What Are The Best Child Car Seats? Rear, Extended Rear or Forward Facing?

gb Vaya i-Size installation

Let’s start with “what are the best child car seats?”

This is a difficult question to answer as it suggests you are seeking a recommendation. What is “best” is subjective in many ways. All seats sold within the UK are manufactured to EU standards, therefore they should be equal.

In our opinion, some are more equal than others. Price alone suggests additional beneficial features over and above the regulatory requirements.

As a general rule of thumb, the best seat is:

  • The one you are able to afford
  • That is the most suitable for your child
  • Fits your vehicle(s)
  • Is ‘approved for use in your vehicle(s)

Forward Facing Vs Rear Facing Car Seats:

Which type of seat will best achieve the highest level of safety for your child?

It is a proven fact that travelling rear-facing is significantly safer than traveling forward-facing.

This is why the latest addition to the law makes it mandatory for children to travel rearward facing until they are 15 months old. After 15 months, you make your own choice as to how you wish your child to travel, rear-facing or forward-facing.

At In Car Safety Centre, we would try to persuade you to have your children travelling rear-facing for as long as possible. There are rear-facing seats that may be used up to 25kgs approximately 5 to 6 years of age.

Rear-facing seats for toddlers, those over 15 months old are referred to as Extended Rear Facing Seats. These seats are suitable for children up to 105cms/18kgs, roughly 3½ to 4 years. Many of these seats will go both rear-facing and forward-facing.

Are forward-facing car seats not recommended at all?

Forward-facing car seats are fine so long as your child meets the requirements. There are good reasons for wanting your child forward-facing but do consider the rear-facing options first.

Forward-facing seats should be used when your child has fully grown out of their infant carrier, usually 13kgs. Look at our range of ISOFIX seats, as these are the simplest to fit and most secure. Always ensure that the harness is set at the correct height and tightened firmly around your child’s body. Forward-facing seats are generally suitable up to 18kgs/105cms, 3½ to 4 years.

What about high back boosters?

Finally, it is legally compliant to use a booster seat with a back once your child weighs 15kgs. However, it is safer and easier to restrain a child in a seat like this from 18kgs. The older the child, the easier it is to explain why the seat has to be used in a certain way, to be safe! These seats are to be used until the child reaches a height of 135cms or 12 years of age, whichever is reached first. This is the Law.


Do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team if you have any more questions.

Book a consultation with one of our expert car seat specialists today.