Best Rear and Forward Facing Car Seat 2017

Choosing a car seat for your child can be difficult and there is a lot of confusion about which is best rear or forward facing car seat. Some parents like to be able to see their kid’s in the rear-mirror and get a smile back.

There are loads to choose from and here at BuzzParent we aim to assist in finding some of the best on the market. In this review, I will look at some of the best available options and make sure you know the facts before making a decision.

There are some good reasons to know the differences between forward and rear facing ones if you don’t know already. Safety is of the utmost importance and I’ll highlight with a devastating story about a mother who chose to have one child facing forward and another child’s seat facing backward. She found herself driving home one day with the kids and being late she decided to drive a little faster to the dentists, which caused her to lose control and wrap her car around a pole, which caused the car to flip on its side and the vehicle to be wrecked.

The children inside, both equally secure and strapped, found to be in drastically different conditions, even though they equally secure. The only difference was the fact they had either been strapped forward or backward facing. This subtle difference had major impacts and the child who was forward facing, aged only just turned 2, had broken her spine in two places and was on the brink of death.

This highlighted to me the importance of what the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that kids should remain rear facing at least until they are 2 years old, but if possible even longer. They believe that rear-facing is always safer and when an infant outgrows their seat to make sure the toddler’s seat is again rear-facing. The anatomy of children are less protected and fixed in comparison, so injuries to the spine and neck are very likely in high impact crashes.

The Reviews

Choosing the safest car seats can be an anxious affair and with all the do’s and don’t’s some parents come to me asking which size, type, rear or forward facing is the best for my kid? This is why I have decided to clear up the confusion and help parents avoid such dilemmas in choosing a safe car seat. Most car seats are specifically designed to protect the child from high impact and range depending on the weight and size of the child.

These days children seats tend to be either convertible or 3-in-1 seats, however rear-only still are around. This is mainly because of their inability to be both forward and rear-facing, which helps to adapt to the gradual change their child goes through. Both types offer secure and safe protection and therefore this review will only focus on the best on the market which offers each type of seating ability.

 

 Evenflo Rear-Only Embrace

This rear-only car seat is ideal for those kids who are under one and need very little in the way of space. However, this being said it does not take away from the fact it is very spacious, whilst still remaining snug for those tiny little babies ranging from 4 to 35 lbs.This is an exceptionally light product and still very sturdy, offering superior strength than any lower-grade in comparison.

Sometimes I have worried about the base not being secure enough and after reading up on this hard plastic with polyester I was made to feel rest assured knowing this has been tested thoroughly if in doubt YouTube has many videos highlighting such possible scenarios.The base can detach and the rest of the seat can be used elsewhere to allow for sleeping babies to remain to sleep, which is ideal for every newborn baby and mother.

I particularly like the 3 shoulder harness, which makes for a snug fit and secures the traveling child. This combined with the head pillow, leaves the traveling usually into a sleeping matter, which makes for light traveling.The upfront adjustable harness is easily adapted and makes access easier than ever, so your child is always safe and secure in your hands.

The handling positions adjust to suit the specific need whether in a standing or in a forward carrying position.The canopy ensures a dry baby and fights against the prevailing winds that blow from the east, but if the wind and rain get in and the padded seat needs a wash then a quick spin in the washing machine will sort out that, which is good as some in comparison don’t have this feature.

 

Safety 3-in-1 Rear and Front Seat

This three stage designed kids seat has the ability to be used throughout your child’s development, both forward-facing, rear-facing, and belt-booster.

The bulky design is to ensure the highest standards of protection, from both front and rear collision. The side impacts, which usually worry a lot of moms have been considered and the extra padding and lining keep risk low, even in the event of a side-on collision.

Typically some car seats find the bulky nature of children seats at the back tight and small, but this has additional space and offers several inches at the top in comparison. The seat and harness are easily adjusted on both the harness and headrest, simply by altering one step, which makes handling and adjusting super easy.

I really like the cup holders, colors and overall shape of the chair and most kids do too, it’s great for long journeys and makes traveling a doddle.

The 3-in-1 stage is the clincher for most people and has a seat that can be used for all time and stages of life mean it’s cost effective, convenient and less clutter building up around the house.

Child rear-facing comes highly recommended by the “American Academy of Pediatrics” and the longer the child faces that position the better in terms of safety.

This is the great toddler car seat and is slightly more expensive in comparison to the previous in the review, but it does offer some awesome features unique to the 3 in 1 seats. This will make sure the infant into a toddler is smooth and reduce time wasted on finding another alternative, which would happen if you only had a rear-facing seat.

 

 Kid Seat Ride 65 Graco

The seat 65 is a fantastic kids seat, which accommodates all years from an infant into a toddler. The rear-facing for when the kids are infant-like and front-facing when they start to get older, usually after they turn 2, but again it depends on their own rate of development and it is highly recommendable to ensure rear-facing for as long as possible.

This one of the safest convertible car seat for kids, made from both metal and plastic and offers awesome protection having been engineered for crashes both side impact tested, front and rear. The energy absorbing technology is based on EPS foam, used for minimizing large impacts.

The multiple adjustable 5 point harness means you can know your child is tightly secure. The weight capacity is around the 5-40 for rear-facing and 20-65 pounds for forward-facing, however as they get even bigger the removable body support can be taken away too.

The built-in cup holders offer a handy feature to make traveling more suitable. The quick and easy cleaning solution is to get soapy water and use a damp cloth to keep clean.  The cover is machine washable and makes for cleaning and hygiene great!

Most manufacturers offer a 1-year warranty, but make sure to check the fine print.

 

Britax USA Seat


This American designed and made car seat ensures the highest quality and supreme technology. The seat has a secure rating of safety when tested and has been thoroughly tested for absorption on high impact as well as side collision, which is why it is some of the safest technology on the market.

With the 12 position harness and the 2 adjustable buckles, this will continue to serve its purpose and ensure that as your child grows its use continues as well

There is 7 positions when reclining and will adjust to suit your child’s circumstances, especially when cars differ so much this ability might suit cars with less space.

The safe and easy installation makes for traveling to be hassle free, especially when you have a child running around your feet waiting to get in. The seat only requires one buckling and then your off on route to the families for the weekend.

This is on the high-end of the price range, but it does offer some additional security because of the USA stamp of approval and personally, add’s a little flare to the buying.

 

Car Seat Table Comparison

There are 4 types to compare to and this table comparison allows for a quick overview to compare each one on price, type, weight and height. These features can help with deciding on which is best for your families needs. Some face forward, others face backwards and some have all three functions and are called a 3-in-1 type.
NamePrice Type WeightHeight
Evenflo Rear-Only Embrace$Rear-facing only

5 - 35 pounds26 inches
Safety 3-in-1 Rear and Front $$$All TypesWeight: 5 - 100 pounds24.5 inches
Kid Seat Ride 65 Graco$$Rear and Forward5 - 65 pounds
27 inches
Britax USA Car Seat$$$$Rear and Forward5 - 65 pounds23 inches

 

Best Overall Pick

The “Safety 3-in-1 Rear and Front Seat” is the best in my review for being the best overall product that can be both rear and front-seating as well as a booster, which is ideal for every parent having children I think. The price is reasonable and mid-ranged, however, the supreme safety and design stands out as one of the best in the bunch and is ultimately what this review is about, so for these features this is the best seat for kid’s of all ages from an infant into toddler-hood.

 

Best Budget Pick

The “Kid Seat Ride 65 Graco” is a well-made product and at an incredibly low price compared to the others in the review, offering a unique design and features the ability to be able to adapt from an infant car seat into a toddler one.

 

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