The ultimate guide for travel with children from birth to 5 years.

Best Infant Car Seats for Travel

See also:  Convertible Car Seats     Safety Boosters     Car Seat Alternatives


                  Car Seat Travel Accessories


Here are Shelly's picks for best-traveling infant car seats. Car seats are listed in order of maximum child height. All seats featured here can travel without a base and are FAA-certified for use in aircraft.

Graco Classic Connect 30 LX with EPS


Why Shelly recommends it:


A lightweight, cushy, compact classic. While other infant carriers may offer more bells and whistles, truth is many of them only apply to the infant car seat base. For most travelers, that becomes irrelevant the moment they leave their base behind and set out for the airport. And while an increasing number of infant carriers go beyond the 30" height limit and 30 lbs. weight limit (including the SnugRide 35), many won't fit well in smaller compact rental and ultra-fuel efficient cars, and certainly not in coach airplane seats. The Graco SnugRide can be used with or without its base (always consult the car seat manual for instructions) and is FAA-approved for air travel. It measures  26.8" x 17.5" x 14" when attached to the base. For children 4 to 30 lbs. or 30" tall. Seat by itself weighs 7.24 lbs, base weighs 5.4 lbs.


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The Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat for travelChicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat


Why Shelly recommends it:


It's lightweight and built for travel with children up to 30 lbs. or 30" in height. While lugging a car seat that is 9 lbs. plus a possible 30 lbs. of child ion a daily basis s not especially desirable or comfortable for most parents, the ability to travel longer with the ease of an infant-style car seat could make it worth it for you (though if this is important to you, also take a look at the Sit 'n' Stroll that can be used rear- and forward-facing up to 40 lbs--and has retractable wheels). Extra comforts include the infant insert and extendable sun visor, as shown. The KeyFit travels without its base, if desired, and fits easily into airplane seats at only 17"W. It installs with either LATCH or seatbelts, and where LATCH is available, the KeyFit's unique one-pull adjusting system can save you time during installation. It is also compatible with the Chicco Cortina and C1 strollers. Measures 24"D x 17"W x 22"H without base, weighs 9 lbs. without base.


Find it online at:        Baby Earth




Safety 1st Onboard 35 Air Infant Car Seat


Why Shelly recommends it:


The car seat itself weighs in at 9 lbs. and can be used with or without the base for children up to 32" in height or 35 lbs. in weight. "Air Protect" cushioning provides extra side impact protection around the head, but without adding weight to the seat. A longer leg rest also makes it a more comfortable rear-fit for the taller passenger. FAA-approved for air travel. 28"D x 17.5"W x 24.5"H. Weighs 9 lbs. without base, 15 lbs. with base.  For more details and photos, see the Travels with Baby Feature Review of the Safety 1st Onboard Air 35.


Find it online at:        BabyEarth





Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat


Why Shelly recommends it:


Safety & ease. The B-Safe 35 offers a protective steel frame and side-impact protection as well as an impact-absorbing base. The Britax B-Safe also features premium LATCH attachments with push-button release, and belt lock-offs for secure installation with safety belts, earning it a 5-star Ease of Use rating from NHTSA. The B-Safe features four harness heights and two buckle positions. FAA-approved for air travel. The B-Safe is also the integrated Click & Go adapter to work with all Britax B series strollers.  For infants 4 lbs. to 35 lbs. or 32" tall. The car seat with base is 26.5" D x 17.8" W x 25" H. Base weight is 9 lbs. and car seat alone weighs 10 lbs.



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Combi Shuttle with Anti-Rebound Bar


Why Shelly recommends it:


The anti-rebound bar is built into the seat itself, which means the safety feature travels with you even when the base stays home--something no other brand of infant carrier offers at this time. EPS foam lines the headrest for additional protection, no-rethread height adjustable harness. Also appreciated: Height-adjustable base with level indicator, EZ one-hand harness adjust, and premium push-button LATCH connectors. The Combi Shuttle offers use up to 35 lbs. or 33" in height. While it may offer more months of service than the SnugRide or B-Safe, it may have more trouble fitting with a full 45-degree recline in smaller vehicles (including compact rental cars). FAA-certified for use in aircraft. Measures 25"H x 15" W x 27"D with the base and weighs 9.3 lbs. (without base). The Shuttle can be used for children from 5 lbs to 35 lbs., or up to 33" tall.


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See also:

Convertible Car Seats        Safety Boosters


Car Seat Alternatives             Car Seat Travel Accessories