Traveling with kids can be great, but it also comes with plenty of added difficulty. Particularly for new parents, learning all the extras and secrets for making traveling a smoother process can be challenging. Luckily, we’re here to help you with at least one issue: car seats. Regular car seats can be heavy, unwieldy, and a pain to transfer to a rental car or airplane. Below we’ve listed the best travel car seat for each stage of childhood.
Why Bring Your Own Car Seat?
Before we get into the best travel car seats, let’s go over why you would bring your own car seat instead of renting one while on a trip. While there’s no problem with renting a car seat, if you’re going to be using it often on your trip, you might want to bring your own. Some advantages to bringing your car seat include:
- Your baby is familiar with their own seat
- You’ll have a car seat ready when taking taxis or rideshares
- As long as your car seat is FAA approved, you won’t have to hold your baby or toddler during the entire flight
- It can keep your toddler contained on the airplane
- Your baby or toddler might sleep better during the flight
- You won’t have to return a dirty car seat to the rental company
Infant – The Doona
The design of the Doona took car seat creator Yoav Mazar almost a decade to complete, and it delivers. The seat is designed for babies up to 35 pounds and easily shifts from a car seat to a stroller and back. Although heavier than other infant car seats, the Doona features integrated wheels that allow it to transform into a stroller with just a few button clicks. The space saved by eliminating the need to carry an extra stroller frame makes the Doona ideal for traveling by taxi or rideshare, and it is also FAA approved for use on airplanes, making flying with an infant that much easier.
Car Seat – Cosco Scenera Next
The Cosco Scenera Next is lightweight and affordable, making it one of the best travel car seats for families on the go. Popular with rental car companies, the Scenera is easy to install and at 10 pounds, relatively easy to carry. This seat is also FAA compliant, so you can strap your baby in while flying. You can also use a strap to secure it to rolling luggage, reducing the hassle of carrying a bulky car seat through the airport.
Booster – BubbleBum
The BubbleBum booster seat not only has a name that your toddler will love, its lightweight, inflatable design makes it easy to take anywhere you go. The booster can be inflated and deflated as needed, and fits into a compact bag when deflated. This comfortable booster seat also comes in fun, bright colors like shamrock green and bubble gum pink. While you may prefer a high-back booster seat while at home for its additional head protection, the BubbleBum is perfect for older kids and can’t be beaten for its ease of use while traveling.
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