When I first wrote about our Britax Two Way Elite almost a year ago, we had Arlo in quite a reclined position that left just enough, but not too much leg room for Sam in the passenger seat in front. I thought I’d write a little update now that we’ve lived with the car seat for over a year and have moved it to a more upright position.

britax two way eliteArlo a year ago (please note that we actually didn’t have the seat installed correctly in this photo, as a commenter pointed out to me in my first post on rearfacing seats. The back of the car seat should rest ON TOP of the back of the seat in front, like in the photo below)

britax two way elite ford focusArlo at 22 months one we’d moved the seat to a more upright position.

From his constant chatter about various vehicles and buildings he’s spotted, I can tell that Arlo can see everything out of the side and rear windows. He’s never expressed an interest in sitting forward facing, and he seems very happy in his rear facing seat.

At two years old, Arlo rarely falls asleep in the car now (as opposed to this time last year when car naps were still one of our most reliable ways of getting him to sleep at all during the day), so the head-lolling thing that I was worried about by having him more upright isn’t really an issue.

carseat1And Sam’s knees are no longer hitting the dashboard, yay!

As he grows taller, there is the option to have the seat even more upright and move the base of the car seat more towards the front of the seat it sits on, which would give both Arlo and Sam a few extra legroom inches (if you look at the photo you can see there are still a few spare inches of seat space behind the back of Arlo’s car seat that the base of the car seat could be shifted onto leaving a bigger space for Arlo’s legs against the backrest of the seat). However, Sam has been telling me that there is some issue with our car’s seat belt which will make this difficult to do. I’m not yet sure if this is a problem that can be solved, as I haven’t really listened in detail to the problem Sam is talking about (I think the seat belt is not long enough to allow for that kind of extension to the seat), and as Arlo still has plenty of legroom I’ve not yet looked into potential solutions for this issue (a seatbelt extension perhaps?)

Our Focus is 14 years old so this seatbelt thing might not be an issue with newer Focuses. I think we have a good couple of years before Arlo’s legs grow too big to comfortably fit in the car seat for short journeys in its current position, so we are going to cross that bridge when we come to it, and when that time comes it will probably involve a call to In Car Safety Centre to see if they have any ideas. I have heard that it’s safer for a child to have their knees bent up in order to fit in a rear facing seat than to face forward and I’ve seen photos of six-year olds with their legs bent at quite an angle but looking very happy in their rear facing seats still. Obviously, this is not ideal for long journeys, in this event we would probably turn Arlo’s seat forward facing if comfort really was an issue for him, but as Sam can’t drive and our car isn’t really up for the challenge, we don’t do many long journeys anyway so I can’t see this issue cropping up much.

What I like most about the Britax Two Way Elite is that it is so simple (you can’t buy a more simple seat than this), and it does its job very efficiently. I still find the straps a bit of a faff at times, but in honestly I think I would find this an issue with most car seats. Being one of the cheapest and most versatile rear facing car seat options (it lasts until 6 or 7 years of age and fits in the majority of cars), I would be more than happy to buy another Two Way Elite when it comes to Baby Two growing out of our group 0 seat.

I have yet to install the seat myself (I really should do this one day as it would be nice to know how to put the seat in someone else’s car without needing to rely on Sam being around), but Sam insists it’s really very simple and has moved the seat between our car and grandparent’s cars on numerous occasions.

If you are near Croydon, I really recommend Baby Nest on the Purley Way. They are really clued up about rear facing and have a couple of rear facing seats in the shop ready to test out.

If you can get to Milton Keynes, the In Car Safety Centre is your best bet for a rear facing one-stop shop. Their staff know everything there is to know about rear facing and they have a large selection of seats to choose from.

Alternatively, you can order a seat online like we did and fit it yourself (it was very easy according to Sam). Over the past year I’ve been pleased to note more online retailers starting to stock rear facing seats, such as Baby and Co

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12 comments

    1. Hi Jennifer, it feels pretty secure to me, no wobbling. I asked Sam about this as he’s the one that installed it and moves it from car to car, etc, and he says that he hasn’t encountered any problems with the seat wobbling.

  1. It’s always nice to see other ERF mums about! 🙂
    Well done you for choosing ERF. 😀 😀
    Once you have all the facts on the table, it’s quite easy to choose it, and any concerns are usually based on myths that can easily be explained. 🙂

    How are you getting on now? The feet really isn’t an issue at all. And having them bent/crossed/ Indian style, is far more comfortable then dangling off the edge. 🙂

  2. Hi there, our family vehicle for the time-being is a (very) old ldv convoy van so we’ve been having fun trying to find a seat that will be rear-facing but also let my husband view his left wing mirror!
    This seat seems to be the smallest we’ve seen so far and I was wondering how you got on with it in the front passenger seat of your car if you had it there? Did you find it obstructed your view very much? Also noticed it has tethering straps, are these only for use in the back of a vehicle?
    Thanks in advance for any help.

    1. Hi. I haven’t used the car seats in the front passenger seat before, and I am not sure about the tethering strap question either! However, I can direct you to the Rear Facing Toddlers Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RearFacingToddlers?fref=ts Margaret, who runs the page, knows EVERYTHING there is to know about rear facing car seats (I’ve esriously never found such a good resource for car seat safety) and will definitely have the answers for you.

      1. Hi, I’m sure this will be too late for the previous lady but just wanted to let people know that I used this seat in the front of an Audi A5 for my first child and it fitted perfectly! You still use the tether straps in the same place on the rails of the front seat but feed them underneath the seat to attach to the back of the car seat. The seat is very compact so I could still see my wing mirror. I also got mine from the In Car Safety Centre in Northern Ireland and can’t recommend them enough!! I currently have a Beesafe IsoCombi in my Audi A6 but it is very bulky and leaves little leg room in the front so I’m contemplating getting this seat out of the attic and going back to it as it was so good.

    2. I have a similar problem to Ready Eddie (sorry poor convoy), and just wondered how they got round the not long enough seat belt and visibility in the end?

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