For so many families, when planning a vacation, there is always the decision DO YOU PACK THE CAR SEAT? For us, it is almost always “YES” so I have put together a list of the best car seat bags for air travel to help protect your child’s car seat when you go on vacation!
What is the Best Car Seat Bag for Air Travel?
- What is the Best Car Seat Bag for Air Travel?
- Best Car Seat Bag for Travel
Some holidays, there is no need to bring your car seat. For example, if you are staying in one place and have an airport transfer, you probably do not put much thought into it.
But if you are thinking of renting a car, or already have one booked, it is sometimes more difficult to make up your mind. I have never rented a car seat before as the price for one is often as much as a cheap car seat costs to buy. I have also heard many people had the option to chose from a pile of car seats and have had little help from rental agencies. While I am sure there are many great places to rent car seats from, I prefer not to have to worry about it!
You can add another wrinkle into your plans if your young toddler has their own seat and you would prefer to restrain them on the plane, because they are more comfortable with their familiar seat.
So what do WE do?
We pack car seats on every trip we have taken. And to ensure our car seats arrive in as good condition as possible, we use a car seat travel bag!
In the past three years that has been a decent amount of travel! On our first overseas trip with a baby, we took it from Vancouver to England, then to France and back to England again. Twice we have packed 2 car seats to go to Hawaii, Las Vegas and Panama City Beach! Car seats have come as far as the Middle East when we visited Jordan!
And I will admit, they are BIG, BULKY and a HUGE PAIN.
BUT, with the best car seat bag, that big and bulky and expensive seat, can come on your holiday with you and it should arrive safely!
Best Car Seat Bag for Travel
Our car seat bag has been on over a dozen trips, all over the world! It is worth finding the top rated car seat bag for travel if you plan on using it more than once!
In my opinion, this amazon car seat bag is exactly what you need and is a cheap car seat travel bag. It is the one we have been using since my oldest was a baby and we still use it 5 years later (thanks to some duct tape where it has worn thin on to the bottom thanks to us pulling it along the floor on the way to the gate.
Why Do I Love the Jeep Car Seat Airport Bag?
- This bag can be used as an infant car seat bag, as well as with a convertible seat and as a booster seat carry bag.
- It is inexpensive and durable.
- It has a moulded shape rather than just a thin bag covering the car seat and has a strong shoulder strap.
the Jeep Car Seat Airport bag is 20″ long x 29″ high x 18″ deep.
Things to note about the Jeep car seat protector bag:
Practice putting your car seat into the bag before you leave home to ensure it fits. There is nothing worse than trying to wrangle it at the airport. Also due to its shape, the car seat will only fit in one way (if you have a high back booster or a convertible seat). Line up the back of the seat to the taller side of the bag.
Car Seat Travel Bag Comparison Chart
Below I have compared 6 car seat travel covers on a variety of factors. You can read about each bag in detail at the bottom of the chart
|Jeep Car Seat Travel Bag||$||4.5|
|Jl Childress Backpack Car Seat Travel Bag||$$||4.0|
|J L Childress Car Seat Travel Bag with Wheels||$$||4.1|
|Britax Car Seat Travel Bag||$$||4.5|
|Gate Check Bag for Car Seats||$||3.5|
Top Rated Car Seat Bags for Air Travel
JL Childress Backpack Car Seat Travel Bag
JL Childress Ultimate car seat bag makes this list because of its handy backpack feature, its moulded shaped bag, and its padding. You may or may not notice that I have completely avoided the brightly colored (usually red) gate check bags for car seats because I have tried them and after one use the one I had was ripped. Not ideal. However, this one from JL Childress looks great. Having something over your back instead of just using a shoulder strap is much more comfortable and keeps your weight better balanced!
This bag measures 19 x 15 x 16 and you can click here for a compatibility chart to ensure your seat will fit
JL Childress Car Seat Travel Bag with Wheels
If you do not want to have to carry your seat, this car seat travel bag with wheels from JL Childress is a great option. The only reason that I have not gone with a bag like this is because I do not have an extra hand to actually pull it! I need something I can put on my back so I can pull my suitcase!
This bag is a hybrid cover as well as a car seat travel cart and you can bring it on the airplane with you if you plan on having your child sit in their car seat on the plane. It has rubber wheels and rugged handles.
If you plan to use this with an infant seat, it is suggested to detach the base and put it inside the bucket of the infant seat when traveling.
Britax Car Seat Bag Review
The Britax Travel Bag has great reviews online and all of the features that you want in a car seat travel bag. It has rolling wheels on the bottom with a durable base, backpack straps, and multiple handles. It is made of durable fabric and fits most other car seats as well.
This car seat carry bag from Britax measures 17″ x 15.5″ x 31.5″
Gate Check Bag for Car Seats
I have included this inexpensive car seat protector bag because in my experience it was not worth the money and you should go with spending just a few dollars more and get one that actually has sturdy fabric.
It is very popular all over the internet and you can see it has sold plenty on amazon by reading the reviews but I would not recommend it.
The one good thing about this bag however, is it DOES NOT have zippers, so there is one less thing to break. But we used it on one flight to Hawaii and the bag arrived with a huge hole in it. I would use this bag the same way as you would use a clear garbage bag, to keep the seat clean and dry only. I do not think it has any more value than that.Jeep Car Seat Travel Bag
Why do we bother bringing a car seat on vacation?
You know where it has been: Car seats can be compromised when in an accident, and if you rent a car seat from a rental company, or add on to your car rental, you don’t know the history of the seat: how it has been taken care of, if there has been any recalls on it, if it is expired.
It is set up to fit your child: The harnesses and buckles are ready to install quickly, and you can start enjoying your holiday. After a long travel day no one wants to be fiddling with an unfamiliar seat, trying to set it up properly to fit your child
It is comfortable: In the last year we have road tripped in France as well as road tripped in New Zealand which means quite a lot of time is spent in the car! I want to make sure my kids are comfortable and if we have a rental seat, you never know how it is going to fit!
You know hot to install it: when you bring your own car seat on vacation you know exactly how to install it correctly. Your rental car may be unfamiliar, but at least your car seat is not. You know where to feed the straps through the seat to get a proper fit and you don’t have to try to read manuals or pull on buckles while you may have an overtired screaming child who didn’t nap on the plane (despite your best efforts)
It saves money. We like having a car, so instead of paying around $10 per day to the car rental company, we bring our own. Furthermore, most airlines will check the car seats for free as it is a necessity for children. Make sure you check with your airline before your trip!
You know it will be there when you arrive. We personally choose to gate check our car seats. Yes it makes for more stuff to take through security, yes you have to hold on to that bulky thing a little longer, but yes it means it will be there when you arrive, and you don’t have to worry about lost luggage!
Want to read More:
- Check out how to travel with car seats (without losing your cool)
- The Best Airplane Snacks for Kids
- If you want another option, you can check out this review of the Rid Safer Delight from the Family Voyage.
- Want to keep your kids happy on the plane? Here are our favorite airplane activities for kids
Do you travel with car seats? Would love to hear why or why not?If you found this page helpful, i would love it if you would pin, share or tweet it on whatever social media platforms you use! Every little bit will help us fund our travels and continue to bring great content to our site!
Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She left her career in Canada to share her love of travel with her two young boys. She is passionate about sharing adventure travel activities for families and to encourage others to explore the world. She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.