best travel car seat
Choosing the best travel car seat for unborn baby – kalinovsky (depositphotos)

Each year in the United States, drivers are involved in nearly six million car accidents. In 2020 alone, there were 35,766 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the US that resulted in 38,824 deaths. Meanwhile, there are approximately 58 people in United States who got injured in big turbulence every year due to unfastened seat belt.

Keeping your child properly secured in a car seat is one of the most important steps a parent can take to ensure the safety of their child while on the road and in the air. If you are looking for the best travel car seat to help keep your kid safe, we’ve compiled a list of the top twelve child safety seats to find just the right one for you and your family.

Top Picks for the Best Travel Car Seat:

Read below to find more details about the car seats, especially about the pros and cons. Some of them don’t get into the “best x” categories but are also highly recommended and might suit your needs more.

Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat (Best Overall)

Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat
Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat – Coscokids

Price: $59.99

When it comes to affordability, ease of travel, and safety we found the Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat to be the best overall. For under $100, users can enjoy many of the other features found with more expensive car seats at just a fraction of the price.

For families looking for a high-quality, budget-friendly car seat that will serve them for many years, this convertible car seat is an ideal option. Designed to accommodate children from 5-40 pounds, this car seat can be used throughout many phases of childhood making it a worthwhile investment for families.

This car seat has been rigorously tested and certified to offer the highest level of safety for children with side impact protection as well as meeting all of the federal safety criteria. For parents looking for travel-friendly features, this car seat is TSA compliant and approved for airlines travel.

Pros and Cons:

Pros

  • Coming in at under $100, this car seat is one of the most affordable on the market
  • Designed for children 5-40 pounds, users can enjoy the relative longevity of this convertible car seat throughout many stages of life
  • Approved for airline travel and meets TSA requirements
  • Machine washable cover

Cons

Other convertible car seats can accommodate children over 40 pounds

Get it at Walmart.

Doona Infant Car Seat and Latch Base (Best Integrative Design)

Doona Infant Car Seat and Latch Base
Doona Infant Car Seat and Latch Base – Doona

Price: $550

For busy parents on the go, having a travel car seat that fits their active lifestyle is extremely important. If you are looking for the best integrative design, the Doona Infant Car Seat and Latch Base offers the easiest and most streamlined way to keep kids safe with their all-in-one travel system.

The Doona Infant Car Seat and Latch Base is an integrative, modern design that allows users to easily transition from a rolling stroller to a car safety seat in seconds. With the simple push of a button, this stroller folds down into a car seat that easily attaches to the included latch base which can be mounted in any model vehicle.

Every product from the Doona company undergoes rigorous safety testing and certification processes to bring parents the highest level of safety when it comes to their child’s car seat. This car seat comes fully assembled so there’s no guesswork when it comes to set up and parents can ensure their child is protected on the road.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Lightweight, integrative design makes it perfect for busy parents on the go
  • This product has some of the highest safety ratings when it comes to safety testing and certification
  • Comes in a variety of stylish color options for a personalized touch

Cons:

  • The high price tag of this car seat may make it inaccessible for many families
  • Designed as a car seat for children under one year of age, the lifespan of this product is quite short
  • Users report no recline options and minimal storage capabilities

Check on Amazon.

Evenflo LiteMax DLX Infant Car Seat (Best Lightweight Car Seat)

Evenflo LiteMax DLX Infant Car Seat
Evenflo LiteMax DLX Infant Car Seat – Evenflo

Price: $224.99

If you are looking for the best option for a lightweight car seat, the Evenflo LiteMax DLX Infant Car Seat may be just what you are looking for. Weighing in at just 8.7 pounds, this car seat is one of the lightest on the market making traveling with kids a breeze.

For nearly 100 years, the Evenflo company has been a leader in the child safety industry. With the addition of the LiteMax DLX car seat, parents can rest assured they are receiving the highest level of safety for their child that comes with the Evenflo name.

This car seat features a lightweight design that is easy to carry and perfect for parents on the go. This versatile car seat offers both forward-facing and rear-facing options and is collapsible and compact, giving parents the freedom to travel anywhere with their child. This seat is designed to comfortably accommodate infants weighing between 4-35 pounds and measuring 17-32 inches and parents can have peace of mind knowing this product meets all the federal guidelines for car seat safety certification.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • In business for more than 100 years, Evenflo has a proven track record of making durable, high-quality products that last
  • The lightweight, compact design makes this car seat easy to transport and travel with
  • This car seat features a no-rethread harness design that makes seat adjustment a breeze

Cons:

  • The relatively high price of this car seat may make it inaccessible for some families
  • Users report that this car seat is bulkier and takes up more space than other traditional car seat designs, making it difficult to use in smaller vehicles

Find it on Amazon.

Safety 1st Guide 65 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (Most Compact Car Seat)

Safety 1st Guide 65 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
Safety 1st Guide 65 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat – Safety1st

Price: $99.99

Designed specifically for smaller cars, the Safety 1st Guide 65 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is the ideal affordable, space-saving car seat for families. With added comfort and safety features, this car seat provides plenty of support for infants and children alike.

For parents looking for a safe, compact convertible car seat this Safety 1st product is guaranteed to deliver. With one of the most compact designs on the market, the measurements for this car seat are 27.25X 22.75X 19W.

As a convertible option, this car seat provides two modes of use including a rear-facing option for children between 5-40 pounds or a forward-facing option for children 22-65 pounds. This car seat has added comfort features like removable body pillows, a cup holder, and premium washable fabrics. Safety features include side impact protection, compliance with federal safety standards, and an adjustable headrest.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Compact, lightweight design is perfect for smaller vehicles
  • At under $100, this car seat is one of the more affordable options on the market
  • With a maximum weight limit of 65 pounds, this convertible car seat can be used throughout many stages of life
  • Machine washable fabric

Cons:

  • Users report complications with harness and LATCH systems
  • Only available in one color; not customizable

Check on Amazon.

Pria Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat (Most Versatile Car Seat)

Pria Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
Pria Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat – Maxicosi

Price: $349.99


For families looking for the most versatile option for car seat safety, the Pria Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat has everything you’ll need to ensure your child’s safety while on the road.

With dozens of added features, this car seat offers users a comfortable, personalized experience for everyone.

As one of the most versatile car seats on the market, this all-in-one product is designed to safeguard children from birth up to 10 years, making it one of the longest-lasting investments a parent can make. The car seat features a variety of tried and true comfort options including a unique easy-to-use magnetic harness system, auto-adjusting headrest, and more.

This car seat has been tested to meet the federal guidelines for car seat safety and provides important safety features like side impact protection and a QuickFit shoulder harness that automatically adjusts to the appropriate fit for your child. Their unique PureCosi material does not require the use of fire-retardant chemicals and each car seat is made using premium fabrics that come in a variety of color options.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Longevity; this convertible car seat is designed to hold children weighing from 4 up to 100 pounds that can be used from birth up to 10 years of age
  • Added convenience features like auto-adjusting headrests and magnetic shoulder straps make this car seat user friendly
  • Comes in a variety of color options and patterns for a personalized feel
  • Users have the option of purchasing additional products like seat covers, travel changing pads, and more

Cons:

  • This car seat comes with a higher price tag than some others
  • Users have reported that this car seat is heavy and difficult to travel with

Find it on Amazon.

Baby Trend Trooper 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Baby Trend Trooper 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
Baby Trend Trooper 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat – BabyTrend

Price: $99.99

This three-in-one convertible car seat is designed to be used throughout multiple stages of your child’s life and can be adjusted for use with premature babies as well as toddlers. This versatile seat can be used in both rear-facing and forward-facing positions and can accommodate children between 4 and 65 pounds.

The BabyTrend Trooper 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat features generous reclining options to offer the safest and most comfortable ride for kids. The lightweight shell and easy-to-manage design make it simple for parents to attach the car seat to a LATCH base and use it easily in any vehicle. This car seat is approved for airline travel and meets all regulations for TSA guidelines.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • At just under $100, this car seat is an affordable option for most families
  • Comes in a variety of color options for a personalized feel
  • Longevity; as a convertible car seat, this product is designed to be used throughout childhood

Cons:

  • Users report that the car seat did not accommodate older children within the weight range for this product

Check on Amazon.

WAYB Pico Portable Car Seat (Best Portable Travel Car Seat)

WAYB Pico Portable Car Seat
WAYB Pico Portable Car Seat – WAYB

Price: $380

Being a parent often means being able to juggle multiple tasks all at once and for parents traveling with kids, this car seat is the perfect way to cut down on the stress of traveling. The WAYB Pico Portable Car Seat is a compact, foldable car seat that is the perfect option for parents on the go.

For parents planning on traveling with kids, the WAYB Pico Portable Car Seat is the ideal travel option to provide protection for children even on the go. Weighing in at just 8 pounds, this compact car seat easily folds down to a small storage size of 11.6” L x 14.5” W x 18.9” H.

Parents using this car seat do not have to sacrifice safety for convenience as the WAYB Pico Portable Car Seat meets all of the federal safety requirements for both highway and airway travel. This forward-facing car seat can accommodate children between 22-50 pounds and 30-45 inches in height.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Compact, lightweight design makes it easy to transport and use for travel
  • This car seat meets all the requirements for highway and airline safety when traveling
  • Affordable financing options are available when purchasing directly from the manufacturer

Cons:

  • The high price of this car seat may be prohibitive for some families
  • Due to the design of this car seat, the seat is only able to be used in a forward-facing capacity

Find it on Amazon.

Graco My Ride 65 Convertible Car Seat

Graco My Ride 65 Convertible Car Seat
Graco My Ride 65 Convertible Car Seat – GracoBaby

Price: $119.99

Designed to be used for kids up to 65 pounds, this standard convertible car seat is the perfect safety option for any family. The Graco My Ride 65 Convertible Car Seat offers protection for kids up to 40 pounds as one of the few car seats in the US offering a rear-facing option for larger children. This car seat grows with your child to keep them protected from infancy and up to 10 years of age.

Safety features on this car seat include a five point safety harness system, side impact protection, and rigorous crash testing performance has helped this car seat receive safety certifications that meet federal requirements. The soft, comfortable lining and breathable material make this car seat comfortable for children of any age.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Longevity; this car seat is designed for children to use from infancy up to 10 years of age
  • Relatively low price tag makes this an affordable option for any family
  • One of few car seats offering a rear-facing option for children up to 40 pounds

Cons:

  • Users have reported that the infant inserts for this car seat often shift while driving
  • This car seat is more bulky and heavier compared to other models

Find it at Sam’s Club.

Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Car Seat

Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Car Seat
Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Car Seat – Coscokids

Price: $69.99

This 2-in-1 child safety seat is designed for extended use for children over 30 pounds. The car seat can be used for children between 30-65 pounds and 32-49 inches in height as a standard forward-facing car seat and transitioned to a booster seat for older children between 40-100 pound and 43-52 inches in height. The car seat is made of durable, deluxe fabric that is easy to clean while ensuring kids have a comfortable ride along the way.

The Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Car Seat exceeds federal safety standards so parents can have peace of mind knowing their child is safe. Additionally, this product has received a Best Bet rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when being used in booster mode.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • At under $100, this car seat is an affordable option for most families
  • Longevity; this car seat transforms into a booster seat for aging children and can be used for kids weighing up to 100 pounds
  • This car seat exceeds federal safety requirements

Cons:

  • This car seat does not accommodate infants or children under 30 pounds
  • Users have reported their children displaying signs of discomfort when using the shoulder harness

Check on Amazon.

CARES Child Aviation Restraint System (Travel Harness)

CARES Child Aviation Restraint System
CARES Child Aviation Restraint System – amsafe

Price: $72.99

Although only available for use on airplanes, this child restraint system makes flying with kids stress free. Designed for us as an alternative to car seats for airline travel and approved for use by the e Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), this portable and easy to use harness is perfect for keeping kids safe and seated during a flight.

The CARES Child Aviation Restraint System is designed for use with kids 22-45 pounds and can easily be used in combination with any airline seatbelt to provide the same level of protection as a car seat would.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Weighing just one pound, this lightweight travel harness is ideal for use when flying
  • At under $100, this restraint system is an affordable option for most families
  • The only FAA approved child safety restraint system on the market
  • Ideal for use with kids who have special needs
  • Simple, easy to use design installs in under one minute

Cons:

  • This travel harness is only approved for children between 22-45 pounds
  • This restraint system is compatible only with airlines seats and cannot be used for car travel

Get it on Amazon

Hiccapop UberBoost Inflatable Booster Car Seat (Best Travel Booster Seat)

Hiccapop UberBoost Inflatable Booster Car Seat
Hiccapop UberBoost Inflatable Booster Car Seat – Hiccapop

Price: $36.92

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children under 4 feet 9 inches tall should utilize a child booster seat through the age of 8 years, even when traveling. For parents taking their kids on vacation, having a portable booster seat like the Hiccapop UberBoost Inflatable Booster Car Seat can help keep kids safe while ensuring they still have plenty of fun along the way.

If you are heading out on vacation and want to make sure your little one stays safe along the way, this portable, lightweight booster seat is the perfect travel essential for child safety. Designed for use with children between the ages of 4-11 years or 40-110 pounds, this inflatable booster seat provides comfort and protection in seconds.

This booster seat is made of durable, long lasting puncture resistant material with a non-skid base for use with fabric, leather, and vinyl interior. This booster seat is certified safe for use and meets all of the federal safety requirements for child car safety.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • With a price tag less than $40, this booster seat is an affordable option for most families
  • The lightweight and compact design allows users to easily transport their booster seat
  • Made of durable material, this booster seat is puncture resistant
  • Machine washable cover

Cons:

  • Some users reported that their booster seat did not hold air and would deflate when in use
  • While users reported that this booster seat is great for travel, it is not stable or durable enough for everyday use

Check on Amazon.

BubbleBum Inflatable Backless Booster Car Seat

Price: $32.99

Similar to the Hiccapop version, the BubbleBum Inflatable Backless Booster Car Seat features a portable, lightweight design that’s perfect for parents on the go. This inflatable booster seat is made of durable, washable fabric that features memory foam technology offering kids a comfortable ride each time.

The booster seat is tested and approved for safety by both US and European federal regulations, making it just as safe as regular booster seats. The seat is designed for use with children between the ages of 4 and 11 years weighing from 40-100 pounds.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Portable, lightweight design that easily inflates in seconds
  • At under $40, this travel booster seat is an affordable option for most families
  • Easy to install and can be used with any standard vehicle

Cons:

  • Users report that this booster seat uses low quality material that is easily popped or deflated
  • The inflatable design is uncomfortable for some children

Get it on Amazon

Conclusion

We know that vacation is supposed to be a time when parents (and kids) let loose and have some fun, but just because your vacation is carefree does not mean your child’s safety should be! Ensuring that you have chosen the best travel car seat for your child can help keep them safe and ensure many more years of family vacations and fun in the sun.

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