carseats, bags, and boxes


Well-known member
Usually, when I travel alone with the kids, it is to my parents' house in FL and DD has a carseat there, so I can let her sit in the airplane seat.

It is highly likely in the next week, I will need to travel alone with both children and am wondering what to do about DDs seat. If I don't have to, I'd rather not take it on the plane.

I have read a few times around here that it seems it is OK to check a car seat in its original box. I am wondering why this is? Not sure how it protects the car seat from damage in a way that one of those nice padded car seat bags wouldn't?

I do have the original boxes that her seats came in and there would be family on the other end in the unlikely event that the car seat somehow did't arrive that could run out and get something. (we'd take a direct flight so I think that decreases that possibility)

Anyway, just wondering so I can make a well informed, thought out decision on how we might proceed before we are thrust into the last minute scurry of finding flights/hotels/rental car, etc.


New member
The idea being, if you HAVE to put the car seat under the plane, to ship it as close to possible to how it is shipped out to stores, etc. And that is in boxes, not bags. (Even car seats that are sold on the shelves in thin plastic bags most likely arrive at the store all bundled together in a box.)


New member
I strongly prefer to keep my seat with me. I just don't trust the airlines and baggage handlers to treat it properly. I think one of the differences with shipping a seat is that there is insurance to cover the seat in case it is broken during transit. When we checked our stoller, we had to sign something saying that the airline wasn't responsible if it was broken. I thought the form included car seats, but it's been a while.

I'm wondering if a seat like the Evenflo Maestro - which is lighter than the True Fit - might work. Someone here can give you suggestions about how to get through the airport with 2 seats and 2 kids in tow. I know my one suggestion is to make arrangements for someone to get you to the gate at one end and for someone to meet you at the gate at the other end. Not sure how easy/hard this would be to arrange.

Or how big is your DD and how mature is she? Depending on her size (over 40lbs?) and her maturity, I'm wondering if a booster like the turbobooster might be a possibility for this trip?



CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
A box is a second best solution. It's an "If you HAVE to check" it thing.

If you can at all avoid it, avoid it.

Now, there are other options for her that might be easier to carry on if she's not ready for a booster even for limited driving. You could buy or borrow a Ride Safer Travel Vest, or a Safety 1st Go (or its older predecessor, the Safeguard Go.) Either one is much easier to travel with than a traditional car seat, especially a big one.


Well-known member
She is a month away from being 5 and 34 lbs and about 41 inches. Around here she can't be in a booster legally because she is under 40 lbs. I could look up the law for where we are going. But would it be bad to booster her all of a sudden on a trip like this when we've never done it even for short trips around here? I should have bought that RSTV that was in swap! At least the TF is lighter than the Blvd, which she used to travel with! (and DS still fits in the snugride, which is lighter, too)


New member
I would avoid the booster with such a small child. My DD is 5y5m and weighs 36lbs. I've made the decision that I won't booster her even part-time until she is at least 6 years old and closer to 40lbs. I'd really like to wait until she is at least 40lbs, but we'll see how long it takes her to gain weight. My concern with a small child is submarining - that she can slide between the car seat and the seat belt since she is so small.

Hopefully one of the other ideas will work for you.



New member
While it's not the easiest thing it shouldn't be too bad taking a seat- especially since you have a direct flight. I flew along from Florida to Oregon with a 4 year old and an 8 month old. I had a Radian for the 4 year old and infant seat for the 8 month old- which he was 1 lb from outgrowing! I took my stroller and sat the infant seat in the stroller (it didn't snap in) and put the Radian on a lugage cart. DD walked or rode in the Radian and DS rode in the infant seat or on my back in a MT. It worked. I could also put the RN and the infant seat in the stroller- but they I couldn't get it all on the plane myself.


Well-known member
Thanks for all the thoughts and input. I am just not ready to booster her, although this would have been a good booster training trip as all our car rides were short and on back roads. In the end, DH was able to make it home before we had to leave for the funeral and traveled with us, so it was MUCH easier!

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