PARENTING TIPS

The 6 Best Car Seat Travel Bags

As any seasoned parent can attest, planning trips with young kids is not easy. First, there’s the business of packing everything for the actual vacation. Then comes the list of items you’ll need in your diaper bag (think: a change of clothes, snacks, and toys for in-flight). At that point, you’ll probably also be looking to reduce your load (literally). The good news is, depending on the age and needs of your child, you might be able to check that hefty car seat with your luggage. And the best car seat travel bags protect your investment — no matter how much it gets thrown around in-transit.

Seriously, have you ever seen how luggage is handled at the airport? Broken and beat-up luggage isn’t an unusual sight — if not lost altogether! Unprotected, checked car seats are even more susceptible to damage given that they have pieces that can easily be torn, or worse. And most car seats aren’t exactly cheap, making a car seat travel bag a smart purchase. Some are exactly that — a bag that you stuff a car seat in — while others have wheels and even straps so you can carry it like a backpack. If you’re going the backpack route, just make sure it has padded straps for a comfier carrying experience.

No matter what type of car seat you’re looking to stow, this list of the best car seat travel bags is sure to have you departing with a bit more confidence.

01

This Fan-Favorite Backpack Car Seat Travel Bag

Okay, so this car seat travel backpack is admittedly huge, measuring in at 18 by 18 by 28 inches (L x W x H). But the upside is that it fits up to a full-size toddler car seat. Padded shoulder straps and an adjustable waist strap make it comfier to carry, and the water- and scratch-resistant polyester material mean it can withstand a lot of wear and tear on your travels near and far. When it’s not in use, it folds down compactly — easy for storing. Not surprisingly, this durable pick has earned more than 2,000 perfect five-star ratings from on-the-go parents.

Helpful Review: “We recently had our very first flight with our 11 month old and the number one thing I was stressed about was transporting his car seat and base! THIS BAG WAS PERFECT!! It was just the right size to fit and a solid material. As big as it is, we were surprised at how comfortable it was to wear through the airport.”

Compatible with: Infant, Convertible, and Booster Car Seats | Included Luggage ID: Yes

02

An Affordable Car Seat Travel Bag That Gets The Job Done

Looking for an affordable car seat travel bag? This bright polyester bag just might be for you. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles as others on this list, but it will get the job done when keeping the car seat safely stowed is all you need. It features a drawstring closure, carrying handles, and a small storage bag. Measuring 18 by 18 by 34 inches ( L x W x H), it’s compatible with most infant and toddler car seat models. The red color will make it easy to spot as it lands on the baggage carousel, but it’s also available in black if you’re looking for something that will blend in with your other luggage.

Helpful Review: “I liked how it has a little bag so you can stuff it away. We used it for our flight, our car seat came back undamaged and clean. I recommend.”

Compatible with: Infant, Convertible, and Booster Car Seats | Included Luggage ID: Yes

03

A Travel Bag For Backless Booster Seats

This ultra-durable nylon travel bag for backless booster seats features an additional side pocket for storing things like straps. When in use, it measures 16 by 8 by 16.5 inches (L x W x H), but when not in use, it folds down to just a 9 by 9 inch pouch. It fits on most luggage handles for easy transport, too. Several reviewers claim that the main compartment is big enough to accommodate not one but two backless booster seats.

Helpful Review: “This was a life saver for the two backless booster seats we had to take along with us on a flight to NYC. A lot of room but doesn’t look like a large bag when seats are in it. We checked the bag for free through Delta but I think it would have worked fine as a carry on too.”

Compatible with: Backless Booster Car Seats | Included Luggage ID: No

04

A Versatile Car Seat Travel Bag With Wheels

What’s not to love about a car seat travel bag with wheels that’s compatible with all the brands — or darn near close? Fitting over 50 different car seats, this backpack-style bag is a worthy investment if you’re going to be doing a lot of travel with your kids over the years. The wheels can withstand up to 100 pounds, so you might be able to throw a few other baby gear items in for the trip. Made of sturdy, water-resistant polyester fabric and featuring a top handle, plus padded straps and an adjustable waist, this bag can be carried so many ways.

Helpful Review: “This is THE BEST! We have tried several covers for car seats because the airlines always seem to toss them around and damage them. This one is wonderful! It’s got a bit of padding to protect the car seat and I love the option of pulling it with the wheels or wearing it like a backpack. We will be buying another to replace the other kind we had previously purchased and tossing the old one in the garbage. We’ve had this on several flights now and it still looks great and works like a dream.”

Compatible with: All types | Included Luggage ID: Yes

05

This Infant Car Seat Travel Bag

While this infant car seat travel bag is designed to accommodate UPPAbaby MESA and Cybex Aton 2 car seat models (without bases), the dimensions of this bag — 12.8 by 18.2 by 14.8 inches (L x W X H) make it suitable for a range of other infant car seats, including the Nuna Pipa, according to reviews. Just make sure to measure your car seat before purchasing to ensure it’s compatible. Reviews say it’s great quality, with thick polyester fabric and padded straps. It even comes with four feet on the bottom to keep it off the ground for a cleaner bag post-trip.

Helpful Review: “This was EXACTLY What I was looking for! So far we have only used it for one trip, but not a scratch was left on it with our first plane ride to and from. The shoulder straps make it super convenient walking through the airport and it was large enough to carry our car seat and base along with diapers and wipes and a few other things very easily. It looks great and is extremely durable. Very happy with this purchase.”

Compatible with: Infant Car Seats | Included Luggage ID: Yes (name tag card slot)

06

A Disney-Themed Car Seat Travel Bag With A Bonus Storage Pouch

Headed on a Disney family vacation or just a big fan of the brand? This Disney-themed car seat travel bag features adorable Mickey Mouse silhouettes in white against a black background. There’s even a mouse-earred luggage tag to finish off the look. But it’s not just cute to look at, it’s also made with a heavy-duty, waterproof polyester fabric that’s easy to wipe clean. The foam padded straps make this large bag easy to haul, and there’s even an extra storage pouch included so you can stash other baby items (think diapers and wipes!) inside.

Helpful Review: “This bag is excellent quality with very sturdy material. It was able to my Britax B-Safe Endeavors infant seat with base. I did have to remove the base prior to putting it in the bag in order for it to all fit. I put the base in first at an angle and then put the seat in after that and although it was tight it did fit. I appreciated the attention to detail on the Disney theme with cute little Mickey zipper pulls and ID tag holder.”

Compatible with: Infant, Convertible, and Booster Car Seats | Included Luggage ID: Yes

07

Also Nice: This Travel Belt For Attaching Your Car Seat To Your Carry-On Luggage

Free up your hands by strapping this sturdy car seat travel belt to your luggage. The strong nylon strap is sturdy enough to hold up to 35 pounds and is compatible with most 13- to 56-inch roller handbags and suitcases and forward-facing car seats that have a top tether. And several reviewer photos show this in use with the kid still in the car seat — impressive!

Helpful Review: “I had to travel alone with my 13 month old son, so as you can imagine I had to be creative when packing. I have a Graco milestone car seat and the largest rolling carryon bag allowed, it took me less than 2 minutes to get this set up. I was able to roll my bag with the car seat behind me and push my son in a small stroller with another bag attached to that, made traveling soooo much easier than I expected. This is a quick solution at a low cost, I highlyrecommend!”

Compatible with: Forward-Facing Car Seats | Included Luggage ID: No

08

Worth Considering: A Child Safety Harness For In-Flight

This Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved child airplane travel harness is a great safety travel accessory for when you carseat is checked away. It’s designed for kids 2 to 4 years old, or 22 to 44 pounds. It’s easy to install and keeps kids safely in place with an adjustable 3-point harness and over-the-seat strap. It works on most airline seat configurations except for the emergency exit row.

Helpful Review: “I used this for my 2 year old this past week. Our flights were about two hours long. I practiced using it one time on a straight back living room chair the night before we left. It was very easy. The little drawstring carry bag fit perfectly in our already crowded diaper bag. Installation takes about 30 seconds. […]Not only did the harness seem safer, it also served to keep her in her seat. Since it resembles car seat straps, she settled right in and didn’t try to squirm around like she did on our last flight (using just the lap belt while in my lap). […]”

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