Carseats?

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
indianajones's picture
Joined: 01/21/07
Posts: 1486
Carseats?

I don't consider myself to have a "large" family (#3 on the way), but it is apparently a challenge to fit more than two carseats in most vehicles. :shrug:

What is your seating arrangement?

It IS possible to get three across, right? I've heard the "Radian" brand mentioned. Any other notoriously narrow seats out there?

And even if I do get three across.. how does the kid in the middle get to her seat?? Blum 3

Thanks for any help or ideas you can give me!

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

I interested in this too. If possible, we'd like to hold off on getting a minivan and when we do get one, if we keep our current car, it would still be nice to get all 3 kids in.

There are lots of blogs/pictures online with 3 across. I think the middle kid is usually the oldest and has to get in first.

I usually see radians for the FF car seat. Harmony backless is supposedly a small booster and Maxi Cosi Mico Car Seat for an infant seat. Ideally you want them less than 18" and I find with our current ones, the arm rests make them bigger.

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

Radian is now called Diono. They are very narrow, good seats but WAY to tall for rear-facing.

We had three across in our VW Passat. One was a Graco snugride, and then two front facing Radians. (We also had a rear-facing Britax Roundabout with the two radians, it worked, but the rear-facing Britax Marathon was too tall) We tried to just use a booster for the oldest child (5) but it was hard for him to buckle because it was squashed in-between the other two. The baby was in the middle (as the safest place) and we just lifted the bucket over the other seat. When we changed to the rear-facing Roundabout, we just leaned over, no big deal.

I would recommend two Radians (Diono) and whatever carseat you intend for the baby. Even at $250 each, it's cheaper than a new car! I would take your baby carseat to a store that carries Dionos and see if you can fit them in. If you can't find a local place that carries them, order two from a website that offers free return shipping (Amazon Prime includes free return shipping usually)

Joined: 07/21/02
Posts: 1007

We had 3 across for over 2 years before we bought a bigger car in prep for #4. We had an explorer and our seats we had in there were a cosco FF/booster used as a harnessed seat, a graco convertible used FF and a first years convertible used RF. It was tight but doable. We used the RF in the middle and leaned over as well. It was actually harder once DS1 outgrew the harness on his seat and moved to a booster because then we had to reach between the seats to buckle him every time. And he couldn't do it himself.

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

On one of the blogs, someone mentioned using seat belt extenders so the kids could buckle themselves in without having to rach between the seats. Don't know if those are as safe as a normal seat belt though.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

We went out and bought 2 Diono car seats when our #3 (4?) was born. They were expensive ($300 each), but cheaper than the car. We use two, and a rear-facing baby seat in a Toyota echo. Tight, but possible. We can fit 3 across the rear seat of our van too.

They are steel framed seats, and I can vouch that they do their job. We rolled our van this past winter with all the kids in it…

We also found out that because they were less than 6 months old, they were 100% replaced by the insurance company. Diono also replaced them because they were in an accident that affected the frame of the vehicle (totalled), and were in use at the time. So now, we have 4 brand new Diono car seats – 2 for each vehicle! And when Forrest grows out of his rear-facing seat, he will already have one to sit in.

They are also nice because our DD is very tall and this will fit her for a good long time.

The only difficulty we have had is that we legally have to have an anchor attching the top of the car seat to the frame. You can’t share an anchor with more than one seat, and our grand caravan only came with one anchor spot. You can do retrofits, so figure out what works for your vehicle!

We also haven’t worried about buckling the middle seat because our 4yo (oldest in car seat) can do up her own 5-point harness seatbelt. To undo it, we can release the bottom clips (she insists on doing the top) before we get out of our seat.

I don’t know about seatbelt extenders. I’ve never heard of them!

If your child is old enough to use an extender, perhaps a narrow booster seat would be sufficient?

indianajones's picture
Joined: 01/21/07
Posts: 1486

I'd love to keep my oldest (almost 6) in a 5pt harness as long as possible, though I think she's technically big enough for a booster. DD2 will be at a point where we could probably RF or FF depending on the logistics of the seats. (She'll be 2y4m when #3 is born.)

It would be so nice if the Diono Radians were carried in a store anywhere near me, so we could try them out in our cars and play with the arrangement.

I appreciate all the feedback! Thanks, ladies!

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

I don't think you want to carry a Diono!!! They are steel framed which means they way about 40lb each!!! They do fold up nicely so you can carry them with a shoulder strap, but not advised with a kid inside!

At the place we bought ours, we took two out in the car and put them in with the rear facing seat to make sure that they fit. Most places that I know of will allow you to try them out before you buy them because they are not returnable.

mandi04's picture
Joined: 08/10/03
Posts: 2272

It also might depend on the car you have. I have a Honda Pilot and in my middle row I could fit 3 carseats across. It is a tight fit but I can do it. Our seats are one First Years True Fit (love, love, love that seat) and and Evenflo convertible (maybe Triumph?) and I have fit both an infant seat in the middle and my cousin's child's convertible seat. I do have a third row also which is smaller than the second row. I peaked in a friend's SUV though Thursday and she had 2 convertible seats and there was no way she could have fit a third and her carseats didn't look any bigger than ours.

indianajones's picture
Joined: 01/21/07
Posts: 1486

Got some of it figured out this week!

DH's car is narrower than mine, so we tackled the seating arrangement there first.

I got two Radians (online, since as I said, there are no stores within 150 miles that carry them). Couldn't get them to RF- too long. Put DD1's FF in the center, and DD2's FF behind the driver's seat. (They both loved the new arrangement, btw!)

Tested out some infant seats at BRU and found that the Chicco KeyFit 30 worked in that space. Tight fit, but it works! Got an extra base for the other car, too.