Finally Revealed the Best Narrow Car Seat
“Weee, we went on a spin ride”… little did he know that they just survived something horrible…
Accidents happen with even little ones on board.
This is why so important to get the best protection possible. Now you’re looking for the best narrow car seat. Luckily there are quite a few brands that are safe and narrow at the same time.
I know how hard it is to find the perfect narrow car seat.
As good parents, we don’t want to compromise on safety. On the other hand, the market is filled with all kinds of car seats.
This is why I’ve created the best narrow car seat article. By reading it to the end, you will save a lot of time and find your perfect narrow car seat.
Let’s face if you want protection; then, you have to sacrifice on size. This used to be the old concept. With the help of new tech, it’s becoming easier to make slim car seats.
The easiest way to find what you’re looking for is to check out the categories. I’ve picked the very best slim car seat and then I’ve looked at each development stage. You might need a narrow infant car seat well I have found one for you. Or maybe you want a narrow convertible car seat. There are options for that as well. And finally, I cover the best narrow harness booster car seat.
Stick with me for a bit, and you will find out more about the accident above. Plus, you will know which car seat was involved and how it performed.
Let’s get his best article started.
#1 Diono Radian 3RXT Convertible Car Seat – Best Narrow Car Seat
It was their regular daily commute. The father was driving, and the little boy was quiet in the back.
Then it happened. Another driver ran the red light. The collision was unavoidable. Theirs got hit ferociously from the side. It was on the same side where the little boy was sitting.
The crash was loud. The front of their van was absolutely destroyed. The father got off with a few bruises. Meanwhile, the little boy had no scratch on him.
This is why Diono Radian 3RXT Convertible Car Seat won the Best Narrow Car Seat award. It caters to babies and upwards. The Radian has a narrow profile, and the width is just 17”. You will be able to do 3 across with ease. It is actually the highest rated car seat for 3 across.
There’s no question if this car seat is safe. You have the answer in the real crash above.
Besides being narrow and safe, it looks cool. There is a large number of color combinations to choose from.
As a parent, if you want to do rear-facing as long as possible, Radian Convertible Car Seat will do that for you up to 45 pounds.
It’s a strong and sturdy car seat. Did you know it’s foldable? You can take it with you on a plane because it’s FAA approved.
Finally, a car seat where the baby isn’t slouching or sliding down
It’s lightweight and easy to move around
It’s soft and padded plus it comes with side impact protection
The gray fabric is not that stain friendly
You can’t remove the fabric; the only solution is spot cleaning.
Runner Up: Graco Milestone Convertible Car Seat
The Graco Milestone Convertible Car Seat is one of the best narrow car seats you can get, but it missed the title.
This incident happened with some friends of ours. They were on a long road trip. Their 3-year-old son was asleep in the back. When all of a sudden, a deer jumped in front of the SUV.
There was nothing to do for the deer. The SUV hit it dead on. The front of the car got destroyed. The airbags exploded. The father had sufficient control to gently stop in the ditch.
They were lucky because it could’ve been a lot worse. If the father would’ve decided to avoid the deer, then they might’ve rolled over. These crashes are the deadliest.
Nobody got hurt. The little boy was safe and sound in the Graco Milestone Convertible Car Seat.
The main reason that this car seat missed the title was that it’s a bit wider. The Radian is a half an inch shorter. Other than that, the upper limit is set to 100 pounds while the Radian goes up to 120 pounds.
Also, if you want to do extended rear-facing, then you can do it until 40 pounds.
This car seat caters to parents who are on a budget and don’t mind sacrificing a few things. This would be the reason why it didn’t win.
Other than that, the Milestone is a great car seat to have. It looks good and has good cushion all around. The darker color combination is perfect for hiding stains. The Graco Milestone is a good one to have, and it’s worthy of second place.
Easy to get baby in and out and it’s easy to move between cars
Great dark colors so dirt isn’t visible
It’s so safe it has probably designed by a mom
There’s no good harness holder you will waste time strapping in
If you have large hands, it will be difficult to loosen the straps
#2 UPPAbaby Mesa Infant Car Seat – Best Narrow Infant Car Seat
When you have squeeze in an infant carrier in the back, you don’t have too many options. The UPPAbaby Mesa Infant Car Seat won the Best Narrow Infant Car Seat award. Besides being narrow (just 17 inches wide) it has many great things.
First of all, it’s one of the few car seats that don’t have any nasty chemicals or toxic flame retardants added to the fabric. This is an ideal infant carrier for those who have sensitive skin babies.
Maybe looks are important for you. What’s great about UPPABaby is that they are not one of those same old, same old car seat look-alikes. They stand out from the crowd.
When you have to absolutely positively have to fit 3 across then, the Mesa is there for you. You have to hand it to them. They have thought of everything. Now you don’t have to worry anymore if the car seat is tight enough. There are indicators that let you know. If it’s red, you still have to tighten it.
The fabric is so soft and comfortable. Little ones fall asleep with ease.
The main reason why the Mesa Infant Car Seat won the award is that it’s narrow, it’s safe and easy to install, and it’s perfect if you want to avoid toxic chemicals.
It’s the safest car seat, and it’s top rated
It’s the perfect carrier for running errands
Leveling indicator that helps you get the perfect install
It’s a pricey infant car seat
A few parents reported that their baby gets hot in it
Runner up: Clek Liing Infant Car Seat
The Clek Liing Infant Car Seat is one of the best narrow convertible car seats to get. Now it has missed the title. Even though it’s a fraction of an inch slimmer, it lost the top position.
The main reason why it lost was because of the price. Now the Mesa isn’t a cheap car seat to have. And the Liing is even pricier than the UPPAbaby.
Some parents argue that the high price comes from the material they use. Just like Mesa, the Liing is all-natural. They don’t use any toxic chemicals or dangerous flame retardants.
With the Liing, you’re getting extra protection. The Liing Infant Car Seat has a load leg, which reduces the impact of energy by 40%. Parents who want the absolute best protection here it is.
The installation is quite easy. The carrier can be installed both with or without the base. This is good if you have multiple cars. Plus, you can install with the seat belt or with the latch system.
As you have seen, both infant carriers are quite similar. They use nontoxic covers, and they are super safe. The only reason why the Clek Liing Infant Car Seat got the second place is that it seems overpriced, maybe for you, it’s worth it.
It’s one of the safest infant carriers you can buy
The fabric is chemical-free so ideal for sensitive skin babies
The load leg is a lifesaver it reduces the rebound energy by 40%
It’s the most expensive infant carrier that you can buy
The infant cushion has rubber safety labels that get hot and sticky
#3 Clek Foonf – Best Narrow Convertible Car Seat
This incident happened with some friends of ours. They were on a regular trip. Everything was the same, and their little girl was sitting quietly in the back in the Clek car seat.
All of a sudden, there was a loud crash, and the windshield exploded into tiny shards. The airbags exploded, protecting the parents. When they stopped, they checked on themselves. Their little one was scared, but she was fine. The parents had a few cuts from the glass.
Only then they’ve noticed that a wheel smashed through their windshield. This projectile was from another car.
The Clek Foonf won the Best Narrow Convertible Car Seat award. Besides being narrow (just 16.9” wide), it’s safe as well. As you have seen in the crash above the car seat did its job with the rapid deceleration. The Foonf looks like a cushioned tank. It’s hard to believe that it has a narrow profile, but it does.
The bonuses keep on coming. With the Foonf, you will be able to keep your child in the rear-facing mode up to 50 pounds (4 years old). This is the safest position for kids to ride in.
The design is quite misleading. It looks like a tank, but it’s one of the slimmest car seats you can buy. I’ve left the best for last. If you didn’t know, Clek is different from all the other car seats. They don’t use any harmful chemicals or toxic flame retardants. This is good news for families where sensitive skin is an issue.
These are the reason why it has won the award. It’s narrow, built like a tank, comfortable and sensitive skin-friendly.
It’s built like and tank,s and it’s elevated so kids can lookout
This car seat will allow you to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible
It has installation videos which will help you secure your car seat
The seat cover can’t be removed, so spot cleaning is the only option
Leveling is done through leveling lines which is difficult to get it right
Runner Up: Diono Rainier 2AX Convertible Car Seats
It was their usual commute for my friends. Her son was riding in the back strapped into the Diono Rainier. When they crossed an intersection, the unthinkable happened.
Another car T-boned theirs. The impact was devastating. First came the loud crash. Then the metal shrieked as it bent out of shape. The windows shattered.
There was so much force during the crash that their car did a 180. When everything quieted down, the little one in the back said: “we went on a spin ride, can we do it again?”
The innocence of kids it’s so touching.
The Diono Rainier 2AX is one of the best Narrow Convertible Car Seats you can buy. This car seat came in second. It’s a fraction of an inch wider, and it’s not because of that it didn’t win.
With the Rainier, you’re getting a convertible car seat that will serve your child until they reach 120 pounds. As you have seen from the story above, the Rainier is a safe car seat. The little boy didn’t even realize that they were in an accident. He thought that it was only a game and he wanted to do it again.
If you value extended rear-facing, then here’s some good news. You will be able to keep your kiddo facing the rear until 50 pounds.
It’s a tall car seat so that you will need a big car. If you need a car seat that is tall, check out the best convertible car seat for tall babies.
On the other hand, it’s narrow, and you will be able to do 3 across.
The main reason why Clek won was the chemical-free cover.
It’s the most protective car seat from all the Diono car seats
It supports extended rear-facing, and it has a lot of legroom for long-legged kids
The car seat gives you a lot of mileage from 5 to 120 pounds
In rear-facing mode, it takes up a lot of room in smaller cars
It’s tricky to install if you haven’t watched the videos
#4 Chicco Myfit Zip Air Booster Seat – Best Narrow Harness Booster Car Seat
Quick! Get him to the hospital… He’s not breathing!
Nobody wants to drive under those conditions. And yet it has happened with some acquaintances of ours. You see, they have a little boy who has breathing problems. If his air pathway gets the slightest block, he ends up in the ER.
This is a big problem with car seats. They don’t provide sufficient head support. Normally it’s not an issue. But if you have a child with breathing problems, you will frequently end up in the hospital. The family found the Chicco MyFit Booster Seat, and they can’t be happier. They are driving safely because they don’t check the rearview mirror every minute.
Besides the extra comfort and no flopping head, the Chicco Myfit Zip Air Narrow Booster Seat won the Best Narrow Harness Booster Car Seat award.
This is a big kid chair. It’s going to be the last car seat that you will ever have to buy. Among other things, it has a narrow profile. 3 across is easy to do. Maybe you want to sit and adult in the middle? They will be perfectly comfortable between two seats like these.
Chicco has recently updated their installs. Wow, it’s so simple you have to pull on two straps, and the seat is tight. No hard work required.
The Chicco MyFit Narrow Booster seat is a cool seat to have. When kids see it, they will fell in love with it instantly. It’s sturdy and safe plus it will be the last one you have to buy. It is just 17 inches wide, so that’s why it won the award.
It’s a heavy-duty car seat that won’t move no matter what
Your child will sleep easily without the dreaded head slump
It’s well-cushioned, and it won’t overheat
It has a narrow profile so thinner kids will be the most comfortable
Padding behind the belt not removable for washing
Related: Safest car seat for 3 year old
Runner up: Clek Oobr High Back Booster
The Clek Oobr High Back Booster is one the Best Narrow Harness Booster Car Seats you can buy. It came second on my list. The fact is that it’s a bit wider than the MyFit. The difference is 1.25”. It does not look like a big deal, but when you have to fit 3 across or leave a bit a room for an adult, it matters. Every inch counts.
Other than this, it’s a cool car seat to have. It’s a real head-turner. What’s behind the looks?
Well, it’s one of the safest booster seats around. The frame is made out of though magnesium metal. The cover doesn’t contain any poisonous or toxic chemicals. And let me tell you about the install. It’s brain dead simple.
It has a rigid latch system that can be installed in a matter of seconds. The simplicity is out of this world.
There are two reasons why it didn’t get the top spot. First of all, the only cleaning option is spot cleaning. You have to buy all the stuff from them. I get that this car seat caters to older kids. But what happens with a child suffering from motion sickness? It’s not so fun to clean up after him with spot cleaning.
Since the material is so exotic, the price is high as well. Other than that, it’s a good car seat, and it will serve your kids until 100 pounds. The Oobr High Back Booster deserves the award.
It’s the best looking and safest car seat on the market
Right side click then left side click, and it’s installed
Superior fabric without any trace of toxic chemicals
It’s a pricey car seat to buy
In certain cars, it might cover the belt buckle.
There’s so much information that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. No wonder that it takes weeks, if not months, to settle on a car seat. This is why I’m giving you this buyer’s guide as a bonus. I want to help you make decisions faster.
Since I’m reviewing so many car seats, I had to develop a system for it. Now here is mine. If you like, you can copy it and put it to good use.
But before we get to that, let me share with you two hot tips.
The first one is about the car seat position. Before you jump in and install it, make sure you have chosen the right position. As you know, the middle of the car is the safest for the child. Now for many, this is not possible. So let me share with you the second safest spot. This is located behind the driver.
My second tip is about the install. According to a recent study, 75% of car seats are not installed correctly. If the mounting is wrong, then it won’t be able to provide the best protection possible. So make sure you study the manual or check out install videos. Now, if you want to be absolutely sure, then reach out to a licensed professional.
So here’s my quick and dirty buyer’s guide.
This is the most important item on my list. Without safety, we have nothing. Now here’s the good news. All car seats on the market are safe. Here’s the bad news that safety is not equal. Some brands barely pass government standards. And some go above and beyond the bare minimum.
The car seats which I’ve chosen above are in the latter category. I would be doing you a disservice if I would recommend a cheap seat just for a quick buck.
Many of the car seats mentioned above are highly rated on Consumer Reports. For example, the Clek Liing comes with a load leg, which is rare amongst car seats. But it absorbs 40% of impact energy.
This is the second item on my list. It’s not a good idea to save money on safety. But if you want to save money, this is the best place for it. The Formula is simple; the more you use the car seat, the more you save.
This is why all in one solution is so popular nowadays. You buy just one car seat, and that will serve for the years to come. Even though they are more expensive, you are making a huge saving in the next 10 years or so.
Another important thing to look at is if it offers extended rear-facing. Some car seats can be used until the fourth birthday in rear-facing mode. This provides the most protection possible.
Car seats are notorious when it comes to installation. You won’t believe the things I’ve heard. From using two adults to get it tight to spraining a muscle, I’ve seen them all.
Besides being narrow, I’ve gravitated towards those car seats that are the easiest to install. Now every brand has its proprietary install. The good news is that all of them are quite easy to install.
This is the last feature that I check. We’re talking about kids, so accidents and messes will be common. The one who has to clean up is you, dear parent. I know this because I have my fair share of cleaning up to do.
From the car seats above, Clek is the only one that only offers spot cleaning. Which is ECO, but I have my doubts it’s good enough. Nothing beats a good old fashioned washing machine.
This would be my buyer’s guide. If you like, it put to good use.
As you have seen, there are quite many car seats to choose from. By going with a narrow profile, you will have extra space. You might want to do 3 across, which is perfect with either of these seats.
Or maybe you want to give a bit more comfort to the adult sitting in the back. No matter which you pick from above, it will serve you well.
We have reached the end of the best narrow car seat article. I hope you have learned a lot from the post. By now you should know which car seat is the best fit for you. Now it’s your turn to take action. Get your seat soon because the stocks are running low.
If you have tips or ideas, please share them below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What car seats can you fit 3 across?
There are many car seats you can fit 3 across. Here’s a short list: Diono Radian 3RXT, Graco Milestone convertible car seat, UPPAbaby Mesa booster seat, Clek Liing infant car seat, Clek Foonf and Diono Rainier 2AX booster seat.
Can I fit three car seats in the back of my car?
Yes, you can fit three car seats in the back of the car. All you have to do is look for slim or narrow profile car seats.
Who makes the best narrow car seats?
The best narrow car seats are made by Clek. Simply they make the best narrow car seats on the market. When it comes to narrow seats Clek is the best choice.
What is the weight range for the narrowest car seat and narrowest booster seat?
For the infant seat the weight range is 4 pounds (occasionally 5 pounds) up to 30 pounds (occasionally 35 pounds). For convertible car seats the weight range is 4 pounds all the way up to 65 pounds. The typical weight limit for convertible car seats is 65 pounds. The weight limit for belt-positioning booster seats it’s 90 pounds and for narrowest booster seats it’s 120 pounds. 10 pounds. The graco snugride has a weight limit set to 35 pounds. Other typcal infant car seats are limited to in rear-facing position 30 pounds. As for convertible car seats in rear-facing position they are limited to 40 pounds. Some go above by 5 pounds or 10 pounds. You can find the actual weight ranges on the specs sheet.
Is the infant insert necessary with infant car seats?
Since infant car seats cater to newborn it’s a good idea to use the infant insert until 11 pounds. The infant insert should be included in the package. Keep in mind that the infant seat is the easiest to install. There’s a selection above with the narrowest infant car seats for small cars.
Can you fit three across booster seats?
Yes you can fit three across (seats across) booster seats. With a backless booster seat also allows to do three car seats across.
Which narrow car seats didn’t make it on the list?
What kind of safety features can you expect from a narrow high back booster and backless booster?
Choosing any of the brands above you will be in safe hands when you’re ready to buy a new car seat. When it comes to safety features you can expect side-impact protection, energy absorption, two car seat in one. The eps foam (energy-absorbing foam) is a must. As you know the eps foam (energy-absorbing foam) absorbs impact energy. Many of the car seats have functional side wings which means they are not for show because the side wings offer good protection for the head if the headrest heights is right. These car seats have passed the government safety standards. They can be installed on the back seats or the center seat. We’re talking about child safety so steel frame is a must. As you know the steel frame will keep your child protected no matter what. If the side walls are reinforced that’s an extra plus. I’ve only picked car seats that have high safety standards. This is why they had to include eps foam (energy-absorbing foam), side impact protection, fit 3, three across. If we’re talking about infant car seats then travel system is a must as well.
What additional features should you check out with a backless booster vehicle seat?
You got to have cup holders. Typically there are two cup holders. The only vehicle seat that doesn’t have cup holders are the infant seats. Some only have one cup holder. Other great features would be easy to clean, travel system, forward-facing position high back booster. Also features shoulder belt, side impact protection, rear facing, booster mode, side impact protection. The seat offers extra space as the child grows.
How do you install a narrow car seat?
You can use the vehicle seat belt or the latch system. Booster seats can only be installed with the seat belt. The belt routing system comes handy if you’re using the vehicle seat belt. As you know above 75 inches tall or 65 pounds you can’t use the latch system you have to rely on the vehicle seat belt restraint. In the list you can find a few belt-positioning booster seat options as well. Typically the seat belt installation is harder than the latch system. After a while you can only use the seat belt install. As for the latch system the install is quite simple. You have to use the push-button latch connectors and attach them to the anchor latch attachments. This is how you use the latch connection system. By far the latch system is the easiest to use. For rear facing you can use bot the seat belt and the latch system.
What other infant car seats and convertible car seats didn’t make the best narrow car seats list?
These booster car seats and convertible seats didn’t make the cut: chicco keyfit infant car seat, diono radian backless booster seat, cybex aton 2 infant car seat, baby trend flex loc included infant insert, peg perego infant car seat. These are the best replacement car seats on the market. These car seats didn’t make it on the best narrow car seats. The peg Perego is a narrow infant car seat that allows three across and air travel at the same time. Not to mention the washable cover and functional travel system. The car seats on the list are all easy to clean no matter the mess. This car seat is one of the best narrow infant car seats you can go with. These car seats are designed for small cars. Fit 3 car seats across is easy even in small cars. The peg perego car seat is one of the best choices but they constantly out of stock. The peg perego is rear facing mode only.
Which is the best convertible car seat?
The best convertible car seat is the clek foonf convertible car seat. It can be considered as a narrow infant car seat as well. It has side impact protection and it’s easy to install. Since it’s a convertible you can install it both rear facing and forward facing. The forward facing mode is for older kids. Easy to clean is one of its virtues. It’s one of the narrowest car seats across you can go with. It has a washable cover for ease of use.
Which are the best narrow car seats?
The best narrow car seats are: diono radian 3rxt and the Graco milestone narrow booster car seat. Many of these car seats are 17 inches wide at its base. If you’re looking for a narrow seat that fits children of any age you should check out the all-in-one car seats. They can be used in multiple car configurations. If side-impact protection is important then all these have it. For the best comfort, they all have cup holders.
Where can you find the widest point on the best convertible car seat?
If you’re looking for a narrow convertible car seat the widest point is either 17 inches or 18 inches. Fits children 75 inches tall. These seats all have high safety standards. You can gain extra space by removing the harness holders at the handlebar levers of the child car seat. Before you buy you need to check the size range and weight restrictions so it fits children the best even in multiple car installation systems. If you need extra space for a narrow seat you can remove the cup holder.
Are there any best narrow booster car seats or backless booster car seats?
Don’t worry I have you covered. There are both of them on the list if you’re interested in forward facing narrowest car seat. One important thing to know is that side-impact protection is not available for booster seats. The side-impact protection is up to harness mode or high back booster mode.
What other features should you look at when checking out a narrow car seat?
Here’s a quick list to check: recline system, harness straps, harness heights, car seat base, seat pad, recline positions, car seat option, shoulder strap adjuster. The more cup holders the better. Kids will be happy if there are at least two cup holders.
What are your thoughts on diono radian 3r infant seats?
All in all the diono radian 3r infant seats are great. They have beaten bucket seats for small cars. Besides being an infant seat it’s a slim car seat while providing more than enough leg room for small cars. It’s a one of the most popular infant car seats that it can be used as forward facing seats and rear facing car seat. It’s not just an infant seat because it can be used as a high back booster seat both in the back seat and front seat. While most vehicles can handle two convertible seats (two car seats) from diono radian 3r other need secure fit for it. A good rival can be found at maxi cosi. Maxi cosi is known for making high back boosters for bigger kids. The common car seat options for 3 across means that the middle seat has the smallest narrow car while the other seats can be narrow car seats of course I’m talking about the back seat. For most vehicles you can find the car’s manual and the owner’s manual for easy reference. Certain narrow infant car seats have stroller compatibility.
What’s the downside of going with narrow convertible car seats?
If you’re picking the narrowest convertible car seat (narrowest convertible car seats) then the leg room might be an issue. The other seats on the side might take the middle ones entire seat space. The best car seat for most vehicles save space so multiple kids can sit in the same row taking into count the weight range and the child’s age. If you have infant seats with load legs use them they are a real life saver. Center position is the most crammed one so to accommodate kids in the back seats maximum width for more leg room this is where bucket seats get a bonus. The most efficient way to save space is by putting a rear facing seat in the middle according to the weight limits.
Are these narrow car seats safe?
Yes these narrow car seats are safe. No matter if it’s a high back booster seat on the back seat in forward facing mode or rear facing convertible car seat the all come with great safety features and passed the federal safety standards tests and are proven child safe with high safety ratings. While bigger kids tend to gravitate towards high back boosters multiple kids can choose forward facing car seat. The forward facing seats can be secured with vehicle’s seat belt installation (vehicle’s seat belts). As for safety you can expect eps energy absorbing foam around the child’s head rest, gentle recline (adjustable recline), more leg room, machine washable cover, shoulder belt guide, cup holders tucked away, rigid latch installation, removable arm rests, visual indicator forsecure installation. These were just a few safety features for this vehicle seat for a compact car. Crash forces are easily diverted if the weight range is right and it’s securely attached. By far the seat belt installation is the easiest for the booster seat and other car seats even on the back seat in forward facing mode. As the child grows it tehy move to big kid booster seat. What’s special about narrow car seats is that they allow three seats across in most vehicles and some have the folds flat child safe design while keeping the highest safety ratings. Additional features include forward facing car other models, adjustable headrests, removable, arm rests, multiple reclining positions, machine washalbe fabrics, latch installation, lap belt, higher weight limits, forward facing adjustable harness for a compact car. These would be the additional features to choose seats (front seats) keeping seating positions through lap belt and seat belts. These vehicle seats can be fitted like 3 across in most vehicles. For the front seat it includes extra leg room.
Last Updated on October 25, 2023 by Brian Beasley