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Please help me with my car seat configuration!

(9 Posts)
AnnikaHansen Tue 21-Jul-15 10:28:47

I have a 2001 Renault Scenic, so no Isofix, but I can just about fit three car seats in the back.

At the moment, DS2 and 3 are in Britax First Class Pluses either side, with DS1 on a booster cushion in the middle. However, after seeing a horrible crash test video about booster cushions, I am going to buy him a HBB.

My main concern is that the HBB won't fit between the two FCPs. DS2 is four in September, though quite small for his age. I was considering a HBB for him too, one that comes with a 5 point harness to use until he's big enough for the three-point. Would this be narrower than a FCP? Would it be as safe?

Lastly, can anyone tell me what is the best HBB to get on a budget? I have heard the Graco is not very good and I trust Britax as we have always used their FCP which is excellent. But we are on a very tight budget at the moment. Obviously safety is very important, but I just don't have the money to go and buy two £100 car seats right now.

Thank you very much for any help!

LIZS Tue 21-Jul-15 10:36:30

Are you sure there's no isofix . We've had 2001 scenics and they both had it, you had to access by removing the strip at base of the seat back. HBb should fit in the middle. Try a maxicosi rodi. Your main problem whichever you choose would be buckle crunch/access. Could ds1 go in the front seat or slide the central back one forwards .

JellyTipisthebest Tue 21-Jul-15 10:46:13

britax adventure is very narrow and only £30. Harnessed boosters only go up to 18kg and if he has out grown the fcp then he is likley to be nearly or out of the harness except the two way elite but at £220 might be to expensive. The others that go up higher are issfix

Moresmores Tue 21-Jul-15 10:49:02

I think you will struggle to get a HBB in the middle but it depends what head height you have it at and which brand, We have 2 britax isofix HBB which are fab and sturdy but both quite wide with 'wings' this means we can't get anything else in the middle. Even a booster makes accessing the buckles tricky.

serislou Tue 21-Jul-15 10:52:21

I'm probably not going to be much help as I'm having the same problem as you despite changing cars twice to try and get more space. I currently have two maxicosi seats with 5 point harness and a britax HBB which just about fit along the back of my Honda frv, and did fit in the scenic.

I recently bought another HBB for my ds but the problem was there isn't really enough room to reach my hand between the seats to click the seatbelt in. The HBB I have have arms on the side so I'm going to try to get ones without which should make it easier, otherwise I think I have no choice other than getting a booster cushion for my dd when we are getting in and out all the time and then switch for the HBB for longer journeys when I can spend ten minutes getting everyone strapped in. I just think there should be a better option somewhere it can't be so uncommon to have three small children!

TeaAndCake Tue 21-Jul-15 11:21:56

This is tricky. We had an old Volvo V40 when DC3 was born which couldn't fit 3 car seats across the back (DC1 in a Recaro Monzafix, DC2 in a Recaro Young Expert Plus and DC3 in a Recaro Young Profi Plus) no chance whatsoever of fitting a car seat in the middle, so DC1 went in the front. Not ideal but everyone was in the correct seat.

The problem came when DH was with us and he had to squeeze in the back between two car seats.

We decided to call it quits with the Volvo (which I loved) when DC3 was about 4 months and got a second hand Honda FRV which has 3 full size seats across the front and 3 full size seats across the back. DC1 now sits in the front centre but with the seat pushed right back. We can also carry a 6th person when necessary in the centre back seat with the centre front seat pushed forward.

We really couldn't see how we were going to accommodate all the car seats we needed in a car with 5 seats and it wasn't going to get easier for some time as DC1 was going to be in a car seats for years to come.

DS1 is now 8 and still in his Group 2/3 which is fairly unusual when I look around the kids at school. Most don't bother with a car seat or booster of any sort.

Sorry, I know this doesn't solve your problem but ours was similar and this was the only way we felt we could do it.

TeaAndCake Tue 21-Jul-15 11:39:30

Serislou, IKWYM about reaching the buckle in the centre back seat with 3 seats installed. We just use the front centre and everyone has plenty of space.

Ideally, the seat needs to be pushed as far back as it can go with a child car seat installed (so it says in the handbook anyway) but this makes the seatbelt buckle easy to access. DS1 was 5 when we first got our FRV and struggled the reach the buckle by himself so would pull the seatbelt around himself and I would buckle it for him since I was in the back fitting DC1's car seat anyway. Don't know if this makes any sense written down but the buckle is easy to access from the back once the seat is pushed back (!)

Anyway, he can do this himself now so getting everyone in and out is very quick these days!

AliceMum09 Tue 21-Jul-15 12:00:50

Do the seats in the back of your Scenic slide back and forth? They did on mine, but it was the model after yours (the 2003-2009 one). If they slide that could make it easier to fit three child seats. If you moved the middle seat forward you might get the two First Class seats next to each other, meaning your oldest son could sit on a high backed booster at one side and you'd be able to fasten his seatbelt for him.

As for which booster, definitely the Britax Adventure. I have two, they are one of the narrowest high backed boosters and also don't have the 'horns' at either side of the child's hips which means you can get your hand down to the seatbelt buckle.

serislou Tue 21-Jul-15 17:46:55

Thanks teaandcake I hadn't thought about using the middle seat as a permanent place (I like the cup holders next to me) but I will have to try it out, might stop all the pulling hair in the back seat as well.

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