Best car seat for 3 year old on plane?

U

Unregistered

Guest
She's 37 lbs and 39 inches. We have a few plane trip scheduled over the summer. She'll turn 4 mid summer. Is she safer in a car seat on a plane at this age still?

She rides in a blvd ff right now. Not sure this would even fit on the plane. If she doesn't ride in it do we gate check it? I'm worried about this seat getting hurt in travel.

Also, Dd2 is in an evenflo tribute rf, but will be a lap baby on plane (i know that's frowned upon, but we can't pay for another ticket right now).

We need car seats for when we get to our destination. I'm having trouble imagining us managing the airport with 2 little ones and 2 BIG (mainly thinking the blvd here) car seats.

We're probably going to move dd1 into another seat soon and move dd2 out of the tribute and into the blvd. It was bought as travel/extra car seat for occasional use, but i can't stand using it every day. Hate the harness buckle. So i'm also wondering if dd1 next seat might be easier for travel? I was leaning toward the recaro combination seat (forgot the name) or frontier. Not sure if either of these would be easier, though.

Help, anyone? Sorry this got longer than intended.
 

mrosehughes

New member
Yes, at 37 lbs, the lap belt is unlikely to fit your dd1 well, and since you need a seat at your destination, the safest option is to bring her seat on the plane. Since she is ffing, I'd look into getting her a combination seat. I think the lightest weight combination seat is the evenflo maestro; the seats you mentioned a good options, too, but they are heavier for travel.

Your DD2 should ideally be in her seat on the plane, too, both for her safety during the flight and since you need the seat at your destination. The tribute is also a good lightweight travel seat, I think. The issue with bringing and checking (either at the gate or with luggage) a seat is that they get thrown around; many techs consider a checked seat as 'crashed', and not safe for use. Thus, if there's no way to get your dd2 a seat, the next best option would be to have a carseat ready for her at your destination (but this really only works if you know someone there).

Barring the above suggestion, you could possibly gate check dd2's seat, knowing that you're taking a risk of the seat being damaged without your knowledge. Another (perhaps better) option might be to have your DD1 sit in the tribute or britax on the plane, and bring a HBB as a carry-on (perhaps the harmony folding one?). Then at your destination, dd1 sits in the HBB (at 4, she's really a bit young, so she'd need near constant supervision while in the car to make sure she sits properly). Then your DD2 can ride in the carseat in the car.
 

Carrie_R

Ambassador - CPS Technician
MRose gave some good advice. The only piece I would disagree with is putting DD1 into a HBB - at not-yet-4 and under 40lbs I would be very uncomfortable with that.

I second the option of getting DD1 a Maestro. From what I've read, it's a GREAT plane seat - lightweight, fits well, installs well, and allows use of the tray table. It probably wouldn't be a "primary" seat for moving her up into (although there's no reason that it couldn't,) but it will be significantly easier than trying to lug a ProSport or Frontier on a plane. Those are both heavy suckers.

DD2 presents a bigger problem. Are you going to visit family, with whom you could purchase and leave a carseat? My concern is that by having her be a lap baby she's not only in danger on the plane, she's in danger on arrival and for the whole trip due to a potentially damaged seat. Especially with looking at checking her seat "a few" times. Is it possible to consolidate some of your plane trips, leaving the extra funds from those trips to purchase DD2 a seat? If you absolutely cannot, then I would try to book the most lightly-travelled flight time options (ie, early morning - or mid-afternoon if going to a popular tourist destination like Orlando) and pray for an extra seat. Take her carseat to the gate with you and ask the gate agents if there might be an extra seat on the plane in which you can put DD2 & carseat. If not, try to pack it into a padded carseat bag packed with clothes and hope and pray it makes it to your destination without invisible damage.

Going through the airport: I would take a collapsable luggage cart and put the Maestro in a "normal" position on the cart. The Tribute (which I would use for travel) may nest inside of it, or flip upside down on top of it, and then you can bungee them on there. There are other options, like strollers or a Traveling Toddler, but the luggage cart option is the one I would personally choose. :)
 

mrosehughes

New member
MRose gave some good advice. The only piece I would disagree with is putting DD1 into a HBB - at not-yet-4 and under 40lbs I would be very uncomfortable with that.

I second the option of getting DD1 a Maestro. From what I've read, it's a GREAT plane seat - lightweight, fits well, installs well, and allows use of the tray table. It probably wouldn't be a "primary" seat for moving her up into (although there's no reason that it couldn't,) but it will be significantly easier than trying to lug a ProSport or Frontier on a plane. Those are both heavy suckers.

DD2 presents a bigger problem. Are you going to visit family, with whom you could purchase and leave a carseat? My concern is that by having her be a lap baby she's not only in danger on the plane, she's in danger on arrival and for the whole trip due to a potentially damaged seat. Especially with looking at checking her seat "a few" times. Is it possible to consolidate some of your plane trips, leaving the extra funds from those trips to purchase DD2 a seat? If you absolutely cannot, then I would try to book the most lightly-travelled flight time options (ie, early morning - or mid-afternoon if going to a popular tourist destination like Orlando) and pray for an extra seat. Take her carseat to the gate with you and ask the gate agents if there might be an extra seat on the plane in which you can put DD2 & carseat. If not, try to pack it into a padded carseat bag packed with clothes and hope and pray it makes it to your destination without invisible damage.

Going through the airport: I would take a collapsable luggage cart and put the Maestro in a "normal" position on the cart. The Tribute (which I would use for travel) may nest inside of it, or flip upside down on top of it, and then you can bungee them on there. There are other options, like strollers or a Traveling Toddler, but the luggage cart option is the one I would personally choose. :)
I just wanted to clarify my post: I think putting the older daughter (who will be 4 for the trip, I think?) in a HBB is a last resort. Since they don't have a seat on the plane for the younger child, it would allow them to have two restraints that they've kept in their hands the entire time. Personally, I'd rather have a 4 year old in a HBB (with an adult sitting next to them and constantly reminding them to sit still) and a less than 2 YO in a seat that hasn't been checked.
 

Carrie_R

Ambassador - CPS Technician
Sorry, I just found this thread again.

If the child was an older 4, or over 40lb, I may be inclined to agree with you. But the child is <40lb (37lb) and has a "mid summer" birthday with several trips "over the summer" so that tells me the child will likely be <4 and <40lb for at least the first trip. Having an adult seated near the child may or may not be a possibility on each trip, to help the child stay in position. I don't feel comfortable recommending a child of that age and size to be in a booster in any but the most dire of situations. Sometimes the answer is "there is no safe way to do what you are asking," and transporting two carseat-aged kids without a way to transport two carseats is one of those things. Others may disagree but in my opinion, neither putting the toddler in a checked carseat nor putting the older child in a booster is a safe option.

I will say that there is one other option I didn't think of the first time, which would be to take the 2yo's seat and put the 4yo in it on the plane, as you said. Instead of a booster for the older child, though, they could invest in a Ride Safer Travel Vest, and use that for the 4yo at their destination. The vest is essentially a wearable harness but could easily be tossed into a carry-on bag. It still won't fix the concern of a lap baby on the plane, but should take care of all of the other concerns at hand here.
 

Boot

New member
I flew with my DD as a lap baby when she was one. I bought a scenera especially for the trip. I brought the seat right up to the gate and asked at every opportunity about an extra seat. I was successful 2 out of 4 times. I also brought a roll of bubble wrap, some tape and some fragile stickers with me. On the flights where I had to gate check the seat I quickly wrapped in before handing it over. I'm glad I did because in London it was left out in the rain for 20 minutes. I know its not ideal but a seat for DD would have been thousands of dollars so I made my peace with it.
 

mrosehughes

New member
Sorry, I just found this thread again.

If the child was an older 4, or over 40lb, I may be inclined to agree with you. But the child is <40lb (37lb) and has a "mid summer" birthday with several trips "over the summer" so that tells me the child will likely be <4 and <40lb for at least the first trip. Having an adult seated near the child may or may not be a possibility on each trip, to help the child stay in position. I don't feel comfortable recommending a child of that age and size to be in a booster in any but the most dire of situations. Sometimes the answer is "there is no safe way to do what you are asking," and transporting two carseat-aged kids without a way to transport two carseats is one of those things. Others may disagree but in my opinion, neither putting the toddler in a checked carseat nor putting the older child in a booster is a safe option.

I will say that there is one other option I didn't think of the first time, which would be to take the 2yo's seat and put the 4yo in it on the plane, as you said. Instead of a booster for the older child, though, they could invest in a Ride Safer Travel Vest, and use that for the 4yo at their destination. The vest is essentially a wearable harness but could easily be tossed into a carry-on bag. It still won't fix the concern of a lap baby on the plane, but should take care of all of the other concerns at hand here.
The ride safer travel vest is a great idea.
 

Car-Seat.Org Facebook Group

Forum statistics

Threads
219,309
Messages
2,201,249
Members
13,317
Latest member
Ang.Rchrdsn

You must read your carseat and vehicle owner’s manual and understand any relevant state laws. These are the rules you must follow to restrain your children safely. All opinions at Car-Seat.Org are those of the individual author for informational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect any policy or position of Carseat Media LLC. Car-Seat.Org makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician. Before posting or using our website you must read and agree to our TERMS.

Maxi Cosi is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!Graco is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!

Please  Support Car-Seat.Org  with your purchases of infant, convertible, combination and boosters seats from our premier sponsors above.
Shop travel systems, strollers and baby gear from Britax, Chicco, Clek, Combi, Evenflo, First Years, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Safety 1st, Diono & more! ©2001-2020 Carseat Media LLC

Top