Tag Archives: 3across

3 Across Installations: Which Car Seats Fit a Mini Cooper Countryman?

If you’ve always wanted a Mini Cooper, but also wanted to start or keep a family, you probably ended up settling for something besides a Cooper (perhaps a sedan, a minivan, or an SUV) while always wishing you could make the Cooper work. Fortunately, a few years ago, Mini, under BMW’s blessing, came up with the Mini Countryman, a crossover that, practically speaking, made owning a Mini and having a family a practical affair. And as a bonus, it also has an impressive safety record, and is one of the safest small cars you can buy for yourself or your loved ones.

Since then, a number of similar family-minded toy cars have hit the market, including the Fiat 500L as an American-sized version of the Fiat 500. There are also loads of more conventional choices, including the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra, Kia Forte, Chevrolet Cruze, Mazda 3, Toyota Prius, Prius C, Volkswagen Golf, Subaru Impreza, and  Crosstrek. But today we’ll ignore all of them and look at the Mini Cooper Countryman with the goal, as always, of figuring out which infant, convertible, combination, and booster seats can be stuffed into it successfully, and if any of them can work in 3 across configurations.

Before going into which seats work, though, I always like giving a brief overview of which kinds of seats are best to use and when. The essence of car safety is to use particular seats for as long as possible, as each switch into the next type of seat results in a decrease in safety. Start with rear-facing; that’s the core of car seat safety. Ideally do it until your kids are 4-5, or even longer if you can. Once you’ve reached at least 4, you can switch to a harnessed seat and keep using it until your kids are at least 6-7. However, if you’ve got particularly mature kids, you can start using high-back boosters from 4-5 onward, and continue using them until your kids pass the 5-step test, which typically occurs between 10 and 12. Following these steps will help keep your kids in the right seats and increase their safety wherever you go, no matter what you’re driving.

With this in mind, here’s what I’ve found for the seats that work best in 3 across combinations in the Countryman. Feel free to shop through my Amazon link below for any purchases. You can access the complete 3 across guide for every vehicle here and the complete list of recommended seats here. The Canadian car seat guide is here. 3 across car seat images are courtesy of Wikipedia.

2017-2018 Mini Cooper Countryman (F60)

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Clek Oobr (x3).

Peg Perego Flex 120 (x3).

Maxi-Cosi RodiFix (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Chicco KeyFit 30Clek Fllo, Chicco KeyFit 30.

Tips and Tricks:

The second generation Countryman is just under 170 inches long and a slightly more generous 71.7 inches wide, which means that you’re going to have a slightly easier (but not that much easier) time making 3 across setups work in this generation than you would in the prior. However, as before, it’s definitely possible, keeping in mind that you’re absolutely going to need to use your seat belts and not even think about LATCH. Fortunately, as I’ve noted in a number of 3 across guides, seat belts are just as safe as LATCH while taking up far less space.

2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Mini Cooper Countryman (R60)

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Chicco KeyFit 30Clek Fllo, Chicco KeyFit 30.

Tips and Tricks:

The 1st generation Countryman is 161 inches long and a scant 70.4 inches wide, which means that you’re going to struggle to get anything but the narrowest seats in the back if you want 3 across setups. However, it’s definitely possible, keeping in mind that you’re absolutely going to need to use your seat belts and not even think about LATCH. Fortunately, as I’ve noted in a number of 3 across guides, seat belts are just as safe as LATCH while taking up far less space.

If you find my information on best practices in car and car seat safety helpful, you can do your shopping through this Amazon link. Canadians can  shop here for Canadian purchases. Have a question or want to discuss best practices? Join us in the forums!

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3 Across Installations: Fitting Car Seats in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class

If you’re buying a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, you’re looking for something beyond an ordinary driving experience. Fortunately, when you buy an S-Class, whether new or used, you’re also buying one of the safest cars on the road at the time of manufacture. A larger version of the E-Class and the flagship of Mercedes-Benz, the S-Class has few rivals; two German examples include the BMW 7-Series and the Audi A8. Volvo doesn’t have a direct equivalent; their closest is the Volvo S90.

Regardless of why you bought the S-Class, it makes a fine family car if you value a good amount of room for passengers and a good amount of safety on the road. Today we’ll take a look at how it does fitting 3 car seats across the back row. Before we do, though, here’s a quick primer on best practices in car seat safety.

First of all, everything starts with rear-facing when it comes to car seat safety. Whether you’re 8 hours old or 80 years young, you’re best off rear-facing. Practically speaking, if you can keep your little ones rear-facing until at least 4, the way the Swedes do, you’re on the right track. At that point, if you wish, you can switch to forward-facing. To be honest, you can keep rear-facing too, but if you forward-face, know that you can also switch directly from rear-facing into boostering if your children are ready. From then on, you’ll want to keep your kids in high-back boosters until they’re ready to use adult seat belts; this typically won’t happen until they’re at least 10 to 12. It’s not a race; keep kids in earlier stages if possible for as long as possible.

The guide below represents only a fraction of available combinations for the S-Class; if you find other combinations that work, feel free to let me know through the forums; I’ll add more seats as I get the chance to test them.

You can access the complete 3 across guide for every vehicle here and the complete list of recommended seats here. The Canadian car seat guide is here. 3 across car seat images are courtesy of Wikipedia or the NHTSA.

2014-2018 Mercedes E-Class (W222, C217, A217)

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Clek Oobr (x3).

Maxi-Cosi RodiFix (x3).

Peg Perego Flex 120 (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

Graco Size4Me 65 (x3).

Graco Contender (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Clek Fllo,Graco Size4Me 65, Graco Size4Me 65.

Clek Fllo, Graco Size4Me 65, Diono Radian / RXT.

Tips and Tricks:

The W222 Mercedes-Benz S-Class generation is 201 inches long in the short wheelbase and 206 inches long in the long wheelbase version; both are just under 75 inches wide. In other words, you’re going to be able to fit most car seats inside without much trouble as long as you’re willing to use seat belts instead of LATCH for the wider ones. Remember that there’s no safety difference between seat belts and LATCH, but seat belts are much more efficient in helping you squeeze out every available inch of space in your back seats. The center seat is the narrowest and is where you’ll want to install the narrowest seat.

2006-2013 Mercedes E-Class (W221)

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Clek Oobr (x3).

Maxi-Cosi RodiFix (x3).

Peg Perego Flex 120 (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

Graco Size4Me 65 (x3).

Graco Contender (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Clek Fllo,Graco Size4Me 65, Graco Size4Me 65.

Clek Fllo, Graco Size4Me 65, Diono Radian / RXT.

Tips and Tricks:

The 5th generation S-Class is 206.5 inches long and just under 74 inches wide; as with the 6th generation, you’ll have a lot of flexibility when it comes to car seat installations, even if you won’t have quite as much width to work with. However, since width is more important than length when it comes to car seat installations (at least in 3 across setups), you’ll want to pay close attention to using seat belts instead of LATCH when dealing with wider car seats. Seat belts are just as safe as LATCH but make much more efficient use of seating room, which allows you to fit wider seats together than you otherwise would with LATCH.

If you find my information on best practices in car and car seat safety helpful, you can do your shopping through this Amazon link. Canadians can  shop here for Canadian purchases. Have a question or want to discuss best practices? Join us in the forums!

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