Rear-facing car seats

Rear-facing car seats

I went back 2 months but couldn't find any posts, so sorry if this is a duplicate.

We are awaiting delivery of our M3, and we currently have an 8-month-old who is close to outgrowing his Britax infant seat due to the weight limit. We are looking into convertible rear-facing car seats, but are hesitant about purchasing one without knowing if it's going to fit in the M3. Also, we are planning on expanding our family, and will likely also have another infant seat in there within the next 18-24 months.

Does anyone who already has an M3, have a rear-facing child seat installed? What make/model are you using and how are you finding the fit? Does anyone have two convertible rear-facing car seats installed together?

Thank you for any insights!!

The_Flash | June 11, 2018

I can chime in here... We have a rear facing car seat and a convertible car seat, both installed in our Model 3 without any issues.
However, if after installing both seats, you want someone to be able to comfortably sit next or in between the 2 seats, its not possible.

With 1 seat in the middle and the other on the side, a really skinny person could comfortably sit for maybe an hour or so but not for too long of a time period, but even with this setup, its difficult for the person to buckle up as the buckle hardware is stationary and the child car seat covers it..

spuzzz123 | June 11, 2018

Not sure if this is helpful or is a good way to search entire forum though, without having to pan through months of posts.

El Mirio | June 11, 2018
Solovanilla | June 11, 2018

@sethbola - which makes/models of seats do you have? We likely wouldn't have anyone sitting int he back for an extended period of time, so I appreciate the insights regarding the comfort of a backseat passenger.

@spuzzz123 - thank you for that link. I have already seen it, and unfortunately, it isn't applicable to my post as all 2 of those children are forward facing, and both seats we would be using would be rear-facing for as long as possible.

@El Mirio - thank you for the video links. I have seen those already. My main interest is trying to find out what makes/models of rear-facing car seats work well if there are two, either side-by-side, or behind the driver/passenger. I didn't think to check the manual so will look through that now for installation insights.

tri_t_to | June 11, 2018

I have an orbit baby car seat installed on the passenger side and a toddler seat installed behind the driver seat. My wife is short so it works out well. I would be very uncomfortable if I put the baby seat behind the driver side.

Solovanilla | June 11, 2018

@tri_t_to - is your toddler seat rear-facing or forward-facing? If it's rear facing, which make/model do you use? And thank you for the info on the Orbit Baby Infant Seat; I will look into that for our next little one.

jschnoorg4 | June 11, 2018

We had this concern too so we tested with our britax marathon. Behind the driver rear facing was fine for me as far as legroom goes. I’m 6 foot and found it pretty comfortable. You can’t crank the drivers seat back as far as it will go but it goes back better than any other car we’ve had it in. Hope this helps

cafutter | June 11, 2018

After looking at the link which shows the manual child safety seats, one my come away that seats should be turned forward at age 1. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests at least age two in a recommendation released March 2018:

cafutter | June 11, 2018

Here is more information about rear facing seats from the AAP:

Overall, children under the age of 2 are 75% less likely to die or experience a serious injury when they ride in a rear-facing car seat, according to the first U.S. data to substantiate the benefits of toddlers riding rear-facing until they are almost 2 years old.

cafutter | June 11, 2018

Here is more information about rear facing seats from the AAP:

Overall, children under the age of 2 are 75% less likely to die or experience a serious injury when they ride in a rear-facing car seat, according to the first U.S. data to substantiate the benefits of toddlers riding rear-facing until they are almost 2 years old.

Solovanilla | June 11, 2018

@jschnoorg4 - thank you for the info on the britax marathon. I will look into that one.

@cafutter - yes, I completely agree. We will be rear-facing our children for as long as the limitations on the car seats allow. It absolutely is a safer choice. I think this is why I'm having a hard time finding recommendations for rear-facing child seats that will fit, because most people will turn their seat forward-facing as soon as it's possible to do so (ie - considerably more space in the back seat as a result).

jschnoorg4 | June 11, 2018

My wife is the same way. Rear facing until they can complain about it. The marathon was on sale at amazon and has good ratings. It’s pretty easy to install with LATCH and seems comfy.

igor | June 11, 2018

We have two kids (1 year old and 4 year old) and both fit nicely in the model 3. We use Radian RXT seats (which are convertible) with the 4 year old forward facing in the middle and the 1 year old rear facing on the passenger side of the car.

I generally highly recommend the Radian RXT (we have 3 of them, one for our other car), it's reasonably skinny side to side so you can easily fit them next to each other, but the back is pretty high, so I was concerned it would not fit behind the passenger seat. As it is, my wife (who is about 5'6") can sit in the passenger reasonably comfortably even for a few hours, and I (6') can sit there for an hour but it's not great. So when all 4 of us in the car I end up driving (which is fine by me since driving the M3 is awesome :)).

With the 2 Radian RXTs in the back I actually find that it's OKish to sit beside them (behind the driver seat). I probably wouldn't want to sit there for many hours, but even a one hour trip would be bearable for a 6' person. This was quite surprising for me since we also have a Toyota RAV4 and it's really uncomfortable sitting in behind the driver in the same configuration. I have no idea how the M3 manages to have a wider seat than the RAV4 but multiple people who we have put through the ordeal have commented on this.

Hope this helps!

Solovanilla | June 11, 2018

@igor - thank you so much for the recommendation and the information. That is extremely helpful. I was looking at the Radian, but have heard that it isn't the best fit for children with long torsos as they are growing (regardless of rear/forward-facing) since it caps out shorter than most other seats. My husband is 6'2" and I'm 5'11" and we both have long torsos, so this is a concern for car seats. Have you noticed anything like this with yours?

Tuning In | June 11, 2018

Convertible car seats are the worst designed in terms of space efficiency and comfort. They're jack of all trade master of none. Everyone like the marketing telling With my first child I went with a Britax which was much larger than needed because it was designed to work from rear facing and up until they are quite large. As I had found, I preferred to switch him over to a Recaro Harness Booster on he was forward facing as that was far more comfortable and every bit as safe as the Britax. It saves a lot of space and was far more comfortable for my son.

With my daughter. Once she was out of the Infant Carrier, I had bought her the Combi Coccoro, then she also went to a harness booster when she was front facing. The great thing about the Combi is that it easily fits behind either front seats as opposed to the Britax that had to go in the middle. I have the lightly used Combi Coccoro if you are interested in getting that.

igor | June 11, 2018

@Solovanilla, I don't have that much experience with various seats, we bought the Radian RXT as the first seat for our oldest after she outgrew the baby carrier and have stuck with it ever since (bought 2 more as I mentioned). It seems pretty tall to me, so I find it hard to believe that kids would outgrow it any time soon, but my kids are relatively short (~20-35th percentile).

Given that both you and your husband are fairly tall it may make sense to have some sort of shorter rear-facing seat that will allow either of you to sit comfortable in the passenger seat, and then switch to a brand forward-facing seat when your child outgrows it, avoiding the whole issue with the rear-facing seat taking up too much space.

Another trick that my wife and I used when we only had one child is to put the rear facing seat in the middle of the back seat, this way you could move the passenger seat maybe 3-5" further back than you could otherwise (at the cost of slightly restricting the driver seat.

dmitriyM3 | June 11, 2018

+1 for Radian RXT - solid w/ steel reinforced frame. I got 3 of them forward facing right now. I had 1 of them rear facing at one point and it was ok. I did like britax marathon rear facing a bit more as younger ones seemed a bit more comfortable & you could adjust the reclining level. But Radian wins my vote for forward facing & I would probably keep it for rear facing for 1+yo

I found that overall you get a bit more space w/ car seats in model 3 vs. MB C300 & VW Jetta.

tri_t_to | June 12, 2018

@Solovanilla The toddler seat is forward facing. It's the Safety 1st Grow and Go.

pobudz | June 12, 2018

We use the Graco car seat for our 2 year old. In our Atlas, we can fully extend the car seat's leg rest. The Model 3 does not allow for this. I imagine it has to do with the seat back angle. He will be rear facing for as long as possible.

At any rate, it's not easy once they get heavier. My kid weighs about 35lbs. Because the roof is more like a hatch back in the rear, it requires rolling the kid out of the car seat. We have to pull out of the garage first to load him up, and hopefully find a curb to park next to, to ensure we have enough room to get him out, as the rear doors are really long.

I will say it is definitely worth the struggle. He LOVES looking out the rear windows. He's a really good passenger, and even better with so much to look at.

caywltz60 | October 7, 2019

Hey, pls, need some update on this topic. I need to buy a present for my sister's wedding aniversary and she mention a car seat.
I'm single and no nothing about baby care
So, what is model 3 you're discussing? Is it a super seat?
Can you advise the greateast model? any price tag

caywltz60 | October 7, 2019

I'm so stupid I got it now! it's the car model, still need advice
sis is about to ownd model x in a month

Xerogas | October 7, 2019

@caywltz60: "oh
I'm so stupid I got it now! it's the car model, still need advice
sis is about to ownd model x in a month"
Ask on the Model X forum

caywltz60 | October 8, 2019

I'm not allowed to start a new thread here, anyway hope someone can help

caywltz60 | October 8, 2019

Found this article and going to buy the 1st one
Guys from other forum are sure it fits any tesla as it's quite compact
Added it to cart, if you know smth about this model pls share your thoughts!