Best Folding Car Seat for Travel: Clever 2022 Guide for Ambitious Parents

Can you imagine your perfect vacay without the best travel car seats? Of course, you cannot!

They are lightweight, portable, comfortable, and convenient!

More vitally, they deliver within the budget; therefore, all parents can choose their stunning combinations. But, what's the heck?

It might be challenging for you to select the best folding car seat for travel; however, I'm here to help you!

Stay with me, and take notes since we're about to begin!

Our Favorite Folding Car Seats for Travel - Overview

$$$$Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base ~ 16.5 pounds - Best infant travel car seat, with top safety features and folding options. The car seat is also FAA and TUV approved, suitable for all travel types. But it's too expensive.

Suitable for: baby, infant (4-7 pounds).

$ — BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Car Seat ~ 0.9375 pounds - Best car seat with premium-quality materials, 5-point harness for your kid's safety, and narrow design for maximum convenience during the trip. It also offers more foam for more softness and coziness. Still, it has specific durability issues.

Suitable for: kids between 40 and 100 pounds.

$$$$ — WAYB Pico Travel Car Seat with Carrying Bag ~ 8 pounds - Best booster for all travel types, FAA approved and easy to use. The seat meets all safety standards and rules, showing maximum sturdiness. Extremely quick setup process and effortless use. Nevertheless, it's too pricey.

Suitable for: children 22-50 pounds.

$ — hiccapop UberBoost Inflatable Booster Car Seat ~ 1.3 pounds - An exceptional model, highly portable and convenient both for regular and travel-friendly use. Extremely lightweight and easy to carry around. Yet, it has tricky seat belt usage.

Suitable for: kids between 40 and 11 pounds.

$$$ — Peg Perego Viaggio Flex ~ 14.8 pounds - The most comfortable car seat, featuring the 4D technology and design, offers better body position for your kids, following their growth and development. In addition, the LATCH installation makes it stable and secure for all terrains. Nonetheless, it's not so affordable.

Suitable for: kiddos 40-120 pounds.

$$ — mifold hifold fit-and-fold Highback Booster Seat ~ 10 pounds - Most adjustable car seat, with 243 different settings for complete flexibility. Offers a multi-fold system for more comfort and proper growth and development for your kids. However, it has certain design flaws.

Suitable for: children 40-100 pounds.

$$$ — Diono Monterey 5iST FixSafe Rigid Latch High Back Booster ~ 18.7 pounds - Extremely lightweight, with maximum protection, keeping your little one safe and sound for an extended period. Meeting and exceeding all safety regulations and standards. But, the headrest is not independent.

Suitable for: kiddos 40-120 pounds.

$ — mifold Original grab-and-go Car Booster Seat ~ 1.7 pounds - Most flexible and versatile car seat. It's a pace-saving and flexible option. Meeting all safety standards and other regulations. Yet, it has specific seat belt issues.

Suitable for: children 40-100 pounds.

Best Foldable Car Seats Money Can Buy: My Top 8 Favorites

Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base - Best For Safety Features

My top travel car seat will wow you!

Doona rear-facing infant car seat contains one simple motion operation so that you can change it from the car seat position to the stroller position in seconds.

The maximum stability is possible, thanks to the 5-point harness system.

No matter whether your kids are in the car seat or stroller mode, they cannot slip away. The children will move freely; however, they'll remain fixed into the Doona car seat.

Another great plus is the three-layer side impact protection.

The walls are protecting your baby even if a car accident occurs. Due to the improved and breathable inner foams, the walls and the rear-facing infant car seat will be the ultimate protection for your little one!

The Doona adjustable handlebar works as an anti-rebound bar inside your motor vehicle. This way, the additional protection of the Doona rear-facing infant car seat guarantees that nothing wrong will happen to your kiddos!

Since the material contains the highest quality and safety standards, you can wash the portable toddler car seat into the washing machine.

The pads and removable materials won't harm. They are breathable and safe; thus, your baby will have a cozy and relaxing atmosphere during the whole trip!

But, the most critical benefit is that the Doona folding car seat with a 5-point harness system is TUV and FAA approved. Thus, you can travel all over the world with the Doona rear-facing travel car seat!

Pros
  • Easy to install/use
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Maneuverable
Cons
  • Expensive

BubbleBum Inflatable Backless Booster Car Seat - High-quality Material

And the second best product is this fantastic car seat! Allow me to show you why it won my heart! I'm sure you're going to love it too!

You can take this BubbleBum backless booster car seat wherever you go!

Thanks to its slimline and narrow design, the new booster car seat is an excellent option for the middle seat, three across, between 5-point harness car seats, or even for rental car seats.

The dimensions are small and compact; however, the BubbleBum booster car seat holds the children between 4 and 11 years of age and 40 to 100 pounds of weight. You can fold and pack it into your backpack, purse, or cabin bag.

As it's ultra-portable, you can take it wherever you travel, and the fold-away design is also perfect for children since they can moderate the position according to their wishes.

Due to NHTSA and FMVSS safety regulations and standards, your little ones will be secure, protected, and safe on every journey.

The car seat contains more foam technology than traditional air convenience and comfort booster seats without compromising safety. You can easily wash the car seat in the washing machine, let it dry, and prepare it for the next use.

So, what are you waiting for?

Since this booster car seat is absolutely everything, you should definitely purchase it and have the best travel experience!

Trust me; it's an entirely new level of traveling! Try it!

Pros
  • Effortless installation, cleaning, and use
  • comfortable
  • Sturdy
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Minor design flaws
  • Not so durable

WAYB Pico Travel Car Seat and Travel Bag Bundle - The Sturdiest Car Seat

You may wonder why I love this car seat so much. Well, you can find out below.

I love it because I can use the travel seat every day!

It is convenient for carpooling, on-the-go families, longer and shorter trips, and even the airplane. Yes, you read it correctly - the car seat is FAA approved; therefore, you can travel worldwide!

As you can use the car seat everywhere, it fits three across, which is another big plus, and the reason why you should select it.

The car seat meets all NHTSA, FMVSS, and US safety standards and procedures to confirm full safety features. So, your little ones will always have the best protection and safety.

Speaking of safety features, the car seat has the "AeroWing" aero-space grade aluminum frame design that makes it lightweight and robust enough to withstand all forces.

Thus, WAYB Pico car seat provides the highest protection in the case of car accidents.

Moreover, due to the AstroKnit performance, polyester/wool fabric, and breathable mesh content, the car seat keeps your kids comfortable and relaxed during use. They will enjoy their voyages!

The design is lightweight, and the WAYB Pico car seat weighs only eight pounds; hence, it's easy to fold and store. You can carry it with you since it fits the overhead bin.

You'll get the carrying bag made of recycled polyester; thus, the content is user-friendly. Please don't waste your time anymore, and pick it now! It will change your world!

Pros
  • Quick use & installation
  • For travel
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • Expensive

hiccapop UberBoost Inflatable Booster Car Seat - Best Balance & Stability

Why should you opt for the hiccapop booster car seat?

Well, the booster car seat is highly portable, it inflates in seconds, so it's a must-have for all on-the-go families.

And, you will love it since it's perfect for the cargo area, effortless to fold away and place backpacks, bags, etc. So, it will be versatile and adjustable for more extended use.

Moreover, the rigid and sturdy, blue vinyl, non-skid silicone, and steel belt loops keep your little ones between 4 and 11 years stable, safe, and secure for a more robust ride, even bumpy ones.

In addition, the contoured design combines with air-cushion softness and comfort, offering more coziness the regular plastic car seats don't have. Thus, your kiddos won't be pressured, limited, or restricted.

Regarding the installation, the booster car seat offers a leak-proof valve, so the inflating and deflating process will be effortless, and even your child can do it whenever they like.

Of course, the non-skid silicone bottom part is soft and gentle on numerous materials, and it won't rub or damage them.

So, it remains fixed, stable, and immovable when you place it on the vinyl, cloth, leather, and other materials or car seat covers.

And, it's crucial to remember that the booster car seat includes a metal belt loop, suitable for 3-point seat belt harnesses, fitting all of your motor vehicles. So, you can quickly install it and make your little ones adequately balanced.

Thanks to the heavy-duty zipper, the car seat cover is durable and solid for more extended use, so you can remove and detach it and wash it in the washing machine.

And, since it has full ventilation and an ergonomic design, the seat will provide maximum comfort for your kids.

Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • For travel
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Tricky seat belt use

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex - The Most Comfortable Travel Seat

Now, this is something impressive! Want to know why? Read below!

First of all, the Peg Perego Viaggio Flex travel seat adjusts easily due to the 4D total adjustment technology in four different positions.

All of them are independent of one another: the seat, the headrest, the side wings, and the upper backrest. Thus, whatever part your child takes, the travel seat will always keep their body postures correctly.

For more stability and safety, the Flex travel seat contains the LATCH seat belt system and connectors. Further, you can also tuck the rigid LATCH into the car seat, even if your child doesn't use it.

This is definitely the most comfortable travel car seat!

Namely, it reclines in five different positions, regardless of your vehicle's car seat position; therefore, your kiddo will have maximum comfort and a relaxing atmosphere during the whole journey!

Even in the case of a car accident, the aluminum-reinforced backrest will provide extra protection and safety against the whiplash in rear or side-end collisions.

Basically, the little ones stay untouchable, and you don't have to worry about them. Kinetic pads help keep your baby safe since they move away from the force if a car collision occurs.

When you don't use the travel seat, you can quickly fold it for better transport and storage. And the installation is easy, thanks to LATCH connectors.

Simply amazing, don't you think so? You won't regret this one!

Pros
  • Quick setup and use
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Sturdy
  • Excellent security features
Cons
  • Pricey

hifold fit-and-fold highback booster Seat - Best For Adjustability

It's a common fact that mifold never lets us down! This time it's the same. Let's see why you should never skip this car seat when setting off a journey!

As it has the "multi-fit" technology, the travel booster can adjust to 243 different individual settings. This way, it's the world's most famous portable booster!

The proportions are excellent, and they withstand children from 33 to 100 pounds of maximum weight and 36 to 59 inches tall. Thus, the travel booster is perfect for fitting three across. Ask any mom; she'll confirm this!

Thanks to its portable and compact design, and the "multi-fold" system, this hifold portable travel booster effortlessly folds to the convenient and perfect size for carpooling, travel, storage, and on-the-go family.

It's a lightweight travel booster and includes a carry strap for better carrying options.

Having four different adjustable positions - heat width and height, seat and body, the fit-and-fold car booster ensures optimal seat belt fit as the little ones grow.

Moreover, the car seat provides the ultimate comfort since it follows your kids' age and development.

The expanded polyethylene foam absorbs the energy and the force in the case of a car collision; therefore, your little one will be ultimately safe and protected. Moreover, FMVSS and NHTSA safety standards prove this statement.

As you can find, the travel booster is perfect, so why don't you pick it and crush your vacay?

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to install
  • For traveling
  • Comfortable
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • Minor design flaws

Diono Monterey 5iST FixSafe Rigid Latch High Back Booster - Best Protection

You will love the Diono booster car seat since it provides an expandable system.

Namely, the booster car seat has five different expandable options, with a quick, one-hand motion, increasing its weight and height by 85% as your child grows.

Therefore, the unit will follow their development and offer more space for more convenience during the ride.

It's surprising to know that the booster has actually 25% smaller design when we compare it with similar seats. But, you can rest assured - it never compromises the safety and security of your little ones.

It simply provides more space in the back seat of your vehicle and includes carrying straps for better storage options, fitting compartments, and trunks; hence, it's ideal for carpooling, car travel, and other shorter or longer trips and distances.

Due to the solid and rigid LATCH attachment points with the FixSafe adjustable and flexible connecting system, the booster provides a stable, safer, and more secure installation process.

So, neither the seat nor your kids will move around while on the road.

However, the seat will win your heart due to the maximum safety benefits.

As you will see, the unit comes with eight layers of side-impact protection, keeping your kiddo stable and supported for an extended time and providing the proper body posture while inside the seat.

And, thanks to the rigorous crash tests, the seat meets and exceeds all FMVSS and other safety regulations. So, it will provide the ultimate safety system.

And, if you want to keep it clean and maintain it regularly, you can detach and remove both the cup holder and car seat fabric and place it in the washing machine for the best cleaning process.

So, the seat will be fresh and clean for subsequent use.

Pros
  • Quick setup
  • Safe and stable
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Raising the headrest when expanding

mifold Original grab-and-go Car Booster Seat - Most Versatile and Flexible

Finally, the mifold booster car seat is an exceptional model for you, as the unit offers a narrow and compact design.

It's ten times smaller than the regular folding booster car seats and unique for the procedure. Thus, the backless booster car seat offers the best portability and convenience, and you will love it due to its system.

The booster car seat is easy to fold and place inside your bag, backpack, car, trunk, compartment, purse, etc.

Moreover, it fits all kids between 40 and 100 pounds, and they can freely use it wherever you travel.

Due to its narrow and compact system and design, the foldable booster car seat will fit three across and save space in the back seat of your motor vehicle. So, everyone will have their own comfort and room for complete relaxation.

In addition, the foldable booster will keep your kids safe and secure thanks to its optimal and secure seat belt fit.

The unit is perfect since it doesn't require lifting the child but rather moving the seat belt down and pulling it to fit your kid securely and safely. So, it shows maximum safety benefits, and the kid will be stable and properly balanced.

If you want an effortless cleaning process, the mifold foldable booster is an excellent option for you. The seat is easy to clean with soap and water, and you can let it air dry. However, you shouldn't use bleach but only water to remove the soap and foam.

In contribution to safety systems and features, the booster seat meets and exceeds all FMVSS, NHTSA, and other safety standards and regulations.

However, you can use it only in the USA and not worldwide, which is a considerable drawback.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • For traveling
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • Seat belt issues

How to Choose the Best Folding Travel Car Seats? - Buyer's Guide

Travel car seats are rapidly changing nowadays. The products are getting more robust and substantial due to the new generation of the material.

However, this is 2022, so you have limitless options.

Even if you had to stay within your country in the past because the car seats didn't meet safety standards, the situation changed, and now you can freely choose your fighter. How?

I'm here, don't bother about it.

1. Follows the Age and Development of Your Kids

The most vital feature is that the car seat follows the age and development of your kids.

You cannot place 2 or 3 year-olds into backless booster seats, even if they're convenient! Or if the children outgrow the folding travel car seats, they should use the seats according to their needs. 

So, you must follow the growth and development of your little ones when choosing the seats!

2. Size

The size plays a crucial role since the seats should be compact enough to carry them around and have them when you need them.

Thus, it would be best if you didn't look for only those that are lightweight but compact and portable for airplanes and carrying around.

Search for car seats that are FAA approved since you can change continents! If your travel car seats aren't FAA approved, you cannot travel by plane.

3. Comfort

foldable car seat for travel

It would be best if you considered comfort as well since your little ones will sit in the travel car seats for an extended period.

They have to be comfortable and calm; otherwise, they can become cranky and grumpy, and the problems will start immediately (this was me with my precious children in LA two years ago). Don't let this happen to you!

Always check the material, whether it will make pressure or increase the heat. If that's the case, please, skip it! You don't want grumpy kids during the trip!

4. Safety

Of course, safety is a necessary element of all travel car seats.

You have to check what their safety features are and how the car seats will behave in the case of car collisions. Check the security standards, look for the tests, and see which seats to select.

Also, pick the seats with the sidewalls since they will keep the head and upper body parts safe and protected.

Further, determine the seats that meet US FMVSS and NHTSA standards and regulations. Thus, you'll be confident the seats provide safety during rides.

I always suggest car seats with the 5-point harness system and LATCH system since the kids won't move around and slip away.

The connectors and seat belts will keep them stable and fixed in the seats, but they can freely move the body parts.

Additional stability and security are always excellent for me!

5. Durability and Sturdiness

Regarding durability and sturdiness, they are vital in terms of lasting.

If the car seats are not healthy and durable enough to endure the pressure and external forces, you will have to replace them quickly.

But, if the car seats are durable and sturdy enough, they will last for an extended time; therefore, you will keep your money.

6. Budget

Concerning the budget, don't bother too much. Not always does the high price means a high-quality product; however, it can play a crucial role sometimes. 

In some cases, the more expensive car seats will have more benefits than some others but not always.

So, firstly check the services and then act according to your budget possibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a foldable car seat?

A foldable car seat is, as the title says, the unit that quickly folds and stores away for maximum portability and convenience for your traveling needs.

Typically, the car seat is compact, narrow, and lightweight, so you can pack it inside the compartment, trunk, your bag, purse, backpack, etc., and carry it around.

It also suits carpooling and numerous vehicles.

Are foldable car seats safe?

Yes, of course. They are safe since the seats are the same as the regular car seats.

The only difference is that they are foldable.

Also, all of these seats on the list meet the NHTSA and FMVSS safety regulations and standards.

Some of them are also convenient for aircraft, so they are all safe. But select according to the children's age for higher safety.

Are foldable car seats allowed when traveling overseas?

It depends on the airline rules, FAA, and similar Safety Standard organizations' rules in different countries.

For instance, you cannot take Australian car seats into Europe and vice versa, as the Australian seats have the specific top tether and the strap anchorage system to fit only Australian cars, respectively.

On the other hand, you can take the WAYB Pico on international travel, as the seat is approved overseas.

You should check all regulations before the journey to avoid complications and delays.

Is the foldable car seat as durable as a regular car seat?

Well, it is, but on the other hand, it might not be.

All car seats that are on the car seat market are safe and secure since they all meet and exceed all Federal Safety Standards, undergo rigorous crash tests, and prove to be stable and secure for long distances and multiple travel types.

But, the regular car seat might weigh more than the foldable seats and, therefore, be more stable and better-fixed while on the road.

Due to materials and frames, they might be more durable and sturdy than the foldable seats.

Yet, if you take a Doona infant seat as an example, it's one of the most durable ever on the market, so foldable might be as durable as regular seats.

The main factor concerns their materials and frame.

diono radian rxt folding car seat for travel

Do you need a portable car seat?

Yes, and no' it depends on your needs.

From my experience, it's always a plus to have a portable car seat, as you travel a lot, and may switch numerous cars, or even planes, so you need a mobile car seat to carry it around and move it around effortlessly.

But if you want something more robust and stable, then a regular car seat will do the job correctly.

Are convertible car seats portable?

Unfortunately, they're not portable. You cannot use them as an infant carrier.

They don't have bases, and you cannot move them so quickly from one car to another.

Of course, there might be some exceptions, but you should check it with the manufacturers, labels, and with CPSTs.

Do you bring a car seat base when traveling?

Although it's always preferred to use the car seat with the base, when you're traveling with your baby or infant, it's much safer to travel without the car seat base than not to use a car seat at all.

But, you must ensure the car seat can be installed and used correctly without the base first.

What size and weight is the car seat suitable for traveling with an airplane?

They should accommodate children between 20 and 40 pounds, up to 40 inches in height. These car seats are allowed for children and infants between six and 36 months.

Some models, such as the Graco Extend2Fit, Nuna RAVA, and similar models, may also offer the extended rear-facing position up to 50 pounds and still be FAA-approved seats.

Search for the FAA label - it's the best way to know if the seat is suitable for the plane or not.

What is the best folding car seat for traveling?

Undoubtedly, that is Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base.

As it has full protection, stability, and support, your children will always have the ultimate safety and security while on the road.

Also, it's 2-in-1 (car seat and stroller), so it has many other benefits.

What is the best foldable booster seat?

The best booster seat is the WAYB Pico.

Thanks to the lightweight and compact design, as well as top security features and the storage part, it is a must-have car seat for every journey!

It folds into a bag, so it's convenient for carrying around.

What is the best folding car seat for travel that FAA approved?

The best one is definitely the Doona car seat.

It's an ideal car seat due to its folding options, and you can transform it into a stroller and get the best travel system instantly.

It's also FAA-approved for all US airlines, so you can quickly bring it and install it on the plane seat.

Is mifold approved in the US?

Yes, it is.

mifold is approved in all American states and other countries where the seat meets and exceeds all Federal Safety Standards and other similar regulations for other countries.

It's legal to use it in the USA for children at the age of four and above who are at least 40-59 inches tall and weigh between 40 and 100 pounds.

How to unfold and fold a Doona car seat?

This is the folding process.

Push and lower the handlebar

Move the handlebar towards the back, as much as possible, until it stands 90 degrees straight

- On the frame, press the button and push the rear wheels towards the front ones

- The front wheels will attach to the frame

This is the unfolding process.

Press the button to remove the front and rear wheels from the frame

Press the buttons on both sides of the handlebar to release it to its original position

- Please press the button on the upper part of the handlebar to increase its height

How do you fold a Diono Radian RXT?

Follow the procedure below:

- remove the red strap from behind the cover

- ensure the side panels are open by detaching in the velcro 

- lay the car seat on its back on either a sturdy table, or the counter, or on the floor 

- loosen up the harness 

- pull up the cam lock and pull out the excessing webbing 

- grab the harness and pads and fold them towards the top of the car seat

- get them out of the way on each side 

- at the bottom of the seat, you will find a lever to press it

- ensure the expandable sides are folded inward - press down the lever and fold it flat until it fits firmly down in the seat 

- please do not force it close

- take the red strap

- route it underneath the bar

- push the bar down and close the car seat, and there you go.

Final Thoughts - Summary

And here we are! We've come to the end of our trip through the folding car seats! So, let's note what we have learned.

I have indicated some elements you need to follow when selecting the best travel car seats, so please follow them for a better travel experience.

Naturally, the best folding car seat for traveling is Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base.

Since it provides the ultimate protection and stability, your children will keep safe and secure wherever you go! Absolutely fantastic!

Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base - Car Seat to Stroller in Seconds - Nitro Black, US Version*
  • From Car Seat to Stroller in Seconds - 5-point harness, adjustable handlebar - also acts as an anti-rebound bar inside the car, 3 layer side impact protection, highest safety & quality standards, TUV...
  • Made of Baby Safe Materials & Breathable Textiles - Removable and washable stretch material canopy and shoulder pads with contrasting dark grey bamboo infant insert and head support.
  • Everything you need to get Started - This set includes the Doona infant car seat, Doona bamboo infant insert, Doona bamboo head support, Doona vehicle seat protector, and our Doona base.
  • Important Sizing and Usage Information - Suitable for babies between 4 lbs. to 35 lbs. and max. 32 inches in height. The Doona Infant Car Seat is rear-facing only.
  • Designed For Your Lifestyle - Doona is compact and lightweight: Folded - 23.6 x 17.3 x 26 inches, Unfolded - 39 x 17.3 x 32.2 inches, The car seat weighs only 16.5 lbs. The latch base weighs 10.3 lbs.
Avatar of Kathy Warner

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here

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