I am often asked what my favorite or most recommended convertible car seats are for extended rear facing!! Here are a few of my favorites that I recommend as a CPST.
1. Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat. The Extend2Fit is a brand new seat from Graco, it’s main features for rear facing are a hefty 50lb rear facing limit and an extendable leg that gives the child up to 5″ extra leg room as they grow! This is huge for Graco and it’s already a best seller. and the price point is just $199.99. The only real thing that bugs me about the seat is that the harness pads are required to be taken off for forward facing. I am hoping they change this because that could become a misuse issue. Here is the seat in Gotham fashion.
2.Graco Size4Me 65 Convertible Car Seat or clones. The Graco Size4Me, Headwise, Fit4me, & MySize are called the “clones” in the car seat world. They all feature the same shell with on hand harness and headrest adjustment, and rear face to 40lbs and last most kids forward facing until around 6+. The differences are in the fabric patterns/colors and what stores market them. The headwise markets side impact testing “safety surround” in the headrest. All of these seats are good for extended rear facing! They fit in many cars with three across and leave more legroom for the front seats as well. Here are some good links to a Car Seats for the Littles blog post Graco Clones (here). Personally I don’t use their Facebook page but their blog posts are good. Also I am throwing in the link to the Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat because it is VERY similar minus the way the recline works on the bottom, and it’s a buget friendly seat Contender Post (here).
3.Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat, or other Diono Convertible. The Radian RXT (shown in the featured image in the camouflage pattern called trekk). The Diono line of car seats (formally known as Sunshine Kids) have a wide range of convertibles that boast a super narrow footprint and rear face from 40, 45, or 50lbs depending what model you choose! You can get a three across with these even in many tiny 5 passenger cars. They have premium fabrics, and great rear facing leg room. They can be a bit tricky as they come with a few parts and have specific rules as to when and how the parts are used, but if you read the manual and meet up with a CPST you will be golden! The way these seats rear face make the seat not fit in all cars (a few Subaru come to mind) but if you order from amazon with prime you can return it if it’s not for you!
4.Clek Fllo or Clek Foonf. These seats are very similar, the Fllo is a bit cheaper, and the Foonf has rigid latch for forward facing. Both come in many colors with a black or white shell in the older models. I believe black shells are available for 2016. These fit in three across scenarios very well, have anti-rebound bars (optional), and let your child see the world! They are pretty tall seats so I keep my rear facing child behind the driver for best visibility. I have an original foonf and it is still going strong! I have the one shown in the featured image in snowberry, but recently I traded the cover off of it for green so my son could look a bit more manly in it 😉 These seats rear face to 50lbs and recently Clek released the Clek Infant-Thingy Infant Insert so you can use the seat from birth. The covers are not easily machine washable because they are screwed into the shell and it took me over a month to get my cover back on correctly after I swapped covers out (never again!), so most of the models are Crypton treated so they wipe clean very easily. The cover I traded for had some melted chocolate on it that I was not able to get completely off, but it’s not noticeable. The 2016 versions have been revamped with extra padding and larger strap covers, I can’t wait to be able to buy one since my 2012 has no soft padding in the bum (it is foam like the head wings), and I want to see how much softer it is! You can also find both seats in cute Tokidoki patterns.
5.Britax USA Boulevard or Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat. The Britax Click Tight range of convertible seats are also a great option as the redesigned headrests are reinforced providing a taller seat back for rear facing! These do have less legroom so if you have a straight up and down seat back it might not be “as” comfortable as the other options above, but many kids have rear faced to at least 3 in these with no issues. It is not dangerous for their legs to be crossed or up on the seat back. My only other complaint about the seat is the crotch buckle is short, especially when using the infant insert. I returned mine for the Diono radian rxt shown in the featured image because my son has been large since birth. Britax is know for having amazing features and fabrics, the Click Tight technology makes installing this seat rear facing for forward facing with the seat belt so easy Grandma/pa Mom & Dad can get the hang of it in seconds. My favorite is of course the Cowmooflage pattern…how could it not be?
These are just a few of the amazing options to make sure your kiddo can stay rear facing as long as possible! Also not every seat is going to be the right choice for your car, child, or budget! Please get in touch with a knowledgeable CPST or feel free to email me if you have questions or need help picking the right seat for you!!