Traveling with 4 yr old and 8 yr old--which seat to bring?

spryngtree

New member
We are flying from the east coast to California in April with a change of planes midway. When we planned this trip a year ago, we thought we'd put both kids on the plane without seats and be picked up at the airport with a high back booster and low back booster. My four year old is FF in a harnessed seat at home but I thought he'd be okay for our limited car riding on vacation in a high back booster since an adult would be sitting with him to make sure he sits properly and I assumed he'd be big enough by April.

However, there are now some crimps in this plan, first, I don't think the four year old is going to make it to 40 pounds before our trip which I think makes both sitting on the plane without a seat and sitting in the rental car with a HBB a problem? He's on the skinny side in general too, built narrow across the hips, he wears slim pants only or they fall down.

Also, we originally thought we were going to be picked up at the airport, which let us just have boosters shipped to our destination, but the people who were going to pick us up are now going to be traveling with us instead. So we have to take seats with us I think. We are going for a wedding and so have to take extra outfits and so on, so packing space is at a premium.

What would you all recommend? Is there even a booster that is rated under 40 pounds? All of ours are 40 pounds and up I believe. We have Graco Nautilus and a Graco Argos we could take for the four year old, or we could borrow the 8 year olds Britax Parkway with the anti submarine strap, but I'm pretty sure it's 40 pounds and up only. All three of those are super heavy and I'm not sure if the Gracos install well on the plane or how we would pack the Parkway?

8 year old never ever sleeps in the car and is doing okay with booster travel now (He has some special needs, but seems to be coping now after some time where it was a problem if people are remembering that from earlier threads of mine) so I feel okay with him using the backless booster for travel. He is not tall enough though to avoid using a booster at all.

We were hoping to avoid buying anything new, so if we do need to get something I'd rather it be inexpensive, we are not likely to fly again soon. If we do need to get something though I'd rather it be something my mom can use in her car for the 4 year old when we visit her in February (in NJ) so I need to make this decision and get whatever it is before then. She currently has a Britax Roundabout that he does not fit in anymore.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
You CAN use your current seats, but like you said, they're heavy.

For the 8-year-old, I'd get a lightweight Harmony booster from Walmart for about $15. Or if you want to splurge a bit, a BubbleBum (GREAT for travel).

You can get an Evenflo Maestro for about $75 for the 4-year-old. It has tall top slots and is narrow, and light.
 

D&L's-mommy

New member
maybe I misread your post, but if you want the 4 year old to sit in a car seat in the plane you can not use a booster, since plane's only have lap belts. if you want him in a cr on the plane it must have a 5-point harness (which I think in the US almost every seat is FAA approved, but just double check, it will have a sticker on it). when we flew we took the back off our HBB for our son, and just took the bottom, he did well, and since we weren't doing a whole of driving (ie he wasn't going to fall asleep and tip over) we were ok doing that, we gate checked the lbb. We brought our daughter's harnessed seat to use on the plane, but at the time was in a cosco combo seat, much lighter than the nautilus she's in now. I wouldn't travel with it, it's pretty huge. the evenflo big kid sport booster starts at 30lbs, so does the harmony dreamtime, both hbb's, both around $40 and can be picked up BRU or walmart (respectively) If you want him in a CR on the plane I would get the maestro, walmart.com has them for around $60, they're big (it is a combo. seat) but not nearly as big or heavy as the nautilus
 

flutie128

New member
I would probably take the back off the parkway and \put it in the over head bin for your old child. I would either take the harnessed seat for your younger child or pick up a Maestro for him since it is light. I have seen for $60 on amazon recently.
 

bubbaray

New member
You CAN use your current seats, but like you said, they're heavy.

For the 8-year-old, I'd get a lightweight Harmony booster from Walmart for about $15. Or if you want to splurge a bit, a BubbleBum (GREAT for travel).

You can get an Evenflo Maestro for about $75 for the 4-year-old. It has tall top slots and is narrow, and light.
This

And I would gate check the seats on the plane.
 

spryngtree

New member
maybe I misread your post, but if you want the 4 year old to sit in a car seat in the plane you can not use a booster, since plane's only have lap belts.
Oh no, that's not what I meant. I was thinking of either bringing a harnessed seat for the four year old, and using it on the plane, or letting him sit without a seat on the plane and just using a booster for him in the car while we are traveling. (which we would pack along with his big brother's booster or somehow have someone meet us at the airport with it)

Thanks everyone, I appreciate your help. I'm going to have to get some place to check out the Maestro and the 30 pound boosters, and make a decision on whether I feel safe having him in a booster. Bringing just the base of the parkway isn't a bad idea for my older son, I think that is lighter or at least more low profile than the other backless booster we have. Or I will check out that bubble bum thing, though it doesn't look like it's sold anywhere around here. I'd have to order it, not sure if it's worth it or not? Is it hugely easier to pack? Or does it still take up a good deal of room?
 

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