CARES restraint harness for plane travel


New member
Hi, does anyone have experience or an opinion on how safe / easy to use this CARES harness product is for plane travel? Would be much better than carrying around a car seat but I'm a bit hesitant after reading the negative reviews. TIA

[ame=""] CARES Child Aviation Restraint System: Baby[/ame]


New member
How old and heavy is the child you're considering it for, and will you have a car seat at your destination?

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Well-known member
:yeahthat: and how long is the flight? At what tome of day? I tried it out on our last trip very briefly (we did use cataracts and I had the Cares as a backup). Ds was just 2yo and only i think 26 lbs or so. The fit was ok though the lap belt was huge on him and he could have slid out underneath if he really wanted to. The plane seat back was also contoured and made the cares webbing stick out behind his neck which seemed to bother him. He was also tired and cranky after a very long time traveling already. I think if I did not need a seat at the destination and the flight was short and during non-sleeping hours, and the child was a bit over 2yo and older, I would consider it an option. For longer trips, younger/smaller kids, kids who are sensitive to comfort/sensory stuff or just don't listen/sit well or for night time travel it might not seem like such a great idea. Though I would still try to weigh the pros/cons. I do remember so wine here (Snowbird?) travelled with one for a 2yo and ended up picking up a seat for the trip home because the cares didn't work out so well on the way out.


New member
My baby is only 1.5 years old now and 19 lbs but we are planning for a few trips when she is 2. I know the weight limit for the CARES harness and won't be using it until she meets it.

We do have a car seat at the destination and thus it doesn't make sense to carry one on the plane. I don't think I've ever seen any parent carry a car seat on a plane now that I think about it. What a pain to have to carry it around the airport.

What is cataracts?



Well-known member
LOL! Cataracts is supposed to be car seats but auto correct hates me too...

I took 2 carseats on that trip. If you search for "international trip review" you should find my thread with hopefully still accessible pics of the seats both attached to a rolling carry on, seats on the plane, a scenera strapped in a stroller, and the cares in use with the 2yo. Plus a full description of the travel experience, lol. I don't mind lugging the seats through but I do attach them to wheels in some way. Stroller or rolling carry on previously. This trip I am planning on a seat strapped to a luggage cart and used as a stroller or carry on trolley through the airport.


New member
Seats on a luggage cart work like a dream. I have traveled with my classic BV and it was easy peasy. My daughter rode in the seat throughout the airport. The plane ride was awesome because she could see out the window and I could run to the washroom, leaving her with a flight attendant with no worries. Her seat was a known, comfortable space to her, so it made life easier overall!


I fly with DD by myself all the time and I always bring her seat. You get creative on how to bring them through the airport.

Scenera hanging on a Combi Stroller (Flare, I think)

Scenera on an Ikea rolling carry on

Radian on the Ikea carry on

Scenera in a Chicco Capri (strapped on with the luggage strap from the first pic)

SnugRide hanging on the Combi

Coccoro in the Combi

and the one and only time I actually flew with the travel system


New member
Thanks for the advice and great pics.

I already have a car seat waiting for me (in grandma's car) at my destination and won't be bringing my car seat on the flight and thus I need an alternative.

Maybe I'll try posting on the US board to see if people have more stories about the CARES harness. Was hoping to get some Canadian opinions as I don't know if the harness would work well with Air Canada seats. Thanks


Well-known member
The flight I had the slight issues with was an AC flight. It would have been better with a blanket tucked behind him? If you definitely don't plan to take a carseat the cares would be better than seatbelt itself. The lap belt would fit horribly on a small child that size (way too much room around their little hips to hold them in well).

K's Mama

New member
I've used one twice - once for my DD when she was 5 - loved it and it worked like a dream. The second time I used it for my 2.75 DS - it was AWFUL. It didn't hold him well at all and he kept submarining under the seat belt - we had to keep lifting him up and holding him in place - I think that just the seat belt would have done a better job than the CARES did.


CPST Instructor
I used the CARES on an AIr Canada plane trip when my dd was 2.5. Probably she was 26 lbs. I didn't like it much at all. We didn't need a seat at our destination since we were using public transportation and taking a cruise. The lap belt on the plane wasn't even close to fitting her and she kept slouching down. She fell asleep in it and I ended up undoing the chest clip near the end since it was up at her neck.

I love taking my own car seat on board. My dd sleeps and acts like a dream. We fly frequently enough that when I say we are flying, she immediately asks me which seat she can bring on the airplane, lol. But I understand if you have a seat at your destination. It's worth a try!

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