Cares or car seat when flying and don't need a seat where you are going.....

Which would you choose?

  • Take the marathon

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • Take the cares

    Votes: 20 76.9%
  • clicky box

    Votes: 1 3.8%

  • Total voters


Well-known member
We are flying to disney world in Sept and as much as I would love to rent a van my husband thinks I'm crazy so we we are taking the bus from the airport to disney world. Please cross your fingers for us that it doesn't crash. :eek:

So now I need to decide if I want to take a car seat or use the cares on the plane. I know someone who has a cares harness so I can borrow or rent it from her. Munchkin also has a gogo Kidz so taking a seat wouldn't be that much of a hassle.

I'm not worried about Benjamin he will fit fine in the seat belt. Elizabeth will be 3 in July is 34 lbs and 36 inches tall. If I took a seat it would most likely take a marathon and use it forward facing since the radian is heavy and the my ride is pretty wide.

Would Elizabeth be more comfortable in the car seat? Has anyone had problems with a kid freaking out in a cares?



Well-known member
If the flight is going to be during a time that she would normally be sleeping I'd look for a Scenera on sale and take that. They're so light and those bags they come in are so cute! I dream of leaving a real car seat at my mom's house and getting a Scenera just for the plane.


New member
I would go for the CARES, definitely. If you're borrowing it from a friend, can you get it a little in advance of the trip and practice with it at home (on a kitchen chair or something) so it's not totally unfamiliar to her when you get on the plane?

This is a subject I've given a fair bit of consideration to, myself, since we're hoping to go on a trip next year (when DS will be 3) where we'd only be using public transport at the destination, and I love the idea of the CARES harness. Of course, if my DS keeps following his growth curve, he'll be too tall for the CARES by then...


New member
My dd flies in a cares harness and is okay with it. The only major problem we have with it is that there's no crotch buckle so she tends to slide forward, and I have to kep reminding her to scoot her butt back. It's usually just us flying (now the 2 of us plus the baby) and I have arthritis so it's much easier to get around, especially for changing planes.


New member
I'd probably factor in the fact that you are taking 1 almost teenager, 1 barely double digiter, and two small children through an airport to board a plane hyped up on OMG WE'RE GONNA SEE MICKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as well as over a week of luggage for each child as well as mom and dad, and toting back trinkets and the $50 2.5' tall Minnie Mouse, and realize that a car seat is too much of a hassle. Since you won't use it where you'll be (because I would gladly shuttle you and the littles and let your husband ride the shuttle with J and D, but I won't be there the week you are), I'd definitely not bring the MA. CARES I would bring, and if she goes bananas I'd just put her on the plane seat and smile.


New member
I'd not do anything beyond the seat belt :eek: but that's me feeling that the only purpose of car seats on planes is comfort or if the seat belt utterly won't fit (like a kid under 2). If I did something I'd prefer CARES, though.


New member
we are going in sept as well and im debating what to do with DD as well...she will be 4 and 40lbs or maybe more when we bringing a seat for DS tho he will be 2 and is 30lbs now. I say go for the CARES unless u think she would need the comfort of her seat on the plane!


New member
We have taken the CARES the last 2 times for our flights to WDW. It is a lifesaver with a lot of luggage, etc already.

Just practice with it a bit.

I have felt totally safe with my kids in it :)


New member
I've done it both ways this year with DD2. I took the carseat (Scenera) when we went last week because the flights were scheduled during naptime. We scheduled them that way last time too, but because she refused to sleep in the CARES harness, we just ended up with a cranky kid. Your kiddo is a bit older, so the CARES may be fine if a nap is not necessary. IME, it was just worth the hassle to have a well rested kiddo. In yours, it may not be.


Moderator - CPST Instructor
I just flew with CARES back the first week of May. For a 3yr old, I'd just take CARES. I used it with dd on the way there and while she tried to scoot forward, I had her cross her legs and that fixed everything. Both my kids are tiny and I couldn't tighten the seatbelt completely on them. Dd was close to tight enough though, and the belt wasn't awful provided she was sitting all the way back. On the way back I didn't actually use the CARES for her and just let her sit in the seatbelt - cross legged again.

DS, on the other hand, at 2.5yrs and right around 30lbs, was a nightmare in the CARES. He decided an hour in to the flight that he wanted out, and because he's skinny and the lapbelt doesn't sit tight on him - and was high to begin with, he just kept trying to slide under it until the chest clip would be at his neck and he'd be freaking out. I spent most of the last 30mins of the flight hanging on to the back waist of his pants to prevent him from sliding down. I thankfully had the option of bringing the seat home with me that I used in BC, and I carted a Radian through the airport with 2 kids just to avoid the same thing again. And while it attacked me going through security and left a gash on my finger, I don't regret having him in a seat on the way back. (We flew in Feb on a flight that was 3 times as long as this one, and he did fine in his car seat, so it's fair to say that it was just the CARES and lack of crotch strap that caused all the problem.)

So those are my thoughts. If she's pretty compliant and you think will sit cross legged, just take the CARES. She's older than my ds and girls are usually a bit more mature in comparison to boys, so I think she'd do fine. I will say the CARES is an absolute dream to take through the airport in comparison to a carseat.:thumbsup:


New member
Splash, where are you going to find a 2 1/2 ft tall Minnie Mouse that cheap at Disney World!? ;)

I think I would probably take a seat unless you know she won't flip out in the Cares.


Active member
I'd take the Marathon with GoGo Kidz. Comfortable, easy to use and I hate being without a seat. We pile our carry ons in ours to walk through the airport and DS runs.

We spent 13 hours at the airport in Orlando on Monday. DS spent a good chunk of it sprawled on the Marathon. Over 2 hours was spent sitting on the plane at the gate. I let him get out to sit in the normal seat for meals and he does fine. He also gets out to sleep sometimes when we have the seats that lay flat. If I had to choose between the Marathon all the time or just the plane seat all the time I would go with the Marathon though.

If you do go with the MA and Gogo it will fit through the large x-ray machines at MCO so it won't have to be hand scanned.

Have fun!


Senior Community Member
There is simply no way I would cart the MA through the airport and then on to the plane if I had a CARES harness and was taking DME. You don't need a seat on the other side. A 3 year old is fine in the Cares harness. We took ds's scenera (it's last official trip before it was retired) last month when we went to wdw. I was glad we had it because he fell asleep on both flights. But, we had to rent a car to go visit the in-laws. If we didn't have a car we would have left the seat at home.
Another thing to consider (depending on where you're staying on disney property) is that some of the hotels don't have a lot of storage space. If you don't need the seat at destination, it's just going to take up space in the hotel room. CARES is designed precisely for your situation.


Well-known member
Thanks all. I'm not at all worried about her sleeping, I'm sure she will be too excited to sleep and some days she don't take take a nap anymore.


New member
We took the CARES harness for our nearly 2.5yo on our recent trip to Disneyland. The harness itself is GREAT, but DD#2 is NOT a fan and basically ended up being a lap baby for takeoff and landing. She laid tummy down on DH's tray table for most of the flight. :eek:

We didn't have much better luck when we took her carseat to Maui in January, though. For both landings, she ended up being a lap baby. Sigh.

I dunno, I'd take the CARES harness and hope for the best. FWIW, my now 5yo does great in a lap-only belt on the plane. I think on our next flights (next year probably) we might try DD#2 in just the lap belt.


Senior Community Member
My biggest issue with the MA when flying is that it sits so high up on the base the child has no leg room at all, esp if the person in front of them recline's their seat.


New member
I've flown with a Roundabout and a Marathon. While I greatly prefer the lighter, easier to carry RA but really I dont have a problem with the MA either. I have a Traveling Toddler to attach it to carry on luggage but to be honest, I often just carry it around. I'm thinking about taking the Radian on our next trip, so I can let everyone know how it goes in a month. I purchased the carry straps to use it as a backpack, and will take the traveling toddler to attach it to our carry on if needed, we won't have a stroller so my DD may want a ride at some point. The advantage of the Radian is that we can use the tray table, and mostly that we are cruising, so I can fold it and stick it under the bed to save space in our cabin.

All that said, we go to WDW every year. We did two trips without a car, then rented a minivan on our last trip in March. I LOVED having the van, loved it! If I remember correctly, we paid $200 for 8 days during spring break, so I bet you can get an even better deal in Sept. It is a HUGE hassle to monitor car rental rates, there are so many companies that all have so many codes and or coupons, it is overwhelming - my least favorite part of trip planning. However, if you watch, you should be able to get a reasonably priced rental. It is SO much quicker to get around. It is not uncommon to wait up to 30 minutes for a bus, then with all the stops, be on the bus for another 30 minutes before reaching your destination. Compared to a 5-10 minute car ride...


New member
My biggest issue with the MA when flying is that it sits so high up on the base the child has no leg room at all, esp if the person in front of them recline's their seat.

I have not had trouble with leg room with the MA. My dd usually wears crocs through the airport, slips them off on the plane, and rides crosslegged in her carseat so as not to kick the person in front of her.:thumbsup:

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