In our list of the best travel car seats, we have looked after traveling parents who are tired of lugging around heavy and bulky car seats. If your tiny ones are ready for the booster stage, you should immediately get a seat that is not only comfortable, portable, compact, lightweight, easy to carry around, and washable but ultra-safe as well.
There is a wide range of booster seats available in the market in 2022. Some are backless boosters, some are high back boosters, some are harness + plus boosters, some are comfortable and secure and some are not.
So, what are the best travel car seats for your kid? That depends on your child’s age, weight, height, and budget. All of your questions and concerns will be answered in our blog post, and I hope you will find the best booster seat for your child after you finish this post.
I have personally tested each booster seat on our list on my nephews many times. My brother has all of them.
Before getting to the reviews, here are my favorite TOP 3
List Of Best Travel Car Seats 2022
Ride Safer Travel is in the middle of the traditional forward-facing car seat, and a booster seat and is considered one of the best travel car seats for toddlers who are not ready for the conventional booster yet.
Most people don’t even know how to install a car seat properly because it is tricky and technical, but Ride Safer Travel is super easy to install and carry around.
It uses the car seat belt itself which is the safest way to brace yourself. Think about it, car seat belts go across the child’s stomach, it can be either loose or too tight which is not good in both scenarios.
Diagonal belts run through the child’s neck even in the booster seats which is also dangerous. Ride Safer Travel has a 3 clip design to position the seat belt where it should be. It is one of the best travel booster seats in terms of safety.
Ride Safer Travel is made of extremely strong material, it passes all crash-test requirements and passes the federal motor vehicle standard for harness strength. Overall, it is way safer than you can imagine.
Ease of use:
We love this for the fact that you can put 3 kids in a row which is extremely difficult for a car seat depending on what car you have. They have also included the removable neck cushion which is helpful if your child falls asleep. It will hold the neck in one place.
How to Install:
- The optional top tether strap front will be inserted into the tether clip which is normally located behind the back seat. Thread the part underneath or over the headrest. Although tether strap is optional, I would suggest using it because it reduces the chances of head incursions.
- Take the seat belt, fasten it as you do. There are two metal clips on the lower portion of the Ride Safer Travel seat. Thread the belt through those clips.
- Open the shoulder Velcro, and hook/thread the seat belt through the metal clip hidden behind the metal clip. Close the Velcro.
- There are two metal clips on the shoulder portion of the Ride Safer Travel seat. You can now clip the portion of the tether strap through those shoulder clips if you want to.
Overall, theRide Safer Travel seat is an ultra-compact, comfortable, safe, lightweight, and reliable travel car seat that is vastly popular amongst traveling parents.
So during our research, we were looking for a booster seat that was small enough for 3 kids side by side.
We came across the BubbleBum booster seat which is considerably small and narrow than most of the best travel car seats we know.
BubbleBum booster is extremely popular among traveling parents because not only it is portable and small, but it is full of air. You only have to blow the air when required otherwise, it rolls to be the size of a small water bottle.
These inflatable travel seats are designed for children between 4-11 years old, but my friend is using BubbleBum for his 3-year-old as well. He was pretty determined that BubbleBum booster does a wonderful job for a 4-year-old too.
You just need to blow some air in the valve on the side of the BubbleBum. Even your kid can blow some air into it.
How to install:
That holds the child safely across their lap instead of wrapping around their stomach. It is a very good safety mechanism.
Overall, BubbleBum backless is not for wiggly children. It may shift. I wouldn’t recommend it if that is the case. Otherwise, it is extremely compact and portable, lightweight, easy to carry around, and ideal for renting a car, great for holidays because renting a car booster seat can be a bit expensive.
It was the very first inflatable, and one of the best travel car seats in the market.
Britax clicktight is an elite harness-2-booster car seat loaded with features and is secure for children. It passes all the safety tests including side impact protection. Easily one of the best travel car seats in terms of technology and reliability.
Britax is beautifully ergonomically designed to not put any pressure on the children’s body. The material is dual-layered to protect the head, neck, and torso and the harness has energy-absorbing capabilities.
The frame is made of industrial-grade steel which makes it super strong. We need that kind of protection for the price we are paying.
In the back, the tether has slow-release stitches which are being used to reduce the forward movement in the case of collision.
Britax has 9-position headrests that are designed to grow with your child. The cover is machine washable. It is one of the best car seats for a 4-year-old.
Installation of Britax ClickTight
Installation and switching from harness to booster mode is extremely easy. You may need the manual for the proper fit but we will roughly guide you about how to install it.
There you go. Installation is done. Shake the Britax booster seat. it will not move more than half an inch.
Overall, the cushions are extra padded and super soft. My nephews fall asleep during traveling in their Britax booster seat. Getting kids in and out is quicker and easier.
The things needed to be improved are the cup holders which are not deep and wide enough for holding snacks. Arms rests are not adjustable. It would have been awesome if my nephews could adjust the armrests according to their comfort.
One of the biggest drawbacks of this incredible booster seat is it is non-washable.
Only the seat cover can be washed, the rest of the seat is cleaned by a sponge. With kids, it is impossible to keep a seat clean. If a child throws up, the sponge would do no good, the odor will remain.
Despite above-mentioned issues, the cons are nothing compared to the pros of Britax booster seat.
Chicco Myfit is an elite booster travel car seat in every department. After the KeyFit and NextFit, Chicco Myfit becomes the flagship of the brand immediately after it’s released.
Not Chicco Myfit is not only easy to clean, easy to install, super safe with quality padding, but you can install multiple car seats in a single row which makes it the primary choice for parents of 2 to 3 children. I would recommend it for 1-year-old and 2-year-old traveling children.
I like the fact that it has multiple ways to install it. If you are in somebody else car or a taxi, there is always a way to make it work.
There are a lot of versions of Chicco like Chicco Myfit, Chicco Myfit LE, Chicco Myfit Zip, but the basic performance and features are the same. We are reviewing the regular model but we will also touch on some of the good features of other variants as well.
The reason for its success is that Chicco Myfit is designed for growing children instead of fixed age.
Harness to booster system and when you should transition
Don’t keep a 40-pound child on the booster mode. Keep them a little longer on the harness.
Convenience and Safety Features
How to transition Chicco Myfit car seat from Harness to Booster Mode
Transitioning from harness to booster mode is very tricky and technical for newbie moms. Veterans can get it done in 2 minutes. To guide you properly, I want to you watch the video below so that you don’t miss any steps to ensure maximum safety.
Overall, Chicco Myfit is a highly recommended harness + booster travel car seat with all the latest safety and convenience features to ensure a carefree ride.
It is strong and durable thanks to the steel frame. The fabric and the foam used in the manufacturing is elite and super comfy as it should be for the price.
9 position headrest ensures proper posture. It is great ergonomic char in terms of overall design and engineering. Some of the exclusive features are reserved for upper models but the basic features are the same in all models.
It is almost crazy how compact and portable Viaggio Flex 120 and fold booster seat is, it can be fold down when it is not in use. It is a highly adjustable high back travel seat designed for growing kids. It is easily one of the best travel car seats in terms of portability.
The manufacturer claims it has almost 243 adjustments to ensure maximum safety and comfort. I don’t know about 243, but it certainly has a lot of settings.
My neighbors have two Viaggio Flex 120 booster seats for their 4 and 6-year-olds, and they told me that they play around with settings a lot to make sure the seat is no way near the neck and belly region.
The settings allow the parents to fit the child rigidly on the Viaggio Flex 120 so that he/she doesn’t wiggle a lot in case of a small accident.
The headrest and sides protect the child from the impact and most of the energy will be absorbed by the EPS foam. The design is multi-layered for additional impact absorption.
The narrow design allows you to fit 3 across and you don’t need to worry about the space either because it can easily be folded.
The one thing that I don’t like despite its low price and amazing comfort is the lack of harness, and it does not convert into a backless booster.
If your child isn’t mature enough to sit in one position then you might look for other options because it utilizes the car’s seat belt instead of its harness.
If your child is old enough to transition into a backless booster then Viaggio Flex 120 may not be the one to purchase.
I can ignore these facts because Viaggio Flex 120 booster travel seat targets kids who are mature enough not to use a harness and young enough not to use a backless booster.
One seat can’t have it all and be budget-friendly, it isn’t just possible. For the price, Viaggio Flex 120 booster is a wonderful traveling car seat and highly popular among parents.
Overall, Viaggio Flex 120 booster is highly compact, portable, narrow, comfortable, and super adjustable with multiple settings, budget-friendly, and travel-friendly seats for traveling parents. Highly recommended by our team.
Normally, booster seats can be a little bulky and awkward while traveling, but Chicco GoFit is everything they advertised it to be. It is almost identical to BubbleBum booster travel seat having its pros and cons.
It is a bit larger than BubbleBum, takes a few extras breathes, but the washable material is a definite benefit compared to BubbleBum.
Chicco GoFit is extremely compact and portable. Easy to slip in with the luggage and backpacks. Its narrow design makes it easier to fit 3 in the back.
A 5-point harness is still the safest option, but for traveling, occasional use, and when you have a lot of luggage with you, Chicco GoFit travel seat may be a suitable option since it doesn’t occupy any space at all.
The setup is simple. It only takes a couple of breathes to be filled. The external cover is removable and machine washable. Chicco GoFit also includes an emergency patch kit with the package which cools.
One of my friends is using Chicco GoFit for her 5-year daughter, she told me that her daughter is very comfortable using this seat even after 4-5 hours of continuous drive.
The main selling point is the no-slip silicon bottom grip. There are little silicon knobs. It is extremely important that the lap belt stays in one place and doesn’t slip around.
Despite being a budget-friendly travel car seat, Chicco GoFit does a good job of taking care of that.
The installation is super easy, just hook the metal clips one by one through the seat belt. The seat belt will automatically go across the child’s lap instead of the gut.
Overall, Chicco GoFit is a great traveling booster seat. It is a bit larger compared to other booster seats in the price range, it is easy to set up, super comfortable, and durable. That anti-slip bottom silicon gip is the main selling point.
Graco is a world-famous brand for producing quality and innovative car seats for kids. Graco TurboBooster take along is no different. It is a 2-in-1 design with a backless booster and a highback booster travel seat.
Both modes support the weight from 40 to 100lbs. which is a standard for most booster seats.
I like the fact it is not only convenient for parents to use to for their kids who are not mature enough to use a backless booster but at the same time, the seat can be used for another child who is mature enough to use a booster seat with a high back.
The headrest is 6-point adjustable so it can be used for growing kids as well.
It meets all the US safety standards so no compromise there. It has also passed the side impact testing in the booster mode.
The comfy foam being used in manufacturing is EPS (energy absorbing) for safety reasons.
The seat isn’t breathable and understandably so for the price tag. It is good for the winters or normal temperature but you would need to turn on the AC in the summers otherwise your kid’s butt will be sweating like crazy.
It is super compact, there is a handle to carry it around which makes it highly convenient for traveling parents, and it folds to becomes 50% smaller.
I don’t have anything negative to say about its portability and compactness. You can purchase it for space-saving alone.
So the fabric is machine washable which I didn’t know at first. One of a friend is a mom of two, I suggested Graco TurboBooster travel seat and she bought one for her 4-year-old.
She travels a lot even in the COVID times and the washable fabric is almost necessary to keep the hygiene up to maximum. She was happy that a budget travel car seat has such beneficial tiny details.
Dual cup holders are one of its best features. Kids do like snacks and drinks next to them. The holder can swivel in and out which makes the space-saving.
Overall, the Graco TurboBooster travel seat is made for traveling parents who like to carry their seats with them all the time.
Graco TurboBooster is easy to carry, doesn’t take much space, is lightweight, comfortable, highly secure, made of washable fabric, and it is budget-friendly. Installation easy and simple as well.
How to choose the Best Travel Car Seats
For frequent traveling parents, choosing a booster seat that is compact, lightweight, portable, easy to carry around, comfortable, and secure is difficult with so many choices available in the market.
We have come up with the perfect buying guide and few tips for traveling parents and everyday rides so that you can make sure your child is not only comfortable but safe as well.
- Type of booster
- Size and portability
- Installation and use
The most important thing for any booster travel seat is the safety of the child. Good-looking seats may look secure but most of them wiggle a lot and there is that issue with seat belt strapping around child’s neck.
For a secure booster seat, the seat belt must never go around a child’s neck or abdomen. It shouldn’t move more than an inch from its position if you give it a good shake.
That travel car seat must pass the side-impact, collision, and highway safety tests. If you can afford it, you should choose a model with energy-absorbing foam and tethers to keep the impact from collision minimum.
Britax, Graco, Ride safe travel and other travel seats on our list are known for their impeccable safety and reliability.
Additionally, you may never cross the weight and height limit of the seat.
Some booster seats come with high back, some are backless, some are narrow, and some are wide. First, you need to determine if your child is mature enough not to play with a seat belt and safety buttons, then he/she is ready to sit on the backless booster seat, if he/she is 2-3 year old and very wiggly, booster seat with back will be suitable for the safety purposes.
Children over 6 years normally use backless boosters far as I have researched. I want to fit-3-across, BubbleBum, Ride safe travel and Graco TurboBooster are recommended products.
If your child is small and has a small butt, then Chicco GoFit is the most compact and narrow booster seat available in the world.
You should leave your big, bulky, and heavy seats at home because portability and normal weight are key for traveling seats if you are a frequent traveling parent.
I highly advise against a heavy booster seat. Trust me, you will be so frustrated when you carry around that heavy continuously.
Looks for seats like Graco, Bubble BUM, and Chicco Myfit are easy to fi-3-across and are super portable and compact.
These booster seats are lightweight as well. BubbleBum especially can even fit in the glove box but isn’t as comfortable as others mentioned above.
My personal favorite harness-to-booster seats. Those are not only comfortable but can be used for both growing and small children.
Don’t tell me that your kid has never thrown up in the car, I won’t believe it. My nephews throw up 4-5 times a month, and my brother has to sponge clean the car seat. It is pain in the ass if your booster seat is not machine washable.
It is almost to come up with the idea of sponge cleaning considering we are purchasing these seats for children, and children are unpredictable.
If your booster travel seat isn’t washable, the odor will remain even if you clean it.
Check-in detail if the seat is machine washable or not. My brother has a lot of seats that are machine washable but sticks with BRITAX whose only cover is machine washable.
I get it, BRITAX is the elite of the elite in terms of safety and comfort, but come on, you should be able to clean your child’s mess without leaving a disgusting odor.
Make sure your seat is easy to install whether harness or booster. Dismantling and folding should also be easy. Take a look at the overall convenience like installation with one hand while holding the baby in other, cup holder or small compartment for snacks and drinks, kids usually love that.
I have only those booster seats that are simple to install even during travel. Going through the same time-taking process daily can be frustrating that is why I have skipped those chairs on my list.
Only opt for those models which make you comfortable to use it on daily basis.
I have already mentioned that the best travel car seats are ones that are lightweight, compact, portable, comfortable, easy to carry around, and ultra-secure.
I have tried my level best to review only the best products and highlighted their pros and cons. Since we are talking about traveling in our article title, excluding BRITAX, all 6 seats are preferred for traveling parents.
Viaggio Flex 120, Graco, and BubbleBum in particular are extra compact and lightweight.
My final advice would be to leave the heavy and bulky car seats at home, it is the biggest pain in the neck to carry heavy baby seats around during traveling.
Finally, never forget the safety rules. Follow all the installation laws. Double-check if the booster seat has passed all the tests or not.
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