Flying with an infant/toddler is quite an endeavor indeed. Once you appear at the airport with suitcases, bags, your child, and a car seat, you will look like a superhuman. But to make it happen, you'll need the powers of one too.
Today, I decided to share with you my list of the best car seat travel bag with their advantages and disadvantages listed.
Table of Contents
- Best Car Seat Travel Bag Money Can Buy: My Top 8 Favorites
- #1. J.L. Childress Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag - Top Pick Car Seat Travel Bag
- #2. Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag - The Most Secure Car Seat Travel Bag
- #3. Himal Car Seat Travel Bag - Convenient Carrying
- #4. Gorilla Grip Car Seat Bag with Pouch - Easy-to-Use Budget Offer
- #5. J.L. Childress Gate Check Bag - Compact and Portable
- #6. Car Seat Travel Bag - Optional Wheels for Easy Transport
- #7. Birdee Car Seat Travel Bag - Lightweight Car Seat Bag
- #8. Car Seat Travel Bag for Airplane - Reinforced Design
- In Search of the Car Seat Travel Bag: A Detailed Buyer's Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Best Car Seat Travel Bag Money Can Buy: My Top 8 Favorites
If there's one car seat travel bag I can guarantee every parent who travels a lot will recommend, it's this one. J.L. Childress's travel bag remains parents' favorite for years now, with around 4000 customer ratings and more than 80% of them five stars.
The first thing you'll love about this car seat travel bag is the customized design that fits almost every car seat model on the market. However, to make things 100% certain, J.L. Childress listed all the suitable models in the user's manual that you can find on their website.
The reason why this model is so popular is the heavy-duty construction. The entire bag is made of polyester, being waterproof and lightweight. However, the inner lining is hypoallergenic to ensure your child is by no means at risk of germs or bacteria.
To make it comfortable for carrying, J.L. Childress padded all sides and attached backpack style straps. Its ergonomic shape enables you to walk with your back straight and the weight properly balanced.
Another convenient feature is the dual zipper that enables you to pack the seat faster and take it out just as easily. Also, the identification pocket ensures no one accidentally walks off the airport with your car seat.
All in all, it's an excellent car seat, even the price is very affordable. So, with that in mind, this is definitely my go-to car seat travel bag when I'm flying with my little one.
Zohzo Car Seat Travel Bag is another of the high-quality models with shoulder straps and inner padding. It features a customized, ergonomic design that fits most of the car seat models and lies comfortably on your back.
The bag is made of a premium tear-resistant material, reinforced to last longer and repel water and other liquids. It includes a lockable dual zipper, so you can rest assured knowing it won't suddenly open up, dropping your car seat. This is an innovative feature of Zohzo; no other car seat travel bags have a zipper locker.
Just like the other premium models we reviewed thus far, it has adjustable straps, so you can modify the height of the backpack to make sure it sits conveniently. But, unlike other models, this Zohzo travel bag has a third weight strap to redistribute the weight evenly and protect your car seat effectively.
If you prefer carrying your car seat bag in hand, you can use a built-in handle or simply wear it as a backpack. I like when you can choose how you want to carry your bag because I usually like having my hands free, but at the gate check, the handle means a lot.
The model is available in black, gray, and purple variants, and it comes with a 1-year guarantee. The price is a bit high, yet if we take the quality and convenience of use into consideration, it's pretty adequate.
Next off, we have another gate check, hands-free car seat bag. It comes from Himal and has a pretty ambitious rating on Amazon, so I decided to look into it and give my verdict.
The first thing I like about this bag is the material. It is made of durable 600D encrypted nylon, incorporated to protect your car seat from dirt, water, and external impact. The material is extremely lightweight, so it won't add unnecessary weight to your already heavy baggage.
Since this is a sack-type car seat, the closing system includes a drawstring, but Himal also included a velcro flap to make sure it does not open up at the airport. I like that Himal took care of the disadvantages that customers complained about when it comes to sack-like bags.
Just like Zohzo, this bag includes three straps: two backpack straps and one waist strap. This harness system redistributes the weight evenly and makes the entire baggage easier for carrying. The backpack straps are adjustable and heavy-duty.
The bag measures 34 x 18 x 18 inches and can fit almost every car seat model on the market. In fact, it is large enough to fit a convertible, but it may be uncomfortable for your back since it doesn't include padding and features an irregular shape.
You can find it in three colors, and it doesn't cost too much. I'd say it is one of the cheapest car seat travel bags on the market.
Gorilla Grip Car Seat Bag is the easiest-to-use car seat bag on the market, taking no more than thirty seconds to put on your car seat. It features a baggy, sack-like design. Therefore it fits all car seat models conveniently.
Although this sack looks very weak and lightweight, the manufacturer claims it incorporates durable materials made to withstand the car seat weight.
It includes three straps, so you can carry it as a backpack or a bag, and the straps are padded for more comfort while carrying and better durability.
This carrying bag was made with simplicity in mind. When you desperately need a car seat, and you don't have a suitable carrier, take this lightweight bag out of its pouch, put your car seat in, and secure it with drawstrings. The entire process won't take more than two minutes, trust me.
On the other hand, such a simple design compromised the quality. Although incredibly functional, sacks like this are not as durable as padded backpack travel bags. This doesn't mean it will rip off after a single-use, but many customers claim the drawstrings easily open up, and the bag can rip off if you're not careful enough at the airport.
The price is incredibly affordable, so if you're looking for a budget offer, go for it.
When it comes to less expensive car seat travel bags, J.L. Childress has something to offer as well. They make affordable gate check bags, very similar to the Gorilla Grip model.
This gate check bag is made of durable, water-resistant material that weighs very little yet carries even the heaviest car seat models. It features a simple sack look and can be folded down to the size of a stretchable spandex pouch.
You won't have to stress about the durability since J.L Childress Gate Check Bag has double seams for a heavy-duty design and excellent weight capacity.
Just like the Gorilla Grip model, this gate check bag has drawstrings that enable easy access and fast closing. However, as I already mentioned, this is not the most secure closure, so pay close attention to your bag when at the airport.
Unlike the Gorilla Grip model, this bag has a carrying handle only, so it's not very convenient for carrying. It is extremely compact and makes a great emergency carrier, not just for your car seats but also for strollers, diapers, or other baby equipment.
I like that this model is genuinely affordable, airline-certified, and compact. However, I don't think it is convenient for carrying, and it doesn't seem very heavy-duty despite the reinforced seams.
Not many parents have heard of YOREPEK, but their car seat travel bag is a top seller on Amazon; featuring a heavy-duty, customized design, this car seat carrier represents a super-convenient hands-free way to transport your car seat to the airport.
Just like our top pick, this product is made of polyester, being thus water-resistant and effortless to clean. It includes adjustable shoulder straps and an ergonomic shape, so you can modify it for the most comfortable fit.
On the inside, YOREPEK placed thick padding and an internal strap for secure car seat placement. And the bottom has a reinforced structure to prevent wearing off and make sure the bag lasts for a long time.
Another innovative and certainly unique feature is the special sewing technique that YOREPEK used to ensure the durability and longevity of the product. Plus, the size is large enough to fit most of the market's best-selling car seats, and even some additions.
This model is available in black and dark black, plus the dark black model has small wheels to make the transport even less troubling. This addition, of course, comes with a slight modification of the price, so it's up to you to choose the variant you find the most convenient.
The next product is the best of both worlds. It's a lightweight carrying sack and a durable car seat backpack. How did Birdee manage to make this perfect blend? Let's find out.
Essentially, what makes this product so great is a combination of a heavy-duty, premium material and innovative stitching techniques. In such a way, the bag was sewn to be rigid and durable, while the material itself is already very resistant.
The exact material this bag consists of is 1680D ballistic nylon, known for its lightweight, waterproof properties and durability. It also has a double closing system, featuring a drawstring and a buckle flap, which fixed the problem of the sack opening up involuntarily at the gate.
Another great characteristic of this Birdee bag is the shoulder straps that come with padding to ensure comfortable carrying. Plus, the straps are modifiable, so you can modify them to create a perfect fit for you. If you like to carry the bag in hand, there is a rubber handle to make the job easier.
This car seat travel carrier is fantastic because although it looks small in the pictures, it actually measures 34x18x18 inches and fits about all car seat models. Plus, it is produced in three different colors, black, blue, and pink.
As you could figure by now, I am not a fan of the sack-like car seat travel bags, but this model is definitely something else. It's well-built, functional, and comes at a reasonable price.
The last car seat bag on our list is one heavy-duty sack-like infant car seat bag that is free to check by most major airlines and very easy to use.
It takes no more than a minute to put your car seat into this sack and safely secure it with a drawstring. And once you're done within, fold it up and pick it into a pouch bag that is provided by the manufacturer.
The material it incorporates is a durable 600D nylon material that resists water and doesn't wear off easily. Furthermore, it includes reinforced double stitching for a more tear-resistant design and better durability.
You can choose how you want to carry this bag, for it includes both shoulder straps and a handle. The straps are padded to be more comfortable for carrying.
ReperKid also included an identification card to prevent you from losing your luggage at the airport, and their bags are free to check at the gate check.
You can find it in vibrant blue and purple color, and the price is mid-range, a bit higher than the price of other sack-style bags we reviewed.
In Search of the Car Seat Travel Bag: A Detailed Buyer's Guide
If you're wondering what you should know about car seat bags, here is the ultimate guide that will explain the basics of these useful products.
1. Types of a Car Seat Bag
First of all, there are two main types of a car seat bag, based on design: customized backpack bag and sack-like bag.
The customized backpack bag is fully padded and features a customized, ergonomic shape that both fits your car seat conveniently and sits comfortably on your back.
On the other hand, sack-like bags are not very sturdy; they are usually closed with a drawstring and can be carried in multiple ways.
Between these two, I prefer customized padded bags because they are more durable, easier to carry and protect your seat better. However, sacks are cheaper, more portable, and more lightweight.
When it comes to materials, car seat bags are predominantly made of polyester or nylon. Both materials are great; just make sure it is a resistant fabric, double-stitched for better longevity, and waterproof.
Moreover, a car seat transporter should allow the least troubling transfer of your car seat. With that in mind, choose a bag you can carry in a way that you find convenient.
For example, backpack straps distribute the weight evenly and leave your hands free, which is why I prefer this type of car seat bag.
On the other hand, with a handle, you can check the bag at the gate faster, and you have a seat in your hands at all times, not worrying whether you'll hit someone or damage the seat accidentally.
Another important thing to know is that bags with a drawstring opening can be unreliable even though it makes it easy to put your seat in and out.
Many parents reported their bags opened deliberately, so I prefer a double zipper over a drawstring opening. Or you can choose some of the newer models that include a drawstrings opening and a flap.
Now, I don't find the color of the bag a crucial factor in choosing my car seat bag, yet a bright color will make your luggage easy to spot, so from that point of view, vibrant colors could be preferable.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best car seat travel bag?
J.L. Childress Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag is definitely the best car seat travel bag with padded backpack straps and padded interior.
It was designed to fit inside every car seat model, while a double zipper makes it much easier to fit the seat inside and take it out.
Are car seat travel bags necessary?
Bringing a car seat travel bag is not mandatory. You can check your car seat at the gate regularly without the bag.
However, the bag makes it easy to transport your car seat to the airport conveniently, and it's easier to spot your luggage.
Do airlines provide bags for car seats?
What should I know about flying with my toddler?
If you're flying with your little one for the first time, I certainly have a piece of wisdom to share. The essential thing to know is that your child is the safest in a rear-facing child car seat, safely installed in an airplane seat.
Now, if you did your research, you probably know this is not mandatory. True. But, airplane crashes taught us that in the case of turbulence or crashes, parents are never capable of keeping their child on the floor, and almost always, the unrestrained toddlers end up severely injured.
To know if your car seat is allowed for use on aircraft, you should look for the FAA-approved sticker somewhere on your seat or check it online.
Now, to transport a car seat to the airport conveniently, you'll definitely need a carrier, a cart, or some sort of DIY transporter. Whatever it is, make sure it won't cause more trouble than help at the gate, and it doesn't add too much additional weight to your luggage.
Finally, to install a car seat properly, watch some of the instructional videos I found, they honestly made the job easier for me:
And to learn more about flying with an infant, check out these useful articles of ours:
All in all, buying a car seat travel bag will definitely make your life easier. It doesn't add much weight to your baggage yet facilitates the transport of your car seat incredibly. Once again, I'd like to mention the best car seat travel bag I recommend, the J.L. Childress Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag.
It's padded, comfortable, fits most car seat models, and lasts long. If you don't find me a reliable recommender, simply check some of the four thousand customer ratings on Amazon.
- TRUST THE ORIGINAL - Invented by J.L. Childress almost 20 years ago, the idea of a backpack to carry your car seat has brought ease and peace-of-mind to millions of traveling families around the...
- THICK PROTECTIVE PADDING - We use high-quality, dense foam padding to protect your child’s car seat and prevent damage to your seat’s safety features. Less expensive, inferior padding will not...
- DURABLE, WATER-RESISTANT MATERIAL - Heavy-duty polyester fabrics protect your car seat from airborne germs, water damage, dirt and grease and are specially-formulated to withstand scrapes and...
- ERGONOMIC BACKPACK STRAPS - Padded, harness-style backpack straps position the car seat higher on your back for maximum comfort and hands-free convenience
- UNIVERSAL COMPATIBILITY - We did the homework for you! View our interactive Compatibility Guide on jlchildress.com to ensure your car seat fits, or look at the PDF guide in the Technical...