Author: Amy Lucas, Tylumo Creative
Just when you thought you had it all together, you turn and look at the backseat. Fitting 3 kiddos across the back is going to be a challenge!
Before you panic and run out to buy a Kia Carnival (unless you want to, of course, in which case you will be in good company at multiples playgroup!) check out our updated information below for purchasing slimline car seats in 2022.
If you’ve walked into a baby store recently or typed “baby car seat” into Google, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed. We’ve all been there!
One of the first things you need to decide is whether you want to use a dedicated capsule whilst your baby is younger (usually from birth to 6 months, or sometimes up to 12 months, depending on the brand). If you buy a capsule first, you will then need to buy an adjustable car seat a little later down the road. Alternatively, you can go straight to an adjustable car seat if you select a model that can be used from birth.
You may also have seen prams advertised as “travel systems”. These allow you to move your capsule from the car to the pram using appropriate adaptors for your chosen pram. This is handy if you are transferring sleeping babies to / from the car (e.g. on school drop-offs), but the capsules can be quite heavy, so keep this in mind. Generally speaking though, this is one of the primary reasons parents choose to start with a capsule, before moving to an adjustable car seat later.
Like everything, there are pros and cons to each of these options. If you want some more general tips and tricks, check out the other Twinfo blogs on Car Seats for Twins & More and Purchasing our car for triplets – Three across the back for some other helpful information.
This rundown will give you an overview of the best adjustable car seats for small spaces (as opposed to capsules).
Slimline car seats for twins and multiples: Narrow this car seat down, please!
“Slimline” is the golden word you’re looking for here (although they aren’t necessarily advertised this way). This phrase goes to how wide the car seat is, and if you’re trying to fit three across the back (or even 2 into a smaller car), you may want to focus on finding a car seat that’s as narrow as possible.
One easy way to compare models is to simply check the specifications (dimensions) for the specific car seat/s you’re looking at. The smaller the width, the better. All advertisements should include the dimensions of the seat for you, and if you’re looking in-store, ask your salesperson to provide you with these details.
We are indebted here though to CarsGuide, who as the experts in their field have published a stellar updated list of their current picks for the best slimline car seats for twins and multiples. We’ve summarised the options here for you, and provided you with some handy links on where you find them at the moment.
Slimline car seats for twins and multiples: So, what are the narrowest car seats on the market?
Infasecure Emerge Go
Current price: $379.99
Find the Infasecure Emerge Go here.
One of the narrowest car seats on the market, this one is a great choice if you’re really tight on space. However, keep in mind that this one is a forward-facing seat only, so your child will need to be old enough (and tall enough) to transition out of rearward-facing to use this one. This could be a useful option if you’ve purchased an extended-use capsule and are looking to move into a car seat when your little one is a bit older.
Current price: $499
Find the Securesafe Shield here.
Whilst still part of the recommended slimline car seat range, this one is on the slightly wider end of the range, so keep that in mind when purchasing if you are really tight on space, as you might find some of the other options provide you with a valuable few extra centimetres.
Britax Safe-n-Sound Quick Fix
Current price: $329.99
You can find the Britax Safe-n-Sound Quick Fix here.
This seat is a great option for a lower budget, but keep in mind that this seat is only suitable for use up to approximately 4 years of age. So, you will need to invest in another seat after then. It’s still a great option from birth to 4 years, capable of being used both forward-facing and rear-facing.
Current price: $599
Find the Securesafe Guard here.
This car seat is a great option if your budget can accommodate it. Suitable from newborn to 8 years, you will get a great lifespan out of it, all with the added bonus of being the narrowest seat on the market.
Infasecure Grandeur Go
Current price: $499
You can find the Infasecure Grandeur Go here.
Whilst this one is on the pricier end of the scale, it’s another great option as it’s suitable for use from birth to approximately 8 years of age. So, if you’re looking for an all-rounder, this one might be worth a look. Keep in mind that this seat is a little heavier than most, so if you need to regularly switch car seats between vehicles, you may want to take this into consideration.
Once you’ve found your perfect combination of car seats, the next question is usually – where do I put them all?
If you’re mixing and matching between newborns and toddlers, particularly with three across the back, here are some tips to get you underway:
Can your toddler climb in themselves?
If you have a toddler, they might be able to help you out by climbing through the front seats into their forward-facing middle seat. So, if you’re bringing home newborn twins, they can be placed on the two outside spots, making it easier for you to buckle them in whilst they are little. If you’re using capsules, this will also likely be the easier option to get the capsules in / out of the car. If you can reach, you can then buckle your toddler either from the back, or reach around to buckle from the front seat.
Do you have a child that is best placed to be in a certain area of the car?
If you suspect your toddler will have some difficulty adjusting, or you want to be able to strap them in quickly, then you may want to keep them on the passenger side. You can then put them into their car seat straight away, so that you know they’re safe. You may find in this scenario that it is easier for you to pass your (relatively lighter!) new baby through to the middle seat. Similarly, if you have two toddlers, consider keeping them in the passenger and middle seat, so that you can get them in safely together.
ISO-FIX Points may affect your choice of car seat
Some vehicles are fitted with ISO-FIX points. Check what type of points are installed in your vehicle (and where) before you make a final decision as this may affect which seats you use.
Rear Facing Car Seats
Rear-facing seats are generally a little bit bulkier in that position, so it may help to have the rearward-facing seat adjacent to the forward-facing seat so that you can play around with the space a little better. Remember, once they are all forward facing, you will have a lot more space in the footwell area so they can move in and out a lot easier!
Do you have an older forward-facing child?
Keep in mind that if you have an older forward-facing child, they may be able to reach into the rearward-facing seat. So just keep that in mind if they have snacks or toys in their hand whilst you’re driving.
Slimline car seats for twins and multiples: Our last words of wisdom
Managing to buckle in a row of children is hard work! Be kind to yourself and respect your own limits. You will likely feel exhausted the first few times you buckle them all in! If you only achieve one errand on any one day, call that a win!
For all the logistical challenges that multiple births bring, the physically draining ones will not last too long and before you know it, you’ll turn around to see a back seat full of big smiles, chatter, and kiddos who are a lot more independent!
Buckle up and safe travels on your multiples journey!
A final note: It is important to check the car seat specifications at the time of purchase to ensure that it is appropriate for your child. Twinfo strongly recommends that you seek professional advice from a licenced professional before purchasing and when installing car seats for your children. They will be able to provide you with customised advice for your specific vehicle and make sure that your car seat and installation are compliant with all relevant safety standards. You can find qualified seat installers HERE. Prices and specifications are accurate as of the time of publication.
Freelance Writer + Copywriter