Best Convertible Rear Facing Car Seat

Best Convertible Rear Facing Car Seats

He stepped away from the car for less than a minute… when he returned, his car was T-boned… on the side where his son was sitting…

 

What can you do in those situations?

The fact is that accidents are quite common, so no wonder we need good car seats to protect our little ones. They are the most vulnerable ones during a crash.

Look:

I know how hard it is to find the perfect car seat. The market is filled with so many types that you will be spending weeks, if not months looking and searching.

This is why I’ve created the best convertible rear-facing car seat article. I want to help you shorten your research time. By finding this article proves that you’re a smart parent. You already know that rear-facing is the safest position for your child.

I’ve gathered the best rear-facing convertible car seats. I’ve picked the very best for you to know. By reading this article to the end, you will find the perfect car seat for you.

Also, I will share with you what happened in the accident above. Not to mention, I will tell you which car seat was involved and how well it has performed.

So let’s get this best article started.

 

#1 Britax Advocate – Best Convertible Rear Facing Car Seat

Britax Advocate ClickTight Best Convertible Rear Facing Car SeatThis incident happened with my cousin. She was driving on the highway with three kids in the back. There was an accident ahead.

A long queue of cars was ahead of her. She noticed it too late. There were only a few things to do.

She slammed the brakes hard as she could and tried to avoid the parking cars in front of her. It’s extremely hard to come to a dead spot from 70-80 mph. She aimed at the dirt median.

She lost control and started rolling over. According to bystanders, her SUV rolled 5-6 times. It was a horrible accident. Everything that wasn’t nailed down became a lethal projectile. Their dog Coco was projected out of the car.

Finally, the car has stopped. The kids were all fine. They were shaken up, and not even Coco was injured.

The Britax Advocate won the Best Convertible Rear Facing Car Seat award.

It won because it has everything you’re child needs, plus it will keep them safe for a long time. Being a convertible means that you can install it rear or in forward facing mode.

The Advocate supports extended rear-facing. As you know, this provides the most safety to young kids. In the accident above, you can conclude that this car seat has protected the life of three kids.

Britax makes it so that means it’s the safest convertibles you can get. The installation is easy, no matter if you go with the latch system or the seat belt.

No matter what happens, this car seat will keep your loved ones safe.

Pros:

It’s a fortress which provides both front-facing and rear-facing mode

According to a policeman parent, it’s absolutely the best

It’s easy to understand thanks to the well-assembled manual

Cons:

It’s heavy once you have installed you won’t move from the car

ARB looks like an afterthought a bit flimsy

 

Runner up: Diono Radian 3RXT

Diono Radian 3RXT All-in-One Convertible Car SeatThis incident happened with a friend of mine. They were in a typical shopping run. The father was driving, and the boy was in the back.

Everything usually went until another driver ran the red light. The collision was unavoidable. They got hit from the side. The driver’s side exactly where the little boy was sitting.

The crash was loud as metal twisted under the huge pressure. The glass cracked and shattered.

The front side of their van was destroyed. The airbags did a great job of protecting the father. The little boy was by a miracle wasn’t hurt in the accident. He was scared. He had not even a scratch on him.

The Diono  Radian proved itself in a real crash. The little boy was safe and sound.

As a matter of fact, the Diono Radian it’s even a bit better than the Advocate. For example, you can do rear-facing up to 45 pounds, and it has a booster mode where the upper limit is set to 120 pounds.

It has a convertible part and a booster mode as well. It has fallen short because the installation is not that easy. I’m a stickler for manuals, and I’ve found it difficult to follow the instructions. Plus, they have over-engineered everything. You feel that you have to have a doctorate or a science degree just to attempt the install.

The second issue was that this is a huge car seat. If you want to do extend rear-facing, then you will have to mount it in the center, or there will be an unhappy front row.

The Diono was very close, but the drawbacks were too much.

Pros:

Finally, a car seat where the baby isn’t slouching or sliding down

It’s lightweight and easy to move around

It’s soft and padded plus it comes with side impact protection

Cons:

The gray fabric is not that stain friendly

You can’t remove the fabric the only solution is spot cleaning

 

#2 Chicco NextFit – Best Rear Facing Toddler Car Seat

Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car SeatThis incident happened with my brother. He went out with his son for a quick shopping run. He parked regularly and left his son in the car because he was absorbed in the game he was playing.

It didn’t take a minute when he heard a loud crash. He had a bad feeling. I dropped everything and ran out to see what happened. He couldn’t believe his eyes. His car got T-boned.

To make things worse, the crash happened on the side where his son was sitting. He ran as fast as he could. Ripped open the car to find his son playing with the stuffed animals as if nothing has happened.

The little boy started crying when he saw his dad’s panic. He was fine. He didn’t get hurt.

Chicco NextFit won the Best Rear Facing Toddler Car Seat award.

It’s not only built like a tank, but it provides a protective bubble around your little one. This convertible car seat is the best rear-facing one because it provides the most legroom. You can even do extended rear-facing until 40 pounds. According to Chicco, your kiddo will have 25% more legroom than other car seats.

Rear-facing is the safest way for a child to ride. This provides the best protection. Now the NextFit is not only safe as you have seen in the crash above, but it’s comfortable as well because it has a lot of legroom. Not to mention you can keep your little one in rear-facing mode for a long time.

Pros:

By looking at your child you know, they are safe it’s like a protective shell

The frame is made out of reinforced solid steel, that’s safety in my book

It’s very comfortable on long rides

Cons:

It’s a TANK very heavy and bulky

It’s hard to move from car to car once it fixed it stays there

 

Runner up: Cybex Sirona M

Cybex Sirona Convertible Rear Facing Car SeatThe Cybex Sirona M came in a close second in this category. It’s very similar to the NextFit. It’s the first smart convertible car seat on the market. It has three sensors to help make life easier.

The first sensor shows the temperature. It’s good to know if the car seat is too hot or cold, so you’re little one doesn’t get uncomfortable. Plus, it measures the temperature as times go by so you will know if your child is overheating.

The second smart feature is letting you know if you’re crafty child managed to undo the harness. On long trips, kids get bored easily. The third option is a reminder if you have forgotten your child in the car seat.

All the specs are similar to Chicco, plus you get the smart functionalities. Why did it lose? There are a few reasons. One of them would be that the sensors are not that accurate and tend to give frequent false positives. You can’t customize the sound alerts, and after a while, they will get on your nerves.

It’s a heavy car seat. It’s highly unlikely that you will be swapping it between cars. Lastly, the cover is not machine washable. This is a biggie since it caters to infants and toddlers who tend to have spills and accidents.

The Cybex Sirona M is a good car seat, but it wasn’t for me.

Pros:

Kids get bored in car seats, so they tend to unbuckle luckily there’s a sensor for that

It comes with a bubble to get the seat leveled as easy as possible

Magnets keep the straps in place

 

Cons:

The sensor isn’t that accurate there were false readings reported

Machine washing is not supported, hand wash only

 

#3 Clek Fllo – Best Extended Rear Facing Car Seat

Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat

Extended Rear-facing up to 50 pounds

The Clek Fllo won the Best Extended Rear Facing Car Seat award.

Extended rear-facing provides the best protection for little ones. The more you can keep them facing the rear, the safer it is for them. It’s highly advised to keep your little one in this mode until the age of two. In some European countries, this limit is set to four.

With the Clek Fllo, you will be able to keep your little one in rear-facing mode until 50 pounds or around the four-year mark. This was the main reason why it has won the award. It’s one of the few car seats that allow this much rear-facing. Most of them tap out at 40 pounds.

Clek has something else up its sleeve. They were the first brand that passed the test without using any chemicals or flame retardants. So if you value chem-free materials, this is for you. Also, if you have a child with sensitive skin, then the Fllo is your safest option.

Though this doesn’t come cheap. It’s one of the safest and yet most expensive rear-facing car seats you can buy.

If you’re short on space, this car seat has a narrow profile, so three across will be doable.

It’s one of the safest car seats that allow the longest extended rear-facing, plus it has an eco-friendly cover. These are the reasons why it won.

Pros:

It looks good in the car, and it’s safe at the same time

It’s safe tests show that it has the least toxic chemicals and fire retardants

It’s the narrowest car seat you can buy. Two of these in the backseat, and there’s still room in the middle for an adult.

Cons:

The resistive stain fabric is a good idea until a peeing accident. It fills all the hidden crevices so it will smell.

It’s hard to fly with this car seat. TSA agents warn against it.

 

Runner up: Graco Extend2Fit

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car SeatExtended Rear-facing up to 50 pounds

This incident happened with some friends of ours. They were coming home from the grandparent’s house. Their young 11-month-old son was asleep in the back.

The trip was the usual one until a drunk driver smashed into them. The impact came from the front. The airbags instantly exploded and protected the parents. The engine didn’t stand a chance. It has twisted into an unrecognizable shape. The other driver, besides being drunk, was speeding.

The windshield shattered into a million sharp projectiles. It wasn’t over yet.

There was so much energy from the impact that their car did a 180 and flew across two lanes and stopped in the embankment.

The family got lucky; the parents got a few cuts and bruises. Their little one was safe and sound. He was scared and crying, but he was unhurt.

The Graco Extend2Fit was so close to taking the award. Besides being a safe car seat and protecting lives, it has a few flaws that cost the title.

This is not a light car seat. After you have installed it, you won’t be motivated to swap it between cars. There’s a flaw in the design. If you have a big hand, you won’t be able to reach the release button. Lastly, it’s extremely hard to reattach the cover after washing.

Since this car seat caters to infants and toddlers, you can imagine that you will have to clean up after accidents and spills. The Graco Extend2Fit is a good car seat with a few shortcomings.

Pros:

It’s one of the easiest to install can be done in less than 5 minutes

There’s no manual rethreading of the straps ever

The fabric is easy to wash even after a vomiting incident

Cons:

The release button is hidden, and if you have big hands it’s hard to reach

You need to watch videos to put the fabric back into place

 

 

Buyer’s Guide

I thought that it would be a great bonus if I share with you a buyer’s guide. As you know, I review a lot of car seats. So I had to create my system. This is what you’re getting for free.

Before we get there, here are two very important pieces of advice.

First of all, you need to find the best spot for the car seat. The safest place for your child is in the middle of the car because that’s where he’s most protected. I know that’s only doable for some. So here’s the second safest spot which is behind the driver.

The second piece of advice is to get the tightest install possible. There’s the rule of thumb of having the wiggle room less than an inch. Now some car seats are easy to install while others are notoriously difficult. All the car seats were tested by me personally and are OK to install.

If you want to be on the safe side, then you can reach out to a licensed professional.

Now I will share with you my buyer’s guide. If you like it, you can copy it.

 

Safety

Safety is top of my list. And for most parents, this is the main concern as well. Here’s the good news that all car seats on the market are safe. They have passed the government standards.

Now some brands go above and beyond when it comes to protection. The typical safety features include front and rear collisions. In recent years there has been a rise in side impacts. So a fair number of brands started, including side-impact protection or SIP. The more layers it can provide, the better it is. Typically there are between one to three layers.

 

Size Limits

This is the second item on my list. I want to share with you a little secret here. This is my favorite place in saving money without compromising on safety. The secret is that you get it for many years to come. These car seats are indeed more expensive, but they provide more mileage.

Of course, car seats are expensive, and they have short expiration dates. So this is the only way to save a bit of money.

 

Install

Just recently read a troubling study which showed that 75% of car seats are installed poorly. This means that children aren’t protected by 100%.

This is so important to not just getting the right car seat but the one that’s the easiest to install. There’s some good news for you.

Lately, all major brands have evolved their installation process, so it has become effortless. From auto tightening to on push, I’ve seen them all.

 

Fabric

This is the last item on my list. Since these convertibles cater to infants and toddlers, you can expect accidents. You need to know ahead of time the cleaning procedure.

Some seats only allow spot cleaning, while others are hard to remove or reattach. You need to be clear of these issues ahead of time.

 

Conclusions

We have reached the end of this best article. For each category, I’ve picked the best and the second-best. Just in case there’s something that you don’t like, you can choose another one.

By now you should know exactly which would be the best fit for you. And now it’s your turn. Get them soon because stocks are running low. The last time I’ve checked, there were some shortages.

I bet you have something to share, so drop your comment below.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What is the best convertible car seat?

The best convertible car seat is the Britax Advocate.

What is the most comfortable convertible car seat?

The most comfortable convertible car seat is the Maxi Cosi Pria 85.

When should I put my baby in a convertible car seat?

Convertible car seats cater to infants as low as 5 pounds in body weight. So you can use the car seat from the first day if they are good with the minimum requirements.

What are the car seats the didn’t make it on the list?

Here’s the list of those who almost made it: Britax boulevard clicktight booster seats, Britax marathon clicktight backless booster, Graco 4ever high-back booster, nuna rava grow and go, safety 1st convertible seat, maxi-cosi pria, Evenflo tribute lx all-in-one convertible car seat.

Which are the best convertible car seats?

One of the best convertible car seats is the Britax Advocate. Now if you want to find out more I’ve created a review article with this same exact title best convertible car seats.

Which of these best car seats can fit three seats across?

The narrowest car seats can fit three seats across this is ideal for smaller cars. The Diono Radian 3RXT would be the best option. If you have a small car you will need both a convertible the will fit three across and a all in one car seat that will fit three across as well.

What are the height and weight limits for these convertible car seats?

For convertible car seats the height and weight limits go like this. The weight range for forward facing 22 to 65 pounds. The upper weight limit for booster seat is 100 pounds (100 lbs). The weight limit for forward-facing car seat or infant car seat is 30 pounds. For forward facing car seat the upper weight limit is 120 lbs. That number is quite high. The 120 lbs is quite generous. For 3 in 1 forward facing 22 pounds to 100 lbs. The 65 pounds and 120 lbs is amazing it will serve you for many years to come.

How do you install these rear-facing position convertible seats?

These rear-facing position seats are known for ease of use. They come with easy installation. Make sure you always install it on the back seat. Also make sure that you read the manual first. The back seat is the safest place for them. If you want piece of mind that the seat has to be properly installed. To make the install you need to use either the seat belt or the latch connectors. Typically the seat belt is slower and harder. Also you can utilize the lower anchors and tethers for a good install.

What kind of car seat safety standards do these car seats uphold?

For a rear-facing seat the anti-rebound bar is a must. As you know the anti-rebound bar absorbs impact energy. These seats were in a crash test and they passed. Most of them come with a steel frame. The chest clip is important. Make sure that the chest clip is lower than the armpit of any years old. All these rear facing forward facing car seats have passed crash test standard and government safety standards. As you know side impact protection is very important nowadays. When it comes to safety features you can’t get enough of them. The all in one car seat usually has  a 5 point harness (quickfit harness). Some of these high back seats (highback booster) come with air protect like the evenflo everystage. Other safety features worth considering is the air protect system. Even belt positioning high back booster seats have a steel frame. This will keep your little one safe from harm.

What additional features do these rear facing convertibles have?

It would be features like super easy to use extension panel. A cup holder or two cup holders. Seat belt and harness system. Multiple recline positions. Washable seat pad and seat cover. Every time you adjust the headrest you adjust the harness as well. Magnetic chest clip would be nice. Backless booster car seat with latch install. Of course the seat belt. The machine washable seat cover is a great plus. Especially if you have a diaper blowout the machine washable fabric is a god send for the seat pad. The multi position headrest and multi position recline offers great comfort for the kids. The seat also should contain these features: leg rest, harness holders, latch connectors, rethread harness, shoulder straps. The 5 point harness is a real life saver. The 10 years of warranty is a great addition. The harness and headrest come with 10 position headrest and quick fit harness. Some seats come with a position recline recline for more comfort. The air protect system provides 360 degrees protection. The seat also is usable up to 12 years old. Some cool features you can’t live without: quickfit harness, 10 position headrest, 10 position reclines, machine washable harness and headrest and machine washable seat cover.

What would be a good alternative for these rear facing convertible seats?

Good alternatives would be: safety 1st high back booster seat mode, graco 4ever all in one seat, nuna rava infant car seats, cosco scenera toddler car seat, evenflo everystage highback booster. Or you can pick any other all in one car seats, high back booster seat, belt positioning booster seat, 3 in 1 car seat (rear facing, forward facing). Always pick the one that has ease of use.

Last Updated on August 6, 2020

About Danny Reid
About Danny Reid

Danny here, no matter in which market you’re in it’s flooded with products. Maybe you want a new stereo, amps, speakers or subs? This is why the blog exists to cut through the clutter.
My goal with the reviews is to inform you of the best possible to make the right decision.
Plus if you’re stuck with “the blue wire is connected to???” I have many hot tips to get you out of a jam.