What Are the Best Car Seats to Fit Three Across?
When you have multiple children or drive for a car pool, you may find yourself needing to fit three car seats in your back seat. Not all car seats will fit together in a row, though. The ability to place three car seats in your back seat depends on what types of seats you have and what vehicle you drive.
Some car seats are created with a slender design so you can purchase three of them and place them side-by-side in your back seat. If you have different brands of car seats, there are different combinations you can use to fit three across. We’ll be helping you learn more about the best car seats to fit three across.
|Name||Image||Orientation||Weight Capacity (lbs)||My Rating|
|Diono Radian RXT All In One Convertible Car Seat||Rear facing/Forward facing/High back booster||Rear facing 5-45 lbs/Forward facing 20-80lbs/Booster up to 120 lbs||5|
|Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat||Rear facing/Forward facing||Rear facing 14-50 lbs/Forward facing 22-65 lbs||5|
|Combi Coccoro Convertible Car Seat||Rear facing/Forward facing||Rear facing 3-33 lbs/Forward facing 20-40 lbs||5|
|Chicco Keyfit 30||Rear facing||Rear facing up to 30 lbs||5|
|Britax Marathon||Rear facing/Forward facing||Rear facing 5-40 lbs/Forward facing 20-65 lbs||5|
|EvenFlo SureRide||Rear facing/Forward facing||Rear facing 5-40 lbs/Forward facing 22-65 lbs||4.8|
|Maxi Cosi Rodifix||Forward facing booster||Forward facing booster 40-120 lbs||4.7|
|Graco Slimfit All-In-One||Rear facing/Forward facing/high back booster||Rear facing 5-40 lbs/Forward facing 22-65 lbs/High back booster 30-100 lbs||4.9|
Different Ways for Fitting Three Car Seats Across
- 1 Different Ways for Fitting Three Car Seats Across
- 2 What You Should Consider in Finding a Car Seat That Will Fit 3 Across
- 3 Best Seats With a Narrow Frame
- 4 Car Seat Combinations
- 5 Conclusion
Car Seats with a Slender Frame
You can use narrow car seats for three across in your back seat. Some car seats are designed to fit next to other car seats. There are not many of these on the market. Most tend to be convertible or all-in-one car seats. They also tend to be more expensive because of their desirable frame. However, buying these types of car seats may save you from having to upgrade your vehicle. Examples of car seats with a slender frame include Diono Radian RXT, Clek Fllo, and Combi Coccoro.
Car Seat Combinations
Often times, you need to have different types of car seats to accommodate different ages. So, you may find yourself trying to place three different types of car seats across your back seat. For instance, you could have an infant carrier, convertible car seat, and booster seat in each seat. Not all car seats can fit together in combination with each other, though. The ability for your car seats to fit together depends on their height and weight and how much space there is in your vehicle. You will find that fitting multiple kinds of car seats together works better in the following situations.
- Vehicles using car seats that are facing different directions (ex. a rear-facing infant carrier with two forward-facing convertible car seats)
- Larger vehicles with a wider back seat
What You Should Consider in Finding a Car Seat That Will Fit 3 Across
The main factors you should consider when purchasing car seats to fit side-by-side in your vehicle include:
- The ages and sizes of your children
- The size of your vehicle
- How the car seat is installed
The ages and sizes of your children will determine what kind of seats you need. Often times, having car seats facing different directions will save you some room. So, if you are able to keep at least one child rear-facing, you will have more options to work with. It is also easier to put three car seats across the back seat if all of them are using a five-point harness. When using a booster seat with a seat belt, more room is required to buckle the seat belt in. Furthermore, backless boosters tend to be harder to install in the back seat, because it is difficult to give the seat enough room on the bench while still making adequate room for head support.
You will need to know how wide your back seat is so you can accommodate the car seats. The wider your back seat, the more options you have.
How you plan to install your car seats also makes a difference. Car seats that can be installed using the vehicle seat belts give you more room to work with than car seats installed using a lower latch. A lower latch is anchored to a specific spot in the vehicle, giving you less room to move the seats side to side to make them fit.
Best Seats With a Narrow Frame
The following seats are created to sit three across and are best used in situations where all of them are facing forward. They are some of the only seats on the market that you could buy three of and place them side-by-side in the back seat.
Diono Radian RXT All-In-One Car Seat
The Diono Radian RXT provides several different seating modes in one car seat. It allows you to rear-face your child up to 45 pounds and forward-face them in a five-point harness up to 80 pounds. It also converts to a high-back booster that can hold a child up to 120 pounds. It is created with a full steel frame, making it one of the most durable car seats you can have.
The seat’s slender frame gives you the ability to put them side-by-side in your vehicle. Most vehicles are able to hold three Diono Radian car seats in the back seat. Even several compact cars can fit three of them. The interior of the car seat is still roomy enough, though, to give your child plenty of space. The seat conveniently folds flat, making it easy to travel with or carry around. It comes with a cup holder to keep drinks and snacks close by. This car seat is also approved by the FAA for flying, so your child can ride in it on an airplane. With a 10-year life span, this seat may be the only one you’ll ever have to buy.
Clek Fllo 2017 Convertible Car Seat
The Clek Fllo is a convertible car seat allowing you to rear-face a child up to 50 pounds and forward-face a child up to 65 pounds in a five-point harness. With a width of only 17 inches, it was designed to fit three across in almost any back seat. The base of the seat is only 13 inches, making it easier to fit in almost any kind of seat, even a deep bucket seat. This seat was created to easily fit in smaller vehicles.
While the seat is slim, it is also safe. It is designed for extended rear-facing and has a steel anti-rebound bar. This bar helps limit the impact to your child’s head in the event of a collision. The seat is also FAA approved so your child can ride on it in an airplane. You can also purchase a travel bag to carry the car seat around in, as well as a cup holder for your child to keep drinks and snacks close by.
Combi Coccoro Convertible Car Seat
This compact convertible car seat is a more affordable option among narrow car seats. It accommodates rear-facing children up to 33 pounds and forward-facing children up to 40 pounds in a five-point harness. Its compact design is created to fit three across in almost any vehicle, even compact cars. With the weight limits, this car seat is only suitable for younger children. It would likely need to be replaced by the time your child is in preschool.
This seat offers four harness heights to give your child the right fit. It also has a color indicator to let you know if the harness is securely buckled. Its light weight of only 14.3 pounds makes it easy to carry around or take in and out of a vehicle. The seat is installed with easy-to-use push-button connectors. The light weight and easy installation make it the perfect car seat to use for a car pool. This seat can also travel on an airplane with your child, as it is FAA approved.
Car Seat Combinations
The following car seats are created with narrow frames, and would likely work together in combination to fit three across in most back seats, especially in mid-size vehicles or larger. Most combinations would need to include at least one infant or rear-facing seat to work.
Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat
The Chicco Keyfit 30 is one of the narrowest infant car seats you can buy. It rear faces babies up to 30 pounds. It is only 17 inches wide, giving you room to squeeze other car seats next to it. This seat clicks into a car seat base that you attach to the back seat of your vehicle. It can easily be attached to a latch system or through the vehicle’s seat belts, giving you multiple installation options to work around other car seats. The underside of the base is smooth, so you don’t have to worry about it damaging your vehicle’s seats. Many vehicles can fit three Chicco Keyfit 30 car seats across the back seat.
This car seat is only 17.15 pounds, so its lighter weight makes it easier to carry around. It conveniently attaches to several different kinds of strollers, so you can keep your baby in it as you switch from your vehicle to your stroller. It also comes with an infant insert for smaller babies to stay snug in the seat. The Chicco Keyfit is FAA approved, allowing your little one to ride in an airplane in his or her car seat.
Britax Marathon Convertible Car Seat
The Britax Marathon is a slim convertible car seat that allows your child to sit rear-facing or forward-facing. It can rear face your child up to 40 pounds and forward face your child up to 65 pounds, both with a five-point harness. It is only 18.5 inches wide, making it one of the narrowest convertible car seats on the market. It has seven years before it expires, allowing your child to outgrow the seat before you have to replace it.
The Britax Marathon has a 10-position, quick-adjust harness as well as two buckle positions. This allows the seat to grow with your child without having to constantly re-thread the harness belts. The seat uses an easy-to-install latch system. It also has built-in lock-offs to ensure the seat stays in its position on your vehicle’s seat. It has three recline positions, allowing you to find the best angle to install the seat. This could be particularly useful if you are working around other car seats. The Britax Marathon comes with a body pillow for smaller babies and children to use, keeping them snugger in the seat.
EvenFlo SureRide Convertible Car Seat
The EvenFlo SureRide is one of the more affordable convertible car seats you can purchase. It can seat a rear-facing child up to 40 pounds and a forward-facing child up to 65 pounds, both with a five-point harness. It is 19.5 inches long, making it one of the more slim car seats on the market. The cup holder can fold up and down to accommodate side-by-side car seats. It is easily installed using your vehicle’s seat belts.
The EvenFlo SureRide has six harness adjustment options, which is more than most other car seats have. This allows your child to stay in a five-point harness longer, as opposed to having to move to a high-back booster. Many children can sit in this car seat well into their pre-school years. The seat is made from ventilated fabrics, keeping your child from getting too hot or too cold in the seat. These fabrics also make cleaning the car seat easier. The seat also has a lightweight frame, making it easy to carry around. The SureRide may be a great option for a child who takes their seat with them into multiple vehicles.
Maxi Cosi RodiFix Booster Car Seat
The Maxi Cosi RodiFix is a high-back booster seat that holds children up to 120 pounds using your vehicle’s seat belts. It uses an easy-to-install latch system and also has an adjustable recline. This helps parents find the best fit and angle against the seat of their vehicle. The seat is narrow due to there not being any armrests, making it an ideal booster for the middle seat of your vehicle’s back seat. The lack of armrests also makes it easy for a child to climb into and out of the seat.
Children can easily buckle themselves in using this booster seat’s routing system. While the back of the seat is rigid enough to sit firmly against your vehicle’s back seat, the Maxi Cosi RodiFix is still comfortable. It has a multi-height headrest and expanding side wings that grow with your child. This ensures your child has the right fit in the seat as they get older. This seat could be the last one your child ever needs, so it is a practical purchase for parents.
Graco SlimFit All-In-One Convertible Car Seat
The Graco SlimFit is an all-in-one convertible car seat. It holds a rear-facing child up to 40 pounds and a forward-facing child up to 65 pounds. It also converts to a high-back booster and can hold a child up to 100 pounds. This space-saving seat is just under 20 inches wide. It has rotating cup holders that make the seat 10 percent slimmer once rotated away.
This seat grows with your child by allowing you to adjust the height of the harness and headrest in one motion. It uses a latch system, making it easy to install. It also has four recline positions, so you can find the right angle to install this car seat in your vehicle. This is particularly helpful when placing it next to another car seat. The Graco SlimFit is FAA approved, allowing you to take it on an airplane for your child to ride in. This seat is one of the more affordable all-in-one car seats on the market and may be the only car seat your child will ever need. So, purchasing this car seat can save parents money.
Finding the right combination of car seats to fit three across your vehicle’s back seat can be challenging. Purchasing one of the narrow-framed car seats made for fitting three across gives you a higher chance at successfully doing this. But, if you are looking to find more affordable seats or use infant carriers and boosters, then using a combination of slimmer car seats will often work, too.
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