Rear Facing Car Seat: A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide

baby in a rear facing car seat

No one wants to think about the unthinkable, especially when it involves children. This is why you put so much thought into choosing the perfect rear-facing car seat, as you’ll be relying on it to keep little ones safe in the event of an impact. Our list of top car seat choices helps you with this important decision.

The Best Rear-Facing Car Seats: A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide

Choosing a rear-facing car seat can become quite the endeavor thanks to a nearly unlimited number of options in today’s market. The good news is that every seat is tested to meet certain safety standards, so all will protect your little one in the unthinkable event of a car crash. Even so, we understand that you still want to ensure you invest in one of the best models out there. That’s why we’ve assembled this guide to our top car seat choices to help you navigate the seemingly endless array of seats.

Rear-Facing Car Seats: The FAQs

1. What is a rear-facing car seat?

2. Why do I need a rear-facing car seat?

3. What is the child weight limit for a rear-facing seat?

4. Where can I buy a rear-facing child seat?

Trustworthy Car Seat Reviews

We understand the importance of choosing a car seat for your child that you can feel good about. We’ve also been in the situation of wading through the unending options available to choose the best seat for our own children. That’s why we’ve spent hours searching far and wide, comparing features, prices and opinions from real owners to locate the best of the best.

Rear-Facing Car Seats: How Much Do They Cost?

As with most any item, you can find a rear-facing car seat at nearly any price point. The ones featured here range from as low as $64.00 up to $350.00.
The Top 10 Rear-Facing Car Seats To Consider Now

Through the years, many parents have associated Britax with top-notch safety features. In that regard, the Britax Boulevard ClickTight lives up to the brand’s reputation for quality and safety.

The seat is equipped with Britax’s own SafeCell Impact Protection, which includes an integrated steel frame, a base built for energy absorption and a tether that absorbs impacts. Between the company’s SafeCell system and the seat’s two layers of side impact protection, it comes as no surprise that the Boulevard regularly finds itself featured as a top car seat choice. This seat can be used as a rear-facing car seat from five to 40 pounds.

Pros

  • Can achieve simple three-step install with ClickTight system
  • Enhanced features provide side impact protection and energy absorption
  • Owners note it’s sturdy, durable and cushy

Cons

  • Features make seat heavy and bulky

The NextFit iX Zip from Chicco is a sanity-saver when it comes to installation and car seat care. Chicco has equipped this model with features that make installation a breeze, no matter if you utilize your vehicle’s LATCH system or seatbelt.

The SuperCinch LATCH tightener allows you to exert less effort for a snug fit, and Chicco’s LockSure system works as a lock-off to tighten the seatbelt and ensure it stays locked in place. The cover can be easily zipped off and thrown in the wash as needed.

Pros

  • Safety features include EPS foam to absorb energy and strong frame reinforced with steel
  • Owners note seat is simple to install
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Heavy and not ideal for frequent removal and travel

The Diono Radian RXT car seat is an excellent choice for families who need to make the most out of their vehicle space, or that travel frequently and want to take their child seat along for the ride.

The seat is compact enough that three can fit across a seat in most vehicles. It also folds flat and is certified for use on airplanes. It gains a small bump to its rear-facing weight limit, allowing for use as a rear-facing car seat until your child reaches 45 pounds.

Pros

  • Aluminum-reinforced sidewalls and frame made of fully-integrated steel
  • Great for tight spaces and travel

Cons

  • Some have found it difficult to install

The 4Ever 4-in-1 seat is an excellent choice if you don’t want to purchase multiple child seats through the years. This Graco seat is truly a “one and done” option.

 It can be used as a rear-facing car seat beginning from a weight as low as four pounds. It can then be transitioned to a forward-facing seat, high-back booster and then a backless booster as your child grows.

Pros

  • Wide weight range from four to 120 pounds provides long-term use potential
  • Washable cover is easy to remove

Cons

  • Some owners note seat has less padding than other models

If you’re hoping to keep your little one in a convertible-type seat for the long haul, then the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 is definitely worth a look.

 This seat can be used up to an impressive 85 pounds, which is one of the highest weight limits for a convertible seat currently offered on the market.

Pros

  • Features Air Protect technology for enhanced head-area side impact protection
  • Washable seat cover is easily removed with snaps
  • High forward-facing weight limit of 85 pounds

Cons

  • Minimum weight limit of 14 pounds, so not recommended for initial infant use

With current recommendations to leave children rear facing for as long as possible, the Extend2Fit from Graco is the perfect choice if you’ll be partaking in extended rear facing.

Not only does this model extend the maximum rear-facing weight limit to 50 pounds when the standard is closer to 40, but it also features an extendable panel that provides rear-facers with an extra five inches of leg room.

Pros

  • Rear-facing weight limit of 50 pounds
  • Many owners note easy installation
  • Other adjustable features include 10-position headrest and six-position recline

Cons

  • Straps can be difficult to tighten
  • Adjustable options can cause seat to take up lots of vehicle space

The Clek Fllo combines the best of what most parents are searching for in a convertible car seat. The seat serves as an extended rear-facing car seat with a maximum rear-facing weight limit of 50 pounds.

 It also boasts impressive safety features, such as Clek’s own Energy-Absorbing Crumple Technology, an anti-rebound bar manufactured from steel and enhanced side impact protection.

Pros

  • Compact design for fitting three seats across a row
  • Higher 50-pound rear-facing weight limit
  • Seat pad permanently protected against stains

Cons

  • Seat cover is not removable
  • Seat is heavy and not easy to move around

While it may not boast quite as many advanced safety features as its counterparts featured in this overview, the Evenflo Tribute LX is an incredibly-priced lightweight seat that’s perfect for traveling or for use as an extra seat.

 You can rest assured that the seat is still a safe option, as all seats built for and sold in the US market have to meet certain safety standards, and the Tribute LX is no exception.

Pros

  • Only weighs nine pounds
  • Great option well below $100.00

Cons

  • Lower maximum weight limits of 30 pounds for rear-facing and 40 pounds for forward-facing

This infant-specific rear-facing car seat wraps your baby in safety and makes easy work of leaving the house with your littlest family members. The B-Safe 35 elite employs Britax’s SafeCell Impact Protection with a steel frame, side impact protection and an included base that absorbs impacts.

Pros

  • Easy to remove from base in car
  • Compatible with most Britax strollers

Cons

  • Some owners found it to be too narrow for larger babies

The KeyFit 30 from Chicco has long been a rear-facing car seat top choice for new parents. Being the parent of an infant can be stressful enough, so Chicco has loaded the seat with features that ensure car seat installation doesn’t add to new-parent stress.

 A leveling foot located in the base is spring loaded and helps to achieve the correct angle. It’s equipped with level indicators that are easy to decipher and Chicco’s SuperCinch tightener to ensure a secure fit with your vehicle’s LATCH system.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Owners cite both seat and base are easily removable

Cons

  • Some users complain seat canopy is too short

Comparison Table Information


Product

Description

Seat Type: Convertible
Child Weight Limits: Five to 65 pounds
Maximum Rear-Facing Weight Limit: 40 pounds
Seat Weight: 24 pounds
Dimensions: 23x18.5x23.5 inches
Warranty: One year
Prime Eligible: Yes

Seat Type: Convertible
Child Weight Limits:
Five to 65 pounds
Maximum Rear-Facing Weight Limit:
Five to 40 pounds
Seat Weight:
25 pounds
Dimensions:
21x19x29.5 inches
Warranty:
One year
Prime Eligible:
Yes

Seat Type: All-in-one
Child Weight Limits:
Five to 120 pounds (as a booster)
Maximum Rear-Facing Weight Limit:
45 pounds
Seat Weight:
27.68 pounds
Dimensions:
16x17x28.5 inches
Warranty:
One year
Prime Eligible:
Yes

Seat Type: 4-in-1
Child Weight Limits:
Four to 120 pounds (as a booster)
Maximum Rear-Facing Weight

Limit: 40 pounds
Seat Weight:
23 pounds
Dimensions:
20x21.5x24 inches
Warranty:
One year
Prime Eligible:
Yes

Seat Type: Convertible
Child Weight Limits:
14 to 85 pounds
Maximum Rear-Facing Weight Limit:
40 pounds
Seat Weight:
23 pounds
Dimensions:
29.7x20.8x19 inches
Warranty:
One year
Prime Eligible:
Yes

Seat Type: Convertible
Child Weight Limits:
Four to 65 pounds
Maximum Rear-Facing Weight Limit:
50 pounds
Seat Weight:
18.5 pounds
Dimensions:
22.1x19.2x25.2 inches
Warranty:
One year
Prime Eligible:
Yes

Seat Type: Convertible
Child Weight Limits:
14 to 65 pounds
Maximum Rear-Facing Weight Limit:
50 pounds
Seat Weight:
25 pounds
Dimensions:
24x16.9x16 inches
Warranty:
One year
Prime Eligible:
Yes

Seat Type: Convertible
Child Weight Limits:
Five to 40 pounds
Maximum Rear-Facing Weight Limit:
30 pounds
Seat Weight:
9.1 pounds
Dimensions:
18.5x22x25.5 inches
Warranty:
90 days
Prime Eligible:
Yes

Seat Type: Infant
Child Weight Limits:
Four to 35 pounds
Maximum Rear-Facing Weight Limit:
35 pounds
Seat Weight:
11.5 pounds
Dimensions:
26.5x17.75x25 inches
Warranty:
One year
Prime Eligible:
Yes

Seat Type: Infant
Child Weight Limits:
Four to 30 pounds
Maximum Rear-Facing Weight Limit:
30 pounds
Seat Weight:
17.15 pounds
Dimensions:
27.5x17x24 inches
Warranty:
One year
Prime Eligible:
Yes
Customer Rating:
4.5 stars

Our Final Word on Rear-Facing Car Seats

Our top picks all tout enhanced safety features, are commonly noted as being simple to install and range from infant-only seats to options that will grow with your child through the toddler years and beyond. As we’ve already mentioned, all children’s safety seats have to meet basic safety standards before they can be sold in the US market, so you don’t have to fear to purchase a seat that doesn’t measure up in the safety department. Ultimately, the best rear-facing car seat is going to be the one that includes the features that will bring you peace of mind, has a price that falls within your budget and is easy to install and use.

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