Review: Britax Roundabout 55 Convertible Car Seat

02/20/2011 at 11:00 AM ET
Courtesy Britax

A car seat is one of the most important things you’ll buy for your child.

It helps keeps them safe and sound in the event of a car accident.

We’re huge fans of Britax, but even the most well-designed seats could use an upgrade.

So, the company has recently improved their full collection of convertible car seats, now called Next Gen.

Check out our review of one of the updates — the Roundabout 55 ($200) — below:

Things We Like:

Formerly the Roundabout, this new and improved seat can now take a child up to 55 lbs.

The seat’s cushy ride is also much safer now. It features SafeCell technology, which will compress in the event of a crash to lower the center of gravity and offset the forward rotation of the car seat. It’s also designed with integrated steel bars, which reduce the forward flexing of the car seat.

In addition, the energy-absorbing Versa-Tether helps anchor the top of the car seat and minimize forward rotation to reduce crash forces. The car seat also offers side impact protection and a much improved (and easier to adjust!) 5-point harness.

Even better? It can now be used rear facing with babies from 5 to 40 lbs., as well as, forward facing up to 55 lbs.

Things We Didn’t Like:

Not much. We’re really pleased with all of the safety upgrades.

Moms & Babies Rating:

If like us, you’re big fans of the former Roundabout, then you’ll want to check out this new and improved version. Not only does it now have loads of new safety features, but it still boasts a comfy ride.

— Nancy Johnson Horn

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 15 comments

Laura on

I don’t understand how a child up to 40 pounds can sit rear-facing in these types of carseats. Wouldn’t their legs be squished against the back of the seat? I like the idea of them being safe but I just don’t see how that works!

amy on

They end up sitting crossed legged. If you are in a car accident, a leg may get broken. But better a leg, then their neck being snapped if your child is forward facing.

Angela on

The idea to keep them rear facing that long. In a crash a child’s head will extend, and may become detatched from the body. A broken leg you can cast, there isn’t much you can do for a broken neck.

mama on

we have this seat for our 11 motnh old and love it. I tried and returned like 6 other car seats before settling on this exact one!

Jen on

My son rides rearfacing in the Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL (which rearfaces to 45 pounds) and his legs are somewhat squashed. But he does not seem to mind at all, and extended rearfacing is safer for kids (as I’m sure you already know).

Jen on

My 3 year old son still rides rearfacing in his Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL carseat. His legs are a little squished, but he never complains at all. Besides extended rearfacing is much safer for young children. I have read very sad stories about children being badly injured (or even killed) because their carseats were turned forward facing too early. The 12 months/20 pound thing is so old school.

Jackie on


Kids should stay rear facing until they are 40 punds or until their heads reach the top of the seat. Whichever comes first, I believe. This is at least what I have read. Kids don’t seem to mind having their legs cramped. My nephew crosses his legs. 🙂 I rather have my child be squished a little than be front facing and fatally injured in an accident.

WeightyCatey on

Laura, the kids figure out where to put their feet and are quite comfortable. When was the last time you saw a child want to sit with their legs out straight in front of them anyway. Our daughter is 40lb and still very comfortably rf.

Lee on

There are enormous safety benefits to having a child rear facing in the car seat. The kids can sit with their legs ‘criss cross applesauce’, bend them up, or stretch them up the back of the seat. If that is how they have been seated all along, they wont know any difference. My kids seem comfortable but I care more about their safety than their comfort anyway!!!

Laura on

Thanks for answering my question. My friend just got a carseat like this one (same brand but I’m not sure it’s this exact seat) and her baby is almost a year. We were just curious how the baby would fit in it one her legs were a bit longer. So I’ll pass on the information!

Sharon on

As others have said, extended rearfacing is best, even if the legs have to be crossed. Broken leg cast it, broken neck casket.

Olivia on

Britax needs to get on board with having easily adjustable straps like the some of the top-end EvenFlo seats. I love not having to re-thread my daughter’s seats. For a $200 seat I’d think they could include some convenience things like that.

Alyssa on

Laura, please do some further research, it will ease your mind a bit.

Carolyn on

Laura, I agree with you. My 6-year-old is 45 lbs and it’s ridiculous for me to think of her sitting rear-facing until 40 lbs. The next oldest is 4 and about 35 lbs and also would have a tough time being rear-facing. I don’t know anyone who keeps their kids rear-facing much longer than maybe 1.5 years to be honest.

Eric on

Carolyn, I am a child safety seat installation technician. You should keep them rear facing as long as possible. The kid can cross there legs and be just fine. If you get in a crash, you can fix a broken leg or ankle but you can’t fix a neck when the head gets seperated from the spine. I have seen too many crashes where kids get hurt because they are forward facing before they needed to be. I have been a police officer for 6 years and handle most of our fatality crashes. It is not fun when you pull up and a child could have been saved if the seat was installed properly and the child was in an appropriate seat. There is too much information and studies done not to listen to the professionals.