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Best strollers for travel?

 

UPPAbaby g-luxe travel stroller

 

Car seat alternatives for travel?

Baby B'Air flight safety vest for air travel with lap-held infants and toddlers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Products & Gear >>> Best Travel Car Seats >>>

 

Best Convertible

      Car Seats for Travel

 

These car seats can be used both rear- and forward-facing to accommodate traveling infants through traveling toddlers, and are listed in order of total weight from the lightest up to 20.5 lbs. For children 1 year + facing forward, be sure to also see Best Forward-Facing Seats and Boosters for Travel.

Cosco Scenera

Why Shelly recommends it:

Best "extra car seat" for travel, Grandma's car, or back up. With an entry price of around $50, a weight of only 10 lbs, an airplane-friendly seat width of 17.5", and extra features like a 2-position recline and removable cup holder, it's hard to go wrong traveling with a car seat like the Scenera. Not to mention, the 4 harness height slots and 3 buckle locations give a better fit for your growing child than most other convertible car seats that are rated up to 40 lbs. While some parents complain their children outgrow the strap settings for height long before reaching the 43" height max the manufacturer boasts, I've found that the shoulder strap settings go higher on the Scenera than they do on most other convertible car seats, aside from those by Britax. At least the price point of the Scenera makes it easier to swallow the transition to a larger car seat and/or booster when the time comes (or see below for heavier convertible seats for travel that will go up to 80 lbs). I also like that the Scenera has a rear-facing weight limit of 35 lbs--which comes in handy when you want to prevent your child from kicking the seat in front of him. I only wish they made a deluxe version with at least EPS foam and perhaps memory foam like the cushier models (if this interests you, see the Titan Elite below). Be aware that what you see is what you get--beneath the seat cover is nothing but hard plastic. Rear-facing from 5 to 35 lbs, forward-facing 22 to 40 lbs. 17.5" W without cup holder x 17"D x 26 1/2"H. 10 lbs.

Find it online at:    Amazon.com  

Graco Comfortsport car seat in WestcliffGraco ComfortSport

Why Shelly recommends it:

The ComfortSport weighs in at a mere 11.5 lbs, and at 17" W it fits into airplane seats with ease. But the ComfortSport is more than a friendly flier; the deulxe models like the Metropolitan include a GracoPedic memory foam upgrade, with support pillows, and removable snack and cup tray to make a cushy ride for small kids even on lengthy road trips (rivaling pricier Britax seats). I also like that the greater seat depth even acts as as a leg rest for babies, and also provides more comfort for longer-legged older passengers. However, the deeper seat means that it may take up more space reclined in the rear-facing position than models with a shallower seat, so you might reconsider if you have a very small car (forward-facing this shouldn't be such an issue). What I don't like about the ComfortSport is the minimal harness height adjustment slots-- a little ironic since they bothered to offer two positions for the lower buckle. With taller-than-average children, you will likely top-out early on height just because of the low shoulder straps. Other inclusions: EPS energy-absorbing foam liner, easy to use LATCH attachments, and 2-position crotch strap for the most secure fit. Rear-facing from birth to 30 lbs, forward-facing 20 to 40 lbs. 17"W without cup holder x 21.5" x 27"H. Weighs 11.5 lbs. Read my detailed review of the ComfortSport.

Find it online at:  Amazon.com  

Evenflo Titan Elite

Why Shelly recommends it:

I am so excited about this new car seat. (And I've seen a lot of car seats.) The Titan Elite is an all-around great car seat for travel as well as for home use, and gives you perks you may pay $50 to $100 more for in other seats, particularly because it can be used for children up to 50 lbs. and 47" tall. While the Titan Elite isn't as lightweight as the Scenera or Comfortsport above, this seat gives you a similarly narrow footprint with all the extras that make it the car seat you love to use everyday (not just as a backup or for travel). Like the Scenera, it has tall harness strap slots that accommodate a taller child  than most other convertible seats (including the Comfortsport above), and claims to fit a child up to 47" tall. Height aside, the Titan is built for children up to 50 lbs. -- all without sacrificing the comforts that make long rides in the airplane and lengthy road trips more tolerable for your back seat passenger. Safety moms, know that the Titan is also side-impact tested and has passed tests for structural integrity at energy levels approximately two times the federal crash test standard. It also features an EPS energy-absorbing foam liner and deep side wings for added protection. The Titan is amply plush and padded with soft fabrics and memory foam, plus dual snack/cup/organizer trays that clip on for highway miles and unclip for air travel. LATCH-equipped, and FAA-certified for use in aircraft. Rear-facing from 5 to 35 lbs, forward-facing up to 50 lbs. 17.5" W without cup or snack holder. Weighs 14.5 lbs.

Find it online at: Amazon.com    Diapers.com    Target.com  

Sit N Stroll rolling car seat and stroller in one, as recommended by Travels with BabySit 'n Stroll Car Seat + Stroller in one

Why Shelly recommends it:

Check your stroller with your suitcases and roll this car seat to your gate instead. On your cruise, enjoy the space-savings of this stroller, car seat, and dining booster in one, and the convenience of it when taking taxis in port. With its flat bottom, it can also serve as a dining booster when needed (and the cover is washable). When you're ready to roll, pop out the retractable wheels and lift the foam-grip handle--it will even roll down the aisle of most large(st) airplanes. On  737s and smaller planes, take advantage of the built-in carrying handles to carry your child already in buckled into her seat if you like. Just ask for a seatbelt extension from the flight attendant as you board, then buckle the belt right around the car seat, instead of fishing it through a path in the back or bottom like other convertible car seats. This "ease of belting" also makes it a breeze getting in and out of taxis and shuttle vans. What's more, the sun canopy can be very helpful in the car as well as on the sidewalk. Note: While it offers obvious advantages as a stroller, you may prefer to use a travel stroller for extended sightseeing, especially where there may be lots of curbs to negotiate (you are advised to back it up and down curbs, though we've gotten away with it ourselves). On the other hand, you may also find this helpful at home when running errands with your child--just keep her buckled and snoozing in her seat as you go. Stroller handle adjusts from 33" to 37".  LATCH-equipped, and FAA-certified for use in aircraft. Sometimes sold with canopy included, sometimes as an extra. An organization bag is also available. Rear-facing from 5 to 30 lbs, forward-facing up to 40 lbs. Weighs 16.5 lbs. While the handle measures close to 18" W across the top, the footprint is 16" W to fit in virtually all airplane seats (with seatbelt extension). For more details and to see pictures of the Sit N Stroll in action, read the Travels with Baby feature review of  the Sit N Stroll.

Find it online at:  Amazon.com    Diapers.com    MyStrollers.com    Right Start   

Britax Roundabout 50 Convertible Car Seat

Why Shelly recommends it:

The Britax Roundabout is streamlined for travel, with no bulky armrests to compete with those on the airplane, yet with the safety features that make this the seat you want every day and on every road trip. Features side impact protection, versa tether, and premium lower LATCH connectors, plus a tangle-free five-point harness.  It's also very easy to install in the forward-facing mode (from 1 year and older) and remove using seatbelts, and includes its own seatbelt lock-offs for extra stability without the need for additional locking clips. It is also LATCH-equipped. It measures 26.9"H x 18.7"W x 24.4"D. Rear facing from 5 to 35 lbs, forward-facing up to 50 lbs. Weighs 15.5 lbs.

Find it online at:  Amazon.com  Target.com

Britax Marathon Convertible Car Seat

Why Shelly recommends it:

COMFORT. While you may curse a blue streak carrying it through the airport (see Car Seat Carriers & Travel Bags for help), and it is not always the best fit for coach seats, the Marathon is hard to beat for comfort in the car, and if you have many lengthy road trips in your future, the higher price of this car seat may be worth it. In addition to extra padding, plush fabrics, and a 2-position recline (great for snoozing): it offers the widest width for any harnessed child up to 65 lbs., and may be used longer than may forward-facing car seats--up to 65 lbs. (see following car seats, too). It's also very easy to install and remove using traditional lap and shoulder seatbelts, and includes its own seatbelt lock-offs for extra stability without the need for additional locking clips. It is also LATCH-equipped. It measures 19.5"W x 25"D x 28"H. Rear-facing from 5 to 35 lbs, forward-facing up to 65 lbs. Weighs 17 lbs.

Find it online at:  Amazon.com 

Radian 65 Folding Car SeatRadian 65 Folding Car Seat

Why Shelly recommends it:

It folds to 6 1/2 inches thick and is narrow enough to sit triplets across the back seat of most cars, making it a dream for use in airplanes and small European rental cars. When overnighting on the train, just fold it and slip it under your sleeping berth. And safety? How about a full, steel alloy frame for strength and four panels of EPS foam for impact--including side impact? It also features a tether for use when rear-facing (as do the Britax seats below) and exceeds U.S. safety standards. Other perks include 3" more shoulder room than most other seats, with a higher upper-end weight limit than many convertibles (same as the Britax Marathon below). But be aware, for all its travel-friendly features, it's far from lightweight. FAA-approved for use in aircraft. Measures 28" x 17 x 16" open, folds to 28" x 17" x 6.5". A car seat carrying case with shoulder strap is also available. Rear-facing from 5 to 33 lbs, forward-facing to 65 lbs. Weighs 20 lbs.

Find it online at:    Amazon.com   Right Start   

Radian 80 folding car seatRadian 80 Folding Car Seat

Why Shelly recommends it:

Safety, size, and storage. Like the Radian 65 above, the 80 is also narrow enough to fit three across the back seat of most cars--an impossibility with other car seats that meet this higher weight limit (compare with the bulky Britax Regent), and at 17" wide you can also use it in airplanes with confidence. When you check in for your cruise, you can simply fold it and store it away in your closet. Its safety features also exceed U.S. standards with a full, steel alloy frame for strength and four panels of EPS foam for impact (including side impact). And it also features a tether for use when rear-facing for enhanced safety and stability. Again, it is not the lightest-weight car seat for travel, but you may feel the safety, size, and convenient storage features "outweigh" this one drawback. FAA-approved for use in aircraft. Measures 28.5" x 17 x 16" open, folds to 28.5" x 17" x 7". A car seat carrying case with shoulder strap is also available.Rear-facing from 5 to 33 lbs, forward-facing to 80 lbs. Weighs 20.5 lbs.

Find it online at:   Amazon.com    Right Start 

 

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Need car seat travel tips and advice?

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Checking car seats vs. checking car seats at the gate

 

Ask Shelly: Which car seat compatible stroller for travel to Paris with a baby?

 

Costa Rica's car seat laws stricter than in the U.S. - more details

 

Important tips for using child safety seats (car seats) and boosters during travel in Australia

More car seat travel questions & road trip tips >>>

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Car seat alternatives for travel

Car Seat Accessories  

Car Seat Travel Bags & Carriers   

Best Infant Car Seats for Travel

Best Convertible Car Seats for Travel

Best Forward-Facing Car Seats & Boosters for Travel

Review of the Safety 1st Go Hybrid

Review of the Sit N Stroll combo car seat

Review of the RideSafer Travel Vest

Review of the CARES flight safety harness

Review of FlyeBaby air travel hammock

Stroller travel tips and advice:

Best reclining stroller for round-the-world trip with baby?

 

Best stroller for travel to Europe with a toddler

 

Ask Shelly: Which twin stroller is best for travel to Europe?

 

Follow-up to "Which twin stroller best for travel to Europe?"

 

Ask Shelly: Which car seat compatible stroller for travel to Paris with a baby?

 

Tips for taking the New York City subway with a stroller

 

Tips for taking the Paris Metro with a stroller

 

Tips for taking Paris buses with a stroller

 

How to take a London taxi cab with your stroller (and your child still in it)

More baby gear travel questions & tips >>>

 

 

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