3 across WWYD? - Canada


New member
Looking for some advice on what other people might do. We are going to be doing a 3-across scenario in our '09 Subaru Forester in November when baby #3 is due to arrive. So we are pretty much looking at buying all 3 new car seats in order to make it fit.
I have a 5-year-old that I'm considering moving up to a booster, but worried that she will have trouble doing up her seat belt with another car seat beside.
Right now I'm thinking of doing a Chicco Key Fit behind the passenger (RF for the baby), Graco Turbo Booster in the centre for my 5-year-old, and a FF Radian behind the driver for my 3-year-old.
I don't really want to spend the money on 2 Radians if I can help it (instead of the booster), but if it's going to make my life easier buckle-wise, it might be worth it.

Alison's Mom

New member
Hi there, and welcome to the forum! Generally speaking, children develop the maturity to sit properly in a booster seat by about age 5.5 or 6. I'm not familiar with your vehicle, but in a tight 3 across, it may be also better to keep your 5 yr old in a harnessed seat because it can be very difficult to stick your or her hand between seats in order to buckle each time. Again, I don't know whether this seat is compatible with your vehicle, but there is a narrow child/booster that's new at Walmart: http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/defender-360-car-seat/6000189057048 It's narrow, can be used as a 5pt harness or a booster, and is pretty inexpensive. The Keyfit and Radian for the other two children are great choices. Or, if the Defender works in your car, you could buy another one instead of the Radian for your 3yr old to save money.


New member
Thanks, I hadn't heard of the Defender before - glad to know there are other companies making narrow car seats!
Ya, reaching the seat belt to buckle between the seats is a big concern with moving her up to the booster seat.


CPST Instructor
What seats do you currently use? Perhaps one of them might work in the scenario?

If you are going to try three across I'd go and try seats first. Radians can be hit or miss with a seatbelt install in some vehicles. You will want to use the seatbelt most likely to be able to maximize the seating area.


New member
I just helped a family last month with a 2010 Subaru & providing the body style is the same as the 2009 we were able to do 3 radians

Outboard driver - Forward facing Radian for a 5 year old
Middle RF newborn (just squeaks between the seats & allows the proper newborn recline angle)
Outboard passenger - forward facing 3 year old - she could have been rear facing still with the angle adjuster but the parents were comfortable switching her FF

We tried a baseless Graco snugride30 instead of the radian for the newborn but it wouldn't fit in the centre & sat 1/2" over the edge of the seat

The evenflo sureride puzzled well with the radian RF but not FF


New member
I think the 2010 Forester is the same as 2009, so that's helpful, thanks!
Do most stores allow you to try seats before buying them?
I've measured the distance in the seats, and we are definitely going to have to use seat belts rather than latch. The space in the center between the two latch spots was something like 6"!!
I really want to use an infant seat with a base for the baby, but I measured some of the bases in store and found a couple that seem quite narrow. I will have to try some out, I guess!

Alison's Mom

New member
Some stores allow trying in vehicle no problem. Others the staff look at you like you have 3 heads when you ask but let you eventually when you offer to leave your driver's license and credit card at the customer service counter until you bring the seats back. . . . I would try this tactic at Walmart if you're wanting to try the Defender. The other seats are available at more boutique-y type stores and I would call and ask about their policy plus whether they have these seats in stock before going.

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