Over the last two years (maybe more) I’ve spent an insane amount of time researching car seat safety. I’ve posted about our extended rear-facing intentions before, most notably when we purchased the stunning Peg Perego Primo Viaggo Convertible.
The law states that children must be kept rear-facing in the car until they are at least 20lbs AND 1 year of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends rear-facing until at minimum 2 years of age OR until the child hits the maximum rear-facing height/weight requirements of their convertible car seat.
When we bought our convertibles, we had planned to rear-face to age 2. In the last few months we’ve been doing more research on car seat safety, and came to the conclusion that we were not comfortable forward facing at age 2. This was a very personal decision for The Hubs and I, as it is for any family.
The only problem with our desire to keep Ariadne rear-facing? She’s above the 98% for height and 90% for weight. The Hubs and I are both tall, but neither of us expected her to be SO tall.
The Peg car seat we purchased because of it having the highest rear-facing weight limit on the market at the time, as well as one of the tallest harness heights (without going to the Diono Radian which I am not a huge fan of due to the low profile sides) and the most legroom, is unfortunately just not going to cut it any more. Ariadne reached the highest setting for the harness height in rear-facing mode about a month ago. This is such a disappointment as I am in love with this seat and the wonderful leg space it provides. It is truly a stunning seat, easy to use, has tons of leg room and appears to be very comfortable. Did I mention, it’s gorgeous?
Our other seat is a Britax Boulevard 70CS. A wonderful seat, but I’ll be honest, when we bought it, I didn’t do nearly enough research. Even after researching for months, I still didn’t do enough. This seat is again, wonderfully constructed, easy to use, and great for rear-facing. But it is NOT for very very tall kiddos, if you want to keep them rear-facing for as long as possible. We are also on the last leg for this seat and although the headrest has plenty of room to move up, the Britax is not cleared for rear-facing use when the child’s head is less than 1 inch from top of the shell. Due to the construction of the shell, Ariadne has ended up having a little bit more room in this one than in the Peg, but she will outgrow it soon.
So knowing we were running out of space and time, I started frantically researching the options. There are few car seats out there for extended rear-facing for big kids. After researching the Diono RadianRXT, Graco Size4Me70, Chicco Nextfit, and The Clek Foonf, we ended up purchasing the Foonf.
This seat has been long awaited by a many car seat gurus. It has the highest rear-facing weight limit on the market (50lbs) and the highest rear-facing height limit (1 inch from the top of the head rest, in its most extended position.) It has a steel frame, utilizes REACT technology, as well as forward-facing rigid LATCH installation, a rebound bar for rear-facing and much much more. This seat is a car seat guru’s wet dream. Sorry, I had to go there. I’ve been eyeing it for a few months now, but wasn’t really into it, until I started this 3-4 rear-facing thought process. Right now, my biggest concern is keeping Ariadne safely rear-facing for as long as possible. The Foonf, right now, is at the top of it’s game, and provides us the extensions we need to make that happen. Unfortunately the Foonf has two major setbacks. It’s price, 500 big ones – and I thought I was pushing those limits when we spent >$350 on the Peg (we got ours 20% off with a sale). And it’s also a pretty giant seat. Oh did I mention? It’s CANADIAN. Obviously I’m in love.
I was a little worried about it not fitting in our cars, since we both drive sedans. Surprisingly though, it fits just fine! In the Camry we can even fit it in the center seat! It is one amazing seat. Insanely solid (and heavy!) which makes me feel really comfortable about it for safety. It was also super easy to install.
Ariadne LOVES her new seat. She has so much more legroom now, and barely makes a peep since she sits up so high and can see out the windows. We’ve had it for about a month now, and couldn’t be more in love with it.
So if you’re looking for a great seat forward facing or rear facing alike, I highly highly highly recommend The Foonf!