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Old 08-08-2011, 03:08 PM   #1
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Best carseat for travel?

What is the best, lightest, easiest to install carseat for travel?

I will be flying fairly often and taking DD with me (she's 2.5 years old, 27.5 lbs, about 37" tall). The trip next week will involve changing planes, then taking a hotel shuttle van to the hotel at our destination.

I need a seat that is light and easy to install in both the airplane and the hotel shuttle van.

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Old 08-08-2011, 03:12 PM   #2
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Re: Best carseat for travel?

What is your budget?

Is your dd forward facing or rear facing? And, if forward facing, would you be willing to consider turning her back around to rear facing?

Generally the light seats are outgrown sooner and might not be a good idea for a child who's already 2.5. And the easiest seats to install tend to be a little heavier as well. If you're going to compromise on something from your "wish list," would you rather compromise in the weight and get something a little heavier, or compromise on installation and get something more challenging to correctly install?
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:18 PM   #3
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Re: Best carseat for travel?

You can also strap the car seat onto a luggage rack to wheel through the airport I always take my Britax convertible seats while traveling because I don't have to worry about how they'll install in whatever vehicle we're using.
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:02 PM   #4
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Re: Best carseat for travel?

If you are Forward Facing, I like my Maestro. It is light and installs easily in most cars. For rear-facing, I'd get a Scenara.
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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Re: Best carseat for travel?

I like a Scenera for travel because of weight & low-cost, but RF'ing installs can kinda be a pain in the butt with that particular seat. Personally if it was a seat I would be using ON the plane everytime I traveled with it (vs. checking in any way), I would probably suck it up with carrying it and go for a heavier, easy to install in pretty much any vehicle kind of seat, probably a Britax...either a Roundabout or a Marathon. They're both super easy & fast to install in pretty much any vehicle because of the built in lockoffs. Now, if I was risking checking the seat, I'd go with something cheaper like a Scenera because I'd probably be replacing it more often due to visible damage caused by airlines and/or paranoia of unseen damage caused by airlines.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:10 PM   #6
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Re: Best carseat for travel?

She currently rear-facing in our Britax Diplomat. It's a nice seat, but it's a PITA to install. I go to great lengths to avoid removing it from the vehicle because it takes about an hour each time to get in secure when we re-install it. Taking it with me is NOT an option.

If I have to pick between weight and ease of installation, I'll take ease of installation any time. I don't want to be holding up the boarding process while trying to secure it in the airplane seat and I don't want to hold up the loading lane at the airport for any longer than necessary either. If it helps, the seats in the shuttle van are bench-style and very flat, they have little or no angle to them.

I would consider putting her forward-facing on the plane, but I just don't trust those shuttle drivers, so she has to be rear-facing there.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:53 PM   #7
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Re: Best carseat for travel?

If its just for travel, I'd get a Scenera or another cheapie light weight too. That way if it gets banged up its not biggie. I'd install on the plane RF as then she can see you and you can interact, feed and all that a lot easier. We RF with our Corroco on the plane no problem. That way they also can't kick the seat in front of them by accident. I like the Corroco for travel but I would not buy one at that age. I don't like it for much else.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:41 AM   #8
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Re: Best carseat for travel?

Budget?

If you think a diplomat is hard to install, then I'm not sure what you'd consider easy, to be honest. Have you tried it in lots of different cars or is it possibly just difficult in your own car? What is the difficulty with it?

Normally I'd suggest a roundabout55 if it is in your price range ($150-$160), but the installation will be similar to a diplomat.

ETA: if a diplomat is a difficult installation for you, then a scenera would probably be way out of the question, although you could try it and see what you think.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:52 AM   #9
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Re: Best carseat for travel?

I always traveled with my Britax Roundabout. Not exactly lightweight, but a breeze to install (I have a new generation Marathon, and while I love it, the new lockoffs due make installation take a bit longer than the old lock offs.) The only thing to note when installing it on a plane is to flip the seat belt, so the latch plate faces away from the car seat- it makes it much easier to open the seat belt.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:59 AM   #10
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Re: Best carseat for travel?

An Evenflo Tribute is similar in size, weight, and around the same price (maybe a little more) than a Scenera BUT way easier to install. At her size though, she may not fit rf in either one for much longer, if she still does. I don't know of a seat that is really light weight that will go rf for an older toddler.

Are you using the seat belt or LATCH to install your Diplomat? Maybe we can give some ideas for an easier install. I wouldn't like a seat that took me an hour everytime!! It took me about 20 minutes to get a Radian in my mom's car the other day and I wanted to throw it across the driveway by then!! Can you take pictures of the seat installed in the car? Maybe we can see something to help.
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