It is no secret that we love traveling with our toddler! From city breaks, beach breaks, national parks and a round the world trip we have loved every experience we have had with her but there can be so many questions especially regarding traveling with car seats! In this guide we round up what we consider to be the best toddler car seat for travel, their pros, their cons, and everything else you need to know about traveling with toddler car seats!
The Best Toddler Car Seats for Travel & Everything you Need to Know About Traveling with your Toddler Car Seat!
Things you need to know about traveling with toddler car seats
We always recommend traveling with your own car seat rather than hiring one when you get there! I know it can seem a hassle to lug a heavy car seat around with you especially those bulky toddler ones, but I always believe that you are better with the ones that you know, rather than a hired one which you do not know the care history.
You have two options when traveling with car seats either to gate check them or use them as your toddler seat on the plane
What you need to check your toddler car seat!
If you decide to gate check your car seat then you will need to pack it in a car seat bag for protection! We recommend this car seat protection bag!
What you need to know about using your travel toddler car seat on a plane
Using your travel toddler car seat on a plane has many advantages. Firstly, in the event of extreme turbulence, having your toddler strapped into a car seat is of course going to be the safest place. It also means that you aren’t worrying about the car seat getting damaged while in the hold of the plane.
If you want to travel with your car seat on the plane for your toddler, then you will need to make sure it is FAA approved ! In our listing below we will highlight whether the car seat is FAA approved.
If you are going to take the car seat onboard with you, we recommend getting some wheels to make it easier to move through the airport. These are the ones we recommend as they are universal which means if you decide to change car seats you do not have to buy a new wheel system to attach to it!
The only downside to traveling on the plane with the car seat with you is that, on a crowded plane you have no where to store your car seat and your toddler will be forced to sit in it for the whole journey.
If you want to check your car seat but are still worried about a restraint while flying with your toddler you might want to consider purchasing the CARES Harness.
The CARES harness works on children 22 – 44lbs so perfect for toddlers. This is the first and only harness style child restraint that has been approved by the FAA. I personally haven’t used it but it is definitely something I would consider for future flights! It can be used on children aged over one, but from the reviews I’ve read online, works better when the children are slightly bigger. The whole system weighs less than 1lb and can be carried in a 6 inch sack. The harness can be fitted to any seat (barring emergency row) on any airline configuration. The small size means you don’t have to travel with your car seat on the plane but can check it and pick it up at the other end!
The Best Toddler Car Seat for Travel
When you come to look for a toddler car seat for travel it can be confusing! There are so many options on the market so in this round-up we pick out some of the biggest sellers on the market, including their best pros and cons!
Disclaimer: please check all information on listings before buying in case of change to regulations or manufacture etc!
- Lightweight, less than 13lbs
- Convertible Rear to Front Facing (rear facing from 3 – 33lbs and forward facing 20 – 40lbs.)
- Slimline at 15.5 inches which means it fits into smaller cars and airline seats
- FAA Certified
- Machine Washable
- Slightly more expensive than some other seats on the market
- It’s slimline feature might mean it is not as comfortable for larger children.
- Convertible Rear to Front Facing
- Large weight range means your child will not grow out of too quickly
- Very affordable
- Built in side impact protection
- Slimline, can fit three in the back of a car.
- FAA Approved. Meeting or exceeding federal, ASTM, and JPMA safety standards and includes a one-year limited warranty
- Some parents dislike the fiddly harness system
- Super lightweight- only 9lbs!!!
- Can used between 5-40lbs
- Convertible rear and front facing
- Its’ width 18.5 is wider than other travel car seats so may struggle on some slimline airplane seats.
Another great option in the Evenflo Range is the SONUS – you can read all the details and check prices online HERE!
or the Evenflo STATOS – you can read all the details, reviews and check prices online HERE!
- Very easy to use
- 7 recline positions for car seat installation.
- Side impact protection
- One of the heavy travel seats on the market at 28lbs.
We have used this one on our travels so can speak about this from experience in details
- Super lightweight – only 3KG!
- Collapsible which means it is easy when using in taxis or on days out
- Comes with its own bag
- Meets all European regulations
- Very easy install
- Not FAA approved
- Sits very low in the car so can be frustrating for toddlers on long journeys as they can’t see out of the window
- Not approved for use in the US
- Only suitable from 9kgs
What do you consider to be he best toddler car seat for travel? WE love hearing your recommendations