CARES Harness


New member
Would this be a good option for my dd to fly with? When we fly she will just be turning 4, right now she is 40" and 39lbs. The trip is in 5months. Im trying to avoid having to carry another seat in the airport. we are going to disney so we will be using the buses.


I used one with my 20 month old when I flew to my parents. They had a carseat on the other end for us, so we didn't need to worry about the carseat. I loved daughter is tall so it fit her very well.

You might want to check with the busses and find out if they require car seats...sometimes depending on the type they do.


New member
The Disney buses cannot use child restraints. OP, the CARES harness would be a good choice for a child of the size yours is. Just make sure that you secure the lap belt and snug it down low on the hips BEFORE snugging down the chest straps.


Ambassador - CPS Technician
Would this be a good option for my dd to fly with? When we fly she will just be turning 4, right now she is 40" and 39lbs. The trip is in 5months. Im trying to avoid having to carry another seat in the airport. we are going to disney so we will be using the buses.

I used one for my 3 year old (about 35lbs at the time) to and from Orlando last October and it worked great! :thumbsup:

(Although I'd never use Disney transport again, I'll always take a seat and rent a car from now on.)


New member
I agree... so many have confirmed time and time again here that when you only use the buses and never go in anything else on a Disney trip that a carseat really is unneeded.

So if she isn't big enough/mature enough yet for just the seatbelt in the airplane seat, the cares harness is the way to go.


New member
The CARES harness is great...I used them in August and my dd was 5 years old, 40 lb, and 45 inches or so tall. She and my 3 year old ds did great in them and they were so easy and light.

I actually rented them off of ebay...after shipping both ways, the 2 of them still came out to under $50, and they were in perfect condition. We only fly once every several years, so it was a great option for us.


New member
At that age and size, I'd put her directly on the plane seat. She is almost at the limits of the CARES harness as it is, I don't think it's a worthwhile investment.


New member
I have a CARES harness for my dd, since she and I fly a few times a year. Here's a review I wrote on it:
The CARES harness system, available through, is an FAA-approved flight restraint device for young children, meant to be a substitute for bringing a car seat on the plane. It consists of a strap that goes around the plane seat itself, and a harness that works with the plane seat's lap belt, and a chest clip, which creates a 4 point harness. CARES is not certified for use in automobiles.

1. CARES is relatively user-friendly. It comes with a DVD to show proper installation and use, and labels are included on the harness itself. It took me about 3 minutes to get my 2.5 y/o dd into her CARES harness.
2. CARES is really lightweight. For a person who has trouble carrying a car seat through the airport, CARES is a good alternative (users should make sure to have a car seat on each end of the trip though, as checking a car seat on a plane is rarely a good idea). CARES comes with a 6" drawstring carry bag, and the whole thing weighs about a pound. I carried it in my carry-on bag.

1. CARES has really limited use. It's only approved for kids 1 year and 22 lbs-app. 4 years and 44 lbs, and 40" tall.
2. CARES is really expensive. With shipping, expect to pay about $80.
3. CARES goes over the tray of the person behind you in some airplanes. If the trays are recessed, the person behind you cannot use their tray, or you have to remove the harness while in-flight.
4. CARES has no crotch strap. A child can easily slide down under it, pulling the lap belt up onto the belly. I had to keep reminding my dd to schooch her butt back on the seat.
5. Since CARES works with the airplane seat belt, the child has access to the belt. Airplane belts open really easily, and a less-mature child is likely to unbuckle him/herself many times during the flight.
6. Like all child restraints, CARES has plenty of opportunity for user misuse. About as many people read the CARES instructions as read their car seat manuals. Note the many instances of misuse in the photo gallery of the website selling CARES: . Like all child restraints, CARES will not protect a child if it is not installed and used correctly.

CARES seems to be a "niche" product. I don't see it as a good product for someone who just doesn't want to be bothered bringing a car seat, or who won't take the time to use it properly. I have arthritis, and fly with my toddler several times per year, almost always with a layover, so it's been useful for me. It doesn't take the place of a car seat, and given the choice, I'd much rather have her car seat with us on the plane than CARES.


New member
i was thinking about putting her just on the plane seat but im still nervous..she is very mature in the car and for her age. we still have some time to decide, i just thought with her age she couldnt even sit on the plane seat without something. We have a scenera for DS to use and i didnt want to lug DS true fit thru the airport for her!


New member
Depends how long the flight is, and if there is a chance that she will be sleeping. I don't think that I would bother with it at her size.

We took harnesses for both kids a couple months ago, and DD would have been fine without the harness (though it did help a bit when she was sleeping-6 hour flights). She is smaller than your DD. As well, the harness won't prevent her from unbuckling the seatbelt - she will still have the same access to the buckle. If you are thinking of purchasing one just for her just for the one flight, then I wouldn't bother. HTH!


New member
It's really your choice to use it or not- at her size she is very safe on a plane without any harness! I would consider carrying on a backless booster just in case there's an emergency and you have to take a cab somewhere.


New member
thanks everyone..its only a 2.5hr flight, i think she will be to mesmerized and curious to where we are going to fall asleep..its a surprise trip for her bday..i talked to DH yesterday about her going with nothing and hes not sure if hes 100% comfortable with it, so we will see how the next few months go

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