Best Convertible for plane/rental car

AmyDyan

New member
Looking to purchase a convertible car seat for an upcoming cross-country trip with my 11.5 month old (20 lbs, 30 inches). It needs to be safe (obvi), comfy, and user friendly for a plane as well as an SUV rental car. My daughter currently uses a Britax Advocate CS 70, but I feel it's too big, bulky, and heavy to travel with. Was hoping to purchase a compact, light-weight, affordable, nicely padded and easy to install and haul seat. After our trip, we can use this extra seat in Daddy's 2002 VW Jetta. I really like the Combi Coccoro, but it seems a bit pricey for a travel/secondary seat. My other thought was bringing our Graco Snugride bucket seat, but I think she's simply too big for it now. Any recommendations???
 

Cath3114

New member
What are her height and weight stats? Does she have at least 1" of shell above her head in the bucket?

A good, cheap option is the Cosco Scenera. About $40. It's bare bones, but super lightweight and easy to travel with. There are two different ones - one RF to 35 pounds, and the 40RF goes to 40 pounds RF. I believe it is a tad more expensive, but not by much. You can find them at Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc.

Sent from my iPhone using Car-Seat.Org
 

AmyDyan

New member
She is 20 pounds and 30". I went to BRU today and they didn't have the Scenera, but they did have one that looked very small and lightweight -- Easy Fit 65 Madrid by Safety First. Anyone know anything about this seat? The only other seat that looked like an option (small and light) was the Safety First OnSide Air. Love to hear any thoughts on these seats!
 

monica-m

CPST Instructor
I looked at the Easy Fit today. It could work really well for what you are looking for. Just be aware that there is rear facing height limit of 40 inches that Dorel is adamant be followed. It was very padded and cushy. DS was acting squirrely so I did not get the chance to try him in the seat. There is no way a child would make it to 65 lbs in the harness because the shell is not tall enough. There is a similar seat that is sold under the Eddie Bauer brand that is available at Target. There was a BRU coupon in yesterday's paper for 20% off that included car seats.

ETA: The Onside Air is the 40 lbs RF Scenera with more padding and a nicer cover.
 

cat mommy

New member
The cover on the Onside Air comes down lower (but the kid's feet) than on the Scenera. I have found this to make a difference when installing RF on a plane. The lower cover makes things more awkward. It's not a huge issue, but I definitely find the Scenera to be more streamlined in installation.
 

AmyDyan

New member
Here is my angry baby girl in the infant seat. It looks to me like she has enough room above her head, but is it a problem that her feet hang off? This would be SO much easier to travel with. Do you think it's safe?
 

monica-m

CPST Instructor
It appears that she has more than an inch of shell over her head meaning she does still fit. The feet hanging off the end does not matter just like it doesn't matter if their feet touch the back of the seat when rear facing in a convertible seat.
 

laserkatie

New member
I just traveled via plane with my tiny toddler (almost exactly your baby's height and weight) in the graco snugride rather than lugging around my Britax--its a great option. She was at the very max of the height and weight, but she still fit. I did not use the head support either (my car-seat installation tech told me it was not required...and that was when she was much, much smaller). I could carry her down the aisle in the seat, which I think was easier than lugging a convertible seat and having a flight attendant carry her or whatever, plus I was able to use my travel system through the airport, which made bringing her around easier. (I actually used a bungee cord to attach the infant seat to the handle of the stroller so that she could sit forward in the stroller and watch everything in the airport; I thought that would make her happier as we waited for her plane). Then, just as we were about to board, I loaded her into her carseat, installed it in my travel system, and wheeled it down the jetway. I left the stroller on the jetway by the door of the plane (gate checked it), and then carried her on in the car seat--it worked really well! If you have a travel system to use, check to make sure that your airline will gate check your stroller. I was flying American Airlines and just after I flew they changed their policy so that larger strollers had to be checked under the plane--they could not be gate checked. I did not bring the base along and just installed it without the base using a seat belt in my brother's mini van while I was visiting. (I had lots of experience installing it without the base previously, so it was no big deal). Only problem was that on the plane the seat belt buckle goes right in front of the baby, and withint 2 minutes my daughter figured out how to unlatch it! Oops!! I tried a seatbelt extender and that didn't help, because the buckle was still in the exact same place. I think that I ended up twisting one side of the seat belt so that the buckle was upside down and she couldn't unlatch it. The seat fit nicely in the airplane seat. Hope this helps!
 

laserkatie

New member
PS I am also looking for a convertible carseat that will fit well on planes and to serve as a second car seat for my husband's car. If you decide to purchase one rather than the snugride, make sure to post again to let me (us) know what you bought and how you like it :)
 

cmcki737

New member
A slight variation on the infant bucket option is to use one of the higher weight 32 or 33 pound max infant seats that Graco or Combi make and to use a frame stroller with it. This is what I did when I took my 22 lb 31 in 15 month old to Disney and it work really well.
 

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