Traveling with car seats! Need advice!



I apologize if this has been posted before. I looked back through a few pages of posts and didn't see anything similar.
We are flying over Thanksgiving with 2 kids ages 1 (rear-facing) and 2y8m (forward-facing). Our current car seats (Evenflo Symphony 65) are GREAT, but not great for travel. I'm looking for a lighter weight option that is still safe. Both girls are in convertible seats. I know safety ratings aren't published, so I need some practical advise on what to look for. Does inexpensive equal less safe? Is a $70 carseat as good as a $300 seat? Do the lighter-weight seats hold up in crashes?
I'm also looking for advise for flying with 2 carseats. We never check them, we always gate check. It's a HUGE hassle lugging 2 little ones and 2 car seats all over the airport. Does anyone else have a better way of doing it? We thought about keeping the car seats in their boxes and checking those instead of luggage.


Hello and welcome to :)

When I have flown with children, I find it is easiest to use a stroller as a carry-all-cart. I strap on the car seats (using bungee cords, usually) and whatever carry-on luggage we have. Then one adult can take care of all the carry-on stuff just by pushing the stroller! If there is another adult, he/she can corral whatever children there are. I usually will put the youngest child in a carrier or sling, and have other children walk. There is not typically a whole lot of walking to be done in airports, so even toddlers can handle it if you are willing to go slow. If you wanted to, you could bring two carriers and have the stroller-pushing adult have a child on his/her back, though. The main point is to save the stroller for luggage while in the airport!

Also, it is easier to use the seats on the aircraft than to gate-check or luggage-check them. If the baby is going as a lap baby, then you could check the seat in the original box, or gate-check. Just be aware that in either case, there is the chance that the seat could be damaged and not usable at your destination.

As for travel seats, all seats sold in the US pass the same federal standards. Some have features that *may* increase safety in certain situations, but we don't know that for sure. Sometimes it is worth paying more for features that make it easier to use the seat correctly, because correctly using a seat DOES increase safety. But as far as a travel seat goes, you can definitely get seats that are less expensive and still safe, assuming that you install and use the seats correctly.

I have to run to a meeting now, so I'll leave the specific suggestions up to others. Hope this helps!


New member
Jjordan gave you a lot of great advice!

I would definitely strap the seats either to a stroller or a luggage cart, and then use the seats on the plane.

For the littlest one, try a Guide65. For your older one, a evenflo sureride or maestro would likely work.

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