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Best Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seats

  • car seat guidelines

    Rear Facing Car Seat Guidelines

    The AAP advises parents and caregivers to keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2, or until they reach the highest height and weight allowed by their car seat manufacturer, which may be well past their second birthday. The reason for the guidelines? Children are safer while riding rear-facing as opposed to facing forward.

    Most convertible car seats these days let kids stay rear-facing up to 40 pounds, which will take many kids through the age 2 guideline (check the back of the seat for the specific weight and height limits of your rear-facing convertible car seat model), but if you want your child to rear-face longer, you’ll need to choose the right seat. We’ve rounded up some car seats with extended rear-facing capability up to 50 pounds.

    But, the upper weight limit isn’t the only factor to consider. Seated height (where the child’s bottom sits to the top of the car seat) and developmental needs are also important. And because some kids will exceed the height limit long before they surpass the weight limit, we recommend you carefully research which of the many rear-facing convertible car seats that are available today is most appropriate for your child

  • car seat safety

    Rear Facing Car Seat Safety for Toddlers

    Alisa Baer, M.D., a certified instructor for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 4-day car seat course (who’s also known as The Car Seat Lady), suggests that parents look at where their child falls on the growth charts for weight and height to help predict whether a seat with higher limits is needed. To see where your child hits on the growth curves—and what he or she will likely weigh at 2 or 3 years of age, check out these growth charts from the World Health Organization (birth to 24 months) and the Centers for Disease Control (2 to 20 years):

    Finally, not all car seats fit all cars equally well, especially when rear-facing. To help determine how a particular car seat will fit in your ride, measure carefully to ensure you purchase the best rear-facing car seat for your child.

  • britax marathon car seat

    Britax Marathon ClickTight Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat

    A leader in safety technology, Britax provides peace of mind with its SafeCell Impact Protection, which is described on the Britax website as “an integrated system of safety components that work together to protect your child well beyond the federal safety standards.” The impact-absorbing base, tether and harness, and impact-stabilizing steel frame, combined with Side Impact Protection and SafeCell Impact Protection work together to reduce the force of a collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also gives this Britax car seat five stars in their “ease of use ratings” scale. ($340; amazon.com

    • Rear-facing weight range: 5 to 40 pounds
    • Forward-facing weight range: 20 to 65 pounds
    • Height maximum: 49 inches

     

  • 4ever convertible car seat Graco

    Graco 4Ever 4-In-1 Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat

    Only want to buy one rear-facing toddler car seat? The Graco 4Ever 4-In-1 Convertible Car Seat can last you up to 10 years and take kids from 4 to a whopping 120 pounds. First, the seat can be used rear-facing from 4 to 40 pounds, then it can be turned forward-facing from 20 to 65 pounds, next as a highback booster from 30 to 100 pounds, and finally, as a backless booster from 40 to 120 pounds. Additionally, this Graco car seat offers a 10-position adjustable headrest and 6-position recline to ensure proper fit and optimal comfort for your growing child. ($300; target.com)

    • Rear-facing weight range: 4 to 40 pounds
    • Forward-facing weight range: 20 to 65 pounds
    • Highback booster seat weight range: 30 to 100 pounds
    • Backless booster seat weight range: 40 to 120 pounds
    • Height maximum: 32 inches for rear-facing; 57 inches for booster

     

  • scenera next convertible car seat

    Cosco Scenera NEXT Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat

    If cost is top-of-mind, the Cosco Scenera NEXT might be the best rear-facing car seat for your budget because it is one of the most affordable on the market. It offers side impact protection, five harness heights, and three buckle locations, as well as a lightweight and compact design. Given its lower height and weight capacity compared to other rear-facing convertible car seats, the Cosco Scenera NEXT may be a better choice for smaller children. ($46; walmart.com

    • Rear-facing weight range: 5 to 40 pounds
    • Forward-facing weight range: 22 to 40 pounds
    • Height maximum: 43 inches

     

  • diono rainier convertible car seat

    Diono Rainier Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat

    The Rainier convertible car seat from Diono is an excellent option for parents committed to keeping their kids rear-facing for as long as possible, since it’s got one of the highest rear-facing weight limits on the market at 50 pounds. Similar to the other Diono car seat models, the Rainer rear-facing toddler car seat features a steel alloy frame and aluminum reinforced sides and Safe Stop energy-absorbing harness but takes it one step further with reinforced deep sidewalls. Additionally, it offers side impact protection and sits low on the vehicle’s seat, which makes it easy for kids to get into on their own. Like the other Diono car seats, families with multiple children can fit three-across in a mid-size car, although if all three are used rear-facing, there may be quite limited space for the adults in the front seat, especially in compact cars. Additionally, it folds flat for travel and storage and comes with five shoulder and three buckle positions. ($315; diono.com

    • Rear-facing weight range: 5 to 50 pounds
    • Forward-facing weight range: 20 to 65 pounds
    • Booster weight range: 50 to 120 pounds
    • Height maximum: 57 inches

     

  • extend2fit convertible car seat

    Graco Extend2Fit Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat

    If you anticipate your child needing a little more leg room as they near their toddler years, look no further than the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat. This car seat helps kids stay comfortable with more leg room thanks to a 4-position extension panel that provides an additional 5 inches of space to enable baby to ride in the rear-facing position safely, comfortably and longer. It is cheaper than the Graco 4Ever 4-In-1 Convertible Car Seat for the simple reason that it doesn’t transition to a booster, thus requiring a replacement once the 65 pounds and 49 inches are exceeded. Much like the Graco 4Ever 4-In-1 car seat, the Graco Extend2Fit offers a 10-position adjustable headrest and 6-position recline to ensure proper fit and optimal comfort for your growing child. ($200; kohls.com

    • Rear-facing weight range: 4 to 50 pounds
    • Forward-facing weight range: 22 to 65 pounds
    • Height maximum: 49 inches

     

  • britax advocate car seat

    Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat

    At the top of the Britax line of convertible car seats, the Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB is similar to the Marathon and Boulevard models in that it offers Britax’s exclusive impact-absorbing base, tether and harness, impact-stabilizing steel frame and numerous levels of side impact protection, which form what is called the SafeCell Impact Protection. That said, the Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB Convertible Car Seat does come with a few more safety bells and whistles, like three layers of Side Impact Protection. Yes, it is one of the more expensive convertible car seats, but the safety features and quality may be worth the investment. The Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB), which is available in all three models, adds yet another level of protection by stabilizing the car seat when rear-facing,and the ClickTight Installation System makes it easy to put in and take out of cars, as needed, and also provides peace of mind that it was installed correctly. ($380; buybuybaby.com)

    • Rear-facing weight range: 5 to 40 pounds
    • Forward-facing weight range: 20 to 65 pounds
    • Height maximum: 49 inches

     

  • next fit zip convertible car seat

    Chicco NextFit Zip Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat

    The Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat is easy to install correctly, quick to properly fasten your child, and sure to fit a wide range of vehicles thanks to the multiple recline options available. Some of the standout features of the Chicco NextFit Zip are its “ReclineSure” 9-position leveling system, RideRight bubble level indicator, and SuperCinch LATCH tightener, which allows parents to securely install the car seat in the vehicle with less effort. What makes this Chicco car seat model unique is the fact that the seat pad easily zips off for those necessary trips to the washing machine. ($350; amazon.com

    • Rear-facing weight range: 5 to 40 pounds
    • Forward-facing weight range: 22 to 65 pounds
    • Height maximum: 49 inches

     

  • evenflo advanced titan 65

    Evenflo ADVANCED SensorSafe Titan 65 Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat

    The Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe Titan 65 Convertible Car Seat takes your child’s comfort and safety, and your peace of mind, to an entirely new level with the addition of SensorSafe Technology. While the hope is that no caregiver will ever need SensorSafe Technology, Evenflo offers a convertible car seat option that can provide a life-saving reminder. Tragedies have become all too familiar in the news when we read about another child left alone in a motor vehicle. Parents and caregivers can rest easy knowing they will be alerted that a child is present in the car upon reaching their destination, as well as if the chest clip becomes unbuckled while traveling. This alert is possible thanks to two components: a wireless receiver and a smart chest clip. On top of top-notch safety and life-saving technology, this Evenflo car seat features ComfortTech fabric, harness and buckle covers, up-front harness adjustment, and more. ($100; walmart.com)

    • Rear-facing weight range: 5 to 40 pounds
    • Forward-facing weight range: 22 to 65 pounds
    • Height maximum: 54 inches

     

  • clek fllo car seat

    Clek Fllo Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat

    Clek prides itself on being compact in size, high in quality, and rightly done when it comes to design. This car seat joins the ranks of few others in that it can accommodate children up to 50 pounds when installed in the rear-facing position. That said, children must be able to sit upright alone to meet safety requirements, unless caregivers purchase a separately sold infant insert, which can allow infants as small as 5 pounds to safely travel. Equipped with a steel anti-rebound bar and Advanced Side-Impact Protection, the Clek Fllo car seat features an adjustable headrest with deep side wings, energy-absorbing foam layers, and a metal substructure. Last, but certainly not least, the compact nature of the Clek’s design, which is 17 inches at its widest, allows families to fit three car seats side-by-side. ($380; buybuybaby.com)

    • Rear-facing weight range: 14 to 50 pounds
    • Forward-facing weight range: 22 to 65 pounds
    • Height maximum: 49 inches

     

  • grow and go convertible car seat

    Safety 1st Grow and Go Air 3-In-1 Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat

    With a name like Safety 1st, it should come as no surprise that the Grow and Go Air 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat offers superior safety. Not only does it feature an advanced cushion system, called Air Protect, but it also makes sure the harness and headrest are easily adjusted thanks to the QuickFit Harness. Beyond safety, this car seat caters to caregivers because it’s easy to clean for those messy times, comes with harness holders (so they never have to be found tangled under a squirming child), and requires less space in the back seat, which means more leg room for front-riding folks. ($190; target.com

    • Rear-facing weight range: 5 to 40 pounds
    • Forward-facing weight range: 22 to 65 pounds
    • Belt-positioning booster weight range: 40 to 100 pounds
    • Height maximum: 49 inches

     

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