The 11 FAA Approved Best Carseat For Airplane Use To Keep Babies Safe

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For parents that plan to bring their child on a flight, it’s important to select the best carseat for airplane use that not only provides security but also let your child travel in comfort.

​According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the safest place for your child on an airplane is in a child safety restraint system (CRS), not on your lap! In fact, in 2007, a child survived a plane crash all thanks for her children car seat.

​The car seat is one of the many innovations created to adhere to a child or an infant’s smaller frame and keep them safe when traveling. But cars seats aren’t just for road trips and can be used elsewhere as well such as when traveling on airplanes.

Choosing the best carseat for aircraft use is just as important as selecting a cars seat for everyday use in order to ensure a child’s safety and comfort.


​Does My Child Need A Car Seat On A Plane?


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There are many different laws and regulations on the use of car seats depending on where you live but for air travel, there is no direct law that states that a carseat is a necessity.

​This, however, is a recommendation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to add an extra level of safety and comfort for small children especially.

​It is a known fact that any child under the age of two years old will not be required to purchase a seat on the plane and parents will have the option to have them on their lap instead. But then here lies the huge difference between a two-month-old and an 18-month-old.

​Purchasing an extra seat for a child under two will be substantially cheaper than the rate of any regular adult but isn’t necessary. If you are flying off of peak season and arrive at the airport early, you might just be awarded a free seat for your child on the plane.

​An extra seat and a car seat for children on the aircraft provides them with the right fitting space for them to get comfortable especially on long haul flights and for infants to sleep properly somewhere other than their mother’s arms which can be stressful for the caretaker.

​Many airlines offer bassinets for babies, but these have proven to be inconvenient as they are often raised too high and are only ideal for very young babies (below 9-months-old) as they have a weight requirement (usually below 24 lbs) and have shallow sides for those that roll or can sit up.


FAA Certification

Not all baby carseats are made equal, after all, there is limited space on airplanes as compared to cars, and the difference is movement also needs to be considered to maximize security for children.

Make sure that the car seat you plan on taking on the plane with you has FAA Certification which is a mark in red that entitles the owner to use the carseat on airplanes.

All car seat manufacturers are required to state whether their carseat has FAA Certification or not and this will be written in red lettering with a plane logo to make it easy to find.


Regulations and Recommendations

Always be aware that airplane seats are differently designed from car seats, and a car seat will need to be compatible with airplane seats to be used appropriately and safely.

The following regulations and recommendations have been put in place or your convenience in choosing the best carseat for airplane use:

  • Ensure that the carseat you plan on using has FAA certification.
  • The average airline seat is 16 inches wide; you will want to make sure you bring a car seat that fits this frame or calls the airline first for more specific measurements.
  • Make sure your child will have a place to use the car seat, get to the airport early and request any vacate and unoccupied seats (if available) or buy your child a seat at a discounted price.
  • Make sure the airline is aware that you will be using a children carseat. A children carseats are NOT recommended to be placed by any exit row for the child own safety and also not to block passage areas. It is recommended that a car seat is placed by the window or in the middle of a three seat lane.
  • Get a car seat with a carrying bag (or can be bought separately, see car seat carriers below), or ask the airline in advance for assistance. A bulky carseat, plus luggage and a child can be difficult to lug around especially if you have a connecting flight.

Who Should Use a Baby Car Seat?


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When using a baby car seat in a vehicle, specifications may vary depending on many different variables such as height, weight, and age.

However, when using a carseat on an airplane, the main variable to consider is weight. Any child over 40lbs is recommended to be in a regular airline seat and use a regulation seatbelt.

​For children between 20-40lbs, it is recommended that either a forward facing car seat is used or the CARES system which will be provided by the airline. The Cares system compromises of a harness system that attaches to the seat and onto a child like a five point harness would.

However, not all airlines provide this option. So it is advised that you call ahead and ask if this service is provided or you can either use your front facing baby carseat providing it adheres to FAA regulations or buy a CARES system at Amazon which is FAA certified too.

Any child under 20lbs is recommended to be in a standard rear facing FAA approved carseat though.


Car Seat Installation

Each car seat manufacturer will have different instructions for installation onto an airplane seat.

For easier installation, it is suggested that the airline seat is reclined first to allow more space for the base to fit and for easy access to the seatbelt which will need to be looped onto the baby carseat for stability.

If the airline seat belt is too short, know that you always have the option of asking for an extender from the flight crew. Check out this informative video on how to strap a baby carseat correctly and securely.


Top Rear-Facing Carseats For Babies and Toddlers

If you are looking to buy the best carseat for airplane to prepare for your next trip with your child, you are in the right place!

We have made your life easier by scouring the web and gathered the best baby car seat with FAA approved and written a summary for each car seat. Check them out below.

Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat


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The Evenflo Tribute is a favorite because it is convertible from rear facing to front facing once a child reaches the suggested weight for a front facing seat.

This carseat is suitable for newborns and until the child reaches a weight of up to 30lbs. This carseat has multiple slots to adjust the harness to ensure that it grows with your child.

An adjustable harness also offers children more comfort and a better assurance of safety. The Evelflow Tribute weighs 9.1lbs and measures at 18.5x22x25.5 inches.


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Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat, Saturn
List Price: $69.99
Price: $40.79
You Save: $29.20
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Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat


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The Graco Contender is another convertible car seat that can fit infants from 5-20lbs at a rear facing position and a front facing position up to 65bs.

​This car seat also has multiple adjustment systems for its harness with up to eight slots. The Graco Contender is heavily padded as compared to other car seats which add to safety as a baby car seat for airplanes and is also more comfortable for children, especially during long-haul flights.

This carseat has its cup holder for bottles or sippy cups to offer parents an extra level of convenience. The downside to the Graco Contender is its weight slightly on the heavier side at 15.2lbs. It also has dimensions of 22×18.5×23.5 inches.

​The Graco Contender 65 also list as the best rear facing car seats and also makes it to the list as one of the best forward facing carseats too.


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Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat, Glacier
List Price: $139.99
Price: $135.99
You Save: $4.00
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Safety First Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat


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The Safety First Guide is also convertible and can be used as rear or front facing until a child is 65lbs. What sets this choice apart is its more compact frame which will be an advantage to infants and smaller babies/toddlers but that may be uncomfortable for older or bigger sized children.

​This car seat has up to five harness adjustments and up to 3 buckle adjustments. The Safety First Guide weighs 11.6lbs in total and has dimensions of 20x18x23.5 inches.

Unlike other carseats, this choice has an adjustable head rest for when children are sleeping which is an added convenience for long haul flights.

​The Safety First Guide comes with a cup holder extension for bottles and sippy cups which may not be ideal to fit into an airplane seat compact frame, but the cup holder can be removed if it can’t fit the seat in an aircraft.


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Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat, Chambers
List Price: $99.99
Price: $68.88
You Save: $31.11
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Cosco Scenera NEXT Lightweight Car Seat


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The Cosco Scenera convertible car seat is light weight at only 11lbs and hence is ideal to take along during flights as it can lessen the load of having to take care of a small child plus carry the car seat, cabin bag, and luggage.

This baby carseat for airplanes is convertible and can grow with your child according to weight. It has a sleek and uncomplicated design. Not only this car seat is FAA approved, it’s also TSA friendly design for airport security.


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Top Front-Facing CarSeats For Babies and Toddlers

Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat


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The Evenflo Maestro is suitable for children until they reach a weight of up to 110lbs which is more than enough allowance for a carseat to be used to its full extent and grow with your child.

​It has an easily adjustable chest buckle and a 3 point adjustment system at its base. For added convenience, this car seat also comes with dual cup holders on either side. This car seat weighs 14.2lbs and has dimensions of 20.5x19x27 inches.


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Evenflo SecureKid LX Booster Car Seat


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The Evenflo SecureKid doesn’t just come with all the trimmings of a secure carseat such as an adjustable harness system and buckle, but it also has a click on strap that attaches easily to seats.

​This features can easily let you strap this baby carseat securely in the car or on a plane without must effort which makes the best carseat for airplane use.

​This choice also comes with two cup holders for convenience. The Evenflo SecureKid weighs 14.5lbs and has dimensions of 25.2×20.2×19.5 inches.


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Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat


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The Diono Radian is a convertible car seat that can be used from infancy up to 120lbs. In term of toughness, this baby car seat is superior!

The reason we mention this baby carseat because of the top-notch safety feature. It is considered one of the safest carseats available on the market because it is the only one that uses a full steel frame.

However, the downside to this is that the steel frame makes the carseat weigh up to 32lbs making it hefty for traveling. Airline weight restrictions would also need to be considered.


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Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat, Shadow
List Price: $359.99
Price: $233.99
You Save: $126.00
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Britax Marathon G4.1 Convertible Car Seat


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The Britax Marathon baby car seat is another choice. This superior baby carseat provide designed with deep, foam-lined shell absorbs crash forces and shields your child from debris. Also, it comes with an energy-absorbing headrest keeps your child’s head and neck secure.

Beside Britax is famous their quality product, this kids carseat come with a quick-adjust feature and 10-position harness, and 2-position buckle allows you to easily move the harness upward and buckle outward for a comfortable, secure fit as your child grows.

​This carseat weighs 24lbs and has dimensions of 18.5x26x21 inches.


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Britax Marathon G4.1 Convertible Car Seat, Onyx
List Price: $289.99
Price: $217.49
You Save: $72.50
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Child Airplane Travel Harness CARES System


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This harness system is the only device other than car seats that are approved and certified by the FAA. It is light weight and efficient. Not only the CARES System can provide adequate safety for your child on a plane, but this CRS is light-weight and can easily store in your backpack or hand luggage.

The CARES system is an incredibly convenient and lightweight device used to ensure children are kept safe while flying. The Cares system attaches to an airplane seat and offers a child the standard five-point harness system much like a baby carseat.


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Car Seat Carriers for Airports

Though car seats may provide a very welcome extra element of security, they could also be inconvenient as their size and weight need to be accounted for as well.

Airport stop-over and connecting flights might prove to be difficult with the extra baggage of a car seat. There are few products; however, that may help you make bringing a car seat around more convenient. These products are as follows:

JL Childress Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag


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Lugging a car seat around the airport by its handle may be an option but take into consideration that not all car seats have handles, especially not front facing car seats.

Also, damage needs to be considered if a carseat is handled in the wrong way. The JL Childress carseat travel bag offers a safe environment for the carseat when not in use and convenience for the owner as they carry it around like they would any luggage item.


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Brica Roll N’ Go Car Seat Transporter


infant-car-seat-carrier

The Brica Roll N’ Go Car Seat Transporter adds convenience as it is easily foldable and compact and can fit in the overhead bin.

Once the plane lands, it can easily be unfolded and turned into a transport system for the carseat and your child. The downside to this device is that it keeps the carseat relatively low and close to the ground.

​Usually, this would not be an issue for the car set itself but could be slightly unhygienic if used in crowded areas.


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BRICA Roll 'n Go Car Seat Transporter
List Price: $79.99
Price: $58.99
You Save: $21.00
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Baby Trend Snap N Go EX Universal Car Seat Carrier


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This universal baby car seat carrier is compatible with most baby and children car seats and keeps the seat, and the child raised at an acceptable level.

What makes it an ideal choice is its additional storage for bags and such underneath the carseat which makes it extra convenient.


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Baby Trend Snap N Go EX Universal Infant Car Seat Carrier
List Price: $164.91
Price: $64.99
You Save: $99.92
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Takeaway

So, there you have it. We hope that this post is helpful and also has help you to select the best carseat for airplane use for your upcoming flying trip with your children.

​You don’t have to compromise on convenience for the sake of safety. Know what your options are and provide your child with the best of comfort while optimizing your baby safety while traveling on a plane.


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