Multimac four seat child car seat review
By Anna Studman
Which? puts Multimac through its paces – see if this seat for three or four children protects adequately in a crash, and how easy it is to use.
What is the Multimac?
The Multimac is a multiple child car seat designed to fit into most medium-sized vehicles. It can come as a three or four-seater, and the manufacturer claims it can carry any combination of children from birth up to 12-years old.
Many so-called 'family' cars struggle to fit more than two child car seats. Even if a car technically has enough rear seat space for three children, parents can encounter big problems squeezing in their child seats. We discovered this first-hand when we assessed how well three seats would fit into 15 popular family cars - find out more with our guide to child car seat fitting problems explored.
Multimac also has a group 1 Minimac seat (below) that offers rear facing until the age of 3. We recommend that parents keep children travelling rear facing for as long as possible.
How much does the Multimac cost?
The Multimac costs between £1,500 and £2,000, depending on the combination of extras you need to suit your children’s ages and heights. So it’s pricey compared with the cost of an equivalent number of individual seats. But it could be an attractive proposition when compared with the cost of buying and running a whole new, larger vehicle.
Multimac test results
We put the Multimac through multiple side-impact and front-crash simulations with different crash-test models for different ages.
We also tested how easy the Multimac is to use. As it's more complicated and involved than just putting in a single car seat, we looked at preparing your vehicle, installing the seat once the vehicle has been prepared and the seat geometry.
How we tested the Multimac
The model we tested was the 1260 four-seater Multimac. Our tests were conducted in 2010; since then, Multimac has released newer versions of its car seats, but our results give a general indication of safety and ease of use.
We tested the Multimac slightly differently from our conventional car seats: our experts selected a number of worst-case crash scenarios in terms of the combinations of sizes and positions of children in order to provide an indication of the protection you can expect from the seat.
For the front-crash test, our experts fitted dummies representing a 3-year-old, a 6-year-old and a 10-year-old, plus an18-month-old fitted into the Minimac (Multimac’s Group 0+ adapter seat). We then carried out our 40mph front-crash simulation.
For the side crash, we ran four test crashes, each with one child in the outermost seat position:
• 18-month-old in a Minimac (shell-type baby seat)
• 3-year-old with optional headrest and side-impact protection
• 6-year-old with optional headrest and side-impact protection
• 3-year-old without headrest and side-impact protection
We simulated an 18mph crash for each one.
Ease of use
For ease of use we considered how straightforward it is to install the seat in a car, following the maker’s instructions, and we looked at the operations required to install each of the optional extras required for different sizes of child.
In addition, we considered how easy it is to strap children into the seat and the possible implications of strapping in different combinations of size and age together.