Super Extended Rear-Facing Carseats

Want to keep your child rear-facing until 2 years for safety?  Almost any current convertible carseat in the USA will allow that for most kids.  A decade ago, Extended Rear Facing meant keeping a baby rear-facing beyond 1 year AND 20 pounds.  Britax set the trend of ERF convertibles over 10 years ago with the original Britax Marathon and Wizard that allowed kids to remain rear-facing well beyond 2-years old.  Today, other models have set the bar even higher.

Here are some of the top contenders for Super-ERF carseats that have among the highest weight and/or height limits in the USA.  They can all accommodate even the tallest and heaviest kids rear-facing beyond 2 years old and many kids rear-facing until 3, 4 or even 5 years old.  These aren’t the only great ERF carseats; we update our complete list of rear-facing convertible carseat height and weight limits periodically.  In no paritcular order:

Diono Rainier

Diono Rainier, currently around $340 at Amazon.com.  Diono’s new upscale all-in-one carseat.  Check out our preview of the Diono Rainier.  Up to an industry-leading 50 pounds rear-facing and up to 44″ tall.  Includes a tether that can be used rear-facing to reduce rebound.  The Diono Pacifica has similar ratings. The Diono Olympia and slightly narrower Diono Radian RXT have a 45 pound rear-facing weight limit and above average rear-facing height limits as well.



Clek Foonf

The Clek Foonf, currently starting under $380 at Amazon.com.  Matches Diono’s Rainier with a 50 pound rear-facing weight limit, a narrow profile and an anti-rebound bar.  It has a taller shell and rear-facing seated height limit than the Diono models, but a slightly shorter 43″ standing height limit. Please see our full review of the Foonf.  The new Clek Fllo will have similar ratings.



Graco Size4Me

Graco Size4Me 65, around $150 at Amazon.com.  A more typical 40-pound rear-facing weight limit, but arguably the tallest usable rear-facing seated height limit on the market.  Here is CarseatBlog’s full review of the Size4Me (Previously known as the Size4Me 70).  The Graco Headwise 65, Graco MySize65 and Graco Fit4Me 70 have similar ratings.  All are great values for Super Extended Rear-Facing.  The new Graco 4Ever All-In-One has similar ratings as well.



Safety1st Elite Air 80

Safety 1st Elite Air 80, under $220 at BabiesRUs.  While rated to 40 pounds rear-facing, it probably has the tallest seated height limit currently available.  Unfortunately, that limit is somewhat hampered by a 43″ standing height limit that may reduce its rear-facing potential for the tallest children.



Mythbusting: Legs bent or feet touching the backseat when rear-facing is dangerous

Welcome to our Mythbusters Series. Each week we will explore a new myth regarding kids and carseats.

Myth #2: My child’s legs will be injured in a crash if their feet are touching the back of the seat or if their legs are bent. 

This is a very common and very persistent myth.  Child Passenger Safety Technicians spend a lot of time talking to parents about this subject.

Diono Rainier - Clara  Kecia's DS2 rear-facing at 3 years old and 33 lbs

rxt-ds2-rf-2  Toddler rf close to 30* in 2008 Civic


In reality, during a frontal crash (the most common type of crash), the legs will fly up and away from the back seat. It’s also much more important to protect the head, neck and spinal cord in a crash which is exactly what rear-facing carseats do so well. If you’re still not convinced – there is this study by CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) that looked at injuries to children ages 1 – 4 who were hurt in crashes and leg injuries were rare for those kids in rear-facing seats. However, injuries to the lower extremity region were the second most common type of injury for the kids in forward-facing seats. That’s because the legs of a child in a forward-facing seat are thrown forward and often hit the hard center console or the back of the front seat. Study quote: “Injuries below the knee were the most common, particularly to the tibia/fibula, and they most often occurred due to interaction with the vehicle seatback in front of the child’s seating position.”

This myth is definitely BUSTED.

Rear-facing for best protectionIMG_0798

RF in ETA  E rf side view

The video below is part of the curriculum for training new Child Passenger Safety Technicians. In the video, Dr. Marilyn J. Bull, MD, outlines the reasons why rear-facing is so important and also addresses the concerns many parents have about children with longer legs.

Last but not least, we should address the issue of comfort since that’s another big hang-up that adults seem to have with older kids.  The reality is that while *we* might not be happy if we had to sit this way for prolonged periods, kids will always find a way to make themselves comfortable. They might sit “criss-cross-applesauce”, or they might stretch their legs straight out and prop them up, or they might even dangle them over the sides of the carseat. Regardless of how they make themselves comfortable – they will find a way to be comfortable.

And remember – these kids didn’t wake up one morning with an extra 5″ of legs. Every day is the same as yesterday except maybe you’re a millimeter taller today. Kids don’t notice growing – and when they grow enough to warrant a shift in how they position their legs to sit rear-facing, they will make the adjustment without even thinking about it.

Do I look uncomfortable



Horn Use Etiquette

HonkingHornWith school starting back up, traffic will be increasing two fold in one day.  Of course that means lots of drivers, some brand new to driving, have hit the road.  Depending on what region you live in, some drivers never use that pesky device that makes noises when you press your steering wheel too hard.  Some, on the other hand, use it for all manner of communication.

Some research into the topic has yielded some interesting legality issues to using a horn.  Some of what we use our horn for on a daily/weekly basis may surprise you that it is indeed, illegal.  For instance, in the states it is illegal to honk at a driver AFTER they have cut you off in traffic, but you can honk at the driver before they cut you off.  In the UK, it is illegal to honk at a pedestrian, but not so in the US.  And yes, even honking at people’s silly bumper stickers that ask you to “honk if you…”, will garner you a nice $100+ fine.

Now, the enforcement of these laws is quite difficult and honestly ignored unless it becomes a nuisance, but it brings up some great questions.  Even more so when you take into account regional and rural vs. city/suburban dwelling driving tendencies.

  • Do you use your horn at all?
  • If so, do you use it only to alert someone out of danger (i.e. they are about to walk into the street, pull into your lane, etc)?
  • Do you use it to tell someone they did something wrong (i.e. they sat too long at the light, they pulled out in front of you without signalling OR having enough room to really get in, ran a red light, block an intersection after the light has turned in lots of traffic, etc)?

Are horns a useful tool in a car or would you even notice if car manufacturers removed them completely from the car?  I mean, at the end of the day you still have your high beams!

Looking forward to your responses!

Blogiversary Celebration Giveaway – Nuna PIPA & PEPP Travel System + LEAF Curv!

It’s week 6 of our Blogiversary Celebration! We’re thanking our loyal readers and followers for supporting us throughout the last six years. And we know the best way to say “thanks” is with awesome giveaways. This week you’re in for a real treat. Not only are we giving away one fabulous Nuna PIPA infant carseat in the Navy fashion, we’re giving away a matching Nuna PEPP stroller too! That’s right, our incredibly generous friends at Nuna USA have offered up an entire premium travel system! But wait, it gets even better. They’re also including a brand new award-winning LEAF curv! One very lucky winner is going to receive this exceptional Trifecta package of ultra-premium baby gear products from Nuna USA!

This promotion is now closed. Thank you for participating – a winner will be announced soon!

If you’re not already familiar with the company – Nuna produces a collection of modern and stylish baby gear inspired by Dutch designers who wanted to combine cutting edge safety technology with style and functionality. The idea is to keep things simple, practical and stylish while still being innovative. PIPA is Nuna’s first carseat and while they may be the new kid on the block – they did their homework and it shows. With rigid lower LATCH attachments, a load leg, lots of padding and a canopy bigger than Texas – this seat could set the bar for all future high-end infant carseats. We have a full review of the Nuna PIPA here. The Nuna PIPA is also on our list of Recommended Carseats.

NUNA PIPA + BASE - NavyNuna PIPA Specs & Features:

  • Rear-facing only: 4-32 lbs and 32″ or less
  • 3 harness height positions
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions (plus adjustable crotch strap length for smaller babies and preemies)
  • Adjustable base with “stability leg” (a.k.a load leg)
  • Base has rigid lower LATCH anchor connectors
  • Base has sturdy lock-off for installations using seatbelt
  • Can be installed without base using standard or Euro beltpath routing
  • Thick energy-absorbing EPS foam lines entire upper portion of shell
  • Canopy with unique “dream drape” feature
  • FAA approved for use in an airplane
  • 7 year lifespan before expiration

PEPP is their modern, stylish stroller packed with great features.

Nuna PEPP FRONT - navy

  • Birth – 50 lbs.
  • Folds down to a flat backpack size for trunks, taxis, airplanes and tight entryways
  • Opens easily with just one hand
  • Stands on its own when folded
  • Two-position, adjustable calf support comforts little nappers
  • Made with plush, cushy, better for baby certified Oeko-Tex® fabric
  • Harness features quick click release button
  • One-touch, rear wheel braking system
  • Front wheel swivel locks
  • Three-position full recline
  • Progressive suspension technology for a smooth ride
  • Height-adjusting handle
  • conforms to ASTM safety standards and is JPMA certified

Nuna PEPP FOLD - Navy

With adapters, the Nuna PEPP & PIPA form the ultimate, high-end travel system.

Nuna Travel System - Navy



The LEAF Curv is the newest addition to the Nuna family.

Nuna Leaf awardThe LEAF Curv recently won a Gold IDEA in the 2014 International Design Excellence Awards for design excellence in the children’s product category.

Every bit as eco-smart and evolutionary (yes- it too can hold up to 130 lbs) as its “big bro” the LEAF, the LEAF curv gives a sharp, sassy and swirl-like spin to this award winning design and is sure to throw a contemporary curve ball to traditional nurseries and living spaces alike. Perfect for baby. Perfect for mom and dad. Perfect for the modern day family.

  • Birth – 130 lbs.
  • Curv base provides a chic and contemporary design for baby use & adult décor
  • Motion lasts unassisted with a gentle push for over 2 minutes
  • No batteries, no cords, no buzz, no noise
  • Made with plush, cushy Oeko-Tex® certified fabric
  • Organic cotton insert is soft and light
  • Easily locks stationary for feeding or playtime
  • Pops out of base for easy storage or quick trips
  • Evolves with baby to big-kid size
  • Perfect angle for both playing and napping
  • Mesh backing for improved air flow

Nuna LEAF-curv



Winner must have a U.S. shipping address.  Hawaii and Alaska are excluded – sorry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the fine print (these may be in addition to the rules listed in the Rafflecopter terms)

Winner must have a USA shipping address to claim the prize. AK and HI are excluded. Only one trio of prizes will be awarded. PIPA and PEPP will be the Navy fashion. LEAF Curv will be limited to available fashion at the time the prizes are awarded.

You are not eligible if you have previously won a carseat or any sponsored giveaway at CarseatBlog.comduring 2013 or 2014 (our own giveaways of goody bags and such don’t count if no sponsor was mentioned). Blog writers and editors are also not eligible. Only one entry per household/family, please. If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count.

We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above. We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules for any reason.

The contest will close on August 19, 2014, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 7 days, a new winner will be selected.

Good luck!

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