10 Best Travel Car Seats of 2018—Expert Reviews and Buying Guide

By October 14, 2017Car Seat
best travel car seats

If you travel a lot and have to tag your child along as well, you need a portable travel car seat for your child as adult seats of a car is not suitable or safe for children. So, we have carefully chosen and compiled a list of best travel car seats that can help you decide what you need.

There are 4 types of car seats: infant, toddler car seat, booster seat and convertible car seat. Infants will need an infant car seat and toddlers must use a toddler seat. Booster seats are for older children that can’t use toddler seat. Convertible car seats are seats that can be used as the other three seats based on different models. This type of seat can be an infant and toddler seat or have all 3 types of seat. Convertible car seats can be used longer while infant, toddler or booster seat can only be used for a specific period of time as your children will grow out of them. Infant car seats are rear-facing while the rests are front-facing. Most of these seats can be used on a plane as well and infant seats can be attached to strollers to build a travel system.

Travel car seats are the safest seating option for children while traveling. As there are different types of seats, we have constructed our list with a selection of each type of seat to give you a clear idea about best travel car seats available in this article.

Best Travel Car Seats Comparison Table

Product Image Product Name Product Weight Product Dimensions Product Review
Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat, GlacierGraco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat, Glacier18 pounds
18.2 x 20.2 x 30.5 inches
Read Review
Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat ThunderEvenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat Thunder11 pounds
27.7 x 20 x 19 inches
Read Review
Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster, MatrixGraco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster, Matrix11 pounds
18 x 20 x 28 inches
Read Review
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, PierceGraco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, Pierce7.5 pounds
28 x 18.7 x 15.6 inches
Read Review
Graco LiteRider Click Connect Travel System, SullyGraco LiteRider Click Connect Travel System, Sully24 pounds
27 x 19 x 39 inches
Read Review
Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, VerveBritax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Verve28.4 pounds
23 x 18.5 x 23.5 inches
Read Review
Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat, SeaportSafety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat, Seaport15 pounds
30 x 18 x 14 inches
Read Review
Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All in One Convertible Car Seat, CloveGraco 4Ever Extend2Fit All in One Convertible Car Seat, Clove24 pounds
26.1 x 20.4 x 21.3 inches
Read Review
Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System, Hounds ToothBaby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System, Hounds Tooth36 pounds
34.6 x 23.6 x 42.1 inches
Read Review
Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat, SullyGraco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat, Sully20.5 pounds
18 x 20 x 28 inches
Read Review

10 Best Travel Car Seats Detail Reviews described below

1. Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat, Glacier

Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat, GlacierVersatility is an attribute that almost every parent wants and Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat is such a product that the parents will definitely admire. This is a car seat that grows up just like your child.

2-in-1 Car Seat

GracoAtlas 65 is a front-facing toddler seat that supports from 22 to 65 pounds and a height limit of 27-49 inches. When your toddler exceeds any of the height or weight limit, he’ll need a high back belt-positioning booster seat but there’s no need to worry as this car seat will convert easily to a highback seat to ensure that your child doesn’t need to wait for another seat. The booster seat has a weight limit of 100 pounds which means it can carry your child for a long time.

Parent and Child-Friendly

The Atlas 65 is very easy to use. It is very easy to install with latch. The 5-point safety harness adjusts easily along with the headrest to keep your child comfortable and safe while adjusting to his heights. Removable seat covers, seat pad, harness etc. are machine-washable for easy maintenance. Harness storage is an added bonus while two cup holders let your child keep their drinks close.

Safety Features

This booster seat has a steel-reinforced frame accompanied by EPS, energy absorbing foam for maximum impact protection. This seat is side-impact tested. Also, engineered and crash tested in 2X peak crash force than the standard, this seat passed the US standard FMVSS 213. The 5-point harness will keep your child safely against the back of the seat. Graco has gone the furthest distance to make sure this car seat is as safe as possible for your precious child.

Pros

  • Not expensive
  • Converting is easy
  • Lightweight and durable
  • High-quality materials

Cons

  • Doesn’t convert to backless booster seat

Final Verdict

The Atlas 65 is an affordable option with all essential features for a harness booster seat. It has great build quality and optimum safety for your child. So if you are looking for a booster seat while prioritizing on safety, the Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat is an excellent choice for you.

2. Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat Thunder

Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat ThunderEvenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat is a stylish and budget-friendly car seat option for today’s parent who looks for quality and safety without having to break the bank.

2-in-1 Booster Car Seat

This car seat is not only well designed but also functional as it works as a front-facing toddler seat carrying up to 50lb and then converts to a belt-positioning booster seat carrying up to 110lbs to meet up with your child’s growth. You can use this seat for a good amount of time as it is multi-functional and easy to use.

Safe and Durable

The Maestro is built to withstand the approximately 2X energy of the Federal crash test standard. Energy absorbing foam and 5-position adjustable harness along with crotch buckle keeps your child perfectly safe in case of accidents. The seat is also side-impact tested. Structural integrity and crash tests make the safety of this seat unquestionable. The car seat belt will fit perfectly in booster mode. Overall, this seat is ensured to be the safest.

Ease of Use

This car seat is easy to use with latch system for installation and converts easily to booster mode. The harness and headrest are adjustable to multiple positions for optimum comfort. The padding is comfy and the seat pad is machine washable for convenience. Auto-adjusting belt path helps in properly fitting the vehicle’s seat belt in booster mode. Additionally, it also has two integrated cup holders with flexible bands.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight, so easy to carry
  • Provides optimum safety

Cons

  • The booster seat is not very tall.

Final Verdict

Despite being a budget-friendly product, the Evenflo Maestro lacks nothing much that can disappoint you. It is a good combination of safety and quality. So, if you are looking for a good car seat in a budget, you can check out this one.

3. Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster, Matrix

Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster, MatrixTo satisfy your needs and fulfill your expectations form a booster seat, the Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 harness booster is now one of the best booster car seats available on the market.

3-in-1 Booster Seat

This car seat is like having 3 seats in 1 product. It comes as a latch equipped front-facing car seat that carries children up to 65 pounds and converts to a belt-positioning booster seat from 30-100 pounds when your child is ready. After your child grows out of that, it will convert into a backless booster seat to accompany your child even further.

Highest Safety Standard

Graco left no stone unturned to ensure the Nautilus 65 LX keeps the passenger in the safest environment possible. The seat has been engineered and crash tested to exceed the US standard FMVSS 213 and FAA approval. It is side-impact tested as well. Thick energy absorbing foam and steel reinforced frame gives it stronger resistance against impact and more effective impact energy management. The 5-point harness system will retain the occupant in any situation.

Comfortable and Convenient

The Graco Nautilus 65 LX is very user-friendly. It has very comfortable padding. The harness straps and buckle fits your child even when he is growing and they are very easy to adjust. It has 3 reclining positions for even more comfort. The conversion process is hassle-free. The seat cover is removable and machine washable for your convenience. The harness storage keeps the harnesses in place when not needed. It has storage compartment and cup holder so your child can keep his or her drinks and snacks near all the time.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • 3 reclining position
  • Convenient conversion method

Cons

  • Latch can’t be used in every mode of use

Final Verdict

The Graco Nautilus 65 LX is an all-rounder car seat that offers you a great product while keeping its price in check. Graco is one of best baby product manufacturers and this car seat is no exception to their fame. It has got great safety, durability, and comfort. So, if you want a product that can serve and satisfy your expectations, this is pretty much what you need.

4. GracoSnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, Pierce

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, PierceGracoSnugRide Click Connect 35 is an infant car seat that is ultra-lightweight and stands out as one of the tops of the class product from Graco.

Infant Car Seat

GracoSnugRide Click Connect 35 is an infant car seat for parents who are always on the go. This car seat allows parents to take their newborn baby safely in their car. Weighs of this car seat only 7lbs so it is easy to carry. This car seat can carry from 4 to 30 pounds which are more than enough for an infant.  It adds a latch-based stay in car base that makes the installation and detaching of the seat convenient with an audible click and level indicator assist.

Safety Tests

The infant car seat is crash tested under tough conditions to exceed the US standard FMVSS 213. It is also side-impact tested and the 5-point safety harness will keep your child safe against the back of the seat. The removable head support for newborn protects its head and offers more support. EPS, energy absorbing foam is used in this seat to make sure the impact energy is managed properly to save the child. Safe seat engineering indicates that this seat will keep your child safe under all conditions.

Comfort and Ease of Use

This car seat is easy to attach to the car or any Graco strollers thanks to the one-click system. It has a removable headrest that cushions the baby’s head.  The padding is comfy while the rotatable canopy offers full protection from extreme sunlight. Leg cover or boot provides a closed and comfortable environment to take a nap. Front adjusting harness always fits your growing baby as well. Its weight is light so you’ll break no sweat to take it along anywhere.

Pros

  • Very Lightweight
  • Optimum safety
  • Attractive design

Cons

  • Does not convert to any other type of baby car seat

Final Verdict

GracoSnugRide Click Connect 35 is definitely a good quality infant car seat that upholds Graco’shigh standard of quality and child safety. If you want your child’s first car seat to be one of the best seats available, this car seat can assure that you are not making a wrong choice should you choose to buy this one.

5. GracoLiteRider Click Connect Travel System, Sully

Graco LiteRider Click Connect Travel System, SullyGracoLiteRider Click Connect Travel System is a wonderful combination ofGracoSnugRide Click Connect 30 Infant Car Seat and LiteRider Click Connect Stroller. It is a travel system that provides all necessary seating arrangement for your infant while on the road.

Complete Travel System

GracoLiteRider is a travel system that gives you the option to take your kid out for a walk in the stroller or on a ride with the infant car seat. Or you can attach the seat to the stroller to make your child even more comfortable. The stroller can carry up to 40 pounds and the infant car seat handles up to 30 pounds.

Ease of Use

The stroller has to lock front swivel wheels which give more convenient maneuverability. It has a one-hand easy fold which doesn’t take up much space to store. The infant car seat is rear-facing and easy to install with click connect system which takes only seconds to attach the seat.

Convenience and Comfort

This travel system is very convenient with its ease of use and features for comfort. The stroller and infant car seat have a canopy to provide shade from sunlight while multiple reclining positions gives better position for comfortable napping. Wheels with suspension make riding on the stroller bump-free. The stroller has soft fabrics and a padded seat which gives a pleasant experience. Convertible 5 or 3-point safety harness keeps your child safe and adjusts to your child’s growth. Parent tray with two cup holders, large under seat basket, and a child tray are add-ons that anyone will be pleased to have.

Pros

  • Provides complete travel solution for infants
  • Easy to push and fold
  • Easy to attach

Cons

  • Can’t be used when the infant grows older

Final Verdict

GracoLiteRider Click Connect is an affordable travel system that has excellent features and options for parents and children. It saves parents the hassle of buying and matching different products and gives children a comfortable sitting condition from their very first day. So, if you want to make no compromise with your child’s first stroller or car seat, this travel system will be a good bargain for you.

6. Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Verve

Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, VerveIf you are in search for some car seat that is multi-functional, durable and comfortable, the Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible car seat is likely to be the product you need.

Convertible Car Seat

This is a rear-facing car seat that can be used for infants weighing 5-40 pounds. When they outgrow the rear-facing seat, it can be converted into a front-facing seat that carries up to 65 pounds. This seat uses a click tight system which gives easy installation and prevents the convertible car seat from moving.

Optimum Safety

Britax emphasizes on safety and this car seat lacks no safety features. It has a safety system called SafeCell Impact Protection which includes a steel frame, energy absorbing base and impact-absorbing tether to reduce damage and staged-release stitches that slow forward movement of the seat. No-rethread safety harness and buckle is adjustable and the deep foam-lined shell will absorb energy from side-impact. The car seat is FAA approved and passed all necessary federal crash tests.

Child Comfort

While safety has been number 1 concern, the USA Marathon doesn’t forget about the comfort of the child. This car seat has 7-position recline with an auto level indicator that always gives your child the perfect seating position. It has thick foam padding which will not feel hard and premium fabrics with infant insert give the baby extra coziness.

Pros

  • Hassle-free installation
  • Multiple numbers of recline position
  • Optimum safety
  • 10 years lifespan

Cons

  • Lacks cup holder or storage compartment

Final Verdict

The Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat makes installation easy and it delivers an unmatched safety for your child. This car seat has multiple uses and has a long life so you can use it for a long time. All things considered, if you want a car seat that will relieve your worries about safety, this is what you need to buy.

7. Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat, Seaport

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat, SeaportSafety 1st Guide 65 is an affordable, compact convertible car seat that is very suitable for smaller cars. This car seat has 2-way conversion modes and takes up little space.

Convertible Car Seat

Safety 1st Guide 65 can be used in two modes. As a rear-facing infant seat that will carry up to 40 pounds and converts to a front-facing toddler seat which will be usable till your child exceeds 65 pounds of weight. It weighs only 15 pounds so it is easy to get the seat in and out of the car.

Ease of Use and Safety

This car seat is designed to fit perfectly even in smaller cars. The installation can be done using latch or belts both of which are easy enough. The seat has EPP, energy absorbing foam which helps to reduce side-impact damage and also gives a good surface for sitting. 5-point safety harness ensures occupant retention at every situation and head support gives additional protection to infants head and neck. It has FAA approval and has been crashed and side-impact tested.

Child Friendly

This car seat gives infants and toddlers a pleasing experience as it is comfortable for them. The padding is of good quality and won’t feel hard to sit. The adjustable headrest is very comforting for the infant. The harness strap will fit perfectly to your growing child. The removable cup holder can be used when your child needs to keep his or her drinks near

Pros

  • Easily fits in smaller cars
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • No reclining option available

Final Verdict

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat is a product that lets you buy a quality car seat in the most affordable price possible. Despite being inexpensive, it offers more features than its value. SO, if you don’t want to spend big but still want a good convertible car seat, this will be the best option for you to get.

8. Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All in One Convertible Car Seat, Clove

Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit All in One Convertible Car Seat, CloveThe Graco 4ever Extend2Fit is an innovative car seat that promises to be the only car seat that your baby will need and rightly delivers on that promise.

All in One Convertible

As you can guess, this convertible car seat has the functionality of four car seats in one. It starts out as a rear-facing infant seat for infants weighing up to 50 pounds. After that, it transforms into a front-facing toddler seat which carries children till they reach 65 pounds and then transitions into a high-back belt-positioning booster supporting 100 pounds to a backless belt-positioning booster that can handle up to 120 pounds. This much convertibility gives the car seat 10 years of use making sure it remains as the only car seat your child needs.

Safety Prioritization

To ensure maximum safety, this car seat has been tested thoroughly. It has been engineered and crash tested to pass the US standard FMVSS 213 successfully.  The car seat has strong steel reinforced frame build and thick EPS, energy absorbing foam padding for better protection against side-impact. It has been side-impact tested as well. The adjustable safety harness will not let your child fall off the seat.

Convenient and Comfortable

Graco has added InRight latch for quick and easy installation of the car seat. It is also very convenient to convert the car seat. 6-position recline keeps the child comfortable while the addition of 3-position extension panel gives 5” of extra leg room in rear-facing mode. 2 integrated cup holders lets your child keep his drinks or snacks close. The no-rethread harness and 10-position adjustable headrest will adjust to match your child’s growth.

Pros

  • Four modes of use giving 10 years of lifetime
  • Strong and durable build
  • Optimum safety

Cons

  • Takes up more space

Final Verdict

The Graco4ever Extend2Fit has almost everything you can ask for. It is a unique blend of innovation, safety, and comfort. Its quality and features are enough to satisfy any parent. So, if you really want your child to have one of the best convertible car seat available, you definitely should consider getting this car seat.

9. Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System, Hounds Tooth

Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System, Hounds ToothThe EZ Ride Stroller and Flex-Loc Infant seat creates a complete and affordable travel system that works flawlessly and it is called Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System.

Overall Travel solution

Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 travel system provides parents on the go an easy to use travel companion for their baby. The stroller can be used to take your child out for a walk while the car seat will come in handy for traveling. The car seat comes with a base for easy attachment and can also be clicked into the stroller in a rear-facing position. The stroller will carry up to 50lbs and the seat can be used till the child reaches 30lbs.

Safety Features

This travel system offers good safety features for both the stroller and the car seat. Both features 5-point safety harness to ensure occupant retention in any case. The stroller features a thick pad and the car seat has energy-absorbing foam, EPS for side-impact protection. It has been tested to meet all government safety standards. The car seat base installs with a latch system that keeps the car seat steady in its place.

Comfortable

To make the travel system more comfortable, the stroller and car seat both has a canopy to keep the child safe from extreme sunlight.Peek-a-boo window will let you keep an eye on the baby with ease. The stroller has thick padding and a number of reclining position to give the baby a cozy napping space. Large head support for the seat and stroller is something you’ll appreciate. Parent tray and child tray with cup holders will also be useful. The stroller can be folded using only one hand and has a storage basket underneath.

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Easy installation
  • 5-point safety harness in both stroller and car seat

Cons

  • Maneuvering is difficult
  • Quality is not the finest

Final Verdict

Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System, Hounds Tooth is one of the cheapest travel system available. So, understandably there will be some limitations of this system compared to more expensive models of a travel system. But, if you are on a tight budget and urgently need a travel system, you can buy this one because it will deliver all the basic and necessary features you will need.

10. Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat, Sully

Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat, SullyFor traveling parents, car seats are a must-have. Usual car seats are not appropriate for underage children. That’s where baby car seats come to business. Car seats allow the parents to take their baby traveling with them without any complication. The Graco Nautilus car seat offers excellent all-around performance with some highly rated features.

3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

This car seat has got a 5-point harness for the safety of the baby. The harness is an integral part of this particular product. The Graco Nautilus has got 3-in-1 harness booster which makes it unique among the contemporary car seats. This car seat can carry your child from the moment he/she reaches 22 pounds. From then, it can accommodate him/her in three different modes. It starts as a basic forward facing car seat; you can use this mode for children between 22 to 65 pounds. Then when the baby reaches 30 pounds, you can convert it into a belt-positioning booster car seat which can be used for accommodating boys or girls under 100 pounds. Also, after the baby reaches 40 pounds, you can turn this car seat into a backless booster seat just like that.

Finest Safety For The Child

The safety and security of your child are the first and foremost concern of yourself. Child products should always be constructed with the safety questions regarding the baby bearing into the minds of the manufacturers. The Graco Nautilus has been tried and tested by many of the relevant authorities. It has complied with the safety standards of US FMVSS 213 and NCAP. This durable car seat has got reinforced steel frame, energy absorbing foam and extreme car interior temperatures.

Comfortable to Use, Comfortable to Maintain

This car seat is really comfy. For its users, it has got 5-position adjustable headrest which can be adjusted by using just one hand. The armrests come with cup holder and storage space. Also, the belt is open-looped so positioning it is really easy. Also, the harness, seat pad and buckle covers are removable and machine washable. So, you can easily look after the product which looks after your baby while in need.

Pros

  • Carries children until they reach 100 pounds. Height range is between 27-57 inches. More than most of the car seats
  • Convertible, versatile and effective
  • Steel built frame makes it durable and ready to be used for a long time
  • Safe, secure and comfortable for the user. Easy to maintain and clean

Cons

  • Can’t carry infants under 22 pounds
  • Not rear facing, the only front faced

Final Verdict

One of the finest of its genre, the Graco Nautilus is a very popular as a car seat. We have investigated many aspects of this product. There are some interesting attributes which are very rare in contemporary car seats. The customers will surely love this one.

F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is a travel system better than buying stroller and infant car seat separately?

Yes, it is. Buying separate stroller and car seat will be costly and they might not attach perfectly. Also, they will be more of a hassle to select two different product. A travel system does not have these problems and offers a better deal both economically and functionally.  Most travel system includes a car seat base as well.

What is SafeCell?

SafeCell is a safety feature which uses a type of cells that compresses in a car crash, lowering the center of gravity of the child and results in a reduction of forwarding head excursion.It helps to keep the child’s head safer in a crash. SafeCells are generally used in a car seat base.

What is Latch?

Latch stands for Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children.  It is a system used to attach baby car seats in a car. It generally has two part, one is a belt with hooks that are used in place of the car’s seat belt and the other is a tether which is a long piece of material like seat belt with a clip on the end.

Overall Final Verdict

Car seats are essential for underage children during journeys. In many states of the United States and many other countries in the world, car seat for an underage child is a must have according to the law.

Seatbelts protect the passengers from direct impact during road accidents. Unfortunately, vehicle manufacturers don’t design the seat belts for underage children. That’s why they need travel car seats.

You have to choose the car seat according to the age, weight, and height of the baby. For infants, there are rear-facing car seats, then during toddlerhood, they can use high backed booster car seats. After finishing with that, they can use backless booster car seats.

There are thousands of car seats to choose from. If you are not absolutely sure about what you’re looking for, it is more likely than not to find the wrong one. Choosing the wrong car seat, or even failing to install the right one correctly may lead to horrendous consequences.

So, ensuring the safety of your baby through making you learned about travel car seats is the aim of our article. In this article, we have tried to tell you everything you need to know before buying a car seat. If our efforts help you even a bit, we will consider our work as a success.

Author babyproductszone

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