Help selecting travel seats/options for 3 kids


New member
We will be flying at the end of next month with our 3 children on Southwest Airlines and then renting a car at our destination.

My oldest is 7.5 and is in a high back booster so my only decision for him is whether we should bring a high back or a backless? We'll have one hour and a half drive to our destination once we arrive, but other than that we won't be in the rental car for long periods of time so I'm wondering if I should make things easier and get a backless to take with us?

My youngest will be 17 months when we travel and will be rear facing in the Cosco Scenera Next on the plane and in the rental car. (At home she's in a Graco 4Ever.)

My 4.5 year old is where I'm struggling. He is about 50 lbs and 40.5 inches tall. His primary carseat at home is a Graco 4Ever, which is obviously a bit heavy and not the best travel seat. We were looking for a secondary seat to use for preschool pick-up for my husband's car anyway, so I don't mind purchasing a second seat for him. I just want it to be relatively lightweight and not too expensive. I was considering the Graco Nautilus, which I think would work well for our second seat at home, but may be a bit heavy/bulky for travel. It seems he is already at the max weight limit for several of the other seats I saw recommended for air travel. The Evenflo SureRide looked promising, however I'm wondering if that's about to be discontinued as it's out of stock/unavailable on several websites right now? Any suggestions for a good travel/secondary seat?


I’d definitely bring a backless for the oldest if you think he will be able to sit still in it.

I’d consider a Cosco Finale for the 4 year old, which is lighter than the Nautilus. Finale requires top tether use (in a car) so you’d want to make sure it’s always used in a spot with a tether anchor available.


CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
You could also look at the Harmony Defender which is kind of an in-between option.

Whatever you get, a folding luggage cart could help you get two car seats and a booster through the airport.

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