Using forward facing car seats on an airplane is usually the easiest option as with most rear facing seats, a seat belt extender is required. These should be available from the flight attendant. Arm rests can be tricky so try and get a seat narrow enough that you can lower the armrests for takeoff and landing. This can be annoying as airplane seats vary in width, but most seats should not be more than 18” wide. Any bigger than this and the seat is probably too bulky anyway.
If your infant will have more passport stamps than a flight crew or you live in a big city where you mostly take public transit check out the Doona car seat stroller combo, the infant car seat that magically becomes a stroller! I haven’t used one in a car but I did get a chance to play with it and I was impressed. Others who have used it say that it lives up to the hype as the best car seat for airplane travel with an infant. Stroll up to the taxi door, retract the handle and wheels, then install as you would any other infant seat. It makes a perfect portable car seat for taxi rides with an infant.
The lightweight aluminum frame and slim profile when folded make this the ideal stroller frame when space is at a premium both in the home and car. A highlight of this model is the one-handed self-standing fold, with a fluid movement and your foot on the back of the stroller frame you can bring it into a standing fold that is so convenient for freeing up your hands to hold your baby.
The most drool-worthy of these for jetsetting families is surely the Mountain Buggy Nano Protect travel system. The Mountain Buggy Protect car seat weighs in at just 8lbs, while the Nano stroller weighs only 13lbs and can fold up to the size of carry-on luggage and fit in the overhead bin. That’s a huge time saver considering that we’ve sometimes waited for 45 minutes at the end of the jetway for our gate checked stroller, or worse haven’t received it until the baggage claim area. Does the Mountain Buggy Nano stroller sound great, but you already have your own infant seat to use? The Nano also offers the option to use an included belt to secure any infant car seat to it! You can even use the strap to secure a small/medium size travel toddler car seat. It we were going back to the beginning of our stroller buying days and this was available, you can be sure we’d own it. Check prices for the Mountain Buggy Nano stroller here.
If you are taking taxis or local transportation, then you usually have a choice about whether to use a car seat or not. Generally, it is perfectly legal to hold your child, although of course this isn’t as safe. In some places it is possible to hire taxis which have car seats although this is rare and I wouldn’t rely on it. In some buses you can install your own car seats.
Other reasons you might want to consider the Chicco travel system is its adjustable handle height (perfect for tall parents), memory recline, easy folding mechanism, easy maneuverability and lockable front wheels. It does have a few cons though including a bulky stroller that is not exactly the most practical to use every day. Its storage compartment might also not be huge enough to accommodate phones larger than the regular iPhone. Additionally, you might find it hard to access the storage basket if you attach the car seat to the stroller.
Graco Contender — The Contender is an all-time favorite travel seat at CSFTL. It’s fairly lightweight, though heavier than the Scenera NEXT or SureRide. It boasts a no rethread harness, a straightforward seat belt installation, and the Holy Grail of airplane installation — a closed forward facing belt path that keeps the airplane seat belt’s buckle away from the child’s back. Remember to ask for a seat belt extender, or buy one for yourself if you travel often.
Lightweight/Umbrella stroller: Though new designs mean that many standard strollers are only barely heavier than these models, umbrella strollers typically weigh 15 lbs or less and fold up compactly into a long, narrow shape (like an umbrella). These models are great for travel, or if you have an older child who doesn't need a stroller all the time. They're typically less expensive (often under $100), but usually don't hold as much or have as many features. For our top picks in this category see our guide to the best lightweight and umbrella strollers.
What is so great about this item? What makes this stand out among the rest is the Chicco Cortina Keyfit 30 car seat’s superior rating when it comes to crash protection. In fact, Consumer Reports has rated it as the best in that category thus making it the best baby travel system in the list. The stroller was actually designed to be made compatible to the car seat and not the other way around.
The Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 is another car seat stroller combo that’s good for tight budgets and features the Baby Trend Flex Loc infant car seat. The car seat fits babies from 5 - 30 pounds. The stroller works for infants and children up to 50 pounds. Unfolded stroller dimensions are 40" L x 23.50" W x 40" H and the car seat dimensions are 26" L x 16.5" W x 25" H.
This depends on what you plan to do while strolling. If you need a lightweight and compact option for travel, you are probably better off with an umbrella style. While they typically have fewer features and can be somewhat harder to push, the lighter weight and smaller folded size make them far easier to use while traveling. If you require something small that you can carry hands-free that doesn't weigh much, the Quinny Yezz is a perfect travel choice for most families and is super fun to push. If your trip is going to last most of the day, and baby will need to nap or you will need more supplies, then you may need a lightweight option with more space or a deeper recline. The Recaro Easylife and the BabyZen Yoyo+ are a potentially better option. However, keep in mind, if you want one option for both, either for convenience or budget reasons, then the Britax B-Agile 3 can work as both a full-size and lightweight option, even if it is larger when folded.
For parents of twins the Joovy Twin Roo allows you to place two car seats in tandem side by side so that your little ones can look at each other or face in different directions as they ride. The enormous storage basket provides all the space you could need for double the baby supplies while the four cup holders will stock enough refreshments for the longest of journeys.
The stroller is compatible with all KeyFit infant seats. It has double front-swiveling wheels with great suspension for a comfy ride and easier turning. Toe-tap locks on the front wheels and toe-tap parking brakes on the back keep it in place when you need it. Three positions on the handle accommodate parents of different heights. A generous storage basket and peek-a-boo window help make outings easier and less stressful.
This fun-looking travel system is super affordable and has great prints and patterns that parents seem to love. The well-padded seat on the stroller has multiple recline settings plus a removable large head support pillow that can also be used in the car seat. Parents like the padding and say the car seat straps are easy to buckle. They love the many compartments in the stroller, especially the bottom basket and the covered parent tray.
We haven’t tried this seat (though friends have), but we’ve heard that it can be a good choice for travel with older infants and toddlers. It’s almost as affordable as the Cosco seat above, with some versions priced under $75. It offers more room forward-facing and a higher weight limit, but isn’t as ideally suited for younger travelers. It weighs a moderate 15lbs, but probably wouldn’t be my top choice as a car seat to install in unfamiliar rental cars. Even so, it’s probably the best lightweight car seat for travel if you want just one travel car seat to last for many years. Check the latest prices here– you can also look for this clone that is sometimes cheaper.
Some parents found this stroller to be too bulky and hard to fit in a small trunk or hatch. Others were not big fans of the basket underneath the stroller. They felt it wasn’t accessible enough with a child reclined in the seat above. There’s only one cup holder in the parent tray, and it can be too shallow for some taller bottles, making them fall out when you hit bumps.
What else is there to like about this travel system? This one is perfect for families that drive compact cars. The base fits comfortably in small cars and comes with an easy release car seat so you won’t have a hard time getting it in and out of the car or stroller. Meanwhile, the stroller is light to use and easy to assemble and comes with an extended canopy for added sun protection.
For starters, a little bit about me. My name is TJ Donegan and I'm the Executive Editor of Reviewed.com, and I've spent the last decade helping people find everything from the best cameras to the best bottle warmers and the best diaper pails. More importantly, I'm a dad with two kids, so I know exactly how much of a pain it is to find the right stroller for you—and how much of a nightmare it is if you pick the wrong one.
A jogging travel system isn’t a necessary thing to have for child-rearing. As such, there are more single jogging strollers on the market than the car seat/jogging stroller combos. However, it is a good investment, especially if you are the type of person who works out by jogging or running outside. They are definitely a lifestyle-driven purchase. But they have great suspension and security to keep your child safe, asleep, and calm.
By now you've probably noticed that most travel car seats aren't exactly small. If you're traveling solo or wondering how you'll manage juggling your baby, your baggage and a car seat, check out the BRICA Roll ‘n Go Car Seat Transporter. This neat little gadget allows you to attach your car seat and wheel it around with baby strapped in, just like a piece of luggage – absolute genius!
I am not sure but I don’t think you’d be allowed to use the booster seats on the plane and you definitely wouldn’t be able to when the seat belt sign is on. They are not like seat belts in cars and it’s safer to use it without a booster. My kids did find it comfortable to sit on in a car, but I would wonder how they could comfortably sleep on one in a plane given there isn’t a seat belt by their heads to lean on.