Forward Facing Car Seat: Top 8 Best Brands in the Market

toddler sitting in a forward facing car seat

When your child is ready to transition from an infant car seat to a forward facing car seat, it is important to look at all the options available to pick the right seat for your family. As a parent, you want your child to be safe, protected in the event of a collision, and comfortable. The car seat also has to be easy to install and come with features that make your life easier as a parent. We have compared eight of the top selling forward facing car seats on the market today to help you narrow the search for the car seat that will fit your family's needs. 

Forward Facing Car Seat Frequently Asked Questions


As a parent, you want to ensure that your child is safe and comfortable in their car seat. The seats we have recommended have the highest ratings with multiple safety features to keep your child safe at all times such as steel reinforcements, multiple layers of foam protection, seat reclining options, cup holders and storage, five-point harness systems, and are LATCH equipped—all meeting and exceeding safety standard guidelines. 

1. What is a Forward Facing Car Seat?

2. What Does a Forward Facing Car Seat Do?

3. How Does a Forward Facing Car Seat Work?

4. Where Can I Purchase a Forward Facing Car Seat?

5. What Are Some Important Features of a Forward Facing Car Seat?

How We Reviewed

Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car Seat, Dash

The following list of forward facing car seats was researched and found to be the best options based on features, product reviews, price, overall value, warranty, and ease of use. We wanted to have a comprehensive list that had both high-end and more affordable options to fit any budget while maintaining safety standards and quality. 

Overall Price Range of Forward Facing Car Seats

We wanted to give options in all price ranges to fit all budgets, from the more affordable car seats to the higher-end models. 

What We Reviewed

  • Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car Seat
  • Evenflo Transistions 3 in 1 Combination Booster Seat
  • Chicco Nextfit iX Zip Convertible Car Seat
  • Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat
  • Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat
  • Combi Compact Convertible Car Seat
  • Recaro Performance Sport Combination Harness to Booster Car Seat
  • Britax Frontier ClickTight Combination Harness-2-Booster Car Seat
Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car Seat, Dash
  • SafeCell Impact Protection is an integrated system of safety components, including an Impact Absorbing Base, Tether and...
  • SafeCell Complete Side Impact Protection surrounds your child in a deep protective shell designed to absorb crash forces...
  • Tangle-Free, 5-Point Harness prevents the straps from twisting making it easier to load your child into the seat and...

Features

The Britax Roundabout Convertible car seat is convertible, which means it can be both a rear facing and forward facing car seat for your child. It is equipped with SafeCell Impact Protection, which includes an impact absorbing base, tether and harness, steel frame, and side impact protection. SafeCell side impact protection surrounds the baby in a deep shell designed to absorb crash forces and shield your child from debris. The seat comes with a tangle-free five-point harness which prevents the straps from twisting, allowing easy in-and-out for your child. There are three recline positions and an easily adjustable two-position buckle.

PROS

  • Side impact protection
  • Convertible design grows with infant
  • Five-point harness system
  • Steel frame

CONS

  • Difficult to install
  • Fabric difficult to clean 
  • Hand wash cover only
  • Too small for some children
Evenflo Transitions 3-in-1 Combination Booster Seat, Legacy
  • This 3-in-1 Combination Booster Car Seat fitting children from 22-120 lbs. converts from a 5-point harnessed seat to...
  • The Transitions 3-in-1 Combination Booster Car Seat helps protect harnessed children from 22-65 pounds, belt-positioned...
  • This lightweight Combination Booster Car Seat comes equipped for LATCH systems allowing for easy installation and...

Features

The Evenflo Transitions 3 in 1 Combination booster seat fits children from 22 to 120 pounds, converting from a five-point harnessed car seat to a belt-positioning car seat and then to a no-back booster seat, allowing for more use as your child grows. You can use the harness when your child weighs between 22 and 65 pounds, the belt positioned option when your child weighs between 40 and 120 pounds, and the no-back booster seat when your child weighs between 40 and 120 pounds. The seat is lightweight, has side impact protection, and comes equipped with LATCH, allowing for installation directly to your LATCH-enabled vehicle.

PROS

  • Three forward facing options
  • Two times the federal crash test standards
  • Cup holders
  • Compact design

CONS

  • Uncomfortable headrest
  • Too small for some children
  • Difficult to install for some
Chicco NextFit iX Zip Convertible Car Seat, Spectrum
  • Recline Sure 9-position levelling system and dual Ride Right bubble levels help achieve and verify proper angle in...
  • Premium connectors and Super Cinch tightened help achieve a secure installation with LATCH
  • New! Lock Sure belt-tightening system helps achieve a secure installation with vehicle seat belt

Features

The Chicco Nextfit iX Zip Convertible car seat comes with a nine-position recline system. This seat will grow with your child starting as a rear-facing seat and then converting to a front facing car seat. It comes equipped with cinch tightening to help with a secure installation with the LATCH system. The harness does not require re-threading when you adjust the nine-position headrest as your child grows. The seat cover can be zipped off for easy cleaning and is washer and dryer safe. The Comfort Flex harness system keeps the waist belt out of the way while you are putting your child in and out of the seat.

PROS

  • Nine-position recline
  • Convertible car seat
  • LATCH system 
  • Nine-position headrest
  • Washer and dryer safe
  • Cover zips off

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Few reviews
Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat (Seaport)
  • Perfect for smaller cars or for extra space in your larger vehicle, this LATCH equipped Safety 1st car seat accommodates...
  • Adjust the 5 point harness from the front of the seat
  • Side impact protection built into this infant car seat keeps your little one extra secure

Features

The Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible car seat has a compact design that works well for smaller vehicles. The seat is equipped with LATCH and accommodates children from 5 to 40 pounds in the rear-facing mode and 22 to 65 pounds in the forward facing car seat mode. The seat has a five-point harness, side impact protection, removable body pillow for infants, and meets and exceeds federal guidelines for safety.

PROS

  • Convertible car seat design
  • Five-point harness
  • Compact design
  • LATCH equipped

CONS

  • Too small for some toddlers
  • Difficult installation
  • Fabric does not clean well
Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3 in 1 Harness Booster Car Seat, Conley
  • 3-in-1 Harness Booster helps protect your child, from toddler to youth; Harness Booster (20 - 65 pounds), High back...
  • Simply Safe Adjust Harness System headrest and harness adjust together; One-hand, 5-position adjustable headrest easily...
  • Engineered & crash tested to meet or exceed US standard FMVSS 213; Be sure to check your local and state laws, as well...

Features

This car seat helps protect your child from the ages of toddler to youth. The harness booster accommodates children from 20 to 65 pounds. Then, it can convert to a high-back booster seat for children 30 to 100 pounds. It can also become a backless booster for children from 40 to 120 pounds. The headrest and harness adjust together in five different positions that do not require you to re-thread the harness. There is a three-position recline to keep your child comfortable. The body support cover is removable for easy washing.

PROS

  • Five-point harness
  • Three booster seats in one
  • Three recline positions
  • Five headrest positions

CONS

  • Buckles are too snug
  • Loose when installed
  • Difficult to install
COCCORO, Licorice
  • TRU-SAFE: Combi utilizes Tru-Safe Side Impact Protection in its Convertible Car Seat. This offers deep side walls and a...
  • COMPACT, LIGHTWEIGHT AND THREE ACROSS: The Coccoro Convertible Car Seat was designed with small spaces in mind. At 15.5...
  • COMFORTABLE AND EASE OF USE: The Coccoro Convertible Car Seat has a buckle with an indicator that provides a visual cue...

Features

The Combi Compact Convertible car seat is equipped with side impact protection and grows with your child from infant to 40 pounds. The side walls of the seat have a layer of energy-absorbing foam to absorb crash energy away from your child while keeping the child's head, neck, and spine aligned. There is a removable infant pillow insert that also provides comfort and positions your infant properly. This is a compact design that will fit easily into smaller vehicles. The cover is machine washable and dryer safe.

PROS

  • Side impact protection 
  • Convertible design grows with your baby
  • Machine washable
  • Compact design

CONS

  • Poor seat cover material
  • Seat is too small for some babies
  • Difficult to install
RECARO Performance SPORT Combination Harness to Booster, Slate
  • Cloud Comfort Memory Foam
  • Luxurious, temperature balancing fabrics & CoolMesh air ventilation keep your child cool, comfortable and happy
  • Racing-Inspired Full-Body Side Impact Protection with metal reinforced side wings designed to protect each of the 5...

Features

The Recaro Performance Sport Combination Harness to Booster car seat has a cotton/poly cover and memory foam pad for comfort. The fabrics are made with temperature balancing fabrics and a cool mesh air ventilation fabric to keep your child comfortable. The design is racing inspired with full body side impact protection. The seat is steel reinforced to protect your child with twist resistant harness straps. The harness mode is from 20 pounds to 65 pounds, while the high-back booster seat mode can be used with children from 30 pounds to 120 pounds.

PROS

  • Made in USA
  • CoolMesh air ventilation fabric
  • Memory foam
  • Metal reinforced side wings
  • Twist-resistant harness

CONS

  • Center strap too short
  • Poor recline position
  • Poor head support
Britax Frontier ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat - 2 Layer Impact...
  • Toddler to Big Kid: Easily transition from harness to belt positioning booster as your child grows
  • Easy installation: Patented ClickTight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
  • No rethreading, ever: Quick adjust 9 position harness with headrest for a comfortable, secure fit

Features

The Britax Frontier ClickTight Combination Harness-2-Booster car seat transitions easily from a harness seat to a belt-positioning booster seat as your child grows. It is easy to install with the ClickTight technology. There is no re-threading the harness when you adjust the nine-position harness and headrest; they adjust together. It comes with two layers of side impact protection, a steel frame, an impact-absorbing base, and a forward-movement-reducing tether. In harness mode, the car seat accommodates children from 25 to 90 pounds. The booster seat mode fits children from 40 to 120 pounds.

PROS

  • Nine-position harness and headrest
  • Steel frame
  • Impact absorbing base
  • Forward movement reducing tether
  • Two layers of side impact protection

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Harness gets caught in the back of the seat
  • Difficult to install

Comparison Table

The Verdict

We have found that the top two front facing car seats in this list with the most safety features and the highest ratings were the Britax Frontier ClickTight Combination Harness-2-Booster car seat and the Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster car seat. We found that both car seats had excellent ratings with hundreds of five-star reviews each. Both come with steel reinforced frames and plenty of features to keep your little one comfortable and safe. We give both these seats a five-star rating. However, all the seats available on this list have excellent ratings and are a good choice for your family.