Planning a trip? With a baby or toddler? Not excited about dragging your luggage and a thousand-pound carseat around the airport? (Can't imagine why! But if that's the case...) Then congrats! You've found the right resource.
We take a look at some of the best convertible car seats for air travel, because we know that airports are stress-inducing by nature (Security! Lines! Delays and cancellations!), but if you have a convertible car seat that's safe and light as a feather, well, that's just one less thing to worry about.
While you're technically not required to use car seat on a plane for a child under 2, it's certainly one of your safest options for traveling with kiddos.
Just think—if there's significant turbulence, what better place to be than safely strapped into a car seat?
What if the flight attendants give you a hard time about your car seat? How do you install it on the airplane? For the answers to these burning questions, check out this great article.
There are several advantages to investing in the very best car seat for air travel, rather than lugging the car seat from your car on the plane with you.
First of all, there's the aforementioned lugging, especially if the seat is heavy (and they usually are)! Second, bringing your car seat gives your kid a familiar seat during the flight. And third, you're going to have to reinstall it after your trip. Hmm... Thanks but no thanks!
That being said, there are several things to consider when purchasing the best car seat to travel with. This includes:
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A word (or two) to the wise: It's a good idea to know how to install the car seat before you get on the plane. That will make the whole process a lot easier, faster and stress-free. Also, just to be sure: you might want to call ahead and confirm with your airline that your car seat fits. The models we cover below are airplane ready, so you shouldn't have any problems, but these days airplane seats are getting increasingly smaller, and you might want to double check.
We take a closer look at the following convertible car seats:
These are some great options if you're flying, and are sure to make your trip a little bit a heck of a lot smoother!
Cosco is an excellent brand to cover your air travel needs, as you'll see with the 3 models we've included on our list of the best car seats to travel with. It has a similar price point to the APT 50 model below (under 65 bucks), and fulfills all of your requirements for travel: it's compact, affordable, and it's not just lightweight, it's light as a freaking feather at 8 lbs.
This car seat is seriously compact. Seriously. It's narrow. And it weighs next to nothing—a mere 9.11 lbs.—which means that it may very well be one of the best convertible car seats for airplane travel. Oh, and did we mention it's a total bargain? What's more, Evenflo is a trusted name in making excellent baby products, and this seat is no different.
As with the previous Evenflo car seat, this model is very compact and extremely light at just 9.11 lbs., thus making it ideal for air travel. Beyond that awesomeness, it shares a lot of the same characteristics as the Tribute LX above (such as a good price point!), but we included it to give Evenflo fans one more great option.
Here's another convertible car seat that's perfect for taking on an airplane. This model from Cosco weighs... are you sitting down? 11 lbs! It's compact and ready to fly, and beyond that it has many other redeeming qualities.
The last Cosco model we feature is a slight upgrade from the APT 50 and the Seneca NEXT. It's a little more everything: it's slightly heavier, though not heavy, at 11 lbs.; it's a tad wider; and it's a bit more expensive. That being said, it's still perfect for taking on an airplane, it's got some more "luxurious" features, and it offers excellent bang for your buck.
Here's another option you might want to check out, if Graco is more your style. It's heavier than the previous models, though it's not heavy by any stretch, weighing in at a cool 15 lbs. Also keep in mind that all the fabulous add-ons inevitably add on a 'lil bit of weight. All in all, another excellent option for your next trip by airplane.
For a fantastically thorough look at the Contender, check out this article.
Britax is another trusted name in baby gear, so you really can't go wrong with this one. It's an extremely popular model among traveling families, and is robust, i.e. a bit heavier (around 17 lbs.). It has a ton of great features, which we highlight for you below.
This is an excellent option, although it's slightly more expensive than the other models on the list, it is on the large side, and it weighs in at 18 lbs. That being said, you get what you pay for, and this convertible car seat has a whole lot going for it, besides the fact that it is approved for air travel.
Although these car seats are light enough for you to carry by hand, if you're traveling with a lot things (or even if you're not), you might prefer to turn that car seat into an airport stroller.
Below are three great products to consider, just to make your journey through the airport a little smoother.
This is a great accessory if you want to zip around the airport. Simply connect the car seat, with your child inside, and drag/push him or her around comfortably. It's got great maneuverability, the handle has 4 positions, and it gives you one free hand. It weighs around 6 lbs.
It's compatible with most car seats, but check here to make sure.
This is similar to the above model, but is just a little simpler. It has easy-glide wheels so you can breeze through the airport, and is compact, so you can stow it in the overhead compartment. The handle has 2 positions, and the cart is compatible with all Britax models as well as most other brands. It weighs about 7 lbs.
This is just one more option for you. We love the Brica because it's lightweight (5 lbs!), fits most big name brands of car seats, and can also be stowed in the overhead compartment.
There's no assembly required, and it has a stable design, so it won't tip over once you strap your child securely inside. There are several positions for the handle, and you can push it or pull it very easily.
Well there you have it. We hope something on our list of the best convertible car seats for air travel piqued your interest and will help you prepare for a smooth trip. Getting a great car seat to travel with should make the journey as worry free as possible.
If you need some advice on which stroller to take with you, you should consider a lightweight all-terrain model, which should enable you to weather any situation, or an umbrella stroller specifically for traveling.
Featured image: Wikipedia
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