Best Rear Facing Car Seat For Toddler: Everything changes when you welcome a baby into your life, from how you drive to the hours of sleep you get every night. If you have a baby under 15 months, you should consider purchasing a rear-facing car seat.
Our top pick for the best rear-facing car seat for a toddler is the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat. It can be used for toddlers up to 50 pounds and provide 5 inches of additional legroom, allowing your child to ride safely for longer.
Table of Contents
- Best Rear Facing Car Seats For Toddler – A Comparison Table
- Importance of Rear-Facing Car Seat
- What to Look for?
- 5 Best Rear-Facing Car Seat for Toddler
- More Choices
- Key References
According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), infants should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the highest height or weight allowed by their seats. Most rear-facing car seat for toddler comes with a removable carrier. This will enable you to install the base in your car.
Rear-facing car seats are perfect for newborns and infants, but you can use them for children up to 40 pounds.
Best Rear Facing Car Seats For Toddler – A Comparison Table
Importance of Rear-Facing Car Seat
A rear-facing car seat is the safest for your toddler, and so experts suggest using it for as long as possible.
- In the event of an accident, the rear-facing position helps to reduce the way their body absorbs impact. While a toddler is rear-facing, the toddler’s back, neck, and head are all protected and supported by the car seat, reducing the stress to the toddler’s spinal cord and fragile neck.
- When they are forward-facing, their body is restrained by the harness, and the head and neck are unrestrained. The toddler’s body is dependent on the strength of the spine to handle the stress of the crash.
- An average 9-month-old toddler’s head makes up 25 percent of their body weight, while the head of an adult makes up 6 percent of its body weight. The difference in proportion emphasizes the need to protect your child’s spinal column. The bone of the toddler has not ossified fully, and the cartilage connects the vertebrae of the toddler rather than the ossified bone.
- Your child stands a better chance of having a strengthened spinal column over time if you keep him in a rear-facing car seat.
What to Look for?
A) No-rethread harness
The 5-point harness height is very crucial for your toddler’s safety.
- As your infant grows, you must raise harness height to accommodate the new shoulder height.
- Many budget options require that parents rethread the shoulder manually to adjust their height.
- However, modern and more expensive options come with a no-rethread harness that fits at the click of one button.
- We recommend choosing a rear-facing car seat for toddler with a harness that doesn’t need rethreading to adjust the height.
B) High Height and Weight Limits
As mentioned earlier, the AAP recommends you keep your child rear-facing for as long as you can.
- This was traditionally limited by the manufacturer’s low limits for rear-facing height and weight limits.
- Today, rear-facing car seats are made to accommodate much higher heights and weights.
C) Side Impact Protection
Side impact protection range in body coverage and thickness.
- Some are double layers while others are single-layer, and some protect the torso and head.
- Also, some newer options include adjustable side-impact protection that helps you to maintain a narrow car seat profile.
- We recommend choosing a rear-facing car seat with a substantial side impact.
D) Anti-Rebound Bars
The anti-rebound bar is usually attached to the front of the seat and sits against and sticks up the back seat of the vehicle. The anti-rebound bar is specially designed to reduce rotational forces, spine and neck injuries, as well as the likelihood of whiplash.
E) Load Legs
The load leg is also designed to reduce rotational forces when a front-end or rear-end collision occurs. The load leg in a rear-facing car seat sticks down from the car seat bottom rear and stands on the backseat floor.
F) Energy-Absorbing Foam
Energy-absorbing foam is usually placed in the car seat’s shell, typically in the back, bottom, and sides to help increase safety.
- The most common types of energy-absorbing foam are EPS (expanded polystyrene) and EPP (expanded polypropylene).
- Both have excellent performance and will help reduce the amount of energy absorbed by your infant in the event of an accident.
5 Best Rear-Facing Car Seat for Toddler
Here are the best rear facing car seats for toddlers in the market place.
1. Britax Allegiance 3 Stage Convertible Car Seat
The Britax Allegiance 3 Stage Convertible Car Seat is comfy and safe for your little one while you are on the go.
- With built-in lock-offs and LATCH connectors, car seat installation is a breeze.
- Designed with the safety of your child in mind, this unit features the Britax SafeCell Impact Protection System, which includes forward movement reducing v-shaped tether, impact-absorbing base, a steel frame, and a side impact protection.
- The Britax Allegiance 3 Stage Convertible Car Seat is made with a layer of side energy absorption.
- The foam-lined shell will shield your little one from side impacts in a collision.
Additionally, three recline positions and foam padding will keep your baby cozy and comfy all the way.
- The 10-position easy-adjust headrest and harness will ensure you never have to rethread again.
- Also, the removable body pillow will ensure small babies snugly fit in the seat.
- The Britax Allegiance 3 Stage Convertible Car Seat can fit babies from 5 to 40 pounds in the rear-facing position.
2. Diono Radian 3R All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
The Diono Radian 3R All-in-One Convertible Car Seat is an affordable option that not only protects but also makes traveling with your child secure and safe.
- Featuring a sturdy integrated steel frame, the Radian 3R protects toddlers’ rear-facing from 5 to 40 pounds.
- It is reinforced with aluminum side-impact walls and memory foam seat lined with EPS foam to safeguard your kids.
- The car seat is created with a removable plush-knit fabric cover that is machine washable.
- It features a SuperLATCH system that makes installation secure and comfortable.
- The Diono Radian 3R All-in-One Convertible Car Seat folds flat for secure storage.
3. Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit 4-in-1 Car Seat
The Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit 4-in-1 Car Seat is comfortable for your little one and convenient for you.
- With the 4-position extension panel, this unit provides 5 inches of extra legroom, allowing your toddler to ride rear-facing safely.
- The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System allows parents to adjust the harness and headrest together to avoid the need to rethread the harness.
- It features a 10-position adjustable headrest that adapts easily for your child.
- The six-position recline keeps your child comfortable, while the LATCH system makes installation easy.
4. BRITAX Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
The BRITAX Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat provides stylish safety and features an innovative fabric.
- The ventilated mesh fabric helps to improve airflow, and the headrest and a padded seat ensure additional comfort.
- Thanks to the ClickTight Installation System, car seat installation is easy.
- This unit has the safety of your toddler in mind as it features the Britax SafeCell Impact Protection system, which includes a V-shaped tether, energy-absorbing base, and a steel frame.
- The staged release stitches help to reduce and slow forward movement in the event of an accident.
- The BRITAX Boulevard, ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, is designed with two layers of side energy absorption; a deep foam-lined head and shell protection will shield your little one from side impacts.
- The 14-position harness grows with your child, and with just the push of a button, you can change the car seat’s height.
- This rear car seat can be used in the rear-facing position for up to 40 pounds.
5. Graco Admiral 65 Convertible Car Seat
The Graco Admiral 65 Convertible Car Seat can be used in the rear-facing position from 5 to 40 pounds.
- The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System automatically adjusts the headrest and harness height in one motion, ensuring your child is properly secured.
- The 5-point harness makes getting your child in and out of the car seat easy.
- The convenient cup holder helps to keep drinks within reach of your toddler, so your travel companion remains content.
- The included easy-to-read level indicator and LATCH offer you stress-free installation. The Graco Admiral 65 Convertible Car Seat features two buckle positions, a machine-washable seat pad, and removable body support to help keep your child secure and snug.
Our top recommendation for the best rear-facing car seat for a toddler is the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat. It can support up to 50 pounds of toddler weight and provides 5 inches of extra additional legroom, allowing your child to ride safely for longer.
We don’t mean to sound extreme, but you will trust your chosen rear-facing car seat with your toddler’s life, which is why it’s essential to select a unit with a proven record. To avoid the unthinkable, we suggest you choose from our list of the best rear-facing car seat for toddlers.
- “AAP Updates Recommendations on Car Seats for Children”. Accessed January 28, 2020. Link.
- “An Overview of Anatomical Considerations of Infants and Children in the Adult World of Automobile Safety Design”. Accessed January 28, 2020. Link.
- “Seat Recommendations for Children” – nhtsa.gov. Accessed January 28, 2020. Link.
- “What are the best foam materials for absorbing energy in compression?”. Accessed January 28, 2020. Link.