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Narrow car seats - need to fit 3

(19 Posts)
CPBsMum Sat 06-May-17 21:14:23

I'm pregnant and we're trying to avoid buying a new car so I'm trying to get 3 car seats to fit in a Kia Ceed.
I'm looking for a narrow high back booster (ideally isofix) and a narrow seat for a heavy (21kg) 3 year old who I'd prefer to have a harness. We currently use a Britax 2-way Elite facing forwards for him as the harness can be used to 25kg (I can't trust him with an adult seat belt yet). We have a Cybex Aton for the new baby, which I'd prefer to stick with as we bought it with the Mamas and Papas Sola travel system and I don't really want to replace that. It looks relatively narrow anyway compared with other new ones I've seen.
Ultimately replacing all of them (and buggy) will be cheaper than a new car so I would consider it.
I'd really appreciate any advice. TIA.

OP’s posts: |
Note3 Sat 06-May-17 21:25:56

Hi I had to get one rear facing seat and two high back boosters in my car. One of the slimmest high back boosters is the britax adventure (about £30 in argos). I know you said you'd prefer Isofix for this but Isofix (from memory) only goes up to 18kg and given you're after a high back booster I'm guessing your child is over 18kg.

Graco junior is also slim and I found I had to have that next to my adventure as two of the same seats didn't fit side by side as their sticky out bits met in the same place whereas two different seats fitted better.

Another thing is to play about with seat combination. If you put a rear facing seat between two forward facing ones they often sit nicely because their sticky out bits are in different places. You may find it works to have booster in middle with two way elite rear facing one side and baby rear facing the other.

Another alternative in the immediate term is to have eldest on a booster in front (but only if air bag can be turned off)

If you live near the in car safety centre or securatot then you can visit showroom and they will literally try all sorts of combinations for you

CPBsMum Sat 06-May-17 23:13:13

Thanks Note3. Will have a look at the Britax Adventure and Graco Junior. The reason for Isofix is so that the seat is secured - mostly for when she's not in it - our current high back booster is isofix combined with the adult seat belt for her. I just think potentially it could be very dangerous in an accident to have an unsecured car seat in the back. Clearly I could fix the seat belt in when she's not in it but was looking for a way to avoid another thing to remember!
Our little boy will not travel rear facing anymore (too many tantrums he won because he could put his feet against the seat and it was not physically possible to strap him in) so we changed the seat round.
We'll go to the In Car Safety Centre as we bought our other seats there but just thought they did rear facing. Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
Note3 Sun 07-May-17 16:50:35

Yep that sounds like the best option then as they do forward and rear facing. From memory Isofix is only up to 18kg as that's the only weight it's been tested as safe until. Theoretically it could be fine on a higher weight but it's not been safety tested.

I get what you mean about it being secure even when empty. I secure ours if empty and I'm driving on a motorway but I never remember on short journeys round town

AliceMum09 Sun 07-May-17 17:42:37

The ISOFIX weight limit only applies to child seats of the type where the ISOFIX is holding the seat in and the child uses the 5-point harness in the seat.

On a high backed booster the only function of ISOFIX is to take away the need to fasten the seatbelt over the empty seat to hold it in place if you have a crash and your child isn't in the car. When the child is in the high backed booster it is the seatbelt that's taking the force of the child in a crash, not the ISOFIX, so there isn't a weight limit associated with ISOFIX high backed boosters.

The Graco high backed boosters are flimsy, wide at the base and have 'horns' sticking out that will prevent you getting to the seatbelt buckles. They also score very poorly for side impacts in independent tests, to the point where the results for side impact protection (or lack of!) were the same whether or not the removable back section was attached or not. So I would avoid that one.

The Britax Adventure is very good for side impact protection, and has no 'horns' to get in the way of the seatbelt buckles.

The Diono Radian 5 has a very slim base and can be used forward facing with a 5-point harness provided your car has a top tether point.

AliceMum09 Sun 07-May-17 17:44:34

Oh, and if someone has to go in the front it should be the rear facing baby. That's safer than having a forward facing child in the front.

Note3 Sun 07-May-17 18:12:12

The reason I suggested the eldest goes in the front is because no car manufacturer guarantees that the airbag won't still go off even if deactivated. There is a low risk of that but a risk regardless. The elder the child the better chance of their body coping in the event of a failed deactivation. Ultimately it's best not to have a child in the front at all but obviously not always practical.

Thanks for info on the Graco. I don't think I can get two adventures side by side in my car but was looking at some other slim brands and yours info has reminded me to look again

C0untDucku1a Sun 07-May-17 18:19:03

What about these? I can fit in between two of these in the back of a corsa.

AliceMum09 Sun 07-May-17 20:00:57

There aren't any recorded instances or a deactivated airbag going off and killing or injuring a child in a rear facing seat installed on the passenger seat. I'm pretty sure that if there was even one case of this the Swedes would be the first people to say rear facing in the front was a big no-no.

At the bottom of the page I linked to are various quotes from crash test facilities, car seat manufacturers and companies involved in car seat research who all confirm how safe rear facing in the front is.

AliceMum09 Sun 07-May-17 20:01:41

^ I mean of a deactivated airbag going off!

CPBsMum Tue 09-May-17 21:55:23

Thanks very much for the tips!

OP’s posts: |
pinkblink Tue 09-May-17 22:01:35

Obviously depends on your budget but multi mac car seats are worth a look

CPBsMum Wed 10-May-17 13:08:23

Thanks pinkblink. Cheaper than buying a new car but will try with the seats first if possible!

OP’s posts: |
CPBsMum Wed 10-May-17 13:08:40

pinkblink - have you got one?

OP’s posts: |
pinkblink Wed 10-May-17 14:11:38

No I only have two small people, but a friend has one to make her back seat fit 4

Tiggywunkle Wed 17-May-17 13:30:03

The Rodifix has a narrow base but widens at the top.

The Radian 5 is a narrow seat with a harness up to 25kg but its an absolutely horrendous car seat to fit. I swapped mine for a Cozy&Safe Excalibur after issues with not being able to tighten the harness (the fault which made it a Which? do not buy), but I was never convinced it was fitted correctly.

Katrina89 Tue 30-Jan-18 14:19:33

HI, I’m in the same kind of boat! HELP NEEDED.
I Have a one year old current in a Joie everstage car seat and we have a BMW- only 2 seats in the back. We have just found out we’re expecting twins! So plan to sell the car and buy a cheaper car to run something ideally like a Ford Focus, can anyone advise what car seats will fit nicely across the back?
Thank you so much

teaandbiscuitsforme Tue 30-Jan-18 20:13:32

Try the Facebook group 'car seat advice for mummies and daddies'.

How old is your eldest? Not sure you'll get 3 full size car seats across a Focus but if you don't want to buy a car with 3 full sized seats in the back, you can put your stages and one baby seat in the back and the other baby seat on the front seat (air bag switched off!)

PineappleScrunchie Tue 30-Jan-18 20:20:37

I agree with a pp, the diono radian 5 is super slim but a nightmare to fit. Also, I’m not keen on using them as high back boosters because I don’t think the belt retracts properly when the child leans forward leaving the seatbelt too loose. It is good as a group 1 seat though as it’s tall and harnesses to 25kg.

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