Making kids safer, one question at a time.  Welcome to the Car-Seat.Org community!   Motor Vehicle Crashes are the #1 cause of fatal injury for children and adults, age groups 1 to 34.   Selecting a safe car, minivan or SUV, plus correctly using child restraints and seatbelts may be the most important things you can do to protect your family.   Need help installing an infant, convertible or booster seat?   Looking for carseat reviews or compatibility advice? Need help buying the best and safest car seats for your baby, toddler or older kid?   No question is a bad one, so please click here to ask our experts a question and then join our friendly community of moms, dads, caregivers and advocates in the USA and Canada.   Thank you for visiting; buckle-up and drive safely!


 

Sponsored Ads

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29
  1. #1
    Unregistered
    Guest

    car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Hi,

    I've been searching these boards extensively and have found the advice posted to be very useful. It just occurred to me that I could try to post my specific question to see what people advise. We will be traveling to Seattle from Detroit (non-stop flight) at the end of July for a vacation with our 4.5 year old son. He is about 35.5 lbs (without clothes) and 40.5 inches tall. I measured his torso (sitting down) at 14.5 or 15 inches. He rides in a Britax Frontier at home, but that seat seems too big lug on the plane (though I see that people have done it). Would it make sense for us to buy a fairly lightweight seat with a 40 lb. weight limit and high top harness slots like the Safety 1st Avenue or Evenflo Chase that we could use in both the plane and in the car at our destination? He may be able to get about 1 year of use out of it unless he hits a big growth spurt. At 5 1/2 (next summer) would it be okay for him to sit in the plane without a car seat and then use a hbb for travel, or would he still be too young?

    We considered the Safeguard Go but were concerned about the lack of side impact protection and that it requires a tether (and read that it is difficult to install with the seatbelt in the center seat). Also, we'd like a seat we could use on the plane. We also considered the Radian 65 but read that it might be hard to install in some cars. And we thought about the Ride Safer Travel Vest, but again are concerned about lack of side impact protection and are not sure about fit. The only other option we could think of was buying a Graco Nautilus, which I realize is only a little smaller than the Frontier he already has, but seems a bit narrower than the Frontier.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. # ADS
    Sponsored Ads
     
     

  3. #2
    CPS Technician cookie123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Mpls MN
    Posts
    4,624

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    The Graco Platinum Cargo would be a good choice. I've found it easy to install, but have not used it on a plane. I don't much like the harness adjuster on the Chase, personally. The Evenflo Generations would also be a decent choice, but is wider, so not sure about the plane. It does make a better booster seat later on.
    PEG - Gramma to:
    Hannah - 16 - Seatbelt! Reya - 1.5 4Ever/BLVD/Peg
    Brett - 15 - Seatbelt Nolan - 2.5 - 4Ever/Fllo
    Matt- 11 - Seatbelt Baby Boy due 1/17/19 Pipa
    Griffin - 6 - Parkway SG

  4. #3
    CPS Technician firemomof3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    5,039

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    I would also recommend the Graco Cargo
    DD1 10.5y/o seatbelt
    DD2 8y/o 45" 52lbs. backless
    DS 7y/o 51" 58lbs. ProBooster or backless

  5. #4
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    L.A. area
    Posts
    20,419

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    I think the Radian is an excellent choice, it will last longer than the CarGo by weight and has longer "pass down" value as it's good for 2 more years. If you're travelling somewhere where you'll get a car with LATCH it'll be no problem. Or really where you'll have a lap-only belt you can install it with, it's pretty simple to install with lap-only belt too. Quite honestly I wouldn't worry about the SIP either and would probably go for convenience and get the RSTV and a CARES if money was not an object and you wanted something to use on the plane.

    If not, then a lighter weight 40 lb. seat with tall slots can work too. CarGo is a very good choice, Avenue if you can't find the CarGo cheap (Avenue is about $65 at the Sears website, pick up in store, right now.)
    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!

  6. #5
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Thanks for all of the advice. I hadn't considered the Cargo (there are just so many seats out there!).

    If we go with the Radian 65, would we need to worry about compatibility with various vehicles? I've read that it's hard to install in some cars. All of the vehicles we'll be riding in should have latch, and it sounds as though it is not as hard to install with latch. We have a 2002 VW Passat at home. Does anyone know how the Radian installs in that car in case we want to use it at home (we had it retrofitted with latch, but once my son is over 40 lbs, well have to install with a seatbelt, right?).

    At one point I was leaning toward the RSTV, but my son always complains about having a sweaty back, so I was not sure how he'd like it. Also, since he's at the bottom of the weight range (about 35 lbs), I wasn't sure if it would fit, though he is a bit top heavy, so that might help.

    I was also still wondering whether it would be safe for us to consider putting him in a booster for future travel if we end up buying a 40 lb. seat, which should last him until he's 5 1/2 or so. I know we'd have to see how well he sits in a booster at that point, but would a 40 lb. 5 1/2 year old be safe in a booster?

    Thanks so much for all of your advice!

  7. #6
    CPS Advocate
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Invisible, but right behind you
    Posts
    9,820

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    I'd go with the CarGo. Affordable, will probably last you several years based on weight/age ratio. Very comfortable seat. Installs easily almost everywhere. Easy to haul around.

  8. #7
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    29,058

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    We have a Radian solely for a travel seat. We've had some tough times getting it in, but not in the US. Just in international cars. With LATCH it's generally very very easy. In any car (except a Lincoln Towncar).

    VW usually has a 48 pound limit. I don't think the retrofitted LATCH is any different. We have a 2004 Audi, so similar era, and I've had the Radian in forward facing, rear facing, with the belt, with LATCH. Goes in just fine in all positions in any direction. Remember, no center LATCH in the VW. And rental cars are hit and miss with center LATCH.

    The RSTV may be a bit big on him, though if he's top heavy then it'd probably fit him perfectly. My 38 pound daughter was very slim in it, but she's slim all over.

    I agree that a Cargo would be a nice lightweight travel seat, though. And yes, I'd put a 40 pound 5.5 year old in a booster for travel, provided he sat properly in one. That had been my plan for years, but we went to a RSTV after the Radian (mostly just because I wanted one).

    Jim Henson's Muppets are at the Experience Music Project at the Seattle Center until August 16th. And Animal Grossology is here until September 7 at the Pacific Science Center (also at the Seattle Center). There's also a great amusement park right at the base of the Space Needle, and of course you can't miss the Space Needle!! You could easily spend an entire day there, though, at the Seattle Center. The SAM, Seattle Art Museum, also has a kid's passport program, so if you go they're given a booklet to color in and things to find in the museum. It makes it a lot of fun for them to visit. We used to live right across the street from it and Piper would beg to go. They have family rooms with activities on each floor as well. Golden Gardens beach is nice, up in Ballard, if you want to dip your feet in the sound and freeze them off. LOL On Sundays you can go for free sailboat rides on Lake Union via the Center for Wooden Boats. http://www.cwb.org/ But you need to get there early to reserve a spot, they fill up fast. I haven't done it, but Nathan and Piper have tried a couple of times. We're doing a locks cruise later this month, which I've heard is great, but we haven't done it yet.

    Have a great time!!

    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

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    17

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Hi. I have a DS about the same size and age as yours. We went on a plane about 2 months ago. We took our backup seats which are a Chase and a Cargo (I also have a 2.5 yo DS). For my 4.5 yo DS, we did not use a seat on the plane for him. He was perfectly able to sit in a seatbelt and stay seated on the plane. We gate checked his seat (the Cargo) so that we would have it at our destination for the rental car. We used the Chase on the plane for our 2.5 yo DS. The Chase is light and fits great on a plane seat, but it was a pain to get my hand in the belt path to install it. So on the trip back, we used older DS's Cargo for him and it was much easier to install on the plane since it had more space behind it in the belt path. The Chase and Cargo are both great lightweight travel seats for kids on the smaller side. Just wanted to let you know our experience using both seats while traveling. Hope this helps. Oh and I saw Chases on clearance at Target this past weekend for 15% off.
    ANDREA

    DS1 | 6 | 45lbs, 45", 14.5" torso | Cowmoo PW & Let's Go TB
    DS2 | 3.75 | 37lbs, 40", 14" torso | Harnessed Reese Nautilus

  10. #9
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Quote Originally Posted by AYospe View Post
    Hi. I have a DS about the same size and age as yours. We went on a plane about 2 months ago. We took our backup seats which are a Chase and a Cargo (I also have a 2.5 yo DS). For my 4.5 yo DS, we did not use a seat on the plane for him. He was perfectly able to sit in a seatbelt and stay seated on the plane. We gate checked his seat (the Cargo) so that we would have it at our destination for the rental car. We used the Chase on the plane for our 2.5 yo DS. The Chase is light and fits great on a plane seat, but it was a pain to get my hand in the belt path to install it. So on the trip back, we used older DS's Cargo for him and it was much easier to install on the plane since it had more space behind it in the belt path. The Chase and Cargo are both great lightweight travel seats for kids on the smaller side. Just wanted to let you know our experience using both seats while traveling. Hope this helps. Oh and I saw Chases on clearance at Target this past weekend for 15% off.
    Thanks for your input. That info is very helpful. Can I ask how much growing room your 4.5 yo has in the Cargo?

    Thanks!

  11. #10
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    L.A. area
    Posts
    20,419

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    I would not check or gate check a seat except in dire circumstances. I would take the seat on the plane if you intend to use it at your destination.
    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!

  12. #11
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Yes, we would definitely bring the seat on the airplane, which is why we are looking for a lightweight one. Thanks!

  13. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    17

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Thanks for your input. That info is very helpful. Can I ask how much growing room your 4.5 yo has in the Cargo?

    Thanks!
    He still has about 2 inches left of torso height to go, which could take awhile. He will most likely outgrow it by weight before height. He is currently between 35-36 lbs, so about 4 lbs to go. He will be 5 next month and has had the seat since he was 3 as his back up. I am hoping he makes it to 6 in the seat, and then I will get him a booster as his back up seat.
    ANDREA

    DS1 | 6 | 45lbs, 45", 14.5" torso | Cowmoo PW & Let's Go TB
    DS2 | 3.75 | 37lbs, 40", 14" torso | Harnessed Reese Nautilus

  14. #13
    CPS Technician scoutingbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,280

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    I've never used a Chase on a plane, but we do use one as the seat in my parent's cars for C (he is about the size of a 4 year old...) Both of my kids outgrew it in weight before height, so it does have good, tall harness slots. I have no problem with the harness adjuster (and it gets my mom to put the chest clip in the correct place ) it only took a little getting used to to tighten one side, then tug the straps so I could pull the adjuster tight. Good luck with whatever you decide but since you are really trying to get a year out of the seat, I would also look for whatever you can find cheap!
    Karen
    A: 11 C: 9 M1: 5 M2: 6 months
    [SIZE="1"][COLOR="Black"]

  15. #14
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Quote Originally Posted by scoutingbear View Post
    I've never used a Chase on a plane, but we do use one as the seat in my parent's cars for C (he is about the size of a 4 year old...) Both of my kids outgrew it in weight before height, so it does have good, tall harness slots. I have no problem with the harness adjuster (and it gets my mom to put the chest clip in the correct place ) it only took a little getting used to to tighten one side, then tug the straps so I could pull the adjuster tight. Good luck with whatever you decide but since you are really trying to get a year out of the seat, I would also look for whatever you can find cheap!
    Excellent point about price, given that I will probably only be able to use the seat for about a year. I haven't been able to find the CarGo for under $99...
    As someone pointed out, Sears has an Avenue on sale right now for around $68, and I think the Chase is around the same price. Do people think it would be too much of a compromise to go with one of those seats? I'd really like to get the CarGo as so many people recommended it, but am not sure about the price...

  16. #15
    CPS Fanatic
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Near the Cascades!
    Posts
    1,665

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    I don't have a problem with a child that age in a hbb if they sit properly in it. A 4 1/2 yo is also fine in a lap belt on a plane. My 4yo much prefers the lap belt so he can use the tray and such. We traveled last spring from Seattle to Pittsburgh with a high back turbobooster. It's easy to take apart and pack the back part and then put the bottom in the overhead bin.
    Mommy to two wild little boys and a little princess!
    DS1 (01/05, 46 1/2", 44 lbs), Boring Gray Turbobooster / Harmony Literider
    DS2 (07/07, 39 1/2", 40lbs), Harvest Complete Air / Booster Training in a Maui Blue PWSG / RSTV
    DD (07/09, 33", 23lbs), rfing Flair MyRide / rfing Scenera

  17. #16
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    We have a Radian solely for a travel seat. We've had some tough times getting it in, but not in the US. Just in international cars. With LATCH it's generally very very easy. In any car (except a Lincoln Towncar).

    VW usually has a 48 pound limit. I don't think the retrofitted LATCH is any different. We have a 2004 Audi, so similar era, and I've had the Radian in forward facing, rear facing, with the belt, with LATCH. Goes in just fine in all positions in any direction. Remember, no center LATCH in the VW. And rental cars are hit and miss with center LATCH.

    The RSTV may be a bit big on him, though if he's top heavy then it'd probably fit him perfectly. My 38 pound daughter was very slim in it, but she's slim all over.

    I agree that a Cargo would be a nice lightweight travel seat, though. And yes, I'd put a 40 pound 5.5 year old in a booster for travel, provided he sat properly in one. That had been my plan for years, but we went to a RSTV after the Radian (mostly just because I wanted one).

    Jim Henson's Muppets are at the Experience Music Project at the Seattle Center until August 16th. And Animal Grossology is here until September 7 at the Pacific Science Center (also at the Seattle Center). There's also a great amusement park right at the base of the Space Needle, and of course you can't miss the Space Needle!! You could easily spend an entire day there, though, at the Seattle Center. The SAM, Seattle Art Museum, also has a kid's passport program, so if you go they're given a booklet to color in and things to find in the museum. It makes it a lot of fun for them to visit. We used to live right across the street from it and Piper would beg to go. They have family rooms with activities on each floor as well. Golden Gardens beach is nice, up in Ballard, if you want to dip your feet in the sound and freeze them off. LOL On Sundays you can go for free sailboat rides on Lake Union via the Center for Wooden Boats. http://www.cwb.org/ But you need to get there early to reserve a spot, they fill up fast. I haven't done it, but Nathan and Piper have tried a couple of times. We're doing a locks cruise later this month, which I've heard is great, but we haven't done it yet.

    Have a great time!!

    Wendy
    Wendy,

    Thanks for the advice on Seattle activities, too! My son has his heart on visiting the Space Needle, so we'll definitely have to do that.

    I still haven't decided what to do re: the travel seat, but thanks to you and everyone else, I have all the information I need to decide. My son seems very interested in the RSTV, and I was thinking of giving it a try, but unfortunately, it seems to be sold out of many places that have a flexible return policy (i.e. no restocking fee, allow return of merchandise that has been opened). And it sounds as though I can't go wrong with a 40 lb. seat (to be followed by a hbb when he hits 40 lbs) either.

  18. #17
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    L.A. area
    Posts
    20,419

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Lots of places online have the RSTV in stock, and it's not a big deal to ship back since it's light and small; if you want to be sure, elitecarseats.com has it and offers $5 return shipping insurance.

    But I agree that a 40 lb. seat should get you over the hump, so to speak. If you go for the Avenue, check out the Deals section of this forum, I think there's a code posted to take another little bit off.
    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!

  19. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    17

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Also, Targets have the Chase on clearance right now. They are regularly ~$70 and are 15% off so that would be around $59.
    ANDREA

    DS1 | 6 | 45lbs, 45", 14.5" torso | Cowmoo PW & Let's Go TB
    DS2 | 3.75 | 37lbs, 40", 14" torso | Harnessed Reese Nautilus

  20. #19
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    Thanks everyone, for being so responsive! I've ordered a RSTV and will try it out on my son before we leave. If he likes it, it should be a good solution, as it will last us beyond 40 lbs and will be convenient for travel. If it doesn't fit, I'll buy a 40 lb. wt limit car seat. It sounds as though many kids his size are okay on the plane without a carseat, or I might try renting a CARES harness.

    Thanks again...

  21. #20
    CPS Technician
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    306

    Re: car seat for airplane and car travel for 4.5 year old?

    I'm not a tech but I'll chime in briefly on my latest travel experience as my child is roughly the same size as yours, she just turned 4 and is about 35# and 42" tall.

    In the past, I've traveled with either a Britax Roundabout or a Marathon.

    After much consideration, on our last trip I took both a Radian and an RSTV. My child is at the minimum weight of the RSTV and I played with it quite a bit before we left so that I was comfortable with the fit and installation. It was time well spent, I was not happy with my original efforts with the RSTV so I'm glad I figured it out at home, not after a long travel day.

    We used the Radian on the airplane and I was really delighted how well it went. I'm a single mom and purchased the carry straps to carry the Radian as a backpack. It is surprisingly comfortable for such a heavy seat. It really is easier to get on and off the plane and around in general because it folds. Again, I spent quite a bit of time playing with the folding mechanism and practising adding and removing the safe stop thing because I knew I'd have to do this in a tight space on the plane in short amount of time. It really installs on the plane like a dream. When I forget to use the recline, my childs head slumped when she slept, so I do recommend using the recline for added comfort for your child. I don't think I'll be flying without a car seat any time soon. My child is so comfortable on the plane in her own carseat, I don't think she'd sleep without it. On our way to Alaska, I actually read a entire novel while she slept on our 5hr45min flight.

    Anyway, on land I used both the Radian and the RSTV. I bought a backpack large enough to accomodate the RSTV and carried it with me all day every day just in case we decided to grab a cab or whatnot, and took the Radian when I knew I could use that. We were on a cruise and rode in a couple 18 passanger type vans but mostly small 24-40 seat busses, most had seat belt only. As I said, I'm not a 'pro' with the Radian, but I had no problem installing the Radian anywhere. The times I had to install it where there were strangers in the vehicle, everyone was helpful and understanding and I never felt rushed.

    We already had the Radian, but did purchase the RSTV for this trip knowing we'll get lots of use from it in the future. I use it for my niece and will use it for preschool field trips and future travel needs.

    All that said, I probably wouldn't hesitate just lugging a Frontier along on a trip. I'm a believer in using what you have. I've been traveling with carseats for 15 years and it is never as big of a hassle as I think it will be. If I can do it as a single parent, I think anyone can.

    HTH

Similar Threads

  1. Travel seat for 39 lb. 2 year old & differences between Marathon & Nautilus? (was Re: Booster seat for my 2-year old?)
    By Unregistered in forum Child Restraints for Aircraft, Buses and Other Transportation
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-06-2009, 02:49 PM
  2. Car seat and airplane travel
    By meggers in forum CAR SEATS - General Child Safety Seat Questions, Help and Advice
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-28-2009, 01:34 PM
  3. Airplane travel w/ car seat for older child..
    By USmominOz in forum Carseat Chat
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-16-2008, 04:05 PM
  4. Question Airplane travel - should DS be in his seat the whole time?
    By grumpybear in forum CAR SEATS - General Child Safety Seat Questions, Help and Advice
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-12-2008, 06:54 AM
  5. airplane travel with an infant seat?
    By fullofhope in forum CAR SEATS - General Child Safety Seat Questions, Help and Advice
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-07-2007, 11:09 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •