The best rear-facing group 1 car seats

These car seats allow your child to sit rear-facing for longer than the legal limit, they are also great if you have a tall infant or baby

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  • 1. Diono Radian 5, £189.99 - MadeForMums Awards Gold winner

    Age suitability: Birth - 25kg (birth - 6 years)

    Rear-facing until:  25kg (around 6 years)

    The Diono Radian 5 won our gold award for best rear-facing for longer car seat because it allows children to sit rearward facing in this seat from birth until a whopping 5 or 6 years!

    There's, of course, an option for kids to sit in the forward position once they reach 9kg (around nine months), but it’s recommended children sit rear-facing for as long as possible.

    Great for newborns, the Group 0+ mode comes with an infant insert, but it’s also an ideal seat for heaver babies and toddlers too, as the 5-point harness can be used up until 25kg as well. 

    That’s a brilliant feature when you think that most car seat harnesses usually only go up to 18kg.  That means if you don’t want your child to use the car’s own seat belt too early they can continue to use the harness. 

    The Radian also folds for storage or transporting, and comes with added extras like a cup holder.

    Safety aspects of the seat include a steel frame, reinforced sides and super grip harness pads to reduce the impact of crash forces, and there’s a Diono lifetime warranty, great for peace of mind.

    What our MadeForMums judges say about the Diono Radian 5 car seat:

    “The build quality of the Diono Radian 5 is exceptional and the fact you can use it from birth to approximately 6-years-old in the rear-facing position is very appealing. It’s sturdy and well-made and the fabric felt soft yet durable which is perfect for little one’s skin and wear & tear.  Fitting was straight forward with little fuss. As was putting the little on into the seat itself. She was comfortable throughout testing and even fell asleep twice without slumping forward (due to the well-designed harness,” Christina, mum-of-one.

    “A great concept, it’s robust and good at its job.  Once it's fitted it's good and goes to 25kg which is great!” Julie Dagnall, Child Seat Safety expert.

    Read the full Diono Radian 5 review here.

    You can buy the Diono Radian V from Direct2Mum

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  • 2. Recaro Zero 1. Elite, £495 - MadeForMums Awards Silver winner

    Age suitability: Birth - 18kg (birth - 4 years)

    Rear-facing until:  18kg (around 4 years)

    A unique car seat on the market, the Recaro Zero 1. Elite car seat is a Group 0+/1 seat that’s suitable from birth to around 4 years.

    It’s unique as it has an infant carrier, nestled inside a bigger Group 1 car seat, that means the infant car seat can be removed and used on Recaro buggy as a travel system.  And when your toddler gets older you can use the Zero 1 Elite as a rear-facing seat to 4 years. 

    What our MadeForMums judges say about the Recaro Zero 1. Elite 5 car seat:

    “A good seat, the extended rear-facing position is good and looks roomy for the child’s size,” Julie Dagnall, Child Seat Safety expert.

    “The 360 degree turn, the deep-padded seats, sticky grip pads on the underside of the harness straps, the light weight of the infant carrier. The newborn cushion and seat reducer are perfect for getting a comfortable ride for your little one. It’s particularly good for parents who want invest in just one good car seat for the first 4 years,” Melanie, mum-of-3.

    You can buy the Zero 1 Elite from Tesco, Mothercare and Natural Baby Shower

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  • 3. BeSafe Izi Modular i-Size and base, £430 - MadeForMums Awards Bronze winner

    BeSafe Izi Modular i-Size and base, £430 - MadeForMums Awards Bronze  winner

    Age suitability: 6 months - 18kg (6 months - 4 years)

    Rear-facing until:  18kg (around 4 years)

    Scooping our bronze award in the best extended rear-facing car seat category is the BeSafe Izi Modular i-Size.  Not only is certified under the new i-Size law, the seat is rear-facing to 4 years and can be used with an ISOFIX base.

    It also features a 5-point harness, with magnetic attachments, so when you’ve undone the harness and you need to keep it out of the way to get baby out, it will stay it out of way. 

    What our MadeForMums judges say about the BeSafe Izi Modular i-Size car seat:

    “I liked how sturdy yet lightweight this product was. And it was super comfortable for my son. It was easy to install, and within 20 minutes of opening the box we were in the car and ready to go.  I like how it offers rear facing for longer than other car seats, with more leg room - a bonus for someone like me who has a toddler with really long legs,” mum-of-one, Catherine.

    “Good leg room, good recline and the quality of the seat is great,” Claire Water house, Child Seat Safety expert.

    You can buy the BeSafe Izi Modular from John Lewis

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  • 4. Joie 360 Spin car seat, £240

    Age suitability: Birth - 18kg (birth - 4 years)

    Rear-facing until:  18kg (around 4 years)

    Group 1 car seats are suitable for a baby weighing from 9kg to 18kg, which is around 9 months to 4 years.  Recent guidelines now require children to sit rear-facing until they're 15 months, as sitting rear-facing offers  up to 75% more protection if your child is involved in an accident.

    The 360 Spin is a Group 0+/1 car seat, meaning it's suitable from birth to 18kg or until approximately 4 years.  Babies can sit rear-facing up until 4 years, or parents have the option of facing little ones forward from 9 months, if they want to.

    It also features a Grow Together™ multi-height headrest and harness system that adjusts simultaneously, meaning there's no re-threading of the harness and has five recline positions; three rearward and three forward facing.

    Check out the full Joie 360 Spin review here.

    You can buy the Joie Spin from Halfords

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  • 5. Jané Gravity car seat, £349

    Age suitability: Birth until 4 years

    Rear-facing until: 4 years

    Rear-facing up to 4 years, this seat has a sleek rotating 360-degree swivel, it can be used from birth to 4 years.

    Meeting the latest i-Size regulations, the Jané Gravity has an integrated base with ISOFIX connectors and the seat comes with a newborn insert as standard.  The Jané Gravity also has a no-nonsense adjustable 5-point harness and easy-to-adjust headrest.

    Read the full review here.

    You can buy the Gravity car seat from Jane.

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  • 6. Cybex Sirona M2 iSize, £210

    Age suitability: Birth until 4 years

    Rear-facing until: 4 years

    An updated version of the very popular Cybex Sirona, the Sirona M2 has been made to the new legal safety standards and is now i-Size compatible.

    This new seat can also detach from its base and features a 5-point harness, compared to the older version of the sea, which incorporated an impact shield.  

    Our reviewer called the Sirona M2 an “excellent car seat, perhaps one of the best I've used. It's packed full of up-to-date safety features, and looks so sleek. Its asking price is not to be sniffed at, but it offers good value for money - a lovely car seat. Anyone who wants to invest in a car seat which excels in safety features, and is up to date with modern regulations.”  

    Here's the complete review of the Cybex Sirona M2 car seat.

    You can buy this seat at Kiddie Kingdom

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  • 7. Britax Dualfix, £340

    Age suitability: Birth until 4 years

    Rear-facing until: 4 years

    The Dualfix can be used in the rear-facing position from birth to 18kg (4 years) and also includes all the safety features you’d expect from Britax, including ISOFIX and installation indicators.

    What makes it special is the fact that the seat swivels 360 degrees, allowing you easy access to the seat unit. While it can be used rear-facing until your child is around 4, it also rotates from a rear to become a forward-facing car seat (from 9kg). 

    Find out why the Dualfix is award-winning in the full review

    Buy the Britax Dualfix from Amazon

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  • 8. Axkid Minikid, £349.99

    Age suitability: Birth until 25kg (around 6 years)

    Rear-facing until: 25kg (around 6 years)

    A rear-facing only, Group 1/2 car seat, the Minikid can be used from 9kg to a massive 25kg (6 years).

    Along with its, side impact protection system and three recline positions the seat also has a self adjusting 5-point harness and automatically adjusting tether straps.   

    We've got another review of a rear-facing for longer Axkid car seat right here

    You can buy the Minikid from Pramworld.

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  • 9. Casualplay Bicarefix, £290

    Age suitability: Birth - 18kg (roughly newborn - 4 years)

    Rear-facing until:  18kg (around 4years)

    The Casualplay Bicarefix is a Group 0+/1 car seat, which garnered 4.5 stars and 4 stars from our MFM mum reviewer and readers respectively.  

    Rear-facing up to 18kg (around 4 years) it has automatically adjusting shoulder straps that keep tension around your child’s shoulders at a safe and comfortable level, with a minimum amount of fuss. 

    The car seat was also given full marks by our mum for its deep, extra-padded seats.

    Read our full Casualplay Bicarefix review

    You can buy the Bicarefix from Amazon

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  • 10. Britax Multi-Tech II, £260

    Age suitability: 9kg - 25kg (roughly 9 months - 6 years)

    Rear-facing until:  25kg (around 6years)

    Britax originally developed the Multi-Tech II for the Swedish market, to comply with Scandinavian car seat laws but decided to give UK parents the option of rear-facing for longer - a whopping 6 years (25kg) in fact. 

    Widely available across the EU, the Group 1/2 car seat features a side impact protection system, is suitable for children from the age of 9 months and had a 5-point safety harness that can be used up to 18kg (around 4 years). 

    Read our full review of the Britax Multi-Tech II

  • 11. Joie Every Stage, £200

    An all-stage car seat, meaning it goes from birth to 36kg (around 12 years)!

    The Every Stage allows little ones to sit rear-facing to 18kg (around 4 years) and has 5 recline positions, side impact protection, a 10-height headrest and side wings that widen as the headrest is raised.

    And at £200 it's great value for money -  £16.67 per year, 4.5p per day to be exact.

    You can buy the Joie Every Stage car seat from KiddicareHalfords or Mamas&Papas.

    Read our full Joie Every Stage review

  • Remember these important safety guidelines before you buy:

    1. Car seat law - We've got the the latest law updates and the exceptions to the rules.       
    2. Safety – budget and looks are important to us all, however nothing trumps safety when choosing a car seat.  So we suggest you check and are happy with the car seat safety certifications and ratings before buying.  And remember; don’t settle for second best – or secondhand.
    3. Installing a car seat in your car - not all car seats fit in all cars, so get your car seat fitted by a trained car seat installation advisor (appointed by the manufacturer).
    4. ISOFIX, in-car base or car seat belt - are the three mechanisms to fit car seats into cars and we explain everything you need to know here.  
    5. The 2 hour rule – health experts and car seat makers say you shouldn't keep your baby in the car seat for longer than 2 hours, with the exception being a lie-flat car seat.

    We've got more car seats….

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