Products & Gear   Destinations

Travel Planning


Tips Blog Family Travel 411 About

Great Products  

& Gear >  


Travel Products & Gear Home


Good travel karma when you...


Bookmark and Share


Best strollers for travel?


UPPAbaby g-luxe travel stroller


Car seat alternatives for travel?

Baby B'Air flight safety vest for air travel with lap-held infants and toddlers





Great Products & Gear >>> Best Travel Car Seats >>>


Alternatives to Car Seats for Travel

It isn't always practical--or possible to bring along your child's car seat or safety booster. But there are safer alternatives to traveling without the car seat at all. Here are some solutions to consider for travel by taxi or car, and also by airplane, without the car seat. Jump to RideSafer Travel Vest  / CARES  / FlyeBaby  / Baby B'Air

Ride Safer Travel Vest Deluxe (Ride Safer 2)

Click here to find out more about the RideSafer travel vest in our feature reviewWhy Shelly recommends it:

With the Ride Safer Vest your child can travel safely without a car seat or booster from 3 years and 30 lbs. Think of it as a "wearable belt-positioning booster seat," which you can pack in the outside pocket of your carry-on. After your flight, have your child put it on outside baggage claim while you wait in line for your taxi. She can wear it like a normal vest, or add the optional crotch strap for the safety of a 5-point harness--something you won't get from a regular booster, and the comfy removable head rest. Like booster seats, however, it is not approved for use in aircraft. A removable head rest offers extra comfort when desired. Weighs 2.5 lbs. without head rest or optional tether, under 5 lbs. with it. The RideSafer 2 model (with optional top tether and crotch strap) is certified to FMVSS 213 for use in motor vehicles.* Read the Travels with Baby feature review of the RideSafer Vest for more details and photos.

Find it online at: 

SafeRide4Kids    Amazon.com 

*Please note: A new model of RideSafer travel vest (Ride Safer 3) is also available now, which does NOT include the tether or optional crotch safety strap and is NOT certified to FMVSS 213, although it has been tested to meet or exceed federal motor safety standards. Click here for important differences between these two models.

Click here to find out more about the CARES flight harness in our feature review


CARES Flight Harness

Find it online

Amazon.com     Right Start  

Why Shelly recommends it:

Turns the airplane seatbelt into a 4-point harness for children over 1 year old and weighing 22 lbs. to 44 lbs. CARES (Child Aviation Restraint System) is ideal when children will be flying in their own airplane seats, but won't need their own car seat at the destination, as when you'll be renting a car seat at your destination or using another car seat alternative for your ground transportation. For very light travels, consider pairing the CARES with the Eddie Bauer portable car seat or RideSafer Vest for car seat alternatives in motor vehicles (see below). CARES is FAA-approved for use during all phases of a flight, including taxiing, take-off, and landing. First adjust the straps to fit around the airplane seat, then use the harness to secure your child to both the seat back and airplane seatbelt. Please note that CARES is approved for use in aircraft, but not in automobiles. If you're bringing along your car seat, but don't want to use it on the aircraft, I recommend you always gate-check your car seat rather than subject it to possible damage--which may or may not be visible--from the airport baggage system, or use one of the other car seat alternatives for your ground transportation. CARES weighs only 1 lb. and packs into a 6" stuff sack. Find out more:  Read the Travels with Baby feature review of CARES with more photos and tips.

Find it online Amazon.com   Right Start 

flyebaby air travel hammock for infantsFlyeBaby Air Travel Hammock *


Find it online at:   Amazon.com


Why Shelly recommends it:


Saves your back and arms while allowing interaction between you and your baby--and, unlike most airplane bassinets, the FlyeBaby can be used on rows offering more peace and privacy than the bulkhead. The soft "sling-like" hammock features a 3-point harness and attaches to the tray in front of you and your airplane safety belt, and stores in a small pouch that fits easily in a corner of your diaper bag. Note that the FlyeBaby is not considered a safety product, and is not FAA-approved for use during take-off or landing. It was, however, featured in the SkyMall Inventor's Corner and is widely accepted for use on airplanes during cruising portions of flights. That's a picture of us using it above. If you're interested in the FlyeBaby, be sure to see the Travels with Baby Feature Review of the FlyeBaby Air Travel Hammock.

Find it online at:    Amazon.com


Baby B'Air flight safety vest for air travel with lap-held infants and toddlersBaby B'Air Flight Safety Vest *



Why Shelly recommends it:


Turbulence is by far the leading cause of injuries in flight, and no one on board seems quite so vulnerable to injuries from turbulence than the little lightweight people riding as "lap children." This handy little vest slips over your lap child and attaches to your safety belt with a loop, securing babies and toddlers against unexpected bumps. Made of soft 100% cotton and fully adjustable side and crotch straps, it allows for shifting around as needed, even for breastfeeding. The Baby B'air is permitted for use in-flight by the FAA as noted on its tag, though not for taxiing, take-off, or landing. It slips into the side of your diaper bag or carryon with ease. Available in two sizes: Infant, recommended for newborns up to 8 months, and Toddler for up to 2 years.


Find it online at:   Amazon.com   Baby Earth   Right Start    


* Of course there's no safer position for a flying infant than in his car seat behind a 5-point harness (especially in the case of an unplanned landing), but I know that in the real world many parents will continue to fly with a lap child as long as it's allowed, and even children flying with their car seats often need to spend some amount of time out of them (nursing, burping, etc.). In either of those cases, the Baby B'Air is far preferable to no restraint at all. - Shelly


Back to top          Back to Car Seats Home      


Follow me for more!



Get tips, advice, and inspiration to help you go the distance:


  Subscribe to Travels with Baby Tips for travel with children up to 5 years.


  Subscribe to Family Travel 411 for travel with school-age children.


Gear bundles

on sale with

FREE shipping.

Our favorites are on sale now

with FREE Super Saver shipping.

While supplies last.



It's a winner!



Travels with Baby

The Ultimate Guide for Planning

Travel with Your Baby, Toddler,

and Preschooler


Available now at:



Also available for Kindle and Nook


Winner of the Lowell Thomas

Bronze Award in Guidebooks from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.


Need car seat travel tips and advice?

Car seats and taxis - and "the law"


Will your car seat be allowed on the airplane?


Checking car seats vs. checking car seats at the gate


Ask Shelly: Which car seat compatible stroller for travel to Paris with a baby?


Costa Rica's car seat laws stricter than in the U.S. - more details


Important tips for using child safety seats (car seats) and boosters during travel in Australia

More car seat travel questions & road trip tips >>>

You might also like: 

Car seat alternatives for travel

Car Seat Accessories  

Car Seat Travel Bags & Carriers   

Best Infant Car Seats for Travel

Best Convertible Car Seats for Travel

Best Forward-Facing Car Seats & Boosters for Travel

Review of the Safety 1st Go Hybrid

Review of the Sit N Stroll combo car seat

Review of the RideSafer Travel Vest

Review of the CARES flight safety harness

Review of FlyeBaby air travel hammock



About the Author



Contact      About this Site      Media & Publicity     Privacy & Copyright      Disclosures  


    Travels with Baby guidebook, blog and web awards:




TravelswithBaby.com Copyright 2004 - 2014 by . All rights reserved.