Preferred choice of two scenarios?


Active member
We're contemplating summer travel so I'm already weighing car seat decisions. Would you be more comfortable with a 3yo ffing (for the first time) in a coccoro or a 7yo in a backless booster for the first time (probably a bubblebum)? The driving in question would be a few hours of highway. And sleepy kids.


New member
We're contemplating summer travel so I'm already weighing car seat decisions. Would you be more comfortable with a 3yo ffing (for the first time) in a coccoro or a 7yo in a backless booster for the first time (probably a bubblebum)? The driving in question would be a few hours of highway. And sleepy kids.

Forward facing 3 year old. My 7 year old has been in a booster for a while and still can't sleep in one.


New member
I'd try the backless before summer to see if the 7yo sleeps ok in it. The safety difference from hbb to backless is negligible as long as the child stays in position, but the safety difference from RF to FF is huge.

That being said, a FF 3yo in a properly installed, top tethered seat is a safe choice and not out of the realm of safe possibilities here.


Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
My kids were a lot less comfortable on long trips once they turned forward due to dangly legs. I would leave the child RF for that reason, or at least be prepared to flip the seat back if the child complains.


Active member
Thank you, everyone. At home 7yo rides in a harnessed Frontier, occasionally in a high back Chicco booster. 3yo rides rfing in a radian. I still have a coccoro because the 3yo fits in it ffing so it's my emergency back up should something happen to the radian. My options would be to take the coccoro and radian, they would each be ffing. Or take the radian rfingfor the 3yo and get something portable for the 7yo. The trip is flying cross country and then driving 3 hours to our destination. Last time we had to be up before dawn for the flights and the kids were so OMG excited about flying they stayed awake until the drive. I had two rfers who were fine but thank goodness I brought RSTV for the then-9 and 7yo because they were limp noodles from exhaustion- boosters would not have worked. I no longer have vests and don't want new ones, but I'm worried about the 7yo sleeping.


Active member
Ok, so the trip is next month and two things have become apparent:

1.) The 3yo has completely outgrown the CCO, even FFing.

B.) The 7yo cannot stay awake on a longer drive.

So there goes my plans of putting the 7yo in the Radian or a nbb. I have to take the Radisn for the 3yo and find something for the 7yo to sleep in. Suggestions? Folding hbb have been discontinued. Can I disassemble an Amp and carry it on the plane?
Airlines are required to allow parents to carry any sort of child restraint system they like as carry-on baggage -- that is, you won't have to check it. If it were too bulky to fit in an overhead bin or under a seat you may have to gate check. I'd carry the Radian & install it on the flight, and carry on whatever booster you like for the 7yo. Of course you won't be able to use the booster on the plane but you'll have it for the car on the other end.

Some people disassemble a hbb, check the top half (well packed) and carry on the bottom half. Can be a decent option if you're tight on carry-on space.

Depending on the plane (and whether or not you have an angle adjuster with you), you may have to install the Radian FF for the flight.


Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
The seat won't count toward your luggage allowance, but if it's one you won't be using on the plane, they may ask or "require" you to gate check it. I don't know if you can refuse. When my son and daughter flew last December, they made it sound mandatory to gate check one of their two carryon bags. I would trust gate checking more than regular checking for a seat, but if that bothers you, it's something to keep in mind.

Rather than a folding booster, you could do one that has a removable back. Carry-on the base, and pack the back in your luggage. That way, you know you have the base when you arrive, even if that piece of luggage gets lost.


Active member
Thank you all for your help- it was invaluable! Had I gone to anyone else for advice they would have looked at me like I had two heads and said, "it's vacation, let them go without car seats for a week." (Yes, they did say that.)

I "practiced" several scenarios before settling on: Carrying the Radian onboard the plane for the 3yo to ff. Checking two hard-side suitcases to pack the Radian boot and AA, Incognito booster, 2 Connext boosters, and a bunch of surprise treats for our rental car. I figured if those suitcases were lost in-transit I would send dh to get the rental car and go to the nearest big box store for 3 new boosters before picking the rest of us up at the airport. I decided on this rather than carrying on or gate checking the boosters because 1.) With 4 kids and a Radian to wrangle I wanted to keep our carry on to a manageable minimum, 2.) I've had gate-checked baby items broken and it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and 3.) when I've had checked luggage get lost airlines have been very helpful compared to other experiences (see #2).

The Radian was a beast to carry, but kept 3yo well-behaved on the plane so was worth it's weight in, well, Radians. (Only other seat I saw while flying was a Nextfit- wished I'd sat closer to them to see how that worked.) The suitcases were on time and intact. Hertz tried to give us a Ford Transconnect, but I balked because it took the rooftop cargo box on our Maxda5 to get us and all our luggage to the airport, so I knew that wouldn't be big enough. The only other thing they had was a Chrysler T&C, so we took that (last time we got a Honda Ody but no luck this time). In the parking lot I unpacked the boosters/treats suitcases (yes, I am crazy, so I'm used to getting those looks) so the family would be happy while I played with seats. I had included some of dh's fave treats, so even he was peaceful. The shoulder belt fit with the Connexts in the 3rd row was horrible, as I'd been warned in this thread, so those went in the 2nd row. The Radian rfing went into the middle seat of the 3rd row. Dd did need the Incognito in the 3rd row, but the shoulder belt fit was ok with that. About par with our 3rd row Mazda5, so at least she was used to it. The only issue we had was the deep slant of the 3rd row. The Radian certainly didn't need the AA- in fact I don't think that would even have fit!, but poor dd was miserable. We had to make frequent stops so she could stretch her legs. And she's 5' and used to being in the 3rd row of a Mazda5 for hours! The frequent stops and surprise toys/treats kept all the booster kids awake, and 7yo sat quite well, which was a huge surprise. And relief.

So it all went off without a hitch and I don't feel safety was compromised at all. Thank you all so, so much!


New member
Our 7 and 9-year-old are doing a highway trip this summer and we have the Recaro Performance High Back boosters. The car only fits 2 carseats anyway so I have them both outboard. I wanted deep high-backs.

I am trying to follow the thread so hope I am not misunderstanding. It seems from the post you are traveling? In that case I'd go with any highback booster that you want to carry. I like Harmony Dreamtime OK. It takes force to put together. Well worth the $35. Super light. Don't get one where the back always falls off; that's annoying.

For the 3 YO (sounds like over 40")? I'd go with any FF harnessed seat, then, that you want to carry so keep it light. Under 40" and I'd pick up a light seat good for travel that he/she could rear-face in.

Oh, just read the above post. :) You carried a Radian on a plane? Bless you. We traveled with 4 kids under 5 a few years back and we carried 4 carseats onto the plane. All light plastic seats. Two babies were RF in a Scenera and 4 YO was FF in one. 5 YO in a Maestro. DH complained the whole time but I did NOT back down from bringing my carseats for all, even on the plane.

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