Newborns may not be allowed to leave the hospital in a convertible car seat. Rules vary from hospital to hospital, but in general, a newborn child cannot be transported home from the hospital in anything other than a rear-facing car seat. Yes, the argument could be made that a convertible car seat meets the safety criteria of a rear-facing infant model. However, most hospitals strictly interpret state car seat laws as applicable only to car seats with no forward-facing capabilities whatsoever.
Welcome to Rearfacing.ie, I am Winnie and as a parent of two boys I first became aware of extended rear facing (ERF) after conducting research into car seats when my first son was due to move from his baby capsule/carrier into a larger car seat. Seeing the safety benefits I purchased an ERF car seat for my first son and have continued to utilise ERF seats for both my children, with my 3 year old still rear facing.
Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act requires children weighing 18 kg to 36 kg (40 to 80 lb.), standing less than 145 cm (4 ft. 9 in.) tall and who are under the age of 8 to use a booster seat or allows the continued use of a forward-facing seat as long as the car seat manufacturer recommends its use. It’s best to keep your child in a booster seat until they reach the manufacturer’s recommended maximum weight and height limits.
While we tested and photographed our car seat for an hour and a half, our three-year-old model stayed cool and comfortable the entire time. His only complaint was how tightness of the crotch buckle, and it took us a few tries to figure out how to to adjust them correctly. But after that we heard zero complaints, the best test result a parent could ask for.

So at 4 years old, it’s possible (and wise) to keep your child in a rear-facing seat or at the very least a harnessed forward-facing car seat. Today’s harnessed car seats have higher maximum side limits to allow for extended use. However, you can save a step with a combination harness/booster seat. Some combination seats start as a harnessed forward-facing seat, then convert to a belt-positioning highback booster. Some of these can even convert to backless boosters.
If you ever come to a booster seat standoff with your child, be honest. Explain to them what the consequences are for not being properly secured in the car. Children who aren’t adequately secured are 55 percent more likely to be injured in a car accident than those who use a safety seat. Explain that a booster seat will make sure the shoulder and lap belts fit them just right to keep them safe for every trip.
Our comments: This unique “kid-positioner” fits kids bigger, older kids when traditional boosters don’t. Its short stature boosts those bigger kids up just enough for proper belt fit while its plain design makes it look more like a vehicle cushion than a booster. Shorter adults have even been known to use it to improve belt fit! See our preview and kid-written review of this terrific product.
Our comments: Budget-friendly seats for extended rear-facing! 2 year age minimum age for forward-facing use. Both Sonus & Stratos fit a wide range of kids – from small babies to older kids ready for a booster. Lightweight and great for traveling. LATCH weight limit is higher than most other seats on the market. These seats lack a lockoff for seatbelt installations so you must read your vehicle owner’s manual to determine how your seatbelts lock in order to properly install this carseat with seatbelt. Check out our Comparison of Convertible Seats Under $100.
Though it costs over $200, this harness-to-booster seat can be used for several years, as it’s designed for children weighing between 25 and 120 pounds. When your child is between 25 and 90 pounds, you can use the Britax product as a forward-facing harness seat. It has an impressive nine-position harness and two-position buckle to allow for maximum comfort, even as your child grows. Once kids reach the 40-pound mark, the seat can then be used as a belt-positioning booster.
Britax is known for top-of-the-line quality. Britax car seats may cost a bit more than some others. This is because every Britax car seat is manufactured to the highest quality standards and is designed to deliver superior safety and enhanced comfort. With careful attention paid to each detail from the shell to the stitching, you can count on a well-made product. That said, Britax offers an extensive range of car seats with an option for just about every budget.

A. The ClickTight system offered by Britax is quite possibly the easiest method of installing a car seat. While this is wonderfully convenient, the system’s true value lies in the reduced possibility of installing the seat incorrectly, which in turn would render it unsafe. There are only three steps to follow. First, turn the key to open the bottom of the seat. Second, thread and connect the seat belt. Third, click the seat closed. It doesn't get any easier that that! Furthermore, since you're using your vehicle’s seat belt, the weight limitations of LATCH installation aren't a concern.

Differences Between Size4Me/MySize & Contender: Size4Me 65 and its “clones” (MySize 65 & Fit4Me 65) are rated from 4 lbs. because of their infant insert cushion which helps to fit smaller newborns better than Contender, which doesn’t have the same insert and starts at 5 lbs. Contender has a different base design with a flip foot that you move back and forth for rear-facing and forward-facing. Size4Me has premium push-on LATCH connectors while Contender has basic hook-style connectors. Contender is generally about $30 cheaper, a few pounds lighter and its headwings are shaped differently.
Children who have outgrown their rear-facing seat and weigh at least 10 kg (22 lb) may ride facing the front in a child car seat. These child car seats have a built-in harness designed to keep your child safe throughout the journey, during sudden stops or a crash. Use a forward-facing seat until your child reaches the maximum weight or height limits for the child car seat. Some forward-facing seats are made for children who weigh up to 30 kg (65 lb).
A. Rear-facing car seats are designed to protect the fragile skeletal and muscular structure of their occupants. When an infant or toddler faces forward during a crash, the head snaps forward, causing softer neck and spinal bones to separate. This is an injury worse than whiplash. A rear-facing car seat is designed to cushion the head and prevent those whiplash-like injuries. Parents may want to have face-to-face time with their children, but safety should be a larger concern when transporting a fragile young passenger in a vehicle.
Like all Evenflo products, this seat is manufactured in the USA. The upfront harness adjustment is a favorite feature for parents because you can tighten or loosen the harness quickly with one hand. Dual cupholders are integrated in such a way that they don’t add to the width of this seat, which is uncommon in a lot of boosters. They also have an elastic strap to accommodate larger drink cups and bottles. A removable pillow adds extra comfort for long car trips.
Our comments: This is the rare extended rear-facing seat available for less than $100! The SureRide is budget-friendly and fits a wide range of kids – from small babies to older school-age kids. Also nice for traveling since it’s so lightweight. This seat lacks a lockoff for seatbelt installations so you must read your vehicle owner’s manual to determine how your seatbelts lock in order to properly install this carseat with seatbelt. See our full review of the Evenflo SureRide DLX.  Also, check out our Comparison of Convertible Seats Under $100.

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Furthermore, Jonas says, “There’s no way for the company to notify you of a recall.” That’s because many companies only issue recall information directly to registered owners. Some product safety organizations may have a master list of recalled products, but it is often up to the buyer to arrange for a repair or replacement. Without proof of an original purchase, you’d likely be better off disposing of the recalled model and buying a safer seat.
Keep in mind, however, that not all recalls are related to life-threatening flaws. Many times there may just be trivial issues, like missing information in the manual or a missing sticker on the seat. The best way to keep up-to-date is to be sure and register your seat – fill out that little card that comes with it and mail it off to the manufacturer (or register it online).
These car safety seats are buckled into the back seat of your car and face backwards. They’re meant for newborn to two-year-old children. While some professionals say rear-facing car seats can be upgraded to front-facing seats when a child turns one, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping your child in a rear-facing seat until they are two.1
The seat is made in China, which can increase the chances of quality control issues. When in high-back mode, the seat rattles when the child is not riding in it, so you have to secure it with the seatbelt. The visual appeal is rather lacking compared to other Chicco products. It’s also a bit heavier and wider so it may take up more backseat real estate than the competition.
Features: 5-50 lbs. rear-facing; 22-65 lbs. forward-facing and at least 1 year old (2 years old is suggested); 10-position headrest with no-rethread harness; 2 buckle positions; innovative “true tension doors” for ease of installation with seatbelt (preferred installation method); 10-position base; energy-absorbing EPS foam & side impact protection (SIP) pods; smooth harness adjustment; extension panel that can be used rear-facing for increased legroom or forward-facing for additional thigh support.
Differences between Pria 70 and Pria 85: Both seats are rated up to 40 lbs. and 40″ tall in the rear-facing position but the minimum weight limits are different. The Pria 70 model starts at 9 lbs. and the Pria 85 models start at 14 lbs. The 70 model is rated to 70 lbs. forward-facing and the 85 model is rated to 85 lbs. Both seats have Air Protect cushions on the headwings for enhanced SIP. The Pria 85 model offers harness holders (clips on the sides of the seat that can hold the harness out of the way while loading/unloading).
The Britax Frontier Clicktight Combination features energy-absorbing foam with deep walls and technology called "True Side Impact Protection," which helps distribute crash force more evenly in the event of a collision. What's more, the base of this seat comes with SafeCell technology that compresses and greatly lowers the center of gravity, reducing the seat's forward movement during an accident.
All in one seats can be used as a rear-facing seat, a forward facing seat, and as a belt-positioning high-back booster with the harness removed. Sometimes, you will be able to find an all in one that also converts to a backless booster with weight limits up to 120 pounds. Occasionally, you’ll see one with a booster mode that uses a harness, but they are pretty rare.
Britax Frontier G1.1 ClickTight Britax Pinnacle G1.1 ClickTight Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Booster Evenflo Maestro Booster Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Clek Oobr High Back Booster Graco Affix Youth Booster Disney KidsEmbrace Cinderella KidsEmbrace DC Comics Batman​ Graco Highback TurboBooster Britax Parkway SGL G1.1 Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Safety 1st Store-N-Go Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Evenflo Securekid Lx
We found that the Britax Frontier was one of the easiest booster seats to install overall thanks to its ClickTight technology. The headrest has 9 positions to grow with your child. The seat cover is easy to remove and wash or just spot clean. The weight limits (90 lbs forward-facing, 120 pounds booster) and height limits (58 in. forward-facing, 62 in. booster) are quite high. Plus, heavy padding and quality construction mean it will probably last through at least a couple of kids.
Our comments: We recommend only for kids over 4 years old who weigh at least 40 lbs. and are mature enough to sit properly in a booster. It’s budget-friendly, LATCHable and tends to fit kids of different ages and sizes well. We only wish it was taller! The Affix has a Best Bet rating from the IIHS in both highback or backless mode. See our review of the Graco Affix here.

When you are using a booster seat, always read the owner’s manual of both the car and the booster seat first. You will get great tips and tricks that will make installation much easier and more efficient. Most booster seats come with a plastic clip or guides that will help you to correctly position the vehicle lap and shoulder belts. Even more, your car may come with moveable pieces that you can use to adjust the clips and keep everything aligned. This is mostly true in newer cars. Another thing to be aware of is whether or not your car has lower anchors or attachments – this information should be readily available in the car booklet.
Our comments: This unique “kid-positioner” fits kids bigger, older kids when traditional boosters don’t. Its short stature boosts those bigger kids up just enough for proper belt fit while its plain design makes it look more like a vehicle cushion than a booster. Shorter adults have even been known to use it to improve belt fit! See our preview and kid-written review of this terrific product.
Also called car seat / stroller combos. Several infant car seats you’ll see here can either be bought alone or as part of a travel system. The seat will simply click onto the stroller. You may already have a stroller. But keep in mind that not all infant seats are compatible with all strollers, as is the case with the UPPAbaby MESA, which only fits the Vista and Cruz UPPAbaby strollers.
Kids spend more time in cars than they ever have before, so it’s vital to ensure they’re adequately protected at every age and stage. And if you have a child who’s 7 going on 27, she may be ready to give up the “baby” seat and ride like a grown up. She might put up a fuss about riding in a booster seat, especially if it still looks like it’s made for a little kid. The good thing is, that many booster seats available today have a more mature, grown-up look that your kid may actually love.
Our comments: One of the easiest convertibles to install correctly with either LATCH or seatbelt. Installing with SuperCinch is so quick and easy that it’s downright revolutionary. Use seatbelt plus tether to install if child weighs more than 40 lbs. Fits newborns (even small newborns) very well. Doesn’t take up a lot of space when rear-facing so it’s a good option for smaller vehicles. Generous rear-facing height and weight limits. Almost all kids will be able to rear-face in the NextFit until they reach 40 lbs. Well-padded and very comfortable. We love the extra convenience of the zip-off cover found only on Zip models. See full review of the Chicco NextFit here.
Hi Stephanie, thanks for your question! Both types of boosters can be very safe, but that depends on both the age of your child and how well the seat belt fits. Remember, vehicle belts are designed to fit adult males. For smaller children that are just transitioning into a booster, it can be difficult to get the vehicle belt to fit properly on their bodies, even with the seat belt guides on the booster.
If you are ever in an accident – or even have a sudden stop, an improperly fitting seat belt can injure your child more than the injury it would have prevented. If the shoulder belt doesn’t lay across their shoulder, it could cause major damage to her neck, respiratory system, or ribs. If the lap belt doesn’t fit across the tops of the thighs, it can cause damage to the internal organs, including the spleen, liver, and stomach. Sitting in a booster seat is a small sacrifice to make in order to prevent a catastrophic injury.

What you want to look for is if the lap belt lies flat on top of the thighs and NOT the abdomen. The shoulder belt should fit snugly across the middle of the child’s shoulder, NOT down on the arm or against the neck. If you can’t get the vehicle belt to fit properly using the booster guides, then a harnessed booster would be safer until the child is bigger.
Our comments: The Aton Q is part of the “Platinum” series lineup from Cybex and has some unique features not found on the other Aton models. The load leg vastly improves crash protection and telescoping L.S.P. enhances protection in side-impacts. The addition of a no re-thread harness and an improved, integrated canopy on this model are nice upgrades. This particular model will fit preemies and small newborns better than the other Cybex Aton models. Like all Aton models, the Aton Q has a compact shell which means it will fit well in small backseats but the drawback is that it will be outgrown by height more quickly than most other infant seats. Since the tensioning plate does not act as a built-in lockoff when installing with seatbelt, you must read your vehicle owner’s manual to determine how your seatbelts lock in order to properly install this seat. See our full review of the Cybex Aton Q here.
It can be difficult to install more than one seat in the same car, especially side by side. Find the dimensions of your car interior and the car seats before buying so you know if they’ll fit. Some car seats, particularly convertible models, are bulkier than infant seats. Look for compact seats with a narrower profile, such as the Chicco Keyfit 30.
The Cosco Juvenile Top Side is a backless booster with an extra-plush pad for added comfort. This seat fits children between 40 and 100 pounds with heights that range from 43 to 57 inches. Cosco's unique "seat-safe" design ensures that vehicle seats remain unmarked by the presence and use of the booster. Many customers tell us this product's narrow seat makes it a great choice for smaller cars, comfortably fitting children without tipping over.
Note that this seat does NOT convert to a backless booster. Quality control can be hit or miss with this seat. As far as visual appeal goes, the seat is superb for the younger kids who love Disney and other superhero characters. Once your kids approach the upper limit for the booster seat however, they may be very disenchanted with the look and want something more “grown up”.

Our comments: One of the easiest convertibles to install correctly with either LATCH or seatbelt. Installing with SuperCinch is so quick and easy that it’s downright revolutionary. Use seatbelt plus tether to install if child weighs more than 40 lbs. Fits newborns (even small newborns) very well. Doesn’t take up a lot of space when rear-facing so it’s a good option for smaller vehicles. Generous rear-facing height and weight limits. Almost all kids will be able to rear-face in the NextFit until they reach 40 lbs. Well-padded and very comfortable. We love the extra convenience of the zip-off cover found only on Zip models. See full review of the Chicco NextFit here.
Our Comments: Either is an excellent choice for extended rear-facing; they’re so tall that all kids will be able to rear-face in the 4Ever or Milestone until they reach 40 lbs. Easy to install in many vehicles but discontinue forward-facing installation with lower LATCH connectors and use seatbelt plus tether to install if child weighs more than 42 lbs. Since these seats lack a built-in lockoff for seatbelt installations you must read your vehicle owner’s manual to determine how your seatbelts lock in order to properly install these carseats with seatbelt. Milestone should fit average-sized full-term newborns well but may not be a good fit for low birthweight babies or preemies. 4Ever is better suited for smaller newborns. We have a complete review of the Graco 4Ever here and a complete review of the Graco Milestone here.
All Britax convertible car seats come with a patented V-shaped top tether that's designed to minimize seat rotation and divert collision forces. Furthermore, every Britax convertible car seat is made from premium materials and designed for superior durability. However, just like the company’s line of infant car seats, Britax convertible car seats are sold at a range of prices to suit different budgets. The main trade-offs for a lower-cost Britax convertible car seat versus a pricey one are padding (for both comfort and impact protection) and convenience features.

Features: 5-45 lbs. rear-facing, 22-65 lbs. forward-facing; deep headwings for enhanced side-impact protection; 10 harness height positions; no re-thread harness; 2 buckle positions; tether can also be used rear-facing; EPS foam; thick no-twist harness straps; push-on LATCH connectors; premium fabrics. Kinetic version includes an anti-rebound bar and side impact Kinetic pods.
Our comments: It’s one of the tallest booster seats on the market! It’s also budget-friendly, well-padded and has enhanced side-impact protection. It fits kids of different ages and sizes well. We only wish it had lower LATCH anchor attachments but considering everything that you’re getting for the price (under $60), we really can’t complain. Spectrum has a Best Bet rating from the IIHS in both highback and backless mode. See our full Spectrum Review here.
Infant seats typically have a base that stays in the vehicle although most (but not all) models can also be installed without the base. This type of carseat is rear-facing only for infants up 30-something lbs. and is highly portable. For infant seats rated higher than 30 lbs., almost all babies will outgrow the seat by height before reaching the weight limit. You can purchase extra bases to use in other vehicles if that suits your needs.
Our comments: We appreciate the rigid lower LATCH connectors, a “true” recline feature and the Crypton fabrics (on all fashions except for Drift). We recommend only for kids over 4 years old who weigh at least 40 lbs. and are mature enough to sit properly in a booster. The Oobr has a Best Bet rating from the IIHS when used in highback mode. See our Oobr review here.
Comments: Fits preemies and small newborns well. Easy to install in a variety of vehicles with either lower LATCH anchors or with seatbelt. The carrier is almost the same as the B-Safe 35 Elite; however, the Endeavours has the anti-rebound bar on the base and the capability to be installed without the base using the European belt routing. See our full review of the Britax Endeavours here.
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