Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fitting 3 Car Seats in a Honda Fit

I've been meaning to write this post since September, but... I had a baby.  Which is the reason we had to fit 3 car seats in our Honda Fit in the first place, but also the reason I never got around to writing about it.  Now said baby is 9 months old, but our story actually starts about 18 months ago when...

Me:  "Mike, I think we are going to have another baby."

Processing, processing...

 Mike:  "How are we going to fit another car seat in our super-small, fuel-efficient car?  Crap!  We'll have to get a new car."

Don't misunderstand.  Mike was THRILLED about having another baby and actually, that was my first thought, too, after the first wave of nausea settled.  How are we going to fit a third car seat in our 2008 Honda Fit?  We loved our little zippy car and the fact we didn't have a car payment anymore.  So we got on the world wide web and searched for other brave souls who didn't throw up their hands in defeat and immediately upgrade to a mini-van.  (Not that one wouldn't be nice once in awhile, but there's no way on God's green earth city streets that I would ever be able to parallel park one.)  I'm not certain we found anyone who posted about fitting 3 car seats into a Honda Fit - the closest seemed to be a Honda Civic.  But I am posting now to help other fuel-efficient car owners realize their dream of an increased family size without an increased gas budget.

This is what we bought for a grand total of $624.25 on Amazon (through Amazon prime, with the option of free returns if they didn't fit, which they did):

2 Diono RadianR100 Car Seats (for our 5 and 7 year olds)
1Combi Cocorro Lightweight Convertible Carseat

If we had preplanned 8 years ago, we would have saved another few hundred bucks by purchasing these first and using them for all three kids.  But, that would be antithetical to who we are, and besides, car seats are obsolete a year after you buy them.  $700 is still a whole lot cheaper than a new van.

The Radian can be used from infancy through age 18 (or whatever age kids have to stay in a car seat these days), but we couldn't fit it in rear facing.  Hence, the expensive little Combi number that we'll get rid of when Baby #3 turns 2ish.  It was the smallest seat we could find, and the convenient removable kind with the base just wouldn't work.  So that's the one drawback - you can't remove your sleeping baby IN the car seat.  You just have to wake the poor thing up to take her out of the car.  (If her big sisters haven't already, which is more than likely.  Besides, it's the third kid and they are never going to get an uninterrupted nap.  Neither are the parents.  But I digress.  Because I haven't had enough sleep.)  I guess there is one more drawback.  Once you get these puppies in, you will refuse little old ladies rides home in the rain because you will never want to take them out.  It's a bit tricky to get the right fit.

If he could do it, my husband would attempt to fit all of us in a Smart Car but that's just a little ridiculous.  I mean, there's no backseat.  So when Baby Tierce goes forward facing, we'll have the moment of truth - can we fit another Diono Radian in?  I think we can, otherwise, you just might see us on a bicycle built for five.  





43 comments:

Kori said...

Thankfully, at age 8 child #1 no longer needs any booster. I think you could make this shuffle work. :)

LauraAnne102 said...

Thanks so much for posting this! We are in the same boat - won't do car payments, and hate to give up our fuel efficient, one owner '08 Honda Fit for some bigger car/van with more miles and who knows what other problems. We will have 2 FF and 1 RF when baby #3 is due (Jan '14). So I've been going nuts searching the web for this very thing! I found very little helpful info on the big car seat forums. Question though - were you able to get them in any different positions (like one of the Radians in the middle)? I hate the thought of reaching over to buckle in baby. Also, have you tried the Coccoro FF between the Radians? Thanks!

Elizabeth L. said...

Congratulations, Laura Anne! Three is definitely a charm! We did not try the Radian in the middle since we wanted the baby there (mainly so the older girls wouldn't be in hitting distance of each other.) It really hasn't been that bad getting her in and out of the middle. We also haven't tried the Cocorro FF, and probably won't for another year since they recommend babies stay rear facing for so much longer now. She still fits rear facing so it's no problem yet. At that point we'll most likely have to get another Radian since the Cocorro is so small. Good luck!

Misty Hallmark said...

Thanks for posting. I have a 3 and 1 year old with one on the way. Trying to figure out how to get all three seats in my fit.

Elizabeth L. said...

Congratulations, Misty! You might be in the same boat as LauraAnne, with one rear facing still. (Or not, depending on if your 1 year old goes FF by then.)

Sweet Fairy said...

Congratulations, Thanks for posting.. affordable houston user cars

k said...

I know this is an old post, but thank you so much for sharing this! I only have two and we plan to keep it that way, but for carpooling purposes, I want to get a booster, a car seat and a rear facing infant seat in there. You have given me inspiration to try!

katie_daigh said...

I've been looking everywhere for pictures of 3x in a Fit. We have one FF RXT and are about to get the second to RF. Glad to know there's a 3x option! Thanks!!

Clickinn Pk said...
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Aqeelzam said...

Congratulations, Laura Anne!

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Wife, Mother, Homemaker said...

Thank you for this post! We love our fit! Baby #3 is on it's way and we would love to keep our car! We measured our back seat and it looks like we only have 49 inches. Do the doors hit the seats when you shut the doors?

Elizabeth L. said...

Wife, Mother, Homemaker: I don't believe the doors hit the seats in our car. They are crammed in pretty tightly toward the middle.

Now we need to remove the middle seat to adjust the straps for our growing kid. I imagine it will entail a lot of shoving seats back into place once we've fixed them...

TheCremerFamily said...

Thanks so much for this post! I was referred to it on a mom site. I need to fit 3 in our 2011 Fit…have 2 radians and was wondering if you tried the orbit baby infant seat? I know they are so pricey but I might have access to a used one and know their base is soooo much smaller than most seats…I think it is 14 inches. That might be a way to keep the option for an infant buckle in seat? Let me know if you think this might work! Thanks again!

Elizabeth L. said...

Thanks for your comment! The specs for the Combi are 17 x 14.6 x 28.2 inches, and the Orbit Baby with the base looks somewhat bigger, and the baby/toddler seat seams to take up the same space. I don't know about the infant seat WITHOUT the base, though. Again, I'm just looking at specs, but if you were able to try it and return it if it doesn't work, that seems like a good bet. If it does, please post back!

Betsy and Charlotte said...

I am trying to convince my spouse that we don't have to give up our a Fit. We have a toddler and twins on the way. Our son will be just at the requirements for a booster when the twins come, though he is in the Radian now. Do you think you could fit 2 RF and 1 FF in the Fit?

Thanks!

Elizabeth L. said...

Dear Betsy and Charlotte,
Congratulations on the upcoming twins! When we attempted a rear facing Radian in the middle, it hit the front seats and wouldn't fit. If both adults are short and don't push their seats back, perhaps it fit? My suggestion is borrow two Radians and try them rear-facing, or order them and return them if they don't work. Two combis backwards will work for the first two years. Our (big!) baby is now 17 months and still fits well rear-facing. Post back with your results!

Unknown said...

Oh what a great find! We have a 2007 Fit and love it. We also have a 4 year old, 2 year old, and a baby due in November. Unfortunately the Corroco isn't available in Canada, so we'd be looking at putting 3 Radians in, but only one rear-facing. Probably behind the driver's seat, as I am shorter and do most of the driving anyway. The older two would have to be next to each other and we can only hope they don't get at each other too much. I am really interested to hear of someone actually putting 3 radians in...I really, really hope it works!

Erika Shira said...

Has anyone successfully gotten three Radians front-facing in a Fit yet? Or three anythings front-facing? I'm looking for a way to transport three big kids in a Fit, and trying to avoid boosters in a small car since it's such a pain for one kid to have to pick theirs up while the other buckles in, etc.

Elizabeth L. said...

Let me know if you make it work, Erika, and how. We're still working it with one rear facing, but will have to change within a few months, I'm sure.

mikenbeck said...

Hi there,
We are also in the same boat! We have a 2007 Honda Fit and ended up purchasing two Radians (FF) and and the Graco Snugride 30. I'm expecting in June so I wanted to make certain that we had the correct configuration before the baby arrives. They all fit! And the nice thing is that we can use the base with the snug ride, so if we have to, we can remove the car seat with baby in tow. Granted, it's not going to be the easiest solution, but it can be done. As the baby gets bigger, I may try to move her carseat over to the passenger side as that would make it easier for me to get her out, but I"m not sure how well my other two will be having to sit next to each other :)

Unknown said...

Have you had a chance yet to try 3 radions FF in the fit?

Tanya Rousseau said...

Erika, maybe this is a little late, but you can find seat belt extenders for the kids to be able to buuckle themselves in without having to move the boosters...

Giancarlo Brotto said...
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Giancarlo Brotto said...

Thanks for this post...we r in the same boat...about to finish payments on our 2009 honda civic and have baby#3 at the same time...definition want to avoid van/SUV...
I also found this great site that lists car seats with dimensions....I'll be trying some out and will let u know:
https://sites.google.com/site/carseatmeasurements/ (at the bottom of the site)

justin albert said...
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Semen Rendi said...
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raj patil said...
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Pamela said...

Are your radians installed with latches or seatbelts? Thanks!

Elizabeth L. said...

Pamela - we use the latches (and therefore, never, ever, ever, take them out!)

Elizabeth L. said...

Also, we moved the Cocorro forward facing for our ginormous 2 year old, and it fits/she fits. We're probably looking at another 6 months out of it.

Jennifer Julian said...

Hi, I finally convinced my husband to keep our 2008 Fit - using your site as proof. Can you post an updated pic of your back seat now with all three forward facing? And if you've switched to only booster for eldest - did you find a slim one too? And when you had the baby rear facing in the middle did both front seats need to be pushed forward a lot?

Elizabeth L. said...

Hi Jennifer - I'm afraid I won't be able to post a pic here (because we don't have a decent working camera, and if we did, the pictures would take a year to get from the camera to the computer to the site...I'm really pathetic with that stuff these days!) BUT - it all fits perfectly with all three forward facing, the cocorro in the middle. And no, we didn't have to push the front seats way up to get the radians to fit. I think we've procrastinated long enough with the eldest that she will just skip the booster seat altogether and we'll take the cocorro out soon. Hope that helps!

uyên Nguyễn said...
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uyên Nguyễn said...
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Jenna said...

Thank you for this site! I'm trying to figure out how to put my 2 kids + a future baby in my Fit. I have a 5 year old + 17 month old, so at the time a baby arrived the 17 month old could forward face and I'm wondering if my 5 year old could skip the booster altogether in this car (he would be 6....and he's big). The Fit has such small backseats with low seat back heights. Seems like it could work. How big was your oldest when you skipped the booster in the Fit?

Elizabeth L. said...

Thanks for your comment, Jenna. We finally ditched the Cocorro infant seat, moved the 2 year old into the Radian, and my 9 year old doesn't use anything now. I'm sure we could have done it sooner, but we procrastinate. =) (That, and I've never been certain what the laws are about age/weight.) The trick is where to put the non-carseater. In the middle, she didn't have much shoulder room unless we wriggled the seats farther apart. Now she's on the side, and it seems to work better. Can't believe it's been 3 years since I wrote this post...

Paul and Heidi said...

What about grocery shopping or a stroller? How do those things fit in with the life of three across in a honda fit? I love this, thank you so much for sharing your life!

Danielle Hageman said...

Hi, Thanks for this post. I had twins and would like to put them in the radian but wondering if you can fit two backwards facing and still have leg room. I'm 5'4 and my husband is 6'. Any help would be much appreciated!

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Di-mension Living said...
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Mantox said...

Congrats Laura Anne!Please post an update on your three car seats in a row!
At what weight can my baby sit forward facing? check out my article!