Fitting Carseat into Various Types of Autos

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Where to get help

June 2006

Re: Will 2 Kolcraft car seats fit in the back seat of a Passat?

''Not all car seats fit in all cars. So it would be good thing if you could try out any car seat in your car before you bought it. But perhaps you don't know how to install a car seat yet, or maybe you live in rural Montana and can't drive to a store to try out seats yourself in your own car. That is where the database comes in handy.

Parents and CPS Techs have been sending me information on which seats fit in various cars, and which do not, since Feb., 1999. I've added my own observations. So all cars are not represented, and sometimes one parent gets a great fit but another does not. But it may give you an idea of which seats may be difficult to fit properly into your car, and which may work better.'' N.

May 2005

Theres a growing database on which car seats fit your car... go check here - and while you're at it, add your experience to help the next parents!!
new mom


We are trying to install a Britax carseat bought online into a VW Passat wagon. It needs to be rear facing. We are having trouble... I have seen the previous posts on the carseats but none seem to address the issues we are having. I also called Rockridge kids and they won't help because the seat wasn't purchased through them. I am trying to set up a time with the police department too but we are in a bit of a hurry so any help would be greatly appreciated- I am due on the 10th. If anyone has a VW Passat wagon and a Britax could you please contact me. The carseat doesn't recline as much as needed because of the bucket style of the wagon's seat. HELP! Marion

I found a police offier in El Cerrito that was MORE than willing to help out with the car installation. I brought our new car seat over to him before our baby was born and he spent 1/2 hour installing it, showing us how to use it most safely, etc. He is very kind and will take the time to answer your questions. Apparently, this is one of the things he specializes in at the police department in El Cerrito (carseat safety). His name is Steve Bonini and his number is 510-215-4414 (ext. 5). The department is 10900 San Pablo Ave. @ Manila. Just call to find out when he will be at the station. Good luck. Shira

Installing Rear-facing Britax Roundabout

I've read the website's past recommendations about car seats and still have a few questions. First, can anyone speak to their experiences with the Gerry Pro-tec (model no. 681-683)? This is a seat that was manufactured about 5 years ago. Gerry is now Evenflo. We were given a used one and are not able to find any info other than that it has not been recalled. Second, regarding the Britax Roundabout: This seems to be a hugely popular car seat, but some people have had trouble installing it in the rear position in certain cars. Does anyone have experience using this seat in the Suburu Legacy? In a Saturn coupe? Is it necessary to have a tether anchor installed in either of these cars? One concern of ours is that we will be travelling and will need to use the seat in a rental car. Could this be problematic?
We purchased a Britax Roundabout for our son and although I needed to get help with the install, now that I understand it is very simple (rear facing position). At Rockridge Kids they sell a tether anchor strap (ask for Christian, he's sooo helpful). This strap is attached to the bolted seat anchors of your front seats in your car and the tether strap on the car seat is then anchored to that. It's very simple and can move from car to car very easily. Christian will help you with an install even if you did not purchase the seat there, he's wonderful! The seat is so snug and secure, it doesn't budge an inch and I'm very happy with it. Another concern that I had was my son learning how to undo the buckles as he got older. The Britax system seems to me that it will be able to outsmart a toddler as it's buckles require a little bit of hand strength. Take Care - Rachel
From: David (1/99)

There's a guy at Rockridge Kids (5511 College) who appears to be the world's authority on car seat safety and installation. It's been a while since I spoke to him, but I believe Ann is correct that the Britax is ideally tethered from the rear of the car, which involves drilling a hole in the car, and--as I envision--running a strap over the child's head if s/he is in the rear facing position. This won't make it any easier to get kiddo in and out, I'm sure.

Installing a Carseat in a car without a tether anchor

I believe that all cars since 1978 or so have a pre-drilled hole behind the center back seat for a tether strap. (Your local Toyota dealer may try to deny this but I was assured by some agency that my 1984 Toyota Camry The California distributor can be reached at 1-800-437-5522. I believe it costs just under $100 and comes with an anchor kit that can be attached to the pre-drilled hole. The Y Harness is held on top by the bolt and on the bottom attaches to the lap belt and fits over a child's shoulders. You should probably use it in conjunction with a booster seat (with no back and no shield). This company also makes seat belts for people who must lie in the backseat prone, for school buses, for people in wheelchairs, etc.. Xanthippe
I have the Britax roundabout carseat and am currently using it rear facing.a I did not need to buy any additional anchor's for my car.a There is a thether anchor strap that comes with the car seat (or purchased from Rockridge Kids) that enables you to use the hardware under the front seats as the anchor.a It is quite simple to do.a I am going to turn the seat around to forward facing soon and I did purchase an anchor from our car manufacturer (Ford) to use the thether. When it is forward facing, I'm not sure if the thether is really needed, or just more of an added safety measure, as I would imagine the seatbelt alone should be able to prevent any seat movement.a Good Luck! Rachel
I highly recommend getting the Britax Roundabout car seat versus any other. After discussing car seats at length with the CHP and the NHTSA (?), I believe that Britax has the safest car seats on the market. I would also recommend contacting your local police station about where you can get the tether anchors installed. In addition, you can make an appointment with them to actually install the car seat for you...or you can go to one of the quarterly car seat checks that is open to the community. After having them install the car seat for my daughter, I was amazed at how many mistakes I made installing it, and therefore, would only trust them to do it now or in the future. Having two 250 pound policemen (who are trained to install car seats) put in your car seat is going to make it a lot tighter and safer than you could ever do...I know this from experience. Sherri
My daughter is just about ready for a bigger car seat (she's in the infant carrier kind right now.) I'm looking for feedback about the Britax roundabout or the Alpha Omega by Cosco, specifically with regards to safety, ease of use, installation etc... Also - we have a 1987 Volvo sedan and I've been told in order to use new car seats we will have to have anchors installed so we can use the tethers that come with the new car seats. Any thoughts on where to have this done? how much it will cost? Thanks Gabrieal

Editor Note: Also see the discussion about Installing a carseat in an old Volvo