12 Best Car Seats for 3 Across in 2022 (Narrow & Safe)

I don’t want to buy a new car to safely get around with my three kids. Instead, I need car seat options that let me fit 3 across safely in the car I already have.

The best car seats for 3 across have a narrow 17-inch profile, seat belt & LATCH installation, and are safe and comfortable.

Our Favorites

nuna car seat

Best for Infants
Nuna Pipa

diono car seats

Best Convertible
Diono Radian 3QXT+

wayb pico seat

Best for Travel
Wayb Pico

Best Car Seats for 3 Across

1. Nuna Pipa Lite RX Infant Three Across Car Seat

nuna car seat

The Nuna Pipa Lite RX is 17 inches wide which allows for 3 across.

The low profile base fits with different seat orientations and the rigid LATCH install is quick and easy with side-by-side car seats.

The RELX base is an upgrade from the past version and makes on-the-go recline simple in a crowded backseat.

To fit 3 across car seats, you need flexible install options and the Lite RX gives you this with a base or belt path option.

The belt lock-off also allows you to position the seat in a way that works with 3 car seats in a row. The belt installation is handy but could use better instructions.

What We Liked

  • Super lightweight at 6.9 lbs
  • Full coverage UPF50+ canopy
  • Stylish leatherette handle
  • Machine washable cover and inserts
  • Greenguard Gold certified as safe for your baby

What Can Be Improved

  • Awkward shape makes it hard to carry
  • Tricky to assemble
  • Canopy zipper gets stuck

Type: Infant, rear-facing only
Seat Width: 17 inches
Base Width: 12 inches
Seat Length: 12.5 inches
Base Length: 24 inches
Child Height: Up to 32 in (81 cm)
Child Weight: 4-32 lbs (1.8-14.5 kg)
Expiration Date: 7 years from the manufacturing date

2. Diono Radian 3QXT+ Convertible 3 in a Row Car Seat

diono car seats

The Radian 3QXT+ is the best 3 across car seat for SUV vehicles because it can be tricky to install in compact cars.

Unlike other models, it has adjustable calf support and hip flaps, which give your child more comfort without taking up more space.

This Diono 3 across seat has a one-hand adjustable headrest and 5-point harness so you can adjust the seat easily with 3 booster seats in a row.

With easy click installation, a slim profile, and extended rear-facing capabilities, this seat is the best budget car seat for 3 across.

What We Liked

  • 8 layers of side impact protection for added safety
  • Machine washable cover makes cleaning easy for moms
  • Steel alloy frame provides ultimate safety
  • You will only need one seat so it is a great investment
  • Memory foam seat is very comfortable

What Can Be Improved

  • Hard to put the cover back on after washing
  • Buckle strap seems too short
  • Angle adjuster not included with seat

Type: Convertible, rear-facing + forward-facing
Seat Width: 17 inches
Seat Length: 16 inches
Child Height: Up to 57 in (145 cm)
Child Weight: 4-120 lbs (1.8-54.4 kg)
Expiration Date: 10 years from the manufacturing date

3. WAYB Pico Toddler Car Seat for 3 Across

wayb pico seat

Car seats that can fit 3 across, like the WAYB Pico, have LATCH and seat belt installation options.

This lets you use any seat position that works for your family and other car seats. This seat has a quick and simple install which you need when you have three seats to install.

There are no armrests to get in the way and the 5-point harness saves space because you don’t need to use the seat buckle.

You have to handwash the cover, but the fact that the seat is narrow enough to fit 3 across in a compact car makes up for the inconvenience.

What We Liked

  • Breathable and ergonomic fabric
  • Eco-conscious with minimal plastic and no PU foam
  • Best 3 across booster seat for travel with a compact fold
  • Lightweight
  • Great backup seat option

What Can Be Improved

  • Tight crotch strap and buckle can be uncomfortable
  • Tends to leave a color stain on the seat
  • Small weight limit

Type: Toddler, forward-facing only
Seat Width: 14.5 inches
Seat Length: 15.25 inches
Child Height: Up to 45 in (114.3 cm)
Child Weight: 22-50 lbs (10-23 kg)
Expiration Date: 6 years from the manufacturing date

4. Clek Liing 2021/2022 Infant 3 Across Car Seat

clek liing infant car seat

This is the best car seat for 3 across for children up to 4 years. At 16.8 inches wide, this seat is narrow without sacrificing comfort.

The narrow base has 7 recline positions which is an improvement from the previous model.

You can adjust the seat on the base, which is ideal in a crowded backseat. The depth of 27.7 inches gives your baby room to grow while still tucking neatly into the base.

The European belt path lets you install the seat without the base to save space and offers flexibility in finding the best fit for three across.

Although it only comes in gray and black options, it is worth it for fitting 3 car seats in a car.

What We Liked

  • 13 position metal load leg for ultimate safety
  • Best infant car seat for 3 across compatible with popular strollers
  • 2-stage insert system to keep your baby snug and secure
  • Safe and lightweight
  • Machine washable cover for quick cleaning

What Can Be Improved

  • Doesn’t have a no-rethread harness
  • Warning labels get hot and sticky
  • The dark-colored fabrics retain heat

Type: Infant, rear-facing only
Seat Width: 16.8 inches
Base Width: 13.2 inches
Seat Length: 27.7 inches
Base Length: 22.6 inches
Child Height: Up to 32 in (81 cm)
Child Weight: 4-35 lbs (1.8-16 kg)
Expiration Date: 9 years from the manufacturing date

5. Clek Foonf Convertible 3 Across Car Seat

clek foonf

The Foonf is one of the best 3 across convertible car seats because of its narrow profile. At 12.5 inches deep, it fits well on the backseat and gives your baby good legroom.

The LATCH and seat belt installation lets you get this seat into tight spaces when you have 3 in a row car seats.

An improvement from the prior model is the easy-access belt path when rear-facing and the smooth recline feature.

It sits high off the seat, which gives you more orientation flexibility to fit three across car seats. Although it is heavy, the streamlined design and built-in seat belt locks offs make it a great 3 across choice.

What We Liked

  • Adjustable crotch strap to grow with your child
  • Approved use with Ford inflatable seat belts
  • Crypton fabrics are water-resistant and easy to clean
  • The deep seat offers more space for leggy kids
  • Adjustable, structural headrest

What Can Be Improved

  • Sits high on the base when rear-facing
  • You have to manually adjust the harness
  • It can be too high for the center seat

Type: Convertible, rear-facing + forward-facing
Seat Width: 17 inches
Seat Length: 12.5 inches
Child Height: Up to 49 in (124.5 cm)
Child Weight: 14-65 lbs (6.4-29.4 kg)
Expiration Date: 9 years from the manufacturing date

6. Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat for Three Across

clek fllo

Convertible car seats that fit 3 across should have a clean design that fits well with other seats. The Fllo has this and includes built-in seat belt lock-offs so you can place the seat off-center to give you more room.

The seat belt installation means you can put this seat in the center, making this a flexible option. The Fllo sits lower, takes up less space, and is 4 inches shorter, which is an upgrade since the earlier model seats.

So, if you need narrow car seats to fit 3 in a row in your small car, the Fllo is for you. There isn’t a recline feature, but an extended rear-facing weight of 50lbs makes up for it.

What We Liked

  • Brominated and chlorinated flame retardant free
  • Advanced side impact protection and adjustable headrest
  • Super safe with an anti-rebound bar 
  • Water-resistant fabric is easy to clean
  • Dual length crotch strap keeps your child comfortable

What Can Be Improved

  • Can be tricky to fasten in forward-facing mode
  • Material could be more durable
  • Can’t use the cupholder when 3 across

Type: Convertible, rear-facing + forward-facing
Seat Width: 17 inches
Seat Length: 12.5 inches
Child Height: Up to 49 in (124.5 cm)
Child Weight: 14-65 lbs (6.4-29.4 kg)
Expiration Date: 9 years from the manufacturing date

7. Chicco MyFit Zip Forward Facing 3 Across Car Seat

chicco harness booster seat

The Chicco MyFit 3 across is one of the best 3 across booster seat options because it offers great seat belt installation.

The seat belt lock-offs mean you can install it closer to the door to make space if you need three car seats across.

With a high weight capacity and a harness, you can use this seat for a long time without worrying about hard-to-buckle-boosters in a cramped backseat.

The harness can be tricky to open though. You can remove the cupholders for extra space and the armrests are the same 17.5 inches as the seat, so they don’t stick out.

The super-cinch tightener is a change since the last

What We Liked

  • No-rethread harness makes adjusting the seat easy in a crowded backseat
  • Kids say it is comfortable
  • Storage console for toys or baby gear
  • 4 recline positions to keep your child safe and comfortable
  • Premium LATCH connectors and LockSure tightening system

What Can Be Improved

  • The shoulder belt gets stuck in the belt guide
  • The armrests make buckling tricky
  • The cupholders are flimsy

Type: Booster, forward-facing only
Seat Width: 17.5 inches
Seat Length: 20 inches
Child Height: Up to 57 in (145 cm)
Child Weight: 25-100 lbs (11.3-45.4 kg)
Expiration Date: 8 years from the manufacturing date

8. Mifold Hifold Fit-and-Fold Highback 3 Across Booster Seat

mifold booster

Mifold has one of the most popular 3 across booster seat options because it has a multi-fit with 243 settings. It is very narrow at 16 inches and you can adjust it in 4 areas to use it with car seats that fit 3 across.

Compared to the previous version, it has more padding and better-positioned belt guides that adjust with the seat to keep your child safe. It needs a car headrest which is why the belt guides are ideal.

This design might not feel as secure as traditional 3 across booster seats, but it is safe and easy to install. It is narrow enough to work with seats that have high side bolsters and you can easily use the buckles.

What We Liked

  • Folds compactly for easy traveling
  • Lightweight and has a carry strap
  • Regulated for global use
  • Made with AirFlow washable fabric
  • Energy absorbing for added protection

What Can Be Improved

  • Could be more durable
  • Not very soft
  • Not ideal for bucket or cupped seats

Type: Booster, forward-facing only
Seat Width: 16-18.9 inches
Seat Length: 11 inches
Child Height: Up to 59 in (150 cm)
Child Weight: 40-100 lbs (18.1-45.4kg)
Expiration Date: 7 years from the manufacturing date

9. RideSafer Traffic System Three Across Travel Vest

ridesafer vest

Gone are the days of bulky seats and fiddly belt paths when you use this innovative vest. The RideSafer is one of the best 3 across car seat options because it doesn’t have a seat.

The vest is as wide as your child and has a slim fit. It works for kids aged 3-8 and offers you flexibility when installing 3 car seats.

The vest gives your kids more room which means less fighting. It also helps position the vehicle shoulder strap and lap belt correctly, so you don’t need to worry about additional head support.

Although some kids may not like how it feels, it is an ideal 3 across option for carpooling families.

What We Liked

  • Vest changes crash dynamics and reduces head and knee injuries
  • Vest holds the shoulder belt in place and away from the neck
  • The design has multiple fail-safe mechanisms
  • Extremely compact
  • Simple to use

What Can Be Improved

  • Clips cause wear on seat belts
  • Difficult for children to get into on their own
  • Instructions could be more thorough

Type: Toddler, forward-facing only
Seat Width: 9.5 inches
Child Height: Up to 57 in (145 cm)
Child Weight: 30-80 lbs (14-36.3 kg)
Expiration Date: 10 years from the manufacturing date

10. Diono Radian 3RXT Safe+ All-in-One 3 Across Car Seat

diono car seat

At a width of 17 inches and a depth of 16 inches, this is the best 3 in 1 car seat for 3 across.

Unlike previous versions, it has an easy-adjust 12 position headrest and 6 layers of side impact protection. The 3RXT Safe+ has a narrow profile with shallow sides and sites low making it versatile to position. 

The shape makes it easy for kids to get into and you can take an infant seat out of the center easily with a Radian next to it.

Although the installation can be tricky, the design considers modern, compact cars and that makes it worth it.

What We Liked

  • Luxurious fabric and design
  • Great safety features
  • Narrow but still spacious for kids
  • Good value for money
  • As a birth-to booster, you will only need one seat that grows with your child

What Can Be Improved

  • Seat belt difficult to tighten when rear-facing
  • The open back is unattractive
  • Heavy and difficult to move

Type: AIO, rear-facing + forward-facing
Seat Width: 17 inches
Seat Length: 16 inches
Child Height: Up to 57 in (145 cm)
Child Weight: 4-120 lbs (1.8-54.4 kg)
Expiration Date: 10 years from the manufacturing date

11. Diono Radian 3QX Latch All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

diono car seats

The best 3 across car seats will grow with your child like the 3QX, which works from birth to 12 years.

The installation can be time-consuming, but you won’t need to change the seat because the 5-point harness and fold-down seat sides will work as your child grows. 

With an improved LATCH install and 3 stages of rear-facing protection, this is one of the best options for birth to a booster seat that fit 3 across.

At 17 inches wide and 16 inches deep, this seat has 6 layers of side impact protection without compromising on space. The removable cupholders and low profile help you gain precious inches in a 3-across setup.

What We Liked

  • Comfortable and padded
  • Extra rear-facing protection for your baby
  • Machine washable cover ideal for busy moms
  • The anti-rebound bar offers added safety
  • Folds flat for travel

What Can Be Improved

  • Heavy
  • Large chest pads can be cumbersome
  • Warning label right by child’s head

Type: AIO, rear-facing + forward-facing
Seat Width: 17 inches
Seat Length: 16 inches
Child Height: Up to 57 in (145 cm)
Child Weight: 4-120 lbs (1.8-54.4 kg)
Expiration Date: 10 years from the manufacturing date

12. Diono Radian 3RX Three Across Convertible Car Seat

diono

The best 3 across convertible car seat options have a narrow, 17-inch profile like this original slim-fit 3 across all-in-one seat.

To fit three across you need this seat, not a new car.

It has a low profile and shallow sides for the tight center spot and the removable cupholders gain you precious inches. 

The belt installation is tricky but you won’t need to move the seat often with it’s extended rear-facing option.

The shape of the 3RX makes it easier for you to get an infant car seat into and out of the center seat.

What We Liked

  • Machine washable cover for easy cleaning
  • Safety and comfort are a priority
  • It is a money-saver seat that will grow with your family
  • Steel reinforced cupholders
  • 5-point harness saves space

What Can Be Improved

  • Rear-facing can be tricky in small cars
  • Low LATCH limits
  • Steep learning curve to use the seat

Type: Convertible, rear-facing + forward-facing
Seat Width: 17 inches
Seat Length: 16 inches
Child Height: Up to 57 in (145 cm)
Child Weight: 5-120 lbs (2.3-54.4 kg)
Expiration Date: 10 years from the manufacturing date

Does Your Car Fit 3 Across? 

To fit 3 car seats across your car should have flat rear seats that accommodate different shaped car seats and orientations. Seats with raised centers and a bucket shape give you less flexibility. 

Cars that have 3 isofix points are helpful, but they need to be well-spaced and not overlap. 

For more flexibility, you can install 3 across seats with the seat belt, so check the space between the buckles. 

Cars that have a captain’s chair and the third row of seats fit 3 car seats across more easily. 

Full-size, crew-cab vehicles or ones with 3 LATCH points like the Audi Q7 and Q5, Kia Sorento, and Land Rover Discovery work best.

Choosing the Best 3 Across Car Seat 

Choosing the best car seat for three across means finding a seat with a width of 17 inches or less, LATCH and belt installation options, and a 5-point harness.

Car Seat Width 

The best car seat to fit 3 across has a width of 17 inches or less. This narrow profile fits more comfortably with other seats and gives you more flexibility in seat placement. A seat depth of about 16 inches means the car seat will sit snugly on the seat without taking up extra space.

Car Base Width 

A car seat base can be bulky so you want a streamline base of no more than 17 inches wide. The base should not be wider than the seat itself. It should also sit on the seat well without overhang so 22-25 inches is best.

Matching Seat Shapes 

The shape of your seats is important for 3 across placement. Seats with high centers or bucket seats can limit your options for car seat orientation. You also want car seats that work well together and don’t have armrests or handles that interfere with each other. You want flexibility to be able to change the seat orientations to maximize the space.

Harness vs. Booster 

A harness is often a better option in a 3 across setup. They fasten in the front and don’t need the seat buckle on the side. That means your seats can be closer together and it is easier for you to secure.

Safety Features 

Your car seats should have side impact protection and adjustable headrests to keep your baby safe as they grow. An anti-rebound bar is a great safety addition. You also want a seat with a rigid LATCH installation option and seat belt lock-offs. This gives you seat placement flexibility without compromising on safety.

FAQ

Can you fit 3 car seats in a row? 

Yes, you can fit certain car seats 3 in a row. Narrow seats of 17 inches or less that have LATCH and belt path installation options work best. 

Can all Diono car seats fit 3 across? 

Yes, all Diono car seats fit 3 across.

Can all Britax car seats fit 3 across? 

No, not all Britax car seats fit 3 across, but the Marathon could.

Can all Maxi Cosi car seats fit 3 across? 

No. not all Maxi Cosi car seats fit 3 across, but the Maxi Mico series could.

Can all Chicco car seats fit 3 across? 

No, not all Chicco car seats fit 3 across, but the MyFit and KeyFit series could.

Can all Peg Perego car seats fit 3 across? 

No, not all Pe Perego car seats fit 3 across but the Viaggio HBB 120 and Primo Viaggio 4-35 Nido could.

Can all Cybex car seats fit 3 across? 

No, not all Cybex car seats fit 3 across, but the Cloud Q and Sirona could.

Can all Nuna car seats fit 3 across? 

No, not all Nuna car seats fit 3 across, but the Nuna Pipa series could.

Can all Uppababy car seats fit 3 across?

 No, not all Uppababy car seats fit 3 across, but the Mesa could.

Can all Clek car seats fit 3 across? 

No, not all Clek car seats fit 3 across but the Liing, Liingo, Foonf, and Fllo could.

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