A Spare Set of Wheels
- What: Car seat travel cart
- When: Traveling with young kids
- Why: Keep hands free, less effort
- Where: Amazon
Tis the season for traveling with kids. Sadly, not everything you need on the go comes with wheels. I don’t know about you, but I find hauling car seats to be one of the least pleasant aspects of getting from here to there and back again. If you haven’t already invested in a solid set of wheels for your heavy duty car seat, these can be a lifesaver, especially when traveling alone with a little one.
These wheels mean your car seat can double as a stroller. While they can’t handle terrain and don’t have all the features of most actual strollers, if you pack a quality carrier and don’t anticipate a lot of rough terrain or walking at your destination, these wheels work wonders.
You use the same LATCH connectors that safely install your car seat in your vehicle to securely fasten the seat to the wheeled frame. The rest works much like any luggage cart, with wheels on the back and a flat piece underneath the front of the seat to act as a support and a rest when stopped. You raise the handle and tilt onto the two wheels and off you go.
Most come with a telescoping handle, and the front folds up for compact storage at home or in the overhead bin of an aircraft or luggage rack on trains. If you want your car seat on board, it can make all the difference getting from the parking lot to the departure gate or platform.
Unlike wheeled car seat bags, you can use these wheels with your child safely strapped in, or you can use it to haul other items you don’t feel like carrying. These wheels can handle most sidewalks without an issue, and indoor areas like airports pose no problem. Rougher terrain, like uneven curbs and unpaved surfaces don’t work so well. But if you need to transport an infant car seat, choose something else. This set of wheels only takes convertible and forward facing car seats or boosters with harnesses.
I find it easiest to pull behind me, like a rollerboard suitcase. But you can definitely push these as well, if your child prefers to face forward or you like to keep an eye on them. The wheels mean your child rides much lower than in strollers, so you have to bend down more to lift them in and out as well as buckle them. Longer legs can also brush the ground. They also offer no undercarriage or other types of storage, so you find another way to carry all your snacks, sippy cups, and other items.
We have a friend who made their own travel cart on a budget using a regular luggage set of wheels. If you don’t want to splurge for the car seat specific ones, you can go that route as well. The car seat set works just as well for luggage in later years, if you want to get more mileage out of your investment.
Once you start checking your car seat through to your final destination, you won’t need the extra set of wheels. But until then, it can make the difference between struggling through the airport and a fun ride for you and your child.