Review by Kay Miller
If you’re trying to decide what to do when your children outnumber the seats in your SUV, Little Passenger Seats can be a lifesaver, adding third- and sometimes fourth-row seating without the need to purchase a new vehicle. “If necessity is the mother of invention, then it’s safe to say that my daughter’s motherhood necessitated this invention,” says Russell Edmundson, co-founder with his wife, Dona of Little Passenger Seats. When Dona wanted to purchase a Landcruiser to accommodate the couple’s six grandchildren, Russell promised to build her an extra seat if she would agree to buy a less expensive Ford Explorer. True to his word, Russell designed and built a 3rd row seat for the Explorer, sparking local interest in the creation. At the urging of a local Ford dealer, the family began researching the market for auxiliary seats for sport utility vehicles and then perfected their product for sale. In 1994, Little Passenger Seats won the Central Valley Inventor’s Association’s People Choice Award and, in 1995, it won the same association’s award for the Business Most Likely to Succeed.
Little Passenger Seats are individually made and manufactured providing custom-designed seats to fit virtually every SUV sold in North America. Each seat is built on a rigid jig-welded steel frame with ½” thick particleboard mounted to the frame forming the platform for the comfortable seat foam. The outer fit and finish of the seat matches the quality framework. In many cases, the seats can be covered with factory upholstery to match individual interiors. The company also offers optional retractable shoulder belts and adjustable headrests, elements not offered by other companies. Headrests are especially important for rear-facing versions of the Little Passenger Seats. During sudden stops or frontal impacts, the headrests prevent dangerous backward head and neck movement. Like the seats themselves, the headrests use built using thick, comfortable foam for head and neck protection.
Each Little Passenger Seat fits into the vehicle’s cargo space and is designed to comfortably accommodate two to three children. Little Passenger Seats include simple and clear installation instructions, with customized vehicle-specific notes and can generally be installed by owners within two to three hours using an electric drill and hand tools. The optional headrests click in and adjust to match the head heights of the children. On some models, the seat can be installed front- or rear-facing and changed from one position to the other as needed.
Of special importance is the company’s commitment to child safety. Little Passenger Seats are tested to meet the safety standards established by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards. The Ford Explorer seat mounting system was specifically evaluated by the California State Automobile Association to ensure adherence to the California Vehicle Code. The evaluation was subsequently reviewed and approved by the CSAA Traffic Safety Department.
With children’s safety in mind, Little Passenger Seats produces a safe and sturdy product that adds valuable, cost-effective, custom seating to most SUVs. All of the seats are 100% satisfaction guaranteed and the company even has a program to buy back used seats. So, before you buy a larger vehicle to accommodate your expanding family, check out Little Passenger Seats at www.littleseats.com. K.M.