Question 3 Across Sometimes/ Backless Booster


New member
I have a unique situation coming in that I am expecting my first, but am a nanny for two different families and need carseats for them. My car is a 2001 Lexus ES300.

I am looking at a Chicco Keyfit 30 Magic for my newborn. I want it in the center, but I am getting confused the more I research in regards to latch components being in the middle or not.

I need one car seat that will fit a 1 year old and a 2.5 year old. I would like it to be RF so I think I have settled on a Diono R100, but am concerned about the comments saying it has a really deep recline RF and may be difficult to fit behind the passenger or driver seat.

The third seat would be a booster. I was thinking that maybe a backless booster might be okay and it would better fit in the middle, but if I have not confused all the information that I have read, it can't go in the middle because there is not a headrest in the middle. This is a sideview of what my backseat looks like.

Thank you for your help!!


New member
Since no one else has replied I'll Tell you what I know. I have an older radian xtls. I love it and it was the only thing that has allowed 3 across in my Honda Crv and a corolla. I believe if the top of the child's ears are above the top of your seat you will need a high back booster or place that child in an outboard position. If I understand right a 1yo and 2.5yo will both be using the radian. If the kids need different harness heights you will need to take the seat out to change the harness slots each time and reinstall. That may be a huge pain. They do have little form wedge type things (can't remember what they are called) to help decrease the recline on the radian when rear facing. I'm not familiar with the Chico key fit. My step daughter has a radian, highback booster, and infant bucket seat (snug ride I think) in the back of her Toyota. In the back of my Honda crv I have had a highback booster, radian, evenflo triumph, scenca, maestro, and snugride without the base. Always with the radian in the center.

You might have to play around a little to see how they puzzle together. I'm not familiar with your car. You could also skip the infant seat and put your newborn in a radian, you'll need one with the infant pads I don't think the r100 has them. Then just carry then newborn in a wrap or something. That might be easier if you have 2 other kids in tow. Then put the 2 toddlers in a seat that has a no rethread harness. Boosters are a pain trying to squeeze your hand between seats to fasten the belt. I keep mine outboard passenger side so I don't have to worry about unbuckling the center seat. Good luck I hope your backseat is wider than mine


New member
I just thought if you don't need a highback booster a bubblebum would give you a little more space. I haven't used one myself. Harmony also makes a pretty narrow backless booster.


New member
I have no experience with your car, but I will try to help.

How big (heavy and tall) are the 1 and 2.5 YOs? The radian is an option, but since they'll likely need different slots a seat with a no rethread harness might be a lot better for you. Some examples of seats that would likely RF to at least 3.5 (unless the 2.5 is very tall and/or heavy) and which have a no rethread harness are the complete air 65 or the graco my size 70, but there are a few more that fit the bill.

The center is somewhat safer (about 40% is the number I remember) but an infant in a RFing seat that is used correctly is very safe. It's very possible that your car does not have latch in the center, so if you install your infant seat there and there is no latch you will need to do a seatbelt install. That said, the keyfit 30 seatbelt install is super duper easy because of their marvelous lockoffs, so it's no big deal if you don't have latch there.

As for the booster, how old and mature are the kids using it? If they can sit in a backless, then a few narrow options are a bubblebum or the $13 harmony one from Walmart; harmony makes a fairly narrow highback as well. You are right that with no headrest it's unlikely a No back booster can go in the center -- the child sitting in a NBB needs head support (headrest or top of car seat) to the tops of their ears. There are some HBB that don't require a headrest.

As for what combination of those seats will work in your car, there's a bit of trial and error involved. There is a 'successful three across' thread on this board to check, but a lot depends on the width and geometry of the car seat, which varies a lot from one car to another.


Ambassador - CPS Technician
One seat you might consider for nanny kiddos is a Graco Size4me. It won't last quite as long as a Radian, but will last quite a while and is easy to adjust between kiddos. Eta: skimmed too fast! Same seat as the above-recommended MySize, different name.

You'll need to use the seatbelt to install in the center of your vehicle.

I agree with the questions asked by others in the thread - kiddos sizes would be helpful. :)


New member
For a no back booster the harmony is very inexpensive, but I love the bubblebum because kids don't have to remember to fasten it in with the seatbelt when they get out of the car. One side stays attached to the seatbelt when it isn't used.


Admin - CPS Technician
Snugride 35 Click Connect is a very, very narrow seat. It might be a more workable choice than the Chicco in terms of giving everyone else more room. (There is a lot of complicated LATCH/seatbelt install stuff I won't go into right this minute, but it's very easy to work around too, just find the seats that fit, first!)
Congratulations on the impending arrival :love:

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