Trying to fit three car seats across the backseat of most cars is a challenging exercise to say the least.
Many small cars are simply too narrow to fit even the slimmest of car seats. However most medium-sized cars should be able to fit three car seats if the right configuration of car seats is selected.
Bear in mind that not every trio of child seats will fit across even the largest of cars; the slimmer the model of car seat the better your chances.
One challenge is that the car seats purchased for the first two children may not have been purchased with the third child in mind. It sounds drastic, however purchasing two or three new car seats that fit into your current car is far cheaper than purchasing a massive new SUV.
The Tinitrader team has done some research into the ideal car and seating features to consider when purchasing a family car. Here are our hot tips!
Tips to keep in mind before you purchase your car
In selecting your next family car the following are some key questions to keep in mind:
What is the car’s safety rating?
Are there any side, rear and frontal airbags?
How many child restraints can you fit across the back seat?
Does the car have suitable storage to allow for transporting prams, groceries etc?
Before forking out large sums to purchase your new car, firstly determine how easy it is to fit car seats and the spacing between each seat. Measure the distance between seat belt points or better still borrow some car seats and test your preferred car seat configuration before purchasing the car.
The location of the anchor bolt and how the front passenger leg room will be impacted when the car seats are fitted are also key considerations.
The location of airbags and the ability to disable airbags are key safety considerations.
What Car is Right for Your Family?
The NRMA has undertaken an extensive review of a wide selection of popular cars on the market and considered their suitability for family life. In particular they outline which cars can accommodate three car seats in the back. This site is a useful place to start, however keep in mind that new car models are regularly released and may have different features to those listed in the guide.
Let’s Look at Compact Children’s Car Seats on the Market
There are myriad car seat choices on the market with some makes and models that have been specifically designed to be compact.
Many of the boosters on the market have been designed with a compact car in mind. Look out for slim line or compact design and compare between makes and models.
Safe n Sound and Infasecure in particular have invested heavily in developing slim line and compact car seats.
Safe n Sound’s Compaq Car Seat Range
The Safe n Sound Compaq range of convertible car seats is suitable from birth to approximately four years of age. These car seats have a slim-line design that works well in situations where car width is limited. The car seats also have a compact installed depth, meaning that the front car seat is less impacted.
Infasecure’s Kompresser Car Seat Range
The Infasecure Kompresser range of convertible car seats is also suitable from birth to approximately four years. The Kompresser range has been specifically designed with a small footprint to make installation easier by giving better access to the vehicles seatbelt buckle. Infasecure seems to have put a great deal of thought into designing car seats to work in situations where there are three car seats across the back.
Infasecure’s Luxi Crown Range
Infasecure has recently released a new convertible car seat called the Series 2 Luxi Crown. This seat is suitable from birth to approximately eight years providing wonderful value for money. The seat also has the narrow base.
Tom from Infasecure has pulled together a great article outlining how best to fit three car seats in the back. The article runs through useful tips like the best order to fit the car seats.
The challenge of fitting three children in the back seat of any car can be a juggle. However with some research and planning, you may be able to avoid purchasing the giant people mover. Good luck!