can with an infant car seat nor can you use the seat with a stroller. The jury is still out on which option is the safest rear facing car seat. Although it is said that the safest car seat is the seat that you will use properly and consistently. When deciding between an infant rear facing car seat or a convertible rear facing car seat, it is important to ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I desire the capability of being able to carry my sleeping baby around?
- Am I okay with purchasing an additional car seat in the future once my child outgrows an infant seat?
- Do I plan to follow the AAP recommendations and keep my child rear facing for as long as possible?
Your response to these questions should tell you if you should shop for an infant car seat or a convertible car seat. Both are safe and both have affordable options so it really depends on your lifestyle. The rear facing position is the safest position so when shopping for a rear facing car seat for a toddler always take into consideration the weight of your child and the weight limit of the seat. There are many decisions to make when shopping for an infant car seat or a convertible rear facing car seat however with a little information and guidance, you will be able to make the right choice for your family. Let’s see if we can find the best rear facing car seat for your family.
Top Rear Facing Car Seat Reviews
BOB B Safe 35 Infant Car Seat
This BOB car seat holds infants up to 35 pounds. It comes with a base which can remain in the car making taking the seat in and out as simple as pushing a button. This seat is also compatible with a matching stroller making it easy to transition from the car to the stroller so you won’t have to wake your baby up. This seat has a deep shell lined with energy absorbing foam to minimize impact in the event of an accident.
Rear Facing Harness: 4-35lbs
- The car seat can be removed and carried around with the child still in it which means you don’t have to wake up your sleeping infant and wrestle them out of the car seat.
- SafeCenter LATCH installation on the base making installation easy.
- The sides of the car seat are made to minimize movement while at the same time not compromising space in your vehicle.
- The impact absorbing base compresses to reduce crash forces in the event of an accident.
- The seat comes equipped with side impact protection with a deep foam lined shell to shield your child in a collision.
- It comes equipped with SafeCell Impact Protection which is a system of integrated components that works to protect your child beyond the federal safety standards.
- Impact-stabilizing steel frame which gives more strength to the car seat.
- This seat may be too expensive for some families.
- With a weight limit of 35 pounds, your child will outgrow this seat sooner than other available car seats.
Britax Marathon G4.1 Convertible Car Seat
This Britax Marathon rear facing car seat has a weight range of 5-65 pounds and it caters to both infants and older toddlers. With SafeCell Integrated System, this seat shields your child from impact and debris. An adjustable harness grows with your child and a moveable headrest can be adjusted to fit your child’s height. This seat includes the LATCH system making installation simple and secure. This seat also comes with side impact protection to absorb impact in a collision.
Rear Facing Harness: 5-40lbs
Front Facing Harness: 20-65lbs
- SafeCell Impact Protection works to shield your child from an impact. An impact absorbing base, tether, and harness as well as an impact stabilizing steel frame and complete side impact protection all work together to keep your little one safe.
- Quick-adjust 10-position harness and 2-position buckle allows you to easily adjust the seat to suit your growing child.
- Easy off and on latch connectors lock into place with an audible click and are easily removed with the press of a button.
- This seat comes with a base which means you can lock the base into place and simply remove the seat without having to uninstall the LATCH connectors.
- With a broad weight range, this Britax rear facing car seat can suit your child from infancy to an older toddler.
- The weight limit for rear facing is higher than other seats which allows your child to remain rear facing for longer.
- Unlike an infant car seat, this seat cannot be taken out and carried around.
- This seat does not come with cup holders.
- The expensive price for this seat may be out of reach for some families.
Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat
This Graco Extend2Fit car seat is perfect for your infant and your toddler. With an adjustable harness and leg room extender, this car seat grows with your child. A higher rear facing weight limit means that your child can remain in the safest position for longer when compared to other car seats. Also included is harness storage so the buckles can be out of the way when you take your baby in and out.
Rear Facing Harness: 5-50lbs
Front Facing Harness: 22-65lbs
- The weight limit for rear facing is 50 pounds which is higher than most other seats.
- This seat includes an extension to add up to 5 inches of legroom, perfect for your rear facing toddler.
- Simply Safe Harness Adjustment allows you to adjust the headrest and harness in one motion without having to rethread the harness.
- This seat comes with two cup holders, perfect for a snack and sippy cup.
- An affordable price makes this seat practical for those on a budget.
- Unlike an infant car seat, this seat cannot be taken out and carried around.
- While other all in one car seats convert into a booster, this Graco rear facing convertible car seat does not.
Evenflo Nurture Infant Car Seat
Available in fun prints, this seat is made to snuggle your sweet baby in safety and comfort. Tested at twice the federal safety standards, this seat is prepared to protect your child in collisions. With an adjustable harness, you can make the seat customized for your baby. A handle on the car seat allows you to comfortably carry your small baby around without having to remove them from the car seat which is perfect for when your little one falls asleep in the car.
Rear Facing Harness: 5-22lbs
- Built for babies, this seat has padding and foam to comfort your baby as well as protect them in a crash.
- A matching base (sold separately) allows you to click the car seat in and out without having to install it each time.
- Three shoulder harness positions and two buckle positions allow you to customize the fit specifically for your baby.
- Easy off machine washable car seat pad.
- A canopy shields your baby from the sun and outside elements.
- The low price of this seat is affordable for those on a budget.
- This seat has a very low weight limit meaning that your baby will outgrow the seat long before they should be in a forward facing position.
- This seat is only useful with an infant and you will have to purchase a separate car seat once your child is a toddler.
Which Car Seat is Right for Your Child?
As every family is different, so is every child. Consider your lifestyle when looking for a car seat. Do you want one that you can carry around? Will you be keeping your child rear facing for as long as you can? Are you on a tight budget? When shopping for a car seat, keep your desires in mind but also consider your price range as well as the safety of the seat. Car seat shopping can feel overwhelming but with the right information, you can confidently purchase a seat and feel at ease with your choice.