The 7 Best Travel Car Seats of 2019

Travel-friendly seats for on-the-go families

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Evenflo Tribute LX at Amazon

"Super lightweight with incredible built-in features."

Best Budget: Cosco Scenera NEXT at Walmart

"It's light and easy to maneuver."

Best for Infant: Chicco KeyFit 30 at Amazon

"Received top safety ratings."

Best for Toddler: Graco Size4Me 65 at Amazon

"The most convertible car seat for your growing toddler."

Best Convertible: Combi Compact Coccoro at Amazon

"Offers luxe padding perfect for an airplane or small spaced seats."

Best with Stroller: Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base at Amazon

"A car seat and stroller in one."

Best for Older Kids: BubbleBum at Amazon

"Made from of air and memory foam. Perfect for bigger kids."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Evenflo Tribute LX

Evenflo Tribute Convertible Seat-Saturn

 Courtesy of Amazon

Traveling parents everywhere seem to agree that the Evenflo Tribute LX is the car seat to buy if you like to hit the road (or the skies) with a little one. This nimble seat is super lightweight at only 9 pounds but doesn’t hesitate to pack in the features, too. It comes with a comfortable headrest, nicely padded seat and backrest, and even an attachable cup holder.

Traveling with your baby on an airplane? This FAA-approved car seat is trim enough for any airplane seat and will fit nicely in even the smallest rental car. The Tribute comes in a variety of colors to suit any taste, and it's easy to install and clean. Simply snap the machine-washable cover off and you’re good to go.

Best Budget: Cosco Scenera NEXT

Cosco Scenera NEXT

 Courtesy of Walmart

If you’ll be schlepping through an airport or taking other modes of public transportation, you need a car seat that's light and easy to maneuver. And if you’ll be purchasing a separate car seat to use specifically for traveling, chances are you want something that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Enter the Cosco Scenera NEXT. It’s definitely a bare-bones seat; you won’t find elaborate cushioning or any bells and whistles. But when it comes to a lightweight seat that’s FAA-approved for safety, this seat gets the job done. The Scenera NEXT is approved for babies weighing 5-40 pounds, and it can be used both rear-facing and forward-facing.

Looking for more options? Check out our roundup of the best car seats.

Best for Infant: Chicco KeyFit 30

The Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat is perfect for taking your littlest ones on long trips. It's suitable for babies as small as 4 pounds, and your child can face backward all the way up to 30 pounds. The seat itself, while heavier than many of the seats on our list, is still pretty slim; with a width of 19 inches, you shouldn’t have any trouble fitting the Chicco on most airplane seats. The Chicco KeyFit 30 has earned top safety ratings and provides your baby with a super comfortable ride.

Best for Toddler: Graco Size4Me 65

Graco Size4Me 65 Convertible Car Seat

 Courtesy of Amazon

The Graco Size4Me 65 because it’s packed with features that allow it to grow with your child as he approaches toddlerhood and beyond. First, the Size4Me 65, as the name indicates, is suitable for kids weighing up to 65 pounds. That’s well into elementary school for most kids. And secondly, this seat comes with a unique Simply Safe Adjust Harness System with eight different settings for the harness and straps. 

Despite accommodating such a wide weight range, the Size4Me 65 is surprisingly trim at only 22 inches wide at its base—perfect for road trips with toddlers. Because of that, it’s able to fit on most airplane seats with the armrests raised, though it’s wise to call the airline ahead of time to be sure.

Need more ideas? Read our article on the best booster seats.

Best Convertible: Combi Compact Coccoro

This luxe offering from Combi is light and nimble at only 12 pounds, and at 15 inches across, it’s slim enough for any airplane seat or small rental car. You would think that with those stats, this would be a bare-bones seat suitable only for short trips, but it contains an ample amount of padding to keep your little one comfortable. The Combi is suitable for kids up to 40 pounds (rear-facing to 22 pounds) and infants as little as 5 pounds with the infant insert.

Best with Stroller: Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

If you’re a parent who travels a lot and you haven’t heard of the Doona, you’ll want to listen up. The Doona is a car seat and stroller in one that’s revolutionized baby transportation, solving the pressing issue of how to take public transportation with little ones who still require a car seat.

Simply strap the Doona into the car, then when it’s time to get out, the seat transforms into a stroller, and you’re off! The Doona is FAA-approved for air travel and comes highly rated by traveling parents everywhere. It does have a high price tag, but devotees swear it’s worth every penny.

Take a peek at our reviews of the best stroller and car seat combos.

Best for Older Kids: BubbleBum

When you’re traveling, you need luggage that's big on convenience and small on the bulk—and that includes your travel car seat. Assuming you’re traveling with bigger kids rather than a baby or toddler, you can turn to the super lightweight, super convenient BubbleBum inflatable booster seat.

It’s approved for kids 40–100 pounds and is safety approved by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The BubbleBum is made from a combination of air and memory foam, so it provides a comfy but stable ride that easily folds away when not in use.

Our Process

Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular travel car seats on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 26 different travel car seats overall, screened options from 14 different brands and manufacturers, read over 35 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 2 of the travel car seats themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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