Fitting three child restraints across the back seat, is a task that is best left to an accredited acri child restraint fitter. Driving a large Suv is not any guarantee that you will fit three child restraints across the back seat. Fact many smaller cars are better suited to three across the back seat than many suv’s.
What is the best combination when fitting three child restraints across the back seat, what factors determine the success in fitting three across. A Mobile Car seat fitting service can help.
Types of child restraints
The extended harnessing child restraint; was introduced in the 2014 australian standard update. This new car seat type; allows a child to be forward facing in a full 6 point harness until they are 8 years of age or have passed the exit marker. The extended harnessing seat can be used; once your child has been turned from rear facing to forward facing.
The booster seat can only be used; when the child has reached four years of age; and has attained a minimum height (designated by the shoulder height markers) so that the sash of the seat belt does notcross your childs neck.
Extended rear facing
The extended rear facing baby car seat allows families to keep their children rear facing for up to 30 months. The best extended harnessing seats are from Britax, Babylove or Infa Secure. These baby car seats will go to the full 30 months; and can be identified by 3 should height markers on the inside of the baby car sea under each other.
Extended rear facing baby car seats are the best to use as the widest part of the seat is at the top of the seat.
Baby capsules are very wide and make fitting three car seats acroos very difficult. The width of the capsule is roughly 46 cm and you will need the handle not to interfere with the next babby car seat.
Research Child restraints
Start to think in terms of child restraint measurements.
- How wide is your back seat from edge to edge
- Do you have deep bucket seats, if so measure the width of the seat wings and subtract 2x width of seat wings from the width of the back seat
- Meausre the width of your current car-seats and see how much room you have to spare. Most back seats are around 132-136 cm wide. The Holden VF Commodore family wagon is one of the widest family cars at around 151 cm wide (capable of fitting 3 x ISOFIX child restraints across the back seat with 3 X ISOFIX positions)
Next : Start measuring the footprint and the widest part of the child restraint as it is the widest part which will dictate which childrestraints can be installed
The foot-print of the baby car seat; indicates how much room you have to get your hand in to connect the seat belt buckle (very important for booster seats). Remember that if your child cannot easily plug in the seat belt buckle there is a good chance they will not click the seat belt in.
In many cases you will need to place the child restraints loosely into the car to get a better idea as to what combinations work.
Using Booster Seats
Booster seats are not recommended; when trying to fit three baby car seats across the back seat. Boosters seats are generally too wide to be used; when fitting three carseat across. Additionally the fitment of the seats is very tight making it very difficult to biuckle up the seat belt. Lastly the chance of un-clipoping the seat belt of another child restraint is high,
Using Isofix car seats
It is not recommended to use Isofix; when trying to fit three car seats across the back seat. Most Car only have two pairs of Isofix attachment points; which position the child restraint in the middle of the seat. The centre seat will not even fit an adult/ teen; when ISOFIX is being used.
The Isofix system; can only be used on seats; which do not go past 4 years of age.
The VF Commodore is one of the widest family cars on the market and WILL FIT three ISOFIX child restraints in the back seat
Trial and error
Ensure all child restraints are 44 cm at their widest point; to ensure success when fitting three restraints across the back seat. Some of the better car seats to use are …
- the Safe n Sound Unity capsule,
- Britax Maxi Guard (basic version)
- Compaq and Brava, and the
- Infa Quattro
The installation order will determine if it is actually possible to uninstall all three child car-seats. There are some articles out there that state; you should install the centre position first; however in most cases this will make it difficult to install the restraint (buckle next to the centre buckle). It is better to start with the rear facing child restraint first. When there is no rear facing child restraint; then install child’s restraint on the side where there is a single buckle.
A word of caution
When installing booster seats (type E) or using forward facing restraints / booster seat combo restraints (type B/E); ensure your child has access to the seat belt buckle. When the buckle is difficult to reach, a child may not clip in the seat belt. To over come this problem; extended harnessing car seat os recommended. A Mobile car seat installation professional can help fit three across
Contact Mobile baby car seat Fitting; call 0420 516 587; when you need to fit three baby car seats in the second row.