I’ve found the answer to fitting five car seats in a minivan – the Diono RadianR100 Convertible Car Seat. From everything I can tell, it is the narrowest car seat on the market. I’ve also read that the Radian is the best bet for fitting three car seats across in a regular car (i.e. non-minivan), but I can’t attest to that. At the writing of this post, the list price is $259, but you can find it at several stores for $207.99.
Preparing for five children under 6 years old, we suddenly realized that we couldn’t fit three of our current car seats across in the back seat, which was essential for making everyone fit. Upon this discovery, I purchased the skinny jumpseat for the center row on Craigslist. We have a 2005 Honda Odyssey minivan, but just the 7-seater. After spending an hour trying to get the seat to attach to the floor anchors, I decided to look up instructions online. Nice. At this point I discovered that only the 8-seater has anchors for the jumpseat. If you have the 7-seater, you can’t just add the middle seat. So, if for some reason you need that skinny little seat, I have one you can purchase. 🙂
In the end, I think having 3 in the backseat is going to work better than 3 in the middle row anyway. Since everyone is in car seats, we would have to unbuckle one in the middle row to move the seat enough to allow the kiddos to get to the back.
Moral of the story: You can fit 5 car seats in a minivan, but you may have to spend some money. However, buying three new car seats is still cheaper than buying one new car. 🙂
This post contains an affiliate link, however, I only endorse products that I have both used and loved.