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Showing results for tags 'car seats'.
After the initial shock of finding out that we were having twins last year had subsided, and being a typical man, some of the first things I began to think about were the practicalities - and specifically how are we going to get all of our children in the car!? 🤔 Doesn't sound like the most difficult thing right? However, we'd not long since bought ourselves a new family car (a Lexus NX300h) that we thought would be perfect for our two children we were certainly going to have. At this point we already had 1 child and were thinking about child number two. The Lexus was safe, spacious, comfortable, had isofix fittings and a decent size boot - what more could we want from a family car? Well, after the news had sunk in, I started thinking about how massive kids car seats generally are in terms of width, and the fact that the Lexus only has two isofix points in the back (as nobody needs three right?! 🤦♂️). I did some research online, looking into special narrow kids seats (we'd have have had to buy three new ones) but then I also found out that the way the middle seat belt was set up in the Lexus didn't really lend itself too well to child seats. Arghhh what to do.... we hadn't had the car that long and would have taken quite a hit financially for changing it so early - not only that but we actually did really like it too! More research led me to a company called Multimac - I had never heard of them up until this point, but they seemed to be the only company out there that specifically catered for twins and multiples in the world of car seats. If you haven't seen of heard of them, basically they do three and four seat child seats that are effectively one long bench that sits on top of your existing rear bench. It's quite clever as you can turn a two bench seat into a three, a three bench into a four etc. Or you can, like in my case just sit a three on a three but three seats that actually work for three kids. Sounds amazing right? Yep - they're not cheap though - the Super Club model (the widest three seat one) came in at hefty £1499 (more if you want it in genuine leather) plus shipping, and that's before you add on the baby seat attachments that are specific for the Multimac (they're called Minimac) at £269 each and other accessories such as the YLVA headrest (£59) for our eldest. At over £2k in total that's quite an investment, but after thinking about it, I decided it would probably cost me more than that to change the car, plus I'd need to buy additional car seats anyway, and at least with the Multimac I would at least in theory never have to buy another kids seat again. I'd tried looking around at second hand Multimac models on ebay and Facebook, but they always seemed to be either the wrong model, disgustingly dirty, or nearly the price of a new one anyway. We did manage to get a decent deal on a couple of lightly used Minimacs, but we ended up buying the main seat new, You do need to bear in mind that Multimac are pretty unique so they ship their products worldwide, and they are made to order. Thanks to this and the high demand, we were quoted a wait time of around 8-10 weeks, so just bear that in mind if you're thinking of getting one. I checked with Multimac to make sure the Super Club would fit our car, and thankfully we were reassured that it would, although they didn't have that much experience with the Lexus NX at the time. One of their fitting centres had done one, but that was about it. They offer a fitting service for around £100, but our nearest fitting centre was about an hour and a half away, and I have a reasonable knowledge of cars, so I thought I'd have a go myself. Well, about a couple of weeks or so below the shipping estimate, our Multimac arrived, and in a massive heavy box. Wow this thing was heavy - that was probably my initial reaction. If you've ever used child seats you'll know they always leave massive dents in your car seats when you take them out, and judging by the wait of this thing, I was expecting the largest dents you'd ever seen in my pristine Lexus leather. However, as it turns out they're actually better for your seats as they spread the load across the whole rear bench - more on that later. Fitting ended up being quite challenging for me - not once I got to the stage of actually putting the seat in, but because the fitting kit I initially received from Multimac wasn't originally right. The Multimac doesn't use the conventional isofix fittings as they're not strong enough to support it. They attach high strength tether straps to the seat belt mounting points which are then attached to the seat using heavy duty ratchets - pretty clever. However, that's on most cars. Due to the type of rear seat belt buckles that we had on the Lexus, we weren't able to bolt to the mounting points of the seat belts - we had to look for another method. Multimac will fit pretty much every car, and worst case scenario on a select few cars (not that common) is to drill the floor of the vehicle, attach strengthening plates and bolt in there. I wasn't keen on drilling the floor of my vehicle, so I kept trying to find other mounting points. I ended up speak directly to the owner/founder of Multimac who honestly couldn't have been more helpful - he even went to his nearest Lexus dealer to have a look at an NX in the showroom to see if he could suggest alternative mounting points. He was so confident that we'd be able to get it sorted, that he offered to drive down to me and fit it if I couldn't. After a fair few emails/phone calls, plus some poking around myself, I found that under the boot floor I could mount the tether straps to the frame of the rear seat. Multimac then sent me some additional fittings free of charge and I was able to proceed with the fitting. Once you have the tether straps bolted in, it's simply a case of attaching the tether staps to the ractchets on the seats and tightening up as necessary. There are also a couple of legs akin to those you get on conventional isofix bases that help to keep it from moving. I love the look of the Multimac ones it's fitted, and genuinely think it looks much better than separate seats, and even in the cheaper (still not cheap!) faux leather finish that we have, it really matches our car interior nicely. Our eldest loves it, and has found it very comfortable with the YLVA headrest (still going to have to purchase another two of those at £59 each as the twins get older urghhh). The baby seats work well enough, although these would probably be my only real criticism for a few reasons. They're not really easy to get in and out - I mean they're not too bad but it's not as easy as an isofix base. The problem is that you can't really see what you're doing to guide the metal rail into the slot in the back of the seat. I find it particularly difficult in the middle seat. Due to that, we tend to leave the baby seats in most of the time, and just carry the twins to and from their buggy/the house etc. It would also have been nice to have included some seatbelt covers for the baby seats to stop the straps rubbing on babies necks, but we made our own anyway so not really a problem. I'm of course looking forward to them being bigger and being able to be in the main part of the seat, as with all rear facing baby seats, they take up quite s lot of space. It is the safest way for little babies to travel though, so we'll need to wait a bit longer. Overall, I'd definitely recommend Multimac seats to other parents of twins and multiples. Even if you don't have enough children to fill one up now, it may be a good investment for the future. The seats are excellent quality and are a great solution to many child seat issues. We have been using our Multimac for approximately 7 months now (since our twins were born) and aside from the couple of minor complaints about the baby seat, it has been brilliant. The couple of times I've removed it, I have to say I've been really impressed with the lack of damage/indentations to our rear bench. I was a bit sceptical at first, but Multimac were right and despite its immense weight, I've never seen a child seat leave less dents (see photo below!). Needless to say, if anyone has any questions about Multimac seats, let me know as I may be able to help! 🙂