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Traveling with a baby isn’t easy, especially on an airplane. To be clear, traveling with little ones, in general, has its many obstacles and drawbacks, like finding the right, and easy-to-install car seat for travel or travel booster.
But as a parent, it’s sometimes unavoidable, and in the event of family vacations or trips away from home, you want to be able to include your kids. Even if it sometimes means bringing an extra travel bag just to ensure your toddler’s comfort and traveling safety. That’s why it’s best to invest in one of the best travel car seats with the right safety features.
Whether you’re planning to travel by air on an airplane or by car, you’re going to want a versatile and lightweight car seat or booster seat to see your baby through on the trip.
Even if you’re just taking a day trip away from home, a solid car seat meant for travel can make a world of difference to that growing baby of yours. These might not be the only travel car seats out there that are acceptable for your infant, but when it’s all said and done, these are some of the best travel car seats to ensure a child’s safety.
1. Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat
The Cosco Scenera car seat is for travel, and you install it in virtually any kind of car simple and easy. It is also fully equipped so you can take it on an airplane for your little one to ride in comfort next to you.
Because it’s lightweight and compact, it’s relatively easy to carry the car seat with you in the actual airport or car seat travel bag, and when it comes time to take your seat on your flight, the car seat can be used in your child’s seat. Plus, the seat pad is machine washable.
Using a travel booster can help give them a comfortable and familiar seat during a time when a plane ride might be a little scary for them. It also has two built-in cup holders for your child’s convenience and a five-point safety harness. Plus, you can adjust the harness straps to six different heights as your child grows and gains weight.
Child Age Range: As a rear-facing car seat, it’s for babies 5-40 pounds, and in the forward-facing position, it can be used for babies 22-50 pounds.
Where To Buy: You can find this convertible seat on Amazon or in-store, at Target.
The Best Part: You can use this travel booster in most airlines’ planes in an actual plane seat for your little one.
The Not So Great: Some parents might not be comfortable with the fact that the car seat doesn’t recline when in the rear-facing position.
Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent, or current recalls for this car seat.
2. Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat
You wouldn’t know by looking at it, but the Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat is just 13 pounds on its own. That makes it easy to travel with no matter where you’re going and how much weight you are carrying and can be used as a rear or forward-facing car seat.
You won’t be able to use the car seat as a carrier as some infant car seats provide, but you will get plenty of use out of it while traveling.
The Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat has built-in airflow vents to keep your child or toddler nice and cool while sitting in this toddler car seat for long periods of time during family trips and when your little one isn’t in it, you can tuck the buckles into the buckle pockets to keep them out of the sun.
There are also removable cup holders that can stretch to fit most bottles and sippy cups in the infant car seat. And for your child’s safety, the car seat has its side impact, and rollover tested to ensure its durability in crashes.
Child Age Range: As a rear-facing car seat, it can be used for babies 5-40 pounds and 22-50 pounds as forward-facing.
Where To Buy: You can purchase it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in-store, at Buy Buy Baby and Walmart.
The Best Part: It’s so lightweight that carrying it or taking it almost anywhere with you is a breeze.
The Not So Great: It can be difficult to adjust and install the car seat in different styles and sizes of cars.
Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent, or current recalls on this particular Evenflo car seat.
3. Chicco NextFit IX Convertible Car Seat
One of the things that make the Chicco NextFit IX Convertible Car Seat so good for travel and car safety is the fact that it can easily be installed in so many different kinds of cars. So if you’re out of town or traveling, chances are, you’ll be able to use the car seat in any rented car or cab you need to take.
But more than that, the Chicco NextFit IX has a nine-position headrest and a no-rethread harness to continue to keep your child safe and comfortable as they grow. It also has energy-absorbing foam and a steel-reinforced frame for added safety. Plus, it has a leveling system to get the right angle and fit whether the car seat is installed forward-facing or rear-facing.
Child Age Range: You can use it for babies from 5-40 pounds in rear-facing mode and 22-65 pounds in forward-facing.
Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in-store, at Buy Buy Baby.
The Best Part: It has a comfortable and easy-to-adjust recline feature.
The Not So Great: It may be a little out of price range for some families.
Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent, or current recalls on this car seat.
4. Safety 1st Guide 65 Car Seat
The Safety 1st Guide 65 Car Seat is another lightweight car seat at just 14 pounds, which makes it easy to travel with pretty much anywhere. You can use it daily in both rear and forward-facing positions, and it’s compact and lightweight enough to carry through the airport if needed. It’s slim enough that you can potentially fit three across the back seat of your car if needed.
Furthermore, if you’re on vacation or away from home, you can fit it in the back seat of other cars and still be able to sit with your little one.
It’s also a car seat that can be used on an actual plane so your baby or toddler can have a comfortable and familiar place to sit instead of the passenger seat itself. It also has a five-point harness that can be adjusted from the front and a multi-position headrest to accommodate your growing child.
Child Age Range: It’s suitable for babies in the rear-facing position at 5-40 pounds and forward-facing at 22-65 pounds.
Where To Buy: You can purchase it on Amazon or in-store, at Walmart.
The Best Part: It’s easy to install and fit the car seat in the back of most cars with ease.
The Not So Great: Once installed, the car seat does feel a bit top heavy and almost unsteady in that regard.
Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent, or current recalls on the Safety 1st Guide 65.
The guide 65 is a perfect fit for smaller cars and helps protect your child longer in both rear and forward facing positions.
5. Combi Coccoro Car Seat
At 15.6 pounds, the Combi Coccoro Car Seat is another lightweight travel car seat that can be used on airplanes and in various different kinds of cars.
So whether you need to take it on long car rides in your own family car or travel with it in taxis or rented cars, the Combi Coccoro is suitable for travel as much as any other car seat. It can be installed in rear or forward-facing, and when rear-facing, it can be tethered to added safety and security.
Unlike some other convertible car seats, this one can only be used until your child reaches 40 pounds, but you can still get plenty of use out of it. And the lightweight fabric can be removed for easy cleaning as needed. You can also fit up to three across the back seat of most cars, meaning that if you’re traveling with more than one baby, they can all continue to enjoy the car seat while away from home.
Child Age Range: It can be used in forward-facing for babies from 3-33 pounds and 20-40 in forward-facing.
Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website, on Amazon, or in-store, at Buy Buy Baby.
The Best Part: The angle of this seat, in particular, is perfect for newborns, especially those who are on the smaller side.
The Not So Great: Over time, the Styrofoam inside the bottom of the seat can start to break off.
Has This Item Been Recalled?: In 2016, there was a recall on the Combi Coccoro Car Seat.
6. Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus Car Seat
The Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus Car Seat is a lightweight infant car seat that’s easy to travel with, especially compared to convertible travel car seats. Thanks to its handle, you can easily carry it through airports and then use it on the actual airplane.
Since it also has an anti-rotation stability leg on the bottom to keep it from shifting, it might be even easier to use on airplanes than other travel car seats. The handle itself is soft and contoured to make carrying the car seat easy enough, and for added safety for your little one, the Maxi-Cosi Car Seat has Air Protect side impact protection.
Child Age Range: The car seat is designed for babies from 4-30 pounds in the rear-facing position only.
Where To Buy: You can purchase it on Amazon or in-store, at Buy Buy Baby.
The Best Part: It has an anti-rotation stability leg to keep it steady in the event of a crash.
The Not So Great: Unlike other travel car seats, this one isn’t a convertible and is instead intended for infants only.
Has This Item Been Recalled?: There was a 2008 recall on the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus Car Seat due to the harness straps and the potential to gradually become loose.
You might need a car seat for your infant, toddler, or somewhere in between, and for any of those situations, there’s a reliable travel car seat for you and your family. If you’re going to travel with your baby, then you’re going to need to be able to take their car seat with you.
Nothing says stressful family vacations like needing to purchase a whole new car seat when you get off the plane because yours was too heavy or bulky to take along with you. And if you’re traveling by family car,m you need the right kind of comfortable and breathable car seat to keep your child comfortable for long periods of time.
And there are both convertible and infant car seats for your travel needs. If it’s easier and makes more sense to choose a convertible car seat right off the bat, then there’s a travel car seat for that. Or, if you’d prefer to use a car seat just or infants for your little one, you can still travel with ease thanks to the options there. Traveling with babies isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it can be made a lot easier if you have the right car seat.