3 kids in rear seat for short trips

JTP

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May 16, 2024
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massachusetts
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2015 Subaru Forester
We are a family of five. We already on a minivan. I have a deposit down for 2024 Land Cruiser that is arriving in one month. My concern is I have three children ages 10 7,4 - two boosters and one 5 point car seat. Mathematically it seems like the car is wide enough, but I didn’t know any real world experience with putting in car seats / boosters in the back.

Rarely all three kids at once. I’d do it is to and from school and some practices.

Thoughts? People do comment on how narrow it actually is
 
That might be pretty tight unless you are using the booster chair things. Here's what two booster seats look like in mine.
IMG_9342.jpeg
 
Very helpful. Very tight. Those are latches correct? Any room to use seatbelt and move the seats wider apart? May be a deal breaker, looks too tight for my son even if no booster used in the middle
 
Yes, they are latches. I think having a booster/childseat in the center would block the seatbelt latches for the two sides. At least make it to difficult for kids. I already have to use extenders so my kids (10yr&6yr) can buckles themselves in.
 
My understanding is that you can get "slim" car seats, such as the Diono Radian 3R. Three of these shouldn't be a problem.

Edit: I'm fairly resolved to make this work, if we ever have three kids, because we also have a big dog and a third row will probably not be feasible if we also have luggage or a stroller.
 
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Yes, they are latches. I think having a booster/childseat in the center would block the seatbelt latches for the two sides. At least make it to difficult for kids. I already have to use extenders so my kids (10yr&6yr) can buckles themselves
My understanding is that you can get "slim" car seats, such as the Diono Radian 3R. Three of these shouldn't be a problem.

Edit: I'm fairly resolved to make this work, if we ever have three kids, because we also have a big dog and a third row will probably not be feasible if we also have luggage or a stroller.
yeah-if i buy a seven passenger SUV then you lose the trunk because one kid is always in the back. If you buy the configuration with the three seats in the middle, you are then back at square one. I’ll probably just have my oldest out of the booster and my middle child in the backless booster. That works fine in my forester, which is 4 inches less space
 
If you have 3 kids, you really should get a bigger three row SUV. At least on road trips, I find some separation does wonders. As they get older, they can't be expected to sit three in a row for longer than an hour. For me, getting a real 3 row SUV was a game changer. I never change or remove car seats anymore. Kids' friends can ride with us. Visiting relatives can also ride with us.

The key is to get a 3 row SUV that still allows some cargo space with all three rows up (not the GX), but something like the X7 or Telluride. It makes the vehicle a true utility vehicle with a ton of versatility and not a glorified lifted sedan.

Here's my 3 row setup with oldest in booster in third row. Have a bench seat with the middle seat lowered. The second row seats can also tilt forward (without removing the car seats) to allow an adult third row access but usually my kid just climbs through the middle. If we need more cargo room for a camping trip or inlaws are visiting, can put the oldest back in the middle seat of the second row.
 

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If you have 3 kids, you really should get a bigger three row SUV. At least on road trips, I find some separation does wonders. As they get older, they can't be expected to sit three in a row for longer than an hour. For me, getting a real 3 row SUV was a game changer. I never change or remove car seats anymore. Kids' friends can ride with us. Visiting relatives can also ride with us.

The key is to get a 3 row SUV that still allows some cargo space with all three rows up (not the GX), but something like the X7 or Telluride. It makes the vehicle a true utility vehicle with a ton of versatility and not a glorified lifted sedan.

Here's my 3 row setup with oldest in booster in third row. Have a bench seat with the middle seat lowered. The second row seats can also tilt forward (without removing the car seats) to allow an adult third row access but usually my kid just climbs through the middle. If we need more cargo room for a camping trip or inlaws are visiting, can put the oldest back in the middle seat of the second row.
I understand where you’re coming from. We already have a Toyota sienna so the road tripping / Carpooling, etc. is taken care of. My concern was just short-term comfort going to and from school/practice, etc. My concern for a three row SUV is the lack of trunk space if one kid is always in the back because they have the 223 pattern. One seat is always up in the back., you lose half the horizontal space. I put the seat down and move things around, but that’s it
If you have 3 kids, you really should get a bigger three row SUV. At least on road trips, I find some separation does wonders. As they get older, they can't be expected to sit three in a row for longer than an hour. For me, getting a real 3 row SUV was a game changer. I never change or remove car seats anymore. Kids' friends can ride with us. Visiting relatives can also ride with us.

The key is to get a 3 row SUV that still allows some cargo space with all three rows up (not the GX), but something like the X7 or Telluride. It makes the vehicle a true utility vehicle with a ton of versatility and not a glorified lifted sedan.

Here's my 3 row setup with oldest in booster in third row. Have a bench seat with the middle seat lowered. The second row seats can also tilt forward (without removing the car seats) to allow an adult third row access but usually my kid just climbs through the middle. If we need more cargo room for a camping trip or inlaws are visiting, can put the oldest back in the middle seat of the second row.
oh yeah-if this was my only car, 100% three row. We already have a Toyota sienna minivan for long trips/carpooling, etc. I was trying to think whether or not three kids can comfortably sit for short periods like to and from school and the occasional fun excursion. It would not be a primary distance vehicle.

The separation does a ton of wonders and has been a lifesaver with our minivan. The debate I am having Is with five in our family, do I need to seven passenger vehicles or does one seven passenger vehicle and one 5 passenger vehicle work?
 
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