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(26 Posts)
Madigan Tue 20-Oct-09 13:36:47

Hello - my basic question is can you fit 3 car seats in the back of a standard car?

Actually my car is a bit bigger than standard - it is a 4x4 (I live in the country and I need one of these, before anyone jumps down my throat about gas guzzlers ...); now expecting 3rd baby - will have 3 under 3, and I want to know if 3 car seats fit in a row???
also, my car only has a "lap" seat belt in the middle .... can I get this changed to a shoulder seat belt (so a car seat can be secured by it)?

Many thanks

wishingchair Tue 20-Oct-09 13:58:38

Not sure what you can do with only a lap belt. We have a volvo xc90 and you can get 3 car seats in a row, but not 3 big ones ... actually, we can get one in each side and then use the built in booster in the middle. I think you'd have a job getting 3 big (i.e. non booster) seats in a row.

I know you can get this really good contraption that goes across your entire back seat and has either 3 or 4 places for children to sit but think they would have to be much older than yours for that to work.

clop Tue 20-Oct-09 14:13:38

Yes of course it's possible, but not with every car. 3 seats in most 4x4s I would think would be fine, they're not weeny narrow vehicles, are they?

The Britax Prince carseat allows a pretty snug fit with only lap belt (suitable for children age 1-4, approx). Is narrower than most seats, too.

Contact a dealer if you want a shoulder belt there instead, they will know what's possible.

muxlo Tue 20-Oct-09 14:14:42

We struggled with this too (also 3 under 3) and now have three Britax Eclipse seats in the back of a Citroen Xsara Picasso. Multimac is the all-in-one system that looks amazing and is suitable for newborns but was beyond our budget at the time. Congrats and good luck smile

thisisyesterday Tue 20-Oct-09 14:17:36

we have 3 across the back

at the moment it's a britax adventure (highback booster) behind the drivers seat, an infant carrier in the middle and a besafe izi combi behind passenger seat (rear-facing group 1 seat)

when ds3 is bigger we'll have a britax 2-way elite (group 1, rear-facing) in the middle along with the other 2 seats

there are several britax seats that can be fitted just using a lapbelt

thisisyesterday Tue 20-Oct-09 14:17:41

we have 3 across the back

at the moment it's a britax adventure (highback booster) behind the drivers seat, an infant carrier in the middle and a besafe izi combi behind passenger seat (rear-facing group 1 seat)

when ds3 is bigger we'll have a britax 2-way elite (group 1, rear-facing) in the middle along with the other 2 seats

there are several britax seats that can be fitted just using a lapbelt

LauraN1 Tue 20-Oct-09 21:03:09

I don't have time to look for it just now, but I'm sure I saw a thingy somewhere online that's basically a 3-in-1 car seet. ie one big car seat with seats for three kids.

luvaduck Tue 20-Oct-09 21:13:42

thisis yesterday what car do you have??
after much research i know the following cars fit three across the back

toyota corolla verso (mini mpv) - you don't need to use the fold down seats in the back.

honda fr-v

vw touran (although can't have isofix ones because of the foot wells)

i'm sure there are more but you need three separate seats essentially.

fledtoscotland Tue 20-Oct-09 21:32:05

I have also seen a 3in1 car seat that converts your back seat and sort of spaces out the belts making it safer for 3 car seats. cant remember where (think it was an email with a competition entry) but i remember it wasnt cheap.

swissmiss Tue 20-Oct-09 21:32:09


I can do 3 across back in our Audi A6 Avant (Estate). Britax Evolva 123 (Hi Back Booster with 5 point), Britax First Class Si (works facing both ways), Maxi Cosi Rodi XR (high back booster). It also worked in our old BMW 5 series. Prior to the First Class Si for infant I also had a Britax Rock-a-Tot which was best in the middle. Now the older two use the normal seat belts it's quite a tight fit and they can't actually buckle themselves in but I'm a dab had and squirming my hand down between the seats to reach the sockets.

I've been known to turn up at a garage to look at a car and insit that they let me try my car seats for fit before I even look any further. I appreciate you can get slightly narrower seats e.g. Maxi Cosi Rodi SPS is the narrowest high back booster around atm, and it is cheaper to buy new car seats than a new car but if the car needs replacing anyways, like ours did it makes sense to get one that suits your needs.

swissmiss Tue 20-Oct-09 21:40:45

Just found the link to Multimac which have 3 and 4 seat options. Might be worth a look?

Disclamer: I've never looked into how these seats rate for safty etc so can't recommend them from experience.

fledtoscotland Tue 20-Oct-09 21:58:14

swissmiss - that's what I'd seen. I haven't heard anything about the safety but I did think it looked quite a good idea as it takes away buckle crunch etc. we are talking about #3 and although in my car the rear seat is actually 3 separate seats, in DHs renault megane, you would never fit a seat in the middle. would be interested to hear if anyone has actually used this seat.

swissmiss Tue 20-Oct-09 22:04:31

FTS - iirc i saw the price shock and didn't investigate further. We've gone the route that as long as one car can fit the whole family the other doesn't have to. Generally I have the smaller car with 2 dc in back and 1 in front but if we all go out we go in the estate with 3DC in back and DH and I in the front. Mind you, we also only have 1 seat/child as money is tight and refuse to by a 2nd set of seats x3 just so we can have the "luxury" of not having to swap seats between the cars iyswim.

fledtoscotland Tue 20-Oct-09 22:24:12

The price made me a bit shock too but we are in the unlucky position that I take DC to nursery and DH picks them up. we work opposite ends of the city and both need our cars to get to work due to shifts. For us it is only discussion at the moment as #3 is still in discussion but we were thinking it may be cheaper than a new car but as you say, if were going out as a family, we would take my car so the 3rd seat could just go in the front of the megane.

OP - sorry for the hijack

lou031205 Tue 20-Oct-09 22:50:47

I have this problem. Currently, I have three in the back, but one is in a baby seat. When she gets to 20lbs, she will out grow it. DD1 has SN, so really needs a 5 point harness for as long as possible.

I am seriously considering buying the Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL from America. It isn't sold here because it has a chest clip, so will fail European standards because they require only one fastening point. The radian is like our seats, with a 5 point harness, but also has a clip to keep the chest straps together, so a child doesn't try and slip their arms out. It is tested to NCAP standards, and aircraft authorised, and carries up to 80 lbs, with up to 45 lbs rear facing.

For us, the seat sounds ideal, because it is only 17" wide, so we could fit 3 across the back of our Mondeo. They are $299 each, plus we would have to use a site like Bongo to get them shipped from the US, so I reckon in total that it would cost us £800 for the three seats. But to get a 5 point harness car seat for DD1 over 18 kgs would be around £500 on its own!

fledtoscotland Tue 20-Oct-09 22:54:57

lou031205 - have you see this. DS1 is really tall and his head was over his stage 1 car seat so my friend who fits car seats recommended this as its got the full 5 point harness but is ideal for bigger/taller children.

lou031205 Tue 20-Oct-09 23:28:33

Unfortunately, once they get to 15kgs, you have to take the 5 point out and use it as a normal booster with adult lap/strap belt, fledtoscotland. But thank you for linking.

LatinDAISYcal Tue 20-Oct-09 23:56:25

A friend of mine has the kiddifix pro seat which looks much narrower than my Britax seats (an eclipse and an evolva) so perhaps three of those would fit. Not sure on the lap belt though; I didn't think you were meant to use them to secure seats at all?

fledtoscotland Wed 21-Oct-09 15:29:20

lou031205 - Where did you hear that it needs to be changed to a booster at 15kgs? DS1 is nearly that weight and will be using the harness for some time yet. the harness still fits him with loads of belt left spare

thisisyesterday Wed 21-Oct-09 15:39:23

sorry, only just seen this again

we have a volvo v70

thisisyesterday Wed 21-Oct-09 15:42:31

they're usually 18kg to remove the harness. it overlaps.
i am pretty sure the evolva 1-2-3 is 18kg anyway

harness is up to 18kg, but you can use it without from 15kg if you want to.
can't imagine why you would want to though.

thisisyesterday Wed 21-Oct-09 15:44:46

lou have a look at the safety centre

they do a range of special needs car seats that are (just) under £500
if you can get to one of their shops they're increidbly helpful.
they fitted our 3 in the back of the car (2 rear-facing and one highback booster)

lou031205 Wed 21-Oct-09 17:15:14

Fledtoscotland - sorry. Instruction manual says 15-36 kgs without integral harness, but you are quite right that you can use it up to 18kg.

thisisyesterday, I spoke to incarsafety today & they were very helpful. But their Britax Traveller+ (£500) is 22" wide so far too big, and is really far too supportive for DD1.

The Britax Prince will fit 3 across easily (we already have one branded Fisher Price in the middle, & kind Mothercare asst. tried a Prince either side with great success, but they too only go up to 18kgs.

emmaand3 Wed 21-Oct-09 19:15:35

Ive just bought a Touran for this very reason.

lou031205 Sat 24-Oct-09 23:43:00

Well, after clarifying that it is weight, not age, that matters, we reckon DD1 won't hit 18kg 'till around 6yrs (she floats between 9th & 25th centile for weight and 25th for height). So we went to Halfords and bought 3 Britax Princes, which they price matched with Mothercare, making them £59.99 each. They had been £119.99 earlier in the year, so very pleased. Chap fitted them and was very impressed by the fit, so all happy for another 18mths-2years.

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