One Megacoolmama…

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Best forward-facing car seats

on January 27, 2015

If you have a little one between the ages of one and two, the inevitable discussion has ensued as to when you will put your child forward-facing in the car.  My husband and I have been talking about this a lot lately, as our littlest guy is about to turn one in February.

Our youngest has been fairly big since about two months of age, and he outgrew the infant car seat right around nine months old.  My husband and I failed to realize that the infant carseat weight limit was 20 lbs., and our little porker was 21 lbs. by the time we actually figured out that there was nothing wrong with the carseat, he was just chubby!

Parents decide to put their little ones forward-facing for a variety of reasons, including the following:

-child has reached two years of age (age recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for beginning forward-facing)

-child is at least one year old and big for his/her age

-child is at least one year old, average size, and absolutely HATES facing backward in the car

In our case, we had an extra convertible car seat from the older two kids that was bigger, so we put the baby in there, rear-facing.  However, some parents may want to go right to the option of buying a forward-facing seat, and there are plenty of affordable and durable options.  Here are five car seats that are highly rated from a variety of brands:


1. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat, Matrix


  • #1 Best Seller on Amazon
  • weight limit from 20-100 pounds
  • 5-point harness system with LATCH
  • offers three positions
  • cup holder and storage pockets
  • machine-washable cover

What do the reviews say?  Ideal in every way, except for the crotch strap (too short).


2. Evenflo Chase LX Harnessed Booster Car Seat, Reese


  • 4. stars on Amazon
  • weight limit from 22-110 pounds
  • 5-point harness system
  • integrated cup holders
  • machine-washable cover

What do the reviews say?  Great price for the 5-point harness, but not for the above average in size toddler.


3. Britax Pioneer 70 Harness-2-Booster Car Seat, Kiwi


  • Base with SafeCell technology, keeping your child significantly safer in a crash
  • weight limit 25-70 pounds
  • converts to a booster that holds up to 100 pounds
  • 5-point harness
  • integrated cup holders, storage and armrests

What do the reviews say?  Super easy to install, but a little difficult to find the lever to adjust the harness at first.


4. RECARO Performance SPORT Combination Harness to Booster, Knight


  • CoolMesh air ventilation to keep child cool
  • reinforced side wings to keep child safe during impact
  • weight limit 20-65 pounds in harness mode; 30-120 pounds in booster mode
  • twist resistant HERO harness technology
  • side pocket cup holders/storage
  • comes in a TON of different colors!

What do the reviews say?  No-tangle straps and safety/durability are unmatched (made by a company that makes seats for race cars and fighter planes); car seat is a little heavier than others.


5. Graco SmartSeat All-in-One Car Seat, Rosin


  • Convertible from infant to toddler to forward-facing booster
  • Weight limit 5-40 pounds in harness, 20-100 pounds in forward-facing booster
  • Smart-LATCH equipped (one-time install in rear and forward-facing modes)
  • 5-position recline and cup holder
  • Machine-washable cover

What do the reviews say?  Extremely easy to install, nice materials; a little bulky.


All of the above car seats are available for purchase on Amazon (clickable links through the name of seat and the image).  And, don’t forget that if you form a baby registry with Amazon, you receive 15% off all items not purchased 60 days from your baby’s due date (or 10% if you are not part of the Amazon Mom program).

Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Shop Amazon Mom – 20% Off Diapers



One Response to “Best forward-facing car seats”

  1. Kari minasola says:

    I loved reading your blog. What a great idea! Now share your secret with me of how you always look so good and still manage to get everything done. I am really struggling to put myself up higher on the list of priorities. I would love some tips on how full-time working moms can start to make themselves a higher priority. I feel like I have no time for me. So please share your wisdom. 🙂

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