Having triplets or just lots of kids.  You need to fit 3 car seats across the back row.  You just realised you car isn't that big.

Regardless whether you own a Mazda 3 hatch back or the large Land Rover Discovery SUV, fitting 3 car seats in a row is always a challenge.  You may need to consider getting rid of the old larger car seats.  With improved manufacturing methods and materials, seats are now slimmer.

The 3 manufacturers of child car seats in Australia all have slim car seat models.  They all claim to fit 3 across.  However, they all have different widths.  The width of the car seat is an important factor to consider, but there are also the issue of quality, safety, ease of fitting and overall size of the seats.

Below is a table of all the car seats available that could fit 3 across.

Of course all the car seats meets Australian Standards.  Australia has strict standards when it comes to child seats.  Child seats purchased oversea will not meet Australian Standards and are illegal to be used in Australian cars. 

There is a growing trend to have the baby sitting in a rearward facing position as long as possible.  Though the legal requirement is 6 months.  Most babies are not ready to be sitting forwarding facing at this stage.  All the car seats above has been approved for rearward facing for up to 30 months.

The narrowest seats are the Infa Secure Quattro and the Infa Secure Attain Premium.  Both are just 42cm wide.  The narrowest child seats on the market.  If you can't fit these seats across, then you differently need a new car!  Both of these seats are from birth to 4 years of age.  However, these do not have ISOFIX.  Seat belt installation is required.  Just note, that nearly all cars do not have ISOFIX in the middle seat.  In the last 5 years of car seat fitting I have only seen 1 car with ISOFIX in the middle seat.  I can't even remember that brand.  The Infa Secure Quattro Astra is the base model and the Attain Premium has high quality finishes.  As the child grows, the harness and head rest can be adjusted from the front.  The seats are easy to use and installation can be done with the red clip provided or a gated buckle.

We are quite surprised Infa Secure also has a model of car seat from birth to 8 years that is only 44cm wide.  This is extremely narrow for a car seat that is fully harnessed to 8 years.  ISOFIX is not available for any seats up to 8 years old.  In a rearward facing position, just ensure you have sufficient space between your front and back seats as these are higher and take up more space.  The Infa Secure Achieve Premium is the narrowest seat with harness to 8 years.

Britax Safe-n-Sound has 3 models that are all just 44cm wide.  The Britax Compaq is the base model where there is no head support or ISOFIX.  An ideal choice for it's low price and great as a forward facing seat. 

The Britax Graphene and Britax Graphene Tex has exactly the same structure, feature and good all round protection.  Both models has ISOFIX with easy to adjust headrest and side impact protection.  The Graphene Tex is the latest release  from Britax with Nanotex fabric technology.  Nanotex is stain and water repellent.  We've pour water on the Nanotex fabric and it just bead off without leaving any water on the fabric.  Nice option for messy babies.

The Maxi Cosi Vela Slim is the widest of all the seats listed above at 46cm.  It's OK if you have a large car.  It does have ISOFIX and it has Air Protect Head Support.

For the narrowest child car seats, the Infa Secure Quattro Astra and Attain Premium are the best choice at only 42cm wide.  If you want ISOFIX, then the best models are the Britax Graphene and Graphene Tex at 44cm wide.  If you need a seat for a child between 4 and 8 years old, then the Infa Secure Achieve Premium is the best option at only 44cm wide.