Saturday, February 23, 2013

Toddler car seat travel system recommendations

I have failed miserably at getting outside with the kids but I sure do appreciate the suggestions!

My next challenge is this. In June the whole tribe will be going to the UK for a week. My dear old dad turns 80 and there is no way I'm missing that! We saved for the donkeys years to afford the flights,  the accommodation, car hire and spending money. All good so far.

However, it looks as if we will need new car seats by June. The present one (Corro - something or other) is great (light weight, easy to install etc) but only goes to 40'. Mimi is at 36 now and sprouting like a tree. There's plenty of girth just too short in the seat.

So, we need car seat recommendations. It needs to be fairly lightweight (since we lug them in and out of hire cars and planes). OK for international plane restrictions and not requiring a PHD to get the thing installed.

Any ideas? ??

Let me reiterate the plane travel side of things. You know, two toddlers, in coach on an overnight flight. We are THE MOST UNPOPULAR PEOPLE IN THE WORLD when we get on the plane and since they don't let families board first ... we gotta get those seats installed in a flash.


Not use car seats. Just check them. Now there's an option.


  1. Honestly, I wouldn't bother with the carseats. Check them. Or better yet, buy carseats on Amazon UK and have them delivered to wherever you are staying before you get there. Or even better, rent the carseats from the car hire place (as you likely know, many car rental places in Europe do this--that's what we did almost the whole time we traveled by car in Europe.) As you also likely know, EU carseats tend to be smaller and better designed to fit in European cars, anyway. They are trimmer. We have an EU carseat and an American carseat both by Britax, and they are SO different, in terms of size and how they attach to the car (American has the LATCH system; EU has something else).

    But the reality is that many/most of the airlines are not letting people use their carseats on the international flights. I obsessed and obsessed over the carseat issue, because I wanted the kids in carseats. I was frequently prevented from using them, though, and so have all my friends who fly a lot with their kids. Yeah, the airline policies say otherwise. Yes, the carseats are approved by the airlines/FAA/Brtitish/EU organizations that certify carseats for flying. But the flight attendants get to make the final decision. Most recently, I was allowed to use my carseat in one direction, but not the other on an international flight! I've finally given up.

    By the way, there is an alternative. It's called the CARES harness. It's available on Amazon. Won't work for the car, but perfect for airlines:

    Sorry to ramble so much--as you can see, this was a topic I obsessed over!

    1. The flight attendant on one of my solo-with-2-toddlers trans-Atlantic flights almost made me move the car seat for my 16 month old. We had the 3 seats in the middle section. I put the car seat on one aisle seat, the 2.5 yr old in the middle and me on the other aisle seat. She was trying to tell me it wasn't allowed to have the car seat in an aisle seat. I just looked at her and said, "And what am I supposed to do with my other child?" She relented, but not without giving me dirty looks the rest of the flight. Thankfully my children were both really well behaved that flight.

  2. PS I think we had the Britax Eclipse Group 1 Carseat. It wasn't overly heavy or bulky, as those things go, and we were happy with it.

  3. Sorry--one more thought. That was our EU carseat. Our American carseat, one of the versions of the Britax Marathon, is awesome, but I would never, ever want to travel with it. Too big, too bulky, and you'd never be able to use it on a plane.

  4. I have a Britax Marathon and have traveled with it a lot...but like Queenie says, it's big. It's not very easy to get in and out of the airplane. However, I can tell you that I love love love having the carseat on the plane. Living in Alaska means I have long trips to pretty much get anywhere. E was so wonderful sitting in his carseat compared to sitting in the chair. I know the twins are older, but it made a big difference for him. Just my two cents. :)

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