Best Car Seats for 1 Year Old Infants: Slim, Extended Rear-facing

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Quick List: Best Car Seats for 1 Year Old

There are many good car seats for 1 year old infants. Here in this post, we compile the best options after comparing and reviewing 20+ car seats for 1-year-old babies:

1. Best overall: Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller – combine a car seat and stroller into one, friendly for travel, but expensive.

2. Best for preemies: Chicco KeyFit 30 ($219.99) – 16.75″ width. Friendly for preemies.

3. Best narrow: Diono Radian 3R ($199.99) – 17″ width, extended rear-facing (50-lb weight limit).

4. Most comfortable – UPPAbaby MESA ($299.99) – 17.3″, high-end materials.

5. Best for extended rear-facing: Graco Extend2Fit ($234.99) – 50-lb rear-facing weight limit and extension panel.

6. Easy to install: Britax Boulevard ($369.99) – ClickTight technique, SafeCell, and V-shape.

See Our Top Picks

Find the best car seats for 1 Year old

Best By Bonus

See the best car seat for 1 year old by bonus (e.g. slim, extend rear-facing, etc).

Short Review

Short review of the top-rated car seats for 1 year old.

What are the best car seats for 1 year old infants?

Based on the NHTSA’s suggestion, it’s strongly recommended to keep toddlers under 2 years old in a rear-facing car seat in the back vehicle seat.

Some states’ local laws require the parents to put their babies in a rear-facing car seat until 2 years old, like New Jersey and California.

So if you’re living or planning to travel with your baby in these states, it’s better to follow this rule.

There are several types of rear-facing car seats for one year old and you can pick a suitable one according to your boy or girl’s height or weight.

Most babies start their first journey in the vehicle with an infant car seat, as it’s a requirement for the parents to install a baby car seat before they leave the hospital.

But it will be a bit fast for babies to outgrow the weight or height limit of the infant car seat, generally, the height limit comes first.

At this time, you should change it to another rear-facing car seat that supports a higher weight limit or height limit – convertible or all-in-one.

All in all, your 1-year-old little boy or girl should stay in a rear-facing car seat until he or she grows to 2 years old, then you may change to a forward-facing car seat.

Best Car Seats for 1 Year Old

Best for travel

Doona Infant Car Seat and Stroller
Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller


Best narrow

Diono Radian 3R 3-in-1 Car Seat
Diono Radian 3R


Best for extended rear-facing

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat
Graco Extend2Fit


Easy to install

Britax Boulevard Clicktight - purple car seat
Britax Boulevard ClickTight


Best Car Seats for 1 Year Old by Bonus Features

16 Inch:

Best Foldable

Further Information

6 Foldable car seats for travel

Best for Extended Rear-facing

  • Convertible car seat- Graco Extend2Fit(50-lb rear-facing weight limit)
  • Narrow convertible car seat (all-in-one) – Diono Radian 3R (50-lb rear-facing weight limit)

3 Across

Further Information

Best car seats for 3 across

Best 5-point harness up to 120 lbs

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Best Car Seats for 1 Year Old Reviews

Best Car Seat for 1 Year Old

Doona Infant Car Seat and Stroller

Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller

Key Features
The Good
The Bad



Doona Infant Car Seat is the first recommendation for one-year-old babies. With a weight limit of 35 lb. and a height limit of 32-inch, it’s able to support most kids at average weight and height at this age. This is the basis for most rear-facing infant car seats. It ranks the top #1 car seat for one year old for several reasons.

Why We Recommend It:

Doona is the only car seat that combines a car seat with a stroller. This unique feature does not only save your money but also saves your effort.

You don’t need to purchase another stroller to walk your baby, and it’s easy to turn the Doona into a stroller, just in seconds with one simple motion operation.

Doona Infant Car Seat and Stroller with Wheels

It’s also the only best 1 year old car seat with wheels, which saves you the effort of taking a stroller if you want to walk or have a date with friends. The wheels are convenient to fold up to be a car seat to hold your baby rear-facing.

This Doona car seat and stroller combo feature are the best for little less than one year old, who sleeps a lot wherever they go.

Moving a baby from a car seat to a stroller might be disturbed the babies, even if they don’t notice this move too much.

As parents, you always give the best to your 1 year old boy or girl, even the sleep. With Doona, you don’t need to move your littles, just unfold the wheels to turn the car seat into a stroller. No need to disturb the kids’ sleep!

Another appealing point is that the Doona is suitable for taking a taxi or in public transportation. You don’t need to take another stroller but just the car seat, easy on and easy off.

Different from most infant car seats for one year old, the Doona features an adjustable handlebar, which is useful for moms and dads to walk the babies when you use it as a stroller.

However, some parents complain that the adjustment is not friendly for high dads, as Doona only supports 2 levels of adjustment – one used as a car seat and the other as a stroller. If the manufacturer would consider this point and add it to the improvement for the next upgrade, it would be good news for dads.

Doona baby car seat is TUV and FAA aircraft approved for travel. This means that it is not only suitable for car travel but also great for air travel.

It’s highly recommended to use it for your one-year-old baby’s air travels. You’ll find its wheels are very useful and convenient in the airport, from the time you get off the car and onboard the plane.

Made of safe and breathable textiles, the Doona is friendly for one-year-old littles. The textiles are removable and washable, it’s also good for parents.

We know that everything has two aspects – the good and the bad. The Doona infant car seat for 1 year old is not 100% perfect.

Have you noticed it? The Doona only supports the 35-lb weight limit and 32-inch height limit. Yes, it’s only for rear-facing usage, meaning you can use it only for the littles around one year old or 18 months, seldom for small toddlers up to 2 years old.

Additional wheels add weight to the car seat. It’s not surprising that Doona is heavier than most one year old infant car seats on the market. That’s a pain point many parents also complain about.

According to the manufacturer’s statement, the car seat weighs about 16.5 pounds. If adding the baby’s 30+ lbs to the car seat, the weight can reach up to 50 pounds in total. It’s a bit heavy for moms to carry for those situations where they can’t walk to the car seat.

The manufacturer promised a 2 years warranty, covering the usage time for your first baby. That is better for other baby car seats with one year warranty.

Best for Preemies

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

Chicco KeyFit30

Key Features
The Good
The Bad



The Chicco KeyFit 30 is the second recommendation of the best car seat for a 1 year old. It’s one of the most popular ones on Amazon, earning a lot of compliments from the parents. The unique feature to support premature babies makes it the #1 choice car seat for newborns.

Why We Recommend It:

To keep the newborns’ stay safe and comfortable in the car seat, the Chicco KeyFit 30 comes with a removable head and body support, which is very useful for ultra-small littles. It can be removed as your baby grow to one year old, who can keep themselves cradled in the car seat.

As a well-known brand in the child car seat industry, Chicco is experienced in taking the parents’ concerns into consideration.

Most parents, especially the newbies who have their first baby, worry about the correct installation. The Chicco KeyFit 30 comes with a few branded innovative features to make it easier for parents to install correctly for a safe ride one year old in the car seat.

RideRight bubble level indicators show if the car seat installs at the right angle or not to fit the one year old little. 

ReclineSure spring-loaded level your baby’s foot at the right position. 

SuperCinch force-multiplying tightens the baby with safety and comfort. 

Premium LATCH connectors are good for easily attaching the car seat to the base or removal.

The KeyFit 30 is a lightweight car seat for 1 year old, only 9.5 lb. But we still can’t say that it’s effortless to carry it with your baby in it.

Luckily, it’s compatible with most Chicco strollers, which are not included in the car seat travel system and you need to purchase them separately.

To keep your baby comfortable in the car seat, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is made of high-quality fabric that is machine-washable. You can easily remove the seat pad and throw it into the washing machine.

Being suitable for premature babies is absolutely an excellent point, but KeyFit 30 also has an obvious drawback – lower weight and height limit than other rear-facing only one year old car seats like the Doona and UPPAbaby MESA.

You can easily get this from its name. The weight limit is only 30 lbs and the height limit is only 30 inches, only most littles around the average but not good for big kids that grow a bit faster.

But it seems the Chicco company does not worry about this a bit. They developed another two upgraded versions – KeyFit 30 Zip and KeyFit 30 Zip Air, with a bit different design and major improvements in the fabrics used in the car seat.

The Zip and Zip Air versions look apparently higher-end and more comfortable. It’s not surprising that they are also more expensive, with 30~50 dollars more.

The differences between KeyFit 30 and KeyFit 30 Zip and KeyFit 30 Zip Air list below for easy comparison. You can easily pick up the one that is suitable for your one year old little.

Best Infant Car Seat for 1 Year Old with Comofrt

UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat


Key Features
The Good
The Bad


The UPPAbaby MESA is the third best car seat for 1 year old. The UPPAbaby is a new internet brand that is different from those traditional brands like Graco, Chicco, and Britax.

But this does not make it less reliable than those companies. Actually, it makes use of a new and innovative way to attract parents’ attention and becomes one of the most popular brands online.

The MESA is one classic infant car seat for one year old from UPPAbaby.

It is the only rear-facing baby car seat for one year old with a unique technology utilizing a tightness indicator and self-retracting LATCH connectors for fast, easy, and accurate installation.

While the correct installation is the biggest problem and concern for parents to safely drive their babies, the easier it is, the safer the parents feel.

Parents can effortlessly get confirmation from the tightness indicator on the base. When it turns green, it means that the seat is installed correctly whether using LATCH or belt.

The UPPAbaby MESA is one of the best baby car seats designed for preemies and smaller newborns, with the infant insert included in the package and low harness position designed for crotch strap settings to create a safer riding position.

Made of breathable and washable fabrics, the UPPAbaby MESA is comfortable for your baby to stay in.

The seat looks very soft and high-end, with a large UPF hideaway canopy to protect your 1-year old toddler from sunshine.

This definitely adds points to its performance, and also its price.

The UPPAbaby MESA is almost $100 more expensive than the Chicco KeyFit 30. Even both are good for premature newborns and are lightweight for carrying.

But you can always select a perfect baby car seat for 1 year old based on your needs and budget.

Best Car Seat for 1 Year Old for Long Rear-Facing

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

Graco Extend2Fit

Key Features
The Good
The Bad


*RF=Rear Facing; FF=Forward Facing

Graco Extend2Fit is the best convertible car seat for driving a one year old in the car seat in rear-facing. It has a higher weight limit, good for fast-growing babies and big toddlers.

To make it fit for growing children, the company not only adds the weight limit of up to 50 pounds but also does the other trick, even its height limit is the same as other rear-facing only baby car seats for 1 year old when used in rear-facing – 32-inches.

As its name indicates, the Graco Extend2Fit is designed for extended usage.

It features a 4-position adjustable extension panel that provides up to 5-inch additional legroom. This allows your kid to stay rear-facing longer with safety and comfort.

Children are safer riding rear-facing and should ride rear-facing as long as possible until they reach the maximum weight or height limit for their car seats.

We find that some parents ask if they can put their children in a forward-facing car when their children are less than one year old.

It’s not recommended!

The better and safer way is to keep your children in a rear-facing car seat until they are two years old.

Some US states local laws about child safety in a car require parents to follow this policy, otherwise, there will be a fee.

The 50-lb weight limit and 32-inch plus 5-inch more legroom allows your children to stay as long as their 2-year-old birthday, or even when they’re 4 or 5 years old.

The Graco took the parents’ concern of accurate installation into consideration and designed its car seat with a few helpful supportive features to help parents install this car seat for 1 year old toddler correctly.

The push-button InRight LATCH provides an easy, one-second attachment for the parents to install the base in the car easily and securely with an audible click.

The easy-to-read level indicator lets parents easily understand if they have installed the car seat at the right position without any guesswork.

The steel-reinforced frame does not only meet the minimum standard of a car seat safety test but also is strong enough to provide strength and durability for a long time use – up to 10 years.

This means that the Graco Extend2Fit can be used for several kids if you’re planning to have a big family.

It’s the basic requirement that all the car seats sold in the US should pass the federal child safety test in a car at 30-mph riding speed.

But Graco Extend2Fit provides more than that. It features the company’s unique ProtectPlus Engineered, which is a combination of the most rigorous crash tests that protect your little one in the frontal, side, rear, and rollover crashes.

A review posted on Amazon proved its great crash test performance with real examples. But we do recommend you to drive safely to avoid any fierce crashes on the road.

Best Car Seat for 1 Year Old with Easy Installation

Britax Boulevard Clicktight - purple car seat

Britax Boulevard Clicktight

Key Features
The Good
The Bad

$369.99 (*Price may change)

Britax is another well-known traditional brand in the baby car seat industry and Boulevard is a classic convertible car seat from the company.

It features a relatively high weight limit for rear-facing mode, only 40 lbs. But it’s good enough for one-year-old toddlers to stay rear-facing, even two- or three-year-old littles are not a big problem to ride in the Britax Boulevard rear-facing.

The Boulevard convertible car seat features Britax’s unique ClickTight function that helps parents install it correctly with confidence.

However, you should always read the instructions carefully before starting to install the seat in your car, even if there are easy-read level indicators and a quick-push recline to help you find the proper angle for your vehicle and the most comfortable fit for your child. 

Correct installation is fundamental. But the Boulevard ClickTight adds more to protect your one year old child in case of any crashes.

2 layers of side impact protection surround your child’s head, neck, and torso, reducing the crash effect; while the steel frame and crumple zones help absorb crash energy.

The patented V-shaped tether is a bonus to help slow forward movement to keep your child’s head and neck safe all the time. 

As your child grows from baby to toddler, the Boulevard ClickTight supports a long use from rear-facing to forward-facing.

Remember, it’s better to put your child in a rear-facing car seat until 2 years old. 

Best 3 Across Car Seat for 1 Year Old

Diono Radian 3R 3-in-1 Car Seat

Width: 17 Inch

Key Features
The Good
The Bad


If you’re looking for a 3-in-1 child safety system that can be used from birth to booster ages, the Diono Radian 3R might be the best recommendation. With a weight limit of 50 lb. for rear-facing use, it’s absolutely good enough for a one year old in a car seat

This 50 lb. maximum weight is the highest for rear-facing of all convertible or 3-in-in or all-in-one car seats and ensures your child stays in the rear-facing as long as possible until they reach two years old and turn forward-facing.

The Radian 3R is a great choice for big families who have several children and need to install three car seats in the back.

The unique Radian slim-fit design, used in all models of Radian car seats, makes it possible to fit 3 across in most vehicles without compromising child comfort.

Just like most booster car seats, the Radian 3R also supports a long time usage, up to 10 years, with its best adaption to fit your children from newborns to big kids up to 120 lb. in booster mode. It goes through all three stages.

We should admit this is a very appealing point for parents who want a premium car seat with great value and save money to buy multiple car seats.

However, we should admit that all-in-one car seats don’t do any single task all that well as single-functioning ones when they are trying to do too much.

But it’s still a good choice for parents who are on a tight budget and want a great protective car seat for 1 year old.

FAQs on Best Car Seats for 1 Year Old

1 year old littles should ride in a rear facing car seat. The experts from AAP and NHTSA DO recommend parents to put their small toddlers in rear facing as long as possible until they get too big for their car seat, whatever the weight or height limits come first.

It’s better not to move your 1 year old to a forward facing car seat too soon, even if they have reached the minimum weight limit of 22 pounds or height limit of 26 inches at this age. The child rides safer in rear facing than forward facing, especially for small babies less than one year old.

Theoretically, if your 10-month old is big enough to meet the minimum requirements like 22 pounds weight or 26 inches height, it’s okay to put them in a forward facing car seat. However, small babies younger than 2 years old are safer riding in the rear facing. Car seat experts also suggest parents place small toddlers in a rear facing car seat before they grow too big for their car seats and are ready to turn to forward facing.

Some US states even required that 2 years old littles should sit in a rear facing car seat.

Infant car seats can last long to ride your baby from birth to 2 year old if they don’t outgrow the car seat’s weight or height limits – we’ll talk about this in the next question.

However, if they’re big babies and kids, you may find it’s much easier for them to exceed the height or weight limit of their infant car seats. At this time, you may need a convertible car seat to ride your littles in rear facing for a longer time, like the Graco Extend2Fit, Diono Radian 3R, or the Chicco NextFit Zip Max. All three car seats are able to ride a toddler up to 50 pounds in rear facing mode.

Generally, infant car seats come with a weight limit of 35 pounds and can be used to ride your babies from birth to 2 years old. That’s from the weight limit of the infant car seats. However, toddlers break through the height limit most times.

You may be curious that there is no height limit in the car seat specifications. The manufacturers don’t indicate this data in the product description but will give you a reminder in the user manual – your baby’s head should be at least 1-inch below the handle of the infant car seats.

If you’re using a convertible car seat or all-in-one car seat in rear facing mode, the height limit is that your baby’s head should be at least 1-inch below the adjusted handle of the headrest.

It’s time to switch to forward facing when your child exceeds their rear facing car seats. But remember, your littles are safer riding in rear facing, so keep them in a rear facing car seat as long as possible. If they outgrow their infant car seats, a few convertible car seats allow for longer use in rear facing, like the Graco Extend2Fit, Diono Radian 3R, and the Chicco Zip Max.

Some US states require the parents to accommodate 2 year old toddlers in rear facing. For the best safety, you can switch to forward facing after your little one’s second birthday.

That depends on your needs! For me, I think the Doona and Maxi Pria might be the most comfortable car seats.

The Doona is a combination of a car seat and stroller and allows your toddler to ride and sleep in the car seat without disturbing in and out of the car. You don’t need to unbuckle and move it from the car seat base to a stroller, reducing the chance to wake up your baby.

The Maxi Pria 3-in-1 car seat is made of premium fabric and looks high-end. The removable head support and body insert, along with two thick layers of the headrest, provide the safest protection and most comfort to growing with your little.

You’ll need a convertible or all-in-one car seat after an infant. The 4-in-1 or all-in-one or some 3-in-1 will also play a role as a convertible car seat, but they will last for a longer time to be used as a booster for big kids. They are a great money saver but lack the potential to do well as a convertible car seat.

which is best, convertible or all-in-one? That depends on your needs. If you’re on a tight budget – believe me, kids always need more money than you think, you may think it’s the best option to buy a good all-in-one car seat. But if you want to put your littles in a car seat that is related to their current stage of weight and height and age, a convertible car seat is also a great option. And they can be used as long as your littles ones get 7 or 8 years old.

That depends on the needs of parents and toddlers. For us, the Graco Extend2Fit is the best option. It also earns a lot of praise from parents. You may look for another option to best fit your littles. There are some basic rules you can follow:

  1. Safety. Even all the car seats should pass through a frontal crash test under the US FMVSS 213 before going to the market, some manufacturers may have their car seats to exceed more tests. The Graco Extend2Fit is an example that features the company’s unique ProtectPlus Engineered and goes through the crash tests from frontal, side, rear & rollover.
  2. Long-lasting. This means not only that the car seat itself has a long lifespan, but also the car seat is designed to grow with your child. Toddlers grow fast, if you want to place them in the rear facing for longer, it’s better to buy a car seat with a greater weight limit. The Graco Extend2Fit, Diono Radian 3R, and Chicco NextFit Zip Max come with a 50-lb weight limit rear-facing, fitting growing toddlers well to their 2 years or even 3 or 4 years.
  3. Comfort. Your child would prefer a comfortable ride in their car seat. So additional inserts and well-made breathable fabric will add points to a car seat’s overall score.

Easy installation. Installing effortlessly is a very appealing point for the parents. Nowadays, most car seats allow for installation with LATCH and seat belt. If the manufacturers can provide an easy-to-read user manual and extra instructions, their can seats win with no doubt.

Theoretically, your littles can sit in a front-facing car seat as long as they’re ready and big enough to exceed the minimum weight and height limit. But it’s NOT recommended to place a 9 month old baby in a front facing car seat.

Children ride safer in rear facing. Remember this elemental rule will reduce your guess and save your time to ask this kind of question. The AAP and NHTSA suggest accommodating the littles in rear facing as long as possible. Some states in the US require that children under 2 years old should stay in a rear facing car seat. Check the local laws before riding your littles in the vehicle.

It’s better NOT. Just read our reply to the last question and you’ll find that 1 year old is safer facing the rear in a car seat. Of course, you should install the car seat correctly following its user manual. That’s the basic rule to ensure your 1 year old littles are safe in their car seats.

Generally, the 12 month old littles will stay in a rear facing car seat, no matter the types of car seat – infant or convertible or all-in-one, as long as they don’t outgrow the weight or height limits of the car seat used in rear facing mode.

No. All the booster seats have a minimum 40 pounds weight limit, 1 year old littles generally can’t reach this level at this age. And they are safer to ride in the rear facing, especially if they’re small babies. Big kids can sit in a convertible seat, but still not a booster anyway.

Yes. They’re not able to use the seat belt as adults on a plane, and a car seat is necessary to protect them like in the vehicle.

Averagely, littles weigh about 20 pounds at their 1 year old, based on the data from WHO Growth Chart for boys and girls of birth to 24 months.