Are you a mum of multiple kids? Do you feel your car is a little too cramped? I am a mum and I know how difficult it can be to cram everything in your car with a giant car seat. That’s why I was on a mission to unearth the best narrow car seat for compact cars to make rides comfortable and my car a little more spacious.
Make your next family vacation a breeze
Travel with your kids now and build amazing memories as a family! Get our book, written by parents just like you, that will guide you all the way.
I scoured dozens of blogs, websites, and stores for portable car seats that will maximize the little space in a narrow car, so you won’t have to go through this stress. These products are investment-worthy, pocket-friendly, and adhere to the highest level of safety on the market. These seats will work for you too.
So, what do you say? Are you ready to check them out? Or do you prefer to shop for a bigger car?
Best narrow car seat for 2023 Review: Key Features, Pros, and Cons
It can be extremely frustrating to fit multiple kids in a narrow car space. But, it is not impossible if you bring the best narrow car seat into the mix. The table below contains my 7 favorites; these car seats are the solution you are looking for.
|Clek||Merino wool||Merino wool||17.5 x 16.9 x 28 inches||Check price|
|Graco||Alloy Steel||65.00 lbs||19.2 x 22.1 x 25.2 inches||Check price|
|Cosco||Fabric||40.00 lbs||17 x 22 x 23.5 inches||Check price|
|Britax||Alloy Steel||65.00 lbs||23 x 18.5 x 23.5 inches||Check price|
|Safety 1st||Foam||35.00 lbs||16.5 x 19 x 31.5 inches||Check price|
|Graco||Polyester||100.00 lbs||21.5 x 19.9 x 25.5 inches||Check price|
|Peg Perego||Jersey,fabric||35.00 lbs||28.9 x 17 x 25.3 inches||Check price|
1. Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat
This narrow car seat is produced by Clek Incorporation. A company that designs ultra-safe and luxurious car seats that meet the strict manufacturing standard of the European and American markets. The company is renowned for its ultimate car seats, a unique safety, comfort, and aesthetics blend.
In its long line of top-quality products, I found the Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat, one of the best narrow car seat in 2023 in terms of size, durability, and comfort. As the company claims, this car seat is constructed like a tank. It is crafted on a solid metal substructure with a REACT Crumple Technology to protect your little cutie when there is an accidental frontal collision. This safety technology is regularly deployed in cars.
Furthermore, the REACT technology is fortified with steel anti-rebound bars, limiting the rotating ability of the chair during an accidental collision, providing all-around protection at all times.
To complement these excellent features, the seat can be installed in forward-facing and rear-facing positions. And has a weight limit of 14-50 lbs for rear-facing mode (RFM) and 22-65 lbs for forward-facing mode (FFM). Thanks to a secure rigid-LATCH installation, this seat can easily be converted to an FFM and has three comfortable recline positions.
2. Graco Extend2Fit Car Seat
Wondering why Graco is a popular brand in the car seat market? If you are not aware of this fact, this particular car seat has over 50,000 reviews on Amazon. But why is Graco the market leader in the car seat industry?
It is because of their unrivaled functional and quality designs over the years. They constantly produce car seats parents love, and I bet you will too.
Without any iota of doubt, the Graco Extend2Fit Car Seat is simply the premium pick of all narrow car seats because of its functional design, compact dimensions, and high adjustability. It allows your child sit comfortably rear-facing while leaving ample leg space in the front for comfort. I have tested this product in narrow and midsize cars; it will probably fit well in your compact vehicle too.
Graco Extend2Fit Seat measures 19.2 x 22.1 x 25.2 inches (LxWxH) and weighs 19.25 lbs. I find the installation easy in both the forward-facing and rear-facing modes. With a max weight limit of 50 lbs for the rear-facing position and 22-65 lbs for the forward-facing position.
What’s more? The car seat comes with an InRight LATCH that allows a super-easy easy, one-second attachment while also very easy to install. It is approved for airplane use and meets all Federal Safety Standards.
3. Cosco Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat
I am always cautious and suspicious when making a car seat buying decision. I found that many parents feel the same. As a result, many cheap seat models are ignored, gathering dust on the shelves. However, the Cosco Fit 65 DX meets all laid down federal standards and is certified safe to use on airplanes.
This narrow seat measures 17 x 22 x 23.5 inches (LWH). Designed to be a perfect size, not too big and not too small, providing ample leg space for parents sitting in the front. It comes in two modes, a rear-facing mode for children up to 40lbs and a forward-facing mode for children up to 60lbs weight.
In addition, this seat comes with plush padding. In combo with other high-quality materials, it provides premium comfort for your child. Furthermore, they meet JPMA and ASTM regulatory requirements. This narrow car seat is high quality and has a good price; I recommend it to anyone looking to buy a car seat on a budget.
4. Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat — Best for travel
This product is a superb and highly comfortable car seat. Its narrow width extends through the entirety of the seat. It is, therefore, an excellent unit for fitting more than one kid in your compact car.
It comes with a simple to secure LATCH system, side-impact protection, and a steel frame designed to ensure your child is safe and sound. The base of the seat is made from quality materials that will absorb impact force from accidental collision.
The Britax Convertible Car Seat is approved for kids weighing between 5 and 35lbs and is less than 33inches tall. It comes with a Center LATCH system that is easy to install with the accompanying tethers.
After attaching to the tether, you will get a solid fit that makes the seat easy to adjust from one point. Ensure the base is balanced before installing the narrow car seat. You can also install it without the latch if needed.
The Britax Marathon ClickTight will work perfectly with a Britax stroller as a travel system. It may also interest you that it is compatible with other stroller brands. For example, Duallie and BOB strollers will work seamlessly with it, although you will need a separate adapter.
5. Safety 1st 360 Infant Car Seat – Best for infants
The Safety 1st 360 Infant Car Seat is designed for kids weighing between 5 and 36lbs. It can be secured with a LATCH system or fastened with a seat belt.
Although narrow, you will find that the deep seat structure is super-comfy and will keep your little cutie cocooned while you drive. In addition, the soft cushion encourages napping and will also absorb impact from accidental collisions.
This product is a two-piece seat system. You can leave the seat base in your car. The upper layer, the basket portion, is lightweight and detaches easily. It is easy to carry and clean. It is also important to note that this seat meets all safety standards; you have nothing to worry about.
The Safety 1st 360 Infant Car Seat comes with a GCell HX race car foam that will protect kids from the impact of an accident. It is a patented safety system commonly found in race cars. This foam is positioned in the upper layer, the basket portion of the narrow car seat.
In the event of an accident, the GCell HX race car foam will absorb and dissipate extra force. This is to ensure that your baby has extra protection, keeping him safe and sound.
6. Graco Slimfit 3 in 1 Car Seat – Best narrow three in one
Here goes Graco again!
With a long line of superb car seats, it’s almost impossible not to come across this brand again. Therefore, I have included another Graco narrow car seat, albeit this time, a three-in-one seater version.
In my search for the best narrow car seat on the market, I found it infrequent to find three-in-one seaters for narrow cars. Most three-seater brands are bulkier and accommodate kids up to 7 years.
When it comes to dimension, the Graco Slimfit measures 21.5 x 19.9 x 25.5 inches (LxWxH) and weighs 19.47 Pounds. It comes in three modes of forward-facing, infant car seat, and belt-positioning booster.
This product will grow with your child. The rear-facing mode is perfect for kids from 5 to 40lbs, the front-facing is good for 22 to 65lbs, and the booster mode is can accomodate kids between 50 to 100lbs.
What’s more? This 3-in-1 seater meets all FMVSS 213 US Safety Standard. In addition to a side impact protection and a five-point harness system to ensure your kid is safe and comfortable at all times. Installment is very easy with a proprietary In-right latch system and comes with four-position reclines.
7. Primo Viaggio 4-35 Car Seat – Best dual cushion system
And finally comes the Primo Viaggio, an overall excellent infant car seat that many parents love and for a good number of reasons. First, the seat width at the widest point measures just 17 inches, and the widest point on the base is just 14.6 inches.
Also, this highly-rated car seat has an excellent weight range, which starts at 4lbs to 35lbs rear-facing mode. While your baby lounges on his chair, you can be at peace knowing he is comfortable and safe. It comes with safety features that include side impact protection, an anti-rebound bar that reduces rotational force during an accidental collision, and excellent crash ratings.
Installing this seat is a piece of cake. It comes with easy-to-operate strap-based LATCH connectors that securely lock the seat in place for stability and protection. You can also secure the chair firmly in place using a built-in lock-off and your car’s seat belt.
This narrow car seat has an EPS energy-absorbing foam, side-impact protection, an anti-rebound bar, and excellent crash ratings for safety. This seat is not stylish, but if functional is your thing, you should check it out.
Best narrow car seat: Buying Guide
Plenty of consideration goes into picking the best narrow car seat. Features like width, arrangement, and size of your car are vital factors to consider. I have identified some important factors to be on the lookout for before making a buying decision. They are as follows:
In general, the car seat width should range between 17 inches and 25 inches. Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat is only 16.9 inches wide. The Primo Viaggio 4-35 Car Seat measures only 17 inches wide. Both are superb products in terms of quality and safety.
Before bringing a car seat home, ascertain if the width will perfectly fit your car. Using a measuring tape, measure the amount of space available in your car. If your car has multiple seats, measure the available space when all the seats are installed. This will inform you if your vehicle can comfortably accommodate two or more car seats.
You need to figure out the seat arrangement before settling for any product. If you intend to fit three seats across like the Graco Slimfit 3 in 1 Car Seat, search the crack of your car seats to uncover where the latch is positioned. Or if any of the seats do not have a latch.
Check your existing seats and ascertain whether the baby seat handle extends to the side. If any comes with a cup holder sticking out and taking up space. Determine if this will affect the placement of the car seat in terms of comfortability and safety.
Are you a multi-car family or have kids who are likely to stain their car seats often? Then you should consider going for a product that is easy to remove, clean, and reinstall. In addition, a lightweight car seat is perfect for families constantly on the road or who use more than one car regularly. Coming at just 12.79 lbs, Cosco Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat is lightweight and suitable for a family always on the move.
If you want to invest in a car seat that will last throughout your little cutie milestones, consider going for products having this characteristic. A narrow car seat can accommodate babies as they become toddlers, then big kids. It helps you not to make repeated car seat purchases. The Graco Convertible Car Seat is a forward-facing seat that you can convert into a backless booster for big kids.
Another important consideration when considering the best narrow car seat is your budget. Dirt cheap items may not be in your best financial interest, as they might be of questionable quality. Read customer reviews to discover what users are saying about the quality. You do not want to replace your car seat every year because of the poor quality. Instead, go for excellent products; they will last you a long while.
As we record more technological advancement in all spheres of life, so are car seats evolving. As such, the best narrow car seat today comes with advanced features like LATCH systems, one-click installments, no-rethread harness, reinforced materials, etc. Consider seats having features that will make your baby super-comfortable and your life easy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What seat has the smallest width?
Measuring just 16.9 inches, the Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat is the narrowest product on our list. You can use it for rear-facing mode and at different stages of life till when your toddler becomes a big kid.
Q: Can I install a car seat in the center of the seat?
The safest place for a car seat in your car is the back seat, far away from airbags. Have only one car seat to install? Install it in the middle of the seat, where there is a secure and firm fit. According to a study published in Pediatrics, placing your baby’s car seat in the center will minimize injury risk during a crash.
Q: How long should my baby sit in a fixed position on the car seat?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your baby should not lie in a fixed position or sit in a fixed position for longer than 2 hours at a stretch. This is because staying in a fixed position for long can affect the developing motor system, such as the neck, back, and arm muscles.
The product above will help you manage scarce space and leave you satisfied. They are designed to fit seamlessly in a narrow car. Some of the best narrow car seat are even constructed in a way that will accommodate three seats across. As such, there is plenty of lounging space for your kids.
The models on this list are both forward-facing and rear-facing. They are constructed from high-quality materials, FAA-approved, comfortable, safe, have adjustable features, and are investment-worthy. You won’t regret bringing one home.