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Old 13-02-2010   #1
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Rear facing car seat fitting

Enclosed are pictures of a rear facing group 1/2 child car seat fitted to a Panda (Britax Multi-Tech) with seat belt (no ISOFIX fittings).

The obvious hit is on the position of the front passenger seat which is far forward (seat horizontal position and vertical backrest) in order to accommodate the child seat and the necessary clearance between the child seat and the front passenger seat. Not a problem if you rarely need to use the front passenger seat.

The Britax Multi-Tech car fitting list cites the Panda as a compatible car.

The fit is okay. It's a good non ISOFIX seat which comes with tether straps (two thether points underneath the front passenger seat on the slide rail). It also comes with a support leg which works with the tether point staps to minimise vertical and horizontal movement beyond an inevitable "play".

The position of the Panda rear belt buckle is quite far forward and fairly high so in terms of acceptable tension the fitting of child seats in general may not, surprisingly, be as easy as with most modern cars.

Front seat fitting would be another option and in terms of space would probably be the only option for a Fiat 500.

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Old 13-02-2010   #2
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Re: Rear facing car seat fitting

Is it not better placed in the front seat with the airbag switched off?
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Old 13-02-2010   #3
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Re: Rear facing car seat fitting

Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
Is it not better placed in the front seat with the airbag switched off?
Probably.

The only problem there would be distraction of the driver.

Some people don't like the idea of front seat child seats.

But yes front seat is a better idea in terms of space.
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Old 13-02-2010   #4
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Re: Rear facing car seat fitting

Quote Originally Posted by Retty View Post
The only problem there would be distraction of the driver.
Well I suppose thats down to each individual and what they let, and how things distract them.

Does the instruction thingy say its ok in the back?
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Old 14-02-2010   #5
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Re: Rear facing car seat fitting

I'll agree that there is little space for a rear facing car seat. I have a choice of two (depending on whether I'm out with one or two kids) both Jane - Rebel and Matrix.

I sometimes find that fitting these seats can a bit of a nuisance sometimes in that the seat belts in the back seem to me to be a few inches on the short side. I prefer to put the kids in the back rather than the front. I did have my 2 year old in the front beside me for a while, as I was able then to put the newborn one in lying flat in the Matrix, but they're both in the back now that the wee one is almost 8 months old and I now put him in facing backwards. I found that my big boy was getting a little too interested in the buttons he could reach on the dash and he was eying up the gearstick as something else he could poke at so I thought it best to move him back...

I prefer to keep wee ones facing backwards as long as I can as I believe this is the safer way for them. The Jane seats are suitable up to 13kgs so the little one will be rear facing for plenty of time yet.
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Old 18-02-2010   #6
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Talking Re: Rear facing car seat fitting

Quote Originally Posted by Wee Smurf View Post
I'll agree that there is little space for a rear facing car seat. I have a choice of two (depending on whether I'm out with one or two kids) both Jane - Rebel and Matrix.

I sometimes find that fitting these seats can a bit of a nuisance sometimes in that the seat belts in the back seem to me to be a few inches on the short side. I prefer to put the kids in the back rather than the front. I did have my 2 year old in the front beside me for a while, as I was able then to put the newborn one in lying flat in the Matrix, but they're both in the back now that the wee one is almost 8 months old and I now put him in facing backwards. I found that my big boy was getting a little too interested in the buttons he could reach on the dash and he was eying up the gearstick as something else he could poke at so I thought it best to move him back...

I prefer to keep wee ones facing backwards as long as I can as I believe this is the safer way for them. The Jane seats are suitable up to 13kgs so the little one will be rear facing for plenty of time yet.
Hmm, belts should not be short in the Panda - that's one criticism I can't make of the car.

If the belts are short that suggests that you *may* not be fitting the seat correctly.

The Britax Multi-tech is a good non Isofix seat and I would recommend it.

You do however need to give the seat regular attention in terms of tension (it will sink down in to the foam and the tether points as well as the seat belt tension will need regular tightening).

If you have two babies in the back and one in a 13Kg+ seat then your front seat will be out of action.

You might as well be driving a Smart!
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Old 19-02-2010   #7
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Re: Rear facing car seat fitting

I'd say my problem with length of seatbelt relates to my sliding rear seat. The rear facing seat(s) fits fine with the seat fully back. This is fine for the days I only need the single buggy, but I need more boot space for the double buggy so I need to move the seat forward. This is where I struggle to fit the seat in. Where possible I now use the single buggy with buggyboard attached if I think I can get away with it. My big boy is only coming up on 2 and a half so double buggy is often the easy option.

My rear facing seats are quite big in comparison to many others as they are suitable up to 13kg. It's a good job that I'm not tall. Lol. Legroom in front would otherwise be an issue.
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