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  1. #1
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    Travel Vest and CARES

    I'm traveling by air in May when my twins will be just over 2. I was planning to gate check their seats and get some CARES harnesses for the plane. We are traveling with my sister and her 8 year old is bringing his booster along.

    I am nervous about fitting their travel seats (Avenues) and his booster in the rental. I have a full size SUV reserved, we have a Pilot at home but have Marathons installed in it, but we've also rarely gotten the car promised! This weekend we had one of the avenues installed in our accord in the middle and his booster couldn't sit next to it due to the curve in the back of the seat on the edge. So, I got nervous not knowing what sort of seat would be in the rental!

    So....I just discovered (well, read on here!) about those travel vests and got to thinking that I could buy 2 of those for the use on the plane by my boys and then he could use it in the rental. But....as I write this I remember hearing that CARES is the only one approved for airplane travel so maybe I just wrote all this for nothing? We will travel plenty so I don't mind buying the CARES but got to thinking of the use for the vests in the future too.

    Thanks...hope this isn't in the wrong spot, I thought there was a travel section but I could't see it.

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  3. #2
    CPS Fanatic mom2juliarose's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    The RSTVs are not approved for use on the plane, so that would be out. Can you bring the Avenues with you for your twins and then your sister get a RSTV for her son? At 8, I'm guessing he'd need the larger size.

    Sorry if I got your question confused, though.
    Anne, driving a '13 Odyssey and an '05 CRV

    DD-Julia 9/04 (5 stepping now!)
    DS1-Luca 11/10 (Graco Wayz and Graco HB Turbobooster)
    DS2- Enzo 7/15 (Chicco NextFit and Diono R100)

  4. #3
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    RSTVs are also not approved for two year olds. How heavy are they? Would they fit with the booster if the Avenues are rear facing? That'd be far safer for them anyway.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  5. #4
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    As PP said, you cannot use the travel vests on the plane. They are approved for vehicle use only, either in a lap-shoulder belt OR in a position with a lap-belt only IF it has a top tether anchor.

  6. #5
    CPS Technician ctbcleveland's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    What about renting a minivan instead? You'll have no problem with your seats if you get that instead, or really any car with a third row. I doubt the price will be much different than an SUV.
    Chardon, Ohio - One Heartbeat - 2/27/12

  7. #6
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    If I were in your situation I would use the car seats on the plane rather than CARES because even gate checking can sometimes damage seats. I like to have them with me and know how they have been treated.
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member TnT's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    I have been researching and asking lots of questions about the RSTV lately. I don't think it is for use for children under 3? Someone please correct me if I am wrong! The previous poster's thoughts about your nephew using the RSTV sounds like a better solution. What kind of booster does he ride in? A high back or a low back? Maybe there is something narrower that might puzzle better with your Avenues?

    Also, I would be leery to check your carseats since they may not make it to your destination and they may be banged around compromising them. Oh, I just reread and saw you were going to gate check them. Could your sister help you carry them on and let your twins use them on the plane? I think that would actually be easier than getting the CARES harnesses for the plane.
    DS#1 12yrs., 85lbs., 58"tall, 5-stepping in my car!
    DS#2 9yrs., 65lbs., 49" tall, Jane Indy, Compass Pathway B570

  9. #8
    Senior Community Member Evolily's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    the new RSTV is rated for 3 and 30 lbs. Although there are definitely situations where a parental decision may be made to use it slightly under the age limit, your children are really too young. The old RSTV is rated for 35 lbs, with no age limit, however even if both children weigh 35 lbs they probably would not fit the seat well.

    If you want to use a RSTV, perhaps you could get a large one for the 8 year old (the large is rated 50-80 lbs?). Otherwise it's just not a good option.
    Formerly known as CelticLabyrinth
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  10. #9
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    Quote Originally Posted by ctbcleveland View Post
    What about renting a minivan instead? You'll have no problem with your seats if you get that instead, or really any car with a third row. I doubt the price will be much different than an SUV.
    In my experience minivans are a lot more expensive than pretty much anything else you might want to rent. Not true for everyone? Maybe it depends on the company?
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  11. #10
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    Thanks everyone. yes, minivans are much more expensive, it really surprised me. And, I'm scared if I drive one I might want once since we're adding a third child soon!

    OK, I'll go with my original plan. If the booster doesn't fit then we'll see if they have a minivan I guess but we'll try the avenues and booster in our Pilot and see how that goes to check also. The vests are expensive and would just be for this trip so I don't want to have her buy one but was thinking I would for our future use since it would be great while traveling!

    We have flown a lot with them but not since Sept. and they always had a seat. But, it was soooo stressful with them kicking seats and sorry, there's no way to stop them other than making them scream at that age (less than 18 mo!). We tried both rear and forward this last trip on the plane. So, I was enthused with the CARES thinking it would give them more room to play too since they're older and not great plane sleepers apparently.

    They are both 30lbs so I thought even if they're not 3 we could slip by on the plane but if they're not allowed I guess it doens't matter!

    Oh, I just read back and that's a good thoguht about a smaller booster and I could just buy him that. He's in a regular graco booster, I'm not sure if this one ever had a back on it or not because he used to have that but my sister has given these to all family members once he got big enough for it so I'm pretty sure mine was new and just the backless one. What are other good options that are slimmer?

  12. #11
    Senior Community Member TnT's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    Do you know how big he is? Height wise and torso wise? That would help if you are considering a narrower high back booster. The old style Parkway is pretty narrow for a HBB, but would be difficult to impossible to pack in a suitcase I would think and it wouldn't fit as a carry on in the overhead compartment. Also, he might be too big for it anyway. I am not sure what some narrower width low back boosters are. But there are tons of people here who can make good recommendations. The RSTV still might make the most sense for him since bringing his booster may be problematic size wise. My almost 9 year old rides in a Compass B510 HBB that folds for traveling and has a bag and fits in the overhead compartment on the plane but it is wide so would be a possible problem in the rental car with the Avenues.

    As far as the kicking on the plane could your sister and nephew book the seats directly in front of your twins? That way they are only kicking the seats of their own relatives? This is what we always did with my younger son...he and I would sit behind my husband and my older son so older son got the bumping of his seat not some crabby stranger .
    DS#1 12yrs., 85lbs., 58"tall, 5-stepping in my car!
    DS#2 9yrs., 65lbs., 49" tall, Jane Indy, Compass Pathway B570

  13. #12
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    I don't think CARES would work for them if they are only 30 lbs. I know it says 1 year and 20 lbs, but from the pictures I've seen I would say it really only starts working well around 35 lbs, around the same time kids are outgrowing a rear facing car seat.

    I think around 18 months is one of the hardest ages to fly with kids. Perhaps this trip will be better. Did rear facing on the plane not solve the kicking problems? Hmm...
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  14. #13
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    Well we have the option of taking seats on and I'll bring along CARES as well as it is a great option in the future if it's too much for now. We have 4 legs on our trip so we'll have a good system when we are finally home!

    I can't remember all our rear facing/forward on the plane. I think what it has been is installation issues (recline amount), the person in front not able to recline, and rushing to get out of the way combined.

    My sister and nephew are booked in front of us so that does solve the kicking I guess! Does anyone know the rules about placing a carseat along the aisle though? I know from past experience that they don't want rear facing along the aisle or blocking anyone in (one flight let me block my mother in thoguh but no strangers!). Even forward facing is tough to get by though.

    Thanks.

  15. #14
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    FAA regulations allow seats on the aisle. But if it's hard to get by I wouldn't if I could avoid it.

    The person in front of you is not required to be allowed to recline. When they buy their ticket they're not buying a reclining seat. They may end up in the row in front of the exit row, or the last row of a cabin. Neither of which recline. On our last flight there was no way Piper could recline with Laine behind her (which was intentional, Piper doesn't care), but oh well if another person had been there. They could have asked to be reseated, or just dealt with it. Even in the grand scheme of things, say flying from North America to Asia, your longest flights out there commercially are about 16 hours. Sure, it'll suck to not be able to recline, but a flight that long is going to suck no matter what. And either way it's only about 0.002% of your life. So if you're on a shorter flight than 16 hours, it's even less of their life, and oh well. They can deal or be reseated, just like they would have if they'd found themselves in a row that doesn't recline.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  16. #15
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    How much do the twins weigh? The new RSTV is not approved for less than 3 years, as others said. The old one has no lower age limit, but is for 35 lbs. and up-- but actually tends to fit around 37-39 lbs.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  17. #16
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Travel Vest and CARES

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    FAA regulations allow seats on the aisle. But if it's hard to get by I wouldn't if I could avoid it.
    Actually, that's not entirely accurate. They say that it shouldn't impede anyone's access to the aisle and most airlines wont allow a car seat to be placed there. This is where it gets technical; the airlines can't change FAA regs but they can add to them. Both airlines I worked for did NOT allow car seats on the aisle. I only know of one that does allow seats to be put on the aisle and I'm not entirely sure all of them can (Delta).

    Also, about the reclining seats, none of the aircraft we used for long haul international had any seats which did not recline. I believe that on some of the smaller aircraft used for domestic "short hops" had a row or two that stayed upright but I don't have much experience on domestic. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

    Passengers can get very hot and bothered about this issue so be warned. Try to get the bulkhead seats or sometimes the first row of economy will work (the business class seats are either far enough forward or there is a decorative wall dividing it). Call the airline if you weren't initially able to get the seats you want. Keep calling...

    Talk to them at check-in. They might be able to put employees travelling on passes in front of you if a bulkhead isn't available, or another family with children. Small children are okay if the seat doesn't recline. Pass riders will also be good about this. They didn't pay for the seat and are just happy to be on board lol!

    Be prepared to negotiate and/or split up if necessary. Pack two diaper bags if needed!
    Former Flight Attendant, 13 years, 2 companies in 5 countries
    3 trilingual, international travelers with two nationalities
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