|1. Cosco||2. Hifold||3. WAYB|
As a parent, you are bound to be overwhelmed and confused by the number of car seats available in the market. Whether you are expecting or a new parent or a parent wanting to upgrade their child’s car seat, you have reached the right place to find the best travel car seat that guarantees ultimate protection and safety for your little one.
The minute a child is born, the first thought that crosses a new parent’s mind is about their safety. This worry is further heightened when they are traveling with their child in a vehicle.
It is reported that every year, almost thousands of children become innocent victims or survivors of horrific motor accidents. The proper use of child safety seats while driving can protect your child to a great extent.
Although, finding the right kind of car seat can be tricky. There are so many brands and models to choose from that offer varying degrees of features and functionality. You need to find the perfect car seat that offers a balanced mix of portability, durability, safety, and affordability.
The following buyer’s guide is curated to help solve your dilemma and discover the best-suited interior accessories like this travel car seat for you and your young one.
Let us start by looking at some of the best-sellers in this category that offer excellent safety features, top-notch performance, and quality at an affordable price.
Top 12 Best Travel Car Seats 2020
1. Cosco’s Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat
Easily one of the best travel car seats, the Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat provides the ultimate level of comfort and safety for your child.
Designed to accommodate the child as he/she grows, the Apt 50 supports anywhere between 5 and 50 lbs. It supports up to 40 lbs in rear-facing mode and up to 50 lbs in front-facing mode. It comes equipped with a 5-point harness and a LATCH system for extra security. The harness adjusts easily and comes with six height adjustments and three buckle points. The car seat also features side-impact protectors that provide additional safety.
The seat features integrated cup holders on either side that make holding drinks and snacks easy during long rides and outings. The lightweight and compact construction of the car seat allows for comfortable handling.
The car seat is relatively easy to maintain. The machine and dryer-safe seat pad allows for easy cleanup. Certified as aircraft-friendly, Cosco’s Apt 50 is a perfect partner while traveling and makes your child feel at home. It meets all federal and ASTM requirements for safety and comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
Available in two color variants, the car seat is valued at a decent price of $60. Cosco has a proven track record of being the most trusted and leading manufacturers of children’s products for over seven decades. It is no doubt that Apt 50 offers superior quality and performance for its value.
2. Mifold’s Hifold Highback Booster Seat
If you are looking for a car seat that not only provides superior safety and comfort but is also convenient to carry around, then the Hifold Highback Booster Seat from Mifold must be on your list.
It is one of the world’s most carriable car seats equipped with the “Multi-Fold” system that allows for quick folding. Designed for children, the seat supports weights ranging between 33 and 100 lbs and is ideal for children 36 to 59 inches tall. The booster seat comes with 243 adjustable settings that can be adjusted to accommodate the child as he/she grows. The compact size of the seat and the included carrying strap lets you store and travel with it conveniently.
The multi-fold booster seat comes with six zones of impact protection made from lightweight materials such as EPE, EVA, PU foam, and polypropylene. The four layers offer effective protection along with premium comfort.
The design of the Hifold Booster Seat ensures maximum safety and can be adjusted in four areas- the seat, body, width, and height for optimal security. It ensures that the seat belt’s fit is strong for your child, no matter what. It meets all safety standards issued by NHTSA and is certified for global use except in Australia. Furthermore, this model cannot be used or purchased in Canada.
Awarded the 2019 Creative Child Product of the Year, Mifold’s Highback Booster Seat is a versatile product that guarantees a pleasant experience for your child, even when he/she is strapped in during rides. The level of security it provides is unmatched. Available in red and gray colors, this car seat is a bargain.
3. WAYB’s Pico Travel Car Seat
High-quality and durability are some words frequently associated with the Pico Travel Car Seat, which is what makes it one of the best car seats for travel.
Designed for children weighing 22-50 lbs and measuring anywhere between 30 to 45 inches, WAYB’s Pico Car Seat supports only a front-facing orientation and features a 5-point safety harness. Along with the AeroWing aluminum construction, the seat provides ultimate safety and protection for your little one. The compact design allows for everyday use and improved portability. You can fit in three seats in most cars.
Weighing only 8 lbs, this travel car seat is designed using aerospace-grade aluminum used for jet rockets and aircraft. This guarantees long-lasting use, superior security, and strength. The seat features an AstroKnit mesh, made from wool polyester, that is extremely breathable, flame-retardant, and non-toxic.
It keeps your child comfortable and cool during long drives. The seat folds up quickly and can be conveniently stored in small compartments. It comes with a travel backpack that lets you carry the seat wherever you go.
Ideal for car and air travel, the Pico Travel Car Seat meets all safety standards that are recommended by the federal authorities for motor vehicle and air travel. This versatile car seat is designed for safety.
Priced towards the higher end of the budget spectrum, WAYB’s Pico Travel Car Seat is a highly-rated product that promises a safe and hassle-free travel experience for both parents and children. Easy installation, and the lightweight and compact design of the car seat are the main reasons for its popularity and success.
4. Evenflo’s Sibby Travel System
A dual-purpose stroller for your infant and/or toddler, the Sibby Travel System promises comfort and safety for the children and peace of mind for the parents.
Ideal for infants and toddlers aged up to 72 months, the Sibby Travel System from Evenflo offers a complete strolling option for an expanding family. Not only does it come with a comfortable car seat, but it also features a removable ride-along board for the other child. As your child grows let them sit or ride in the stroller, or walk alongside. The board can be easily connected to the stroller and stowed away when not required.
The lightweight construction of the stroller makes it easy to fold and carry. It folds into a compact portable bundle. The LiteMax Infant Car Seat can be detached from the contraption at the click of a button. The stroller-cum-car seat travel system features extra-long grip handles that allow for comfortable and easy maneuvering and provide additional space for the child standing on the board.
Additional features include an extra-large mesh pocket for storing essentials and knick-knacks, a 3-panel canopy with a window to keep an eye on your little one, and sleek tires that support the weight of two children while providing a smooth ride.
Evenflo conducts rigorous quality and safety checks on all its products. The Sibby Travel System features top-notch safety elements such as an integrated belt lock-off system, a recline indicator, and a multi-position base that ensures that the car base is firmly and securely installed.
If you are a parent struggling to find the best stroller for your little ones, then the Sibby Travel System by Evenflo is an apt purchase. It combines comfort, safety, and versatility to create a dynamic product.
5. Evenflo’s Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat
The Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat is a top contender for the best travel car seat with several positive reviews for its performance and value for money.
The 9-pound travel car seat has a durable construction that provides comfort and security for your child. It is ideal for children up to 18 months who weigh between 5 and 40 lbs. It supports both front and rear-facing installations. While the minimum weight supported in the rear-facing mode is 5 lbs, it supports 22 lbs and above in the front-facing mode.
The 5-point upfront harness can be adjusted according to your child’s comfort level. The convenient buckle release lets you adjust the harness easily. The convertible seat also features a shoulder harness for a better fit. The in-built body cushion and removable head pillow form a soft layer for the child to lean on. Additional features also include a foldable cup holder that keeps drinks or snacks handy.
The Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat meets all safety standards established by federal authorities and has passed all mandatory testing for structural integrity. It comes with a limited warranty that covers repairs or replacement of the product in case of any defect.
Available in an assortment of colors such as red, turquoise, and pink, the Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat packs a punch with superior safety features and ultimate levels of comfort. Priced under $70, this car seat is one of the best-rated products in the market. It has garnered excellent reviews from parents who have tried it.
6. Graco’s Jogger Travel System
If you are a parent looking for a comfortable stroller that lets you jog/run while taking care of your little one, then the Jogger Travel System by Graco is a product you must consider.
With the convenience of a stroller and a car seat built into a single unit, this combo enables you to enjoy your active lifestyle without any trouble. It offers great comfort and safety along with easy maneuverability and performance. The SnugRide 35 Infant Car Seat is ideal for children up to 32 inches and weighing between 4 to 35 lbs in the rear-facing orientation. It can be attached to the stroller in a click.
The all-terrain jogger features air-filled rubber tires that offer excellent suspension and a smooth ride, no matter how rugged the terrain is. The front swivel wheel comes with a locking mechanism that provides stability and control while running. The FastAction Fold lets you fold the seat in one swift motion. This is convenient for parents who are often short on time.
The stroller comes with an extra-large canopy with mesh side panels, a child tray and a parent tray with cup holders, a large storage basket for knick-knacks, and a reclining seat with a removable and machine-safe cushion for the child. It also features long, sturdy handles that are at an adequate height for you to push the stroller comfortably.
Valued at a little under $290, this travel system combo is one of the best sellers in this category. If the reviews are anything to go by, the Jogger Travel System by Graco is a reliable stroller with great, user-friendly features. It delivers great performance and quality at all times. It is widely popular among parents who are always on-the-go and want to take care of their kids at the same time.
7. Evenflo’s Vive Travel System
This ergonomic combination of a sturdy stroller and a comfortable car seat from Evenflo is always ready for a spontaneous adventure. The Vive Travel System makes any family outing a hassle-free experience for all.
Weighing almost 30 lbs, the stroller and car seat combo supports anywhere between 4 and 50 lbs. The ultra-slim design of the stroller allows it to be folded and stowed away in any vehicle. It features the award-winning, rear-facing Embrace Infant Car Seat with a soft body cushion and impact protectors. The travel system can be quickly transformed from a stay-in-car base to a stroller with a convenient and secure connection.
The stroller comes with thick 13-inch wheels enabled with a 4-point maneuvering system that provides superior control and stability. The front-wheel features a shock-absorbing system that offers a smooth ride on any surface.
The Vive Travel System also includes extra storage pockets on the back and underneath the seat for essentials, a large canopy that provides protection, a reclining seat, a removable child tray that pivots at two points, a parent tray with deep storage for mobile phones, and wallets, and cup holders for fussy toddlers.
A top choice among parents with infants and toddlers, the Vive Travel System is priced between $130 and $140. It has received several good reviews from users who recommend it for its easy assembly and portability. However, some reviews indicate that the stroller is likely to break-down or collapse if the car seat is not attached properly.
8. Graco’s Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat
One of the best travel car seats, the Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat offers superior levels of comfort and protection along with top-class features such as adequate legroom and impact protection.
This 3-in-1 car seat is designed to accommodate your child as they grow. It quickly transforms from a harness booster seat (supports 22-65 lbs) to a high-back booster seat (supports 40-100 lbs) or a backless booster car seat (supports 40-100 lbs).
The headrest and the 5-point buckled harness can be adjusted quickly at the click of a button. The Simply Safe Adjust system lets you adjust the height of your harness to ensure a better fit for your child.
The booster seat features an adjustable 8-position headrest, an open-loop belt guide for adjusting the car seat belt, a machine-safe seat pad and body cushion, and integrated cup holders on either side for drinks and snacks. The ultralight booster seat weighs only a pound and is ideal for parents who are always on the go.
Available in colors like pink, green, and black, the Tranzitions Harness Booster Seat is the best seller in this category. Tried and tested by many parents, it is one of the most recommended travel car seats.
Many customer reviews claim that this seat has been a lifesaver for many children involved in mishaps. It is priced a little under $80. With premium features and superior performance, this car seat is bang on the buck.
9. Baby Trend’s Trooper 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
The 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat from Baby Trends is an ergonomically designed product that delivers high performance and security at all times.
The Trooper Car Seat can be easily switched between three modes- rear-facing infant mode, rear-facing toddler mode, and forward-facing toddler mode. The modes support 4-18 lbs, 18-40 lbs, and 22-65 lbs respectively. The seat features a guiding line and a bubble level indicator for finding the right angle at which it must be positioned for optimum comfort and safety.
The compact structure of the car seat allows you to fit three seats across in most vehicles. It has a shell width of 16.75-inches and weighs about 14 lbs making it easy to carry.
The seat features a 5-point harness that can be adjusted to provide a snug fit for your child. The 5-position shoulder buckle and 3-position crotch buckle allow for convenient seat adjustment. The dense side wings provide adequate safety around the head.
The lightweight frame and recline flip foot installation allow for easy assembly and use. The LATCH technology makes the car seat ideal for children up to 50 inches.
The Trooper 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat comes in a variety of colors such as red, gray, and pink. Valued a little under $90, this travel car seat has received strong approval from parents who have tried and tested it. Despite its tedious installation, this car seat promises a comfortable experience for your kids and peace of mind for you.
10. Graco’s Grows4Me 4-in-1 Car Seat
The Grows4Me 4-in-1 Car Seat by Graco is a versatile child product designed to provide optimal comfort and safety to the little one sitting in it. It is a leading contender to be the best car seat for travel.
The 4-in1 design lets you use the car seat either as a rear-facing harness (supports 5-40 lbs), a front-facing harness (supports 22-65 lbs), a highback booster (40-100 lbs) or as a backless booster (supports 40-110 lbs). The durable and sturdy structure of the car seat allows for a decade-long usage.
The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System allows you to adjust the harness and the headrest in 10 different positions to properly secure your child to the seat. You can adjust both in one swift motion using the one-hand adjustable button at the top of the seat.
The 6-positon recline of the seat and LATCH installation ensure a secure and cozy ride for your little one. The car seat also features a built-in storage compartment for the harness straps that are not in use.
The Grows4Me Car Seat meets all safety standards established by authorities and has been tested rigorously to ensure ultimate protection and performance. The car seat is also designed to withstand extreme internal temperatures.
Graco’s Grows4Me Car Seat has been deemed to have great value for money by most users. Its sturdiness, comfort, easy installation, and safety features are some of its USPs. Priced a little under $200, this travel car seat is a great option for those parents looking for a long-lasting product that grows with their child.
11. Safety 1st’s Continuum 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
This convertible car seat is designed to grow as your child grows. From an infant to a toddler, Safety 1st’s Continuum Car Seat accommodates your child’s needs and provides a hassle-free solution for safety during outings.
The car seat can be transformed into three modes that support different weights. It can be converted into a 5-40 lbs rear-facing mode, 22-50 lbs front-facing mode, and 40-80 lbs belted booster seat.
The side of the seat features harness holders that keep the harness out of the way while seating the child into the car seat. The 14 lbs convertible car seat provides adequate legroom for the child and for the parents to sit comfortably without any inconvenience in the form of tiny legs kicking the back of your seat.
Safety features of the Continuum Convertible Car Seat include side-impact protectors and a Quickfit harness. The height of the harness and headrest can be adjusted to fit your child properly using one swift motion.
The 3-position reclining seat allows for a comfortable experience for your little one. The seat pad is removable and can be easily cleaned in a washing machine. The seat also comes with an integrated cup holder that can be removed and cleaned, if need be.
The car seat’s design has passed all legal requirements and meets all safety standards issued by ASTM and federal authorities. It includes a 1-year warranty that covers repair or replacement of the product.
Available in colors like red and black, this versatile 3-in-1 car seat is priced under $120. Having garnered a significant amount of positive reviews, Safety 1st’s Continuum Convertible Car Seat is known for its safety features, legroom, durability, and maintenance. The comfort and security that it offers remain unmatched at the given price point.
12. Graco’s Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat
This travel car seat from Graco is truly one of a kind. It offers unmatched levels of safety along with adequate accessories and comfort.
The 3-in-1 car seat features three seating modes that support specific stages- a rear-facing mode for infants (4-50 lbs), a forward-facing mode for toddlers (22-65 lbs), and a front-facing harness mode for older kids (30-100 lbs).
The Extend2Fit Car Seat supports a 6-position recline for your child to sit comfortably during long drives and a 4-position extension panel that provides increased legroom for fussy children.
The car seat features a 10-position headrest that can be conveniently adjusted to accommodate a growing child. The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System lets you increase or decrease the height of the harness and headrest in one quick motion. The integrated cup holders on either side of the seat help keep drinks and snacks handy for your little one.
Equipped with LATCH technology, Graco’s Extend2Fit Car Seat meets all federal safety standards and has undergone stringent testing that ensures that the child is protected from all potential injuries. The car seat is designed in a manner to withstand extreme temperatures inside the car.
With an astounding amount of positive reviews, the Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat is the most popular product on this list. Recommended by many parents for its safety features, durability, versatility, and convenient installation, this car seat packs the punch. Priced a little under $250, it is definitely worth the investment.
Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Travel Car Seat
Now that we know our options for the best travel car seat, let us assess the factors that must be considered before purchasing the most suitable model for your requirements.
A convertible car seat is designed to last you for years to come. Its functionality adapts to your child’s growth. It includes features that continue to provide optimum comfort and safety for many years.
While most rear-facing car seats are ideal for newborns and infants, front-facing seats are designed for older kids. A car seat offering dual orientations offers the best of both worlds at a far more reasonable price. A convertible car seat allows you to convert it into either depending upon the growth of your child.
Convertible car seats typically support weights from 3 lbs up to 100 lbs. A seat purchased for a newborn might suffice till he/she reaches the age of 2. A convertible car seat enables you to save money in the long run rather than purchasing a new car seat every year.
2. Federal Approval
As parents, you ultimately want what’s best for your children. A car seat that meets or exceeds all federal safety standards and passes all regulatory safety tests is a product worth the investment. In the event of a mishap, a strong and durable car seat is what will protect your little one. Choosing a car seat with appropriate certifications and approvals is pertinent.
Additionally, if you wish to fly on an aircraft, federally certified seats are a must. Only the car seats approved by the FAA are allowed onboard a flight. Look for the sticker on the side that reads ‘this seat is certified for motor vehicles and aircrafts’.
Several car seat models include accessories that make traveling with a child easier and convenient. These features may include integrated cup holders, adjustable harnesses, harness storage, an expandable canopy, detachable components, and washable components. Determine what works best for your situation and decide on a car seat. After all, taking care of a growing child must be made convenient for parents.
4. Size Of The Car Seat
Usually, the size of car seats varies between 16 and 22 inches. While it is important to consider this factor while taking a seat aboard a flight, it becomes necessary when purchasing a car seat for two or more children. A wider car seat will reduce the amount of space available for the rest.
Decide on the travel car seat with a compact yet durable design that lets you fit in at least three seats across in an average-sized vehicle. Generally, seats that fit on an airplane measure 17-inches wide or lesser. Cross-check with the flight beforehand to avoid chaos later on.
Travel seats are available in two main styles- a regular car seat and a booster-style seat. The car seat comes with a 5-point harness that can be adjusted to fit properly over the shoulders, hips, and crotch. When tightened adequately, it restraints the child from moving. This style is ideal for infants and toddlers who can get fussy over time.
On the other hand, a booster seat is designed for children who outgrow their car seats. Unlike a car seat, a booster seat does not come with enveloping cushions to provide protection.
It is a cushioned pad that ensures that the vehicle seat belt sits properly across the child’s body. Although there is no age limit for a booster seat, it is better to introduce it when the child is old enough to sit still in one place.
The weight of the car seat is an essential factor that must be considered by parents as they are the ones who will be lugging it around from place to place. Ideally, good quality car seats weigh anywhere between 10 and 15 pounds.
If you are someone with a very active lifestyle, then you must go for a car seat that has a lightweight construction that does not compromise the durability and sturdiness of the product. The car seat must not be a hindrance to you. You don’t want to drag around a heavy car seat around the airport while managing your children and the luggage, do you?
7. Safety Features
Since buying a car seat is all about protecting your little one from injuries, opt for a car seat that provides excellent safety features. This may include strong harnesses, cushioned seats, headrests, impact protectors, and sturdy seat frame.
Along with certification and federal approval, these safety features give you confidence in the construction of the car seat. It offers safety for the children and peace of mind for the parents.
As a parent, you inevitably worry about their comfort and safety from the time they enter the world. It is no doubt that while traveling on the road, that is the number one thought on your mind.
However, with the best car seat for travel, you can be assured that no harm will befall your little one. The ideal car seat provides superior levels of comfort without compromising on their safety. Safety harnesses, padded seats, and side walls are all features designed to keep your child safe in the event of an untoward accident. Accessories such as trays, storage pockets, and cup holders make taking care of a child much more hands-on and convenient.
Choosing the best car seat is ultimately a personal choice. Whether you are a laid back parent or a parent with an active lifestyle, there is an ocean of strollers and car seats waiting to be discovered. Assess your needs and requirements and decide on the one that ticks all the right boxes for you. Deciding on the best kind of car seat may seem tedious but after all, you are doing it for the kids. Happy shopping!
FAQs on Best Travel Car Seats
u003cstrongu003e1. How Do You Travel With Car Seats?u003c/strongu003e
On the road, it is recommended to strap-in your child in a safety car set. Car seats are designed to be portable. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThe lightweight construction of certain car seats allows for convenient carrying. While some brands provide a travel backpack for you to fold and carry the seat in, other brands feature integrated handles on the seat.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eTaking a car seat aboard a flight is one of the safest options for traveling with an infant or toddler. As the seat belts on flights are bigger than an average infant, it is best to travel with a car seat. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eAccording to federal guidelines, it is recommended to fly with a child under 40 lbs with an FAA-approved car seat. Look for a sticker on the side of your car seat that indicates that the particular model is FAA-approved and is safe for aircrafts’.
u003cstrongu003e2. How Long Should A Child Be In A 5-point Harness?u003c/strongu003e
A 5-point harness system is commonly found in rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster car seats that restrain the child from moving in the seat. The straps are found at the shoulders, hips, and the crotch area of the seat. The height of the harness can be adjusted to ensure a proper fit for the child.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIt is recommended to use a car seat with a 5-point harness system for children till they are mature enough to sit in one place without moving around in the vehicle.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIf the child outgrows a car seat, he/she can be moved onto a booster seat. The booster seat will allow the vehicle’s seat belts to fit properly around the child while restraining his/her movement.
u003cstrongu003e3. What Is The Difference Between A 3-point And A 5-point Harness?u003c/strongu003e
Essentially, the points refer to the parts of the body at which the harness is positioned and can be adjusted for a more secure fit.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eA 3-point harness features straps that go above the child’s shoulders and buckle between the legs. Whereas a 5-point harness includes belts that go over the shoulders, around the hips, and between the legs.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eEssentially, the more the number of straps, the better the safety. A 5-point harness system ensures an overall restraint and secures him/her better. It absorbs a majority of the impact and evenly distributes it to the shoulders and hips. A 3-point harness lacks the hip strap which might not tether the child to the seat during high-impact collisions. This might result in the child being ejected out of the seat or thrown.
u003cstrongu003e4. At What Age Do You Change Car Seats?u003c/strongu003e
For infants, it is recommended to use a rear-facing car seat starting from their first ride home from the hospital. Once they reach the maximum height or weight as specified by the manufacturer they can be shifted into a convertible car seat. However, it is suggested to use a rear-facing car seat for toddlers up to 2 years of age or until they outgrow their car seats.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eFor toddlers 2 years and up, it is advised to use a front-facing harness car seat. If the child has outgrown the weight and height specifications of the rear-facing car seat, he/she can be moved onto a front-facing seat with a harness.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eBooster seats are designed for older children who have crossed the stage of using restricted car seats. A belt-positioning booster seat allows the child to sit comfortably while wearing the vehicle’s seat belt. A booster seat is recommended for children between 8-12 years.