I have been going over, and over, and over which car seat to take on 9 hours of flight time to Germany (and two pretty short layovers). M currently uses an Evenflo Tribute (retired edition) in my car, and a Britax Marathon in my mom’s car. We also have a Cosco Apt hanging out in my grandma’s garage. The Britax is out because of its weight (19.5 lbs). The Cosco Apt weighs 11 lbs and the Evenflo Tribute weighs 10 lbs, so pretty much the same.
So it then comes down to width. The Tribute is 18.6 inches wide, and the Apt is 22 inches wide at the cupholders. Therefore, the Tribute is my winner. I opted not to buy a Cosco Scenera, even though it would’ve given me an extra inch of room, because we would only be using it on this trip. Unless someone gave me one, she wouldn’t need it or be able to use it much after the trip. But at 17.6 inches wide and 11 lbs, it sounds like a good option for those looking for a travel seat. The seat on our short Air Canada flights (45-60 min) will be 18 inches wide, and the seats on our longer flight (7.5 hours!) will be 18.5 inches wide, so we should be ok.
I heard good things and bad things about the Radian XRT car seat, the bad mostly being it’s heavy weight, the good being that it folds down. It’s a very pricey purchase though, and I didn’t really want to spend any extra money for the trip if I could get by with the seats we already have. I can carry them in my travel car seat case, which I wear like a backpack. With their light weight, the burden is almost unnoticeable, even if it is bulky worn that way. I could also use bungee cords to strap it to the stroller for in the airport. I’ll have to give it a dry run before we go and see which way I prefer. I plan to have only the diaper bag as extra baggage in the airport, including pull-ups, clothes, snacks, and entertainment.
Both the Tribute and Apt are going to be useless to me pretty soon, though, as they max out at 40 lbs. My daughter is at least 35 lbs now, I think. So I’m looking at what to buy for our next seat. I don’t really have a preference except that she be able to sleep in it relatively well, so not be straight up and down but have a bit of an incline and head rest or lip she can rest her head against. Comfortable, in other words. I am also not going to buy one brand new that costs over $100 (I can often find deals for the more expensive car seats that have been used only a few times, or just the box was opened, etc). Suggestions? The Radian will be over $100 for sure, but what about the Britax family?