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Car Seat Travel Bag Options (2024 Reviews)

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This article about car seat travel bag options is written by certified Child Passenger Safety Technician Melissa Conn and may contain affiliate links.

When you’re trying to figure out how to carry your car seat through the airport, one popular option to consider is a car seat travel bag. While it may seem like another thing to lug around with you, a car seat bag can be really handy when you’re juggling a kid, a stroller and a suitcase.

After reading this article, you’ll understand the different features to look for in a car seat bag for travel and how to pick the right one for your family (and your car seat).

car seat travel bag reviews

Car Seat Travel Bag Quick Picks

What should you look for when choosing a car seat bag for travel? Here are a few details to consider:

  • Best travel car seat backpack for convertible car seats: YOREPEK Car Seat Travel Bag with Wheels
  • Best infant car seat travel bag: SCTEL Car Seat Travel Bag for Airplane
  • Best booster seat travel bag: Birdee Backless Booster Seat Travel Bag

Car Seat Bag Features

Sizing/shape.

There are four basic sizes of car seat bags: infant car seat, convertible/all-in-one car seat, booster seat and generic.

An infant car seat travel bag for flying is generally shaped like an infant car seat: long and low. While some of them may be specific to one brand of seat, in reality most of them are compatible with other infant car seats since they’re all roughly the same size and shape.

A travel car seat bag meant for a convertible or all-in-one car seat is typically tall and wider at the base than at the top. Again, many car seats will fit this type of bag though there’s much more size variation than among infant car seats. Some of the biggest carseat bag options can even accommodate two stacked compact car seats or a car seat and a backless booster seat.

While you can technically put a highback booster seat in one of these bags, you may run into an issue if it’s the type that can convert into a backless booster – many of these can easily tilt out of the “locked” position when you’re moving them around.

A booster seat travel bag is a much smaller than the others and is meant to help you carry a backless booster seat without using your hands.

Finally there are some generic car seat airplane bag options that are glorified nylon laundry bags. They’re big and don’t have a contoured shape, so you can fit anything in them.

Wheels vs No Wheels

One of the biggest decisions when choosing a car seat travel bag is whether or not to get one with wheels. A bag with wheels will save your back and be much, much easier to transport through the airport and beyond. However, it takes up much more space when it’s not in use.

A car seat bag without wheels is much lighter and many of them fold up to be very small when they aren’t in use. They’re also generally less expensive!

Carry Style

You’ll want to look closely at how a travel car seat bag is actually carried. Backpack straps that distribute weight evenly are much better than a single shoulder strap, but adding an adjustable hip belt or waist strap is even better!

But if you’re carrying a full sized car seat in any backpack, prepare for your center of gravity to be behind you and for it to generally feel awkward due to the height of today’s car seats.

For a car seat bag with wheels, you’ll want to check the type of handle to make sure it’ll be comfortable to pull. Some of these have backpack straps as well, which can be handy if you’re in a tight space or will need to walk on uneven sidewalks with your car seat.

A car seat carrier bag’s job is to make it easy for you to lug your heavy seat around, but sometimes you’re also looking for the bag to protect your seat from dirt or damage.

In general, there are some good reasons to avoid checking a car seat . But if you have to check – whether at the gate or with baggage – you may want to consider a padded bag for a little bit of extra protection. It’s still not a guarantee and I’ve seen some bags that were absolutely destroyed along with the seats inside, so YMMV. Note that most bags say that they are not designed for checking with luggage.

If you’re just using the bag to carry your car seat through the airport and you intend to use your car seat on the plane, padding isn’t critical.

By warranty, I don’t mean the bag’s warranty – it’s a bag. Who cares if it takes some damage while protecting the valuable item inside!

But some car seat manufacturers are not providing guarantees that their travel bags will protect their seats. If the car seat gets damaged when it’s checked inside the designated bag, the manufacturer will take care of it! Though these bags are higher priced than their generic counterparts, you can think of it like having an insurance policy on your very expensive car seat.

It’s very important that you weigh the higher price point of these “insured” travel car seat bags versus what’s inside. If you’re traveling with a $60 car seat, there’s no sense in buying a $300 bag!

Best Car Seat Travel Bags for Convertible Car Seats/Booster Seats

Yorepek car seat travel backpack.

car seat travel bag reviews

For a simple, affordable option I recommend the YOREPEK Car Seat Travel Bag . It hits all the key points for a car seat backpack: lightweight, fits a convertible car seat, padded shoulder straps, has an adjustable waist strap and it folds down to a very compact size when it’s not in use.

There isn’t much padding on the back, and most parents that I see using this style of bag carry them too low so that the bottom of the car seat is hanging down low on their bodies. Try to carry “high”, with the waist belt of the car seat sitting on top of your hips. You can also order this carseat backpack for comparison – it doesn’t have as much internal padding for the car seat but it does have more padding on the lower back.

This is a good choice for a Cosco Scenera Next travel bag since it’s lightweight, inexpensive and simple – much like the Scenera itself!

Looxii Car Seat Backpack

car seat travel bag reviews

On the surface, the Looxii Car Seat Backpack looks really similar to the YOREPEK car seat bag… and if I’m being honest they’re probably being made in the same factory by the same people. But the few extra dollars gets you a nice additional feature.

The Looxi car seat backpack for airplanes gives you a second way to transport it through the airport! They’ve built in a strap system that attaches to your carry-on suitcase, similar to this product . That can be unwieldy in some situations, but it’s wonderful to have the flexibility versus only being able to carry the car seat on your back.

YOREPEK Car Seat Travel Bag with Wheels

car seat travel bag reviews

Do you love the sound of the backpacks above but wish they had wheels? Thankfully you can grab the YOREPEK Car Seat Travel Bag with Wheels without spending an arm and a leg! It offers the same backpack straps, but adds four spinner wheels to the bottom. The wheels and extra structure add another pound of weight, but I think it’s well worth the trade-off.

The bag is about 28″ tall and just has the grab handle on top for pulling it, so you may want to consider a “leash” of some sort if you’re taller.

If you need a Graco car seat travel bag for a convertible car seat like the Extend2Fit, this is a good choice.

Chicco Car Seat Travel Bag

car seat travel bag reviews

If you’re a frequent flyer and need a really durable car seat bag with wheels, the Chicco Car Seat Travel Bag should fit the bill! The features are largely the same as the Yorepek wheeled car seat bag but it has a reinforced rubberized base and very durable fabric. There’s also a handy slot to tuck the backpack straps in when you’re pulling it along, which is nice so that they don’t get stuck under the wheels and fray.

The dimensions are the same as the Yorepek so tall parents may want to use a leash to pull it – otherwise you might have to bend awkwardly to keep your hand on it.

Pro tip: get it for 20% off when you use coupon ALBEE20.

Best Infant Car Seat Travel Bag

While you can use one of the car seat airplane bag options above for an infant car seat, the shape is so different that realistically you’re better off with a purpose-built bag – especially if you’ll be carrying it on your back.

YOREPEK Infant Car Seat Travel Bag

car seat travel bag reviews

Again, YOREPEK comes through with their Infant Car Seat Travel Bag ! This padded carseat travel bag is meant to be carried by its handle or as a backpack depending on which version you buy. It’s shaped to accommodate a typical infant car seat, though the description specifically mentions the Nuna Pipa/Pipa Lite RX, Uppababy Mesa and Chicco Keyfit 30.

If you own a heavier seat (like the Mesa or Keyfit) you can consider a lightweight infant car seat for travel like the Century Carry On 35 – it’s very inexpensive but also long-lasting.

This bag is not intended to hold the infant car seat base. It’s not generally necessary to fly with it, as nearly every infant car seat can be installed without the base.

SCTEL Car Seat Travel Bag for Airplane

car seat travel bag reviews

Want to fly with your infant car seat base? Pick up the SCTEL Car Seat Travel Bag for Airplane instead. It has a deeper shape that’s purpose-built to accommodate the base attached to the infant car seat.

Read the description carefully, as there are two different sizes and the correct one depends on which seat and which base you have. For example if you’re looking for a Graco car seat travel bag you’ll need the larger size if you have the SnugFit series with an anti-rebound bar on the base while the seats with a more compact base can use the smaller bag. Likewise, the smaller size works as a Chicco Keyfit travel bag (both the 22lb and 30lb modes) but the larger size is better as a Chicco Keyfit 35 travel bag.

Because most infant car seat bases weigh close to 10lbs, this infant car seat bag comes with wheels so you can pull it through the airport.

Nuna Pipa Travel Bag

Nuna Pipa Series Car Seat Travel Bag - Indigo

If you own a Nuna Pipa car seat of any type and plan to check it when you’re flying with a lap baby , you’ll definitely want to take a long hard look at the Nuna Pipa car seat travel bag . It looks pretty darn similar to the generic options above and can be carried as a backpack or by the handles (which I don’t recommend if you have the base in there, as it gets really heavy).

But the magic is in the details. If your car seat is damaged while it’s checked in this bag, Nuna will cover your car seat under warranty. You just have to register your car seat and the bag before your trip and you’ll get an extra year of coverage under their Nuna Boarding Pass program.

Uppababy MESA Family Travel Bag

car seat travel bag reviews

Similarly, you can buy the Uppababy MESA Family travel bag to protect your Uppababy MESA infant car seat and extend its warranty when checked through the TravelSafe program.

While the MESA travel car seat bag doesn’t offer the option to carry as a backpack (which would be nice since it’s very heavy for an infant car seat), it has a different trick up its sleeve. The bag has a zippered panel on the bottom to extend the base down if you bring the car seat base with you, or you can keep the panel tucked away for a more compact profile if you’re just bringing the car seat.

Best Booster Seat Travel Bag

Flying with a booster seat is definitely easier than with a car seat in many ways, as they’re usually lighter and easier to transport! Here are some ideas for transporting your booster seat through the airport and beyond.

J.L. Childress Go-Go Travel Bag for Backless Booster Seats

car seat travel bag reviews

Realistically you shouldn’t need to check your booster seat. We typically have our kids carry them on to the plane and put them on the floor or in the overhead bin, and no flight attendant has ever given us a hard time about having them in addition to a carry-on and/or personal item. To make carrying it through the airport easier, consider the J.L. Childress Go-Go Travel Bag for Backless Booster Seats . It has a shoulder strap built in and you can also loop it over the handle of your carry-on suitcase.

This bag is super lightweight nylon and can also serve double-duty as a grocery bag or beach tote while you’re traveling!

Birdee Durable Backless Booster Seat Travel Bag for Airplane

car seat travel bag reviews

For a more durable, heavy-duty option you can consider the Birdee Durable Backless Booster Seat Travel Bag for Airplane . It’s very similar to the J.L. Childress but made of more substantial material.

Before you go…

There are so many factors to think about when you’re traveling with kids! Be sure to read up on flying with a car seat to make sure you’re prepared with all of the information you need for a smooth trip.

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The Best Car Seat Travel Bags to Make Flying Less of a Hassle

They cost roughly $30 apiece and keep your car seat protected as you fly.

Car seat travel bags against a multi-colored background

Eventually, even this summer, travel will resume in earnest and feel safe again, and if you are traveling by plane with your child , you have several options when it comes to dealing with your car seat. The simplest one, by far, is to get a car seat travel bag. If your car seat is FAA-approved and your child has his or her own plane seat, you can take it onboard to use during the flight. Otherwise, you will need to check it as luggage , either at the airline check-in counter or gate.

Either way won’t cost you anything — all U.S. airlines and most international ones allow them on board free of charge. But other than being the victim of kiddie projectile vomiting, nothing can wreck your trip more effectively than finding your car seat shredded from its time in the hold. The key to avoiding that fate is to invest in a durable, solid car seat travel bag that keeps it safe from scratches, dents, water damage, and other nastiness.

Make sure you pick a model that fits your specific car seat brand (they generally fit all the major ones, but read the fine print for any exceptions when it comes to more niche brands). Padded straps make hauling the bags around easier, and some of them even have wheels, if you need that extra convenience. If you want options, get a car seat travel bag that lets you carry it around multiple ways, whether by toting it or strapping it on your back.

Car Seat Travel Bag by Chicco

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car seat travel bag reviews

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8 best car seat travel bags in 2022 (for flying with your child).

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African American woman fastening her child to a denim blue car seat

Your family bonding experience wouldn’t be complete without your little ones. Nothing beats the joy of being with them and watching them explore the most beautiful places in the world.

But sometimes, keeping your children safe is a challenge. You need to keep them secure and ensure that they’re sitting still, which leads you to find a dedicated car seat for them, even during air travel.

That’s why a car seat travel bag is a must-have for any parent who wants to fly with their child in a car seat.

In this article, we’ll help you find the perfect car seat travel bag that’ll give you the peace of mind of keeping your child safe in an unfamiliar place. With a car seat bag, you’ll worry less about how to transfer your car seat, plus you’ll also have extra storage for your toddler’s stuff!

We’ll also walk you through the special features and advantages of the best car seat travel bags in the market today. If this is your first time traveling with a child, make sure to read these 60 family travel tips for parents .

Table of Contents

Buying Guide: What You Should Look For in a Car Seat Travel Bag

1. size & weight.

You’d want to buy one that’s not too big nor too small. If it doesn’t fit, the car seat may move too much or be left unprotected. So, pick a car seat travel bag that has a nice fit and isn’t cumbersome to carry.

You should also consider whether the bag is foldable and lightweight and if it can fit inside your luggage when not in use.

2. Carrying Style

There are many styles to choose from. You can opt for a car seat travel bag with or without wheels or one with shoulder straps. To find out what suits you best, ask yourself a few questions:

  • How many bags will I bring during my trip?
  • How long will I carry the car seat?

If your luggage is heavy, choose a car seat travel bag that has wheels.

Some parents say that traveling with wheels is more convenient because you’ll also bring the car seat bag with you outside the airport. Carrying the bag by its handles can also hurt your hands or shoulders after a long period.

If you opt for a car seat travel bag that has shoulder straps, make sure that the handles or straps are long and padded to be comfortable for you while you’re carrying it.

You can also find a car seat travel bag with a luggage strap so you can attach it to your wheeled luggage. That way, you’ll give your shoulder a rest.

3. Durability

Ask yourself about how often and how long you’ll use your car seat travel bag. If you’ll be using it often and for a while, invest in one with high-quality features that stand up against the test of time. You should also choose one with a reinforced base to protect it, especially during gate checks.

Padded car seat travel bags are often recommended but are expensive. If you’re looking for budget-friendly options, you can try nylon bags without internal padding. Aside from being more affordable, it’s also lighter compared to its more expensive counterparts.

5. Airline Requirements

Airline requirements vary from place to place, so do your research before your trip. Generally, airlines want car seats and travel bags that don’t block the row or bother other passengers. This is why they recommend putting car seats by the window.

To be safe, buy a car seat that has an FAA sticker attached to it. This ensures that the car seat is certified for motor vehicles and aircraft use.

6. Age and Weight of Your Child

Different car seats are designed for different ages, so check the capacity of the car seat travel bag before buying it.

A bucket-style infant car seat is recommended for airplane use since it fits the age and weight of an infant. It’s harder to find the perfect car seat for toddlers, but you can consult with your airlines for recommendations.

Checking a Car Seat for Flights: How to Pack a Car Seat for Checked Baggage

Almost all major airlines consider child safety as one of their top priorities. Hence, you can check your car seat for no additional fees.

Choose an Easy to Fold and Lightweight Car Seat

Some parents don’t understand how to use car seats on airplanes. This would sometimes lead to fights between them and flight attendants, who sometimes try to stop even FAA-approved safety car seats from being used. This tends to happen in planes with smaller-than-average seats.

To avoid these circumstances, consider bringing a foldable and lightweight car seat that can fit perfectly inside a travel bag.

Put Your Car Seat in a Fit and Recognizable Bag

This is to avoid different kinds of damage, unwanted dirt, and loss. Some parents pack their car seats in large bags surrounded by diapers on all sides or other soft items such as clothes, socks, or towels to keep the seat safe and secure.

Some airlines give you plastic bags that are strong enough to use as a cover if you need to keep your things safe.

Also, make sure your car seat & travel bag are marked with your name and a phone number or email address that can be used to reach you if it ever gets lost.

8 Best Car Seat Travel Bags for Flying in Airplanes

1. best car seat backpack: the yorepek car seat travel bag.

The Yorepek Car Seat Travel Bag

The Yorepek Car Seat Travel Bag is compatible with almost all major brands of car seats with its size (28x18x18 inches).

With its large capacity and elastic pockets, it can fit some small accessories such as diapers, baby toys, clothes, toiletries, and feeding bottles. You don’t have to worry about extra costs like baggage fees and car seat rental fees, too, because this travel bag can carry the baby car seat conveniently.

Plus, it’s foldable, so you can easily pack it when not in use. You can now show your ticket and pull your luggage at the same time without thinking about your baby’s car seat.

This car seat travel bag also has an adjustable backpack strap to cater to different body types and achieve maximum comfort while carrying it. If you opt for hand carry, you can also use its padded top handle.

You won’t doubt its durability because it’s made from waterproof polyester fiber and has thick feet at the bottom to protect the car seat from dirt and unwanted bacteria. Also, its car seat cushion is easy to clean and uses innovative technology to provide comprehensive wear protection.

You’ll ensure your child’s safety when you use the Yorepek Car Seat Travel Bag . It has thick internal wings and straps that can fix the baby car seat in its position. Plus, with its double zip opening, you can secure this bag using a lock.

Get the Yorepek Car Seat Travel Bag

  • Adjustable backstraps
  • Large capacity
  • Easy to clean

2. For Doona Owners: Doona Travel Bag

Doona Travel Bag

If you own a Doona car seat or stroller , you should consider buying the Doona Travel Bag . Not only is it compatible with your Doona car seat, but it’s also designed to make traveling with an infant easier. The car base fits inside the bag as well.

You don’t have to worry about harsh conditions outside or the mess your child makes because this travel bag is easy to clean and durable. It’ll ensure that even if airline workers toss your stuff carelessly, your expensive items are secured inside.

You’ll never run out of options in using this travel bag because of its easy-to-use backpack straps that provide hands-free comfort and convenience.

Another good news is you won’t experience any hassle during onboarding because it’d only take you a minute to assemble and disassemble your Doona.

Get the Doona Travel Bag

  • Water-repellent
  • Ripstop fabric
  • No luggage strap

3. Best Padded Car Seat Travel Bag: JL Childress Car Seat Bag

JL Childress Car Seat Bag

For almost 20 years now, JL Childress has been giving his all for the quality of his products. So, you’ll never go wrong with this original brand.

Made with heavy-duty polyester fabric with thick protective padding on all sides, the JL Childress Car Seat Bag will protect your car seat from damages, scrapes, abrasions, and abusive luggage handling. Plus, it has padded interior wings dedicated to protecting the car seat’s headrest.

After using this car seat bag, you’ll never go back to inferior padding again.

And because of this bag’s smooth exterior style, you won’t have to stress over your bag’s straps and pockets getting caught up in airplane machinery anymore either.

We’re not calling this the best padded car seat travel bag for nothing. Aside from its thick protective padding, it also has padded, harness-style backpack straps to maximize comfort and convenience. You don’t have to worry about the hassle of carrying it anywhere as you leave the airport.

Get the JL Childress Car Seat Bag

  • High-quality padding
  • Convenient webbing handle
  • Dual zipper opening
  • ID card pocket

4. Best Wheeled Car Seat Travel Bag: Chicco Car Seat Travel Bag

Chicco Car Seat Travel Bag

This car seat travel bag is flexible because you can either carry it on your shoulders or roll the bag by your side.

Chicco’s Car Seat Travel Bag has a four-wheel spinner construction and two padded handles for convenience and comfort. It also has adjustable padded backpack straps.

This travel bag ensures both the protection of the car seat and your child. With durable and water-resistant fabric, this car seat travel bag is protected from wear and tear caused by constant travel. It also has sturdy double zippers and a reinforced rubberized base for additional security.

It fits all Chicco car seats and it has a wide opening to make car seat insertion and removal easy.

Get the Chicco Car Seat Travel Bag

  • Fits all Chicco car seats
  • 360-degree maneuvering
  • Rolls easily with one hand
  • Ultra-durable, water-resistant PVB reinforced fabric
  • Built-in backpack strap storage pockets

5. Best Budget-Friendly Option: V VOLKGO Car Seat Travel Bag

V VOLKGO Car Seat Travel Bag

If you’re looking for an affordable option without sacrificing the safety of your child, the V VOLKGO Car Seat Travel Bag is for you.

It helps protect your car seat from physical damages and unwanted dirt, and it’s compatible with most major car seat brands with its size of 34x18x18 inches.

Experience hands-free convenience with its two padded backpack straps, so you can have an easier time onboarding. It also provides a front strap to let you carry it in a variety of ways.

You’ll be amazed how it can transform from a bag to a compact pouch. It can be folded flat to transform into a carrying pouch, so it doubles as a storage bag for itself when not in use.

Despite its price, it’s still water-resistant and adapts a unique technology to offer wear and tear protection. It has two drawstring closures and a velcro flap to help keep the car seat secure inside the bag.

Get the V VOLKGO Car Seat Travel Bag

  • Padded backpack straps
  • Compatible with almost all major brands of car seats
  • 2-In-1 Bag and Compact Pouch
  • Secure closure system

6. Best Gate Check Bag: JL Childress Air Travel Bag

JL Childress Air Travel Bag

Parents love this bright red air travel bag for a reason. As you pull the bag out of its stretch pouch, you’ll realize how spacious it is and how the car seat fits perfectly inside.

The drawstring and lock keep the car seat safe away from unwanted dirt and bacteria. During onboarding, you don’t have to worry about anything because its durable fabric, bright red color, and big logo will ensure its safety and return.

As you leave the airport, you won’t feel uncomfortable at all since this gate check bag is lightweight. You can also carry it easily using its webbing handle if necessary.

Tuck it away inside its spandex pouch once again and fit it easily inside your carry-on bag when not in use. You won’t worry about it getting lost.

Get the JL Childress Air Travel Bag

  • Water-resistant
  • Double-stitched seams
  • Personal identification box
  • Easy to identify
  • Fits most car seats
  • No backstraps

7. Best Water-Resistant Car Seat Bag: Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag

Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag

The weather is often unpredictable, and it’s such a hassle if you plan a trip only for it to be rainy all day. It’s especially worse if the trip includes your kid.

At least with the Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag , you don’t have to worry about your car seat because it has the best water-resistant features.

This bag is compatible with most car seats brands. Made with heavy-duty fabric and a double zipper opening, it can withstand the harsh conditions in a busy airport terminal.

This travel bag caters to the carrying needs of every mom and dad. If you need to rest your shoulders, you can carry it using its built-in handle. And if you need to free your hands to cater to your child’s needs or to hand over your tickets, you can use its shoulder and waist straps.

Get the Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag

  • 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Refundable within 14 days after purchase
  • Adjustable carrying straps
  • Built-in handle
  • Padded interior 
  • Lockable double zipper
  • Water-resistant fabric
  • Includes luggage ID

8. Best Lightweight Car Seat Travel Bag: Reperkid Car Seat Travel Backpack

Reperkid Car Seat Travel Backpack

After long walks during your trip, you’ll appreciate the weight this car seat travel bag removes from your shoulders.

Made with 600D nylon, you won’t feel the weight of the Reperkid Car Seat Travel Backpack ! Plus, you can keep your car seat safe for a long time since it’s tear-resistant and 100% waterproof. You don’t have to settle for impractical bags anymore.

With its size of 18x18x34 inches, it caters to the majority of car seats and boosters in the market today.

If you found it hard locating your bag during your last trip, you’ll love how this bag’s vibrant blue or purple color aids in easy identification. It even has a large graphic printed on it and a personalized name card slot so you’d save time finding your luggage on your next trip.

You can enjoy carrying this travel bag anywhere and prevent back strain as its ergonomic shoulder straps give the utmost comfort and convenience. If you need to give your back a rest, you can use its practical handle instead.

Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, bus, or car, you’ll have a safe and fun trip with your child.

Get the Reperkid Car Seat Travel Backpack

  • Universal fit
  • Easy drawstring quick closure
  • Personalized name card slot
  • Adjustable shoulder pads
  • Large storage capacity

Car Seat Travel Bag Alternatives: Other Ways to Transport a Car Seat

1. car seat travel cart: britax car seat travel cart.

Britax Car Seat Travel Cart

Are you looking for extra support to transport your child’s car seat across short distances? The Britax Car Seat Travel Cart might just be the right one for you.

Made from durable steel, you can secure your car seat with its latch connectors and accommodate a wide variety of users.

With its size (24 x 13.5 x 5.5 inches), it can accommodate all Britax convertible car seats and harness booster seats , as well as most car seat brands.

You can bring this anywhere because it’s compact enough to be stowed into small spaces including overhead bins without the hassle of assembling it or breaking it down.

Get the Britax Car Seat Travel Cart

  • One-hand telescoping handle
  • Strong steel frame
  • Secure latch connectors
  • Limited one-year warranty
  • Some people might find it difficult to maneuver

2. Car Seat Luggage Strap: Alnoor Car Seat Travel Belt

Alnoor Car Seat Travel Belt

If you’re hesitant in spending money on a car seat travel bag, what if you try getting a travel belt instead?

With the Alnoor Car Seat Travel Belt , you can transform your existing rolling bag into a portable travel solution that can accommodate different types of car seats. You’ll get your money’s worth because this reliable commercial-grade belt can last for years.

This belt is compatible with most 13”-56” roller bags. You can easily attach the car seat onto your bag and remove the belt after you board the plane within seconds. When not in use, you can store it conveniently as it takes up minimal space inside your luggage.

Get the Alnoor Car Seat Travel Belt

  • Easy assembly
  • Commercial grade
  • Takes up minimal space
  • To tighten, you need to stop

3. Foldable Travel Car Seat: The Fit-and-Fold High Back Booster Seat by mifold

The Fit-and-Fold High Back Booster Seat

Parents love this alternative for its flexibility and portability. It even won many awards including the 2019 Creative Child Product of the Year Award.

Known as the world’s most adjustable booster, the Fit-and-Fold High Back Booster Seat can be adjusted to 243 individual settings.

You don’t have to worry about its weight and storage because it can be folded down to a compact size and fitted inside your bag or luggage. It even includes a carry strap for convenience.

This lightweight alternative will keep your child safe and secure because it ensures the best seat belt fit for your child.

Do take note that this car seat is designed for kids aged 4 and up, 40-100 lbs, and 40 to 59 inches tall.

Get the The Fit-and-Fold High Back Booster Seat

  • Ensures optimal seat belt fit
  • Regulated for global use

4. Convertible Car Seat: Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

Do you find it hard picking the right car seat and stroller for your infant? Well, you don’t have to stress any further because Doona has a single solution for your problems.

Introducing the Doona Car Seat and Latch Base !

You can convert this car seat to a stroller with a single click. It’s designed to help you save time and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

It includes several features to get started on a safe and fun trip such as the Doona infant car seat, bamboo infant insert, bamboo head support, vehicle seat protector, and the base. Also, fashion-conscious families will enjoy the wide variety of colors to choose from.

You can also make sure this convertible car seat is safe and secure during your trip by getting a Doona travel bag .

Remember that this convertible car seat is suitable for babies between 4-35 lbs and a maximum of 32 inches in height. Plus, it’s rear-facing only.

Get the Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

  • Adjustable handlebar
  • 3 layer side impact protection
  • TUV and FAA aircraft approved
  • 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Removable and washable stretch material canopy and shoulder pads
  • Short handle extension

Frequently Asked Questions

1. do you need a car seat travel bag to check a car seat.

It’s not required but it’s nice to have to secure your car seat. It’s useful if you frequently transport your car seat.

Despite “fragile” or “handle with care” stickers, some baggage handlers can still be quite rough. It’s better to secure your car seat to prevent unwanted costs of buying a new one if your car seat gets damaged.

2. Does a car seat count as a checked bag?

No, it’s not considered a checked bag. It’s considered a baby item or sometimes called a comfort item. This means it’s not part of your checked bag allowance and the airlines have limited liability if your item is lost or damaged.

3. Can you gate-check a car seat? What does “gate check” mean anyway?

Gate checking is the process of checking your bag at the departure gate before they store it in the cargo hold of the aircraft. This is different from regular checks done at a check-in desk or ticket counter for pre-security.

Yes, you can gate-check a car seat. It’s considered a better choice than checking with luggage since the car seat is frequently used. Also, when you go through gate checking you can expect fewer damages because fewer people will be handling it.

4. Can’t I just take my car seat on the plane?

Before your flight, remember to always check with your airlines about restrictions since some of them may have implemented rules with regards to car seats. Normally, they must be FAA or TÜV-approved seats to allow the use of car seats in the aircraft. If your car seat is marked as “For Use In Aircraft,” then it’s an airline-approved car seat.

Final Thoughts

Once you enter the airport with your family, ready to go on one of your best trips yet, you’ll realize how much effort you put into packing your suitcases, preparing your children, and making sure all safety precautions were followed.

All these responsibilities can be overwhelming at times but you can remove some of the stress by picking the right car seat travel bag.

We hope this article has helped you find the best car seat travel bag that’ll work for your lifestyle. These are the 8 best this year, but there are many more options out there if these don’t suit your needs.

Do some research online and see what other brands have to offer! We also recommend checking with airline personnel because they may be able to provide you with a discount on their brand of bags or something similar.

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Product Reviews

12 best car seat travel bags in 2024 & more tips on how to transport car seats.

Graphic of many different styles of car seat travel bags with text overlay best gate check bags for car seats

Not taking your car seat onboard the plane? Here’s how to safely check your most important travel gear

Car seats are, without a doubt, one of the bulkiest pieces of kiddy kit you will need to travel within those early years. And also the piece that will be hanging out with you the longest!

Even once you have discarded travel strollers , car seats and boosters are still needed for many of your childhood years to come.

If you are not planning on using your car seat on board an aircraft but will use it at your destination, you need to ensure it is securely stowed in the plane’s hold.

When buying a car seat, it makes perfect sense that you should invest a few extra dollars to buy a car seat protector and also buy a travel bag to protect it in transit.

Best Car Seat Travel Bags in 2024

Do i need a car seat travel bag, choosing the best car seat travel bag, here are our top car seat travel bags reviewed in detail, best car seat gate check bags with wheels, branded car seat travel bags, alternative methods for transporting your car seat, summing it up – picking the best car seat travel bag, this post is part of our tried & tested product reviews . .

As Amazon Associates, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases made from this page.

We will summarise the best car seat travel bags currently available on the market here.

Read on below though for more on our thoughts on whether a car seat cover is worth it and our detailed review of these market-leading products.

Seriously, you’re telling me I need to buy MORE travel kit ! Have I not purchased enough already!?

We learned very quickly after one of our early flights with a baby that, yes, you need to protect your car seats if they go in the hold.

These items are treated as oversized luggage and, if left unprotected in any way, are prone to breakage (as well as rain if left out in the elements). We can’t imagine how hard baggage handlers must have thrown our baby capsule to smash in the way it did…

It made us much more conscious of keeping our gear protected, and now we never travel without our strollers and car seats in a protective bag or covering. This does not need to be an expensive branded car seat travel bag, but regular travellers, we highly recommend you DO get something robust.

(TOP TIP: It was also a lesson to photograph anything of value going into the hold so you have evidence for any claims for breakage with your airline or insurer – much back and forward with the airline concerned, we were finally compensated for our smashed car seat).

Can’t I just take my car seat onto the plane?

You can find our complete guide on how to use your car seat on the plane here.

What does gate check mean?

It means checking an item to be held under the aircraft at the gate. In reality, “gate-check bags” for car seats and strollers can also be checked in with your luggage if the item is not required on the plane. A stroller, perhaps, might be more convenient to gate check. Still, your car seat can be checked in immediately upon arriving at the airport.

Can I chance taking my car seat with me to the plane?

You can, but it could be a bulky and inconvenient strategy to try. IF there is a spare seat next to you, you might be able to use your car seat if the crew allows it. Otherwise, it’ll have to be left at the plane door to go in the hold.

Some people prefer to do this regardless and pull their kid along in the car seat. To be fair, I’ve not tried it, but it doesn’t look that convenient vs using a stroller.

If you do this, it’s even more important to make sure you can readily pull a protective bag over your seat before it’s left with the ground staff to put in the hold. Make sure they issued you with a baggage tag at check-in that is visible on the exterior of the bag (airline issued, not just your own ID tag ), or a member of gate staff has somehow tagged it.

Checked Luggage Essentials

Where do I collect my gate check items from?

Whether you have left your items at the aircraft door or checked them in with oversized at the check-in counter, most bulky items like car seats and strollers will be delivered at your arrival airport to oversized luggage. This is usually a separate location in the baggage claim hall. Do check the carousel, though, as it varies by airport; they may put it through the normal chute in a plastic tray.

Does the car seat count towards my luggage if I gate check it?

This is entirely up to your airline, policies vary vastly. Most premium airlines ( you can check our full collection of airline reviews here ) allow a child’s car seat and/or stroller to be checked at no extra charge.

On a budget airline, you may need to weigh up the cost of simply buying your infant a seat on the plane so the car seat can be used onboard vs the cost of paying for extra luggage and keeping it in the hold.

(TOP TIP: If you are ultra-clever and get an infant item for free, don’t let that extra space between the bag and the around the actual item go to waste! Perfect for shoving your blankets or extra clothes!)

Features to look for when purchasing a car seat gate check bag:

  • Waterproof and durable materials (thickness of the nylon and quality of stitching to prevent tears)
  • How do you carry it ? Does it have sturdy should straps? Does it have extra straps and handles to help with picking it up? Would you prefer wheels to pull it along?
  • Will the car seat travel bag actually fit my car seat’s dimensions ? Look for “Universal Fit”, but with any of the more structured/padded car seat bags, you’ll still want to measure up it fits your exact model.
  • How secure is the item inside? Will it be a snug fit or still jiggling around?
  • How does the bag stay closed ? Just a drawstring and velcro or can you zip and lock it securely?
  • How small does the product fold up when not in use? You will still need to keep it somewhere while you’re on vacation!

Unlike many brands of strollers that come with their own branded travel bags , very few car seats come with custom-fitted gate check bags, so you will most likely need to get a generic brand that best fits the s hape of your seat.

Our Top Pick Flexible Car Seat Travel Bag: VolkGo Durable Car Seat Travel Bag

The VolkGo boasts a durable waterproof nylon exterior and generous dimensions fitting seats up to 18″ x 18″ x 34″, suitable for most brands, including older kids’ high back boosters.

We like that it comes with two backpack straps and front and side lifting handles to help with maneuverability. It has a wide drawstring opening and closes with a velcro fastener. When not in use, it fits in a small and lightweight pouch.

It comes with a 12-month guarantee, which is reassuring that you should be able to get multiple trips out of this product.

V VOLKGO Durable Car Seat Travel Bag with E-Book - Ideal Gate Check Bag for Air Travel & Saving Money - for Safe & Secure Car Seat - Fits Car Seats, Infant Carriers & Booster

This is our favorite car seat travel bag if you’re seeking something flexible for multiple different car seats that won’t rip on its first use. VolkGo also produces a matching stroller travel bag too.

Best padded car seat travel bag: Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag

This bag from Zohzo offers a snug fit for your car seat and slightly smaller dimensions (18″ x 18″ x 28″) so it may not suit the taller bag seats, but it offers a very secure fit with a dual zipper closing that can be locked. The exterior is durable, waterproof nylon.

As well as thick padding inside for extra protection, the Zohzo also features a padded back for ease of carrying with adjustable straps, a top lifting handle, and a harness strap for around your waist for a better ergonomic fit.

ZOHZO Car Seat Travel Bag — Adjustable, Padded Backpack for Car Seats — Car Seat Travel Tote (Purple With Black Trim)

We love that it comes not only in black and grey but a distinct bright purple for item identification. It doesn’t fold down as small as other products when not in use due to the extra padding.

Zohzo makes a wide range of other sturdy travel accessory products including the travel stroller bag , infant rearview mirrors and car seat protector pads .

Another great choice for padded car seat travel bag: Yorepek Car Seat Travel Bag

Another great padded model of car seat cover, the Yorepek comes in several bright colours, which helps with baggage identification! Sturdy padded carry straps and an adjustable waist strap aid with carrying, though there’s only one top carry handle.

We like that the design is made to fold away compactly when not in use, and the 4 solid plastic feet mean that your gear is not sitting directly on dirty surfaces. The double-opening zip gives ease of access in and out, and it’s possible to lock the zips.

Made from scratch-resistant and waterproof material with several storage pockets, this would be a solid investment.

Padded Car Seat Travel Backpack Bag,Durable Large Backpack for Car Seats,Airport Gate Check Bag,Carseat Carrier Bag,Infant Seat Travel Bag with Padded Shoulder Strap,Travel Carseat Cover,Black

No matching stroller back, but Yorepek does have a good range of matching travel backpacks and travel accessories – everything from musical instruments to sewing gear; a lot of thought has gone into the safe protection of your important items.

Update! Since our first review, they now have a wheeled model; more below!

JL Childress Car Seat Travel Bags

JL Childress are big players in the children’s luggage market, with several different models on offer for both infant car seats and strollers.

We feel their basic car seat bag model is a little lacking and, by all reports, really only good for one trip as the nylon waterproof bag is not particularly durable. It comes with a drawstring close and a single front handle. For its lack of features, it makes up for it in its weight, being only 10.7oz and stretching to a huge 46″, which is great for those high-backed boosters .

J.L. Childress Gate Check Bag - Air Travel Bag - Fits Convertible Car Seats, Infant carriers & Booster Seats, Red

We’d consider this a budget investment if you’re only an occasional traveler or need a car seat travel bag only as a one-off. Remember, with no wheels or shoulder straps; you’re carrying or dragging it.

The backpack model is quite a bit heavier at 6.6 lbs but is a much easier product to carry with adjustable backpack straps and a top lift handle. Its dimensions are quite square at 19″x 15″x 16″, so it won’t work for your taller backed seats but is one of the more protective models coming with lockable zips and interior padding.

They also produce a wheeled version which we’ll discuss below. You can see their matching stroller cover range here .

Bububee Elua Car Seat Travel Bag System

Elua is one of the simpler models but still comes with added features that make it one of the best value easy to use models. Made of a high-density Oxford waterproof nylon exterior and neoprene-lined interior. It has adjustable backpack carry straps, as well as top and side, carry handles for lifting.

It closes with a drawstring toggle and a velcro flap giving easy access. When not in use, stores in its own lightweight pouch. Generously sized at 18″ x 18″x 33.5″, it fits most car seat models, from infant car seats to high-back boosters for older children.

The Bububee Elua also comes with matching double stroller travel bag .

Car Seat Travel Bag System for Airline Gate Check (One Size Fits Most) Extra Strength with Carrying Pouch & Padded Base Protection by Bububee

ReperKid Car Seat Backpack

Another fairly basic model, very similar to the Bebubee Elua, The ReperKid claims to use a thicker 600D nylon than others (no evidence as to what thickness most others are using, though, when they say “durable”!).

reperkid Car Seat Travel Bag – Easy To Carry Baby Seat Cover – Baby Travel Essential – Attached Storage Pouch – Airplane Gate Check Bag – For Car, Train or Airplane Travel – Eye Catching Car Seat Bag

It comes with two backpack-style straps and a front handle for lifting. The ReperKid fits most models at 18″ x 18″ x 34″ and comes with its own lightweight carry bag. Its bright color for identification is one of its distinguishing features.

Also Consider: Rogue Kidz Car Seat Travel Bag

We’re leaving this one in here as it used to be our top pick when we first started shopping for car seat covers a few years ago, but unfortunately looks like it’s been out of stock for some time now – hopefully, it returns this year!

Travel Bag for Car Seat and for Airplane Gate Check | Durable Universal Large Cover with Padded Backpack Straps | Waterproof Heavy Duty Nylon Carseat Protector

One of the most robust offerings, the Rogue Kidz Car Seat Travel Bag has great dimensions to fit taller backed car seats (20″ x 20″ x 33.5″) and is made of durable waterproof nylon.

Getting your car seat in and out of the bag is made easy with a drawstring that can open wide, and the bag can be tightly secured with two clip fasteners. As well as having two sturdy padded backpack straps, it also has a side lifting handle and a front strap for easy manoeuvring and an optional luggage strap that can clip on. When not in use, it comes with its own handy storage pouch.

If the idea of lugging your car seat on your back is not appealing (let’s be honest, car seats are quite awkward and heavy!), there are only a few wheeled products available – just be conscious you compromise a little on weight. They won’t fold down as small when not in use.

Our Top Pick Best Car Seat Travel Bag with Wheels: Hello Jolie Car Seat Bag

This is probably one of the best padded models we’ve seen for keeping your gear protected with 4 swivel wheels, the only one on the market to offer this feature.

The attractive Hello Jolie has a thick internal fleece lining and waterproof nylon outer, opening completely flat for ease of use and a luggage strap to attach your wheelie car seat bag to your suitcase. It comes in black, grey and navy and, with ample dimensions, will fit the largest of car seats.

  • You can see our detailed review of the Hello Jolie here

car seat travel bag reviews

It is one of the heavier products at 5.5 lbs, but as you will be pulling it on swivel wheels rather than carrying it, this is really not so much of an issue. You will need storage space at your destination too, as it’s one of the bulkier ones when not in use.

What it makes up for in these small inconveniences, though, is being the best possible protection and convenient transportation.

No matching stroller bag yet, but they do produce great matching travel cubes .

Another great wheeled car seat bag: Yorepek Car Seat Travel Bag with Wheels

We were delighted to see the Yorepek come out in a wheeled model ; they’ve transferred across all the great features of this car seat bag with adjustable shoulder strap and waist strap, top lift handle, and added 4 independent spinner wheels without changing the product’s overall weight.

Again, it’s made from scratch-resistant and waterproof material and offers a double-opening zip for ease of access and the ability to lock. You can still get a pretty compact fold out of this wheeled bag when not in use, which is impressive for what it can do.

Car Seat Travel Bag with Wheels, Padded Car Seats Backpack, Large Durable Carseat Travel Bag for Airplane, Airport Gate Check Bag, Carseat Cover Bag with Padded Shoulder Strap, Mothers Day Gifts

A little more pricey than the plain backpack model (i.e., more than double!), but we think you’ll find those wheels can be worth their weight in gold; we are big converts to wheels over backpacks aft 10+ years of dragging car seats worldwide!

Also Consider: The JL Childress Wheelie Car Seat Travel Bag

Similar to the JL Childress backpack model reviewed above, this wheeled product from J L Childress comes with a durable nylon exterior and a padded interior for superior seat protection. It also has lockable zips.

J.L. Childress Wheelie Car Seat Travel Bag - Car Seat Carrier with Wheels - Thick Padding, Heavy Duty Car Seat Bag with Wheels - Fits All Car Seats, Infant carriers & Booster Seats - Black

The product is 20″x 30″x 32″, so still quite reasonable dimensions that will fit most but not all high-backed models. The product folds flat but is not tiny like the pouch products reviewed above. Whether you are checking your luggage or want an easy way to get your car seat to the plane, it can be used.

Worth a Look: Jeep Child Car Seat Travel Bag

Another sturdy option that comes with built-in wheels is the Jeep Child Car Seat Travel Bag . It has a front zip lock for a snug fit and gives the option of being pulled with a top handle, picked up with a front handle as well as carried as a backpack.

Jeep Baby Infant Car Seat Carrier Travel Bag with Wheels and Backpack Straps, Convenient Car Seat Cover for Airport Travel, Kids Carseat Travel Bag, Gate Check Bag, Black

It claims to fit most car seats but does not specify exact dimensions which is frustrating as a buyer and a crucial piece of information! We understand from customer reviews that the product may not be made from as robust material as others due to reported rips and tears.

As we mentioned at the outset, very few car seat manufacturers sell separate car seat bags for airplanes that matches their product. A few we have spotted, though not tested:

  • UPPAbaby MESA Travel Bag – designed to snuggly fit the UPPAbaby MESA, it is made of 600denier material and comes with two carry straps.
  • Chico Car Seat Travel Bag – perfectly fits all the Chicco car seat range (and would pretty universally fit most car seats) with a 4 swivel wheel design.

We’ve found a lot of people searching for Cybex car seat bag , but so far, we’ve only spotted a Cybex travel bag for their twist stroller.

Likewise, Maxi Cosi has surprisingly not released a Maxi-Cosi storage bag for car seats, but you can get a stroller protector bag for their new range of ultra-compact travel strollers .

Britax used to have a car seat bag specific for their Britax car seats that we recommended, but it appears to be discontinued as we can only currently find their stroller protective bags . These do not look deep enough to fit a Britax car seat.

You can, of course, stick your car seat into oversized luggage and hope for the best!

As an alternative, if you don’t want to buy a travel bag, you can shrink wrap your kiddy travel products at the airport. It’s not as effective as having a durable bag and inevitably costs more if you pay for items to be wrapped on every flight you take. Still, it can be a quick and easy method to protect your gear without investing in a travel bag.

Car Seat Travel Cart

If you are just interested in a quick and easy way to get your car seat to the plane without a cover over it (really only needed if it’s going in the hold), these are a few suggestions that you could use as a car seat travel cart for the airport:

Holm Airport Car Seat Stroller Travel Cart and Child Transporter - A Carseat Roller for Traveling. Foldable, storable, and stowable Under Your Airplane seat or Over Head Compartment.

As you can see, there are a lot of similarities in the travel bag products on offer, and the price point is not huge for the protection that it adds. There is a distinct price jump for those products that fit more snuggly and offer padding or wheels, but they may not work with your larger booster seats.

Most of the travel bags reviewed gave options for backpack carrying shoulder straps – but let’s be honest, unless you are hiking for miles (Ok, some airports are huge!), you really just need something to get you from the car to check in.

As long as there are enough points to pick the item up easily, it will be heavy and bulk no matter what bec ause it’s carrying an awkward large piece of essential kiddy kit!

The other thing to be mindful of is how secure the item is once in the bag. Yes, drawstrings always make getting things in and out easier, but you don’t want the item moving around too much in the bag. There’s only so much protection a nylon cover alone can give, even if you add blankets, clothing, etc., into the travel bag.

  • Although there were a lot of similarities between the products, we picked VolkGo as the best car seat bag for travel with a buckle fastener, and sold at a decent price point. The best padded car seat travel bag with a little more protection is the Zohzo .
  • If we were taking our seats on board, we would find the Hello Jolie Car Seat Bag with its 4 wheels the best model for dragging along through the airport without needing to carry.

Helpful? Bookmark this page or save it to Pinterest for later

Best Gate Check Bags for Car Seats

Travelling with babies and Toddlers? Check out all our handy buying guides before your next vacation:

  • How to choose a gate check stroller bag – keeping your stroller safe is as important as your car seat.
  • Getting cosy on the move  – best kids travel pillows and seatbelt comforters.
  • Best kids plane sleep devices  – a comparison of the top brands and which airlines actually accept them.
  • The best compact strollers  – that can even fit on a plane.
  • Best compact double strollers – keeping it light while you push two kids
  • Are travelling high chairs worth it? – from clamp ons to boosters, do they help with feeding on the go?
  • Items that travel-loving parents-to-be will actually use   – Get clued in on what to buy new parents that they will get a lot of practical use from for their baby.

Disclosures: We are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  You can read our  full disclosure policy  here.

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car seat travel bag reviews

Have Baby Will Travel

The Best Car Seat Travel Bag & Travel Car Seat Accessories

The Best Car Seat Travel Bag and Travel Car Seat Accessories

The Best Car Seat Travel Bag & Travel Car Seat Accessories

It’s the safest choice to purchase a plane ticket for your infant under two, and even if you need to book a seat for your toddler, if they ride in a car seat in a car, they should ride in one (an FAA-approved car seat ) on the plane. With that said, it’s not always financially possible to purchase an additional seat for an infant, or you know your toddler will scream the entire flight if they’re strapped down. You’ll still need a car seat at your destination, so your best bet is to gate-check it as you would gate check a stroller , but make sure to protect it from sometimes less-than-gentle baggage handlers.

The Best Car Seat Travel Bag

This car seat travel bag plus some additional accessories will help you get through the airport easier, and protect your seat if it has to go under the plane.

The Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag

J.l. childress ultimate car seat travel bag.

This is the ONLY  car seat travel bag available that has thick padding on all sides, plus additional padded “wings” inside to help protect your car seat. It fits the Britax Marathon, Boulevard, Roundabout, Decathlon, and Diplomat, and also fits Recaro, Evenflo, Cosco, Century, and Eddie Bauer car seats. The full compatibility guide can be viewed here . The Ultimate has padded, adjustable backpack straps for hands-free transport through the airport, and comes with a lifetime warranty. The Amazon reviews are highly favourable.

There are many car seat travel bags on the market, including alternate ones from this manufacturer, but if you’re going to invest in a car seat travel bag, the padding in this one protects the seat from more than just dirt or wear and tear.

If lugging your car seat backpack-style is not appealing, these additional travel car seat accessories might help.

car seat travel bag, car seat travel accessories, travel car seat, car seat travel accessory

Travel Car Seat Accessories

Traveling toddler car seat travel strap.

Those who don’t travel with a stroller might consider this strap. It allows you to attach your car seat’s LATCH and top tether to a rolling carry-on suitcase. And if your rolling suitcase’s handle locks, it can work as a temporary stroller for getting through the airport. I’ll be honest, this seems a little silly to me. But the Amazon reviews are highly favourable, so who knows?

travel car seat, travel car seat accessory, car seat travel accessory, car seat travel bag

GoGo Babyz TravelMate

I have always traveled with both a stroller and a car seat, and the idea of combining the two simply did not occur to me. But I know many families who swear by the the GoGo Babyz TravelMate . It is kind of a cart device that attaches to your car seat, converting it to a travel stroller so you can get through the airport and onto your flight with baby safely strapped in. It works with most available convertible car seats, but not the Cosco Scenera –which was my preferred travel car seat.

car seat travel cart, car seat travel accessory

BRICA Roll ‘n Go Car Seat Transporter

This cart-type car seat travel accessory is similar to the GoGo Babyz above, but a little less expensive. And as with the GoGo Babyz , the idea is you strap your car seat on and it acts as a makeshift travel stroller, so you can wheel your car seat through the airport and on board the plane with your baby or toddler in it, and then store the cart in the overhead bin once you’ve installed your car seat on the plane. The Amazon reviews for this item are also highly positive.

car seat travel, car seat travel accessory

Bungee Cords

Call this old-school or most definitely inelegant, but plain ol’ bungee cords are how we transported our car seat through airports. We attached them to our rolling carry-ons, and all was well. This may not be ideal for bulkier or heavier seats, but it served our purpose just fine. If you intend on gate-checking your car seat, and are not thrilled about lugging the Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag backpack-style, using bungee cords to attach it to your rolling carry-on suitcase will work just fine at a fraction of the cost. But don’t do this if you intend to have your child ride in it! This is purely for functional rolling only.

Do you have a gadget or piece of gear you can’t live without when it comes to traveling with car seats? Please share in the comments below!

Have Baby Will Travel  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates/Influencer Program. If you make a purchase through this site, we may receive a small commission.  Click here to check out our Amazon Store .

  • All About Travel Car Seats
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  • Tips for Airport Security with a Baby or Toddler
  • Tips for Traveling with a Newborn Baby
  • 5 Reasons to Love Travel with a Stroller

14 Responses to The Best Car Seat Travel Bag & Travel Car Seat Accessories

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What a great product for protecting car seats that need to be checked! I had no idea that such a thing existed.

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Great options for travel with little ones!

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You have no idea how much that carseat bag has saved us on multiple trips! LOVE it!

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Such excellent options – much appreciated!

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I wish all this stuff was around when our son was a baby!

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Thanks for all the tips! I like that travel mate one. It will be very helpful when gate checking. I wasn’t going to get it but will get it now. For gate checking I highly recommend the Bububee Elua car seat bag. It has a padded lining and quite attractive.

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I’ll have to check that one out!

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I was more than impressed with the made to measure service provided by Genesis Car Seat and Pram Travel Bags. This British company makes travel bags to measure so regardless of what pram, carrycot or car seat you have you can get one made for it. http://www.facebook.com/Genesis.Footmuffs these should be reviewed….where else can you get something made to measure and delivered next day?

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The GO-GO BABYZ MINI TRAVELMATE CAR SEAT STROLLER works great with the Cosco Scenera.

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Do you know if you can put other things in the car seat travel bag and still gate check it? like additional diapers, life jackets, etc…….Thanks!

According to some of the online reviews, you can pack a few things in and around it. I wouldn’t stuff too much in though, in case it got too heavy.

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How much is this, where can I buy one from and can it fit the silver cross simplicity car seat? Many thanks

Hi Bhamini! You should be able to buy it from Amazon here: Car Seat Travel Bag and it fits most car seats. Good luck!

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Hi i found this one on Amazon and i really love it!! check it out

bit.ly/birdeebag

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Best Car Seat Travel Bags

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Looking to protect your car seat on your next big trip? We’ve found the best car seat bags out there to keep your car seat clean and safe while in luggage handlers’ control. Because no one wants to start their vacation with a dirty, wet, or broken car seat!

Checking vs Taking Car Seat on the Plane

Car seats are huge, heavy, and cumbersome. But they are part of the deal when it comes to traveling with babies , toddlers , and younger kids . So you gotta find some way to get them to your destination.

You can either rent them at your destination from a company like Baby’s Away (we wouldn’t recommend renting from the car rental company- quality is usually not great), bring them with you ON the airplane, or check them.

Why you'd want to bring the car seat ON the plane

For many families, having your kiddo in a car seat on the plane works out wonderfully. The FAA recommends small children ride in a car seat or CARES harness on the plane. It is the safest way for your child to fly. And it might be a comfortable and familiar resting place for your babe, making the flight easier for your AND your child.

Additionally, car seat experts recommend only checking the car seat in the box it came in to adequately protect it as car seats can be damaged in a way that is not visible.

And as a reminder, when bringing your car seat on the plane, first check to make sure your car seat is FAA approved (the sticker on the side will say that it is approved for use on airplanes), and make sure you have a seat in which to install it. In other words, you cannot bring a car seat for a lap baby, unless, for some reason, you have access to an open seat.

And also, don’t forget that you will need to lug said car seat through the airport. So you MIGHT still want a fantastic travel car seat bag, or this car seat travel cart to make that journey through the airport just a little bit easier!

Why you'd want to check your car seat

For some children, car seats are NOT a favorite (despite parent’s best attempts to make them fun and comfortable). So the idea of trying to get your baby or toddler to ride in this seat they hate on a flight full of strangers who are already giving you a judgmental eye waiting for the screams to begin does NOT sound like a lot of fun.

Additionally, bringing your car seat on the plane means GETTING your car seat through the airport. If you are traveling with multiple small children, and/or with only one adult, that might be impossible.

Airplanes are actually incredibly safe , when compared to car travel, so going without a car seat is a (small) risk many families (including mine) feel ok about.

Plus, for all US based airlines, baby items, such as car seats, actually check for FREE!

Options for Checking a car seat

If you’ve decided to check your car seat, you have a couple of options on HOW exactly you check it. No matter how you check it, make sure you let the airline know that it is a car seat. Most airlines will allow you to check your car seat for free, so it’s important that they know it is a car seat.

  • At many major airports, your airline may offer a curbside check in service. They are usually free, but a tip is expected. Look for your airline’s kiosk outside of the airport, in the drop off area. You can drop your hefty car seat bag RIGHT there with extremely minimal lugging around. Curbside check in is a great option for families with kids who might have a TON of luggage, including huge, heavy car seats.
  • Check your car seat at the counter. This is the most common way to check in any luggage. Once you are checked into your flight, head on over and drop off your car seat before you head through security. It’s so wonderful to lighten the load before waiting in line for security!
  • Your last chance to check – gate checking. If you prefer to keep that car seat close through the airport, and pick it up RIGHT after your land, minimizing the time your seat is in the hands of luggage handlers, gate checking might be a good option for you. BUT that means carrying the car seat through the airport all the way to your gate. And waiting in the jetway, while everyone is de-boarding the plane, then hauling it back out through the airport.

Why you Need A Protective Bag

car seat travel bag reviews

Checking your car seat can be super convenient, but there are some concerns. In fact, some of the car seat experts recommend that the car seat ONLY be packed in the box it came in for transport.

But because you probably don’t have the box it came in, and even if you did, putting all the little packing pieces back into place every time sounds like a puzzle I would NOT enjoy doing, a protective bag is the next best thing.

We all know how our luggage gets treated once it’s checked. And treatment of car seats is no different. They can get rained on, scratched, scuffed, or tossed. You definitely don’t want to find your car seat destroyed once you reach your destination. Protect it as best you can with an abrasion resistant, water resistant, padded bag.

What We Were Looking For

While evaluating the best travel car seat bags, we had a few criteria in mind. First, the bag needs to protect your car seat. Secondly, it needs to be easy to carry. Also, we like when the bag can be used for a variety of different car seats AND be budget-friendly (or at least worth the extra money, if the price is higher).

Protect Your Car Seat

Airplane luggage goes through a lot between when you check it, and when you pick it up. It’ll go down conveyer belts, tossed into the pile of luggage, left outside in the rain, dragged on the ground in the dirt, or who knows what else.

You’ll want a car seat bag that can provide as much protection as possible.

A sturdy bag that keeps the car seat covered, preventing snags and dirt is the minimum we’d want. We prefer a bag with a reasonable amount of padding as well. Perhaps even a bit of extra space you can sneak in a bit of extra padding for more protection.

(In fact, we often travel with this awesome Pack n Play Mattress topper , to use on rental or borrowed Pack n Plays- my boys won’t sleep on the regular Pack N Play Mattress. It fits perfectly in the back of our car seat travel bag and provides extra car seat protection for the journey).

Easy to Carry

A car seat is heavy, odd shaped, and overall awkward to carry. So when purchasing a travel car seat bag, we expect the bag to make things easier. The specifics on how that is done kinda depends on your specific situation (Do you already HAVE a backpack, or will you be rolling a suitcase? Do you have a lightweight car seat or a tank of a car seat?).

So we considered it all- backpack straps, wheels, big carry handle, or a combination- just as long as the bag made our lives easier when transporting a car seat.

Very few families wind up using the same car seat from birth until they are done with car seats.

(But we LOVE that that is an option with this very cool Britax and this amazing Graco car seat ).

So we love car seat bags that work for every car seat you’ll wind up purchasing. Travel items, like a travel car seat bag, just aren’t going to get a TON of use for most families. And they don’t expire like a car seat, so we prefer to just buy ONE and use it forever, even passing it on to younger children, or to a friend when you no longer need it.

No one wants to overpay for their gear. So, though we always look for quality, we make sure we balance quality against price. We were looking for a bag that’ll last, keep your gear safe, but WON’T cost an arm and a leg.

JR Childress Ultimate Backpack

J.L. Childress Ultimate Padded Backpack Car Seat Travel Bag - Thick Padding, Heavy Duty Backpack - Gate Check Bag Fits All Car Seats & Boosters - Black

  • Padded, water resistant, and durable
  • Spacious with a wide zipper opening, so most (or all?) car seats will fit
  • Backpack straps make carrying convenient
  • Most car seats are pretty heavy to be carried on your back
  • Bag is bulky even when folded up and not in use. It can be tough to find a spot to stuff it in rental cars, etc.

JR Childress Wheelie

J.L. Childress Wheelie Car Seat Travel Bag - Car Seat Carrier with Wheels - Heavy Duty Car Seat Bag with Wheels - Fits All Car Seats, Infant Carriers & Booster Seats - Black

I love the JR Childress Backpack SO much, I had to include the wheelie version because it provides another amazing option for families.

It has many of the same features as the backpack version, including durable padded fabric, a wide opening and enough space for nearly all car seats. But for families with heavy car seats, back problems, or who just prefer not to lug a giant car seat on their backs, the Wheelie is a great way to safely transport your car seat.

The wheels are sturdy and durable, and roll smoothly and easily. It can be easily attached to other roller bags with a simple strap, like this making the airport manageable even for families with lots of luggage.

  • Backpack straps and waist strap make carrying convenient
  • Handle not ideal for rolling, but works fine when strapped to another bag
  • Costs more than the backpack style
  • Quite bulky when folded up

Yorepek Car Seat Bag

YOREPEK Car Seat Travel Bag for Airplane, Padded Car Seats Backpack, Large Carseat Carrier Bag, Airport Gate Check Bag, Infant Seat Travel Bag with Shoulder Strap, Travel Car Seat Cover, Black

This fantastic car seat travel bag features an adjustable waist strap, adjustable, padded backpack straps, a strap to keep your car seat in place, and extra padding to keep the seat safe, and side mesh pockets. Construction quality is high, with a smooth, wide opening zipper and tough, durable fabric.

Neat freaks will love that it’s designed such that it can be folded down and strapped together small and neatly when not in use.

  • Large enough to use for early toddler through preschool, or longer!
  • Waist straps make carrying a heavy load easier
  • Backpack straps are long enough for bigger parents
  • Not enough padding against the back, making it uncomfortable to some.

Brand-Specific Car Seat Bags

Some car seat brands manufacture car seat bags specific to their brand of car seats. While we do prefer versatility, sometimes a brand-specific car seat makes sense.

For example, some families are pretty loyal to their preferred car seat brand. So if you are ALWAYS going to buy Britax car seats, then you aren’t really limiting yourself by buying a Britax bag. Also, some brands, like Diono, have a pretty different design than the standard car seat. So you might be happier with the fit you’ll get with a Diono-specific car seat bag rather than a one-size-fits-all bag.

However, we haven’t found that all brand-specific car seats are worth purchasing. These are the ones we do recommend, if brand-specific is for you.

Britax Car Seat Travel Bag

Britax Car Seat Travel Bag with Padded Backpack Straps | Water Resistant + Built-in Wheels + Multiple Carry Handles

This car seat bag features both backpack straps AND wheels. So you can pick your favorite mode, or switch between as needed. It also has side carry handles for quick transfers. Britax car seats are pretty standard, and the bag is designed to carry all Britax models, so you can bet it’ll fit basically every other car seat out there. So if you are a Britax owner, but not SURE you’ll always buy Britax, this bag is still a great fit!

The bag has comfortable, padded backpack straps. The fabric is durable and water resistant, but doesn’t have a lot of padding to it.

  • Water resistant and durable
  • Option for rolling or backpack carrying
  • Lack of padding means less protection
  • More expensive than other bags
  • Rolling the bag can be a bit difficult

Diono Car Seat Travel Bag

Diono Car Seat Travel Bag, Perfect Travel Bag For Airplane, Durable Protective Material, Compatible With all Diono Convertibles, Black

Diono car seats are shaped and designed a bit differently than a ‘standard’ car seat. So the Diono-specific travel bag will give you a snugger, better fit than a standard bag.

We like that the Diono bag is a bit slimmer so it’s easier to move around when wearing it. Plus, it’s waterproof and has reinforced seams to make it super durable. It has adjustable, sl ightly padded shoulder straps, to make carrying your car seat as comfortable as possible. Or adjust the straps to carry as a duffle. There is an additional padded side carry handle for quick transports as well.

  • Waterproof and durable
  • Slimmer design, perfect for Diono's narrow design
  • Backpack straps, or duffle straps to make it easy to carry
  • Removeable backpack straps aren't super comfortable
  • Bag is smaller and won't work for brands other than Diono

Budget Pick- MyEasy Car Seat Travel Bag

MyEasy Convertible Car Seat Travel Bag for Airplane - Baby Gate Check Bag for Car Seats - Portable Car Seat Backpack for Air Travel - Durable Flight Bag for Car Seat - Universal Fit - with E-Book

If you are looking for a super budget-friendly car seat, we’ve got you covered.  This bag will keep the dirt and rain off of your car seat, and prevent your car seat from catching on something that rips and road rash. This bag isn’t padded, but perhaps you are thinking that little bit of padding in the other bags won’t make a huge difference anyway (and maybe you are on to something). 

This bag has a simple, durable design.  Just a cinch-top bag with simple backpack straps, and a number of other carry straps all over the bag for alternate carry options.  The fabric is water resistant, and durable with reinforcements on all the handles.  

  • Backpack straps for easy carry
  • Folds up tiny, making it super easy to store when not in use
  • Budget-friendly
  • Spacious so all most (or ALL) car seats will fit
  • Shoulder straps, and carry handles are not padded, making it a bit uncomfortable to carry
  • Cinch top opening on top can make it difficult to get car seats in and out

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  • Baby and kid

The Best Travel Car Seats

Christina Szalinski

By Christina Szalinski and Rebecca Gale

Let’s face it: Traveling with little kids can be a slog. But a lightweight, compact, easy-to-install travel car seat is one tool that can make trips a bit easier.

We’ve tested 17 travel car seats for infants and up, and we examined how they performed in various circumstances, including during air travel and in rental cars. The Chicco KeyFit 35 , one of our picks for the best infant car seats , is an excellent choice for both travel and everyday use. For an affordable and easy-to-use convertible car seat for toddlers and preschoolers, we recommend traveling with the Cosco Scenera Next , which fits kids up to 40 inches tall for rear-facing or 43 inches for forward-facing. For kids bigger than that who still need a seat with a five-point harness, we recommend the Cosco Finale 2-in-1 , which also converts to a high-back booster. The backless, lightweight Cosco Rise is great for booster-age kids.

If you’ll be hopping in and out of taxis or ride shares with a baby, the Doona is a unique but expensive infant car seat that converts to a stroller. And instead of purchasing a dedicated convertible car seat for travel, another option is to bring yours along with the Britax Travel Cart .

Everything we recommend

car seat travel bag reviews

Chicco KeyFit 35 ClearTex

The best infant car seat for travel.

If you’re a frequent traveler, the Chicco KeyFit 35 is easier than most infant car seats to install securely without its base.

Buying Options

May be out of stock

car seat travel bag reviews

An infant car seat and stroller in one

This unusual car seat has integrated wheels that pop out to turn it into a stroller. It’s best for parents who frequently need to move their car seat in and out of different vehicles.

car seat travel bag reviews

Cosco Scenera Next

The best convertible car seat for travel.

This affordable and easy-to-use car seat weighs 6.8 pounds and can be used rear- and forward-facing. But kids can outgrow it quickly.

car seat travel bag reviews

Cosco Finale 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat

The best harness booster car seat for travel.

This no-frills seat converts from a forward-facing five-point harness to a high-back booster. It weighs just 12 pounds.

car seat travel bag reviews

Britax Travel Cart

A travel cart for lugging your own seat through the airport.

This sturdy, smooth-rolling travel cart helps you transport your own convertible car seat—and avoid buying a standalone travel seat. You can even strap your child into their seat and use it like a stroller.

car seat travel bag reviews

The best backless booster seat for travel

This basic booster seat weighs only 2.2 pounds and can work for children as small as 40 pounds. But it has a rather large footprint and will be too big to fit in most carry-ons.

How we picked

A seat that’s lightweight is more manageable to carry between multiple locations. A more compact seat is also easier to pack.

We considered the seat’s comfort and ability to adjust straps and buckles.

Ease of installation is paramount, as the easier it is to do, the more likely it will be done properly.

We looked at crash-testing scores and ease-of-use ratings. Our infant, convertible, and harness booster picks are FAA-approved for use on a plane.

The Chicco KeyFit 35 is a great all-around infant car seat—and one of the ones we recommend for everyday use. But for travel it stands out: It has a European belt path that makes it easier to get a secure install without the base than for many car seats, and it’s cheaper than other seats that have this belt routing option.

Weight of seat: 10 pounds Orientation: rear-facing only Weight range: 4 to 35 pounds Height limit: 32 inches

Parents who can’t leave their infant seat base installed in a specific car but instead need to travel by taxi or rideshare frequently may find the innovative Doona to be a convenient option. This sleek infant car seat has integrated wheels and converts to a stroller that maneuvers easily, plus the seat is FAA-approved for use on an airplane. But the versatile Doona is much heavier and more expensive than a regular infant car seat.

Weight of seat: 14.3 pounds Orientation: rear-facing only Weight range: 4 to 35 pounds Height limit: 32 inches

The Cosco Scenera Next is a notably lightweight, affordable convertible car seat that is simple to install and carry on an airplane. It receives strong safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is FAA-approved for use on a plane. But many kids will outgrow it before they reach the height or weight limit because of the low position of the shoulder straps.

Weight of seat: 6.8 pounds Orientation: rear- or forward-facing Weight range: 5 to 40 pounds rear-facing; 22-40 pounds forward-facing Height range: 19-40 inches rear-facing; 29-43 inches forward-facing

For children using a forward-facing five-point harness, the Cosco Finale 2-in-1 is a lightweight and affordable travel option that is FAA-approved for use on a plane (in harness mode only). It also converts to a high-back booster. However, it has lower height limits than some boosters, so kids may not get as many years of use from it, in comparison with pricier options.

Weight of seat: 12 pounds Orientation: forward-facing only Weight range: 30 to 65 pounds for harness mode; 40 to 100 pounds for high-back mode Height range: 32 to 49 inches for harness mode; 43 to 52 inches for high-back mode

Bringing your own car seat to the airport has one big advantage—you don’t have to learn how to install yet another seat. But your own convertible car seat is likely to be heavy (our picks in our guide to convertible car seats range from 19 to 33 pounds). The Britax Travel Cart is compatible with most convertible seats, and when your car seat is secured to it with LATCH, you can use it like a stroller to push your toddler through the airport. The cart can then be stored in an overhead bin during your flight.

Weight of cart: 7.6 pounds

If you need a cheap, no-frills booster seat, we recommend the Cosco Rise . It’s a bit too large to fit into a carry-on suitcase or backpack, but it’s easy to attach with a bungee cord to a carry-on for plane travel. It’s also a great option if you just need a spare booster for carpools or to order ahead for use at the grandparents' house.

Weight of seat: 2.2 pounds Weight range: 40 to 100 pounds Height range: 43 to 57 inches

The research

Why you should trust us, who should get this, the best infant car seat for travel: chicco keyfit 35, an infant seat and stroller in one: doona, the best convertible car seat for travel: cosco scenera next, the best harness booster seat for travel: cosco finale 2-in-1, a great car seat caddy: britax travel cart, the best booster seat for travel: cosco rise, other good travel car seats, should a kid sit in a car seat on the airplane, what about checking a car seat, the competition, care, use, and maintenance.

The authors of this guide have collectively interviewed 40 industry experts, safety authorities, and physicians. Among them were certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs) such as Lani Harrison, who installs more than 300 car seats each year; Dr. Aditya Belwadi, a biomechanics research scientist who previously led the child passenger safety research team at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and now works at Tesla in Crash, Safety, and Occupant Protection/Biomechanics; and Bill Horn, head sled testing engineer at Calspan , one of the country’s top crash-testing facilities. The authors also talked with dozens of parents and representatives from leading car seat manufacturers.

The original version of this guide was written by Rebecca Gale, whose reporting on policy and parenting has appeared in outlets including The New York Times, Slate, and The Washington Post. Rebecca has also been certified as a CPST, completing a 40-hour training program through the Safe Kids Worldwide organization.

In 2022 and 2023, this guide was updated by Christina Szalinski, a science writer whose reporting on health and parenting has appeared in The Atlantic and Kaiser Health News . In addition to writing the most recent versions of Wirecutter’s infant and convertible car seat guides, Christina is responsible for Wirecutter’s guides to the best baby formula and kids face masks .

Few people strictly need a separate car seat for travel as you can gate- or baggage-check any car seat for free with most airlines. But lugging your regular (likely heavy and bulky) seat in and out of the car and through the airport can be a major hassle. Investing in a smaller, lighter-weight option may be worthwhile, especially if you fly or use ridesharing services or taxis frequently.

Infant car seats for travel

If you’re traveling with an infant or baby, bringing along your usual infant car seat without its base (to cut down on weight and heft) is typically the best option. Our top infant car seat pick, the Graco SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX , is relatively lightweight and, like other infant car seats, can be safely strapped in with a seatbelt only and no base.

There are two possible ways to install an infant car seat without a base: either with the belt directly across the top, called “American routing,” or with the shoulder belt placed around the back of the seat in addition to the top, called “European routing.” It’s easier to get a secure fit with European routing, and two seats we recommend in our guide to infant car seats, the Chicco KeyFit 35 and the Clek Liing , are designed to allow for that type of install. If you know you’ll be traveling with your infant often, it may be worthwhile to choose one of these as your baby’s first car seat.

Many infant car seats are compatible with easy-to-fold stroller frames, such as the Chicco KeyFit Caddy , which turns an infant car seat into a stroller and can be convenient for travel. Most infant seats are FAA-approved for airplane use, should you decide to purchase an airplane seat for your infant.

Convertible car seats for travel

When your child has outgrown their infant car seat, deciding on a car seat for travel can be trickier. Alisa Baer, a pediatrician, CPST, and co-founder of the website The Car Seat Lady , recommends bringing your own convertible car seat and using a travel cart . That way you have a seat that you’re already comfortable installing. But some people will prefer a dedicated travel car seat, as they can be significantly lighter than regular seats—as little as 7 pounds versus 20 to 30 pounds.

If you do buy a dedicated travel seat, it’s a good idea to practice installing it before your trip—you don’t want to be figuring it out for the first time when you, and your kid, are potentially jet lagged and feeling extra cranky. Installation can be the most time-consuming and frustrating part of using a car seat—and particularly a convertible car seat—and is often the point of failure for using a car seat correctly.

Booster seats for travel

If your everyday booster seat has a removable back (as with our top pick and runner-up pick, the Chicco KidFit ClearTex Plus and the Graco TurboBooster LX ), you may prefer to simply bring that seat for travel, leaving the bulky back at home. But like with convertible seats, it’s also an option to get a dedicated travel booster that may be significantly lighter and smaller than the one you rely on every day.

Jessica Jermakian, vice president for vehicle research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, offered several tips for bringing along a backless booster, especially if it’s not one that’s compact: “I bungee cord them to my luggage while traversing the airport. On most flights, my kids could shove them under the seat in front of them and still have room to throw their backpack on top. On some flights, I’ve put them in a tote in the overhead compartment.”

Travel car seat alternatives

If you’re headed to a familiar destination, you could look into borrowing a seat from friends or relatives. Or, you may be able to rent one through a baby equipment rental service.

Many car rental companies also offer car seats for a daily fee, but it can cost up to $15 a day—adding up to much more than the cost of a travel car seat, which can be less than $50. And though you can reserve one in advance, rental car seats are subject to availability, so there’s no guarantee that one will be available when you arrive. The car seat provided may also be difficult to install properly, especially in an unfamiliar car. That said, you may be able to find discounts or other benefits through programs such as AAA, which offers one free car seat rental for members when they book a car through Hertz, Dollar, or Thrifty. Ridesharing and airport and town car services may also provide a car seat with advance reservations.

A person pushing a Doona stroller.

There are hundreds of travel car seat options for infants, toddlers, and older kids. We began the whittling down process by examining online customer reviews and existing media coverage, which included going to Car Seats for the Littles , Lucie’s List , and the Car Seat Lady . We found the travel car seat category to be sorely lacking in an abundance of great options, so we also considered some “regular” car seats and alternatives.

We knew from our expert interviews that proper installation is generally a far bigger problem than the level of protection that a seat inherently provides, so we searched the NHTSA ease-of-use installation database to help determine which seats offer easy installation and come with clear instructions. We also relied on the personal experience of Wirecutter staffers, volunteer testers, and car seat techs who had used the car seats in the past.

Our research led us to conclude that the ideal travel car seat should be:

Lightweight and compact: A travel car seat will likely need to be carried between multiple locations, sometimes with a baby inside (if we’re talking about an infant). The less the seat weighs, the easier it is to deal with when combined with children and carry-on items. A more compact seat can also fit more readily in a wide variety of vehicles.

FAA approved: For parents who want to use their infant seat, convertible car seat, or harness booster on a plane, FAA certification is crucial.

Easy to install: As with all of our car seat recommendations, ease of installation is paramount, as the easier it is to do, the more likely it is to be done properly.

Easy to use: Straps should be simple to adjust to get a snug but comfortable fit in a five-point harness. The buckles should be easy for parents to clip and unclip but difficult to impossible for children to mess with. We considered the experience of both parents and kids in using the seats, as well as how easy each seat was to clean.

Safe: When it comes to travel, convenience can trump a minor safety advantage; a seat that you can bring along with you is vastly superior to no seat at all. Still, we did take the relevant government safety data from NHTSA into consideration.

Over the past five years we’ve tested 17 car seats with travel specifically in mind.

Our pick for the best infant car seat for travel, the Chicco KeyFit 35.

If you’re shopping for an infant car seat with travel in mind, we recommend the FAA-approved Chicco KeyFit 35 , one of our picks in our guide to infant car seats . It is lightweight and easy to use, and it can be installed securely without its base using the European belt path, a method that generally provides a superior install. (Any infant seat can be installed without its base, so if you already have an infant seat, using what you already own is likely the easiest choice.)

You can save on weight and bulk by leaving a car seat base at home when traveling. There are two ways to install an infant seat without its base. The most common is American belt routing, in which the seat belt goes over the top of the infant seat and the baby’s knees. We’ve found that it can be very difficult to secure an infant seat in the car securely using this method.

A few seats also offer the option to rely on the European belt path, the method we prefer, in which the lap belt goes over the top of the infant seat and the shoulder belt goes around the back. It’s easier to get a secure install with the European belt path, but it’s only found on a few car seat models. Of the four infant car seats we recommend, only the Chicco KeyFit 35 and Clek Liing offer the option of using the European belt path.

Beyond the advantage of the European belt bath, the Chicco KeyFit 35 has everything we love about the more popular Chicco KeyFit 30 with a few bonus features, such as an anti-rebound base as an added safety option. The KeyFit 35 can also accommodate a slightly larger baby (up to 35 pounds) than the KeyFit 30.

The KeyFit 35 strapped into the backseat of a car with a seatbelt threaded across the lap of the car seat.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The KeyFit 35 is about $50 more than our top infant car seat choice, the Graco SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX . It probably doesn’t make sense to buy this seat just for travel if you already own a similar infant car seat. But if you plan to be jet-setting with your baby, it may be worth the additional $50 or so to get a better on-the-go install from the start.

An infant sitting inside the Doona secured in car rear seating.

The Doona is an FAA-approved infant car seat (rear-facing only) with built-in wheels that allow it to convert to a stroller. For travel, this is about as convenient as it gets, allowing caregivers to rely on a single piece of equipment to accomplish two goals: avoid gate-checking a stroller—assuming an airline seat is purchased for the infant—and hop in and out of cabs without having to stow anything in the trunk.

The canopy of the Doona extended over the head of the smiling infant sitting inside the stroller.

Compared with a regular infant car seat, the Doona has some drawbacks. For one thing, it did not perform particularly well in Baby Gear Lab’s crash testing (there are no government crash tests available yet for this seat). For this reason, and because it’s tricky to install without its base (as most infant seats are), one of our car seat experts does not recommend this seat. At 14.3 pounds, it’s heavy and bulky to carry and maneuver when in car seat mode. The Doona also has the steepest price of any of the car seats (including infant, convertible, and boosters) that we’ve reviewed. It does come with a traditional infant car seat base that allows for an easy click in and out of a car, but the extra width means it could be impossible to fit three across in a backseat. And it would defeat the point to use that base for travel.

Switching the Doona from car seat mode to stroller mode and back requires “both hands and concentration,” said one tester, as well as “quite a bit of practice for me. It takes a rather specific, subtle motion to collapse it back and tuck the wheels.” It’s harder than taking a regular infant car seat off of a stroller with an infant seat attachment. Plus, once your child outgrows this seat, you’ll have to buy another stroller.

As a stroller, the Doona maneuvers easily, and the brake is intuitive and easy to use. But though it comes with an attached storage bag, the Doona lacks a storage basket.

Our pick for the best convertible car seat for travel, the Cosco Scenera Next.

The inexpensive Cosco Scenera Next weighs just 6.8 pounds, is relatively easy to carry and install, and can be used rear-facing from 5 to 40 pounds and forward-facing from 22 to 40 pounds. It’s FAA-certified and easy to install on an airplane (using the plane’s seatbelt).

The Scenera Next sells for $60, which is a bargain compared with many convertible car seats (the Graco Extend2Fit , our favorite convertible seat for everyday use, is a little over $200). The seat gets strong safety ratings from NHTSA, and given its low weight and heft and easy-enough install, we think it’s the best option available for an on-the-go or backup car seat. We strongly prefer the (heftier) Graco Extend2Fit for everyday use. That’s because it’s easier to get a safe, secure install with that seat and to adjust it to fit the child. Plus, it can be used forward-facing until a kid is 65 pounds and 49 inches tall—a much longer usable life than the Scenera Next.

Several Wirecutter staffers use or have used the Cosco Scenera Next, appreciating its low cost, low weight, and small size. They’ve found that the seat’s slim profile makes it a great option for smaller cars (specifically, a Prius or Renault Scenic). Senior editor Courtney Schley found that the Cosco allowed her to get three seats (two Scenera Nexts and one infant car seat) across in her family’s car.

The Cosco car seat secured in rear car seating.

The Scenera Next’s low shoulder straps mean that a child may outgrow this seat well before they are ready for a booster. ( Shoulder straps should hit at or below the shoulders when a child is rear-facing; when forward-facing the straps should hit at or above the shoulders.) The low straps mean that many 3-year-olds with longer torsos may outgrow the seat in forward-facing mode, even though the seat’s height and weight limits indicate that it should fit an average-size kid up to age 4. With a long torso, the straps end up hitting below the shoulders, a situation that can compromise safety.

Though the Scenera Next is simple to install compared with other lightweight convertible car seats we tested, some of our testers still found it difficult to get a tight, secure install. It has hook LATCH straps that aren’t particularly easy to use—you really have to tug on the LATCH straps to get a tight fit, and getting them off can be an even bigger challenge. We preferred installing the seat with a seat belt in unfamiliar cars, which was an easier way to get a tight install (try the inside/outside trick with the shoulder belt), and made it much easier to uninstall.

Our testers also found that the chest clip on the harness wasn’t as responsive or easy to use as those on more expensive seats. The Scenera Next also has less padding than many seats, though Baer points out that the padding on most seats is highly compressible, meaning that just because a seat looks fluffier doesn’t mean it provides much more cushion.

This seat also has a few downsides if you bring it on a plane. Like most convertible car seats, it’s wider than the aisle, so you have to carry it awkwardly down the plane to get to your seat, which can be quite a challenge if you’re on your own and have other carry-on items (plus your child). Additionally, the plane’s seat belt buckle is going to be pushing into your child’s back if the seat is oriented forward-facing. Alisa Baer, co-founder of The Car Seat Lady, recommends installing any seat with this issue rear-facing, even if a kid is used to forward-facing. Or you can put a diaper or other soft item over the buckle to make it a bit more comfortable.

The Cosco Finale 2-in-1, our pick for best harness booster seat for travel.

The Cosco Finale 2-in-1 is a solid option for kids who are no longer rear-facing but still benefit from a five-point harness. It’s affordable, weighs just 12 pounds, and is relatively easy to install using the car’s seat belt while in harness mode (it also comes with LATCH straps, though we didn’t find these as easy to use). Like other boosters, when in booster mode, this seat relies on the car’s seat belt to secure the child, so there’s no need to install it.

This bigger-kid seat can see a growing child through years of travel: It can be used as a forward-facing five-point harness booster seat from 30 to 65 pounds and then as a regular (harness-free) high-back booster from 40 to 100 pounds (up until a child is 52 inches tall).

As a five-point harness, it’s FAA-certified and easy to install on an airplane using the plane’s seatbelt. However, when it’s in booster mode, like all boosters, it cannot be used on an airplane.

In harness mode, the Cosco Finale 2-in-1 performed well in an NHTSA crash test. And several Wirecutter staffers use or have used the Cosco Finale 2-in-1 while traveling after their child outgrew the Cosco Scenera Next—they liked the price and straightforward install. Converting the seat to a booster is fairly straightforward , and the seat has storage for the harness, crotch buckle, and chest clip. Once the seat is in booster mode, your child can’t use it on an airplane, but many airlines will allow you to check a booster seat for free (you may wish to check with your airline in advance).

A more expensive version of the Cosco Finale 2-in-1, the Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 , is also available. The only difference between the two is the fabric—the DX has a tiny bit more cushion and a slightly less slippery texture. We asked several children to try each seat and then report their favorite (they wore blindfolds, to remove color preference as a factor). There was no clear winner between the two seats, and our adult testers could hardly distinguish a difference in the cushioning. For this reason, we don’t think it’s worth the extra $20 for the DX.

A closeup showing the five-point harness of the Cosco Finale 2-in-1.

When using the Finale 2-in-1 in harness mode, you first have to install it in the car, which you can do either with the seat’s LATCH straps or with the car’s seat belt. We found the Finale 2-in-1’s hook LATCH straps difficult to use—it’s hard to get a tight fit in the car, and getting them off can be a big challenge. As we did with the Cosco Scenera Next, we preferred installing the harnessed seat with a seat belt; this was an easier way to get a tight install (try the inside/outside trick with the shoulder belt) and also made it much easier to uninstall. (When the harness is removed and the seat is in booster mode, you do not need to install it in the car, since the car’s seat belt holds it in place and secures the child.)

Our testers also found that the chest clip on the harness was a bit more difficult to open compared to those on more expensive seats like the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 . The straps have to be manually threaded through the car seat, which isn’t particularly difficult or time consuming, but you have to remember to do it before you install the seat. It also has less padding than many seats, though our child testers didn’t complain (however, we didn’t take it on any long road trips).

This seat won’t have as many years of use as other travel options, like the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1, because the Cosco has a maximum height of 52 inches (most boosters go to 57 inches) and does not convert to a backless booster.

The Britax Travel Cart.

If you need to travel with a convertible car seat, you can bring the one you already have to the airport and onto the airplane with the Britax Travel Cart . The main benefit of bringing your own is that you’ll have a seat that you (and your child) are comfortable with, and that you know how to install confidently.

There are a number of similar travel carts out there, but we think this one offers the most for the price. We like that when the car seat is strapped onto the cart using the car seat’s LATCH clips, you can use the whole thing like a stroller and push (or pull) your child through the airport. The frame is also studier than other models—it can hold a total of 100 pounds of car seat and child. Plus, when it’s time to get on the plane you can fold the cart to stow it in an overhead bin.

A person pulling the Britax Travel Cart with a bulky convertible car seat on it.

At about $100 for the cart, it is cheaper to purchase a budget convertible car seat like the Cosco Scenera Next. However, depending on your circumstances, the Britax Travel Cart may outlive the expiration of many car seats (which are between six and 10 years), and could be used for future car seats, or passed along without as much consideration as a used car seat.

Our pick for the best booster seat for travel, the Cosco Rise.

For a cheap, no-frills booster seat, the Cosco Rise is a reliable option that weighs only 2.2 pounds. It’s simple to use: Like other backless booster seats, it does not need to be physically attached to the vehicle; a child simply sits in it and fastens the car’s lap belt over their knees (under the seat’s sides).

The Chicco GoFit Plus is our overall top pick for the best backless booster seat because it’s cushy, made with easy-to-clean materials, and includes two cup holders and a LATCH system to anchor the seat to the car. But it’s bulky, heavy, and not great for travel. The Cosco Rise has fewer bells and whistles, but it offers a key safety feature: Unlike many other boosters, this seat has a strap that attaches to a car’s shoulder belt to adjust the belt’s position for smaller riders (the shoulder belt should always rest on a child’s collarbone, and not against their neck).

The Cosco Rise can accommodate children as small as 40 pounds, as long as they are also 43 inches tall, meaning it will work for most kids 5 and up but may not accommodate some 4-year-olds.

A view of the Cosco Rise booster seat showing the strap that attaches to the vehicle's shoulder belt.

This seat is a bit too large to fit easily into a carry-on suitcase or backpack (it takes up almost all the room top-to-bottom in a standard-sized carry-on, with only a little room left on the side). There is also almost no padding on this seat, merely a polyester cover, but for short rides, our testers didn’t complain.

If you want an upgraded infant seat that’s great for travel : We recommend the Clek Liing , one of our favorite infant seats . Like the Chicco KeyFit 35, the Clek Liing can be installed without its base using a European belt path, which is much easier to get secure than the standard American belt routing found on most infant car seats. And when you’re at home, we love how easy it is to install the Liing’s base, which includes an added safety feature: a load leg .

If you want a high-end infant seat and don’t own a car: The lightweight, easy-to-clean Clek Liingo is similar to the Clek Liing but without the base. In general, we think installing a seat with the base is an easier and more secure option with infant car seats. But if you don’t own a car, the Liingo can be installed without a base in several ways. It has the same European belt path that the Liing has, which routes the lap belt over the top and the shoulder belt around the back for more security than an install that just goes over the top of the seat. The Liingo also comes with a LATCH strap that routes in the same spot as the lap belt—though we found this was not nearly as secure as the European belt path routing.

If you want a longer-lasting five-point harness seat for older kids: The Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 is a good choice. This forward-facing-only seat has a five-point harness that holds kids from 22 to 65 pounds and up to 49 inches tall, and it can be adjusted without rethreading it, so it is easier to modify as your child grows. When your child is ready for a regular booster, you can remove the harness and crotch buckle, converting the seat to a high-back booster that can hold a child from 40 to 100 pounds and up to 57 inches tall. Finally, you can remove the back and convert the seat to a lightweight backless booster that can also be used from 40 to 100 pounds and up to 57 inches tall.

First off, a car seat must be FAA-approved—as all of our recommended infant and convertible seats are—for a kid to ride in one on an airplane. (Booster seats are reserved for older children and not intended for use on airplane seats.)

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and CPSTs believe it is safer for kids under 2 to ride in a car seat aboard a plane rather than in their parents’ arms. In the event of turbulence or rough air, a child is much safer if strapped in. Being injured in turbulence , though unlikely, does affect a handful of American flyers each year, and recent research indicates that turbulence is on the rise due to climate change.

Many parents find that air travel is easier when their child has their own seat (though of course you have to pay for that additional seat). Children are allowed to sit on caregivers’ laps on planes until age 2, but few toddlers can sit still for a long period of time, and that extra harness and recline (as well as familiarity) provided by the car seat may keep a child seated comfortably longer, especially once they are mobile but still too young to fully understand how to sit still in a lap belt.

There are a number of challenges to bringing a car seat, especially a convertible seat designed for a toddler, onto a plane. Some smaller planes may have seats that aren’t wide enough for many convertible car seats. And even if the car seat is narrow enough for the plane, not many seats are narrow enough to easily fit down the aisle. The Clek Foonf , one of our convertible car seat picks, is one of them, but it is pricey and heavy. (The Clek Fllo , Graco SlimFit3 LX , and Graco True3Fit LX also fit on an airplane seat, but we did not test them.) You’ll generally have to lift a car seat above the seats to carry it to the rear of a plane.

Finally, unlike a car seat buckle, which sits on your hip, a plane’s seat buckle sits right in the middle of your lap. That means for many car seats, once you install them on the plane, there’s going to be a large metal buckle below your child’s legs or behind their back (the Clek seats are among the few without this issue). Alisa Baer, co-founder of The Car Seat Lady, recommends using convertible seats with buckle-in-the-back issues rear-facing, even with a larger child—they’ll likely be more comfortable if their feet have a place to rest, plus they won’t be trying to rest their feet on the passenger’s seat in front of them. You can also put a diaper or spare T-shirt over the buckle to make it a bit more comfortable.

Some parents may find it simpler to use a CARES harness (Child Aviation Restraint System) to help keep kids in their seats on a plane (and their kids may prefer sitting in an airplane seat over a car seat); you install this four-point harness around the child’s seatback and under the tray behind it.

Most airlines allow at least one car seat to be checked for free but doing so has several potential problems . The luggage can be handled roughly and tossed, damaging the car seat in the process. Seats, like any piece of luggage, can also be lost or misplaced in transit. Ultimately, the main reason you may want to have your child use a car seat on the plane is so that you are absolutely confident you’ll have the car seat when you arrive at your destination.

For people who do check in their car seats, Harrison recommends—ideally—using the original box and styrofoam that the seat came with if they are available or using Bubble Wrap and a garbage bag if not. Examine the seat for visible damage when it comes out at baggage claim, and be prepared to replace the seat if it’s broken or bent.

Infant travel seats

The Chicco Fit2 can accommodate infants as small as 4 pounds and toddlers as large as 35 pounds or 35 inches. Like the Chicco KeyFit 35 we recommend as the best infant car seat for travel, it can be installed with a European belt path. But because of this seat’s large size, some seat belts are too short to route over the car seat securely.

Convertible travel seats

We previously recommended the lightweight, foldable, forward-facing WAYB Pico (rhymes with “baby”) as a good travel car seat for kids who are too big for the Cosco Scenera Next but still need a five-point harness. Its adjustable seat back allows it to accommodate taller kids, and its slim design means it takes up less room in the backseat than other car seats. The 8-pound seat is exceptionally convenient to install, uninstall, and carry around, including through airports and onto a plane. In September 2019, however, WAYB announced it was recalling 4,558 Pico car seats manufactured between March 1 and May 12, 2019, due to reports of breakage in the aluminum tube connecting the headrest to the seat. You can read NHSTA’s report (PDF)  for details about the recall, how to identify your car seat’s date of manufacture, and how to inspect your car seat for damage. Since the recall, there have not been further reports of problems. Like all car seats sold in the US, the Pico was self-certified by WAYB to pass NHTSA standards (PDF) for safety testing.

The EvenFlo Tribute is a lightweight seat (9 pounds) similar to the Cosco Scenera Next and also has a weight limit of 40 pounds, but as our convertible car seat guide testing showed us, it’s not as easy to get a good install with this seat. CPSTs like Harrison recommend using a towel or pool noodle when using the Tribute to address this. It’s also more expensive than the Cosco Scenera Next.

Booster travel seats

We previously recommended the BubbleBum , an inflatable, portable backless booster seat for older kids. However, in February 2022, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety raised concerns about the safety of inflatable boosters. A study using a computerized model determined that an inflatable booster may not have the stiffness required to keep a child from sliding out from under the lap belt upon impact in a car crash.

The backless Cosco Topside is too large to fit into a carry-on or a backpack. Unlike the Cosco Rise , our favorite backless booster for travel, this booster seat also doesn’t have a belt-positioning clip, which can help the shoulder belt fit better on a smaller rider.

We liked the Graco RightGuide booster seat because it was small enough to fit inside a carry-on or backpack. But it was discontinued.

The Immi Go is a booster car seat with a five-point harness that folds conveniently into its own carrying bag. Due to low sales, it is no longer for sale in the US, but you may see this seat if you travel abroad.

The MiFold backless booster seat (currently unavailable) is small enough to fit into the back pocket of some pants and weighs less than 2 pounds. It works by moving the seat belt down to fit the kid (as opposed to raising the kid to fit the belt, as other boosters do). However, our testers found its hard plastic shell uncomfortable to sit on for long periods of time and said that the seat was complicated and unintuitive to set up. Also, a car seat safety expert we consulted noted that the design of the seat may encourage a child to use bad posture while they’re sitting in it—in an effort to find a more comfortable position, the child may tend to scoot forward, moving the slick-bottomed seat along with them, which could pose a safety concern.

Travel carts

The Torevsior Car Seat Travel Cart is about $30 less than the Britax Travel Cart we recommend, but it’s also less robust—the frame just doesn’t feel as sturdy. The weight limit is also lower than the Britax’s, at 70 pounds versus Britax’s 100 pounds. Like the Britax travel cart, the Torevsior cart has hooks for LATCH straps, to secure a car seat onto the cart so that your child can ride in it as you’re moving through the airport. It’s 6.4 pounds (Britax is 7.6 pounds), and extends up to 46 inches (Britax to 42 inches).

All of the guidelines for car seat care, use, and maintenance in our other car seat guides apply to travel car seats as well.

This guide was edited by Ellen Lee, Amy Miller Kravetz and Kalee Thompson.

Jessica Jermakian, vice president for vehicle research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety , email exchange , August 1, 2022

Alisa Baer, pediatrician, nationally certified child passenger safety instructor, and co-founder of The Car Seat Lady , phone interview, July 15, 2022 and January 9, 2023

Lani Harrison, CPST, Car Seats for the Littles , email interview , January 28, 2019

Meet your guides

A headshot of Christina Szalinski

Christina Szalinski

Christina Szalinski is a freelance science writer with a PhD in cell biology.

car seat travel bag reviews

Rebecca Gale

Further reading

Our three picks for the best booster car seat, arranged in a row.

The Best Booster Car Seats

by Rebecca Gale

After researching over 50 booster car seats and testing 13, we’ve concluded that the convenient Chicco KidFit ClearTex Plus is the best overall choice.

The two travel strollers we recommend, the Uppababy Minu V2 and the Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Stroller, standing next to each other.

The Best Travel Strollers

by Elise Czajkowski

After testing seven travel strollers on various trips and excursions, we’re confident that the Uppababy Minu V2 is the one to get.

Highway sign indicating meltdown ahead in half mile.

Traveling With Little Kids Can Be Tough. The Right Gear Can Help.

by Kerry Davis McGuinness

From compact car seats and cribs to portable blackout shades and white noise machines, the right tools for travel can lead to less fuss—and more fun.

Two infant car seats side by side, with baby toys.

The Best Infant Car Seats

by Christina Szalinski

After extensive research and field testing, we found that the Graco SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX is the best infant car seat for most families.

Wanderlust Storytellers – An Inspirational Family Travel Blog

GUIDE TO THE BEST CAR SEAT TRAVEL BAG, CARTS & CAR SEAT TRANSPORTERS

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. FIND MORE INFO IN MY DISCLAIMER.

Home » GUIDE TO THE BEST CAR SEAT TRAVEL BAG, CARTS & CAR SEAT TRANSPORTERS

Traveling with a little one can be really difficult – especially if you will be catching a flight!

Running through the airport with a toddler, a travel car seat, and your luggage all at once is no easy feat.

This is why car seat travel carts and carriers exist.

These fantastic products allow you to turn your car seat into either a backpack or a stroller.

This makes traveling so much easier. With a good car seat travel cart, you can pull your child and their car seat in one hand while carrying your luggage with the other.

Or go hands-free by purchasing a good-quality backpack carrier.

If you will be flying with your toddler in tow, we think that a car seat transporter is absolutely essential.

You just need to figure out what works best for you, a backpack-style carrier, a cart, or a belt that adheres the car seat to your luggage.

Here are our top picks for car seat travel carts and car seat transporters to make your airport experience run a whole lot smoother.

Click here to see our pick  for the best backpack car seat travel transporter

Click here to see our pick  for the best car seat travel cart

Our Best Car Seat Travel Bag Reviews

Best Bag for Travel Car Seat

Before we get started, I’m assuming that you have already purchased your car seat to take with you, but if you haven’t, here is our list of the best travel car seats , and here is our post to help you find the best booster seat for travel if you child is older than 4.

And in case you are interested, here is our blog post on the best travel car seat for 2 year old .

Car seat bags for air travel are fabulous options as they will leave you hands-free to deal with other things such as pushing a stroller or pulling luggage along.

Car seat backpacks can get heavy though, so we typically only recommend this product if you will be checking in your car seat, or if your airport walk from the parking lot to the plane gate is small.

Otherwise, it might be best to check out the car seat carts in the next section below.

Here’s our list of the best car seat travel bags available for purchase. We share the positives and negatives in our review to help you find the best car seat travel bag.

1. J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack Padded Car Seat Travel Bag Review

J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack Padded Car Seat Travel Bag

Overall the J.L. Childress car seat travel bag is our general favorite choice.

The backpack is fully padded with padded interior wings to help protect your car seat. It also has ergonomic, padded harness-style backpack straps that are fully adjustable to help you carry the seat comfortably. 

It is important to get a backpack carrier that allows you to carry the backpack higher on your back, to help protect your posture.

J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack Padded Car Seat Travel Bag

The backpack is made from durable, heavy-duty fabric, which means that it should last throughout your child’s car seat years. The water-resistant fabric is easy-to-clean and comes with an anti-microbial inner lining.

We also love the dual, lockable zipper opening, that allows you to lock up your seat when you check it as luggage. 

J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack Padded Car Seat Travel Bag

This carrier is perfect to  check your travel car seat as luggage , take the seat with you onto the plane, or even use it on cruises or trains. Whilst the backpack might be a bit heavy to carry around, it does mean that you can have your hands free to push your little one in the stroller or to pull along luggage.

We also love that you can use the extra space in the bag to fill up with diapers, wipes, and baby blankets (you can check your car seat for free, so good idea to use the ‘free’ weight as best you can).

J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack Padded Car Seat Travel Bag

It is our favorite if you can handle the weight on your back. If however, you are traveling solo as a mum (I don’t like carrying the weight on my back, but my husband is fine to do so) or if you have a bad back, you might prefer one of the carts mentioned below. You can also check out the  J.L Childress car seat travel bag with wheels  as well.

  • Really compact
  • Comfortable to carry around due to padded straps
  • Easily fits most car seats
  • It is cheap
  • It has space for extra baby items
  • It has a lockable zipper
  • It is made from a super durable material
  • Padded car seat travel bag
  • The weight on your back can get tiresome (if you aren’t checking it in at the counter, but carrying it all the way to the plane at a large airport).

>>  Click here to purchase the popular Backpack Travel Car Seat Transporter

2. ZOHZO Car Seat Travel Bag Review

ZOHZO Car Seat Travel Bag

Another fabulous padded car seat travel bag. This bag is really well designed with padding to protect both your car seat as well as protective features protect the bag.

The fabric of the bag is heavy-duty and waterproof in design. It has a lockable double zipper opening for durability and ease of use.

The backpack carrier has multiple options for carrying, from padded backpack straps, or to the built-in rubber handle. We also love the additional feature of the waist strap so that you can carry the weight of your bag on your waist rather than your shoulders.

ZOHZO Car Seat Travel Bag

They also have a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty and a 14-day-full refund satisfaction guarantee. 

Here is a list of compatible car seats.

compatible chart

>>> Click here to purchase the ZOHZO Car Seat Travel Bag

3. Yorepek Car Seat Travel Bag Review

Yorepek Car Seat Travel Bag

If you are traveling with an infant and using a car seat that has a base, you will like this car seat bag. The bag is large enough to fit both the seat and the base or even a small stroller.

The fabric is water-resistant and is lovely and thick and durable. The backpack straps are padded and adjustable.

There are also multiple carry handles so you can pick it up or carry it however you like. 

The car seat travel bag also has 360-degree spinner wheels, so you can roll the travel bag in a multi-directional upright position without needing to tilt.

Although it may be slightly uncomfortable to use this feature, it does give you many options for getting it from point A to B.

There is also a luggage ID holder and a double zipper opening.

Dimensions 28 H x 18 W x 18 D inches.

  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Fits both a car seat and a base
  • Multiple carry handles
  • Uncomfortable to wheel around
  • The base of the bag tends to dig into your back a bit
  • Little padding to protect car seat

>>> Click here to purchase the popular Yorepek infant car seat travel bag

Best Car Seat Travel Cart Reviews

Here’s our list of the best car seat travel carts available for purchase.

1. KEDSUM Folding Hand Car Seat Travel Cart Review

KEDSUM Folding Hand Car Seat Travel Cart

This product by Kedsum has got to be our overall best car seat travel cart.

You will love how this travel cart can be folded up easily in a few seconds. When folded up, the size is 17.7 x 12.2’’, and the weight is about 6.2 lbs, you can easy to put it into the car or locker, perfect for moving or shopping.

KEDSUM Folding Hand Car Seat Travel Cart

The handle has 3 different positions, and it can telescope into a really convenient size when you need it to.

The travel cart comes with bungee cords which are perfect for securing the cart seat to the travel cart tightly and securely, making your life in the airport much more enjoyable.

Overall the Kedsum car seat travel roller is our general favorite choice if you prefer a system on wheels rather than on your back.

  • Easy to push around
  • Can be left on when on the plane seat
  • Doesn’t stand very well without your support

>>> Click here to purchase the popular Kedsum Car Seat Travel Cart

2. Britax Car Seat Travel Cart Review

Britax Car Seat Travel Cart

If you are going to be on the move and in the airport with your little one, then the Britax travel cart will make life a whole lot easier.

The trolley is super simple to fold up and store away. You can pack it up into a conveniently small size – perfect for fitting into aircraft overhead bins and other small spaces. You also don’t need to do any kind of difficult assembly or break-down with the Britax car seat cart.

Britax Car Seat Travel Cart

Car seats attach easily using LATCH connectors. This product is compatible with basically all car seats that use LATCH, as well as any Britax car or booster seat. Your seat will be fixed onto durable steel in order to keep your child safe and sturdy.

We love that the handle is adjustable and can suit different heights. We also like how easy the trolley is to maneuver. This travel cart is a fabulous choice, especially if you are using a Britax travel car seat.

  • Best overall car seat travel cart
  • Easy to set up and pack away
  • Folds into a very compact size
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Adjustable handle height
  • Premium price tag

>>> Click here to purchase the Britax Car Seat Travel Cart

3. Mount-It! Car Seat Travel Cart Review

Mount-It! Car Seat Travel Cart

This is a well-designed car seat trolley that is as functional as it is practical. Easy to use, easy to assemble, and fantastic for making traveling with a toddler a much smoother experience.

This transporter fits most major brands of convertible and forward-facing car seats. The design allows for quick and easy attachment of the seat.

The handle is adjustable and can become really compact when stored.

Mount-It! Car Seat Travel Cart

This car seat travel cart does everything one would want, and it does it well. This is a great choice for any parent on the move.

  • Compact flat-fold design
  • Telescopic handle
  • Compatible with most car seat brands
  • No assembly required
  • The strap could be tighter
  • The plastic base is not as strong as metal versions

>>> Click here to purchase the Mount-It! Luggage Car Seat Travel Cart

4. Baby Trend Snap ‘n Go Infant Car Seat Carrier Review

When traveling with a little one, this car seat luggage cart offers you relief from all the walking at the airport. It is one of our best choices for compact use and can be easily utilized on different car seats and brands.

Baby Trend Snap ‘n Go Infant Car Seat Carrier

Due to the lightweight materials and design, you will have no problem transporting this product. When not in use it folds up flat and can be assembled without any difficulties. The telescopic handle is suitable for all kinds of different heights, and it also allows for seriously compact storage. It also has a storage basket which you can use to place extra bags or items when walking through the airport to free up your hands.

This trolley has a safe-sit angle design to keep the seat stable and secure. No need to worry about your car seat rolling away or tipping over.

We highly recommend this product and brand, you can happily use it for any trip on a plane!

  • Compact design
  • Offers great support
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to manage

>> Click here to purchase the Baby Trend Snap ‘n Go Infant Car Seat Cart

5. Holm Airport Car Seat Stroller Review

Holm Airport Car Seat Stroller

The Holm stroller will make any journey through the airport much easier and more relaxing. This car seat trolley is designed with travel and convenience in mind.

All you need to do is strap your child’s car seat into this stroller, and you can easily wheel them around – no need to struggle to carry a car seat and a child. The silicone gel wheels roll super smoothly, and the travel cart as a whole is very easy to maneuver.

Holm Airport Car Seat Stroller

It folds up to a really convenient size at the push of a button. You can easily store this stroller under a seat or in an overhead luggage compartment.

Holm Airport Car Seat Stroller

This product by Holm works really well, and we highly recommend it to anyone traveling with a small child.

  • Easy to collapse
  • Compact folding
  • Simple to use
  • Works well with different heights
  • Not compatible with all car seats
  • Straps could tighten better

>>> Click here to purchase the Holm Car Seat Travel Cart

Best Car Seat Travel Covers

Another option is to simply grab a car seat cover for travel purposes. These covers typically don’t offer much protection, as the car seat travel cover is generally thin. It is a great cheap way to keep your car seat clean.

A lot of airlines do offer plastic car seat covers for traveling by air, but not all of them do, so it might be best to purchase your own baby car seat travel bag to ensure that you are all set for the trip.

Our recommended baby car seat covers for travel are:

  • VolkGo Durable Car Seat Travel Cover
  • Birdee Car Seat Travel Cover
  • KangoKids Car Seat Cover
  • Gorilla Grip Durable Easy Carry Gate Check Travel Cover
Remember that your child’s safety is just as important on a plane as it is in a car.

Whilst it is definitely a challenge and hassle to arrive at an airport with a car seat, it is definitely a sure way to ensure you travel as safely as you can with your baby. You can grab some  tips on how to fly with a car seat  in our post here.

Leave us a comment and let us know which car seat travel carrier you settled with.

Further Reading:

If you are interested, you can check out our best car seat on plane for 3 year old  guide here and the  children’s luggage  guide here.

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Cute funny caucasian baby boy sitting in stroller near luggage at airport terminal. Child sin carria...

As any seasoned parent can attest, planning trips with young kids is not easy. First, there’s the business of packing everything for the actual vacation. Then comes the list of items you’ll need in your diaper bag (think: a change of clothes, snacks, and toys for in-flight ). At that point, you’ll probably also be looking to reduce your load (literally). The good news is, depending on the age and needs of your child, you might be able to check that hefty car seat with your luggage. And the best car seat travel bags protect your investment — no matter how much it gets thrown around in-transit.

Seriously, have you ever seen how luggage is handled at the airport? Broken and beat-up luggage isn’t an unusual sight — if not lost altogether! Unprotected, checked car seats are even more susceptible to damage given that they have pieces that can easily be torn, or worse. And most car seats aren’t exactly cheap, making a car seat travel bag a smart purchase. Some are exactly that — a bag that you stuff a car seat in — while others have wheels and even straps so you can carry it like a backpack. If you’re going the backpack route, just make sure it has padded straps for a comfier carrying experience.

No matter what type of car seat you’re looking to stow, this list of the best car seat travel bags is sure to have you departing with a bit more confidence.

This Fan-Favorite Backpack Car Seat Travel Bag

YOREPEK Padded Car Seat Travel Backpack Bag

Okay, so this car seat travel backpack is admittedly huge, measuring in at 18 by 18 by 28 inches (L x W x H). But the upside is that it fits up to a full-size toddler car seat. Padded shoulder straps and an adjustable waist strap make it comfier to carry, and the water- and scratch-resistant polyester material mean it can withstand a lot of wear and tear on your travels near and far. When it’s not in use, it folds down compactly — easy for storing. Not surprisingly, this durable pick has earned more than 2,000 perfect five-star ratings from on-the-go parents.

Helpful Review: “We recently had our very first flight with our 11 month old and the number one thing I was stressed about was transporting his car seat and base! THIS BAG WAS PERFECT!! It was just the right size to fit and a solid material. As big as it is, we were surprised at how comfortable it was to wear through the airport.”

Compatible with: Infant, Convertible, and Booster Car Seats | Included Luggage ID: Yes

An Affordable Car Seat Travel Bag That Gets The Job Done

Slynnar Car Seat Travel Bag

Looking for an affordable car seat travel bag ? This bright polyester bag just might be for you. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles as others on this list, but it will get the job done when keeping the car seat safely stowed is all you need. It features a drawstring closure, carrying handles, and a small storage bag. Measuring 18 by 18 by 34 inches ( L x W x H), it’s compatible with most infant and toddler car seat models. The red color will make it easy to spot as it lands on the baggage carousel, but it’s also available in black if you’re looking for something that will blend in with your other luggage.

Helpful Review: “I liked how it has a little bag so you can stuff it away. We used it for our flight, our car seat came back undamaged and clean. I recommend.”

A Travel Bag For Backless Booster Seats

Birdee Booster Seat Travel Bag

This ultra-durable nylon travel bag for backless booster seats features an additional side pocket for storing things like straps. When in use, it measures 16 by 8 by 16.5 inches (L x W x H), but when not in use, it folds down to just a 9 by 9 inch pouch. It fits on most luggage handles for easy transport, too. Several reviewers claim that the main compartment is big enough to accommodate not one but two backless booster seats.

Helpful Review: “This was a life saver for the two backless booster seats we had to take along with us on a flight to NYC. A lot of room but doesn't look like a large bag when seats are in it. We checked the bag for free through Delta but I think it would have worked fine as a carry on too.”

Compatible with: Backless Booster Car Seats | Included Luggage ID: No

A Versatile Car Seat Travel Bag With Wheels

Simple Being Baby Car Seat Travel Bag with Wheels

What’s not to love about a car seat travel bag with wheels that’s compatible with all the brands — or darn near close? Fitting over 50 different car seats, this backpack-style bag is a worthy investment if you’re going to be doing a lot of travel with your kids over the years. The wheels can withstand up to 100 pounds, so you might be able to throw a few other baby gear items in for the trip. Made of sturdy, water-resistant polyester fabric and featuring a top handle, plus padded straps and an adjustable waist, this bag can be carried so many ways.

Helpful Review: “This is THE BEST! We have tried several covers for car seats because the airlines always seem to toss them around and damage them. This one is wonderful! It’s got a bit of padding to protect the car seat and I love the option of pulling it with the wheels or wearing it like a backpack. We will be buying another to replace the other kind we had previously purchased and tossing the old one in the garbage. We’ve had this on several flights now and it still looks great and works like a dream.”

Compatible with: All types | Included Luggage ID: Yes

This Infant Car Seat Travel Bag

YOREPEK Infant Car Seat Travel Bag

While this infant car seat travel bag is designed to accommodate UPPAbaby MESA and Cybex Aton 2 car seat models (without bases), the dimensions of this bag — 12.8 by 18.2 by 14.8 inches (L x W X H) make it suitable for a range of other infant car seats, including the Nuna Pipa, according to reviews. Just make sure to measure your car seat before purchasing to ensure it’s compatible. Reviews say it’s great quality, with thick polyester fabric and padded straps. It even comes with four feet on the bottom to keep it off the ground for a cleaner bag post-trip.

Helpful Review: “This was EXACTLY What I was looking for! So far we have only used it for one trip, but not a scratch was left on it with our first plane ride to and from. The shoulder straps make it super convenient walking through the airport and it was large enough to carry our car seat and base along with diapers and wipes and a few other things very easily. It looks great and is extremely durable. Very happy with this purchase.”

Compatible with: Infant Car Seats | Included Luggage ID: Yes (name tag card slot)

A Disney-Themed Car Seat Travel Bag With A Bonus Storage Pouch

J.L. Childress Disney Baby Car Seat Travel Bag

Headed on a Disney family vacation or just a big fan of the brand? This Disney-themed car seat travel bag features adorable Mickey Mouse silhouettes in white against a black background. There’s even a mouse-earred luggage tag to finish off the look. But it’s not just cute to look at, it’s also made with a heavy-duty, waterproof polyester fabric that’s easy to wipe clean. The foam padded straps make this large bag easy to haul, and there’s even an extra storage pouch included so you can stash other baby items (think diapers and wipes!) inside.

Helpful Review: “This bag is excellent quality with very sturdy material. It was able to my Britax B-Safe Endeavors infant seat with base. I did have to remove the base prior to putting it in the bag in order for it to all fit. I put the base in first at an angle and then put the seat in after that and although it was tight it did fit. I appreciated the attention to detail on the Disney theme with cute little Mickey zipper pulls and ID tag holder.”

Also Nice: This Travel Belt For Attaching Your Car Seat To Your Carry-On Luggage

Alnoor USA Car Seat Travel Belt

Free up your hands by strapping this sturdy car seat travel belt to your luggage. The strong nylon strap is sturdy enough to hold up to 35 pounds and is compatible with most 13- to 56-inch roller handbags and suitcases and forward-facing car seats that have a top tether. And several reviewer photos show this in use with the kid still in the car seat — impressive!

Helpful Review: “I had to travel alone with my 13 month old son, so as you can imagine I had to be creative when packing. I have a Graco milestone car seat and the largest rolling carryon bag allowed, it took me less than 2 minutes to get this set up. I was able to roll my bag with the car seat behind me and push my son in a small stroller with another bag attached to that, made traveling soooo much easier than I expected. This is a quick solution at a low cost, I highlyrecommend!”

Compatible with: Forward-Facing Car Seats | Included Luggage ID: No

Worth Considering: A Child Safety Harness For In-Flight

Cares Kids Fly Safe Child Aviation Restraint System

This Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA)-approved child airplane travel harness is a great safety travel accessory for when you carseat is checked away. It’s designed for kids 2 to 4 years old, or 22 to 44 pounds. It’s easy to install and keeps kids safely in place with an adjustable 3-point harness and over-the-seat strap. It works on most airline seat configurations except for the emergency exit row.

Helpful Review: “I used this for my 2 year old this past week. Our flights were about two hours long. I practiced using it one time on a straight back living room chair the night before we left. It was very easy. The little drawstring carry bag fit perfectly in our already crowded diaper bag. Installation takes about 30 seconds. [...]Not only did the harness seem safer, it also served to keep her in her seat. Since it resembles car seat straps, she settled right in and didn’t try to squirm around like she did on our last flight (using just the lap belt while in my lap). [...]”

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The 7 Best Travel Car Seats of 2024

These top picks combine convenience and peace of mind

Jordi is a freelance contributor to TripSavvy. Her personal passions gravitate toward wellness and adventure, leading her to frequently plan trips that blend zen relaxation with urban and rugged exploration.

car seat travel bag reviews

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more .

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Traveling with small children is a great way to make memories. You expose little ones to new experiences and see the world through their eyes. But there are still everyday tasks to worry about on the road, from meal times to naps. Safety is the top priority, of course, and this means ensuring your kids have a good car seat.

If you're flying with small children or frequently switching cars, the thought of lugging around the car seat you have perfectly installed in your vehicle can seem daunting. Luckily, many companies make travel car seats lighter and easier to install on the go. These models also emphasize portability and legroom for your child to grow into.

To find the best choice for you, we looked closely at the installation process, weight ratings, and certification status of some of the most popular options on the market today.

Final Verdict

  • What to Look For

Why Trust TripSavvy

Best overall, cosco scenera next convertible car seat.

 Amazon

Easy to carry

Budget friendly

Sizing issues for older childen

The Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat receives excellent marks for lightness and simplicity. This affordable car seat is a great choice for those who already have a regular car seat but need a second option for traveling. Safety features include side-impact protection built into the headrest and a five-point harness that adjusts to accommodate your growing child. The car seat can be used rear-facing for kiddos 5 to 40 pounds and 19 to 40 inches tall or front-facing for those 22 to 40 pounds or 29 to 43 inches tall. The car seat will last from infancy through toddlerhood.

Use the LATCH connectors or a seat belt to secure the car seat in any rental car or taxi. It's also designed with air travel in mind: It's FAA-approved and lightweight at just 7 pounds. Additionally, its 17.5-inch width makes it a good fit for most airline seats. Other highlights include a removable, machine-washable, and dryer-safe car seat pad and a dishwasher-safe cup holder. Colors range from Moon Mist Grey to Ocean Breeze.

Dimensions: 17.6 x 15.8 x 30.3 inches | Weight Rating: Up to 40 pounds | Installation Type: LATCH

Best Lightweight

Wayb pico travel car seat.

Very compact

Includes a travel bag

Only for toddlers and older

Car seats are a hassle to travel with because they're bulky, heavy, and unwieldy. Luckily, this travel car seat by Wayb won't add much extra weight to your suitcase. Weighing under 8 pounds, the FAA-approved Pico Travel Car Seat is easy to transport everywhere you go. It's front-facing and can hold kids between 22 to 55 pounds or measuring 30 to 45 inches tall. It has an AeroWing aluminum frame that is durable yet lightweight, and the AstroKnit performance mesh lining will keep your kids comfortable throughout their journey. Best of all, this car seat folds into a small enough package to store in overhead bins and comes with a carrying bag that can slip onto your suitcase.

Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 20 inches | Weight Rating: Up to 50 pounds | Installation Type: LATCH or car/airplane seat belt

Most Compact

Safety 1st guide 65 convertible car seat.

Supports a variety of sizes and ages

Sleek design

Machine-washable cover

Complaints about installation

Safety 1st's Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat weighs 14 pounds; it's sturdy enough for everyday use yet light enough for travel. This car seat's frame is so compact that you could place three in the back of your car, making it an excellent option for larger families or smaller European rental cars. Plus, it can accommodate a wide range of weights, making it a budget-friendly pick that can last for years. It's for children who weigh between 5 and 40 pounds to use in a rear-facing position and children 22 to 65 pounds to use in a front-facing position.

Side-impact protection and five harnesses that adjust in the center ensure your child stays secure throughout their ride and help deflect impact away from their head, neck, and spine in the event of an accident. Other safety features include three buckle locations and an adjustable headrest. This car seat also has a LATCH connector system, making it easy to take the seat in and out of the car quickly. Both the cushion and cup holder are removable for easy cleanup. It's available in multiple colors.

Dimensions: 27.3 x 18.5 x 20.3 inches | Weight Rating: Up to 65 pounds | Installation Type: LATCH

Best for Bigger Kids

Graco extend2fit convertible car seat.

Harness storage makes loading and unloading easy

Rigorously crash tested

Several customizable features

Most of the car seats on this list are appropriate for children up to 40 pounds, but the Graco Extend2Fit is rated for up to 65 pounds. It also allows children up to 50 pounds to ride rear-facing and provides an extra 5 inches of legroom. This, plus a headrest that can also be adjusted to 10 different positions, ensures the child is comfortable and secure as they grow.

Two integrated cup holders keep juice bottles within easy reach and help to prevent spills. While there are multiple ways to install this model, it is easy to remember after the first time. Although this seat is designed with car travel in mind , it is FAA-approved. If you're flying economy class, consider calling ahead to check that the restraint is compatible with the airline seat.

Dimensions: 21.5 x 19.5 x 23.5 inches | Weight Rating: Up to 65 pounds | Installation Type: InRight LATCH

Best Booster Combo

Cosco finale dx 2-in-1 booster car seat.

Can fit three across

Easy to clean

Accommodates older children

Durability complaints

If you're shopping for a child aged 12 months or older, the Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat will last from toddlerhood until after they start school. It has a 10-year lifespan and can be used as a forward-facing car seat or as a high-back booster seat. As a car seat, it's appropriate for kids between 30 to 65 pounds and 32 to 49 inches in height. The five-point harness has three different height settings, and the LATCH connectors can be used until your child reaches 50 pounds. In addition, the FAA approves the Cosco Finale for aircraft use in its car seat capacity.

It suits kids between 40 to 100 pounds and 43 to 52 inches in height as a booster seat. Its 17-inch width and 9-pound weight make it ideal for quick transfers between rental cars, taxis, and family cars back home. Other useful features include a removable cup holder and a machine-washable cover in colors that range from gray to pale pink. Lastly, thrifty families will appreciate this seat's affordable price tag.

Dimensions: 18.3 x 19 x 29.8 inches | Weight Rating: Up to 100 pounds | Installation Type: LATCH or seat belt

Most Innovative

Maxi-cosi pria max 3-in-1 convertible car seat.

Easy to buckle

Not the lightest pick

If you don't want to invest in multiple car seats, the Pria Max 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is your best bet. It can handle children from birth to 10 years old, making it one of the most versatile options on the market. Plus, the high-end brand makes each stage supremely comfortable for your child and easy for adults to use. It has a spring-assist harness system, so the straps don't get tangled; a one-hand magnetic chest clip; a simple integrated headrest and harness system, so you don't have to rethread as your tot grows; and machine-washable fabric. Keep in mind it comes with a hefty price tag and heavier weight.

Dimensions: 25.3 x 24 x 19.9 inches | Weight Rating: Up to 100 pounds | Installation Type: LATCH or seat belt

Best For Road Trips

Chicco keyfit 35 cleartex infant car seat.

FAA-approved

Eco-friendly textiles

UPF 50+ canopy

Rear-facing only

This car seat is a great option for road trips —or as your primary car seat that occasionally travels—as the stay-in-car base is a breeze to install correctly and the carrier itself clicks into place in one motion. When it's time to stretch your legs and explore simply detach the seat and click it into any Chicco stroller base for a lightning-fast travel combo. The base has an anti-rebound bar for added stability and extra legroom for a rider up to 32 inches tall, and the headrest has five different positions to accommodate an infant's growth.

If your plans include air travel, this is still a solid pick. The best thing about this carrier is that it can be installed in an aircraft or rental vehicle without the base, using the European or American routing method. The base and carrier together weigh 18 pounds but you'll only have to manage 10 pounds if you go baseless. It comes with removable newborn positioners so little ones from 4 pounds are ready to roll.

Dimensions: 28 x 16.5 x 24 inches | Weight Rating: 4 to 35 pounds | Installation Type: LATCH or seat belt

The Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat is light, FAA-approved, and supports young travelers up to 40 pounds. We love the accessible price point and easy-to-clean cover. If you're shopping for a toddler or older but still want to prioritize portability, go for the Wayb Pico Travel Car Seat .

What to Look For in Travel Car Seats

Installation.

All models on our list use LATCH systems and some can also be installed using the vehicle's seat belt, but you should never use both anchoring methods together. LATCH, also known as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, is an alternative way of securing the car seat to the vehicle without using the seat belt. Both the vehicle and the car seat must have LATCH parts to install the seat properly, but most car seats (and vehicles manufactured after 2002) will do so. The car seat has straps that come from the bottom and a tether at the top. These attach to the lower anchors in the car, found in the space between the rear back seat and seat cushion, and to the top anchor, which could be near the rear window or on the car ceiling. When in doubt, check the vehicle manual and seat instructions.

Weight Rating

Like their everyday counterparts, travel car seats include maximum weight ratings that must be adhered to. Additionally, your decision to install the car seat front- or rear-facing is based on the weight and height of your child. Most models can transition from rear- to front-facing as your tot grows, or even from front-facing to a booster seat like the Cosco Finale DX . Consider the kid's age, weight, height, and the manufacturer's notes to choose a travel seat that will give you the longest practical use.

Certification Status

Most importantly, the car seat you buy should meet all safety standards. If you're flying, look for an FAA-approved or similarly aircraft-approved seat.

"All legal car seats must meet the same crash test criteria, or safety standards, and be properly labeled," said Amie Durocher, a CPS Tech at SafeRide4Kids.com. "If you are worried about counterfeit car seats, check the label. Certified seats in the U.S. are required to have very specific language on the labels. Beware if it doesn't mention federal motor vehicle safety standards or FMVSS213 or if it lacks a model name or number or manufacture date."

Yes, you can travel with a car seat on the plane —and it's actually recommended. "We recommend that parents purchase a seat even for children under 2 who could be 'lap babies' and use the FAA-approved child restraint on the airplane," said Durocher. "This makes it safer for the child—and the parent—in case of an incident during takeoff or landing and in case of turbulence during the flight."

The hardest part of traveling with a car seat is figuring out the logistics through the airport. “Infant car seats that click onto a compatible stroller are easy, but travelers might need a car seat cart, luggage strap, or bungee cords to lug a convertible car seat through the airport,” said Michelle Pratt, founder and owner of Safe in the Seat. “Some people prefer to check their stroller with their luggage and use a car seat cart to get their child and seat through the airport easily. Others babywear or let their toddler walk and load up their stroller with all their gear, then gate check the stroller planeside.”

“Rear-facing is the safest way for kids to ride in the car, but it’s not always possible on planes due to the tighter space,” added Pratt. “If the car seat fits rear-facing on the plane, that’s best. But kids who rear-face in the car can forward-face on the plane if they are at least 1 year old and meet their car seat’s forward-facing requirements. Then they seamlessly go back to rear-facing in the car at the destination.”

Author Jordi Lippe-McGraw has researched and written about travel and lifestyle products for nearly a decade. She is also the mom of a 3-year-old. When making this list, she researched dozens of products, looking at key specs like dimensions and weight rating and the number of positive and negative reviews. While researching the best travel car seats, we spoke with Amie Durocher , a CPS Tech at SafeRide4Kids.com, and Michelle Pratt , founder and owner of Safe in the Seat.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. " Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) Restraint System ." Accessed Feb 6th, 2023.

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Olive Christine

Olive Christine

Travel Made Simple

7 Best Car Seat Travel Bags

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Traveling with young children can be a challenge, especially when it comes to transporting bulky items like car seats. Fortunately, car seat travel bags can make the process easier and more convenient. In this article, we’ll explore the best car seat travel bags on the market and what to consider when choosing one.

car seat travel bag reviews

Why Use a Car Seat Travel Bag?

Car seat travel bags protect car seats from damage during transport. Checking your car seat at the gate or baggage check may result in rough handling, which can cause scratches, dings, and other damage. A travel bag helps prevent this. A travel bag provides an extra layer of protection to prevent scratches, dings, and other damage.

In addition to protecting your car seat, a travel bag can also make it easier to transport. Most travel bags come with straps or handles that allow you to carry the car seat like a backpack or wheel it like a suitcase. This frees up your hands for other tasks, like wrangling kids or carrying luggage.

Considerations For Choosing a Car Seat Travel Bag

When choosing a car seat travel bag, there are several factors to consider:

Make sure the travel bag is the right size for your car seat. Some Travel bags are designed to fit specific car seat brands or models, or some are universal in size.

2. Compatibility:

Check the compatibility of the travel bag with your car seat. Some bags may not be compatible with certain features or styles of car seats.

3. Material and Durability:

Look for a travel bag made from durable, tear-resistant materials. This will help protect your car seat from damage during transport.

4. Ease of Use:

Consider how easy the travel bag is to use. Look for features like adjustable straps or handles, padded shoulder straps, and wheels for easy transport.

5. Additional Features:

Some travel bags may come with additional features, like extra pockets for storage or a built-in ID tag.

Best Car Seat Travel Bags

Here are some of the best 7 car seat travel bags on the market:

1. J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack Padded Car Seat Travel Bag:

This backpack-style travel bag fits most car seats and features padded straps for comfort. It also has a large front pocket for extra storage.

JL-Childress-Ultimate-Backpack-Premium-Padded-Car-Seat-Travel_Bag

2. VolkGo Durable Car Seat Travel Bag:

This travel bag fits most car seats and is made from durable, water-resistant material. It features a built-in handle and adjustable straps for easy transport.

car seat travel bag reviews

3. Brica Cover Guard Car Seat Travel Bag:

This travel bag is designed to fit most car seats and features a drawstring closure for a secure fit. It also has a large front pocket for storage.

BRICA-Cover-Guard-Car-Seat-Travel-Bag

4. ZOHZO Car Seat Travel Bag:

This travel bag fits most car seats and is made from durable, tear-resistant nylon. It features a built-in handle and wheels for easy transport, as well as an adjustable shoulder strap.

ZOHZO-car-seat-Travel-bag

5. Bububee ‘Elua Car Seat Travel Bag:

This padded travel bag fits most car seats and features extra padding for added protection. It also has adjustable backpack straps and a front pocket for storage.

Bububee-Elua-Car-Seat-Travel-Bag

6. Gate Check PRO Car Seat Travel Bag:

This budget-friendly travel bag is designed to fit most car seats and features a durable, water-resistant material to protect your car seat from damage. It also comes with a built-in handle and adjustable shoulder strap for easy transport.

Gate-Check-PRO-Car-Seat-Travel-Bag

7. Britax Car Seat Travel Bag:

This wheeled travel bag is specifically designed to fit Britax car seats, but can also fit other brands. It features a durable, tear-resistant material and comes with both backpack straps and wheels for easy transport.

Britax-Car-Seat-Travel-Bag

Tips for Using a Car Seat Travel Bag

Here are some tips to keep in mind when using a car seat travel bag:

  • Label your travel bag with your name and contact information in case it gets lost.
  • Remove any loose or dangling parts from your car seat, such as cup holders or toys, before placing it in the travel bag.
  • Secure the car seat in the travel bag according to the bag’s instructions to ensure maximum protection during transport.
  • Consider using a gate check bag for your car seat travel bag. These bags are designed to withstand the rigors of gate check and are often included with some travel bags.
  • Check with your airline to see if they have any specific guidelines or restrictions for checking car seats. Some airlines may require the car seat to be in a specific type of bag or have additional fees for checking car seats.
  • Be prepared to have your car seat inspected by TSA agents at security checkpoints. TSA may ask you to remove the car seat from the travel bag for inspection.

In summary, a car seat travel bag is a great investment for anyone traveling with young children. It provides an extra layer of protection for your car seat and makes transport much easier. When choosing a car seat travel bag, consider factors such as size, compatibility, material and durability, ease of use, and additional features. With the right travel bag and a few tips for using it, you can make your next family trip a little bit easier and stress-free.

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Best Travel Car Seats of 2024

Traveling with kids? Whether an extended road trip or airplane ride is on the agenda, your little one needs a travel car seat to stay safe on the journey. Travel car seats are a bit different from everyday ones, as they’re typically lighter in weight, easier to move and set up from car to car, and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take in the air.

A travel car seat also comes in handy if you find yourself in ride-shares or taxis regularly. Many models don’t require a base, so it’s simple to strap the unit in without spending half the afternoon figuring out which piece goes where. The best travel car seats are so convenient, in fact, that you might stick to them altogether.

Table of Contents

  • Best Travel Car Seats
  • Things To Consider When Buying
  • How We Chose

Chicco KeyFit 35 ClearTex Infant Car Seat  »

Chicco KeyFit 35 ClearTex Infant Car Seat

Various features for correct installation

Can be installed without a base via European belt routing

Five height positions and six recline positions

Includes base and newborn positioner

Extendable canopy with UPF 50+ sun protection

JPMA certified and GreenGuard Gold Certified

Not super light

Travel bag sold separately

There’s no need to worry about properly installing the Chicco KeyFit 35 ClearTex Infant Car Seat. It comes with multiple features to ensure you do it correctly, including LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) connectors, a SuperCinch force-multiplying tightener, and RideRight bubble level indicators to make sure it’s at the right angle.

This best travel car seat comes with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) 50+ sun protection. It also comes with a base, but doesn’t require one in order to use. That means you can keep the base in your car for regular use and still be able to install it in other vehicles, thanks to its European belt routing system. It only weighs 10 pounds and is FAA approved, so it’s ready to bring on an aircraft. The Chicco Car Seat Travel Bag , however, is sold separately. But with the five height positions and six recline positions, your baby is bound to be comfortable no matter how you choose to travel. And once you reach your destination, keep the car seat looking fresh by tossing the fabrics in the washing machine.

They KeyFit 35 is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), meaning it meets minimum government requirements based on safety and use, and GreenGuard Gold Certified, meaning it’s built to contribute to safer, healthier air and has been screened for more than 15,000 volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Cosco Kids Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat  »

Cosco Kids Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat

Affordable price point

Aircraft certified and TSA-friendly designed

No additional base needed

Side Impact Protection

Machine-washable and dryer-safe seat pad

Installation may be tricky with some seat belts

May fit snugly on older babies

If you’re looking for a secondary car seat, chances are that you’re hoping to keep the cost low. With the Cosco Kids Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat, you’ll save money without losing the factors that make a travel car seat desirable. At just 6.8 pounds, this is one unit you won’t struggle to carry through the airport. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing it has built-in Side Impact Protection.

This model can carry a child up to 40 pounds and 43 inches tall. It has five harness heights and three buckle locations, so it’ll grow with your baby from infancy to toddlerhood. This affordable car seat comes in seven designs with black details. And Cosco Kids makes it easy to clean with its machine-washable and dryer-safe seat pad and dishwasher-safe removable cup holder.

While this may not be the ideal pick for everyday use, the no-base, lightweight design makes it a smart pick for upcoming vacations or times when you need to move it between cars often. Just use the LATCH connectors to safely secure it in place.

Diono Radian 3RXT SafePlus  »

Diono Radian 3RXT SafePlus

Only 17 inches wide

Seats folds up

FAA approved

Supports kids up to 120 pounds

12 headrest positions

Available in five colors

Heavy at 30.6 pounds

Booster mode can’t be used on a plane

LATCH connectors not available for all weights

At just 17 inches wide, the Diono Radian 3RXT SafePlus comfortably fits in even the most compact cars. If you have a full backseat, three of these models can fit across the backseat. Don’t let its compact size fool you, though. This travel car seat was designed to grow with your child from 4 to 120 pounds, in rear-facing position, forward-facing position, and booster mode.

This unit comes with a detachable rear-facing base, which Diono recommends using, but it can be used without it. The base shouldn’t be used in the forward-facing position or in booster mode. To make sure your little one is happy, the Radian boasts a 12-position headrest that you can adjust with just one hand. The covers are machine washable, and the shell and components on the rest of the car seat can be spot cleaned.

This convertible car seat folds to make travel easier, and its FAA-approved status means it’ll be your airplane companion. Just keep in mind that it can only be taken on a plane in rear-facing and forward-facing positions, not booster mode.

Doona + Car Seat & Stroller  »

Doona + Car Seat & Stroller

Converts from car seat to stroller in seconds

Comes fully assembled

FAA approved and can be pushed down airplane aisle

Available in seven colors

UPF 50+ sun protection and water-repellant canopy

Includes LATCH base, infant insert, head support, and vehicle seat protector

Can only be used up to 35 pounds

The Doona + Car Seat & Stroller can be used with or without the included base, but the real magic comes in when you’re using it in between car and airplane rides. Within a matter of seconds, this innovative model goes from car seat to stroller with the push of a button. Plus, it comes fully assembled, so you can use it the moment it arrives.

The water-repellent canopy provides UPF 50+ sun protection, and comes in seven bold colors, including Racing Green, Flame Red, and Blush Pink. The adjustable handle is a nice touch, too, for a more comfortable gliding experience for adults.

Not only is the Doona approved by the FAA, but at just 17.4 inches wide, it can easily be pushed down an airplane aisle so you can get in your seat easily. Although it’s pricey, the fact that it acts as both a travel car seat and stroller means that it’s a great value. Consider this the all-in-one travel system that makes navigating the world with a baby so much simpler. Megan Wood, Senior Editor at U.S. News 360 Reviews, uses the Doona as her family’s main car seat and loves how easy it makes running errands and travel without having to pack a separate stroller.

Wayb Pico Portable Car Seat  »

Wayb Pico Portable Car Seat

Fits in most airplane overheads bins

Only weighs 8 pounds

Installs via LATCH or car or plane seat belt

Folds down to 11.6 inches long by 14.5 inches wide by 18.9 inches tall

Made with space-grade aluminum alloy and Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)-certified wool

On the pricier side

Can’t be used until child is 22 pounds

Make your next flight with your child as easy as possible with the Wayb Pico Portable Car Seat. With a compact design that folds up—so much so that it fits in most airplane overhead bins—this FAA-approved model goes wherever you do. Weighing just 8 pounds, this travel car seat is installed via LATCH connectors or using the car or airplane seat belt.

Unlike the other best travel car seats on our list, the Pico is a forward-facing option that’s designed for children 22 to 50 pounds and 30 to 45 inches tall. Wayb recommends it for ages 2 years old and up. While you can’t use it for a newborn, it’ll be your little one’s travel companion once they grow a bit.

The Pico is available in five colors, and an optional carry bag, vehicle seat protector, and cup holder are sold separately. If you have multiple children, you can snag a few of these and three can fit in a row in the backseat of most vehicles.

Nuna Pipa RX x Pipa Relx Base  »

Nuna Pipa RX x Pipa Relx Base

Five-second installation

Can be used with or without the included base

Removable UPF 50+ canopy

GreenGuard Gold Certified and fire retardant-free materials

Connects with all Nuna strollers

Doesn’t fold

If installing a car seat isn’t something you’re looking forward to, make it easy on yourself with the Nuna Pipa RX. It comes with Pipa Relx Base, but you don’t need it in order to put it to use in a car or on an airplane. If you do decide to use it, however, the base features a stability leg that absorbs impact to prevent motion from transferring to your baby. Plus, installation takes just five seconds.

At 7.6 pounds (not including the canopy or infant insert), it’s one of the lightest options on our list. This travel car seat has a four-position recline, and you don’t have to reinstall it to change the position. It features an infant insert that can be removed when your little one grows. But no matter what age they are, you’ll want to take advantage of the removable, full-coverage UPF 50+ canopy.

This unit has the green light to be part of air travel, and you can feel good knowing that it’s GreenGuard Gold Certified and made with fire retardant-free materials.

Britax Emblem 3-Stage Convertible Car Seat  »

Britax Emblem 3-Stage Convertible Car Seat

High-strength steel frame and SafeCell technology to absorb crash energy

Accommodates children up to 65 pounds

Aircraft approved

10-position harness and headrest adjust together

Machine-washable and dryer-friendly fabrics

On the heavier side

Any piece of baby gear you put your child in needs to be sturdy and durable. The Britax Emblem 3-Stage Convertible Car Seat was built to last. Its frame is made of high-strength steel, and it features SafeCell technology to absorb crash energy, so you can feel confident that your little one is protected. Its fabric is tough and can be tossed in the washing machine and dryer to refresh it after a spill or accident.

This best travel model is designed to grow with your child, as it accommodates them from 5 pounds all the way up to 65 pounds. As they get bigger, you can adjust the harness and headrest, which move together in 10 different positions.

The Emblem is on the heavier side at just under 20 pounds, but it’s still reasonable enough to bring with you in a ride-share or carry it on for aircraft use. Just utilize its installation features, including LATCH connectors and level indicators, to ensure that it’s correctly set up.

Graco Century Carry On 35 Lightweight Infant Car Seat  »

Graco Century Carry On 35 Lightweight Infant Car Seat

Only weighs 6.8 pounds

Four-position carry handle

Machine-washable seat pad and canopy

Doesn’t convert to front facing

Graco refers to its Century Carry On 35 Lightweight Infant Car Seat as “The Weightless Wonder,” and it’s clear why. This lightweight car seat only weighs 6.8 pounds. If you count the base, it only goes up to 10.4 pounds. It’s the lightest carrier on our list, so it’ll truly become a travel must-have when vacation is calling.

Approved to take on an airplane, the Graco Century has a carry handle with four adjustable positions, so both you and your baby will be comfortable. It comes with a base that can be installed via LATCH connectors. However, it can be used without one for even quicker installation with a vehicle or airplane seat belt. And if an in-flight spill dirties the seat pad or canopy, both are machine washable.

The Century is designed for babies up to 35 pounds. Even though it won’t go the long haul, it’s a budget-friendly option that does its job well while it can. Plus, it’s compatible with all Century strollers and car seat bases from Graco that can be purchased separately.

The Bottom Line

The market is far from short on car seat options, and that rings true for travel car seats, too. To choose the best one for your child, consider how often you plan to use it. If it’s a secondary car seat that you’re planning to only break out a couple times of year for vacation, then you may want to keep your budget low. But if you’re looking forward to road trips and airplane rides on the regular, better quality and durability may be more important. Once you see how much use you’ll get out of it, you can focus on what features are necessities in your book. Does it need to fold? Does its weight need to stay super low? But if you’re not totally sure what you need in a travel car seat, the Chicco KeyFit 35 ClearTex Infant Car Seat, our Best Overall pick, is FAA approved, weighs just 10 pounds, comes with a UPF 50+ canopy, and comes with a base but doesn’t need it in order to install.

Things To Consider When Buying Travel Car Seats

Safety Certification and Compliance

The good news is that if you’re buying a new travel car seat from a reputable retailer in the United States, you’re probably in good shape.

“All car seats sold in the U.S. must meet stringent safety regulations, following the requirements set by the NHTSA,” says Joe Colella, JPMA director of Child Passenger Safety and 2020 Child Passenger Safety Hall of Fame Inductee. “A car seat that meets these standards is required to be labeled with, ‘This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards.’”

Don’t forget that car seats also have expiration dates, and when they hit it, toss them, reminds Samora Coles, founder and executive director of The Alex House Project , an organization that supports low-income families and young mothers with their transition to parenthood. While this is one piece of baby gear you’re likely to want to buy new, if you’re using a secondhand model, it’s even more imperative that you check its expiration date and look up if any recalls or malfunctions have been reported.

Size and Weight Suitability

Most—but not all—travel car seats can be used right from birth, so keep in mind when you plan on using it and if your little one is big enough to be safely strapped in. Some options have one mode while others convert to various positions, including rear facing, forward facing, and booster to grow with your child. Each mode has its own weight and height limits, and those numbers vary depending on the brand and model. It’s important to read through and follow those instructions for safety.

“Car seats, when not used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, could be less likely to protect a child from injury,” says Colella. “Car seats are safety devices that are designed and tested to protect children when used as directed by the manufacturer.”

Many travel car seats have an adjustable headrest that you can raise as your child grows. If longevity is important to your buying decision, check to make sure it has this capability so you’re not stuck getting a new one in a year’s time.

Ease of Installation and Compatibility

The first time you put a typical car seat in your vehicle may have taken a while. That kind of time isn’t provided when you’re on the tarmac, so the best travel car seats need to be easy to install. It’s a smart idea to do a test run in a car so you can feel confident in its setup.

Even though many travel car seats come with a base, they’re typically not a must-use on the road. Some models just need a vehicle’s or airplane’s seat belt to safely strap in. Others also offer LATCH connectors that provide a super-secure installation.

“Most travel car seats are compatible with any vehicle, but parents want to research car seat company manuals and reviews from other parents,” says Coles. To assure parents that they did it correctly, some units have colored indicators that give the thumbs up when it’s ready to use or level indicators that confirm it’s not tilted. If you’re concerned about always setting it up and taking it out, look for a model that eases your worries.

Portability for Frequent Travel

Whether you’re hurrying to your gate or rushing to the taxi stand, the last thing you want is a bulky, heavy travel car seat weighing you down. Even if you don’t plan to carry it around while your baby is in it most of the time, you want the unit to be built for portability. That starts with looking at the car seat’s weight. The lowest on this list is 6.8 pounds, and it goes up quite a bit from there. It’s also helpful if the travel car seat folds down — not only so that it fits in the overhead bin on an airplane, but so it’s convenient to carry along with your weekender bag.

“When considering portability factors, parents should consider dual abilities in a travel car seat,” explains Coles. “Seats that can act as strollers can help parents limit necessary items they must carry while traveling.”

Don’t forget to check out the handle, too. Even if it’s lightweight, if the handle doesn’t boast an ergonomic design, parents can feel quite uncomfortable.

Convertibility as the Child Grows

Some travel car seats grow with your child, so they’ll go from rear facing to forward facing to even booster. Each of these stages have their own weight and height limits. However, things can get tricky depending on where you’re traveling to.

“Every U.S. state and territory has a law that defines how a child must be restrained in a vehicle and also requires car seat compliance with the aforementioned safety regulations. State laws vary significantly, and travelers must follow the law for the state in which they are traveling,” says Colella. “For example, 19 states and the District of Columbia require that children ride in rear-facing car seats until at least age 2, while other states use age 1 or do not specify a rear-facing age requirement. Most states also require the use of car booster seats, though the maximum age for those requirements varies from 5 to 10 years old.

How We Chose the Best Travel Car Seats

Nothing is more important than safety when we’re talking about baby gear. U.S. News 360 Reviews kept it at the top of mind when hunting down the best travel car seats, but we also considered price, weight of the carrier, weight and height limits, and installation. To ensure we had the must-know information, we consulted the director of Child Passenger Safety at JPMA and the founder and executive director of an organization that helps young mothers with their transition to parenthood. They provided insight on which key components to understand before landing on the travel car seat for your personal lifestyle. Before adding to cart, think about when and where you’ll use it and what features truly matter to you.

WHY SHOULD YOU TRUST US?

Caitlyn Fitzpatrick , the author of this piece, has been researching, testing, and reviewing products since 2017. This means she has years of experience honing in on what’s important when shopping for a product, including baby gear. Fitzpatrick is a mom herself and has done her own personal deep dive on what makes one car seat better than another. That’s why she concentrated on safety as the top priority when choosing the best travel car seats. Megan Wood , Senior Editor at U.S. News 360 Reviews, focuses on baby gear and recommends the Doona Car Seat + Stroller for traveling families.

“While the FAA does not require the use of car seats on airplanes for children, and those under the age of 2 are allowed to ride on their parents’ lap, this is not considered best practice,” says Colella. “Turbulence can happen with little or no warning, and appropriate car seats provide the safest way for children to travel on airplanes.”

Most travel car seats are certified to use on aircrafts, but be sure to check that it’s the case with your specific model. It can also make a difference which airline you fly and if you’re traveling domestically or internationally. Booster car seats and child restraint harnesses are generally not supposed to be used on an airplane. All of the recommendations on this list are approved for airplane use.

As far as adjustability, many models feature adjustable straps, height/headrest positions, and recline positions.

The best travel car seats are typically easy to install. After all, they’re expected to be moved between vehicles or on and off airplanes regularly. Some of these models come with a base, but don’t necessarily require it for the unit to be secured. Many travel car seats come with LATCH connectors. “This system is compatible with vehicles with anchors located at the lower and upper tether of their seats where the car seat can be secured,” explains Coles. “Since all vehicles must have seat belts, all car seats have a space to secure car seats using the seat belt.”

Two of the most important factors when shopping for the best travel car seat are installation and portability. You want it to be easy to secure on an airplane and in a ride-share, and simple to carry it with you wherever your adventures lead.

“Additionally, factors such as the age, weight, height, and overall condition of the seat should be considered as they can help determine the overall value of the car seat, especially for those with limited resources and busy lifestyles,” says Coles.

About Our Team

Caitlyn Fitzpatrick

Caitlyn Fitzpatrick

Contributor

Megan Wood

Senior Editor

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.

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  • https://parenthoodroutine.com/best-car-seat-travel-bag/ Car Seat Travel Bag

Choosing the Best Car Seat Travel Bag in 2023

Traveling with young children can be a daunting task, especially when the long journey requires an auto. Here ends the search for the best car seat travel bag. With it, your child will be more relaxed on a flight. We listed the best car seat travel bag for you to choose upon.

Top 10 Car Seats Travel Bags: Comparison Chart

Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag - Adjustable Padded Backpack for Car Seats (Black)

Best Overall: Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag Review

Zohco

  • TRAVEL MADE EASY: Traveling can be difficult when you have a young child still in a car seat. Our versatile backpack allows you to take their seat everywhere you go so you never have to worry about their vehicle safety.
  • ULTRA COMPATIBILITY: Our premium, adjustable backpack not only saves you money on flights, it also fits most car seats manufactured by major brands
  • HEAVY DUTY, WATERPROOF DESIGN: We’ve carefully crafted our traveler’s backpack using heavy-duty, water-resistant fabric and a lockable double zipper opening. This ensures it can stand up to the rigors of a busy airport terminal.
  • COMFORTABLE, HANDS-FREE CARRYING: The ZOHZO Car Seat Backpack can be carried by use of the built-in handle, or by the shoulder and waist straps for hands-free comfort. Keep your hands free to play with children and hand over your tickets.
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: Each of our car seat backpacks come with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. What’s more, if you aren’t completely happy with our premium backpack, simply return it within 14 days for a full refund.

Travellers’ Choice: KangoKids Car Seat Travel Bag Review

KangoKids

  • BREEZE THROUGH THE AIRPORT LIKE A PRO PARENT - These car seat travel bags let you store your baby's bulky travel essentials for quick and painless check-in. Fits most car seat and strollers.
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN, EFFORTLESS CARRYING - Free your hands for your kids or other luggage. Our carseat travel bags give you various carrying options with 2 padded shoulder straps and a reinforced handle.
  • PROTECTS PRECIOUS & EXPENSIVE CAR SEATS - This heavy-duty car seat bag carrier is made from double-stitched and tough Gucci nylon, which prevents your baby's car seat from damage during travel.
  • BYE-BYE TANTRUMS - Attend to your kids' needs instead of focusing on their heavy car seats. These carseat bags for air travel let you take control by giving you more mobility.
  • BUY WITH CONFIDENCE - We stand behind our airline car seat bag's quality. Your satisfaction is our priority. If there is an issue with your gate check bag, contact us and we'll make it right for you.

Universal Fit: MyEasy Convertible Car Seat Travel Bag for Airplane Review

MyEasy

  • MAKE FLYING WITH KIDS EASIER - take car seat travel bag with comfortable shoulder straps wherever you travel, protect your carseat from getting dirty and make air travel with little kids less stressful
  • UNIVERSAL FIT - travel bag for car seat or backpack carseat is large enough (34х18х18 inch) to fit a wide range of car seats; XL car seat bag is so large that there will be some extra space to fill up
  • INCREDIBLE DURABILITY - car seat backpack for air travel is made of 400D nylon which is water-resistant, lightweight but sturdy enough to serve you well for a long time; each strap is double stitched
  • FUNCRIONAL AND STYLISH - dark blue carseat travel bags have blue backpack straps, 2 side straps and handle; name tag lets put on contact info - you'll spot your gate check bag at baggage claim with ease
  • CONVENIENT TO STORE - car seat airplane bag folds down easily, fits in a handy zipper pouch and will not take a lot of space while not in use; E-Book with travel tips will help to plan your next trip

Vibrant Colors Available: reperkid Car Seat Travel Bag for Airplane Review

reperkid

  • HASSLE FREE TRAVEL: With the infant car seat travel bag, you can easily travel with your car seat and it’s free to check in your carseat bags for air travel at the gate check by most major airlines. ''If you buy it for luggage cover protector or suitcase protection or suitcase cover to protect your belongings please check the size 2nd image. 
  • HEAVY-DUTY MATERIAL: This car seat carrier for airport is made of heavy-duty, 600D nylon material, waterproof, machine washable. Damage and & tear resistant protection! This car seat bags for air travel will protect and safe your car seat from dirt, damage to keep your baby safe
  • CONVENIENT CARRY BAG: With the bag featuring a convenient and adjustable shoulder strap to keep your hands free; you can also use the practical handle. Or just pack your car seat in the bag by checking in at the gate. 
  • UNIVERSAL FIT: Measuring 18” W 18” D 34” H, this carseat travel bag is compatible with all major brands of car seats, convertible carseat and boosters such as Maxi-Cosi, brica, Safety 1st, chicco, graco, britax, evenflo, Diono etc. to make traveling with your baby’s car seat as seamless as possible. With 60 days %100 Money back guaranteed
  • EASY IDENTIFICATION: The car seat backpack is available in a vibrant blue or purple color to accommodate your taste, also easy to identify the airplane carseat bag among other luggage and ensure safe return, saving precious time! It also includes a personalized name card slot in case of a mishap.

Cheapest: J.L. Childress Gate Check Bag for Car Seat Review

J.L. Childress Gate Check Bag

  • Protects your car seat from dirt and germs when checking it at the airline gate. Airline certified.
  • Made of durable, yet lightweight and water-resistant material with double-stitched seams for strength.
  • Stuffs quickly into attached spandex pouch. Compact size easily fits in diaper bag, backpack, stroller basket or carry-on bag.
  • Bright, red color and large gate check logo easily identify your car seat for gate-check and ensures safe return to you at the airplane gate. ID box to write your name.
  • Drawstring closure with adjustable lock. Webbing handle for easy lifting. Not recommended for baggage check.

Airline Certified: J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack Padded Car Seat Travel Bag Review

J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack

  • TRUST THE ORIGINAL - Invented by J.L. Childress almost 20 years ago, the idea of a backpack to carry your car seat has brought ease and peace-of-mind to millions of traveling families around the world. Your purchase supports our American small business and our family of employees. From our family to yours, Travel Happy (and safe!)
  • THICK PROTECTIVE PADDING - We use high-quality, dense foam padding to protect your child’s car seat and prevent damage to your seat’s safety features. Less expensive, inferior padding will not properly protect your car seat from abusive luggage handling. Padded interior wings are uniquely designed to protect the car seat's headrest.
  • DURABLE, WATER-RESISTANT MATERIAL - Heavy-duty polyester fabrics protect your car seat from airborne germs, water damage, dirt and grease and are specially-formulated to withstand scrapes and abrasion. Smooth exterior styling ensures that pockets and unnecessary straps don't get caught in airport machinery. We stand behind the quality and craftsmanship of our products 100%
  • ERGONOMIC BACKPACK STRAPS - Padded, harness-style backpack straps position the car seat higher on your back for maximum comfort and hands-free convenience

10-Year Warranty: Gorilla Grip Car Seat Bag with Pouch and Luggage Tag Review

Gorilla Grip

  • Finally a Bag That Will Keep Your Car Seat Clean: designed to help protect your valuable car seat while you travel; made of lightweight, yet durable material that offers protection from dirt, grime, and moisture, so you can travel stress free knowing your car seat is protected
  • Comfortable to Carry: several durable handles and straps make lifting the bag a breeze and allow you to carry it in the way that is most comfortable for you; even in crowded airports; use the padded back straps to go hands free, or use the top handle to carry the bag in front of you
  • Luggage Tag and Storage Pouch: convenient attached zippered pouch can be easily packed or snapped onto your carry on; luggage tag can help easily identify your bag at an airport gate check
  • Easy to Use: simply slide your car seat into the bag and pull the drawstring to secure it; fits most standard sized car seats, recommended to measure your car seat before purchase; bag measures 34 by 18 by 18 inches
  • Machine Washable: machine wash on cold and tumble dry low after you travel

Top for Britax Car Seats: Britax Car Seat Travel Bag with Padded Backpack Straps Review

Britax

  • Water resistant car seat travel bag with builtin wheels and durable, reinforced rubberized base
  • Adjustable, padded backpack style shoulder straps and multiple carry handles for easy transport
  • Luggage ID holder, wide double zipper opening, and storage pouch to protect shoulder straps
  • Fits all Britax car seats and most other brands of car seats
  • Dimensions 17 inch W x 15.5 inch H x 31.5 inch D

Durable Wheels: Simple Being Baby Car Seat Travel Bag Review

Simple Being

  • WITH WHEELS FOR HASSLE-FREE TRAVEL: Conveniently designed so it’s extremely easy to carry a baby car seat with you while traveling or outing by plane, train or ship. Padded construction is ideal for airplane travel whether it’s a gate check or a checked bag. Also features a reinforced handle.
  • SUPERIOR COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with most car seats manufactured by major brands. Anything from booster seat, to car seat to smaller stroller! And if for some reason yours doesn't fit, just let us know and we will issue a refund within 48 hours. Buy our car seat carrier bag now with ZERO RISK.
  • HIGHLY DURABLE: Heavy-duty, water-resistant polyester fabric ensures long lasting use. Easy to clean material, to make sure your bag stays new after a quick wipe! Our car seat travel bags conveniently blocks out dirt, dust, and other harmful elements away from your car seat, keeping your baby and their products safe and clean.
  • FULLY PADDED AND COMFORTABLE: Features padded and adjustable shoulder straps for functionality and hands-free comfort. Side and back padding protects your car seat's safety features. Can also be carried by use of sturdy built-in handle.
  • RISK-FREE PURCHASE: Premium quality and comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE.

Most Compact: Kiddi Go Booster Seat Travel Bag for Backless Booster Review

Kiddi Go

  • MUST-HAVE FOR THE TRAVELING FAMILY – 16.5" H, 16" L ,9.5" W Open Easily protect your child’s backless booster seat or your personal items and luggage's with this travel tote bag. Your toddler’s car seat will stay germ and bacteria free and clean while travelling and will be easy to spot in the airport.
  • STYLE AND DURABILITY ALL-IN-ONE – The carseat travel bag looks great and is designed for maximum durability. The shoulder bag is made from water-resistant 600D Nylon with reinforced stitching throughout.
  • STACKS ON TOP OF YOUR LUGGAGE – You can comfortably carry the duffle bag over your shoulder using the straps or stack it on top of your rolling luggage. This car seat bag will make traveling more hands-free, which is always a bonus with kids!
  • DESIGNED TO BE EASY TO IDENTIFY – Mixing up luggage at the airport is a nightmare no one wants to experience. This nifty travel accessory for kids is bright red and comes with an ID card slot, so they’ll be no confusion on which bags is yours.
  • NEATLY FOLDS WHEN NOT IN USE – Forget having to stuff clunky luggage in the closet, attic, or under a bed when you’re back home. The traveling bag neatly folds up to a small 7 x 5.5 inch pouch when you’re not using it.

Why Should You Own A Car Seat Travel Bag?

Car seat travel bag was invented to protect the travel seat and your infant. Found in various styles with specific protection, it is a must in traveling.

Traveling with infants calls for car seat protector to cushion the little ones from jerks and bumps. If you’re heading for the United States, then the FAA recommends child restraint system in a car , even in a taxi. So, a car seat carrier for travel is essential.

wearable car seat travel bags

  • Its origin: A borrowed infant car seat travel bag has a suspicious origin and might have been involved in some accident. Having your own item removes the possibility of such worries.
  • Comfy and relaxing: With advanced technique; it is quick to install it in a vehicle. Your child will be comfortable and fitted perfectly.
  • Easy to store: You can easily store diapers or snacks in the pocket of a baby car seat travel bag.
  • Suitable for all means of transport and distance: It solely depends on your way of travel to choose the best car seat travel bag. Do you want a gadget for a long journey or only for the cleanliness? Every option is available.

Car Seat Travel Bags Available on the Market

Protective car seat travel bags.

True to its name, it offers general level protection and is only useful when the protection is at rest. Dust and water-resistant, it is only useful when the ride is slow and comfy.

Wearable Car Seat Travel Bags

The sporty design of the wearable type will make you want to chase your love through the airport, with your baby tucked in, all safe and sound. The bag zips are secure and enable you to carry it around at ease.

Rolling car seat travel bags

The heavy-duty and water-resistant rolling car seat bag is the perfect solution for traveling. The adjustable cinch straps at the interior hold the seat firmly in place, the pull strap makes manoeuvring very convenient, and the rolling wheels glide smoothly on almost any surface, making your travel experience comfy and hassle-free.

Features to look for

If you are confused about which aspect to check for in baby car seat travel bag while shopping, here are some essential factors to tick off the list:

rolling car seat travel bags

The large capacity of the item will help you to store essential items for your toddler while traveling. However, you should also keep your child’s height and weight in mind while buying the product. For children older than three years, booster car seats are a must. However, if you are travel on air, make sure that the bag fulfills the seating capacity. Car seat travel bag reviews state that the airline seats may not sometimes match with the car seat’s size. Hence, we suggest that you buy car seat bags for air travel.

  • Carrying straps

The straps help to balance the weight of the item as you travel through the airport.

It helps the auto to have protection in the instance of it being dragged by the airline personnel. Make sure that the padding is lightweight so that you don’t feel like you are carrying a bag of rocks on your back. You can also use padded convertible car seats for the same purpose.

protective car seat travel bags

Drawstring closure ensures the security, and extra Velcro closure tightens the safety.

The water-resistant fabric (preferably Nylon) is perfect for keeping the bag clean and free of germ.

Decide your budget beforehand for an easy start. Car seat travel bag with wheels range, which are relatively expensive, to affordable padded car seat travel bag. Choose one that will be able to cater to your needs.

  • Car seat weight

If of a certain weight, you need a solid variety to move easily during a journey.

  • Usage of your bag

If you are looking for everyday protection or something that holds more credentials, the extra padding will take care of that.

Other considerations

baby in car seat travel bag on airplane in airport

If you are browsing through online stores and puzzling over the great variety of choices, then the brief guidelines below will help you make a better choice. Whatever be your pick, make sure that the material is water-proof and durable. Go for the padded car seat travel, because the ones without padding may bruise your shoulders while carrying the thing.

You should also examine the straps of the bag and ensure its sturdiness. Check the firmness of the bag handles, and wheel it around for a while to make sure it glides smoothly on rough ground without snapping. Keep your budget in mind, too, unless you want to splurge on a fancy model. Check the size and keep the brand of your kids’ protection item in mind while you are at it.

Will my car sit fit travel bag seat?

They are made, keeping in mind different models. In conclusion, it fits any car seats. To be sure, measure your auto beforehand.

Can I take my car seat on the plane?

Yes, you can. FAA and NTSB suggest buying your toddler a seat and using it on flights. You have to make sure that your car seat is FAA approved . This ensures the safety of your child from unexpected turbulence.)

Does my car seat count as my luggage if I gate check it?

The answer is no. Usually, on most airlines, you can gate check an item with the rest of your language. Choosing the variant in a bright color will help you reclaim your luggage quickly. The necessity of good quality plays an important aspect here.

For the best car seat travel bag in 2023, we recommend rolling car seat travel bags with booster seats so that you get safety and added support for grown kids simultaneously. Are you using any of these products? Do share with us your opinion!

  • 1.1 Best Overall: Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag Review
  • 1.2 Travellers’ Choice: KangoKids Car Seat Travel Bag Review
  • 1.3 Universal Fit: MyEasy Convertible Car Seat Travel Bag for Airplane Review
  • 1.4 Vibrant Colors Available: reperkid Car Seat Travel Bag for Airplane Review
  • 1.5 Cheapest: J.L. Childress Gate Check Bag for Car Seat Review
  • 1.6 Airline Certified: J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack Padded Car Seat Travel Bag Review
  • 1.7 10-Year Warranty: Gorilla Grip Car Seat Bag with Pouch and Luggage Tag Review
  • 1.8 Top for Britax Car Seats: Britax Car Seat Travel Bag with Padded Backpack Straps Review
  • 1.9 Durable Wheels: Simple Being Baby Car Seat Travel Bag Review
  • 1.10 Most Compact: Kiddi Go Booster Seat Travel Bag for Backless Booster Review
  • 2 Why Should You Own A Car Seat Travel Bag?
  • 3.1 Protective Car Seat Travel Bags
  • 3.2 Wearable Car Seat Travel Bags
  • 3.3 Rolling car seat travel bags
  • 4.1 Other considerations
  • 5.1 Will my car sit fit travel bag seat?
  • 5.2 Can I take my car seat on the plane?
  • 5.3 Does my car seat count as my luggage if I gate check it?
  • 6 Conclusion

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Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag - Adjustable Padded Backpack for Car Seats... › Customer reviews

Customer reviews.

Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag - Adjustable Padded Backpack for Car Seats (Black)

Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag - Adjustable Padded Backpack for Car Seats (Black)

Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness.

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car seat travel bag reviews

  • Mom Confessions

Is the Cosco Scenera NEXT a Good Travel Car Seat? My Honest Thoughts

It’s lightweight, affordable, and easy to tote on trips. The Cosco Scenera Next is one of the most popular travel car seats out there, but is it safe and worth using?

Now that my son has aged out of his infant car seat, this is the one we travel with after reading numerous reviews stating that this is THE travel car seat.

Do I love it? Yes and no. Here’s what to know before you buy it:

The Cosco Scenera NEXT Specifications

  • Weight: 10.4 lbs (4.7kg)
  • Cost: Only $59!
  • Rear-facing from 5-40 lbs
  • Forward-facing 22-40lbs (max weight is 40)
  • Height range: 19-43 inches.
  • Has side Impact Protection.
  • 5 harness heights and 3 buckle locations allow for the best fit for growing children.
  • Seat pad is machine washable and dryer safe.
  • Removable cup holder is dishwasher safe.
  • Certified for use on aircraft – Compact TSA friendly design for airport security.
  • Meets or exceeds Federal Safety Standards (NHTSA).
  • Comes in many colors, which is kind of fun, no?

As a travel car seat, something lightweight that’s also TSA-approved is about the best you can hope for. Given the size an orientation of the car seat, I have also found that it’s really easy to pack extra things into the travel bag that we use with it – the JL Childress car seat bag , which has an extra storage bag that’s perfect for stashing diapers and wipes.

Is the Cosco Scenera Safe?

can you take a baby on safari

My first question was with regards to safety. Can a car seat this cheap and light really be safe? At home, we’re using the Nuna Rava following using the Nuna Pipa when our son was an infant, which I picked for the safety ratings and nontoxic materials used. They’re also at a much different price point.

But does price matter when it comes to safety?

According to consumer ratings , the Cosco Scenera scores ‘better’ in crash ratings. The forward latch rates the highest, and the rear facing while still rating well, is not as strong. I can vouch, although it’s not the toughest car seat to install, it’s not the easiest, either. Out of 100, this car seat has a score of 74, while the Nuna Rava scores an 81. Not bad when you consider it’s a tenth of the price!

Is the Cosco Scenera Easy to Install?

To install the car seat, I initially needed to find a YouTube video to help and found that in order to do a rear-facing install, I needed to pull back the seat padding to fully access the bottom and tighten the belt as much as possible. You’re really reliant on a good seatbelt, which can honestly be tricky in the developing world. On our African safari trip , we could only make it work with one of the seat belts in the back, which meant I took the other one. I won’t think too much about that!

Unlike an infant base that clips into the back seat, this one has hooks that, while a bit looser than a base clip, function similarly. If the car is too old to have clips, you’ll be using the seatbelt only.

Practice at home before you arrive at your destination. Sometimes it takes both of us parents to get it tight enough to feel secure, but once it’s installed, we’re good for the rest of the trip. On an airplane, it’s even easier, routing the seatbelt behind the seat padding and pulling tight.

What I Like about the Cosco Scenera Car Seat

The best thing about the car seat, apart from the affordable pricing, is how light it is. Given that my son is still young enough to be a lap infant, I usually opt to check the car seat as hold luggage, which no airline I’ve encountered charges for. Since it’s so much lighter than most car seats, we use the extra bag in our car seat travel bag and load it up with diapers and wipes, which saves us so much more room in our own checked luggage. Since it’s so light to begin with, gate agents don’t question it.

If he has his own seat , I’ll just use the CARES harness on board, which I find easier than lugging a car seat through the airport.

how to travel with a car seat

How to travel with a car seat – all your options!

However if you do bring the car seat on board, it’s FAA-approved and can fit in the airplane seat with the armrest down, which will be required for take off and landing. It even fits in the bulkhead seats, which can sometimes be narrower due to the screen taking up armrest real estate.

Since it’s so light, it’s not a huge burden to carry through the airport in a car seat travel backpack , although there are some downsides.

What I DON’T Like about the Cosco Scenera Car Seat

It can’t all be pros, and there are some big cons with the Cosco Scenera.

When you have it installed in an airplane, the belt buckle is likely to be at your child’s back. Since the padding is very thin, that means it’s probably not going to be that comfortable of a ride.

It isn’t nearly as well padded as our Nuna Rava. I’ve had to remove the padding of both for washing, and it’s evident that the Cosco has far less crash padding and overall comfort than the Rava. It isn’t made with flame-retardant free materials, either. Since they can release more toxic fumes, I wouldn’t use it as our everyday car seat. It’s also not as sturdy as the Nuna Rava, which doesn’t budge and is easier to install. That said, it’s so heavy, it would not be ideal as a travel car seat.

The 40 lb weight limit will also present a problem for us, since my son is nearly 30 lbs already at a year and a half old.

Once he ages out of it, we might be stuck traveling with the Nuna, however if your child is more in the average ranges, you might be ready for a booster seat by the time they reach 40 lbs.

Bottom Line on the Cosco Scenera

For the price point, I like the Cosco Scenera NEXT as a travel car seat. It’s so lightweight, it makes it easier on us parents when I feel like we’re already packing so much for a baby . It has really simplified adding extra wipes and diapers as well when we check it as hold luggage and pack a little extra with it.

I like that it fares well in safety ratings. Nothing else would matter if it didn’t, but since it does, I have no reservations about using it on our trips. It won’t be useful for as long as another brand would be since the weight limit is low, but we’ll be relying on it until that day comes.

*Some links in this post are affiliate links that support us at no extra cost to you when you purchase through them. We only recommend products that we personally use and have tested ourselves. Everybody wins!

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Kristin is the founder of Parenthood Adventures, combining her love of travel and newfound joy of motherhood. She's the creator of one of the most-read women's travel blogs in the world, bemytravelmuse.com, with a readership in the millions each year.

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The 13 best carry-on backpacks of 2024, tested & reviewed.

Enjoy hands-free travel with a versatile carry-on backpack.

The Best Carry-on Backpacks

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L in blue in field.

Leilani Osmundson | U.S. News

Not sure whether to take a rolling suitcase or a travel backpack on the plane? Both types of carry-on luggage certainly have their merits, but if you like keeping your arms and hands free when traveling, a backpack is the right choice for you. Furthermore, compared to a hard-sided suitcase , it's easier to squeeze a malleable backpack into an overhead bin or under the seat. And if your vacation is focused on adventure travel, you might value a durable pack on your back over wheels on the ground.

U.S. News compiled this list from extensive research and testing along with consumer reviews. Whatever your reason for choosing a backpack, there are plenty on the market to satisfy your needs. Read on for the best carry-on travel backpacks.

Best Overall: Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack

  • Jump to features and expert insights ↓

Best Budget: ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack 20L

Best lightweight: mz wallace metro utility backpack.

  • Best for Business Travel (tie): Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack – Large
  • Best for Business Travel (tie): Aer Travel Pack 3

Best for International Travel: Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Pack

Best for weekend getaways: solo grand travel tsa backpack, best for women: tumi voyageur celina backpack, best for men: peak design travel backpack 45l, best for adventure travel: kelty redwing 36, best with wheels: samsonite tectonic nutech wheeled backpack, best organization: augustnoa classic noa, best leather: monos metro backpack in vegan leather.

(Note: Prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication; they may fluctuate due to demand and other factors. Dimensions of backpacks are height by width by depth.)

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L in purple.

Price: $200 or less

When it comes to bag travel, the Cotopaxi Allpa packs a serious punch. The carry-on backpack is available in three sizes – 42L, 35L and 28L – and a variety of colors, including the vibrant multicolor Del Día style. The 35L size not only fits everything you need for your next getaway, but it's also TSA-compliant as a carry-on item . On the outside, the Allpa features a removable waist belt, a padded laptop sleeve on the side, anti-theft zippers, carabiner lash loops for extra gear, a sternum strap and a front zippered pocket. The backpack straps can be tucked away if you're looking to save more room in the overhead bin or you want to carry the bag via its grab handles.

The bag opens suitcase-style; inside, you'll find one large zippered mesh compartment on the right and a subdivided zippered mesh compartment on the left, providing ample space for all your clothes, shoes and accessories. What's more, the bag comes with a rain cover (though it's already water-resistant).

What our editors say:

I've taken my Cotopaxi Allpa on countless adventures, from a road trip around Iceland to camping all over Colorado. It fits more than expected, is comfortable to wear (especially if using the waist belt) and is extremely durable. I just wish the 35L had an exterior water bottle pocket like the 42L does! – Leilani Osmundson, Senior Digital Producer

ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack 20L in black and gray.

Erin Evans | U.S. News

ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack 20L in black and gray.

Price: $15.99 or less

This backpack has three excellent things going for it: It's affordable, lightweight and durable. It's a great option for a weekend getaway bag and is an excellent little backpack to have on hand for tours and day trips once you make it to your destination. If you're planning to hike or kayak on your next getaway, you'll definitely want to have the ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Backpack in your back pocket – literally. It can be folded into a compact pouch and tucked away in a larger carry-on bag if you're planning to only use it as a daypack.

The lightweight travel bag is both tear- and water-resistant. With all of its pockets – including one on each side for water bottles or umbrellas – you'll be able to fit everything you need for an adventure-filled trip.

It can fit enough for a weekend trip, plus it's super useful for hiking, boat excursions and more once you're in your destination because it's so light and water-resistant. I've used it for years and it has held up incredibly well; it comes in so many fun colors, too. I love it so much, I bought two so my husband has one he can use as well. – Erin Evans, Managing Editor

MZ Wallace Metro Utility Backpack in black.

Rachael Hood | U.S. News

MZ Wallace Metro Utility Backpack in black.

Price: $345 or less

Constructed with recycled bluesign-approved quilted nylon, this chic bag is packed with pockets and organizational details. The interior has a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve, a large zip pocket with two slip pockets, two water bottle pockets and two removable pouches. On the front of the bag there's a deep phone pocket and multiple zippered pockets of various sizes, including a small one that's ideal for a boarding pass, earbuds or wipes.

A water bottle pocket sits on each side of the bag, and the back of the bag has a luggage trolley sleeve that can be zipped shut on the bottom to be a pocket when not attached to your suitcase. This backpack has a top-zip design, and can be carried by the two top handles or the adjustable padded backpack straps.

This bag has completely changed my mind about backpacks. It's extremely spacious and works so well for my laptop, change of clothes, toiletry bag and other carry-on essentials. I love all of the pockets and that I can carry this like a north-south tote in addition to using the trolley sleeve or backpack straps. But what truly sets this apart is the beautiful fabrication that is so soft and the luxurious Italian leather details. – Rachael Hood, Senior Editor

Best for Business Travel: Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack and Aer Travel Pack 3 (tie)

Dagne dover dakota neoprene backpack – large.

Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack in brown.

Catriona Kendall | U.S. News

Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack in brown.

Price: $215 or less

This sleek, professional backpack by Dagne Dover is perfect for professional and casual settings alike, with a vast array of organizational features and a 20-liter capacity for the large size. On the outside, you'll find a zippered padded pocket for up to 16-inch laptops and a slip pocket for your phone, while an interior sleeve can fit a tablet or a second laptop, allowing you to travel with multiple devices. The inside of the bag has two mesh slip pockets and a zip-top pouch attached with a leash, as well as three zippered pockets in the front panel.

To help you stay even more organized, the exterior also features a zippered front pocket with pen loops and a key clip; two zippered side pockets; two slip side pockets; and straps to secure a small bottle. The water-resistant bag comes with adjustable shoulder straps, a luggage sleeve and a separate shoe bag.

I adore bringing this bag to work and using it as a personal item on flights. I don't think I've ever used a backpack with better organization than this one – there's a dedicated place for every little thing, from keys to pens to my devices. I also love that the neoprene material is extremely lightweight and water-resistant. – Catriona Kendall, Editor

Aer Travel Pack 3

Aer Travel Pack 3 in black.

Price: $249 or less

With a pocket for everything, the clamshell-style Aer Travel Pack 3 keeps you organized to the max on business trips. Keep your laptop (up to 16 inches) safe in the padded, zippered laptop sleeve, and stow your passport in the quick-access side pocket. The front compartment features several sizes of pockets perfect for chargers, notepads, pens and more. Along with the lay-flat main compartment for clothes, there's also an interior pocket for small accessories as well as a hidden luggage tracker pocket.

Designed for one-bag travel, the durable Aer Travel Pack 3 also features a water-resistant nylon exterior along with load lifters for a more comfortable fit. You can purchase a hip belt separately.

The Aer Travel Pack 3 has one of the sleekest designs when it comes to carry-on backpacks. I also appreciate all the pockets: The sizable laptop pocket is perfect for someone like me who uses a huge laptop; the eight pockets in just the front compartment are so handy for everything you could need while traveling; and the bag even comes with a zippered water bottle pocket on the side. – Leilani Osmundson

Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Pack in blue.

Price: $185 or less

The Osprey Farpoint is truly an all-in-one travel pack that combines quality with minimal weight. The clamshell-style carry-on bag features a substantial main compartment across from a large mesh pocket. There's an easy-to-access zippered laptop sleeve on the side for devices up to 16 inches.

For extra support and comfort, the backpack includes a sternum strap, back panel, harness and hip belt; the latter three can be zipped up for fully streamlined travel, and compression straps help slim the bag down even more. The Osprey Farpoint 40 meets most domestic carry-on size requirements and is compatible with the Farpoint/Fairview Travel Daypack , which can be brought onto the plane as a personal item .

This is one of my favorite backpacks. I love how the back can be zipped up so the bag more resembles a duffel; this makes it easy to stow away without having to deal with a lot of straps. Additionally, the interior compression straps can really help cinch down belongings, especially if you're using packing cubes . – Leilani Osmundson

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Solo Grand Travel TSA Backpack in gray.

Amanda Norcross | U.S. News

Solo Grand Travel TSA Backpack in gray.

Price: $117.99 or less

Perfect for weekend getaways , the Solo Grand TSA Travel Backpack opens like a regular suitcase. In the main compartment, you can secure several outfits with compression straps and store accessories and toiletries in two zippered mesh pockets. In the back, a padded compartment protects laptops up to 17.3 inches in size, and on the front there are a variety of pockets – even pockets within pockets – for your phone and other essentials. This backpack is also equipped with two side mesh pockets, a trolley sleeve, and side and top carry handles.

This backpack is flawless. It's big without the bulk and has plenty of pockets, which not only makes it ideal for weekend getaways but also prevents me from having to awkwardly rummage through my bag when I need something on the plane. – Amanda Norcross, Senior Content & SEO Strategist

TUMI Voyageur Celina Backpack in black.

Price: $475 or less

This backpack blends function and fashion with a compact design. On the front of the bag are two zip compartments and a U-zip pocket with a card slot, a slip pocket and a pen holder. The interior of the bag is divided into two separate compartments: one zippered section with a padded laptop compartment (holds up to a 15-inch PC or 16-inch MacBook), and another large compartment with a zippered pocket and two slip pockets (ideal for glasses or charging cords).

There is also a zippered compartment on each side of the bag, one of which has a water-resistant lining for a water bottle. On the back of the bag you'll find a hidden phone compartment and a trolley sleeve to attach to a roller bag.

This style oozes sophistication, especially the black with the gold hardware. From its sleek material to its many pockets and details, this backpack looks and feels like a chic handbag that can go from the office to a beach resort with ease. I especially like that there are two places you can access the front compartment of the bag, and I like that the laptop section is separate from the rest of the backpack so it's easier to take out my computer and go through airport security (which makes me less likely to drop something from inside my bag). – Rachael Hood

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L in black.

Price: $299.95 or less

The Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L is a solid, rugged choice that will last. The nylon canvas shell of the backpack is weatherproof and water-resistant, with a waterproof bottom liner as well. You can unzip the back panel to access the main packing compartment, which is also accessible via zippers along each side of the bag and can be divided in two by a mesh sleeve. To keep you organized, this backpack has quick-access pockets for small items like passports and glasses, plus expandable side pockets for water bottles, tripods or umbrellas.

The bag meets carry-on size requirements but can expand by 1.5 inches if you need the extra room; the shoulder straps and hip belt tuck away if you plan to check it instead. If you prefer a smaller bag, the Peak Design Travel Backpack also comes in a 30-liter size .

If you only want to bring one bag on a short trip, you can't go wrong with this backpack. It's sturdy, reliable and able to fit a ton while still being carry-on-sized. It served me well on a recent trip to New Zealand, and I'd definitely recommend it for travelers who like hands-free luggage. – Catriona Kendall

Kelty Redwing 36 in blue.

Price: $134.95 or less

If you'll be adventuring in the great outdoors for your next trip, consider purchasing the Kelty Redwing 36 backpack. You'll find two exterior water bottle pockets as well as a hydration-friendly inner pocket (for storing a water bladder). Tool loops can hold hiking poles, fishing poles, ice axes or other adventure gear. Organization is made easy with plenty of zippered pockets, including one on each side of the bag, a large one on the front and one on top that's perfect for storing travel documents such as a passport. Plus, a ventilated back panel helps keep you cool when you're hurrying through airports or hiking up a mountain.

If you need a bigger backpack, the Kelty Redwing 50 Tactical is a great checked bag option and has many of the same features as the Redwing 36 along with more straps and pockets.

The Kelty Redwing 36 can be cinched down quite a bit for truly streamlined travel and to better meet carry-on size guidelines. However, I'll caution that the waist belt is difficult to remove. – Leilani Osmundson

Samsonite Tectonic NuTech Wheeled Backpack in black.

Price: $159.99 or less

If you want the flexibility to either carry or wheel your luggage, a wheeled backpack style may work best for you. The Samsonite Tectonic NuTech Wheeled Backpack transforms from a rolling bag into a backpack by just tucking in the handle, pulling out the stowed straps and using the wheel cover. The durable polyester material is water-repellent and has red accents.

There are three sections to this bag: a main compartment with space to pack for a weekend trip, a dedicated sleeve for both a laptop up to 15.6 inches and a tablet up to 11 inches, and a front pocket equipped with various organizational features. There are various small pockets, pen sleeves, card slots and a key leash within. You can tuck a water bottle and umbrella into the exterior pockets on either side of the bag. Just keep in mind that this bag may slightly exceed carry-on size restrictions on some airlines with stricter rules.

I expected a wheeled backpack to be uncomfortable to carry, but this convertible bag has proved surprisingly convenient. I like having both the rolling and hands-free options for different circumstances, and it has ample packing space. – Catriona Kendall

augustnoa classic noa in cream.

Price: $148 or less

This sustainable water-resistant backpack is constructed with 100% recycled materials and has 10 pockets to organize everything. The spacious interior compartment has a 17-inch padded laptop sleeve and a tablet sleeve with a strap to secure it in place, as well as an interior mesh pocket for small items or charging cords and a removable shoe bag.

On the exterior, the front pocket has a built-in mesh organizer for pens, and there are mesh water bottle holders on each side of the backpack. The back of the bag has two adjustable padded straps, each with a built-in zippered compartment ideal for keys, ID or tickets. A hidden zip pocket makes for a secure space for a wallet or passport, and the trolley sleeve provides added versatility.

This backpack is great for travel or everyday use. I especially appreciate the comfortable backpack straps with the small zip pockets. They are easy to reach and perfect for small items like lip gloss, cash or a transit card. Durably constructed, the water-resistant exterior performs well in any weather, and I love that there's a padded space for both my laptop and iPad. – Rachael Hood

Monos Metro Backpack in Vegan Leather in brown.

Price: $230 or less

For an upscale backpack that can be dressed up or down, this Monos style is an ideal choice. Constructed with sustainable vegan leather (there's also a nylon version with vegan leather accents), this structured style is both water- and scratch-resistant. The 15-inch laptop sleeve is separate from the main packing compartment so you can access your device easily. The brand's QuickSnap Modular Kit System means you'll have a detachable Metro Kit for small items that attaches magnetically to the front of the bag; this kit is interchangeable between Metro bags and can be swapped out for a different kit or removed entirely, depending on your needs.

The backpack's main compartment is designed for maximum functionality with a felt-lined document sleeve, a large zippered pocket, two slip pockets, and a waterproof zippered privacy compartment for a rain jacket or gym clothes. On the back, you can make use of a hidden slip pocket for your phone, a trolley sleeve and adjustable padded straps. There's also two top carry handles if you'd prefer to carry this backpack like a tote.

I really like the elevated styling and durability of this vegan leather bag. But what sets it apart is the separate laptop compartment (I don't like to have to open my entire bag to get out my laptop while on the go), and the modular Metro Kit system that can be removed when it's not needed. It's full of value-added design elements, and the material looks classic and appropriate with any attire. – Rachael Hood

Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on its size, a backpack is considered a carry-on item. To be able to put it in the overhead bin, you generally don't want it to exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches, but that sizing varies by airline, and since backpacks are soft-sided, the dimensions can be somewhat malleable. If it fits under the seat in front of you on the plane ( check your airline's specific size requirements ), it is typically considered a personal item. If the backpack can fit under the seat, then you can often bring it in addition to a larger carry-on bag (based on your airline ticket type and inclusions).

For a backpack to be a carry-on for most domestic airlines, it should not exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches (or should be able to be squished to approximately those dimensions). To be considered a personal item, it must fit under the seat in front of you. Underseat size and space varies by airline and airplane type, so it's best to check with your airline's size restrictions.

How We Tested

From the comfort of the straps to the capacity of each bag, our team tested more than 20 carry-on backpacks from a variety of brands at a range of price points. We tested to see how the overall structure of the bag works for travel needs, along with the durability and details that make a difference. After taking these backpacks on a variety of adventures, we've selected these carry-on backpacks as the best for 2024.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Best Luggage Sets
  • The Best Rolling Duffel Bags
  • The Best Toiletry Bags
  • The Best Fanny Packs
  • The Best Travel Insurance

Vacation Ideas for Every Traveler

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Tags: Travel , Travel Gear

World's Best Places To Visit

  • # 1 South Island, New Zealand
  • # 4 Bora Bora

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NBC Select Travel Awards 2024: The best duffels, backpacks and weekenders

Bags from Calpak, Patagonia, Dagne Dover, Orvis and July earned NBC Select Travel Awards for their organizational features, durability and ease of use.

At NBC Select, we spend hours researching and testing products so you can be more selective with your purchases. For our first-ever NBC Select Travel Awards, we spent months thoroughly testing numerous products covering a variety of travel categories.

We flew across the globe to Japan and Paris with suitcases , took train rides around New York City with weekenders and duffels in tow and packed bags full of packing cubes , toiletry bags and noise-canceling headphones to road trip across the East Coast. After all that testing, our editors sat down to choose products deserving of NBC Select’s stamp of approval.

Below are our award-winning duffels, weekenders and backpacks , plus information about how we evaluated each product.

SKIP AHEAD How we picked the best bags | Best duffel bags | Best backpacks | Best weekender bags

car seat travel bag reviews

select We tested over 50 travel accessories for our first ever Travel Awards — these are our favorites

How we picked the best travel bags .

The backpack, the weekender and the duffel are all bags that need to serve multiple functions while on a trip. We fill them with whatever we can’t fit in our suitcases, throw our essentials inside them for overnight getaways and use them to carry our laptops and water bottles on planes, trains, and automobiles. They are versatile and multipurpose, making it useful to keep at least one at home when traveling. Here’s how we evaluated travel bags to find NBC Select’s 2024 Travel Award winners.

  • Zippers, handles and straps : To ensure zippers glide smoothly and don’t get stuck at any point, we opened and closed each bag numerous times when it was empty and full. We also considered how strong the bags’ handles and straps were, including how they felt when we held or wore them on our bodies.
  • Structure and organization : We assessed how each bag’s structure impacted our ability to pack it easily — for example, whether it stayed open while we added clothing or flopped over and whether it was too stiff to overstuff or just flexible enough. We counted how many outfits (and, if applicable, how many pairs of shoes) fit inside the bags, plus what type of organizational features they offer, including built-in dividers, pockets, and pouches.
  • Comfortability : After filling our bags to the brim, we ensured they felt comfortable carrying for long and short periods. We carried them as the brand intended: on our backs or over our shoulders.
  • Durability : We noted the material each bag is made from and how well it withstands being tossed around during travel. We also considered water resistance.

The best duffel bags

Best overall: calpak luka duffel.

Calpak Luka Duffel

Calpak Luka Duffel

With its spacious main compartment, exterior and interior pockets, exterior shoe compartment and trolley sleeve, this bag makes for the perfect travel and daily duffel. “I love that I can use this bag for trips as well as in my everyday life as a gym bag. I didn’t find that with the other duffels I tested, so I appreciated this,” says Zoe Malin , NBC Select associate updates editor. “The size of this bag and how lightweight it is makes it a perfect workout bag for me. I put my sneakers, a change of clothes, weights, a towel, toiletries and a water bottle inside it to go to yoga after work.”

The soft and puffy polyester bag is also durable, easy to clean and water-resistant. “I had to walk to the train in the rain with this bag and everything inside was totally dry,” says Malin. “I just wiped water off the bag in the bathroom of the train station with paper towels.”

Best large capacity: Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

Patagonia’s Black Hole Duffel comes in four sizes — 40L, 55L, 70L and 100L — so you can choose the capacity that’s best for your travels. The duffel is made from 100% recycled fabrics, plus it has a durable and weather-resistant exterior.

On the inside, this spacious bag has interior pockets that are similar to a carry-on suitcase. It also closes and opens easily since the zippers glide easily, says Mili Godio , NBC Select updates editor. “The only thing I wish is that it had more pockets, especially for smaller items like my wallet and keys, but the ones it does have are super spacious.”

The best backpacks

Best overall: calpak laptop backpack.

Calpak Laptop Backpack

Calpak Laptop Backpack

This Calpak backpack is great for frequent travelers looking for a large, durable bag to hold essentials of all sizes, as well as a laptop. The backpack has exterior and interior pockets, a water bottle holder and a trolley sleeve so you can slide it onto your luggage. “Calpak’s backpack has completely changed how I travel,” says Bianca Alvarez , an NBC Select associate reporter who’s a super commuter . She travels from Virginia to New York City every week for work. “I tossed my old backpacks after using this one because it makes my travel days easier,” she says.

Alvarez says storage and space are a guarantee with this bag due to its plethora of organizational features. She especially loves its interior pockets. They’re located near the top of the bag rather than the bottom, which prevents her from having to rummage through everything packed inside to find what she’s looking for.  Alvarez says the bag’s main compartment can easily fit clothes, shoes and cosmetics bags, and there’s a separate compartment for her laptop and notebooks.

Best for commuting: Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack

Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack

Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack

Dagne Dover’s Dakota Backpack is ideal for commuters, like NBC Select staff who brought it back and forth to the office. “I’ve been using this backpack for two months as my work bag and it’s been a major upgrade from my last situation,” says Rebecca Rodriguez , NBC Select editorial projects manager. The backpack has padded straps, making it comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and it has compartments and pockets to store whatever you’re traveling with.

Whether you’re commuting in the rain or accidentally spilled your morning coffee , no worries — this backpack will keep your items protected. “The backpack got dirty a couple of times while I used it, but the neoprene material was super easy to clean with soap and warm water,” says Rodriguez.

Best outdoors: Orvis Trekkage LT Adventure

Orvis Trekkage LT Adventure

Orvis Trekkage LT Adventure

While the Orvis Trekkage backpack is specifically designed for outdoor adventures like hiking and camping, it has features that allow you to use it in everyday life, including a laptop pocket and a hidden security pocket for valuables. The bag is made from heavy-duty recycled, water-repellent fabric, and its main pocket is lockable making it easier to protect your items while outdoors camping or just traveling. There are also expandable side pockets and a built-in hydration reservoir.

“This bag is big without looking like it belongs on the 'Amazing Race,'” says Rosalie Sparaco, NBC senior social media editor. “It has a ton of space, although it could potentially use more internal pockets since it was easy to lose stuff.” She also says the backpack is comfortable to carry thanks to its padded back panel and curved ergonomic shoulder straps. If you need extra support, you can use the bag’s adjustable sternum strap and adjustable, removable waist strap. The backpack also fits under the seat of a plane.

The best weekenders

Best overall: dagne dover landon carryall.

Dagne Dover Landon Carryall

Dagne Dover Landon Carryall

The magic behind Dagne Dover’s Landon Carryall lies in its structure, says Malin: “It has shape, so it stays open while I’m packing and never flops over, yet it’s flexible and soft, so I can overstuff it without any issues.”  The bag is also expandable. “You can unsnap the sides of the bag to make it bigger, which is such a great option,” says Malin. “I expand it for longer trips, but leave it snapped for overnight trips when I don’t need a ton of space.”

The organizational features this bag offers vary by size. It’s available in extra small, small, medium, large and extra large options — the bigger the bag, the more extensive its organization features are. Because of this, we recommend the medium, large and extra large options for traveling (the extra small and small Carryalls function more as everyday handbags, based on our testers’ experiences). They’re designed with a laptop carrier, an exterior phone pocket, interior side pockets, a key leash and an attached zip-top pouch. The larger bags also come with a shoe bag and a detachable adjustable crossbody strap.

Best for a long weekend: July Carry All Weekender Plus

July Carry All Weekender Plus

July Carry All Weekender Plus

If you need a weekender bag that fits enough clothes and toiletries to last you a few days, this one from July is exactly what you’re looking for. “I’m very impressed by how incredibly spacious this bag is,” says Ari Night, NBC Select editorial assistant. “Not only does it fit multiple outfits, but it also has segmented pockets that keep everything organized inside.” The bag’s clamshell opening allows it to lie flat making it  easier for packing, and there’s a padded pocket in the center to put delicate items like a laptop or tablet . This weekender also has a hidden internal pocket with a magnetic opening for valuables like jewelry, an exterior zip pocket and a luggage sleeve. It also  comes with a detachable adjustable shoulder strap.

Why trust NBC Select?

Products underwent an eight-week trial before being selected as our favorite in their respective categories. We utilized our editors as shopping and trying experts. Each editor was given the same criteria during the testing period to ensure each item was held to the same standards and procedures. We looked at spaciousness, durability, comfort, zippers and much more. You can read more about our process here .

What our badge means

When a product carries the NBC Select badge, you can trust that our team of editors as shopping experts and professionals vetted the item thoroughly. First and foremost, we are journalists, so we will always do our research and reporting.

Catch up on NBC Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance , tech and tools , wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook , Instagram , Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.

Select Staff on NBC News

COMMENTS

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    Bulky. 4. Best Wheeled Car Seat Travel Bag: Chicco Car Seat Travel Bag. This car seat travel bag is flexible because you can either carry it on your shoulders or roll the bag by your side. Chicco's Car Seat Travel Bag has a four-wheel spinner construction and two padded handles for convenience and comfort.

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    Interior padding is not provided, giving little protection for the car seat inside. This product may not be suitable if you're planning to check in your car seat. Some users may find it too bulky. Best fit for Chicco bags only, although some brands may fit in. 5. Britax Car Seat Travel Bag. Check price on Amazon.

  8. 12 Best Car Seat Travel Bags in 2024 & More Tips on How to Transport

    Find out how to protect your car seat in the plane's hold with these 12 best car seat travel bags. Compare features, prices and tips on choosing the right bag for your needs.

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    J.L. Childress Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag. This is the ONLY car seat travel bag available that has thick padding on all sides, plus additional padded "wings" inside to help protect your car seat. It fits the Britax Marathon, Boulevard, Roundabout, Decathlon, and Diplomat, and also fits Recaro, Evenflo, Cosco, Century, and Eddie Bauer car ...

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    J.L. Childress Wheelie Car Seat Travel Bag - Car Seat Carrier with Wheels - Heavy Duty Car Seat Bag with Wheels - Fits All Car Seats, Infant Carriers & Booster Seats - Black. $62.99. I love the JR Childress Backpack SO much, I had to include the wheelie version because it provides another amazing option for families.

  11. Amazon.com: Customer reviews: The Little Stork Car Seat Travel Bag With

    Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Little Stork Car Seat Travel Bag With Wheels - 3 In 1 Padded Carseat Carrier Backpack With Extra Storage To Cover All Your Toddler Airplane Travel Essentials - Baby Car Seat Bags For Air Travel at Amazon.com. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.

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    The best infant car seat for travel. If you're a frequent traveler, the Chicco KeyFit 35 is easier than most infant car seats to install securely without its base. $207 from Amazon. $207 from ...

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    Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Car Seat Travel Bag - Ultra Strong Gate Check Carseat Backpack & Cover Keeps Hands Free & Protects Infant Carriers, Baby Seats & Boosters During Air Travel at Amazon.com. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.

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    Luggage Car Seat Travel Cart. 4. Baby Trend Snap 'n Go Infant Car Seat Carrier Review. When traveling with a little one, this car seat luggage cart offers you relief from all the walking at the airport. It is one of our best choices for compact use and can be easily utilized on different car seats and brands.

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    20 x 20 x 30 inch. Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag - Adjustable Padded Backpack for Car Seats (Black) The ZOHZO is another padded backpack style car seat gate check travel bag. It's similar to the Childress car seat check bag, but it has small plastic protective feet for a bit of added protection. It is also water resistant and similarly priced.

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    YOREPEK Padded Car Seat Travel Backpack Bag. $40. See on Amazon. Okay, so this car seat travel backpack is admittedly huge, measuring in at 18 by 18 by 28 inches (L x W x H). But the upside is that it fits up to a full-size toddler car seat. Padded shoulder straps and an adjustable waist strap make it comfier to carry, and the water- and ...

  17. The 7 Best Travel Car Seats of 2024

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  21. Amazon.com: Customer reviews: Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag

    Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag - Adjustable Padded Backpack for Car Seats (Black) at Amazon.com. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.

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