Save Your Back and Your Seat
- What: J L Childress Wheelie Car Seat Travel Bag
- When: Traveling with car seats
- Why: Put car seats on wheels
- Where: Amazon
If you can drive to visit all your relatives, you can skip this post. For all the rest of us that fly more than we’d like to count, keep reading.
I adore my Britax convertible car seats – except when we have to travel by air. They weigh a ton and are extremely unwieldy, especially if you fly with an infant who already takes up both hands. Enter the car seat travel bag.
Not only does it provide protection for your car seat if you check it, but if you have to lug it through the airport, it puts the weight on the wheels instead of your back. (Unless you get the backpack kind, which I’ve never tried.) With the addition of Velcro, you can hook it to a rolling suitcase and drag both items with one hand while pushing a stroller or holding an infant with the other.
As an added bonus, all airlines we’ve used allow you to check a car seat for free. I’ve never had any gate agent or anyone else check inside my car seat bag. It looks like a car seat, it weighs as much as a car seat, it must be a car seat. But in a pinch, like when you bought too many disposable diapers on your trip and can’t bring yourself to toss money in the garbage, or when your friend gifts you with several bags of hand me downs, you can toss all that into the car seat bag for extra luggage space without extra lugging. The double zippers, one from each side, help stuff it to the brim.
We’ve had our generic car seat bag for years and it has traveled with us almost as much as the kids. (We occasionally go places where people already have car seats for us.) It can sometimes be a pain to get the car seat in just right, especially if I’ve forgotten to put the seat in the upright position or lower the adjustable head support. Both the zipper tabs have broken off and the material has several holes which we’ve patched with duct tape. But overall, given the cost of the bag, I couldn’t be happier with how it served its purpose. It fits any car or booster seat we’ve tried (though sadly it can’t hold two), and comes with a shoulder strap we’ve never even attempted to use. It also sports a handle on the top which we’ve used to drag it across the country and internationally. We’ve hauled the plastic wheels over countless rough surfaces and an unknown distance, and as long as your husband doesn’t use the bag as his own seat, they still work just fine.
It compacts down to a flat square with wheels and front support when not loaded with a car seat or other belongings, making it easy to store with suitcases or underneath the bed in between travels. If you need a cost-effective means of adding wheels and protection to your car seat while traveling by air, invest in one of these collapsible bags.