Best narrow car seats that fit 3 in the back of most cars

Need to fit 3 car seats in the back of your car? Here are the best narrow and compact seats that you can fit 3 across in the back of most family cars

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181597

If you’re a parent of 3 kids under 12, or triplets, you’ll need to fit 3 car seats in the back of the car.

Advertisement

You may not want to or even have the means to buy a new car as your family expands, but you aren’t out of options.  There are narrow car seats that fit 3 across many vehicles in the UK.

We have to be completely frank here, if you have a small or medium-sized car, the chances you can fit 3 car seats in the back are slim.

And while the two best-selling cars in the UK at the moment are a VW Golf and Ford Focus, you’ll find it very difficult to fit 3 car seats in the back of either of them.

So for the purposes of this article we used the measurements of what’s considered the most typical (and sold) family hatchback type of car, like a Vauxhall Astra or Skoda Octavia.  And having trawled through countless car manuals, we found that the average space in the back seat of these cars is around 1420-1450mm of space.

We also knocked off 100mm, for wiggle room either side to get 3 seats in the back.  That means in order to get 3 seats in the back of most average family cars, the car seat has to be 43cm wide or less.

It’s worth remembering that in terms of size, the widest part of an infant/Group 0+ seat is where the handle attaches to the seat.  With Group 1, Group 1/2/3 or Group 2/3 seats and booster seats the largest part of the seat is often at the base.

And to make matters more complicated, all cars have different dimensions, and not every seat fits every car.  Just because you have a big car it doesn’t mean that you can fit 3 seats in the back, as all car interiors are different.  So it’s best to measure the back seat of your car to find out how much space you have to work with.

Installing 3 car seats in the back of a car:

It’s also worth considering how you will install the car seat, if using ISOFIX, you need to check how many ISOFIX connectors you have in the car, as your car may only have two connector points, no matter how big it is.

What cars have 3 ISOFIX Points?

However, here’s a list of the cars that have 3 ISOFIX connectors in the back seat, so you can fit 3 compatible car seats in the back.

If ever you’re in any doubt about fitting a car seat in your car,  we recommend you get your car seat fitted by a trained car seat installation advisor (appointed by the manufacturer) if you can.

Here are the best car seats that fit 3 across the back in most vehicles that you can buy in the UK…

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181598

1. Joie Juva, £39.99

  • Width: 41.5cm
  • Age suitable for: Birth to 13kg (around 12 months)
  • Weight: 3.1kg
  • Installation: car seat belt with or without base

This really reasonably priced Group 0+ infant car seat is lightweight and more importantly slimline.  At 41.5cm wide you should be able to fit 3 of these in the back of most family hatchback cars, with a centimetre or two to spare.

As the Joie Juva is a ‘universal child restraint’ it can be installed by using the car seat belt, or it can be installed using the Joie ClickFIT base, which is also 41.5cm wide, but it is much heavier at 7.53kg.

You can buy the Juva car seat from Joie, Argos or Mothercare

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181599

2. Maxi-Cosi Pebble, £165

  • Width: 43cm
  • Age suitable for: Birth to 13kg (around 12 months)
  • Weight: 4.5kg
  • Installation: car seat belt or Maxi-Cosi 2way Fix ISOFIX base

With a width of 43cm the Pebble is one of the slimmest infant car seats you can buy.  We’ve gone with the Pebble and not the Pebble Plus because the Plus is 1cm wider and every centimetre counts.

The Pebble can be installed using the car seat belt or fitted onto the ISOFIX Maxi-Cosi 2way Fix Car seat Base, which is slimmer than the seat at 35cm wide.

It’s also worth noting that the Maxi-Cosi Pebble can be used on an airplane as it is approved for the TÜV and FAA for use in an aircraft.

You can find out more about the Pebble car seat in our full review.

The Maxi-Cosi Pebble is available at John Lewis

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181600

3. Cybex Cloud Q, £220

  • Width: 44cm
  • Age suitable for: Birth to 13kg (around 12 months)
  • Weight: 5.4kg
  • Installation: car seat belt or Cybex Base Q Fix ISOFIX base

The Cybex infant carrier is 44cm at its widest, which is 1cm wider than most seats on this list.  Ok, we know that 1cm can make all the difference, but we’ve chosen it because of its stand-out feature of being a lie-flat seat.

Travel system compatible with many buggies, the Cloud Q can lie-flat when outside of the car and on a pushchair frame.  That means if your little one falls asleep in this car seat, she/he can stay in it for a little longer than the maximum 2-hour limit that’s on other car seats.

Installation-wise, the Cloud Q can be fitted into the car with the car seat belt or the Cybex Base Q Fix, which is 40cm wide, making it slimmer than the car seat.

See the full Cybex Cloud Q review here

You can buy the Cloud Q car seat from Natural Baby Shower and Peppermint

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181601

4. Mothercare Ziba, £50

  • Width: 41cm
  • Age suitable for: Birth to 13kg (around 12 months)
  • Weight: 3.5kg
  • Installation: car seat belt

Another reasonably-priced car seat that’s great for parents on a budget (probably all of us). The Mothercare Ziba may not have a lot of frills, but it’s safe and stylish and easy to install.

The Ziba also has a side impact protection system and a 3-point harness. Our MFM reviewer says, “it’s a versatile, lightweight car seat that offers the same, if not a better level of comfort as most well-known brands at a fraction of the price, highly recommended.”

Read our full Mothercare Ziba review here

You can buy the Ziba car seat from Mothercare

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181602

5. Jané Gravity, £349

  • Width: 43cm
  • Age suitable for: Birth to 18kg (around 4 years)
  • Weight: 7.5kg
  • Installation: ISOFIX base only

This MadeForMums award-winning car seat scooped the gold medal for being the best rotating car seat of 2017.

With a sleek 360-degree swivel it is i-Size compatible and can be used rear-facing up to 4 years.  But perhaps the feature for parents of triplets or 3 young children is that it is 43cm wide, car seat and base included.

See the full Jane Gravity review here

You can buy the Jane Gravity from Precious Little One

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181603

6. Cozy N Safe Merlin, £299.99

  • Width: 43cm
  • Age suitable for: Birth to 18kg (around 4 years)
  • Weight: 6.5kg
  • Installation: ISOFIX base only

A newcomer to the car seat industry, British brand Cozy N Safe have produced this 360-degree rotating Group 0+/1 car seat that’s rear-facing to 4 years.

The Merlin car seat has a width of 43cm, comes with an ISOFIX base/support leg and 5 recline positions.

You can buy the Cozy N Safe Excalibur from Kiddies Kingdom

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181604

7. Joie i-Anchor Advance, £160

  • Width: 43cm
  • Age suitable for: Birth to 18kg (around 4 years)
  • Weight: 6.5kg
  • Installation: ISOFIX base only

An updated version of the popular Group 0+/1 i-Size car seat, the i-Anchor Advance is a comfortable, sturdy, affordable seat that’ll last 4 years.

The seat itself is 43cm at its widest, and it fits with the Joie i-Base Advance that is 35cm wide, so you should be able to fit 3 in the back of a hatchback

We’ve got the full Joie i-Anchor Advance i-Size car seat review here

You can buy the Joie i-Anchor Advance from Uber Kids

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181605

8. Diono Radian 5, £220

  • Width: 41- 45cm
  • Age suitable for: Birth to 25kg (around 6 years)
  • Weight: 11kg
  • Installation: Seat belt only

An award-winning car seat, the Diono Radian scooped the bronze medal for the best rear-facing car seat in 2017.

The Radian 5 can be used in the rear-facing mode to 25kg, around 6 years, ideal for parents who prefer their kids to sit rear-facing to longer.

A Group 0+/1/2 car seat that’s slimline at the base of the seat, at 41cm, it tapers out at the top to 45cm, so you made need a little more headroom space.

When our reviewer tested it in her VW Golf, she fit it along side a Cybex Sirona and still said “there was certainly a little more wriggle room for any adult who has to squeeze in the middle of the back seat.”

Read the full Diono Radian 5 review here.

You can buy the Diono Radian V from Precious Little One

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181607

9. Multimac, from £1500

  • Width: measured to your car
  • Age suitable for: Birth to 36g (newborn -12 years)
  • Weight: Dependent on seat
  • Installation: ISOFIX only and has to be fitted by a Multimac installer

The ultimate car seat that’ll allow you to fit 3 or even 4 car seats in the back of your car.  The Multimac is made to fit most medium-sized cars and can be used from birth to 12 years in a variety of combinations, one of which includes rear-facing to 3 years.

Multimac Tether straps are bolted on to the rear seat belt buckle mountings in your car, leaving the adult belts in place.  That means you can fit the seat in easily and remove it quickly, if you need to, so adults can still sit in the back.

You can buy this car seat directly from Multimac

Complete review of the Multimac car seat here

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_183801

10. Be Safe iZi Flex Fix, £300

  • Width: 41
  • Age suitable for: 15kg to 36g (4 years -12 years)
  • Weight: 17kg
  • Installation: ISOFIX only

Winner of the Innovation award at the 2017 Kind & Jugend trade fair, this Group 2/3 seat is one of the first to comply with the second stage of the new i-Size law.  Previously the i-size legislation only applied to infant or Group 0+ and Group 1 seats.

However, the law is developing to cover seats for older children (from about 100 to 150cm in height), so they are tested at higher speeds and with a more developed test dummy which are used in ADAC testing.

The new Be Safe iZi Flex Fix  has a lockable ISOFIX base, height adjustable headrest and new side impact protection and specially designed side guards for improved lateral impact safety.

What’s more it has additional guides for the hip belt so it sits in the optimal position against your child’s hips.  It’s also quite narrow as a seat, so can fit into the back of a car that has 3 ISOFIX points.

You can buy the BeSafe iZi Flex Fix from John Lewis, Natural Baby Shower and Pramworld

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181608

And for short, occasional journeys…

11. MiFold booster cushion, £49.95

  • Width: 25cm
  • Age suitable for: 22kg to 36g (7 years – 12 years)
  • Weight: 0.7kg
  • Installation: Seat belt

A new type of booster cushion, the MiFold is designed to be the most portable booster cushion around, as it can be folded.

Instead of boosting the child up in a seat the MiFold guides the seat belt into place down on the hip bones and shoulder.

The MiFold has also been made to be 10x smaller than other booster seats on the market, so you can easily fit 3 in the back of the car.

Available from Boots

Find out more about the UK booster car seat laws.

best-car-seats-that-fit-3-in-the-back-of-most-cars_181609

12. BubbleBum travel booster seat, £25

  • Width: 28cm
  • Age suitable for: 22kg to 36g (7 years – 12 years)
  • Weight: 0.7kg
  • Installation: Seat belt

An inflatable booster cushion, the BubbleBum travel seat that can be inflated for use in a car and then deflated when not needed.

This makes it easy to store, without taking up much room and means you can take it everywhere you need it.  The cushion comes with seat belt positioner clip, to make sure the belt remains at the right position when in use.

Available from: Amazon

Advertisement

We’ve got more car seat reviews and articles…

Comments ()

Please read our Chat guidelines.