Travel car seat boosters

Best and safest travel car seats and booster 

Top 9 travel car seats and booster seats

For the lazy reader we summarized our results here and the MiFold Grab-and-Go and the ComfiGO booster seats have a low-profile design, the Trunki BoostApak easily converts to a backpack, the BubbleBum inflatable booster seat inflates with a few breaths, while the RideSafer Travel Vest is a wearable vest. These are some of the best travel car seats and boosters on the market.


It is no news that regular car seat belts do not adequately protect children in the event of an accident. So, to ensure that your little one is safe when they travel in a car whether in a taxi, rented car or your own  you should use a travel car seat or boosters specially designed for travelling with children. 


In fact, given the importance of car seats, many countries make these children safety seats mandatory.
However, buying a travel baby seat can be overwhelming, as many types are on the market. This article will help you navigate the car seat waters and determine the best car seat to travel with.

The article will tell you:
●    The top car seats in the market and why they are highly rated.
●    What to look out for when buying travel car seats.
●    The car seat regulations in countries like the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia.


Let’s start the discussion with why you should use travel car seats for your children!
 

Why you need to use travel car seats for your children
A travel car seat can not only be used while in a car but also be used while flying.  When traveling in cars, a travel car seat can be the difference between life and death in a crash. When traveling on planes, your child is safest and most comfortable when they are in car seats. Car crashes cause one of every four unintentional injury deaths in children below 13 years of age. So, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children under 13 years.


Because of children's anatomy, car seat belts are ineffective in protecting children in car crashes. For this reason, infant car seats and safety booster seats are specially designed to protect children passengers in car crashes.


Research by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) showed that car seats saved 325 children (under five years) in one year. Thus, to keep your child safe every time the child travels in the car with you, you need to use a travel car seat or travel booster seat appropriate for the child’s weight and height.
Children’s travel car seat rules and regulations


Given the life-saving importance of car seats, many countries have regulations making it compulsory for citizens to use these seats when traveling with children.
In places where laws mandate the use of car seats, it is an offense to travel with children in a car without strapping them in appropriate car seats or travel booster seats. The penalty for such violation differs from place to place and includes fines, suspension of licenses, etc.


The application of car seat regulations varies. In some countries, the same rule applies across the country. Other countries have regional applications, where the law applies differently in the country's different regions.
The provisions of car seat regulations also differ from place to place. For example, the vehicles exempted from mandatory car seat laws vary, the ages of children that must use car seats differ, etc.


Let’s look at the travel car seat regulations in some countries.


Travel child car seat requirements in the US
The US has car seat regulations that make using car seats compulsory for children of certain ages. Just as driving rules (like minimum driving age and speed limits), the US car seat laws are set at the state level. So, the regulations differ from state to state.


However, the NHTSA has recommendations that the different US states use in setting their regulations. The NHTSA car seat recommendations are as follows:
●    0 - 3 years: rear-facing car seats
●    1 - 7 years: forward-facing car seats
●    4 - 12 years: booster seat
Though the different US states follow these recommendations, their travel car seat laws differ. For example:

 

Alabama.
Alabama car seat regulations require that all children under six (6) years old be restrained by appropriate car seats or booster seats when riding in cars. 
Specifically, the law provides that:
●    Infants should use rear-facing car seats until they are at least one year old or 20 pounds.
●    Children should use forward-facing car seats until they are at least five (5) years old or 40 pounds.
●    Children should use booster seats until they are at least six (6) years.


Michigan 
Michigan car seat regulations require that you use children's car seats for children under eight (8) years old.
Specifically, the law provides that 
●    Infants should use rear-facing car seats until they are four (4) years old.
●    Children should ride in appropriate forward-facing car seats or booster seats until they are eight (8) years old or 4 ft 9 in.


Travel child car seat requirements in the UK
The UK car seat laws require that children use car seats until they are 12 years old or 135 cm (whichever comes first).
The appropriate car seat depends on your child’s weight or height.
●    Infants should ride in rear-facing car seats until they are 10kg (at least 15 months old).
●    Children should ride in forward-facing car seats until they are about 25 kg.
●    Children should ride in booster seats until they are 36kg (or 12 years old).
Travel child car seat requirements in Canada
Canada has car seat regulations that make using safety car seats compulsory when riding with children in cars. However, Canada follows the US approach, where each region has its own laws. 
In Canada, the provisions of the travel car seat regulations differ from province to province.

 

That said, the car seat laws in some Canadian provinces are as follows:
 

Ontario
Ontario’s car seat laws provide that:
●    Children must ride in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 9kg (20lbs) or one year old.
●    Children should ride in forward-facing car seats when weighing between 9 - 18 kg (20 - 40 lbs).
●    Children should use booster seats when weighing 18 - 36 kg (40 - 80 lbs), under 1.45 m (4’ 9’’) tall, or under eight years.


Alberta
Alberta’s car seat laws do not say anything about booster seats but provide for rear- and forward-facing car seats as follows:
●    Children ride in rear-facing car seats until they are two years old.
●    Children ride in forward-facing car seats until they weigh 18 kg (40 lbs) or reach six (6) years.
Travel child car seat requirements in Australia
Australia has car seat regulations that apply nationally, which require children under seven (7) years of age to use suitable car seats when traveling in a vehicle.
The Australian car seat regulations provide that:
●    Infants up to the age of 6 months must use a rear-facing travel baby seat
●    Children between 6 months and 4 years must use either rear-facing or forward-facing travel car seats
●    Children between 4 and 7 years must use forward-facing car seats or suitable booster seats
Unlike the UK and the US, Australia also mandates using car seats in taxis.


How to choose the best travel car seat
When you need to buy the best travel car seat, some of the things to consider are:
 

Safety
First and foremost, a car seat should be able to keep your child safe. Only car seats that meet relevant safety standards can be trusted as safe because these seats undergo rigorous tests before gaining the approval of the relevant bodies.


Thus, when buying car seats, consider only those compliant with relevant standards. You’ll usually find compliance statements on labels.
 

FAA Approved
An FAA-approved car seat is the best travel car seat if you will fly with your little one. Only FAA-approved car seats can be taken onboard and used on airplanes.
So, if you want to be flying with a car seat, you should look out for FAA-approved car seats. When flying, a child is not only safest when you use a car seat but also most comfortable. 


Lightweight
When traveling with a car seat, you will need to carry it multiple times. You will port it around the airport, lift it in and out of your car ride, etc. If your child is an infant, you may have to carry the car seat with your child in it. Thus, the lighter the car seat, the easier it is to deal with.


Portability
It is not enough for a car seat to be lightweight; it’s also important not to be bulky. A portable car seat is also easier to carry around when traveling. It also makes a good airplane car seat when flying because you can easily fit it between the plane seats.


Ease to install
A car seat is useful only when you install it correctly. If the installation process is frustrating, you’re less likely to do it correctly. Thus, the ideal car seat should be easy to install.


Ease of use
Also, even when you install the car seat correctly, your child can only be safe in it if they are properly buckled in. The more difficult it is to buckle a child in, the higher the chances of doing it incorrectly. 
Thus, a travel child seat should be easy to use. It should be easy to buckle and unbuckle the harness straps, chest clips, etc. That is, it should be easy to safely strap the child in and get them out of the car seat.
A foldable travel car seat is easy to use, as you can easily collapse it when you need it for different applications.

 

The weight and height requirement
Travel carseats come with weight and height requirements. Thus, even if you install the seat correctly and strap the child in properly, the seat is only safe if it is appropriate for the child’s height and weight.
Thus, when buying a car seat, you should pay attention to the manufacturer’s weight and height requirements and ensure that your child falls within. That is, do not buy a car seat in the hopes that your child will grow into it as you use it, and do not buy one that your child has outgrown.


The recommended travel booster seats for your children
There are four basic types of car seats - rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, convertible car seats, and booster seats.


Infants start with rear-facing car seats and grow into forward-facing car seats as they become toddlers. Convertibles are “rear-facing + forward-facing” combos. You can use a convertible car seat rear-facing for infants, and later convert it to forward-facing as your child grows older.  


Booster seats are designed for children who have outgrown forward-facing travel carseats but are not old enough to use your car’s regular seat belt. Boosters are for children of at least four years old.


In the rear-facing, forward-facing, and convertible car seats, the harness straps of the seats fit snugly across your child’s body. But the booster seats simply raise your child higher up in the car’s seat so that the car’s regular seat belt can go across your child’s body at the correct points.


So, the best travel booster car seat ensures that your car’s seat belts provide protection to your child who is not old enough to use the seat belt but has outgrown children's car seats.


Since the travel booster seat aids your car’s seat belt to strap down your child correctly, it helps reduce momentum during a crash, keeping your child from crashing against the vehicle’s body.


The best travel booster and car seat

1. Trunki BoostApak
 
●    Price: $65
●    Product dimension: 40 x 36 x 16 cm (15.75 x 14.17 x 6.3 inches)
●    Weight: 1.7 kg (3.75 lbs)
●    Orientation: forward-facing
●    Weight requirement: 15 - 36 kg (33.07 - 79.36 lbs)


The Trunki BoostApak is a portable car booster seat for kids that have outgrown traditional car seats. It’s appropriate for children between the ages of 4 - 12.


It’s one of the best travel booster seats because it is a “travel backpack and child car booster seat” combo. That is, it is a foldable booster car seat that easily converts into a backpack that your child can carry, making it easy to carry around.


Interestingly, the Trunki BoostApak’s backpack feature is not only for transporting it. It has an 8-liter storage space for packing children’s toys, games, and stationery.


The Trunki BoostApak is a very functional and safe car booster seat. It is fully compliant with relevant EU child restraint standards (like ECE R44.04). Its seat belt adjuster and unique fold-out seatbelt guides ensure that you safely install it. Its hard plastic internal shell provides maximum strength in a car crash.
Lastly, Trunki BoostApak is one of the best carseats for travel because most airlines approve of it as hand luggage.


2. Mifold Grab and Go Car Booster Seat
 
●    Price: $57
●    Product dimension: 10 x 9 x 2.6 inches
●    Weight: 1.6 lbs
●    Orientation: forward-facing
●    Weight requirement: 40 - 100 lbs
●    Height requirements: 40 - 59 inches

 

Mifold is the leader in the ultra-compact car seat business, as the Mifold Grab and Go car booster seat is the world’s most compact and narrow backless booster. In fact, it is more than 10x smaller than a traditional booster, making it the most portable car seat.
 

This Mifold car booster is so compact that it fits into a child’s backpack or a parent's handbag. Also, if you want a lightweight booster seat for travel, the Mifold Grand and Go is one of the lightest car seats you’ll find, as it weighs just 1.6 lbs.
 

Interestingly, the Mifold Grab and Go car booster seat is just as safe as the regular (bulky) booster car seats. While traditional boosters raise your child to fit the seatbelt, the Mifold Grab and Go readjusts the seat belt to fit your child by pulling it down to fit their body securely.
 

However, it meets or exceeds child car seat regulations in the US (NHTSA’s standard FMVSS 213) and worldwide. Other safety features include anti-slip pads. This foldable travel car seat features a padded seat for extra comfort for your child. Older children generally love the Mifold Grab and Go booster seat because it is discreet.
 

3. BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Seat
 
●    Price: $29.99
●    Product dimension: 11 x 11 x 4.5 inches
●    Weight: 15 ounces (0.94 lbs)
●    Orientation: forward-facing
●    Weight requirement: 40 - 100 lbs
●    Maximum height requirement: 57 inches


The BubbleBum inflatable car seat is advertised as the first and original inflatable booster seat. It is appropriate for kids between 4 - 11 years.


Measuring 11 x 11 x 4.5 inches, the BubbleBum is portable. Weighing under one pound, it is one of the lightest car seats you’ll find. Also, it is foldable and inflatable. It inflates in just seconds and also deflates quickly for easy packing.  When deflated and folded, it is small enough to fit into a child’s backpack or an adult’s purse, making it one of the best portable car seats for travel.


The BubbleBum is the only inflatable booster seat to feature a patented safety and stability system. The system includes a high-density memory foam that stabilizes the seat’s structural integrity, and a reinforced harness and toughened nylon side clips that provide optimum seat belt fit to firmly hold the child in place in case of a crash.


If you are looking for the best cheap car seat for travel, the BubbleBum inflatable boster is a fine choice as it cost only $29.99. 


4. Hiccapop UberBoost Inflatable Booster Car Seat
 
●    Price: $36.92
●    Product dimension: 12.91 x 5.08 x 4.09 inches
●    Weight: 1.3 lbs
●    Orientation: forward-facing
●    Weight requirement: 40 - 100 lbs


The Hiccapop UberBoost booster is an inflatable car seat that you can fold away into backpacks, making it an excellent foldable booster seat for travel. It is suitable for kid passengers between the ages of 4 and 11.
Being portable and weighing just over 1 pound, the Hiccapop UberBoost proves that booster car seats do not have to be bulky and heavy. 


You can inflate it with only a few breaths. Even a child can do it. It features double-thick vinyl, steel belt loops, and no-skid silicone beads, which help to keep your child stable and secure. 


If you’re looking for the best car seat for taxi travel, consider the Hiccapop UberBoost booster, as it installs quickly. Even its name gives it away as a lightweight portable car seat specifically designed for car sharing services like Uber and Lyft. 


The Hiccapop UberBoost booster car seat comes with a carrying case, which makes it easy to carry around. At $36.92, it is a cheap travel car seat. 


5. Ride Safer Travel Vest
 
●    Price: $165.92
●    Product dimension: 15 x 9.5 x 3.5 inches
●    Weight: 2.4 lbs
●    Orientation: forward-facing
●    Weight requirement: 30 - 60 lbs
The Ride Safer Travel Vest is very different from traditional infant car seats or booster seats. As its name suggests, it is a vest that children wear. The vest positions the vehicle’s shoulder and lap belts to correctly fit the child, and securely holds the child in place.
This Ride Safer Travel Vest is tested to the same standards as regular car seats and passes. It complies with the requirements of FMVSS 213 and other applicable child restraint system standards.
The Ride Safer Travel Vest makes traveling with a booster seat very easy. Your child can wear it as a fun vest, or you can fold it away into a suitcase or child’s backpack.
It is also an excellent solution for carpoolers. Given the portability of the “travel vest cum travel car seat” solution, kids can sit closer together, allowing three kids to sit in a row.


6. ComfiGO Car Booster Seat
 
●    Price: $59.95
●    Orientation: forward-facing
●    Weight requirement: 40 - 100 lbs
●    Height requirements: 40 - 57 inches


The ComfiGO car seat is a kid-friendly booster seat that is suitable for children ages 4 - 12. 
The ComfiGO booster seat is unlike regular booster seats that raise your child to meet the vehicle’s seat belt system. Instead, it works by repositioning the seat belt to properly fit and secure your child.
It meets the safety requirements of international car seat standards (like the FMVSS 213). ComfiGO booster seat will work in any car with a lap-and-shoulder seat belt system.
The ComfiGO is a portable travel booster seat allowing you to easily take it on a trip. It’s small and compact enough to fit in a bag, purse, or backpack.


It also has an unobtrusive and low-profile design. It lies directly on your car’s seat, so you can use the ComfiGO booster seat without removing it, as if nothing is there. For this reason, it is a top choice among older children. 
 

7. Chicco GoFit Backless Booster Car Seat
 
●    Price: $44.98
●    Product dimension: 15 x 17 x 8.5 inches
●    Weight: 5 lbs
●    Orientation: forward-facing
●    Weight requirement: 40 - 110 lbs
●    Height requirement: 38 - 57 inches


The Chicco GoFit Backless booster car seat raises your child up to use your vehicle’s seat belt. It is one of the best travel car seats for 4-year-olds.The booster seat ticks every safety box. Its lap belt guides and shoulder belt clip ensure that you securely strap your child in. Installing it is very easy because of its quick-release LATCH system.
The Chicco GoFit car seat is designed for comfort. It features a contoured ErgoBoost seat and double foam padding that provides support all around.


The Chicco GoFit backless booster offers grab-and-go convenience. It has a carry handle that makes it easy to carry when traveling. The booster seat also features two cup holders. You can also fold them away to save space.


8. Diono Solana Backless Booster Car Seat
 
●    Price: $29.97
●    Product dimension: 13.2 x 16.9 x 7.7 inches
●    Weight: 2.9 lbs
●    Orientation: forward-facing
●    Weight requirement: 40 - 120 lbs (18 - 54 kg)
●    Height requirement: 38.2 - 63 inches


Diono Solana booster car seat is a portable and lightweight booster seat that grows with your child until they’re eight years of age.


The Solana car seat features integrated belt positioning that allows it to quickly and securely hold your child in place. It has an ergonomically contoured seat that prevents slipping and extra length that offers better leg support.  Also, the booster offers quick and easy installation.
Measuring 13.2 x 16.9 x 7.7 inches and weighing under 3 inches, it is a lightweight portable car seat for travel. It’s easy to transfer it between vehicles.


The Solana booster seat has two elasticated cup holders at its sides. You can store drinks and snacks for your little ones and quickly collapse them and hide them away when not in use. 
The Diono Solana backless booster car seat will serve you if you want the best cheap car seat for travel, costing less than $30.


9. MiFold HiFold Highback Booster Seat
 
●    Price: $199.99
●    Product dimension: 13.5 x 13.5 x 9.8 inches
●    Weight: 10 lbs
●    Orientation: forward-facing
●    Weight requirement: 40 - 100 lbs
●    Height requirement: 40 - 59 inches

 

MiFold HiFold Highback booster car seat won the 2019 Creative Product of the Year Award and is one of the best travel car seats for 4-year-olds.
The MiFold HiFold highback booster is the world’s most adjustable booster seat, as it can be adjusted to 243 different settings. Thus, it grows with your child, ensuring optimal seatbelt fit and comfort, no matter the shape or size of the child.

 
The booster meets or exceeds applicable car seat standards (including NHTSA’s FMVSS 213). This MiFold booster seat is unique in this list as it offers headrest and side-impact protection.
The multiFold system of this MiFold booster seat helps to quickly fold it into a compact and convenient size, making it ideal for carrying around and storage.