Author Topic: 3 Kids/Carseats in an Outback?  (Read 495 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 50
3 Kids/Carseats in an Outback?
« on: November 16, 2018, 08:52:52 AM »
We have a 1.5 y/o and a 4 y/o both in Diono Radian Carseats.  My wife loves her 2015 Subaru Outback and doesn't want to get a minivan.  I of course don't want to get a new car. Looks like we have a new baby coming soon. I know you can technically fit three carseats across in the Outback, but I'm just wondering what it is like in actual practice?  Does anyone have experience fitting three kids in the back of an Outback and/or sedan?  Is this realistic from a practical standpoint, or are we both just being wishful thinkers?

So far everyone we know who had three kids caved into the minivan.  Are we only delaying the inevitable?  Thanks.


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 538
  • Location: Midwest
Re: 3 Kids/Carseats in an Outback?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2018, 01:09:26 PM »
I had nieces visit for a weekend while their sister was born and we had to add 2 additional car seats to our 2006 Prius for the weekend.  My daughter was 1 at the time and nieces were 2 and 5, I think.  We had a Diono for each of our cars and then another not as slim but still not very big "grandma" car seat that we used.  My daughter was still rear facing but my nieces had already been turned so we did a rear facing on the driver side and the 2 Diono seats forward facing in the middle and behind the passenger seat.  The 5 year old was able to pretty much buckle herself so she was in the middle.  Besides the "X is touching/looking at me!" the fit was fine.  If we would have tried to use the Diono as just a high back booster for the 5 year old it might have made it more difficult to buckle but we just adjusted the straps and had her use the 5 point harness. 

So my opinion is that, especially with Diono seats, everyone should be able to fit pretty good until the oldest one outgrows the 5 point harness.  If you keep your 1.5 year old rear facing after you add the 3rd car seat that might make it interesting for whoever is in the middle but not impossible.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7357
  • Location: United States
Re: 3 Kids/Carseats in an Outback?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2018, 01:53:34 PM »
Good tips:

Outback specific:

I found my car I couldn't put a Diono Radian in at infant recline angle. You can't use the angle adjuster until 1 year of age.  A friend has 3 rear facing Diono's in a Prius, but all are old enough for the angle adjuster, which helps the front seats have space.

Put the oldest kid in the middle, so they can climb to get there. Certainly, it's not idea- but like most infant/toddler things, it doesn't last long.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 01:56:57 PM by I'm a red panda »


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: 3 Kids/Carseats in an Outback?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2018, 12:15:23 PM »
We bought a 2017 Outback in fall 2017 when our daughter was RF in her Diono Radian R120 (in the middle with the angle adjuster). We now have an infant bucket seat (with base) installed in the middle for our three month-old son, and our daughter is now FF behind the passenger seat. There is plenty of room in the seat behind the driver for another passenger; this is where the dog sits when she's with us.

If we were to have another child (NOT the plan) we could definitely fit all three kids in the Outback, as long as the older two were in narrow seats like Dionos or Cleks. My preference is a bucket seat for little babies, as opposed to a convertible seat right from birth. YMMV.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: 3 Kids/Carseats in an Outback?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2018, 11:17:24 PM »
We fit three across in our 2008 Honda Fit, which is considered a sub-compact car and I can only imagine is smaller than your Subaru.

We have two Dionos (for 2.5 y.o. and 5 y.o.) and one Chicco Keyfit 35 (for infant). All car seats were found lightly used and deeply discounted on Craigslist. For a while we actually had our 2.5 y.o. in the middle with her Diono rear-facing and the Chicco near the window. This was good because it's safer to be rear facing (and required in some countries until kids are 4), and it was easier to take the Chicco in and out. However, we switched it so that the Chicco is in the middle. We don't often drive, so taking the Chicco in and out isn't that big of a deal as it is infrequent, but it is safer to have the baby in the middle of the car. This setup also keeps the older kids separated (avoids fighting), and they can both take care of their baby sister (which they love to do). Finally, it makes it easier for the older kids to get in and out on their own and they each have 'their side' of the car.

Hope this helps!