|1. EvenFlo||2. Graco||3. MiFold|
Thousands of young children get injured or killed every year because of car crashes and accidents. While traveling with kids can be exciting, it also entails a fair amount of responsibility on behalf of the parents. As adults, the onus lies on the parents to look after the safety of your kids and that’s where the best travel car seat steps in. This is one of the best products for your baby.
You must understand that travel car seats are different from the regular car seats. They are designed with safety aspects, especially for the children. Thus, it becomes essential to look for car travel seats that can keep the kids both comfortable and safe.
If you are looking for comprehensive information on everything about the travel car seat, then you have just landed on the right page. Here, you will not only get information on what aspects to look for in a good quality travel car seat, but other essential elements related to it as well and we have also listed 15 best travel car seats to make your choice easier.
Travel Car Seats For Child Safety
Other names for the travel car seats are child seat, infant safety seat, or a booster seat; they are the best way to keep children safe from any crash or collision. No wonder many looks for the best convertible car seat for travel for their kids. You will find several authorities insisting on the use of travel car seats based on their child’s age, weight, and height.
Research shows that not all car seats are made equally, and thus one should be careful when making their choices. Moreover, car seat installation should be carried out correctly to be effective, and it fails to provide 100% safety, then the responsibility lies on the buyers. One has to look for a quality seat and learn how to install as well as use the child safety restraints effectively.
In most developed countries, it is mandatory to use travel car seats for children up to the age of two or more. The child needs to meet five criteria of his weight, height, and age before moving out of the travel seat. He should feel comfortable and be able to sit properly during the length of the trip as the travel car seat. Generally speaking, countries regulate child safety laws on the safety seat, including the child’s shoulder belt position, knee position, lap belt position, and his child’s seating position.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a rear-facing child safety seat for kids until they are two years of age. Once the child exceeds the minimum forward-facing requirements, the seat can be used as a forward-facing seat.
Before you go ahead and start looking for the best car seat for travel, it is essential to understand the different models of car seats in the market. One will come across many child safety seats suitable for different age groups and heights of the children.
Different Types Of Travel Car Seats
1. Infant Seats
This seat is in the buying list of many parents because it is made for the small-sized kids and has handles for convenience. Newborns are often placed in the infant seats. Depending on the size, it is designed for infants who weigh between 22 pounds to 32 pounds.
The infant seats are rear-facing and come with a removable carrier that can be attached to the base in the car. They offer the best and most comfortable fit for the newborns and smaller babies.
2. Convertible Seats
The convertible car seat is the next seat parents are likely to have once their child has outgrown the infancy. These seats are used in rear and suitable for children who are about two years old weigh between 25 to 50 pounds. The convertible seats can be both rear or forward-facing. It is recommended to install rear-facing if the child is about one year old and weighs less than 20 lbs. Forward-facing convertible car seats are allowed for children older than a year.
3. All-In-One Seats
The all-in-one car seats have won over many hearts due to their fascinating looks and money-saving offer. These seats can grow with the child and can last from his birth to his booster seat. This type of seat can efficiently work for children from 4 to 50 lbs.
Many parents do not prefer all-in-one car seats as they are large and bulky for smaller vehicles and not suitable for smaller babies. It has been found that it might not carry out any particular task with complete efficiency.
4. Booster Seats
It is time to get a booster car seat if the child outgrows the weight or height limit, and these seats come high-back and backless styles. One can convert the combination seat to a booster car seat with a high-back belt-positioning. Other variations can include the low-back or no-back booster. The differences between the high and low back booster seats are improved side-impact protection and head support.
The backless versions of the booster seats are portable and more comfortable to install. Still, experts recommend high-back models as they provide better safety because of side-impact protection and higher comfort. Moreover, these boosters position the shoulder belt much better. There are some laws in some states that make it mandatory to use a booster for children as old as nine years.
5. Combination Seats
The combination car seat is a forward-facing seat that supports a five-point harness system. The forward-facing-only car seat is meant for a child for more than two years or more. The seat can be changed to a booster seat once the child outgrows the harness and is restrained in the belt-positioning booster.
The five-point harness has been engineered for higher safety of the child and contains five straps. Those five points are the spots where the harness attaches itself to the car seat. So, there are two points at each shoulder, two points at baby’s hips and one point between the baby’s legs.
Once the child is around eight or ten years old, based on his size and weight, he can be allowed to sit on the regular adult seat because, at this time, he would have outgrown the booster seats. However, it is recommended to seat your child in the back seat.
Some parents are not very sure if it is a must thing to buy those car seats for their toddlers. Read on to know why it is essential to buy these car seats and their benefits.
The Importance And Benefits Of Using Car Seats
Travel car seat or the child safety seat, as the name implies, is a seat that adds to the safety and comfort of your child when they are in a car. Here are a few pointers that point to the significance and benefits of having the best travel car seat installed.
- Statistics show that the use of a travel car seat lowers the risk of injury or death by more than 70%.
- Car seats can be customized to keep the baby or child completely safe. Parents can enjoy peace of mind that their child is safe and comfortable.
- The modernized car seats with advanced features have become an essential part of parenting life. Many seats feature durable wheels and have holders for drinks and bottles.
- As it is mandatory to have car seats in many countries, parents can feel confident and assured of being on the right side of the law.
- As there are endless variety and range of different car seats, it is a lot easier for the parents to find the right fit for their child.
- Another benefit is that the travel car seats can adjust to seat the child facing forward or backward, reclining or upright. These seats can grow and adapt as the child grows, thanks to the special features.
- Keep in mind that the car seat would a real benefit if it fits your child’s weight, size, and age, personality, and vehicle.
Before you go ahead and start browsing for the best travel car seat, your mind should come up with these two crucial questions:
1. Do You Know The Requirement?
The first and foremost aspect to keep in mind is not the car seat but the child who needs the car seat. So, take into consideration the age, height, and weight of the child before you start looking at the travel car seats. It is equally important to keep in mind his temperament, sleeping habits as well as any behavioral or health issues that can impact the choice.
2. What About The Car?
Know your car’s condition well and study the child-safety sections recommended by the manufacturer. Open the vehicle owner’s manual and look for features like the belts, latch, and seats. Even a seat belt placement or a change in the cushion angle can make the child seat compatible or incompatible.
Now that you have a reasonably good idea about what the travel car seats look like and why they are essential, it is time to look at the different factors when buying a car seat for your child.
Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Travel Car Seat
At this point, you must be convinced that a good quality car seat is vital for the safety and comfort of your children. However, you are struggling to identify the right one, then have a look at the essential factors to look for in the travel car seats.
1. Type Of Seat
Based on general guidelines, you can look for different types of seats based on the age and height of your child.
Infants (few months to 2 years old): Rear-facing.
Get rear-facing-only or rear-facing-convertible for your infant until they reach the weight or height limits sets by the manufacturer and the law.
Toddlers (2 to 4 years old): Forward-facing.
If you are looking for a travel car seat for your toddlers, then go for forward-facing convertible or forward-facing with a harness. By this time, the child has outgrown the rear-facing car seat.
School-aged children (5 to 12 years old): Booster.
Start looking for boosters once your child starts going to school. He would need a belt-positioning booster seat for better fit, safety, and comfort.
Older children (13 years or older): Seat belts.
The older children are now old enough to use the vehicle seat belt and no longer need the travel car seats. Still, they should sit in the back seat and sue the shoulder seat belts for the best protection.
2. The Federal Safety Standards
One cannot get the best travel car seat if it does not meet the simulated 35-mph crash test based on federal safety standards. So, pick a seat that conforms with vehicle safety standards. Get familiar with the seat and use the harness before you put your child and take him out for a drive. Look at previous testing reviews and government safety data when it comes to the safety edge.
All car seats must conform to strict safety standards and pass the stringent tests before they are out in the market. FAA approved car seats are certified for use in vehicles as well as aircraft. So, it means you can take the car seat for your flights. The manufacturers must follow government standards when they make and test the travel car seats.
3. Easy To Install And Use
One aspect of paramount importance is the ease of installation. The more comfortable and more straightforward the instructions, the more likely it is that you will install the car seat correctly. The straps and buckles should be simple to adjust and use.
Otherwise, it would be cumbersome for the parents and the kids to make good use of those seats. Getting the child in and taking him out should work like a charm. So, check the seat for the ease of use and managing buckles and straps as well as how well it can fit within different vehicles.
4. The Size, Width, And Weight
The compact size makes it easier for you to travel or fly with the car seat. Keep in mind that the width of airplane seats ranges between 16” to 22” while the width of the car seats is around 17” or less. The travel car seat you are interested in should be lightweight and easy to carry, even with the baby or child inside.
After all, you would not like to be held back because of a bulky and heavy chair. A lightweight and compact-sized car seat that weighs around ten pounds, it is indeed easy to handle and manageable during your travel or at the airport.
5. Convertibility And Adaptability
Many car seat models can accommodate your newborn until they are a toddler. So, look for convertible car seats that can grow and adapt with your child when she is three pounds and can balance her until she is around 65 pounds. The main benefit of buying the best travel car seat is that it is convertible and grows with your kid. It will help you save some money in the long run.
Read the labels on the car seat for weight, height, and age limits to ensure that the car seat is just perfect for your child.
6. Compatibly With Your Vehicle
You may have a top-quality car seat, but what is the use if it is not compatible with your car? It is important to note that all vehicles manufactured before 2002 are most likely not to have the Lower Anchors & Tethers for Children or LATCH system. The LATCH system was introduced much later for easy and secure installation of the car seats. Study your car manual to know if it has a LATCH system or at least one top tether and two lower LATCH anchors.
One must be aware of the dimensions of your car seats and its interior. You will get to know if the travel car seats you are interested in buying are compatible with your vehicle or not. Compare the sizes of the car seats to the dimensions of the interiors of the car. Consult the manufacturer and read what the other parents recommend to know if the car seat is compatible with your specific vehicle model.
7. The Accessories
The modern travel car seats come additional supports and accessories. However, those accessories should only be used when needed and if approved by the car seat manufacturer. Many car seats come with useful features like canopy shade and cup holders. Many of those accessories are removable and washable. Another essential element to consider is the five-point safety harness.
8. The Expiration Dates And Regulations
Although the life of the car seats is limited to six years, the expiration dates can vary with different manufacturers. So, take notice of the expiration date and the changing laws and regulations about the travel car seats of the children in your jurisdiction. The car seats tend to age faster because of the usage and exposure to temperature and UV-light.
9. The Quality
As a buyer, you must keep an eye on the condition and quality of the car seat to want to buy. Look for the best quality product and ensure proper installation and placement of the car seat. Recent studies indicate that toddlers are less likely to get injured in a car crash if their car seat is secured in the middle rather than the side. Surveys show that although the center position is the safest, it is the least useful.
The car owners must never compromise with the child restraints and its performance. Any reuse of a child safety system after a crash is strictly prohibited by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA. It should be done to ensure optimum safety and protection for child passengers.
10. The User Manual
Most of the people do not read the user manual even if it is easy to follow. After all, you would be able to install the seat correctly only if you understand those instructions and can look forward to securing your child safely. A user manual in multiple languages would indeed be an advantage.
Parents should look for an owner’s manual that is provided in downloadable manuals as well as live demos on the web. Always read all the guidelines and ensure that you have understood the instructions before installing the travel car seat. The buyers prefer live video installation manuals.
11. The Price
It does not necessarily mean that the higher the price, the better the quality. Many mid-priced models work as good as the expensive ones. Whatever the cost, make sure that you get what you pay for and check all the features and specifications beforehand.
Car seats can cost you anywhere between $100 to $500 and even more. As it is a significant and thoughtful investment for some families, look for value services and products that meet your needs and the budget.
In the present market, one will come across numerous brands of car seats. Typically, one will see the more convenience features a product has, the more expensive it becomes. The most important thing to keep in mind is if you need those extra frills and what your budget is. Your top priority should be the complete safety of your child and not the price.
Here are some of the most popular and highly recommended travel seat models based on experts’ reviews and what the customers have to say. Browse through the list to make the right choices.
Top 15 Best Travel Car Seats 2020
1. Evenflo LX
The Evenflo LX consists of 100% polyester convertible car seat well-known for its safety and sturdiness. The car seat is designed for structural integrity and tested to meet federal safety standards. Thoughtful additions such as upfront harness adjustment, removable head pillow, and multiple shoulder harness positions only add to the functionality of the seat.
Enjoy an easy and convenient adjusting as well as a better fit and comfort for your toddler. Get added comfort to baby thanks to the integrated body cushion in the travel seat, happy moms and dads who have bought the product rave about this car seat, which is very easy to install and maintain.
- Cushioned and layered protection.
- Easy to install and clean.
- It is highly rated by consumers.
- Affordable and durable.
- The seat may soon outgrow.
- Padding could be thicker.
2. Graco TurboBooster
This Graco booster car seat is indeed one of the best car seats since plenty of careful thinking has gone within its designing and construction. Thoroughly and deeply crash-tested for US Safety Standard, this makes for a perfect choice for safety-conscious parents.
Engineered and designed to be both stylish and safe, every child loves to settle down in this car seat. Now you can feel confident in protecting your child from any side, rear, and rollover crashes. You deserve to enjoy a safe and comfortable ride with your child, knowing that he or she is secure and safe within the backless TurboBooster and its extra protection.
As for the cleaning, remove the Deluxe seat cushion and machine wash. Suitable for kids from ages 4 to 10, the travel car seat enjoys top ratings by leading consumer magazines.
- Playful fabric designs.
- Child-approved feature.
- Extra protection.
- Padded and adjustable armrests.
- Testing for extreme car temperatures.
- Hide-away cup holders.
- Disappointed covering.
3. Mifold Grab-and-Go
Mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat has always been ranked as one of the most compact and advanced travel car seats in the whole industry. The smaller sized booster comes with a lower seatbelt, and there are three adjustable sizes to ensure the most comfortable and safe fit that can hold the child snugly in place. You will particularly feel impressed with optimum adjustments and comfort for your child during the travel.
Safety tested for NHTSA standard; the travel car seat is made for use only in the US. As the size of the seat is quite small, it can fit comfortably, even in a tote or backpack. Customers are thrilled with this purchase as it is compact, sturdy, and well padded. Go ahead and get rid of that bulky car seat and get the grab-and-go car booster seat instead!
- Most compact and portable.
- Multiple adjustments.
- Easy to carry and fit.
- Optimum safety and comfort.
- Seats could use more cushioning.
- For use only in the US.
4. BubbleBum Inflatable
BubbleBum prides itself on creating an inflatable travel car booster seat. Nothing can be easy to use and install as this one. What makes the product unique is that it has won the Best Bet Booster award for several years and passed the crash test even when deflated. With useful features like toughened nylon seatbelt and webbing harness, the seat indeed promises much higher structural integrity.
The inflatable travel car seat is perfect for children aged from age four to eleven years. The foldable design makes it easier to carry and lightweight. One can deflate it quickly and store it in a purse or backpack. The narrow and slimline design of the seat makes it perfect for adjusting within limited paces. The booster car seat keeps up with the US and EU safety regulations and protects your child completely.
- Ultra-lightweight foldable design.
- Small and slimline design.
- Impact-absorbing memory foam.
- Global award-winning product.
- Convenient and affordable.
- One requires the help of an expert for installation.
5. Cosco Apt
Another popular choice when it comes to the best travel car seat is the convertible car seat from Cosco meant exclusively for infants and toddlers. You will be provided with a big plus in the travel seat is the 5-point harness plus six heights and three buckle locations.
Those features ensure an entirely secure and comfortable fit for the child. Other useful features include two cup holders to handle the drinks or a snack. Thanks to the lightweight and compact design, it is easy to carry the seat.
The seat exceeds federal and ASTM safety standards and comes with a one-year warranty. It is certified for aircraft use and easy to clean.
- The lightweight and compact design.
- Machine-washable and dryer-safe.
- One year limited warranty.
- Useful features designed for safety.
- Substantial value and smart design.
- Padding is not very thick.
6. Evenflo Sonus
Traveling with kids becomes a lot easier once you get the Convertible Car Seat, an Evenflo Sonus product. This versatile car seat is perfect for infants and toddlers because it is a full-featured car seat tested and trusted as per federal safety standards. With a mind-blowing airflow ventilation system, you can count on a comfortable traveling experience for your child.
It is straightforward to clean with mild soap and water. Other useful features include Up-front adjustment, five shoulder strap positions, two cup holders, and head pillow.
Now you can travel with freedom with the Sonus car seat that can be yours for an affordable price. You can even carry it on the plane and take it with you during your family vacations around the world.
- Full-featured car seat.
- Revolutionary ventilation system.
- Affordable price.
- Useful features.
- Not useful for an infant with no head control.
7. Cosco Fit 65 DX
Designed to safeguard your baby or toddler, Cosco offers the Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat that is extra comfortable. The latch equipped car seat comes with two modes of use, thanks to its compact design and lightweight, it is easier to manage the car seat.
Make your child extra secure because of the side impact protection. The car seat is easy to clean and machine washable because it is made with premium fabric and plush padding.
Other useful features include five-point harness adjusts and three buckle locations. It is indeed an excellent option for the growing families as the quality is impressive, and one can feel 100% confident about the safety of their kids.
- Substantial value and smart design.
- Compact and lightweight.
- One year limited warranty
- Adjustable head support can be awkward.
8. Graco Atlas
The engineered and crash tested model from Graco is seen among the lightest and most secure car seats available. So, go ahead and make your next trip a breeze with this five-point harnessed car seat that comes with a high back belt-positioning booster.
Adjust the height of the harness and headrest according to your child, his safety, and comfort. Added features include harness straps that come in a storage compartment, buckle cover, dual cup holders, and harness cover.
The harness booster seat complies with the US standards for safety and designed to grow with your child. Keep your child adequately positioned, safe, and comfortable during those long rides.
- Easy to install.
- Only a safe adjust harness system.
- It has padded straps and a crotch buckle.
- Less bulky.
- Good quality material.
- Headrest made of cheap Styrofoam.
9. Graco Nautilus
With extensive adjustable features and 5-position adjustable headrest, the Graco car seat keeps your child’s comfort and safety at the priority. You can keep those unused harness straps in the handy harness storage compartment. They will keep your baby or toddlers completely safe, thanks to the TrueShield protective shields. All components of the car seat, the harness, body support, and buckle covers are machine washable. It is straightforward and easy to install the car seat.
The booster car seat is in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations, and the body support plus the fuss-free harness keeps your child comfy. The travel car seat grows and adjusts with your growing child.
- Compact design.
- TrueShield protective shields.
- Machine washable.
- Based on dynamic tests.
- Only safe adjust harness.
- It cannot remove the seat covers easily for washing.
10. Maxi-Cosi Pria Max
One of the most popular convertible car seats, the Maxi-Cosi Pria Max seat is unique because of its 3 in 1 seating system. The seat is just as safe as it says, exceeding safety standards. Side impact protection with GCell keeps the head of your child safe. Thanks to the one-click latch connectors, one can expect easier installation.
What makes it a lot easier to handle and use the car seat are the Clipquik auto magnetic chest clip, harness covers, and a flip away buckle. The Max 3-in-1 car seat will grow with your child and has been designed for convenience and ease. The premium fabrics and soft cushions are machines washable.
- 3 in 1 seating system.
- Side Impact protection.
- Easier to handle and install.
- Machine washable.
- Easy in and out.
- Not designed to be rear-facing.
11. Hiccapop UberBoost
Do not be surprised to see inflatable booster car seat that is super portable as well as safe and inflatable. The car seats need not be heavy and bulky or impractical. It takes just a few breaths to inflate the car seat, which is so easy and straightforward to install. And within minutes, you are all set to go! As it can deflate as quickly, you can roll it and pack it in your backpack or a carry-on.
Now your child can enjoy a comfortable and safe car seat that has been designed to sit firm and steady. With just the right dimensions, the uber boost inflatable car seat is just perfect for smaller vehicles. The buoyant and extra comfy seats ensure higher security and comfort, even on those bumpy roads. With a 100% lifetime guarantee, you can have peace of mind with this product.
- Light and practical.
- Comfortable and safe car.
- Perfect for smaller vehicles.
- It is engineered for safety.
- Unparalleled customer care.
- 100% lifetime guarantee.
- No cup holder.
Parents who always remain on edge about the safety of their child can have a look at this sleek, high back car seat. A product of Hifold, which is one of the most adjustable boosters with 243 Individual settings, this car seat is perfect for children of various sizes and weights. Thanks to the unique “Multi-Fit” Technology, the car seat can be adjusted for the seat, body, head, and height of the child.
Equipped with the most portable high back booster, your child can now look forward to optimum seatbelt fit and comfort. The advanced multi-fold system means it is convenient to store, and the lightweight design makes it easier to carry and install the car seat. You can pick from two attractive colors of red and grey. The fun will get better when you have compact safety for every adventure.
- Optimal seatbelt fit and comfort.
- Multi-fold system.
- Multi-fit technology.
- Lightweight design.
- Compact and convenient.
- It moves around a bit too much.
13. Diono Radian
The all-in-one convertible car seat from Diono is indeed a coveted car seat that has been specially developed for your little ones. You will see it grow with them until they are ten years old. The innovative safety features include an unyielding structure built with automotive-strength steel.
The dual spine engineering ensures a robust construction to protect your child. What particularly will impress you is the memory foam seat bottom, it is energy absorbing and adds to comfort and safety. Radian 3’s smart design allows one to install three in the vehicle and without compromising on the space.
The super latch system ensures a fast and straightforward installation for the car seat, which is an aircraft approved model. Thus, you can take it along with you during the flights.
- Automotive-strength steel.
- Dual spine engineering.
- Fast and simple installation.
- Safety from all angles.
- The recline is not adjustable.
14. Graco TrioGrow
Careful designing and thoughtful additions are what make the Graco 3 in 1 car seat special. Boasting of
SnugLock Technology, the manufacturer has ensured that the seat is swift and easy to install. Added features include high back booster, forward-facing harness, and Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.
Now you can adjust the headrest and harness with just one simple motion. You can get up to ten headrest positions along with removable inserts; it means more comfort for your child.
ProtectPlus engineering from Graco promises to keep your child safe and protected from all directions. Not to mention, you can keep drinks and snacks close at hand because of the two cup holders.
- One-second attachment.
- SnugLock technology.
- It features added convenience and safety.
- It has ten positions for headrest and harness.
- Six position recline.
- Lighter and adjustable.
- Easy in and out.
- Padding is a bit slim.
Hiccapop leaves no stone unturned when it comes to making the best travel car seat for toddlers. The easily portable and packable car seat can be inflated with just a few breaths. As the seat meets all the federal standards for safety, this is indeed the seat your child deserves for those long trips.
Get rid of those bulky and uncomfortable car seats. It is because you can get this car seat is light and easy to install that can inflate and deflate in no time. You can surely enjoy exceptional comfort and soothing stability with this seat that makes your kids extra comfy. Safety comes peace; you will get peace of mind as the product comes with a 100% lifetime guarantee. The car set is just perfect for a holiday and meets the changing needs of expanding families.
- Sturdy, stable, secure.
- Portable and packable.
- Super comfortable.
- 100% lifetime guarantee.
- Lightweight and practical.
- Removal of the nozzle can cause substantial air loss.
The Significance Of The Proper Installation
There is no denying one can access a vast range of top-quality travel car seats, but the worst part is improper installation. If the car seat is incorrectly installed, even the best quality car seat cannot completely protect the child from a crash. NHTSA studies reflect that maximum misuse rates arise due to improperly installed seats.
1. The Proper Seat
Look closely at the height and weight limits of the travel car seat and keep in mind the age factor. Right installation begins with making the right choices, and it only is when you install the best travel car seat for your child correctly that you can expect 100% safety.
2. The Fit Of The Seat
Once the seat has been installed, check for its security and fit, and it should not move more than an inch in any side or direction. It can be tricky to get that precise or tight fit for your child.
3. The Height And Fit Of The Harness
For rear-facing installation, the harness straps should be below the baby’s shoulders, and for forward-facing, the straps should be kept above the shoulders of the baby. Keep those chest clips always at the armpit level. Ensure that the harness straps are appropriately secured and should not pinch the child or the fabric.
4. Check The Recline
As a final check for the installation, it is essential to assess the recline angle to avoid the risk of a
forward fall of your child. So, check the recline for rear-facing seats to prevent the chances of falling forward as well as obstruct breathing.
Some Tips for The Parents
1. Do not put your child in the travel car seat with the winter coats on as the straps will not be comfortable and secure enough for the child to keep him or her protected. You can place the coat on the child after he has been secured and buckled in.
2. The harness bands should be placed at the proper height, comfortable, and fit snug on the shoulders of the child.
3. It is advised to keep your baby rear-facing until he is two years old, and the child should ride in the backseat until age 13.
4. Stick with a forward-facing harness until the child outgrows the height or weight limits.
5. Never use a travel car seat with misplaced parts or features. Check the model number, manufacture date, and do not use the seat if the instruction manual is not available.
6. Even if those car seats have been fortunate not to be in a crash, they do expire. Look for the printed expiry date and replace them as and when needed.
7. Replace any car seat immediately if it is not proper for your child or damaged in any way. Always be wary of using a secondhand car seat.
8. Contact the manufacturer if you still have any doubts and get more information on how to sue the travel car seat in case of fraudulence.
9. Before you install the travel car seat, it is essential to know the different components and the terms related to the seats.
Essential Glossary For Travel Car Seat
Check out the following quick guide on some of the standard car seat terms that you are likely to come across when shopping or reading the manual.
- The car bed is for babies and infants who are too small or have a medical need to lie flat.
- The belt path is the separate path of the seat belts based on how the seat is used.
- The chest clip is the plastic buckle positioned at armpit level and over the child’s chest.
- Lower anchors are the horizontal bars embedded in the back seat to provide more support.
- Tether is a tether strap and hook system to anchor the forward-facing car seat.
- An adjustable foot system is for adjusting and customizing the rear-facing car seat for the right angle.
- The automated locking system helps in locking the seat belt into the set position and keeps the seat belt tight.
- The best positioning booster seat is the high back Booster Seat with a built-in belt to position the seat.
- The detachable base is a separate base that is detachable for the rear-facing car seat.
- The emergency locking retractor is the retractor locks the seat belt every time the vehicle slows or stops.
- The level indicator lets you know about the recline angle of the seat and if it needs to be adjusted.
- Retractor rolls up and gathers all that extra webbing of the seat belt.
- The locking clip is a flat H-shaped metal clip that is felt in shape and clips the lap and shoulder webbing
FAQs on Travel Car Seats
1. Is It Okay To Buy Used Travel Car Seats That Are In Good Condition?
You will come across plenty of flea markets, garage sales and secondhand stores, and even online stores that sell second hand or used travel car seats. Well, it is never a good idea to buy any product that you do not know much about or unaware of its complete history. Even if the used car seat looks great, it is likely to have mislaid parts and labels.
The worst will be it may have faced a crash and perhaps has not been restored to its original condition. Therefore, one must avoid buying a used travel car seat unless you are buying it form a close friend or family member and 100% sure of its quality.
A used car seat is risky if it has been in a crash or if it lacks some parts or instructions. A car seat is also not safe if the manufacturer has issued a safety recall, and the seat has not been fixed.
2. Why The Need To Dress The Child In Thinner Layers Before Strapping Him Or Her To The Travel Car Seat?
Avoid bulky clothing for the child, especially during the winter as those heavy coats would lead to improper fit and can raise the risk of injury. A legitimate threat develops when the parents leave the harness a bit too loose if the child is wearing a big winter coat.
It is advisable to dress the child in thinner layers, strap him to the car seat, and then cover him with the coat or blanket over the buckled straps. Any extra slack in the harness can endanger the child.
3. What If One Needs To Drive More Children, And It Is Not Possible To Buckle Them All In The Back Seat For Safety?
Keep in mind that all children younger than 13 years must ride in the back seat, and it is best to avoid a situation where you cannot fit all of them. However, if you must drive more children, go for a forward-facing seat with a harness as the best possible choice in those situations. Just make sure to keep the vehicle seat as far and back from the dashboard.
4. High-Back Boosters And Backless Boosters—What Is The Difference?
The boosters are designed to raise your child for a better fit and higher safety. High-back boosters are used in vehicles with low seat backs and without headrests. Backless boosters are less bulky and more comfortable to move as well as less expensive. These are used in cars with high seatbacks and headrests.
5. Is There A Need To Get Anxious About The Airbags?
Safety belts and airbags on the car are meant to protect adults and teens in case of a collision and to prevent serious injuries. However, the airbags can be dangerous for young children sitting in the front passenger seat. It is because those airbags open with great force and have been designed to protect older children and adults, such a mechanism can injure head and neck injuries of smaller kids, toddlers, or infants.
This is why you need a travel car seat for your baby or toddler and follow some rules. For instance, never place a rear-facing seat in the front of a car with a side airbag, and it is best to place the child in the back seat. All kids should be seated in the middle of the back seat.
6. Which Is Safer: 3-Point Or 5-Point Harness?
It can be confusing for the parents to decide if the 5-point harness is better or the 3-point harness is good enough for the safety of their child. The significant difference between the two is the number of harnessing points and straps. As a general rule of thumb, the more the harnessing points, the higher is the safety when it comes to absorbing the extreme collision impacts.
The 3-point harness has no straps around the hips of the baby or the child; the collision forces can place excessive pressure on the shoulders and back and can injure the child in case of extreme collisions.
7. When To Change The Travel Car Seat?
Travel car seats usually expire within six to ten years. It is essential to look at the manufacture’s’ label and instructions and keep the model and date of production in mind. It is a good idea to take a picture of the name and store it on your phone.
8. How To Maintain A Car Seat So That It Can Last Longer?
If you follow the cleaning instructions, then you can maintain the car seat. The excellent maintenance leads to enhance durability. Avoid using any harsh chemicals and machine washing. Store it in a dry, cool place when not in use and under a protective cover. Change the travel car seat if you think it has outlived its life or your child has outgrown it or if showing any signs of wear and tear.
9. What Information Can One Get From The Travel Car Seat Labels?
The travel car seat labels carry essential information not just about the car seat but also on how to use it properly. These labels are placed on the seat and offer info about NHTSA certification, the weight and height guidelines along with necessary installation procedures. You can also know the manufacture’s name and address, the date of production, and the model number from the label. Some labels also carry information about FAA certification for use and an airbag warning as well as weight limits for when lower anchors.
10. Where To Buy The Travel Car Seats?
It is very easy to buy the travel car seats, and one can visit their local stores or browse online. You can explore large and reputed department stores such as Target and Walmart, where one can enjoy a wide selection as well as reasonable return policies.
Among the online retailers, some of the well-known brands include Amazon, Buy Buy Baby, Albee Baby, and Diapers. You can rely on their products to get the best travel car seats.
Buy A New Baby Travel Car Seat For Enhanced Safety And Comfort
Choosing, buying, and installing a car seat need not be rocket science for you anymore. Now that you have gone through the above easy-to-follow guide, you can go ahead and make well informed and confident choices when looking for the best travel car seat. You can now be sure of buying that perfect seat toast is easy to handle and install. There is no need to drive yourself crazy when looking for a car seat or when installing it or managing it.
Go ahead and ensure a world of total safety and optimum comfort for your child. Do not take the decision lightly as it is one of the most important investments you will make for your child. Take advantage of our car seat buying guide and refer to it to remove any guesswork or confusion. Save your time, money, and efforts, when looking for the right car seat. Your family is going to love the new travel car seat and feel proud of your choice.