Rear Facing Car Seat Recommendations for a Bigger Boy

Updated on June 14, 2011
E.B. asks from Downers Grove, IL
9 answers

Our 5 1/2 month old is in the 90 and 95th percentiles for height and weight and will be out of his infant carrier by the end of the summer. We are starting to look into rear facing car seats to replace the infant carrier. Ideally, we'd like to get a car seat that will later convert to forward facing. Does anyone have recommendations for car seats they like? We have a 2006 Honda Odyssey if that makes a difference :)

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answers from Missoula on

Britax Marathon! My 3 1/2 year-old is in one and his brother, almost 3 months is also a big boy and will soon outgrow his infant carrier so we just bought a second Marathon for him. You can get them really anywhere, but sometimes there are great deals online, and the new ones come in some cool colors

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answers from San Francisco on

check out the suggestions from the certified child passenger safety techs at the carseatblog - and after you've narrowed it down a bit, find a store that carries them and test how easy they are for you to adjust and buckle (this is a seat you could be using for the next 5 years or more so you don't want one that makes you curse a blue streak whenever you have to buckle your child in!)
Good candidates with high height and weight limits are (in order from least expensive to more expensive) the Graco MyRide 65, Evenflo Triumph Advance, First Years/Compass TrueFit, Sunshine Kids Radian, and Britax Marathon. All of these seats are called "convertible" seats - harnessed seats that can be used either rear-facing or forward facing.
The Cosco/EddieBauer Alpha Omega "All in One" seats are generally not recommended by child passenger safety techs because the *harnessed* portion of the seat is generally outgrown by height or weight long before the child is ready to use the seat as a booster (some models have a 55 lb. harnessed weight limit but a lot of them have only a 40 lb. weight limit - and the seat is often outgrown by height long before then)....and it does a poor job of positioning the seat belt as a booster. The Graco MyRide 65 or Evenflo Triumph Advance would probably last longer for about the same price.

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answers from Omaha on

We love our Britax Marathon--it is rear-facing to 35 pounds so you can extend rear-facing. It also has top tether for the rear-facing position. FF it goes to 65 pounds (I think the new ones go higher).

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answers from Seattle on

Britax marathon, hands down! Rearfaces to 40lbs then forward to 65. Our giant six year old just outgrew it by weight. So comfortable, easy to install, clean, etc. Safety ratings are phenomenal, and we were in a fatality accident with one and our daughter was uninjured so I trust them firsthand!

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answers from Chicago on

If you are going to be moving the car seat regularly, the Britax Marathon is awesome! It has the LATCH system with seatbelt like releases and catches...worth it! They are the most expensive, but also considered one of the safest and will get you through until booster seat time. We still use it for traveling as it's comfortable and supports her head for sleeping. It's just tight in our car (Galant) for everyday use and she's almost 5 and doing great in a booster.

P.S. - if your boy is that big and lifting his head, he's ready to change car seats. We didn't know that and waited until 6 months, but our DD was lifting her body up as high as the straps would allow for the whole trip b/c she wanted to sit up. She was much happier moving to the Britax. She was also in those percentiles.

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answers from Dayton on

Our boy outgrew the infant seat around that time too.
We have a Britax Marathon70. Goes to 40lbs. rear facing, 70lbs forward facing.
It's a great seat.
We use ours in a captain's seat in a van. No problems.

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answers from Chicago on

We use the Alpha Omega Elite. My twin boys were both out of their carriers by six months of age due to height restrictions. This seat is rear-facing, forward-facing, and will convert to a booster that holds up to 100 lbs. I knew we'd need the higher weight limit. They're 2.5 now and one of them already weighs 40 lbs, so I wanted to make sure that whatever I bought would last as the only other car seat. I didn't want to end up buying three total per kid, so six all together.



answers from San Diego on

First Years True Fit--I love this seat!


answers from Kansas City on

Graco My Ride 65. We have 2, and my 2 year old is still RF in hers very comfortably.

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