Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Multimac: the 4 child car seat solution
Yes, that is an array of four child safety seats in the back of a car. And yes, like most things awesome, it’s not available in the North America… yet.
Multimac is a 3- or 4-seat child safety solution by Automotive Macliver Ltd, based in the UK. It fits most any car that has a bank of 3 adult seats. The seats are available in 3 widths to make this accommodation possible.
The Multimac is a single unit that mounts on top of your existing seats, secured by two tether straps that bolt onto the adult seat belt fixtures. Two adjustable legs rest on the car floor. Once fitted, the seat platform is removable within about a minute or two.
The front page of the company’s website has a drop-down menu for checking your vehicle’s compatibility (or read this 800K PDF).
The seats are rated for birth to 12-years-of-age with the belt height being adjustable. Rear-facing ‘Minimac’ seats are available, listed as appropriate up to age 3 (28.6 lbs).
There are two kickers to this product though. One, it cannot be sold in the US or Canada yet, but I’m told the company “will shortly be arranging testing and approval.”
Two, the four-seats retail for £1299. That’s $2126 based on today’s craptastic currency exchange rate. But hey, if you have several kids, it’s a lot cheaper than buying a minivan.
The company has its own rationale for a family of four buying between 2.7 and 10.8 individual seats over the life of their children, so, hey, Multimac isn’t so bad in comparison.
An unknown factor is the build quality. The company touts the seats as having airline-quality construction, stating “It will probably outlast your car!” I wonder what the expiration date will be on the seats when sold in the US. Most manufacturers place a 6-year limit on seat safety.
And does the whole thing work out so that average 12-year-olds really do fit in the seats without incident (belt fits, headrest at the proper height, etc.)? So far, the seat fanatics over at car-seat.org have little in the way of criticism beyond the price and wondering — what happens when your oldest child outgrows the seat?