3 kids under 5?



My wife and I have 3 children and need to figure out how to safely restrain without having to buy a new vehicle. Here is our specs: 1 five year old(35 pounds),1 23-month old(28 pounds), and one newborn. We own a 97 ford explorer and lease a '06 Lexus es330. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Senior Community Member
Keep middle kiddo RF for as long as possible & keep oldest harnessed for as long as possible....

In general, RF kids are safer outboard than FF kids & FF kids are safer in the center than behind a front seatback -- assuming proper installation according to both carseat + vehicle manuals (the safest place for a carseat is whichever backseat position allows for correct installation: less than 1" movement at the belt path)

I would choose a Sunshine Kids Radian for your oldest since it has the highest harness slots of all narrow seats. I would choose a Marathon for your middle child since it can tether RF & will puzzle nicely next to a Radian. The Chicco Keyfit or Graco Snugride are good infant seats, but you could skip the infant seat (carrying baby in sling) & choose a Radian since it fits newborns well (better than Britax + it tethers RF) or you could wait till baby outgrows the carrier carseat & choose a convertible later (maybe handing down the Radian if big kid is ready for a booster by then: in which I suggest the Parkway for 3 across situations).

Remember that the "best" carseat fits the child, fits the vehicle & is always used correctly! Each carseat must be independently secure so I suggest visiting your local CPST for help....

Perhaps you'll be in the market for a minivan or larger SUV soon :confused: ;)


New member
Tiffany covered that one pretty well. The Radian is sought after for it's narrowness ;) Ideal for those 3 across situations. The only other thing I could say is a Marathon. With your rear facing/forward facing combo, they could puzzle together well. But, the Radian WOULD likely fit better. It's just so slim. And the Marathon, because of its base, stands up higher..having 2 or 3 of those across the back makes for difficult rear window viewing.
I have a '98 Expedition and can fit a Roundabout, Marathon and a booster (parkway or bodyguard) across the 3rd row. The Roundabout and Marathon are basically going to fit the same width wise, Marathon just has a taller shell. I got my Roundabout before there WAS a Marathon. I would't recommend the Roundabout (RA) because it only harnesses to 40#. I just mentioned it as a reference to fitting at least 2 Marathons(MA) in a similar vehicle.


Senior Community Member
Also, the Fisher Price Safe Voyage Deluxe is a less expensive alternative to the Marathon, however it does not tether RF & lacks built in lock offs -- great for an FF kid, but has lower weight/height limits than the Radian ... FPSVD/Marathons puzzle nicely together RF/FF. Hopefully the Radian would work in your vehicle, though :)


Well-known member
What seats do you currently own and what combinations have you tried? Are you looking for an arrangement to fit all three kids in both cars?

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