Rear facing child car seats
The best rear-facing baby car seats for 2019
By Lisa Galliers
Article 3 of 3
Find out which rear-facing child car seats are best for protecting your child in a crash.
Best and worst rear-facing car seats for older children
The most dangerous car accidents are generally frontal collisions, and they’re also one of the most common
Rear-facing car seats protect children from the forces of a crash that would otherwise fling their delicate bodies, heads and necks forward.
In our unique guide we bring together the test results for the top-scoring and bottom-scoring, most recently tested rear-facing car seats, updated with our latest crash test results.
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The best extended rear-facing car seats
Extended rear-facing car seats have been around for a while, and are becoming more popular as parents understand they can be a safer option for children, especially young ones.
These seats can remain rearward facing until your child is around four years old, and are usually multiple group seats, which means they combine more than one car seat group, such as a Group 0+ and Group 1.
Some seats are designed to be used with children older and heavier than four years old/18kg. Some can even be used with a harness (instead of the adult seat belt) until your child is 25kg, or around seven years old.
Some of the first ones we tested were big and bulky, and so difficult to install that they scored quite poorly.
Fast-forward a couple of years and more manufacturers are creating seats that are smaller and easier to install. Our unique table below makes it easy to see the best-scoring extended rear-facing child car seats from our tests.
Alternatively, you can head straight to our child car seat reviews to find all the extended rear-facing car seats we’ve tested
Top-scoring extended rear-facing child car seats
This i-Size/R129 approved child car seat can't do much wrong: it gets an excellent five-star overall rating for safety based on the results of our unique crash testing. It feature extra side-impact protection, and a range of adjustment features to help get it fitted to your child. It's fairly easy to install and use, and will keep your child rearward-facing until they're around four-years old. Read our full test report now.
The i-Size/R129 approved baby and toddler car seat gains an impressive overall test score and is a Best Buy. It can be used rearward-facing all the way from birth until your child reaches 105cm, which is usually around four years of age. When rearward-facing it offers excellent crash protection. It also features a handy 360-degree swivelling base design, which helps to make it easier to get your child in and out. Find out which car seat this is.
This innovative i-Size seat has been tweaked and updated since we very first tested it. It's a great seat that can be used rearward-facing from birth up to 105cm, which is around four years old. Most similar seats have a child weight limit of 18kg, but this one takes heavier passengers. Find out which seat it is by logging in.
Despite just falling short of our Best Buy cut-off point, this is an excellent rear-facing toddler seat with a high score from the results of our tough crash tests. It can be used rearward-facing from 61 to 105cm (around six months to four years of age) on an Isofix base, which can also be used for a baby seat, too. This seat can be used forward-facing, too, if you wish. It's definitely worth considering.
This smart-looking i-Size car seat is approved to the latest R129 regulations and will keep your child rearwards until they reach 105cm, which his around four years old. It's comfy, easy to use and looks great. It doesn't have a swivel base, though. Which one is it? Log in to find out.
The lowest-scoring extended rear-facing car seats
Some extended rear-facing car seats aren’t quite as impressive as they should be. Below are the lowest-scoring extended rear-facing car seats that we’ve tested.
Some score poorly due to crash test results, but some score poorly because they are so hard to install correctly. Which is a real issue. An incorrectly car seat may not provide the crash protection it's supposed to.
Lowest-scoring extended rear-facing child car seats
Diono Radian 5
Test score %
This unique extended rear-facing child car seat is designed to last from birth up until your child reaches 25kg in weight, or about seven-years old. It can be used rear-facing with your child strapped in using the harness up to 25kg, too, so this child car seat could be ideal if you have a larger than average child. We made it a Don't Buy, find out why.
Concord Ultimax i-Size
Test score %
This car seat joins a long list of baby-to-toddler car seats that can be used rearward-facing from birth right up to 105cm, which is around four years old. It's approved to the latest i-Size R129 car seat rules, has a handy recline feature, side-impact protection and soft padding, but it's not cheap. We've made it a Don't Buy baby car seat in our review because the seat shell broke when we crash-tested it forward-facing. Click the review to read our safety alert for more information.
How Which? finds the best and worst child car seats
Which? crash tests every child car seat we review, using more severe crash test scenarios than the legal requirements. This helps us to find the car seats that offer the best protection for your children.
- Crash tests – Each car seat tested endures a front crash, equivalent to a head-on collision at around 40mph, and a side crash equivalent to two cars crashing at 30mph, repeated again and again, in the different ways a car seat can be used.
- Crash test dummies – State-of-the-art dummies are wired up to record the crash forces on the most vulnerable parts of the body to help accurately indicate the risk of injury a real child could have in a crash.
- Installation – We test how easy it is to install every child car seat and how easy the seats are to use. Some extended rear-facing seats can be big, bulky and tricky to install.
Which? car seat experts carry out the most comprehensive ease-of-use testing there is. This is particularly important, as we know from our own investigations that most child car seats are not installed correctly.
We check whether each seat is easy to install and adjust in a range of cars, considering both Isofix and seatbelt modes. And we look at the instructions to see whether there are any ambiguous areas which could lead to the child car seat being fitted incorrectly.
If a seat is difficult to install, it’s more likely to be fitted incorrectly, which could increase the risk of injury - or even death - in a crash.
How we test car seats – find our more about our unique and extensive car seat tests