Navigating the realm of car seats can be a challenging task, especially when your vehicle boasts non-removable headrests. These fixtures, designed for comfort and safety, can become a hurdle when it comes to installing forward-facing harnessed seats or high-back boosters. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of selecting the right car seats that seamlessly integrate with vehicles featuring fixed headrests. Understanding the limitations, exploring compatible options, and mastering installation techniques are crucial to ensuring both safety and ease for you and your little passengers.

Understanding Non-Removable Headrests

Not all non-removable headrests are a problem. The flat ones usually pose no issue when it comes to car seat compatibility. However, many of the non-removable headrests also tilt forward and this can make finding a suitable car seat very difficult. This forward tilt can hinder a proper installation, but there are car seats tailored to work seamlessly with these specific headrest types. Explore the solutions provided below to ensure a secure and safe fit for your child, even in vehicles with tricky headrest configurations. Below is an example of one compatible and one incompatible booster with the non-removable headrests.

Graco TurboBooster 2.0 does not allow a gap so this seat would not be compatible in this vehicle.

Nuna Aace can be used with non-removable headrests as long as you use the rigid lower anchors, so this would be a better option.

Best Car Seats for Vehicles with Non-Removable Headrests

Top Harnessed Car Seats

When the child is rear-facing, you will of course have no compatibility issues. So, feel free to choose any infant seat you want. However, when it comes to selecting a convertible seat, it becomes crucial to find one that accommodates both rear and forward-facing positions in your vehicle. In the curated list below, you’ll find a range of convertible car seats and forward-facing-only harnessed seats. This ensures that no matter the stage you’re at, there’s a seat designed to seamlessly integrate with your vehicle’s fixed headrests.

Clek Foonf

Clek Foonf

The Clek Foonf is one of the narrowest car seats in both Canada and the US. It has many added safety features such as an anti-rebound bar for rear-facing and rigid lower anchors for forward-facing. With the additional purchase of the infant insert, this seat can be used from birth! The Mammoth and Railroad fabric options are flame-retardant-free. You can find a full review of the Clek Foonf here.

Clek Fllo

Clek Fllo

The Clek Fllo is another narrow option available in both the US and Canada. Like the Clek Foonf above, it also has an anti-rebound bar, but it lacks the rigid lower anchors. This seat can be used from birth with Clek’s infant insert in use. If rear-view visibility is a concern in the vehicle, the Fllo sits lower in the vehicle than the Foonf does. The Mammoth and Railroad fabric options are flame-retardant-free.

Chicco Fit360

Chicco Fit360

The Chicco Fit360 is the newest swivel seat on the market. This one works well with very tricky headrests like the ones found in most of the Tesla models and the Chrysler Pacifica as well! It’s the best swivel seat for non-removable headrests so far. It’s only available in the US at this time. The base comes with an anti-rebound bar and it’s possible to buy extra bases to use in other vehicles. All of the fabric options are free of flame retardants.

Nuna Rava

Nuna Rava

The Nuna Rava is available in both Canada and the US. It’s easy to install with the seat belt thanks to Nuna’s tension panel. The US version can be very compact front to back when rear-facing, but the Canadian version only has one allowed recline setting so the space it takes up may vary. All of the fabric options are free of flame retardants.

Nuna Exec

Nuna Exec

The Nuna Exec is an option for US residents only. Canada has a similar seat called the Nuna Royl, which lacks the rear-facing mode. Both have tension panels for easy seat belt installation. The US version has an anti-rebound bar for rear-facing, which is an added safety feature. The forward-facing mode on both the Exec and the Royl has a leg rest for the child. All of the fabric options are free of flame retardants.

Graco TrioGrow SnugLock

Graco TrioGrow SnugLock

The Graco TrioGrow SnugLock is available in both the US and Canada. The Canadian version has an anti-rebound bar. The Triogrow has a lock-off for easy seat belt installation. This seat will fit most newborns from birth if you would like to skip the infant seat. A full review is available here.

Graco Slimfit3 LX/Graco True3Fit LX

Graco SlimFit 3 LX

The Graco Slimfit3 LX is available in both the US and Canada. Graco True3Fit LX is the Walmart-exclusive version for the US. This seat is very narrow at 16.7″ so it’s one of the best seats if you need to fit 3 kids across the bench seat of your vehicle. The forward-facing mode has a seat belt lock-off to help you get a tight installation. Full review here.

Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow

The Graco Nautilus SnugLock Grow is only available in the US. It is a combination seat or a harnessed booster, meaning that it has a forward-facing harness mode, a high-back booster mode, and a backless booster mode. It has a seat belt lock-off for the harness mode, making it easy to install. As you raise the headrest, the seat widens to accommodate a growing child.

Full review here.

Wayb Pico

Wayb Pico

The Wayb Pico is only available in the US. This seat works well in many vehicles with non-removable forward-tilting headrests because it is so short. Even when the car seat’s headrest is in the highest position, it’s still usually below the vehicle’s headrests. This seat is also very narrow at 14.75″ wide. It can work in some 3 across situations. But this seat is very difficult to install with the seat belt, so the lower anchors installation is preferred. Full review here.

Top High Back Boosters

Many high-back boosters have to be flush with the vehicle seat. Because this isn’t possible in seating positions with non-removable headrests, it’s important to choose a high-back booster that does not have that requirement. Check out the list below for your options!

Clek Oobr

The Clek Oobr is available in both the US and Canada. It has high back and backless booster modes. This booster comes with optional rigid lower anchors to hold it into the vehicle. It comes in many fun colors and fabric options, some of which are free of flame retardants.

Nuna Aace

The Nuna Aace is also available in both the US and Canada. It has high back and backless booster modes. This seat has rigid lower anchors and when this booster is being used with non-removable headrests, you must use the lower anchors. All of the fabric options are free of flame retardants.

Diono Cambria 2

All of the Diono boosters are compatible with non-removable headrests, but we will just mention two of them in this review to not overwhelm our readers. The Diono Cambria is the least expensive of the Diono boosters and is available in both the US and Canada. It has high back and backless booster modes. It has basic lower anchors to attach it to the vehicle if you want.

Diono Monterey 4DXT

The Diono Monterey 4DXT is also available in both the US and Canada. It has high back and backless booster modes. It has basic lower anchors to attach it to the vehicle if desired. This booster works particularly well for high-percentile kids as the backrest widens as you raise the headrest.

Conclusion

As we navigate the maze of car seat compatibility, it’s evident that vehicles with non-removable headrests require meticulous consideration when choosing the right seat for your child. Safety, functionality, and ease of installation become paramount factors in this decision-making process. Remember, thorough research, checking for compatibility, and seeking professional guidance when needed are key elements in securing the best possible car seat for your vehicle. By prioritizing these considerations, you can ensure a smoother, safer ride for your little ones, providing peace of mind for every journey ahead.

Affiliate links are included above. Safe in the Seat earns a small commission when you purchase through these links at no cost to you. We so appreciate your support.

Use Code: TARGET for 15% off Car Seat Buying Kits!

X
Skip to content