All you need to know about rear facing car seats
Want to know where to start when buying a rear facing car seat? Take a look at our top five
You might have heard about extended rear facing seats and dismissed them as a gimmick, but did you know that they could help your child travel in greater safety? Normally parents switch their child to a forward facing position when they outgrow their first car seat at around a year old, but over the last few years a new type of seat that can keep children rear facing for a longer period of time has become more popular.
So why is it safer?
Studies have shown that when a crash happens, children's delicate heads and necks are at risk. If they’re seated in a rear facing positions, they’ll be pulled into the seat rather than flung out, and have less injuries as a result. The new iSize laws due to come into force in a couple of years will make rear-facing compulsory until children reach 15 months so these extended rear-facing seats are a step beyond this.
Need to know
Extended rear facing seats are pricier, but will often last for around four years, and will give you greater peace of mind - which is priceless. They often span several car seats groups too, so you only have to invest in one seat instead of two over a certain period of time.
1. Joie Every Stage, £200
Joie are known for their good value baby gear, and they’re always ahead of the masses when it comes to innovation. This seat could be the only one you have to buy for your child, as incredibly it fits from birth to around age twelve, and rear-faces for the first four years.
2. Hauck Varioguard, £179.99
The Varioguard is a group 0+/1 car seat, so lasts from birth to around age four. When your child reaches around a year old you can choose whether to switch your child to face forward, or keep them rear facing until 18 kg. It has a memory foam layer to give extra head and neck protection, and can be fitted with Isofix or your car’s seat belt.
3. Diono Radian V, £225
Launched last year, the Radian V is one of the only car seats in the UK to rear face to around 25 kg (around age six) using a harness, which can be a safer option than restraining your child with a seat belt. Added to that, it can also fold flat for easier storage and transportation - ideal for smaller space-starved homes.
4. Britax Max-Fix II, £280
Britax are one of the best known names in the car seat market, and produce sturdy and reliable models at reasonably affordable prices. The Max-Fix II offers a rearwards option for the life of the seat (birth to around age four) and has deep, softly padded side wings for protection and several recline positions for nap time comfort.
5. BeSafe iZi Modular i-Size Group 1
Part of a modular system that shares the same base as the Group 0+ model, the iZi Modular not only rear-faces until age four, it also meets the new stricter iSize standards, and has enhanced side impact protection and a super-tough inner shell. Also included is a unique 'SIP+' shock-absorber which can be placed either side of the seat next to the car door.