When traveling with a toddler or child in the car, a car seat is an important tool to ensure their safety. Also referred to as a restraining car seat, child-restraint seat, infant safety seat, baby seat, or simply a car seat, this piece of equipment is required from the child’s birth until they are 7 years of age. This seat does a great deal in protecting children from injury or even death in the case of a car accident. Therefore, it is no surprise that in most developed states, children are required by the law to ride in car seats until they reach a specific age or height and weight.
If you think that car seats are not crucial for the safety of your child, statistics will show you otherwise. According to research, the United States records more deaths of children under the age of 9 in relation to automotive accidents than any other killing agent. All these deaths are not only a result of the lack of use of child-restraining seats but also due to their improper use. For this reason, child safety organizations, such as the National Child Safety Training Program, have been introduced to conduct car seat inspections and educate the masses on proper installation and use of child-restraint seats
Car seats for taxis or Uber?
The use of a car seat for your child cannot possibly be understated. Even when using public means, the safety of your child should not be compromised. It is important to note the necessity of using a car seat even when riding in a taxi or an Uber. Most people might consider it cumbersome to move around with a baby in a car seat when using taxis or other ride-sharing modes of transportation, and figure that they could just use an adult seatbelt or hold them in their arms to restrain them. However, what most parents do not realize is that the force exerted by even the smallest of babies in the event of a car crash can be too much for their hands to withstand. Even when using an adult seat belt, the straps will not be adequate to restrain your child as they may be loose, leaving much room for your young one to slip right through the lap belt. This means that your child could easily slip out of your hands and be injured, or even worse thrown out of the car. The best practice would be to have a portable car seat for taxi or Uber use. Since you are already familiar with how a seatbelt works, it won’t be too much work installing and using it.
The Best Types of Car Seat for Travel
Two common types of restraining car seats for children are rear-facing car seats and convertible car seats (go here to see all the types). Convertible car seats can be used as a rear-facing seat for the first few months, and then later converted to a front-facing seat once your child meets the stated requirements. Convertible seats are the most recommended because they help save money since they eliminate the need of buying both a rear-facing and front-facing car seat. The only downside to this type of seat is that most are not portable like the infant car seat, which can be used to carry the baby around. For ultimate portability, the challenge is finding a lightweight convertible car seat because most of them are heavy.
When buying a convertible car seat, it is understandable to get confused by all the available choices. Even though all restraining car seats undergo testing and approval to meet certain safety standards before being released to the public, it can be hard to tell which car seat is the safest. The first way you can ensure the safety and effectiveness of a car seat in protecting your child is by purchasing a new one instead of a hand-me-down. Some hand-me-downs may have been involved in accidents, and even minor ones could cause unseen damage to the car seat making it ineffective in protecting your child. You would rather burn holes in your pocket buying a new one than compromising your child’s safety. In addition, always go for a car seat that has five harness points: two straps on the shoulder, two on the waist, and one between the legs, and a latch system for maximum protection even without the use of a car seat belt.
Best Lightweight Convertible Car Seats
In this article, we review some of the best lightweight convertible car seats for travel available on the market to help you select the best one to suit the needs of both you and your child.
Immi Go Car Seat
Immi has outdone itself with this restraining car seat as it goes a long way in solving some of the trickiest car seat problems parents and caregivers encounter. The biggest plus with the Immi Go Car Seat is that it combines the function of a forward-facing car seat and a booster seat, eliminating the need for purchasing two products. This car seat is best suited for children weighing between 22 and 66 lbs. In terms of height, they should be between 31” and 52”.
The manufacturer of this car seat, Immi, is recognized globally for its leadership in the design, testing, and production of restraining car seats and other child safety equipment. It is popular for the production of quality latch straps, crotch buckles, and regular straps for not only their car seats, but also those made by other manufacturers on the market. Their most common products are for renowned manufacturers such as Clek, Peg Perego, Chicco, etc. they also make car seats available for children with special needs.
Evenflo Tribute 5 DLX 8.5lbs
The Evenflo Tribute 5 DLX is quite similar to the Evenflo Tribute Select and Evenflo Tribute Sport (that we reviewed in this article). The advantage of this car seat is that it includes a “deluxe” feature—hence the DLX—that comes with head and body pillows, a cup holder, and harness pads for your child. Even though it might cost a little bit more than the Tribute Sport and Tribute Select, the additional padding on this seat makes every ride comfortable for your young one.
The Evenflo Tribute 5 DLX has passed all the crash tests that are carried out by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Therefore, you can be sure that your child is safe when using this car seat.
Constructed from high-quality polyester, plastic, and metal, you can rest assured that your baby is safe and comfortable in this Evenflo car seat. It is best suited for children weighing not more than 65 lbs. With 6 harness points, two buckle positions, and a with a weight rating that goes as high as 65 lbs., the Evenflo Sureride 65 DLX provides enough room for your child to grow. The seat can be used as a rear-facing car seat, and later converted into a front-facing car seat once your child meets the age, height, or weight requirements.
The manufacturer only ships this item within the United States
Before being released to the public, the manufacturer (Evenflo) tests every product to ensure that all impact points, harnesses, and straps are functioning as they should to keep your child safe on the road. Their car seats have passed the federal crash test standards.
This is one of the few car seats that feature advanced Air Protect technology to protect your child in their vital areas. To make this feature unique, the seat has been double layered using high-quality material to protect your child in more than one way.
- The Safety 1st Onside Air has a lifespan of 6 years from the year of manufacturer
- It features advanced air protect technology that keeps your baby’s head especially safe since that is the area that requires the most protection
- It is FAA approved and can be used for air travel
- It has a 4-point harness and a buckle with three possible locking points to allow for child growth
- The material used in its construction is lead free
- This car seat must be replaced after an accident, even if it were minor
- The manufacturer does not ship this product to regions outside the United States
This product from Safety 1st can be used as a rear-facing seat for a child weighing between 5 and 40 pounds, and then as a front-facing seat for one weighing between 22 and 40 pounds.
This car seat is crafted to comfortably accommodate children weighing as little as 5 pounds and as much as 30 pounds when rear-facing, and children weighing between 20 and 40 pounds.
- The infant head support can be removed as your child gets older
- The 5-point harness keeps your baby secure during car rides
- The front-adjust feature makes it easy to get your baby in and out of the car seat
This item cannot be shipped to clients outside the United States
The infant head support and seat cushion can be machine washed. Also, the cup holder featured on this product is placed within your baby’s reach and can be moved from one side to the other.
Safety 1st Onside Air is by far the best of the above reviewed convertible seats. The advanced air protection helps keep your baby safe in all the vital areas, such as the head, where protection is needed the most.