The Best Travel Car Seats for Kids

This is big-kid seating that offers the highest safety and portability for young commuters.

by Ben Marx
Originally Published: 
The best booster seats for kids

It behooves every parent to know about the best travel car seats. Why? Because once your kid hits the weight limit on their front-facing, harness-equipped car seat, it’s time to get a travel booster seat. But don’t just take our word for it. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that kids who outgrow their car seats “should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly,” which usually happens between the ages of 8 and 12, or when kids reach 4 feet, 9 inches in height. You want a portable car seat that’s lightweight yet safe, and easy to move from vehicle to vehicle since that’s sort of the point.

Parents often mistake heft and size for protection, which is based on a faulty premise. A heavy seat isn’t necessarily safer, and there are plenty of lighter seats that keep kids safe. Our favorite booster seats are nice and portable — lightweight and easy to disassemble, deflate, and/or fold down — making them attractive choices for parents with kids on the go. Some of them convert from high-backed seats suitable for smaller kids to backless seats as your kid gets bigger. And all of these booster seats meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.

Our picks also scored at least three stars on the NHTSA’s five-star ease-of-use ratings, a measure of how easy it is to read the instructions, install correctly, understand labels, and secure a child into the seat.

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