The Best Forward Facing Car Seat with Pros, Cons & Recommendations
Welcome to the best forward-facing car seat award ceremony!
So I’ve spent the last month or so testing out different forward-facing car seats with my two eldest kids driving endless miles (sometimes in circles) to get their opinion on which seats are the best. Also, I’ve talked with other parents, read reviews and checked recalls to bring you the best of the best; meanwhile, this experiment cost me a ton of ice cream for some peace and quiet.
Finding the perfect forward-facing car seat is a hard task. It doesn’t help the cause that there’s an almost infinite selection of constant updates. So this is why I decided to test it on my own kids to see which are the very best car seats to make a choice easier for you.
You see, I’m a mom of three and only the two eldest of mine qualified for this test. Since I’m a stay-at-home mom, I have “all the time in the world”. Plus, it doesn’t hurt if my kids start to earn their keep.
Anyways I’m ranking the top 5 forward-facing car seats on: safety features, comfort for kids, how much cursing is needed to install it and, of course, price.
So no matter which one you choose from below, it will guarantee to keep your child safe and comfortable no matter what happens.
Let’s see those car seats already!
In a Hurry? Here Are the Top 3 Front Facing Car Seats
For parents who want the safest car seat on the market, which is the last one they will ever buy.
For parents who like to plan ahead and love to save money in the long run by getting the only car seat needed—budget-friendly ideal for multiple vehicles.
For parents who want the ultimate forward-facing car seat that’s not only cool but offers the best protection possible.
Oh boy, this car seat is the clear winner in the forward-facing category! Not only is it the safest car seat for your child, but it’s super comfy as well. I will share everything there is to know.
Thanks to the 5-point harness, you will be able to keep your child safe and sound no matter what (it’s the best way to strap them in).
Now, the fabric is breathable, so your child won’t overheat or extensively sweat, even if they are in Arizona’s heat.
Maybe you have a taller child? If so, no worries as there’s more than enough legroom for comfort.
Here is why it’s top of my list:
- Safety First! With this seat, you will be getting the latest and best safety features to keep your precious safe and sound no matter what.
- No-Swear Installation: Finally, a car seat that will prevent me from making frequent donations in the swear jar! The mounting is simply effortless.
- Budget-Friendly: This Graco car seat is super affordable, so you can even get two if you have several vehicles.
Here are a few drawbacks that you might want to check out:
This is a bulky seat, and if you’re looking for one that will allow you to do 3-across, forget about it as there are much better solutions than this one.
Secondly, it won’t win any beauty awards because the straps are visible on the back. However, who cares about that when you know it will protect your child at all costs.
As you have seen, this Graco 4Ever car seat is a great choice for a forward-facing car seat. And besides all these features, it grows with your child, so it can be the very best seat that they will need.
Here’s the cold water, though. Since it’s so popular, people are grabbing them like there’s no tomorrow, so you need to move fast if you want to secure one.
If you’re looking for something cheaper, check out #2 on my list.
With this Diono car seat, you’re getting a hell of a bargain. You see, it not only grows with your child, but you can also use it for up to 10 years. So, maybe if you have a younger child, they also will be able to ride in safety.
Let me assure you that this car seat has plenty of legroom. Plus, it has a narrow frame, so you will be able to do 3-across if you need to.
This seat has all the safety features you will ever need. Plus, it’s super comfortable. While testing it, my kids were quietly daydreaming.
The steel frame will keep your child safe and sound no matter what, and my kids tended to dose off. That’s how comfy this seat is.
Here’s why it’s a must-buy:
- Unbeatable Forward Facing Car Seat: The safety ratings are high, and after just touching the seat, you will feel that it will keep your child safe
- Comfort at a Whole Another Level: The fabric is nice and not scratchy, and there’s enough padding. No wonder my kids were off to catch zzz’s very fast
- Swear-Free Installation: Diono did a great job with this car seat, so you can skip the swearing and still be able to do lightning-fast installations
Here are a few drawbacks that you might want to check out:
Depending on your child’s age, this might not be a biggie, but the cover is not removable, so your only way to clean it is to use spot cleaning. If your child is not car sick or is not a messy eater, then there shouldn’t be any problem.
I wouldn’t go for the gray color because it’s not stain-friendly. And since there are only spot cleaning options, it will be hard to keep it clean.
By having such a narrow profile, you do 3 across with ease. The Diono Radian is also the best Diono car seat.
Britax Grow With You Clicktight won the most comfortable forward facing car seat award. This car seat is forward-facing only with two modes. It can be used as a harness and a booster car seat.
According to the IHHS, it’s the highest-rated car seat of all forward-facing ones.
Kids will love this car seat, and you can’t go wrong with it. After a certain age, kids will want what big kids have and want to step aside from baby stuff. This car seat is the ultimate big kid seat. The design is different from all those baby looking car seats. You will not have a protest about the looks.
As a matter of fact, it looks like a miniature NASCAR car seat. They will love it.
It comes with a 9-year expiration date, which means you’ll be getting a lot of mileage for your money. The weight limits are generous. It can be used from 25 pounds all the way up to 120.
No matter their age, kids will make a mess. We, as parents, have to clean up after them. Luckily Britax made the process simple. You can easily remove the cover and throw it in the washing machine. No matter the stain, it will be good as new.
The installation couldn’t be simpler. With the Clictight tech, Britax made the mounting effortless. You pop open the back and feed through the belt or the latch, then you close it. It’s done. It’s that simple.
For all these reasons, the Britax Grow With You won the Best Forward Facing Car Seat award.
As you know, most car seats have chlorinated or brominated substances on them for safety reasons. These chemicals aren’t good for your health. Plus, there’s the mandatory flame retardant. Clek uses merino wool, so they don’t need all these toxins. If you have kids who have sensitive skin, Clek is your best option.
Besides being eco-friendly, it’s a super-safe car seat for forwarding facing. The frame is made out of tough aluminum, and the headrest isn’t for show either. It provides side impact protection. The installation is so easy that after getting used to it, you wish all other car seats had this one.
With the Clek Oobr backless booster, you’re getting the rigid latch system. In a matter of seconds, you will be done with the install. No guesswork and no getting it wrong.
Did I mention the looks? The Oobr backless booster caters to older kids. Typically after a while, they want to get rid of anything that says, baby. With the Oobr booster seats, they can enjoy the big kid seat.
Contrary to most car seats, it has a recline function; thus, there won’t be any floppy heads.
It’s one of the coolest forward-facing car seats that I’ve ever seen.
You may also like: [Revealed] Best booster seats for 5 year old
Not even a minute has passed, and there was a loud crash. My brother fearing the worst dropped everything and ran outside. Then he saw that his car got T-boned on the same side where his son was sitting.
Expecting the worst, he ran towards his car. He ripped open the door on the other side. Then he saw his son. He was still playing with his stuffed animals as if nothing has happened. When he saw his dad’s panic-stricken face, he started crying. There wasn’t even a scratch on him.
The Chicco Nexfit Zip is one of the best forward-facing car seats you can choose from. The protective shell surrounds your little one and protects them from harm. The Nexfit Zip is a convertible that can be mounted rear and forward facing. We’re interested in the forward facing mode right now.
The Chicco Nextfit Zip is one of the highest-rated car seats on Consumer Reports. Many parents have fallen in love with it. Besides all these features, it has a narrow profile.
The width is just 19 inches wide. The install is super simple. All you have to do is pull on two straps, and the seat is nice and tight.
If you want to learn more about narrow car seats take a look at the best narrow car seats post.
This was a long ride. And I was thinking of giving you something extra before you live. The perfect gift for this car seat article would a buyer’s guide. You will never know when you have to look up a new car seat.
By using this guide, you will be able to eliminate all unwanted car seats and only spend time on those that actually matter.
Before we can get to that, I have to share with you two important tips that you have to know about.
The first one is about the car seat’s position. As you know, not all places are created equal in your vehicle. The safest place for your child is in the middle of the car. This is good in theory, but in practice, only a few can apply it. So here’s the second safest place for your child. It’s located behind the driver.
The second tip is about the perfect installation. You see, if there’s too much wiggle room with the car seat, then it won’t be able to provide the necessary protection. This is why it’s so important to get that perfect install. Now, if you have second thoughts, you can always reach out to a licensed professional.
Let’s get this buyer’s guide started.
Safety is the most important thing to check when you’re looking for a forward-facing seat. Since these car seats tend to cater to older kids, the safety procedures start to relax.
Even in forward-facing mode, side-impact protection is a must. Some brands offer rollover protection, as well. Although these accidents are rare, but they have the most fatalities.
In this category, I highly recommend getting the most protection possible. It’s better not to have used it then not having enough.
This is my favorite category from all. This is where you can save some money without compromising on safety. The big secret is getting a car seat that will last the longest time. If you don’t have to upgrade, you’re saving money.
Since forward-facing car seats are almost the last ones to be used, you can still save money if you can get a booster combo.
After infant’s seats, these tend to be the easiest ones to install. Usually, brands allow forward-facing with the latch system until 65 pounds. There are a few exceptions, but those are rare.
We all know kids. No matter their age, messes will be common, so you have to know in advance how easy it is to clean them. Most car seats offer easy removal and machine washing.
This would be my quick buyer’s guide. Put it to good use.
Best Front Facing Car Seat Conclusions
We have reached the end of the Best Forward Facing Car Seat article. I have done the heavy lifting for you. All the time-wasters have been eliminated.
By now you should know which car seat is the right fit for you. I’ve gone ahead and checked the stocks for these car seats, and they were low. So get them soon until they are still available.
I would love to hear from you. You can share your thoughts and ideas below.
Top Rated Front Facing Car Seats Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What is the best front facing car seat?
The best front facing car seat is the Britax Grow With You. This car seat is a great option for parents who are looking for a seat that will grow with their child. This car seat can be used in both forward-facing and rear-facing positions, and it has a weight limit of up to 65 pounds. It also features multiple recline positions, so your child can always be comfortable while riding in the car. Additionally, the Britax Grow With You car seat is easy to install, and it comes with a machine washable seat pad.
What is the best forward facing car seat?
The best forward-facing car seat is the Britax Grow With You. This car seat can be used in both forward-facing and rear-facing positions, and it has a weight limit of up to 65 pounds. It also features multiple recline positions, so your child can always be comfortable while riding in the car.
What is the best rated forward facing car seat?
The best rated forward facing car seat is the Britax Grow With You. It also features multiple recline positions, so your child can always be comfortable while riding in the car.
What is the safest forward facing car seat?
The safest forward facing car seat is the Britax Grow With You. This car seat may be used in either the forward-facing or rear-facing configurations, and it is compatible with children weighing up to 65 pounds. It also has several recline settings so that your youngster can remain comfortable when riding in the car.
What is the most comfortable forward facing car seat?
The most comfortable forward facing car seat is the Chicco Nextfit Zip. This forward-facing car seat has a soft, cushioned seat that will keep your child comfortable during long drives.
When can a baby be forward facing in a car seat?
It’s highly recommended to keep the baby in rear facing mode until 2 years old. If you want forward facing then check out the weight limit for the particular car seat.
Can my 1 year old sit in a front facing car seat?
Yes, a 1 year old can sit in a front facing car seat. Although it’s highly recommended to keep babies in rear facing position until 2 years old.
What is the safest car seat for a 2 year old?
The safest car seat for a 2-year-old is the Britax Advocate Clicktight Convertible car seat.
Which car seats didn’t make the best front facing car seat list?
These didn’t make the cut: Britax frontier convertible seat, maxi cosi magellan infant seat, graco snugride infant car seat, maxi cosi pria 85 toddler car seat, nuna rava toddler car seats, chicco nextfit zip combination seat, cosco scenera next highback booster seat, evenflo tribute lx high back booster seats. Typically the infant car seat and the infant seat don’t have a forward facing mode only if it’s a convertible seat. There are so many car seats to choose from that I didn’t include all of them there are still all in one car seat options, backless booster seat, belt positioning booster seats, 3 in 1 and other convertible car seat. If you want to pick from these make sure that it is recommended by a child passenger safety technician or american academy of pediatrics. There are many car seat types to choose from there are the baby car seat, convertible car seat, best infant car seat model and of course the best car seats. These would be only the main categories only. You might need forward facing car seats up to 12 years old.
What’s the height and weight limit for these best forward facing toddler car seats?
The height and weight limits are as follows. For rear-facing and forward-facing is 40 pounds and 120 pounds. The rear-facing seat can be used in extended mode up to 50 pounds. These would be the weight and height for toddler seats. The 5 to 40 pounds weight range is the typical one. For the Harness height limit the values change by each car seat manufacturer. The height limits are on the product page. For rear facing the height limits are 30 inches or 32 inches. For forward facing position the height limits are 49″. Finally the height limits for belt positioning booster are 59 to 62 inches. The all in one car seat weight range is 5 to 120 pounds.
What kind of car seat safety features should these best forward facing convertible car seats have?
Many parents are interested in these child safety features. The convertible car seats on the market have a steel frame. As you know the steel frame is a life saver. These seats are know for their ease of use. Other features would be if you want your child to ride rear-facing as long as possible check out the Extend2Fit convertible car seat. Quick list of features: top tether, harness system, eps foam. If you want to be extra cautious make sure that the convertible car seat has a steel frame. All the car seats in the list have high safety standards. Some of them are so good that you will be able to take home from the hospital your baby you’ll need only the right rear facing car seat. As you know front seat is reserved for older kids. With the right recline positions you can make the seat pad comfortable. Another great feature to check out is the energy absorbing base and tethers for children. The chest clip should be at armpit level. The recline angle can be adjusted for the most comfort. The more foam layers the child ride has the safer it is just like the birtax frontier, cosco scenera next and maxi cosi. The parents love safe car seats in smaller cars and the leveling system. The thing parents can’t live without is adequate head support and machine washable seat cover. All the seats above are machine washable.
How do you install the best convertible seats in rear-facing car seat mode?
The best car seat is by far the Britax Advocate it’s also the best convertible as well. These convertible car seats are easy to install. You can use the latch connectors or the seat belt and the shoulder belt. Make sure you’re installing it on the back seat. When it comes to car seat installation you have to check both the bubble levels and the seat angle of the car safety seat (car safety seats). The seat belts are a chore. If you don’t have other choices than you can use the adult seat belt (vehicle seat belt) or the lap belt. It even works with the belt positioning booster seat. Now the latch installation system is straight forward. You connect the latch connectors to the lower anchors. After that you secure the anchors and tethers. Make sure you check out the manual first for super easy install. The latch system is easy to install.
Do forward facing booster seat have cup holders?
Yes booster seat have cup holders. They can only be installed with the seat belt no harness straps involved. The forward facing seat allows you to adjust the harness for more comfort this works with 3 in 1 seats side by side with convertible seat. The maxi cosi has a big selection of forward facing seat (forward facing position) and convertible seat. The seat size is printed on the label.
What kind of seat types are there for a forward facing toddler car seat?
These would be the seat types for a toddler seat: convertible car seats, rear-facing car seat, forward facing booster seat.
Can I find a high back booster forward facing seat at an affordable price?
Yes you can find a forward facing booster seat at an affordable price. Best of all you don’t have to give up any safety features. These safety features include: steel frame (steel reinforced frame), no rethread harness, three recline positions, two cup holders (integrated cup holders, retractable cup holders, removable cup holders) , machine washable seat pad, infant insert, easy installation, child safe, shoulder straps. Extra safety features (additional safety features) include: extendable calf rest, ride safely, sensor safe technology, storage compartment, plastic shell, cup holder, no rethread harness, comfy features, dishwasher safe, correctly installed latch straps.
How do you install your car seat correctly?
Firs you have to decide if you want to install it as an extended rear facing seat or as a backless booster forward facing seat. To know if the seat has been installed correctly check the safety standards. In case it’s installed incorrectly during a car accident it won’t offer the best protection. If you’re using the back seats you will have an easy installation even with a lightweight seat in smaller cars. The car’s backseat is the safest place to ride if installed correctly. In forward facing seat booster mode to properly install in grandparent’s car you can use the vehicle’s seat belt. Always check the adjustable headrest and the height and weight limits, latch weight limits so all the safety feature do their job in a car crash according to the federal safety standards. The typical cup holders are dishwasher safe. As the child grows make use of the adjustable headrest in the nuna rava booster mode. Also it’s good to know that the rear facing seat taps out at 40 lbs weight capacity while the weight limit is at 65 lbs. The only only car seat that offers extended rear facing is the graco extend2fit where the weight limit is set to 65 lbs weight maximum and yes it has multiple recline positions. Most children a least age 3 want a forward facing seat or an all in one convertible car seat which is a comfortable seat to fall asleep.
What kind of seat should I get if my child’s weight is more than 65 lbs?
Well rear facing is out of the question, you have to lean towards belt positioning booster seat. Also make sure that the regular seat belt goes below the child’s head. All in one seat is a bit late or if you plan to have a second child then it’s a go. In most vehicles the car seat based on the back seats. Depending on the child’s age and the child weighing you can choose the best seat for them. You can rest assured that the infant seats have been crash tested so they obey the safety standards. Some seats have rethread harness while other are no rethread harness and of course they come with easy to wash fabric.
When can baby face forward in car seat 2023?
Most car seats have a recommended minimum age of 2 years old for forward-facing use.
Last Updated on October 24, 2023 by Brian Beasley