Parent-Approved: The 6 Best Travel Infant Car Seats [ 2020 ]

Traveling with infants requires a good travel car seat that can travel with you. Not only will you want and need a seat that keeps your baby secure when riding in taxis or on car-led private tours, the seats can also keep your infant safe in their own seat on an airplane. We reviewed the best travel car seats for infants that are lightweight, travel well, and are relatively easy to set up. These are for infants up to age 18 months. They all weigh less than 22 pounds and convert from a rear- to front-facing seat. If traveling with older children, you’ll want to review our list of parent-approved car seats and boosters for toddlers.

Best Infant Car Seat Comparison Table

ImageBrandDetails
BEST OVERALL
EvenfloCheck price
PREMIUM PICK
BritaxCheck price
BEST VALUE
DionoCheck price
ChiccoCheck price
CoscoCheck price
GracoCheck price

Make your next family vacation a breeze

Travel with your kids now and build amazing memories as a family! Get our book, written by parents just like you, that will guide you all the way.

Make your next family vacation a breeze

Our Rating Criteria

  • Weight limit for kids: The car seats and boosters listed here are for children under 22 pounds and under age 18 months. We list the maximum weight capacity to make it easy for you to determine if it can handle your child.
  • Ease for travel: Lightweight, easy-to-travel-with car seats receive a higher ranking than if it’s cumbersome and heavy.
  • Ease of installation: This is important when catching an Uber or installing on a crowded plane. We give top ratings to car seats that are simple to install. The longer it takes to install, the lower the rating.
  • Optionality: This refers to whether the car seat can face forward and backward. Every car seat on this list has that feature.
  • Value for money: When we add up all our criteria and combine it with the price, we give higher ratings to those that offer the most features for the least amount of money.

Best Infant Car Seat Product Reviews

1. Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat

BEST OVERALL
Highlighted Features
  • It’s lightweight: it is very compact and only weighs 9lbs which is very remarkable.
  • It has a 5-point harness system and four strap position for safety reasons that allows comfortable adjustments
  • The cushion provides excellent comfort to the baby, and a has a removable pillow
  • It has a slim design that is perfectly fit to fit in cars and aeroplanes
  • The upfront harness adjustment system and buckle release enhances durability

This convertible car seat is super inexpensive, which makes for a great travel car seat. Rear-facing, it can seat infants between 5 and 40 pounds, and then turns forward for children who are between 22 to 40 pounds. For safety, the Evenflo has a five-point harness system and has four shoulder strap positions. Add to these benefits the fact that it weighs just 12 pounds! We love the Tribute for hitting the road, and so do other parents. Of the 4,000 people that have reviewed it, eighty-one percent give it 4 to 5 stars.

Agreeing with us on this as a great travel seat is one father who wrote, “Attention to those who travel!!!! Especially those moms and dads who have to lug the car seat from the rental car/limousine, through the airport and then install it in an airline seat. THIS IS THE SEAT TO BUY!!! My wife and I travel frequently with our toddler son. It’s light! At 9 pounds, it makes carrying it a joy through the airport, especially when you see the other poor parents at an airport trying to lug the 20-pound “Luxury Sofa” that is supposed to be a simple child seat.”

Pros
  • It’s very lightweight
  • Great value for money
  • Better cushion and layered protection
  • Easy to install
  • Great for travel
Cons
  • The padding can be very thin

Our ratings:

Weight limit for kids: 5 to 40 pounds
Ease for travel: 5/5
Ease of installation: 5/5
Optionality: Yes
Value for money: 5/5

2. Britax Allegiance Convertible Car Seat

PREMIUM PICK
Highlighted Features
  • It’s easy to install: the latch connectors and inbuilt lock make the installation very fascinating.
  • It is very manageable: more comfortable to clean; you just have removed the seat without removing the car seat
  • Its construction and outlook are ideal for safety: the design has a steel frame, impact-absorbing base and forward and a reducing V-shaped tether.
  • Does not require any rethreading: it has a fast ten position harness and a headrest that continually grows with your child.

We just love the Allegiance. Not only does it look stylish and comfortable, but it offers a 10-position harness to safely hold infants between 8.5 to 17.5 inches without having to redo the belts. Infants from 5 to 40 pounds sit rear-facing in this car seat and can sit forward facing at weights of 20 to 65 pounds. The latch connectors are easy to install on this $165 car seat, which weighs 19.5 pounds. The weight makes it very sturdy but also heavy to carry when you travel.

Still, seventy-one percent of parents give this car seat a 5-star review, citing its safety features as being the best of the best. One parent raved: “This brand is the LAND ROVER of car seats for babies and toddlers. It is well-designed and smart looking. Easy in and out for infants and children. Easy to take apart and clean.”

Pros
  • Very easy to install
  • Extremely durable
  • Easy to take apart
Cons
  • Does not work for airplanes
  • Heavy to carry during travel

Our ratings:

Weight limit for kids: 5 to 65 pounds
Ease for travel: 3/5
Ease of installation: 4/5
Optionality: Yes
Value for money: 4/5

3. Diono Radian 3RX All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

BEST VALUE
Highlighted Features
  • It’s a convertible seat: the rear-facing (5 to 45 pounds) and front-facing (up to 65 pounds ) can be converted to a booster seat for toddlers.
  • Has a five shoulder and three buckle positions for security.
  • It can easily be folded which makes it very fit for travel
  • It’s easier to install: the super clutch system makes the installation easier with just one audible click.
  • Has a unique design: it is fabricated with a tough steel engineered into a dual spine which helps to provide unyielding structure for baby’s protection.

Priced at $250, the Diono Radian is an expensive option but has been approved by the FAA as safe for airplane use for children. Rear-facing (5 to 45 pounds) or front-facing (up to 65 pounds), the car seat also converts into a booster seat for children 50 to 120 pounds, making the price worth it when you can take it into your child’s toddler years. The car seat features five shoulder and three buckle positions for a secure fit. The good news? It folds in half to make traveling with it easier. The bad? It weighs nearly 27 pounds! Ouch.

However, parents still love it for its sturdiness and safety features. Eighty-one percent of parents gave the car seat 5 stars. One mom said, “I love the fact that I can go anywhere with my Diono Radian. I’ve had this barely a month and already traveled by plane three times, toting my 10-month-old daughter. Be warned, it is heavy; if you’re carrying a baby, too, then check the car seat. But, I love the fact that I can go anywhere with my baby. The attachment systems are really easy and versatile.”

Pros
  • Has a heavy-duty fabric
  • The seat is ideal for growth in height and weight
  • Tremendously streamlined hence it can easily fit in the back two seats of the car
  • Very comfortable.
Cons
  • It is heavy to carry around

Our ratings:

Weight limit for kids: 5 to 120 pounds
Ease for travel: 3/5
Ease of installation: 4/5
Optionality: Yes
Value for money: 5/5

4. Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat

Highlighted Features
  • The padding is very soft and machine washable for convenience and comfort
  • it has a space-saving cup holder and  a dishwasher safe
  • the nine positions set up for rear and forward-facing set up can accommodate the growth of your child.
  • It is effortless to install with the nine position reclining system, Sure levelling system, SuperCinch LATCH Tightened and Locked Sure seat belt-tightening.
  • Zip-off padding is exceptionally soft and machine- washable for comfort and convenience of the toddler.

If you want safety and security, you’ll certainly find it with the NextFit, which gets high marks not only from parents but consumer reports as well. You’ll also pay for these high ratings, though. It costs $300 — the most expensive car seat on this list. On the plus side, you won’t need to re-thread the 17-inch harness, and children will have nine positions for both rear- and forward-facing setup. The steel frame adds to the seat’s solid 25-pound frame. It’s heavy and not great for travel, but the weight is what parents love about it, citing sturdiness, safety, and support as its benefits.

“We bought this in preparation for an 11-hour road trip,” one parent wrote. “The adjustable inclines are great. Our 5-month-old seems to like it so far. It sits rather high. Taking him out you have to be careful not lifting him too high, his head will hit the roof of the vehicle. Other than that, it’s great. Safe, comfortable, breathable. High safety test rating got us sold.”

Pros
  • It’s very comfortable.
  • Easy installation
  • The zip feature is a lifesaver
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • It is heavy and bulky

Our ratings:

Weight limit for kids: 5 to 65 pounds
Ease for travel: 2/5
Ease of installation: 4/5
Optionality: Yes
Value for money: 4/5

5. Cosco Comfy Convertible Car Seat

Highlighted Features
  • The 5 point harness system is easily adjustable from the front seat and has six heights and three buckles,
  • It can accommodate infants of 5 pounds and toddlers of 40 pounds in a rear-facing mode.
  • Its aircraft certified and give your child a comfortable seat while travelling
  • It exceeds and meets the federal safety standards and has a one year warranty.

Though a bit bulky, this car seat weighs 12 pounds and serves as both a rear- and front-facing seat for children up to 50 pounds. Cosco’s Comfy Convertible Car Seat only costs $100 and makes a good option for a travel seat. The harness features five points, with five heights and three buckle locations to accommodate up to 50 pounds when it faces backwards. When installed in the forward-facing poisition, it can accommodate up to 60 pounds. We wish it could hold more weight when it faces forward, but due to its lightness and price, we can let that fact slide.

What we cannot let slide is the bulky size, which makes it difficult to face the rear when placing in a smaller car. You might not have a choice in car size when taking a private tour, so keep that in mind when selecting this seat. One grandmother said: “Caution: I have bucket seats front and rear in my car, so not an issue. However, can’t use it in my daughter’s smaller car rear-facing (Civic). It’s wide and the length/height is an inadequate fit between the rear and front seats. Not enough room to level it properly. Used it in a standard-size rental car and it just fit between the front and back seats (thankfully!). So if you have a need to place three across or use it in a smaller car, the Comfy is probably not your best choice.”

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Very secure
  • Easy to install
  • Great for travel
Cons
  • Not enough room to level it successfully.
  • It is very wide and cannot fit between the rear and front seat.

Our ratings:

Weight limit for kids: 5 to 50 pounds
Ease for travel: 3/5
Ease of installation: 4/5
Optionality: Yes
Value for Money: 3/5

6. Graco Size4Me 65 Convertible Car Seat

Highlighted Features
  • Has a safe adjust harness system that quickly adjusts the height of your harness and headrest to 8 positions in just a single motion this is for the safety of your child.
  • The machine-washable rapid remove can be removed faster without disrupting the car seat.
  • It is majorly designed to keep your child very secure through the rear-facing and forward-facing holding a toddler of 22-65 lbs
  • A sound LATCH system for just a second LATCH attachment

Graco is known for making great car seats for infants, and this stylish yet convertible seat can safely seat those as small as four pounds and up to 65 pounds. The headrest adjusts to eight positions, the seat has three levels of recline, and an easy latch system makes it easy to get kids in and out of the seat. It weighs just over 19 pounds and is priced middle-of-the-road at $180.

More than 800 parents like this car seat, which averages a 4.5-star review. One dad found that it, unlike the aforementioned Cosco, works well in compact cars. “This is a great size for a compact car. I drive a Hyundai Elantra and this fits both rear and front facing. It leaves enough room on either side for additional passengers, and does not require that the front seats be pushed up too far/too close to the dash.”

Pros
  • Multiple reclining positions
  • Very comfortable
  • It has easy to adjust shoulder straps
  • It is a safe and secure car seat
Cons
  • it’s a bit heavy

Our ratings:

Weight limit for kids: 4 to 65 pounds
Ease for travel: 3/5
Ease of installation: 3/5
Optionality: Yes
Value for money: 3/5

Best Infant Car Seats For Travel Buyer Guide

When buying infant Car Seats for travel, there are several things that you must consider. You want to make sure that you buy only the best seat hence the need to take into account some of these important features.

Convertibility

A convertible car seat will grow with your child. You can use many of the convertible car seats from birth to potentially uptil  80 lbs. It is one of the crucial considerations to make while purchasing a travel infant car seat because a convertible seat helps to save money, especially if you have no plans of spending a lot on the car seat.

FAA approval

it is significant to ensure that your car seat is approved by the FAA or has an FAA approval this to avoid any form of inconvenience while travelling by plane. You don’t want to reach the airport and be told that your car seat is not FAA approved. You can always check the sticker on the side indicating, “The restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.” Airports might want to see the approval before checking in.

Width of the seat

This is very important, mainly due to the amount of space it might take while installing it in the car and for travel.  Slim design will also fit on the doorways while carrying it and leave another space for the children to be taken in the rear seat. The compact design is also crucial during security scanning.

Weight

Before buying a car seat, it’s essential to consider the importance of the car seat for your convenience and sanity, especially when trying to install it. It’s tough to move around a bulky car seat, lightweight is essential when choosing a travel infant car seat.

Steel reinforcement frames

This is most important for the rigidity of the car seat. The steel frames are engrossed with titanium, and still, that helps to improve the rigidity to minimize any form of accidents and injuries. It ensures the stability of the car seat.

Minimal rethread harness

The no-rethread harness is a type of adjuster that allows you to raise and lower the straps without unhooking them. As the child grows, you can be able to adjust the harness according to the baby’s height and also your preference while steering. Most car seats require the owner to do the rethreading after spending a lot in buying the car seat itself.

Adjustability

The more versalite the car seat the better so it supports a growing toddler. Examples include headrest, right harness height adjustments (5 or more height positions is excellent), crotch buckle adjustments (2 preferably), recline adjustments.

Cost

Your budget on how much you are willing to spend on the car seat is essential. There are costly car seats, and not everyone could afford. As you research on the exact car seat that you want, it is vital to know how much you can afford.

FAQs

Q.Does my child have to be in the child seat’s weight range?

A:Yes. It is important that you buy a seat that suits your child’s weight limit. If your child is too big for the seat, then they will not be properly protected and may even injure then in a crash. If it is too small, the child may slip under the seat belt and be thrown about inside the vehicle.

Q:  What should I do if the infant seat doesn’t rest properly on the car seat?

A: The size and shape of infant seats differ hence some models may not fit in certain car models. If the infant seat doesn’t fit properly it will be difficult for it to be securely held in the car. You need to replace it with one that rests well on the seat.

Q: What should I do if the harness doesn’t fit my child?

A: Baby seats usually have a 5-point harness to hold the child in the seat.  If the harness doesn’t fit your child, read the seat’s instructions booklet to ensure it is well adjusted.

Q: Should I consider a different car seat for travel?

Yes, your usual car seat may not be suitable for travel especially if you are using a rented vehicle. It can also be super bulky to take the car seat all over. Hence, we strongly believe it is worth looking for a separate and more lightweight seat for travel purposes.

0 0 vote
Article Rating

Ready to embark on an adventure with your kids?

Subscribe to our newsletter AND get a free sample copy of our entire book, How to Travel With Kids (Without Losing Your Mind)!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments